Liveblogging World War II: February 27, 1943
Wednesday Hoisted from the Archives from Four Years Ago: Stimulus Ostriches

Yes, We May Well Have a Double Dip This Year. Why Do You Ask?


I cannot find anybody now forecasting that the employment-to-population ratio will be higher in a year than it is today…

Binyamin Applebaum:

As Budget Cuts Loom, Austerity Kills Off Government Jobs: The federal government, the nation’s largest consumer and investor, is cutting back at a pace exceeded in the last half-century only by the military demobilizations after the Vietnam War and the cold war. The reductions are designed to be indiscriminate, cutting everything from air traffic control to nursery schools. And the turn toward austerity is set to accelerate on Friday if the mandatory federal spending cuts known as sequestration start to take effect as scheduled. Those cuts would join an earlier round of deficit reduction measures passed in 2011 and the wind-down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that already have reduced the federal government’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product by almost 7 percent in the last two years…. Federal, state and local governments now employ 500,000 fewer workers than they did on the eve of the recession in 2007, the longest and deepest decline in total government employment since the aftermath of World War II.

And it happened at exactly the wrong time to cut back on government employment--at a time when the government needed to be spending more employing more people, not fewer.