Thomas Herndon: "Austerity's Spreadsheet Error"

University of Massachusetts-Amherst economics graduate student Thomas Herndon appearing on The Colbert Report, after having identified fundamental mistakes in the widely-cited academic paper "Growth in a Time of Debt"

The paper had previously been used by conservatives to justify cuts to government services, and was featured in numerous mass media sources ranging from The Economist to The Wall Street Journal

So how did Herndon reply, when Colbert asked him what he thinks ought to be done? 

"I tend to think that if we lay off a lot of people, then it's not          good for the economy, because then those people can't go out and buy things, you know, that's really bad for businesses as well."


"If you're just going to use complicated economic jargon, I can't understand a thing you're going to say."

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