Several European nations recently announced spending cuts to bring their budgets closer to balance in the wake of the current global economic recession, especially Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain. But Paul Krugman, the leftist Keynesian economist of the New York Times, argues that balancing budgets will lead to a new depression:
Public-employee labor unions have long been an unchecked tap upon the public treasury. Sometimes these unions have an aura of moral purpose, like police and firefighters' unions. Others work in hospitals or teach in schools, positions that have historically been viewed sympathetically by many Americans. Other unions, like garbage collectors and water-line workers, could cause immediate and serious harm to the public, if they went on strike.
When John Hussman, in his Weekly Market Comment, noted that the Economic Cycle Research Institute’s (ECRI) Index “has slumped to the lowest level in 44 weeks and has now gone to a negative reading,” he was confirming other recent signals that the economy was giving off, notably here and here, that the possibility of a double dip recession continues to increase.
The attack on the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency intensified over the weekend as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev openly discussed replacing the old global financial system with a new international monetary order.
The one thing that economists seem to agree on is that any economic recovery will be an uphill battle for some time to come. But if you’ve ever pulled a heavy wagon up a hill, you know what happens if your fellow pullers decide to become riders instead and jump on the wagon.