18 janeiro 2009

Krugman escreve a Obama

If things continue on their current trajectory, Mr. President, we will soon be facing a great national catastrophe. And it's your job — a job no other president has had to do since World War II — to head off that catastrophe.
With office buildings standing empty, shopping malls begging for tenants and factories sitting idle, who wants to spend on new capacity

And with workers everywhere worried about job security, people trying to save a few dollars may stampede into stores that offer deep discounts, but not many people want to buy the big-ticket items, like cars, that normally fuel an economic recovery.

If banks need federal funds to survive, provide them — but demand that the banks do their part by lending those funds out to the rest of the economy. Provide more help to homeowners. Use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home-lending agencies, to pass the government's low borrowing costs on to qualified home buyers.

Conservatives will accuse you of nationalizing the financial system, and some will call you a Marxist. (It happens to me all the time.) And the truth is that you will, in a way, be engaging in temporary nationalization. But that's OK: In the long run we don't want the government running financial institutions, but for now we need to do whatever it takes to get credit flowing again.

The lesson from FDR's limited success on the employment front, then, is that you have to be really bold in your job-creation plans. Basically, businesses and consumers are cutting way back on spending, leaving the economy with a huge shortfall in demand, which will lead to a huge fall in employment — unless you stop it. To stop it, however, you have to spend enough to fill the hole left by the private sector's retrenchment.

How much spending are we talking about? You might want to be seated before you read this. OK, here goes: "Full employment" means a jobless rate of five percent at most, and probably less. Meanwhile, we're currently on a trajectory that will push the unemployment rate to nine percent or more. Even the most optimistic estimates suggest that it takes at least $200 billion a year in government spending to cut the unemployment rate by one percentage point. Do the math: You probably have to spend $800 billion a year to achieve a full economic recovery. Anything less than $500 billion a year will be much too little to produce an economic turnaround.

In fact, the biggest problem you're going to face as you try to rescue the economy will be finding enough job-creation projects that can be started quickly.

war in Iraq — which is, by the way, costing about as much each year as the insurance subsidies we need to implement universal health care.

1 comentário:

Carlos Santos disse...

Bem observado. Analiso isso no livro anunciado em http://ovalordasideias.blogspot.com/2009/01/livro-sobre-presidncia-de-obama.html