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Robert Kuttner, "Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility" ISBN: 0307959805 | 2013 | EPUB One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of todayΓÇÖs financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking governmentΓÇöΓÇ£austerityΓÇ¥ΓÇöis the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or EuropeΓÇÖs, now in its fifth year. Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on the question of debt: whether we have too much of it, whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit. These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the fiscal-cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union. Robert Kuttner makes the most powerful argument to date that these are the wrong questions and that austerity is the wrong answer. Blending economics with historical contrasts of effective debt relief and punitive debt enforcement, he makes clear that universal belt-tightening, as a prescription for recession, defies economic logic. And while the public debt gets most of the attention, it is private debts that crashed the economy and are sandbagging the recoveryΓÇömortgages, student loans, consumer borrowing to make up for lagging wages, speculative shortfalls incurred by banks. As Kuttner observes, corporations get to use bankruptcy to walk away from debts. Homeowners and small nations donΓÇÖt. Thus, we need more public borrowing and investment to revive a depressed economy, and more forgiveness and reform of the overhang of past debts.