Paul Krugman once again cites Ireland as example of failure of austerity

Paul Krugman

Nobel prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has once again pointed to Ireland’s failures as an example of how government job cuts do not work.

Krugman often cites Ireland as the poster child for false hopes of a recovery there because of the austerity measures favored by European governments and the GOP in America.

Krugman believes in more not less government intervention ad says repeatedly that efforts to portray Ireland as in recovery mode are completely misjudged.

Writing in The New York Times on Friday Krugman stated:

“The really decisive evidence on government cuts, however, comes from Europe. Consider the case of Ireland, which has reduced public employment by 28,000 since 2008 — the equivalent, as a share of population, of laying off 1.9 million workers here. These cuts were hailed by conservatives, who predicted great results.

“'The Irish economy is showing encouraging signs of recovery,' declared Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute in June 2010.

But recovery never came; Irish unemployment is currently more than 14 percent. Ireland’s experience shows that austerity in the face of a depressed economy is a terrible mistake to be avoided if possible.

And the point is that in America it is possible. You can argue that countries like Ireland had and have very limited policy choices. But America — which unlike Europe has a federal government — has an easy way to reverse the job cuts that are killing the recovery: have the feds, who can borrow at historically low rates, provide aid that helps state and local governments weather the hard times. That, in essence, is what the president was proposing and Mr. Romney was deriding.”