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Barack O’Stiglitz

Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz has a new piece in the Economists’ Voice. Here are a few examples of his use of scientific economic language:

But despite protests by yesterday’s proponents of deregulation, who would like the government to remain passive, most economists believe that government spending has made a difference, helping to avert another Great Depression.

Of course, he then goes on to cite mountains of evidence and research showing who these “most” economists are. And of course, Tsar Joseph really believes it when he says we would like the government to remain passive. Seriously? Remain?

Finally, most economists agree that ..

There’s that language again.

Yet, even with large deficits, economic growth in the U.S. and Europe is anemic, and forecasts of private-sector growth suggest that in the absence of continued government support, there is risk of continued stagnation—of growth too weak to return unemployment to normal levels anytime soon.

So let me get this straight. Here we are over 2 years and 5 months into the crisis, and it will only be government who can get the wheels spinning? Maybe Joe forgot the lesson of 1921 or earlier panics. Oh, wait, I am sure he’d reply, “but this time is different.” Yep, that’s an academic trump card. If you are famous, you have no reason to demonstrate anything beyond what is mysteriously locked away in a brain so awesome and enlightened as yours – we must believe!

high unemployment in America, where almost one out of five people who would like a full-time job cannot
find one

Subtle slip of the tongue by arguing “full-time” jobs here. The overall jobless rate is 9.7 percent – but he is invoking the fact (I have not looked) that among those wanting full-time jobs, the jobless rate is almost 20 percent. Well, how high is that compared to normal?

As the global economy returns to growth, governments should, of course, have plans on the drawing board to raise taxes

A man true to his reputation!

The financial sector has imposed huge externalities on the rest of society. America’s financial industry polluted the world with toxic mortgages, and, in line with the well established “polluter pays” principle, taxes should be imposed on it.

Wow! I actually got to read a Nobel Prize winner make himself look like an economic idiot. The well-established principle in economics is not polluter pays, but rather, having the least cost avoider pay. In many pollution cases, it is far from clear that it is the polluters that are the least cost avoiders. And even if he wants to follow through on his idea … his damn government has imposed FAR MORE negative externalities on the rest of us. But we slaves do not matter when Joe has the whip. It is only his portion of “society” that is worthy of care.

But high-return public investments that more than pay for themselves can actually improve
the well-being of future generations, and it would be doubly foolish to burden them with debts from unproductive spending and then cut back on productive investments.

And just what are these high return public investments? And how much higher return are they than private investments. Again, I guess if you mastubatorily repeat, “green … uh … energy … uh … technology … eh … uh .. eh .. uh …” it proves that governments are the engine of economic growth. Man, why did I go get my PhD in economics. All I needed to know I could have gleaned from one day at Amherst. Government spending is the way to prosperity, forget all this nonsense about prices, incentives, property rights, …

One Response to “Barack O’Stiglitz”

  1. Harry says:

    A masterpiece, my friend wintercow. But you left me sick with nauseau, a great scrabble word for a bingo.

    Joe puts his pants on the same way we do each morning, and that was a lesson I learned dealing with top executives often. Most of the time — all of the time they were dealing with me — they wanted to know what was going on that I knew and they did not, and I was prepared to be the smartest guy in the room. Not smarter than everyone in the world, mind you, but smarter than anyone running his buisness. This confidence was acquired by hard work, out there on the floor, taking notes and watching, following the skills my company taught me, and having a company backing me.

    For that reason I have ever been skeptical of anyone who wears a big hat like Joe. The ad gerenterum fallacy does not work with me, nor did it work ever.

    You are smarter than Joe, who has the wrong answers, and Joe should defend his answers with facts and proper logic.

    Question to Wintercow (not a trick question): How many people are smiling today at the U of R, and is it for the same reason Nancy Pelosi was smiling, or because of the breeze from the south?

    OK, that is a complex question. Ask yor students if they inderstand a complex question and if they understand Nancy, a much more complex question.

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