Richard Eskow writes:
"I feel stupid," someone said the other day. "I consider myself well-informed, but I have no idea what the term 'austerity economics' really means."
Actually it's not that complicated, and most of the lesson plan can be found in today's headlines.
We'll explain austerity to you in six steps, and we promise it it won't take more than 900 words. Since adults read an average of 250-300 words per minute -- and we know all of you are above average -- our little course shouldn't take more than three minutes.
It's certainly worth knowing. Despite its many failures, "austerity economics" keeps remaking -- and unmaking -- the global economy. The only disagreement at this weekend's Republican debate was over which candidate would push austerity more aggressively. And austerity dominated the political agenda last year -- "Deficit Commission," anyone? -- until Occupy came along.
Merriam-Webster named "austerity" the "Word of the Year" for 2010. But like the monster from a 1950's science-fiction movie, it just keeps on growing. This week alone the name was invoked in government houses from Athens to Lagos.