Running with metaphors: economy as household

Paul Krugman has a nice summary of his experiences in the UK promoting his new book at the NY Times. He points out how austeritarians tend to think that the private sector and public sector are in competition with each other for capacity and to equate the problems of the economy with problems of a household. As Krugman points out this is a pretty silly way of approaching the current problems of the UK economy. However, I think it’s also worth running with this metaphor.

The line goes like this: the public sector is unproductive work and the private sector productive work, we’ve overspent on the public sector and now we need to tighten our belts and devote more energy to the private sector. I think you can map these on the to household nicely in terms of housework against paid employment. Yes, if you spend all your time doing housework you won’t have time to go out and earn a living but cutting back on housework is not the best way to find a job.   It will make the house a mess though.


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