Renowned Economist Offers Recession Prescription

With more than 31 million Americans still facing rising unemployment, poverty and foreclosures, PBS host Bill Moyers interviewed renowned economist James Galbraith,  professor of economics at the University of Texas, about how to get the U.S. out of the current economic crisis.

Galbraith’s answer: JOBS.

“We’re at the bottom,” says Galbraith of the current recession, “but from the standpoint of the population, the bottom is going to go on for a long time.

“The problem here is that we have a stimulus package, which is helping now,” said Galbraith, “but it will be over with at the end of next year. Will there be a basis for another strong, privately financed expansion at that point? I don’t see the evidence for that now. And that seems to me to be something we should be worrying about.”

Galbraith talked about recent concerns by government leaders who argue the U.S. deficit is far too large to enact further stimulus. “With all respect to the deficit hawks, they don’t understand the situation,” he argues. “And they don’t know what they’re talking about, in terms of federal finances. The United States is a large and powerful country. And it can, if it chooses, employ its work force in a useful way. But the point I would make about jobs programs is that the alternative is not spending nothing.” Galbraith says inaction will cost us far more in the long run.

For more information and to see the full interview, click here.

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