Friday, June 7, 2013

Austerity Dead and Well

In a paper out today in the Journal of Die Hard Ideology, longevity experts in the Wrongheadedness Studies department at the Academy of Political Science has delivered some very bad news to all the nation’s victims of the nation’s austerity pushers.

Said team co-leader Dr. Ivy Phillips, “The data’s in and it all indicates that the thoroughly destroyed notion that it’s time for America’s economic victims to fix the debt will not be paying its own debt to nature anytime soon. The zombie quotient on this austerity nonsense is absolutely through the roof. I’m afraid its victims will just have to get used to the idea that this idea will still be walking dead among us no matter what happens, up to and including the national debt hitting zero.

Said Dr. Phillips’ team co-leader Dr. Elias Hart, “Perhaps the best way to wrap one’s brain around this bad news is to think of a dying star not only not going away but actually growing ever larger as it keeps feeding on the next best elements once the hydrogen runs out.

“In the case of the hot ball of gas known as austerity, when, for example, it can no longer keep feeding on the flamed out work and reputations of Harvard’s Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, it feeds by turns on the hurt feelings and then the indignation and then the outright outrage over the uncivil behavior of those like Paul Krugman who point out all the uncivil harm caused when austerity fattens on academic nonsense.

“And then it feeds on the hurt feelings and the indignation and the outright outrage over the sheer meanness of those like Paul Krugman who don’t back down when it’s pointed out to them that they’re behaving with gross incivility.

“And in a process whose mechanisms we don’t yet completely understand, unbelievably wrong ideas like the notion that austerity is called for can actually extend their lives indefinitely by feeding on the very hard, cold facts and trains of thought that killed them.”

Added Dr. Phillips, “While the dying star analogy has great illumination value so to speak, it must be said that it breaks down when one considers that the austerity movement is mostly fueled by the almost inexhaustible windfalls that got sucked upward in recent decades in a top of the line Hoover storm of wealth redistribution that made nonsensical calls for austerity possible in the first place.

“I think perhaps a better visual aid would be the emaciated lab rat or fruit fly whose life expectancy breaks more and more new ground the less and less sustenance it has to live on. In essence, in the political and social ecosystem in which they exist, ideas live much longer the less substance they have.

“Between you and me, I’m guessing austerity will be put to rest about the same time our descendents are closing the lid on the laugher that President Obama’s not a full-blown plutocrat with strong autocratic tendencies.

“Nothing we know of dies harder than the stubborn brainchildren of the wrongheaded. Look at trickle down economics. Look at just about every idea surrounding the school reform movement. Look at the idea that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, that to protect our freedoms against the terrorists we have to give up our freedoms, that we are not being terrorists ourselves.

“The bottom line is this. America can keep crushing the cockroach of austerity if it wants to, but it’s just going to keep picking itself back up off the pavement well after the rest of us are dead and gone, many of us, of course, because of austerity itself.”

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