The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 20, 2013

Your View: Another stimulus will bring full employment

Louis Schwartzkopf, Mankato

— The biggest economic problem the U.S. currently faces is the depressed state of the economy and high unemployment, not government spending and debt. The cause of the depressed economy is lack of demand.

To fix it, the government should spend an additional $300 billion of stimulus in each of the next two years. The stimulus money could be used to re-hire the teachers laid off since 2008, and for infrastructure projects such as repairing roads and rebuilding areas devastated by natural disasters. If the federal government did this, the U.S. would be well on its way to full employment in two years.

Debt can be a problem, but only in the long run, not the short run. The economies of other developed countries have sustained much higher ratios of debt to GDP without ill effect. Once the economy picks up and more people are employed, revenues will increase. Then is the time to tackle the debt problem, when the full-employment economic engine is running again.

This is what Dr. Paul Krugman, professor of economics at Princeton University, author of an economics textbook, and winner of a Nobel prize in economics for his research, says in his book, “End This Depression Now!” I find it astonishing that the House Republicans refuse even to consider the ideas not only of Dr. Krugman but also of other well-respected mainstream economists.

In addition, they threaten to renege on the payment of debts that the federal government has already incurred, a threat which if implemented would result in increased misery for millions of U.S. citizens. How can they possibly have the best interests of their constituents at heart?