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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Though we never really tried a stimulus, America mostly avoided austerity — extreme budget cutting during a recession to reduce debt — by delaying real cuts to the federal budget until this year, when cuts on the state and local levels are finally ending.

Europe hasn’t been so lucky, as this 2012 chart from Business Insider‘s Joe Weisenthal shows.

uk vs us vs euro

 

But even Germany, the country that forced the rest of the Eurozone into cutting when they should be spending, is ready to give up on this dangerous idea and try some stimulus — after its unemployment rate increased four times more than expected.

If you’ve ever wondered where the lust for austerity — or the “pain caucus,” as Paul Krugman calls its proponents — came from, you’ve got to check out this talk from Mark Blyth, author of Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea.

Blyth calls himself a perfect example of the social mobility made possible by the welfare state, and said he decided to take on austerity because it pissed him off so much.

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Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.