Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Terrific Tuesday Tidings: LGBT Rights, Warren, and Your Moment of Krug

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for my ongoing quest to become a more positive person. Here are the news stories that made me happy this week:
  • A California Judge ruled last week that DOMA was unconstitutional.  Which frankly seems like the most obvious decision ever for anyone with the vaguest familiarity with the Contracts Clause, but hey, I'll take it.
  • The first gay marriage on a military base happened at Fort Polk in Louisiana.  Since gay marriage is still illegal in Louisiana, the military is describing it as "same-gender private religious ceremony," personally I call it a good start.  And of course, congratulations to the happy couple!
  • Finally, here's Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman explaining why Republican austerity is quite possibly the stupidest and most dangerous response to an economic depression imaginable:
We are in a depression. We are actually in a classic depression. A depression is when nobody wants to spend. Everybody wants to pay down their debt at the same time. Everybody is trying to pull back, either because they got too far into debt, or because if they’re a corporation, they can’t sell because consumers are pulling back. The thing about an economy is that it fits together. My spending is your income. Your spending is my income, so if we all pull back at the same time, we’re in a depression. The way to get out of it is for somebody to spend so that people can pay down their debt, so that we don’t have a depression. So that we have a chance to work out of whatever excesses we had in the past, and that somebody has to be the government. 
We ended the Great Depression with a great program of government spending for an unfortunate reason. It was known as World War II…but when the war broke out in Europe, and we began our buildup that Great Depression that had been going on for ten years. People thought it would go on forever. Learned people stroked their chins and said there are no quick answers. In two years, employment rose 20%. That’s the equivalent of 26 million jobs today, the depression was over. We had full employment, and it never came back, or it didn’t come back until 2008, because people managed to pay down those debts, and we had a durable recovery.

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