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Patrick Artus

40 Years of Wage Austerity How Can We Escape It?

Patrick Artus is associate professor at the École d’économie de Paris, and head economist at Natixis, a French corporate investment banking company. He is the author of many books in economics, some of which have sold extremely well in bookstores.
For 40 years wage-earners in developed countries have seen their income increase less than what their productivity should earn. [ok?] Launched at the beginning of the 1980s, wage austerity is decreasingly tolerable in our democracies. But can we escape it without breaking the economic machine? Wouldn’t the end of wage austerity risk inciting a major crisis of public debt?

In this book, Patrick Artus shows that wage austerity has constructed our economies. It has become a central element in monetary policies and expansionist budgets. By favoring weak inflation, wage austerity has enabled the maintenance of very low interest rates and very high public debt. This is what Patrick Artus calls the Japanization of our economies. Its corollary is taxation of those with savings accounts.

Patrick Artus examines here the conditions for escaping wage austerity. He discusses the debate going on across the Atlantic on the causes of inflation (structural or conjectural?) and the necessity -- or not -- of raising rates. A debate whose outcome will impact the next 20 years…