3 years ago: The Indignant Household Budget

July 7, 2010, on this blog: The Indignant Household Budget

Anybody complaining about deficits who isn’t suggesting, first and foremost, that the unemployed need to be re-employed, is either a fool or a villain or both. If you’re going to be tut-tutting about deficits, then you had better also be screaming bloody murder about unemployment. If you do the former without doing the latter, you supply proof that you don’t understand or care about either one.

The problem is unemployment. The Indignant Politicians and the Deficit Tsk-tsk-forces refuse to acknowledge that because it doesn’t fit neatly into the “We’re righteous, they’re immoral spendthrifts” template of the standard household-budget analogy.

When your household budget is out of balance due to unemployment, then no amount of cost-cutting is going to allow your family to live within its means. When your means is an income of $0 you don’t need austerity or discipline or smug self-righteousness. You need a job.

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  • You know, all those ideas we batted around for heroic government workers are fun to read about. I’d totally forgotten about saying how the private sector insistently reminds us of how good the things are that we spend our money on, and how relatively rarely the government does.

    Government may not be a business and shouldn’t be, but it can’t hurt to adopt that one tactic more. :)

  • Jurgan

    I had some thoughts about this a little while ago:


    “I realize that comparing government to a family or business is something of a false analogy, but I don’t think we’re going to beat it head on. Instead, we should employ a bit of jujitsu, using the opposition’s own momentum against them. How does this sound:

    A family takes out a loan to buy a car to go to work, so why can’t the government borrow to build roads for them to drive on?…”