Paul Krugman is insane

June 21, 2010

Let’s see. Since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007 and the White House in 2009, our national debt has skyrocketed and our deficit is so large, we may well corner the market in red ink. We’ve been engaged in a bacchanalia of spending that makes the spendthrift Republicans of 2001-2007 look positively Scrooge-ish.  And most of it has occurred after the start of the worst recession since the 1930s, which caused government revenues to crash thus requiring dangerously foolish borrowing from abroad to finance that spending. The situation is so dire and our finances so fragile that, unthinkable as it once was, America’s credit rating is at risk.

So, in the face of all these problems (and topped off with a dollop of high unemployment), what does Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman recommend? Budget cuts? Lower taxes? Restraint in government spending and less interference in the marketplace so that it can do what markets naturally do and heal itself?

Don’t be silly, silly! When you’ve been on a spending bender like the one the Democrats have been on, the only answer is the hair of the dog – spend more!

Spend now, while the economy remains depressed; save later, once it has recovered. How hard is that to understand?

Very hard, if the current state of political debate is any indication. All around the world, politicians seem determined to do the reverse. They’re eager to shortchange the economy when it needs help, even as they balk at dealing with long-run budget problems.

But maybe a clear explanation of the issues can change some minds. So let’s talk about the long and the short of budget deficits. I’ll focus on the U.S. position, but a similar story can be told for other nations.

Funny, but other nations such as the now-infamous Greece, but also including Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, have done just that -run huge deficits supported by borrowing to keep the spending going- and now they’re economic basket-cases; Greece is on the verge of insolvency and is torn by riots.

Krugman’s recommendation is orthodox Keynesianism, which sees spending as the way out of a recession on the assumption that economic growth will inevitably pick up and revenues will again be at a level to match spending. In the 1930s, with high unemployment killing consumer spending and even money itself vanishing from some places, Keynes’ theories seemed a reasonable attempt.

Trouble is, we now know they didn’t work: unemployment in the 1930s never fell under double-digits regardless of how much the government spent. Indeed, the government’s interventions probably lengthened the depression by several years. And we can see in the current recession that the government’s Keynesian policies have done nothing to revive the economy or create jobs – unless you count temporary census jobs.

So, whether one looks at history or current events, it’s clear via empirical evidence that Keynesianism does not work. Yet Paul Krugman wants us to double-down on it, because this time it will work. Somehow. Just trust him.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result each time. If that’s true, Krugman should start measuring the drapes for his rubber room.

Or maybe Paul should just watch this:

RELATED: Roger Kimball accuses Krugman of engaging in wishful thinking.


I am a traitor to the planet!

June 30, 2009

Sounds cool doesn’t it, the kind of thing a supervillain would say as he reveals his dastardly plot and promises to destroy us all? With obligatory maniacal laughter, of course. Devil

Sadly, the truth isn’t nearly so cool: I don’t get a bizarre spandex outfit, I don’t have a hidden Evil Headquarters, and I don’t have Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy hanging off my arms. (Dang!) Instead, according to the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, I have betrayed Mother Earth and her High Priest Al Gore because I, along with the 212 member of the House of Representatives with some sense left, opposed the Waxman-Markey global warming cap-and-tax bill:

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Krugman, himself a model of mendacity, then goes on to cite supposed evidence that damns global warming skeptics (who, by the way, are deserving of show trials for their heresy) as immoral and irresponsible. Let’s look at one in particular:

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking,…

Um, no, actually, they’re not. According to corrected data from Nansen, the sea-ice extent for April and May of this year at the North Pole was nearly normal. For some historical perspective on polar ice variations, Watts Up With That has a great article you should read – and so should Captain Hysteria Paul Krugman.

(By the way, the Antarctic ice shelves show no sign of climate change, either.)

The rest of the article is filled with similar alarmist hyperbole masquerading as facts, all meant to scare the public into demanding something be done NOW!, before it’s too late – even if the evidence doesn’t justify it. (Cultists of the High Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming like to say the scientific consensus is settled, but the truth is far different.) I haven’t the time to deconstruct all Krugman’s rantings, but I can recommend the following sites as good places to follow for hard looks at the “science” of global warming:

Krugman’s article is typical of the left-liberal, statist mindset: government is the only vehicle for fairly allocating resources, so we need a problem so vast, so imminent, and so threatening that it justifies a massive government intervention in the economy and our private lives. And if skeptics should point out inconvenient truths, well, they’re just traitors, all of them.

Dr. Johnson once said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. These days, he might have included environmentalism, too.

LINKS: Fellow traitor Tom Maguire tugs on Captain Hysteria’s cape.