(Source: Paul Krugman)
Our most precious asset is our hypothetical ability — for which we have no evidence, but in which we nonetheless believe — to deal more easily with a hypothetical future problem. And rather than endanger this precious asset, we refuse to act on the intense problem we have right now.
[Running] a business is nothing at all like making macro policy. The key point about macroeconomics is the pervasiveness of feedback loops due to the fact that workers are also consumers. No business sells a large fraction of its output to its own workers; even very small countries sell around two-thirds of their output to themselves, because that much is non-tradable services.
This makes a huge difference. A businessman can slash his workforce in half, produce about the same as before, and be considered a big success; an economy that does the same plunges into depression, and ends up not being able to sell its goods.