Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said Saturday that Republican-backed austerity measures — such as cutting government spending and reducing public services — were self-defeating
“We are very much like medieval doctors who thought the treatment for illness was to bleed you, then when the patients got sicker they bled them even more,” he said on Reuters TV. “We are doing incredibly destructive stuff that is not working.”
Krugman said the real economic problem was mass unemployment.
“I would say shelve the deficit discussion,” he said.
While Congress has been debating how to cut the federal deficit, “more than 3.9 million Americans have been out of work for more than a year,” Krugman added. “Think about what that means. That should be overwhelmingly our priority. We should be focusing on the clear and present danger, and not wasting a lot of time on what might happen well down the pipe.”
The weak job market was causing “continuous damage” to the economy, particularly for recent college graduates, according to Krugman.
“The college graduate who five years after graduating has still not found a job that makes use of his or her skills is never going to be used to their full potential later on,” he said. “So, we are basically disinvesting in the future.”
Watch video, courtesy of Reuters TV, below: