[C]onservatives favor the same set of economic policies when the economy is weak and when it is strong; when unemployment is high and when it is low; when few homeowners are facing foreclosure and when many are. The implication is that conservatives believe there is nothing in particular the government should do about economic cycles.
This is a big problem. Recessions are terrible. They create enormous misery by throwing people out of work and out of their homes. How can a political ideology have nothing to say about how to address recessions?
I’d actually go farther than this. The austerity policies that conservatives champion are not neutral toward unemployment and economic cycles. Europe’s experience with austerity is a large piece of evidence that austerity doesn’t help.
If there is a bright side for Greece, Spain and the like, it’s going to come with a huge amount of suffering attached. Let’s not copy the mistakes they’ve made.