Public Spending Drought is Harming the Economy

There is HopeThis piece from The Atlantic does a good job of walking through the specifics of how public spending, or lack thereof, is hindering the economic recovery. The austere approach to public spending is dragging down, rather than bolstering, recovery efforts. Author Derek Thompson writes:

So we are slashing public employment’s share of the population at the very time that the economy would benefit the most from direct government hiring to counter the effects of long-term unemployment. And we are squeezing the federal investment budget at the very time that we can borrow at shockingly low rates from the rest of the world to buff up our research, infrastructure, and public education.

Think Progress pointed out similar trends in the latest jobs report in this blog post:

While government workers have been maligned as lazy paper pushers, many of them perform vital work that benefits their communities. Take, for example, the loss in teaching jobs. “Local government education” jobs, or in other words teachers, dropped by 1,500 last month and have declined by 355,500 since the recovery began.

For now the impact that gets the most attention is the number of jobs. But in the future, the effects will be felt more deeply—communities that were not as safe because of cuts to law enforcement, children who receive a low-quality education and can’t compete in the workforce, etc.

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