In his Op-Ed column today, Paul Krugman reported on the not very rosy economic picture that fellow economist Larry Summers painted at the recent IMF annual conference. “Mr. Summers went on to draw a remarkable moral: We have, he suggested, an economy whose normal condition is one of inadequate demand,” Krugman wrote. This line popped right off the page, albeit with a substitution recognizable to anyone who has been watching audience numbers decline: we have a nonprofit arts sector whose normal condition is one of inadequate demand. Krugman goes on in his column to support Summers’ contention. If Krugman is right (and he often is, as he himself is quick to remind us) that “our economy has a persistent tendency toward depression,” then the arts and culture sector, as part of that larger economy, will not be immune to that tendency. Where we are now could very well be the new normal. The question then becomes, “Ok, now what?”
(image of Paul Krugman from Wiki Commons, Creative Commons license)
Love this, Linda. “OK, now what?” is the question! It will stimulate action to get ourselves OUT of (what may be) the new normal.