Things like that happen once in a while, and it's always striking, at least until the moment passes.
Now it's happened with Krugman. I've mentioned before that I love it when he agrees with me. This time I anticipated a rather more complex thought. In response to this post, on Wednesday one of my FB friends asked if I thought a deep recession or stock market crash was inevitable.
My response: "I don't think anything is inevitable. We could limp along like this, with gradually dimming expectations for 1000 years. It's happened before."
Not a lot of detail, but the intent is clear. Then today Krugman said this:
But won’t there be an ever-growing demand from the public for action? Actually, that’s not at all clear. While there is growing “austerity fatigue” in Europe, and this might provoke a crisis, the overwhelming result from U.S. political studies is that the level of unemployment matters hardly at all for elections; all that matters is the rate of change in the months leading up to the election. In other words, high unemployment could become accepted as the new normal, politically as well as in economic analysis.
I guess what I’m saying is that I worry that a more or less permanent depression could end up simply becoming accepted as the way things are, that we could suffer endless, gratuitous suffering, yet the political and policy elite would feel no need to change its ways.
He's not quite predicting a lighting quick return to the dark ages, but I'd say we're on the same wave-length here.