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Austerity – U.S. style

David Ruccio

We often associate austerity with the economic policies imposed in Europe, especially Greece, since the crash of 2007-08.

However, as the chart below demonstrates (from the Wall Street Journal), the United States has pursued its own version of austerity in the years since the Great Recession began in late 2007. Total state, local and federal government spending, adjusted for inflation, shrank 3.3 percent since the binning of the recession, compared with an average increase of 23.5 percent over comparable periods in past post-war expansions.

And, of course, the effects of such austerity have been unevenly distributed across the population, with large corporations and wealthy individuals gaining and everyone else finding themselves on the losing end.

Source: Real World Econ Rev, 22 Aug 2015

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