Monday, May 09, 2011

Krugman Lies To Everyone On Earth, Including Himself

I guess it gets really difficult to remember what you've said when one is Paul Krugman and basically every word you have uttered in the last fifteen years or so has been politically premised and never tempered by an actual principle, other than "Gee ain't I swell!" perhaps. The Unwisdom of Elites

The fact is that what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.

Let me focus mainly on what happened in the United States, then say a few words about Europe.

These days Americans get constant lectures about the need to reduce the budget deficit. That focus in itself represents distorted priorities, since our immediate concern should be job creation. But suppose we restrict ourselves to talking about the deficit, and ask: What happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?

The answer is, three main things. First, there were the Bush tax cuts, which added roughly $2 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. Second, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which added an additional $1.1 trillion or so. And third was the Great Recession, which led both to a collapse in revenue and to a sharp rise in spending on unemployment insurance and other safety-net programs.

Great argument, except for the fact Krugman has been arguing for years that these deficits are not a disaster at all. In fact, Krugman has been claiming the only disaster is that we haven't been producing larger deficits.

So which is it Mr. Krugman? Are the record breaking deficits you've been advocating for a disaster or not?

I'll wait for you to look outside and try to guage which way the wind is blowing.

It's all you ever do anyway.


Anonymous said...

To be fair, Krugman indicates that he thinks that the concern about deficits represents "distorted priorities" and that we should focus on job creation. So, it isn't like he is disavowing his preference for more spending.

However, he still manages to be insanely dishonest in this piece, with his way-too incomplete accounting of the so-called surplus, neglecting to account for the dot com crash, the recession of 2001, the terrorist attacks of 9-11. He also fails to mention the new Medicare prescription drug benefit (no doubt too small for his taste), Obama's 25-percent increase in government spending, neglect of the economy during his first year in office (pursuing yet another new health care entitlement). Nor does Krugman mention that Obama's anti-growth policies and demagoguery might have poisoned the investment climate. And you just have to love how the K-man makes the Afghanistan and Iraq wars sound like frivolous little romps--completely discretionary foolish expenditures of money.

Reading one of Krugman's columns is like going to a magic show: If you want to understand what's going on and how he is trying to trick you, pay attention to the other hand--not the one that he is showing you.

Anonymous said...

I had one more thought about Krugman that relates directly to the title of your blog entry. Krugman knows better than this. He knows economics--at one point in his career, he was a legitimate top-drawer economist. Then he became a 2-bit partisan hack.

I really wonder what happened to him. Is he really lying to himself? How can he sit around advancing a political ideology with such mendacity. If his ideas are so great, why can't he advance them with honest arguments? Is he somehow deluding himself, or at the end of it all is he just a quotidian sellout?

It's really very sad. It's as it he studied economics, and never bothered to understand it, even as he developed sufficient technical competence to earn a Phd.

Rich Horton said...

I still think I'm being "fair" to Krugman as he has repeatedly said it doesn't matter WHAT the government spends the money on be it subsidies, infrastructure or food stamps...all that matters is the money is spent. Oh, except if the money is spent by Republicans, then the money magically disppears and has no measurable affect. (Funny how that happens.)

I certainly agree with you concerning Krugman's near total lack of intellectual honesty. It's as if he has designated half the American population as the "enemy" and all is fair in love and war they say...

Here was a favorite of Krugman's outright duplicity, which only made him seem like an idiot of the first order.

If he only had the capacity for shame.