Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Deficits!

Financial Times:

State-sponsored short-time working schemes – in which people work fewer hours while the government tops up their pay – plus employment protection laws and cultural factors mean that some of the largest European economies have curbed the social costs of the severe recession. And by shoring up domestic demand they have arguably helped their own economies recover as well as contribute to global stabilisation. In so doing, they have also raised the question of whether systems that provide a generous cushion at times of crisis and preserve productive capacity, which had come to be seen as sluggish and inefficient, are really so bad.

Suffice it to say, we know better in the United States, where curbing social costs and shoring up domestic demand is known as "bankrupting the nation," while occupying others militarily is called "defending" it.

3 comments:

Hunter said...

It is instructive to compare the last post to this: the aphorisms offered here occasionally strike with the trueness and strength demanded of them by the assumed reader:
http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/adorno/1951/mm/ch01.htm
(scroll down to # 44)
but nearly as often, as with this post, the aphorism offered does not convict the reader of false consciousness, but merely demands a common frame of reference. Ideological compatriots may understand, and ideological enemies might enter into disputation, but the masses (even the educated masses) will simply ignore the work as incomprehensibly oblique. Be sharp! yes; but have a care for the cultural matrix in which the audience you wish to persuade is embedded. We are not all of us compatriots or enemies.

Hunter said...

Yeah, wow, I just read that link, and the translation is kind of terrible. Google adorno minima moralia 44, and find the google books link to the Adorno-approved translation (it should let you read enough pages to at least read aphorism #44).

JRB said...

Thanks for the critical feedback -- and the link. I will do my best to keep them in my mind, as I also share these concerns.

I should warn you that it may take some time before all the pieces work together correctly. Criticism helps illuminate what is missing, so thanks.