Paul Krugman on the super-asinine

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I have said many times that the return to supply side "trickle down" Republican economics theory over the past 30 years has been entirely disproved and discredited over the past "lost decade" of stagnant job growth, stagnant wages, and loss of middle-class wealth that "trickled up" to the super-wealthy in a new Gilded Age. This failed Republican economic theory gave us the Great Recession. The only thing that prevented it from becoming a Great Depression – for now – was the resort to tried and true Keynesian economic policies that had worked in the past.

Yet the charlatans of supply side "trickle down" Republican economics are still among us and still peddling their snake oil to an unsuspecting economics-ignorant news media and public.

Paul Krugman addressed this dilemna in a recent blog post, Against The Super-Asinine, The Gods Themselves Contend in Vain – Paul Krugman Blog – NYTimes.com

Brad DeLong wonders how the proponents of tight budgets and tight money are prevailing in the midst of mass unemployment, low interest rates, and incipient deflation.

It’s actually not all that surprising. Horrifying, but not surprising.

The case for expansionary policies in the face of a slump is intellectually difficult; Keynes described the writing of the General Theory as a painful process of discovery, and so it is. The natural instinct of almost everyone is to think that tough times require tough measures, and that if the economy is suffering, the government should tighten its own belt. It would take a clear consensus from economists to overcome that natural bias.

And that consensus has, of course, been lacking — largely because a significant proportion of the economics profession has spent the last three decades systematically destroying the hard-won knowledge of macroeconomics. It’s truly a new Dark Age, in which famous professors are reinventing errors refuted 70 years ago, and calling them insights.

On top of that, anti-stimulus appeals to a fundamental meanness of spirit that is always present in the political world. The super-asinine we shall always have with us.

May I say that I expected something like this? It’s part of the reason I was so anxious to see Obama go for the maximum stimulus possible: it seemed obvious that he would have only one shot.

And because that shot wasn’t big enough, I really do think we’re looking at a lost decade.

A second "lost decade" if supply side "trickle down" Republican economic theory is allowed to prevail due to economics ignorance.

0 responses to “Paul Krugman on the super-asinine

  1. Francine Shacter

    We can only hope that those who read Adam Smith and Keynes – and turned their backs on Ayn Rand – will prevail, ultimately, and that ultimately will be soon. One thing that will demonstrate the administrations goal of providing “redress of grievances” will be sunsetting the Bush tax cuts which were responsible for a great and completely unfair shift of wealth from working people to the wealthy. We should remember that many Democrats also voted for that ill conceived legislation.