Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mark Blyth on the Dangers of Economic Austerity

I happened to hear this gentleman interviewed on a public radio show ("To The Best Of Our Knowledge", produced out of the University of Wisconsin) while driving home from work this evening.

Since Professor Blyth seemed to be makling more sense than almost anybody else I've heard talk about the current financial crisis in several weeks, I'd thought I'd share this with those interested. I hope you will share any thoughts on his analysis.

Mark Blyth is a professor of International Political Economy at Brown University and faculty fellow at its Watson Institute for International Studies. He is writing "Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea," forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2011.


  1. An interesting video Doug, thanks for posting it. Mark Blyth helps to elucidate the logic of the War On Shopping here which is a campaign to ensure that current policies do end as badly as Blyth is predicting.

    He says austerity is dangerous, he is right and there are thousands of us at work today to facilitate that bad outcome and to make the idea ever more dangerous.

    To these activists the only acceptable alternative is the complete surrender of the World Bank, IMF, Wall Street and the City of London and that will be the outcome eventually in any event, the only question really is how bad the bad idea is going to get before the cure.....but rest assured we are all working on that right now Doug.

  2. I believe Blyth is right as well. We are asking the least able to pay for the party that irresponsible and greedy forces unleashed, starting on Wall Street. This is like throwing a party at a swank restaurant then asking the busboys and waitstaff to pay for it all out of their meager salaries--- and tip the customers. This flies in the face of any sense of fairness as I understand.

    I would have thought the reverberations of the great recessions some of these financial and mortgage groups have caused--and the lac of real growth for the middle class in the USA since the late 70's-- would be enough to give sensible voters enough evidence to be wary of large financial entities. It appears the power of blame shifting solely onto the government is still a powerful ideal in America and the UK as well.

    How bad will it get? I thought the fallout of economic disaster emerging in 2009 was a turning point, and it was for many people. But not enough people yet it seems.