Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea
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Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. By Mark Blyth. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013. 288pp., $24.95 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0199828302.
The onset of the 2007–2009 financial crisis and Great Recession triggered a massive public sector response designed to undergird both the financial sector and the real economy. Although the policies associated with this response were far from perfect, they succeeded in preventing the onset of a full-blown depression. But rather than press on and lead the way toward a robust recovery, governments on both sides of the Atlantic subsequently fell prey to “austerity buzzards” [Epstein 2013]. Whether as the result of poorly designed monetary institutions (as in the Eurozone) or political theater (as in the United States), the public sector was quickly transformed from savior to villain of the piece as the twin “imperatives” of deficit and debt reduction through public sector expenditure cuts became the focus of attention. In Austerity: The History...
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