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I am sure many bytes are being “spilled” to analyze and comment on Krugman’s latest outburst or peacocking or whatever you wish to call it. Read the comments. Remember that all of those folks think you should get into the community hot-tub with them. A few points:

  1. Remember what I said about Woody Going Straight to the Police. This sort of stance probably could have been avoided had a really massive stimulus of coordinated monetary and fiscal policy 5 years ago. What are Republicans worried about? Losing the Presidency to a far left-winger or something if they let that happen? Would there also not be massively useful tradeoffs to be made for allowing certain macro-policy to be implemented? How about ending ethanol subsidies? How about reducing red-tape in general? Simplifying the tax code? And a bunch more.

  2. Regardless of how much truth you think is in any of this, or who is right or not … the Republicans, to me, need some serious rebranding. Or the non-crazies among them need a new political party and new public figures to speak for them.
  3. Can someone please explain to me how we are in an age of austerity? I’m certainly sympathetic to a macro argument that actual austerity could limit short-term growth and that might be concerning if you really do believe we are in a deep recession, but how is a federal record spending level, and a government that spends more than China’s entire GDP at all levels constitute “austerity”? And notice in that piece that Reagan is cited as an austerian. Is that true? Certainly, tax cuts are NOT Keynesian austerity, they are Keynesian stimulus. Has the Republican party moved away from tax cuts? And then, didn’t Reagan famously enlarge government more than most Democratic presidents of the 20th century despite the rhetoric? Wouldn’t folks want to point to the growth during the Reagan era that fiscal NON-austerity works? Or can we not see people say that because they happen to hate the very idea of the guy who was in the White House during that time of exuberant government growth?
  4. Do me a favor, please lay out precisely what sorts of fiscal and monetary policies are acceptable. Not just “more” or “less” or “different.” Does ANYONE do that anymore? Did anyone ever do that?
  5. Again dear Keynesians, can you lay out for your congregation when you believe pulling back on the Keynesian gas pedal is appropriate? What level of employment would you argue that the Fed should raise rates and taxes should increase and spending should fall? Clearly if we are being all scientific and “right” all the time, then there is a time when your model suggests what your textbooks suggest they do, right?
  6. This point is not original to me, but it should be applied to the folks posting on the Krugman piece as well as folks far to the right of them. Suppose we take your Keynesian model seriously, or suppose we take a pure libertarian-utopia model seriously and that it would actually deliver candy corn and sunshine for year after year – how useful is either theory if they rely on “people not wanting to be wrong” to use Krugman’s words, or if they are always 100% likely to be screwed up and not implemented properly by policymakers? How can we proceed forward with macro-policy in the “real world?” Or do we just all gnash our teeth?
  7. There’s a massive bait-and-switch going on with this kind of a discussion about macro-policy – at least among the congregation. More on that, hopefully, in a future post.

In the meantime, I’ll go back to thinking about how to start a business, and the Krugtron can remind me why regulations such as requiring me to have a license to become a tour guide, are “so obviously right” and that we need more of them to spur growth.

3 Responses to “Knave, As in Male Domestic Worker, Right?”

  1. Scott says:

    I would love to reply to Krugman’s post. Unfortunately, with all those words, he failed to say a single thing. I think this maybe the same way Hayek felt when he didn’t provide an intellectual reply to Keynes academic theories.

    So instead I propose to play a new game. It is called “Who said it?”

    “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose.”

    Kudos to anyone who figures it out. It requires the very same in-depth copy/pasting skills that produced the stomach-holdingly hilarious images of Ron Paul on top of a cartoon character.

  2. Scott says:

    1. Baptists and Bootleggers. Bootleggers love the red tape so much. The only saving grace is that the government is so incompetent that cannot enforce any rules. So that red tape is really just an obstacle to honest people. But the system isn’t really designed for them anyways.
    2. WC please run for office. Please (You will only get my vote if you still have the beard though) Matter of fact, anyone reading this site, just try it. Maybe in your local town. I don’t know what else could work.
    3. This is the “Age of Austerity” because austerity is a fun word that sounds mean and sophisticated and is very effective in producing an emotional reaction that will preserve the power position and prestige of those with powerful and prestigious positions.
    4. No. No one does that anymore.
    5. The models forecast that we will continue to lower rates until they are -10%. -10% is the minimum because the chart doesn’t go lower. Yet. Everyone probably thinks I am kidding.
    6. We just gnash our teeth. Grrrr.

  3. Harry says:

    Not long ago, if you went on a Holland America cruise, not only were you restricted to CNN, but also you got in your cabin mail the New York Times digest, which included columns written by Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. And you got Chris Matthews, too. Talk about getting away from it all — this was like being on a different planet, an alternative universe, which brings us to professor Krugman.

    I suppose WC has to read this stuff, along with his Monday dose from the NBER, and I am thankful that he gives me mountains of meat to chew on, which is a hell of a lot better than keeping up with the op Ed page of the NYT.

    Professor Krugman above all is a progressive socialist, maybe a closet Communist. He thinks he and his friends are smarter than we, and are able to deliver justice. Not liberty, but justice. Right now he has the power to persuade Our Leader to run the country right down the drain.

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