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But the deficit isn’t even the nation’s central economic problem. Our real problem continues to be a dearth of good jobs, and widening inequality.
Cutting the budget deficit anytime soon will make both worse — by reducing total demand for goods and services, and by eliminating programs that lower and middle-income Americans depend on.
It’s all about jobs, wages and widening inequality. Everything else — the government shutdown, the fight over the debt ceiling and the continuing negotiations over the budget deficit — is a dangerous distraction.
Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of “Beyond Outrage,” now available in paperback. His new film, “Inequality for All,” was released last month. He blogs at www.robertreich.org. (c) 2013 BY ROBERT REICH; DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.