The title of this post borrows from a phrase I employ in the conclusion of tomorrow’s Acton Commentary on the prospects for austerity in America after today’s mid-term elections. (I can’t claim to have coined the term, since about 4,270 other instances of the phrase show up in a Google search, but I like it nonetheless.)
Today I’ll simply highlight a few of the relevant stories that I’ve noted on this theme over recent weeks and months.
- Austerity compared to “chemotherapy” that “does more harm than good.”
- James Pethokoukis on “Austerity by default.” I very much like the phrase “deficit reduction by gridlock.”
- Coffee and Markets asks and answers, “Can America Learn from Britain’s Austerity?”
- Robert Samuelson chronicles the “Age of Austerity.”
As Samuelson notes, austerity is by its very nature unpopular. Speaking of the dilemma facing governments, he writes, “Without unpopular spending cuts and tax increases, unmanageable deficits may choke their economies.”
Tomorrow I’ll discuss the treatment of austerity as a leitmotif in the writings of Paul Krugman, who most recently dubbed austerity proponents “moralizers.” The significance of this will be made more clear tomorrow in relation to my commentary, “‘A’ for Austerity: The New Scarlet Letter.”