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Saint Paul’s conversion…

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Paul Krugman is officially off our shit list:

… [W]e could have policies that support private-sector employment. Such policies could range from labor rules that discourage firing to financial incentives for companies that either add workers or reduce hours to avoid layoffs.

And that’s what the Germans have done. Germany came into the Great Recession with strong employment protection legislation. This has been supplemented with a “short-time work scheme,” which provides subsidies to employers who reduce workers’ hours rather than laying them off. These measures didn’t prevent a nasty recession, but Germany got through the recession with remarkably few job losses.

Should America be trying anything along these lines? In a recent interview, Lawrence Summers, the Obama administration’s highest-ranking economist, was dismissive: “It may be desirable to have a given amount of work shared among more people. But that’s not as desirable as expanding the total amount of work.” True. But we are not, in fact, expanding the total amount of work — and Congress doesn’t seem willing to spend enough on stimulus to change that unfortunate fact. So shouldn’t we be considering other measures, if only as a stopgap?

You can read Krugman’s full piece here

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  1. Threecrow
    November 14, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Maybe he’s found your writings.

    • charley2u
      November 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

      Unlikely. Saint Paul only seeks to impress his betters. Having stolen the ideas of folks like Tom Walker, he will trot them out as his own to prove his street cred at the Messiah’s summit.

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