The problem, Mr. Krugman points out, riffing on Larry Summers’ speech to the IMF, is that we’re not all buying Gucci dresses and Rolex watches. We lost our hunger for conspicuous consumption way before the real estate bubble pulled the rug out from under us.
I think the real problem is that the people with all the money can’t think of enough ways to spend it. We need to get more money in the hands of the 99.5 percent of consumers at the bottom, instead of letting all the drug dealers and the suits who run the banks (and the government) bid up objets d’arte.
I advocate a basic income guarantee, because those people who don’t have a lot of money spend all of it they can get. Either that, or let’s double the minimum wage.
Now that we’ve got that all figured out, maybe we can work on a new seating arrangement for City Council.
[Update: It seems the Onion had it figured out all along.]