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View Diary: Structural Stupidity on PBS, Debunked by Krugman and Baker (123 comments)

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  •  Oh, jeez. (0+ / 0-)

    The entire comment section is essentially FUBAR because of a mistake made, in good faith, about the meaning of the term "structural" as used by economists when discussing unemployment.

    Apologists for the unemployment situation--such as Brooks--are the ones who are saying it is "structural unemployment."

    Critics of the current unemployment situation--such as Dean Baker--are the ones who are saying the situation is not due to "structural unemployment."

    Until we get the confusion over the term "structural unemployment" cleared up, this whole discussion is going to be based on a misunderstanding.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 10:58:43 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  We're taking back the word "structural" (0+ / 0-)

      The apologists for the current situation are claiming the distorted "structure" of our economy is due to workers failing to update their job skills. This is a dangerous and dishonest euphemism. ("Oh, we'd love to create more jobs-- but you rabble refuse to acquire the skills we need.")

      We're saying the structural change divesting from manufacturing and saddling Americans with underpaying service sector jobs was made by banks and private investors. And this distorted new structure must be dismantled if the mass of Americans are to experience prosperity again. ("We have no need to create more jobs. We're making obscenely high profits already through speculation and rent-charging.")

      Treating the problem as "cyclical" rather than "structural" is naive and self-defeating. Waiting around for mass consumer demand to "inevitably" rebound and stimulate resumed growth is folly; the Liquidators (Bain, the big banks) have already restructured production to prevent that from happening.

      The comments section is not FUBAR: it's challenging the dishonest and opportunistic use of the term "structural."

      •  OK, I do get what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

        but the way economists use the term "structural" and the way you're using it, I would argue, are different. And I think you have more in common with Dean Baker et al than you think.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 07:10:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do find myself in frequent agreement with (0+ / 0-)

          Dean Baker. I also like a lot of what Paul Krugman writes, except that I think he's holding out false hopes about how easy it will be to recover from our "cyclical" downturn.

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