November 23, 2011
Liberals and 'Austerity'
When I was a lad in 1950s Britain, the adults used to talk about "austerity." This, I learned, was the period right after World War II. But what did it mean? I could never quite grasp what was so austere about those years. There was food rationing, of course, and that meant that my parents kept chickens in the back garden. It meant that we were careful to spread the butter on bread very thinly. Then there was the Winter of 1947. It was cold enough to get its own Wikipedia entry. Now I finally understand. "Austerity" means that the technocratic statists have goofed and that some government benefits may possibly dip in the near future. That must be what "austerity" means, because we have liberals like Robert Reich warning urgently against copying the European austerity here in the United States. It is one thing, apparently, to copy European social democratic programs in good times, but another thing altogether to copy the Euro...(Read Full Article)