Just read another great gloss by Krugman pointing out that the trouble in the EU with the obsession with austerity and structural reforms is not that technocrats have run amok, but to the contrary there is a shortage of capable technocrats right now.
At least among those driving the policy debate in the EU right now. So it is that recently new ECB President Mario Draghi, could actually declare that “anchoring inflation expectations” is “the major contribution we can make in support of sustainable growth, employment creation and financial stability.”
Krugman's gloss on this is that Draghi is not a cold, bloodless technocrat who ignores our common human content but rather a "boring, cruel Euro romantic." It's a great reversal. As Krugman says, "I like technocrats — technocrats are friends of mine. And we need technical expertise to deal with our economic woes. "
If only we did have technocrats driving the bus! The trouble is that we don't-the opposite. This belief in austerity is a romantic fable about the way the world should be. We have our own version here in the U.S. driven by the Republicans and driven by David Cameron and his Conservatives but it's all the same. As Krugman points out, just because the ideology of Austerity isn't very exciting-which is the boring part of boring, cruel romantics" doesn't make it any less romantic.
To be sure in the U.S. and Britain we suffer from various psychosomatic pains-maybe it's our sympathy pains with the EU. While Britain faces no debt crisis it imposed harsh austerity measures anyway just for kicks-the cruel part. In the U.S. we have the safest debt in the world yet we had a super committee to fix an imaginary debt problem. In this sense we are than Britain who achieved much more success in imposing austerity than we did here thanks to divided government. Britain risks making itself sick by it's imaginary cures.