Brooks: The Poor Pay 6-22-15

When liberals and conservatives look at policies to alleviate poverty, they often disagree over the nature of public goods and whether or not the government can provide them. Conservatives ought to be asking whether or not the benefits of public goods are higher than the costs. When we don’t make cost-benefit calculations at the macro level about public goods, the poor pay.

This is a fact. Look at what’s happening in the periphery countries in Europe today. If you don’t pay attention to the macro economy and fiscal stability, you will become insolvent. And if you become insolvent, there will be austerity. And if you have austerity, it’s always the poor who pay. If you want to protect the poor, you must avoid austerity and insolvency, and the only way you can do that is with smart policies.

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