The myths—and dangers—of austerity politics

The myths—and dangers—of austerity politics

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Republicans often tout simple spending cuts as markers of economic responsibility. But that sort of superficial belt-tightening often proves to be far more reckless in the long run. This week, we revisit interviews with two economists about the myths—and dangers—of austerity politics. 

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Mark Blyth

Mark Blyth is a professor of international economy at Brown University, and he succinctly explains what’s wrong with austerity as a cure for an ailing economy: “Tighter belts,” he says, “only work if we all wear the same pants.”

Simon Johnson

Economist Simon Johnson warns that irresponsible austerity methods proposed by Republicans could throw the world into a financial catastrophe. And, he says, it would be the private sector that really suffers.

Jim Hightower

What’s Up with This Crazy Trucker Protest?

The recent traffic-clogging protests by truck drivers in the US and Canada are about drivers being angry over COVID-19 vaccine mandates – right?

Uh… no. That’s the line being put out by right-wing extremists trying to use the legitimate gripes of truckers for their own political gain. The extremists are nuts… not the truckers.

Bill Press

What’s Next for Putin’s War

Twenty-six days into Putin’s War in Ukraine, can anything be done to stop the carnage and stop Putin? What are the likely next steps, diplomatically and militarily? What are the risks of a wider war, of a nuclear war? To provide some context, Bill has arranged to talk again with the two experts on foreign affairs who gave us their first assessment of the situation in Ukraine three weeks ago. A lot has changed. . Steven Pifer was our Ambassador to Ukraine in the last two years of the Clinton Administration and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine in the first four years of the George W. Bush Administration. He is currently a Fellow at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution. Joining him is Joe Cirincione, a Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He previously served for over 12 years as the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a foundation focused on nuclear nonproliferation and conflict resolution. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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