sexta-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2013

Cópia integral

The Three Stooges Theory of Fiscal Policy

There’s a scene in one of the Three Stooges movies — if any readers know which one, please let me know — in which we see Curly banging his head repeatedly against a wall. Moe asks why he’s doing that, and Curly says, “Because it feels so good when I stop.”

Big joke, right? Except that this is now the reigning theory of fiscal policy.

As Antonio Fatas points out, austerians are now claiming vindication because some of the countries that imposed austerity are — after years of economic contraction — finally starting to show a bit of growth. This is, as he says, happening because sooner or later economies do tend to grow, unless bad policy not only continues but gets steadily worse; with austerity still severe but arguably not getting much more severe, some growth isn’t a big surprise. And these countries are still far below where they would have been with less austerity.

But hey, it feels good, at least relatively, when the countries stop banging their heads against the wall. Austerity rules!
So here’s where we are: wishing that policy officials in Europe would rise to the same level of analytical rigor and intellectual clarity exhibited by Moe, Larry, and Curly.

A parte sobre "unless bad policy not only continues but gets steadily worse" é a que traz muitos de nós preocupados com o que vai acontecer à leve recuperação do PIB com a renovada dose de austeridade do OE 2014. Era bom que estivéssemos a ser alarmistas.