It’s a Fetish 0
That is, an unwholesome fixation on one thing, like ladies’ shoes.
Joseph Stiglitz on “deficit cut fetishism”:
Most economists also agree that it is a mistake to look at only one side of a balance sheet (whether for the public or private sector). One has to look not only at what a country or firm owes, but also at its assets. This should help answer those financial sector hawks who are raising alarms about government spending. After all, even deficit hawks acknowledge that we should be focusing not on today’s deficit, but on the long-term national debt. Spending, especially on investments in education, technology, and infrastructure, can actually lead to lower long-term deficits. Banks’ short-sightedness helped create the crisis; we cannot let government short-sightedness – prodded by the financial sector – prolong it.
Read the whole thing, particularly the paragraph towards the end in which he points out
America’s financial industry polluted the world with toxic mortgages, and, in line with the well established “polluter pays” principle, taxes should be imposed on it.
America’s financial industry has shown that it subtracts, rather than adding value and that incompetence is not its own reward; rather, incompetence deserves ginormous bonuses. And country club memberships.
Its advice should be discounted.