Matt Yglesias says it’s puzzling that Ben Bernanke isn’t adopting a more expansionary monetary policy in order to jumpstart the job market. Brad DeLong says, “I am puzzled too.” A bunch of other liberally inclined economists have said similar things recently.
I dunno. I guess I wish we could stop pretending to be surprised by this. Ben Bernanke may be a specialist in economic contractions, but he’s also a mainstream conservative economist. And mainstream conservatives have always been more concerned with inflation than with unemployment. Likewise, they tend to be opposed to entitlement spending, opposed to serious financial regulation, and opposed to expanded consumer protections. And guess what? Bernanke is more concerned with inflation than with unemployment and he’s opposed to entitlement spending, serious financial regulation, and expanded consumer protections.