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Austerity Measures Will Only Worsen Current Recession

There’s no chance consumers will soon rescue the economy. The only hope for a speedy recovery is for the government to increase spending in the right ways.

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Absent government policies, it takes a long time for an economy to recover from a recession and financial crisis. The panic and depression of 1873, similar in many ways to the current economic situation, lasted six years before lifting in 1879. But unlike in 1873-'79, we now have the economic know-how to bring our current crisis to a speedy end. We lack only the political will.

Policy-makers must focus on creating jobs, not slashing the deficit. It’s unconscionable to allow nearly 25 million unemployed and underemployed Americans to continue to suffer the devastating economic and psychological consequences of unemployment.

Eileen Appelbaum is a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the co-author of 'Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences With Paid Family Leave in California.'

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