“The problem is that although austerity may work for individuals, it seldom works for economies. To the contrary, frequently it makes matters worse. If all individuals tighten their belts, demand for goods and services will fall, workers will be fired, and demand will fall even more. Business won’t invest without growing sales: this was Keynes’s message in a nutshell. He argued that government had to supply the spending for goods and services that would restore incentives to invest, while simultaneously lowering interest rates. Rather than adjusting down, unemployment could stay high indefinitely.”
~Jeff Madrick, “The Austerity Myth,” Harper’s Magazine: October 2012
Note that it’s rich people telling everyone else they need to tighten their belts. Let the rich tighten their own goddamn belts.