Tag: paul krugman

A Recovery About Nothing

As you know, there are signs — tentative ones — that our economy is beginning to recover from Great Depression II. It’s about on schedule — I thought we would need about five years to crawl out of the hole we were in. But we had 5% growth in Q3 and unemployment continues to edge down (although the U6 remains high). Projections for 2015 are cautiously optimistic, barring a major war or something (which, with Obama, is always on the cards).

I have noted, however, that this recovery runs against the dogma we’ve been hearing from the Keynesians and pseudo-Keynesians on the Left Wing. According to them, the “austerity” of the last few years (i.e., flat spending) should have caused us to have a double-dip recession. David Harsanyi expands on this:

But if activist policies really have as big an impact on our economic fortunes as Washington operatives claim, I only have one question: What policy did Barack Obama enact to initiate this astonishing turnaround? We should definitely replicate it.

Because those who’ve been paying attention these past few years may have noticed that the predominant agenda of Washington has been to do nothing. It was only when the tinkering and superfluous stimulus spending wound down that fortunes began to turn around. So it’s perplexing how the same pundits who cautioned us about gridlock’s traumatizing effects now ignore its existence.

For instance, Paul Krugman wrote a column titled “The Obama Recovery.” The problem is that the author failed to justify his headline. It begins like this:

“Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat. You’d feel pretty bad. Correspondingly, you’d probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped. What would that improvement in your condition tell you?”

Suppose you tell us what the bat represents, because spending in current dollars has remained steady since 2010, and spending as a percentage of GDP has gone down. In 2009, 125 bills were enacted into law. In 2010, 258. After that, Congress, year by year, became one of the least productive in history. And the more unproductive Washington became the more the economy began to improve.

Krugman argues that the recession lingered because government hadn’t hired enough people to do taxpayer-funded busywork. The baseball bat. But then he undercuts this notion by pointing out that there was an explosion of public-sector hiring under George W. Bush—the man he claims caused the entire mess in the first place. Krugman also ignores the stimulus, because it screws up his imaginary “austerity” timeline. He then spends most of the column debunking austerity’s success in Britain.

Britain’s “austerity”, incidentally, was called austerity when the UK economy was stagnant. When it began to recover, the exact same budgets were described as having abandoned austerity. With the Keynesians, it’s always heads they win, tails we lose.

This recession was not about a lack of demand or a lack of spending. It was about the huge amount of debt that the American people had dug themselves into. That debt has declined — mortgage debt is down and consumer debt is down. Student and public debts have risen but not as sharply. In short, we’re finally getting out from under the 16,000 pound boulder that was the Housing Bubble. And, who knows? Maybe things would be better if we didn’t have the 10,000 pound boulder of federal debt and the 2,000 pound barbell of student loans.

OK, I’m letting that metaphor get away from me.

Anyway, our gridlocked do-nothing Congress has failed to pass a “jobs” bill, has failed to enact “temporary” stimulus and has cut programs to “build the economy”. And the result is the healthiest economic numbers in a decade.

Funny how well we can do when our government stops “helping” us. Now imagine if we could get them to stop giving us “free” healthcare and regulating our every move.

Turkeys and Drumsticks 2014

For seven years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly make me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: Mike Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.

2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone.

2012: The Culture Warriors, Unions, The Poll Unskewers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, MSNBC

2013: Healthcare.gov, the Platinum Coin, the Shutdown Caucus, the National park Service, Fiscal Cliff Panic Mongers.

For this year, I picked:

Jonathan Gruber: #3 was in the lead most of the year. Then #2 took over earlier this month. But the millionaire consultant from MIT has to take the top prize now. The thing about Gruber is not that he made comments that support Halbig. It’s not that he helped create Obamacare. It’s not even that he called the voters stupid. It’s that he revealed the ugly reality that undergirds of much of the progressive movement in this country: the belief that Americans are stupid, that leaders are wise and that the latter must lead the former to good choices through deception, obfuscation and coercion. The most common thing I read on liberal message boards after Grubergate was “Hey, he’s right!” There is a large section of the Left Wing that thinks we need to be ruled by a technocratic elite. Gruber pulled back the veil. And that he looked like a horse’s ass into the bargain was just gravy.

Lamenting Democrats: In the wake of yet another electoral shellacking, the professional whining class went into overdrive, trying to find something, anything to blame for their loss. Random articles about science topics would start with lamenting that evil Republicans were taking over the Senate. Robert Reich screamed that Republicans might use reconciliation to do stuff (reconciliation being a legitimate tactic up until November 3). A thousand articles sprang up about “how to talk to your crazy right-wing uncle/parents/cousin/neighbor/imaginary friend at Thanksgiving about Issue X” (hint: don’t).

I’ve been disappointed by elections. But I hope I never get to the point where the results of an election make me gnash my teeth and rend my garments in such hilarious fashion.

Barack Obama: The only reason his approval ratings aren’t at record lows is because of mindless Democrat loyalty. The economy continues to improve despite the Republicans rejecting every “jobs bill” he proposes. His party got crushed in the election. And his response to this was to … implement immigration reform through executive action (polls show Americans support the policy, but oppose the means). His White House is also becoming famous for what are called “bad optics” and would be called scandalous if Bush were doing it: fund-raising while the Ukraine is in turmoil, having a huge dinner while Ferguson is burning, golfing right after a press conference on an ISIS beheading. He has earned the low poll numbers. And earned a place on this list.

Jim Ardis: Earlier this year, Ardis persuaded a judge to launch a raid on a house because one of the inhabitants was … mocking him on Twitter. He apparently still thinks this was a fine idea. Jim Ardis … meet the Streisand Effect.

(One infuriating note: a judge has upheld the drug charges that resulted from the raid finding drugs in the house. Because warrants to arrest parody account holders are apparently just fine.)

Paul Krugman: Another year for Krugman, another set of factually-challenged opinion pieces apparently written by unpaid interns. My favorite was his assertion that Halbig represented “corruption” in the courts, a claim the indispensable Walter Olson demolishes here. As several bloggers noted, Krugman was a big supporter of the Platinum Coin Caper, where he said, essentially, that we should concentrate on the letter of the law, not the spirit, the opposite of what he’s saying now.

Note, also. This year is coming a cropper for things Krugmans believes in. The Picketty analysis of inequality appears to be badly flawed. And Keynesian ideas are failing all over the globe.

Dishonorable Mention: Wendy Davis, whoever is doing PR for the Ferguson Police, the Ferguson rioters, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Secret Service, Mary Landrieu, Everytown USA.

Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with the world. Here are the past awards, the first round from West Virginia Rebel.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring (ugh), the Technicians at Fukushima

2012: Down Ballots, The Sandy Responders, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, Mathew Inman

2013: Francis I, Edward Snowden, Rand Paul, The American Military, The Institute for Justice

For this year, I picked:

Ebola Responders: In the face of a colossal healthcare crisis and one of the most terrifying diseases out there, Africa has been flooded with volunteers risking their lives to help. Hundreds of healthcare workers in Africa, including Humarr Khan, have been killed trying to comfort or save the dying. Even in this country, we’ve seen nurses and doctors work hard to care for Ebola victims, including two nurses who were infected in Dallas and mercifully saved by modern medicine.

Here’s a little thing about me: I tend to dislike movies about dystopias. Not because I think a dystopia won’t happen or because I’m ignorant about the dark side of human nature. I dislike them because they usually ignore the flip side of human nature: our capacity to be generous, brave and compassionate.

Francis I: He continues to shake up the religious world while adhering closely to Catholic doctrine. My initial impression of him remains unchanged. He is just a good man.

Rand Paul: Paul gave a speech earlier this year that was a rebuke to the neocons: defining a foreign policy that defends our interests while avoiding senseless overseas debacles. He is pushing the Republicans toward reforms of our criminal justice system, our surveillance state and our War on Drugs. I’m a bit worried whether he’ll hold up to the pressure of special interests, especially if he has Presidential aspirations. But right now, he’s doing good.

David Brat and the Republican Candidates: “A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it—it keeps him upright.” – Robert A. Heinlein. I’m not sure what to make of Brat at this point, but I think his defeat of Cantor is an important reminder to the Republicans of what will happen if the get stupid again. Among the other Republicans running for office this year, there was barely a gaffe to be heard. In fact, the biggest War on Women complaint was about Mark Udall, criticized by his own supporters for talking too much about the War on Women. In general, they stuck to the bread and butter themes of the economy, Obamacare and big government. Let’s hope they deliver.

The Supreme Court: It’s always a mixed year from the Court, but this year they gave us good decisions in Riley, Hobby Lobby, Harris v. Quinn, McCullen v. Coakley, NLRB v. Noel Canning, Town of Greece v. Galloway, Schuette v. BAMN and McCutcheon. They continued their streak of unanimously rejecting Obama’s power grabs. You can check on this year’s key decisions here. There are a few I had issues with but most were solid.

Honorable Mentions: marijuana decriminalization efforts, Scott Walker, Charlie Baker (anyone who defeat Martha Coakley gets a mention), the American military

Put your nominees in the comments. And I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Asymmetric Arrogance

Over at Ezra Klein’s new venture, there is a fascinating piece about how politics make us stupid. Klein details experiments that show that both liberals and conservatives have a tendency to interpret facts so that they reinforce their own pre-existing biases. Or, more accurately, that people tend to interpret even objective scientific evidence in ways that support the ideas of their political tribe. It is worth your time.

Of course, the Left Wing never likes to be reminded that they are people just like the rest of us, not some uber-evolved ultra-enlightened homo superior. So Klein’s piece is being attacked by various left wingers, most notably Paul Krugman:

But here’s the thing: the lived experience is that this effect is not, in fact, symmetric between liberals and conservatives. Yes, liberals are sometimes subject to bouts of wishful thinking. But can anyone point to a liberal equivalent of conservative denial of climate change, or the “unskewing” mania late in the 2012 campaign, or the frantic efforts to deny that Obamacare is in fact covering a lot of previously uninsured Americans? I don’t mean liberals taking positions you personally disagree with — I mean examples of overwhelming rejection of something that shouldn’t even be in dispute.

Off the top of my head? I can think of the entirety of the Cold War, where massive factions of the Left Wing pretended that communism was not the evil oppressive regime that it was, that murderous communist guerrillas were engaged in a noble struggle and that Ronald Reagan was crazy to call a nation that murdered millions of its own people an evil empire. But if you want to go with current things, here is a short list of bullshit that the Left Wing believes. I will stick to thinks that are not really in factual dispute, rather than points of disagreement (e.g., Keynesian economics works).

  • Many believe that GMO crops are dangerous and should be banned despite overwhelming evidence that they are safe.
  • Many believe that vaccines cause autism despite overwhelming evidence that they are safe and the research that linked the two was fraudulent. Yes, some right wingers believes this. But it has for more respect and attention from the Left Wing.
  • It is almost universally believed on the Left that gun violence is worse than ever and mass shootings are on the rise despite massive drops in overall violence. I’ve done a series of pieces disputing Mother Jones’ completely bogus analysis of gun data. Mother Jones is not a fringe publication; it is one of the main voices of the Left.
  • Many lefties believe that the United States has been taken over by “rape culture” despite an 85% drop in sexual violence over the last 40 years.
  • Paul Krugman specifically claims that governments have cut spending, when spending has, in fact, increased. He has since claimed that the German government eschewed austerity despite their enacting more “austerity” than the supposedly skinflint UK. Krugman also used to push the idea that Herbert Hoover cut spending. For the record, Hoover jacked up spending so far that FDR denounced him as a socialist.
  • Many Left Wingers still believe that overpopulation is a problem. Almost no scientist believes this anymore. Yet Paul Ehrlich is still respected. Many also believe we are running out of landfill space and that recycling/composting are objectively good for the Earth. The evidence on this is mixed, at best.
  • On the subject of global warming, liberals might accept the science. But they are more than happy to engage in pseudo-scientific feel-good solutions to the problem that often do no good and sometimes make things worse. Examples: food miles, carbon offsets, “organic” farming, hybrid cars. All of those have been objectively shown either do little for the environment or even harm it, in the case of food miles. But a real solution to the problem, like nuclear power? Lefties claim it is a menace despite the astounding safety record of the nuclear industry, even if you include Fukushima and Three Mile Island.
  • And on the subject of Obamacare? I’ve spent the last week besieged by liberals claiming that Obamacare enrolled seven million uninsured (it enrolled seven million total; maybe two million were uninsured). Or that it has now covered thirty million people (ten million at best, possibly significantly fewer) or that it will decrease the deficit (the CBO now disputes this).
  • While we’re on the subject of the CBO, it analysis is praised when it supports liberal policy, condemned when it doesn’t. Krugman himself has done this.
  • Liberals spent years claiming that Bush as “gutting” spending, despite the most massive spending increases in American history. They spent years claiming Bush was “deregulating” despite Bush passing more regulations and more invasive regulations than any prior administration. This is not a matter of opinion. These are facts.
  • Lefties, like many Right Wingers, believe the United States has a massive sex slave trafficking industry despite a complete absence of any evidence to that effect.
  • The most popular Left Wing documentarian — Michael Moore — was so famous for his inaccuracies, distortions and outright lies that entire websites sprang up to dispute them. You may have heard of one.
  • And speaking of “unskewed polls”, many Left Wingers floated conspiracy theories about the 2000 and 2004 elections, which they lost. Many still claim that Al Gore would have won the recount, despite most studies concluding Bush would have won anyway.
  • That’s just off the top of my head. And not a single one of those is a judgement call. In all cases, liberals are refusing to accept facts — falling gun violence, falling sexual violence, the uselessness of food miles, the fiscal and regulatory record of George Bush, the safety record of nuclear power, the safety of GMO’s, the fiscal policies of European countries.

    I might be willing to concede that the Right Wing is a little crazier right now. But that’s mostly a manifestation of Jane’s Law (“The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”). Eight years ago, it was far different and far uglier. And, frankly, the Left Wing has recently starting to sound a little bit crazy even when they are still in power. The obsession with the Koch Brothers, the increasing calls to silence global warming skeptics, the wild claims about Obama’s economic and healthcare record. I can only imagine how bad it will be if the GOP has the reigns of power again in 2016.

    Anyway, Krugman’s piece is pathetic: a desperate attempt to convince himself that his political tribe is better than everyone else’s. We all have our biases and we all tend to find ways to reinforce those biases. Changing someone’s mind is hard; changing your own mind is even harder. It does happen. But it does not happen when someone, like Krugman, thinks they are magically immune to human nature.

    What Spitzer Wants

    It seemed odd to me that Eliot “courtesans are for royalty, not plebs” Spitzer chose comptroller as his avenue back into politics. Paul Krugman, in probably the most Krugman column ever, opines that comptroller would give him a chance to tangle with the Wall Street fat cats. Of course, Krugman spent the previous column bashing “Libertarian populism” without ever mentioning that a core tenet of libertarian populism is breaking up the big banks and reigning in Wall Street. Apparently, Wall Street can only be attacked by rich hypocritical aristocratic friends of Paul Krugman.

    It’s worth repeating what I said in an earlier column: Spitzer went to enormous effort to jail guys looking to get laid and women trying to make some money while he ran around with a high-priced courtesan; Spitzer structured his payments to avoid triggering bank reporting laws; Spitzer used his money and legal friends to avoid any prosecution for his acts. Spitzer is everything liberals claim to hate.

    “Conscience of a Liberal”, my ass.

    Then agan, maybe Krugman is hoping that electing Spitzer would be so idiotic that it would provoke that economy-stimulating alien invasion he’s always on about.

    Walter Olson has a much more likely explanation:

    Strong-arming gun makers to act against their perceived business interests, as well as those of their customers:

    …in retrospect, there were a few clues that Spitzer was eying a job whose duties include managing the city’s pension funds…

    In December, after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Spitzer wrote a column in the online publication Slate arguing that pension funds should use their investing clout to pressure corporations such as gunmakers to act in the public interest.

    New York City’s comptroller, Spitzer said in the interview, is “a significant player in terms of the pension funds and how those shares are voted. And when I speak with folks about corporate governance, the missing link in all of this has been ownership.”

    Eliot Spitzer has long been a key player in efforts to intimidate lawful gun manufacturers through both strained litigation theories and hamhanded attempts at economic pressure. The NYC comptroller’s office, with its sway over billions in pension fund money, would present him with a large sandbox indeed.

    This sound very likely to me: that Eliot Spitzer is seeking to politicize a pension fund and gain unaccountable unrestrained power to bully, intimidate and harass any business that he doesn’t like. Indeed, it’s for these reasons that I oppose most Social Security privatization plans: because of the power that trillions in investment money would potentially give the government.

    But … as shown by Krugman … liberals love Eliot Spitzer. They love him because he may be a pompous, power-hungry, hypocritical, Constitution-shredding horse’s ass; but he’s a pompous power-hungry, hypocritical, Constitution-shredding horse’s ass against people they don’t like (i.e, bankers). So the idea of using NYC’s pensions to bash lawful businesses into obeying their whims sounds great.

    The problem is that sleazy tyrants like Spitzer are never satisfied with just going after one enemy. It won’t be long until Spitzer is trying to blackmail newspapers that run escort ads. Or those that run gun advertisements. Or those that are insufficiently groveling. New York may soon elect a comptroller who sees his job not as managing finances but advancing an agenda. Just don’t whine when that agenda turns on you.

    Krugman v. Stewart

    Jon Stewart responds to Paul Krugman’s criticism:

    I think this exchange perfectly illustrates the debate over the Magic Coin Trick. Krugman wanted to get into nuance and detail and talk about this like it was a classroom exercise without real world consequences. But the value of money is entirely arbitrary, determined by how much “full faith and credit” people place in it. It doesn’t really matter if you’re right in some long-haired technical sense if the market decides you are full of shit. As Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist, should know, the market is always has the final word. It doesn’t matter how good your idea is if the market doesn’t agree.

    Stewart, for all his flaws, cuts to the chase: even if technically legal, the Coin was a stupid idea. And it’s a good illustration of how unserious Krugman really is.

    Argentina and Japan

    Wasn’t it just like a week ago that Paul “Wrong Way” Krugman was praising Argentina? And wasn’t it this week that he gushed over Japan’s growth, stimulated by tsunami reconstruction?

    Oops:

    Recently, two more countries have felt the bite of Keynesianism. Today, the credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded Japan’s economy and the AP reported that the Argentinian economy is likely to decline sharply. While Japan and Argentina might be different kinds of economies performing differently in different markets, their recent bad news can be attributed in part to a fondness for government spending.

    These countries have used two different approaches to Keynesianism, but it amounts to the same thing: gushers of debt, oceans of spending and rivers of “stimulus” producing … bad economies. And that’s ignoring, for the moment, the recent downgrades of all the other economies trying to spend their way into prosperity (the US) or raising taxes and calling it “austerity” (most of Europe). They have not acted as dramatically as Japan and Argentina have, which is probably they aren’t hurting as much. Yet.

    Is Keynesianism ever wrong? Really, it’s only a matter of time until they drag out the Phillips Curve again.

    The Deception of a Liberal

    Read this. Then read this. The first is Paul Krugman praising Argentina’s “economic model” of plundering, theft and deception, claiming its performance has been comparable to Brazil’s. The second is Juan Carlos Hidalgo’s response pointing out that Krugman (1) uses Argentina’s official inflation numbers, which economic journals have stopped using because they are transparent lies; (2) starts his analysis two years after Argentina’s recession began; (3) compares Argentina with a relatively poorly-performing country (10 South American countries have done better); and (4) ignores that Argentina’s growth, such at is, is about to blow up in their face.

    A bit more about that last point, since it’s relavent to the “spend yourself to prosperity” policies that Krugman and the Left are embracing for America and the Euro Zone. Inflating economies can give the illusion of prosperity. But it always end the same way — with a massive hangover. In the 1960’s and 70’s, the US deliberately inflated its currency because of a Keynsian piece of bullshit called the Phillips curve. It blew up in our face under Carter and we had to endure a brutal hangover once Volker got things under control. Argentina’s economy is already cracking: I noted earlier their nationalization of a Spanish oil company and their saber-rattling on what Obama calls “the Maldives”. These are not the actions of a country experiencing real economic growth.

    Back to Krugman. This is not an isolated incident. He is frequently factually challenged. He asserts the Euro-zone is “slashing spending” when spending is flat (and rising outside the PIIGS). He claims Hoover slashed spending when Hoover increase spending 80% in response to the Depression and was denounced by FDR for being a socialist. As we saw in the debate with Ron Paul, he ignores the post-War prosperity that followed Truman’s massive spending cuts.

    And he’s one of the most influential liberals in the country. It just goes to show that fact don’t matter when you’re telling people what they want to hear.

    Paul vs. Paul

    Ron Paul and Paul Krugman had a debate about economics (apologies for the link, which auto-plays). You can read Tyler Cowen’s commentary here. I agree with his final take:

    There were too many times when RP simply piled polemic points on top of each other and stopped making a sequential argument. He overrates the costs of inflation, including in the long term, and for a believer in the market finds it remarkably non-robust in response to bad monetary policy. Still, given that Krugman is a Nobel Laureate in economics, and Paul a gynecologist, the score could have been more lopsided than in fact it was.

    I have disagreements with Ron Paul on monetary policy and the Federal reserve. But I think Cowen understates Paul’s performance. There were several times where he got in points that Krugman had no response to (except to later whine with dubious factual accuracy on his blog). The fact is that the Keynesians really don’t have an explanation of how a 60% cut in federal spending after World War II produced an economic boom, other than to wave the “we owe the debt to ourselves” mantra. The fact is that they predicted Truman’s budget cuts would wreck the economy and they didn’t.

    I think Krugman also, like most Keynesians, underestimates the potential danger of inflation. It is true that a moderate inflation can ease a financial crisis. But it’s very hard to manage a “moderate” inflation because the temptation to inflate away debts is strong and it is very easy to get into an inflation-interest rate spiral like we did in the 70’s. This is why the Federal Reserve has been keen to keep that beast in its cage for three decades.

    Still, it tells you something about the intellectual weakness of the Left when they are preening/whining about, as Cowen said, a Nobel Laureate debating a 76-year-old Republican who is regarded as a crackpot by all “thinking people”. I suspect Krugman will next debate Milton Friedman. This may actually be an even match since Friedman is dead at the present time.

    Leftist scumbag fails to see the irony of his own pronouncement

    Krugman, that jackass that was given a Nobel prize in Eonomics for being a good old fashioned Keynesian idiot and the politics that permeate the entire Nobel prize process, is out with another doozy. This time it isn’t some economic idiocy, but him saying that Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror.

    I am not surprised Krugman feels this way. I recall some democrats, and it was more than one of them, feeling all down and miserable that 9-11 had not happened when Bill Clinton was president, because that would have let the man show how great of a “leader” – yes, that’s in quotations because this is coming from the idiot farm that thinks a slimy, smooth talking, used car salesman, conman, or an articulate minority community organizer equates to leadership – and now Bush was going to cash in on that.

    Basically Krugman, like all these democrats are heartbroken this national tragedy didn’t happen when one of their own could take advantage of it are all thinking what Rham Emmanuel so aptly said in the below video, and projecting their own baser instincts and disgusting sense of morality on others.

    Seriously, is there nothing these scumbags like Krugman and the other elitist academics that comprise the elite progressive ruling class hold sacred other than taking absolute and total control of every aspect and minutia of the lives of all of us serfs? For our own good of course. And yet, for some unexplainable reason, there are so many drones out there that actually believe these people mean well. Yeah, they mean as well as Mengele did. Of course having a complicit media sure helps.

    Anyway, thanks for validating my opion of you Paul, and making me think I should have actually consider you to be an even bigger scumbag than I already do. The left prjecting what they really believe and do on others is a godsent.

    A Degree In Economics+ 1 Dollar= A Cup Of Coffee

    No one ever went broke underestimating the inefficiencies of government, such as why the Law of Economy (Ockham’s razor) is never a factor when bureaucrats get together on the topic of economics. Sure, more money can be thrown at it, with more committee’s committed to it, and more studies called for employing even more people to analyze it, when the “it” involves something so complicated, so convoluted in scope that even approaching a modicum of understanding would confer genius status, but is economics really that complicated?

    I understand folks like Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Paul Krugman are smart fellows, equipped with the best degrees money can buy and prestigious colleges can offer, but look where that has gotten us. I wonder what Jefferson would say when told that today we need experts in congress, not citizen/politicians like he had envisioned, the cream of the crop from the colonies, men who had great personal economies and great successes in translating those economies to wealth and influence, but now leaders of industry are not enough, more academic pinheads are needed.

    Almost 80 percent of lawmakers might need to crack open an economics textbook before the congressional recess ends, a new study on Tuesday suggests.

    The vast majority of members lack an academic background in business or economics, according to a study by the Employment Policies Institute, a nonprofit group that takes a conservative stand on fiscal issues. Only 13.7 percent majored in business or accounting, and 8.4 percent have an economics degree.

    “How many members of Congress have an academic background that provided them with a basic understanding how the economy works? The answer, it turns out, is not many,” the report concluded.

    Is this really where we are now, where the majority of our leaders can’t understand the simple basics of budgets, money in/money out, not spending more then what you make, and the dangers of deficit spending without a friggin’ certificate on their wall conferring to them a doctorate of economics degree? Only Wharton graduates need apply now?

    Que the gratuitous economist joke:

    A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

    The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What do two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”

    Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”

    Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says, “What do you want it to equal”?

    Isn’t the point being that whether it’s 2 plus 2, or $2 trillion plus $2 trillion, numbers can’t be fudged and the solution is pretty much the same?

    I don’t think the problem is that not enough of our leaders don’t hold economics degrees, the problem is that not enough of them have had sufficient life experiences and sufficient training that goes with those experiences. Given the upbringing and background of our president, the codling and interference other people ran for him in his quest through life, his lack of real adversity (character builder) his lack of actual job experience, where he is at now and his attitudes should not be any surprise to anyone.

    Maybe the problem lies in the people that vote these clowns in to office and the vetting (or lack of) that the media does on candidates. It is difficult for representatives to represent the folks when those selected don’t understand simple things like balancing a checkbook, putting off that vacation because the car needs new tires, taking that second job because piano listens for the kid aren’t cheap, and doing whatever it takes to pay off that credit card debt because it is your debt and can’t be sooped off to someone else or the next generation.

    Character, integrity, and personal industry, these I hold much higher in esteem for an elected official then some sheepskin hanging on a wall. Somebody with common sense enough to realize how inefficient and destructive Keynesian economics has become, someone who sets the bar a bit higher and strives to emulate an Adam Smith, David Ricardo, the Austrian school, or Frederich Hayek.

    And speaking of Hayek vs. Keynes:

    Nice gun fire sound effects, now that is rap.