May 5, 2012
Dr Krugman's Magic DogmaBy James Lewis
Harry Truman famously complained about his economic advisers, who wouldn't give him simple, straight answers.
"All they say is 'On the one hand this, and on the other hand that,'" he was quoted. "I'm looking for a one-handed economist!"
Well, ol' Harry could have found economists who were absolutely cocksure -- and wrong.
Take Paul Krugman, the Jeremiah of the new New York Times Agit-Prop page. Dr K is absolshshtutely, posilutely sure that another trillion bucks of deficit spending will fix the US economy. Other economists may have their doubts, but Dr K knows the answer in his bones. Krugman never doubts his own prescriptions, except when he changes his mind, and decides to order more of the same. If we aren't swallowing enough cod liver oil, double the dose! That'll fix 'em.
Other than this curious fixation Dr. K has a marked tendency to rant, and rail, and rage at various folks who take exception to his medicine. This is a suspicious sign. Real physicians don't rant. They just do the job.
Krugmanite dogmatism is a lesson in medicine before 1900 -- before antibiotics and all the rest. Before scientific medicine, when the doc walked into your home with that little black bag it was filled shiny plumber's tools, along with pills and potions -- placebos that did nothing and poisons that made you sicker. In the famous Aubrey-Maturin seafaring novels by Patrick O'Brian, physician Stephen Maturin always brings plenty of chalk on their sailing voyages -- blue and white colored chalk -- to turn into placebo pills. The most effective placebo were powerful laxatives, and many a sailor spent the day sitting in the head of the ship convinced he was purging the bad humors. It worked better than the poisons -- mercury, antimony, Chinese Water Snake potion.
Dr K can't prove that super-Keynesian hyperstimulation actually works for the economy. Nobody can.
All he has is that superhuman faith.
Experts tend to turn into Krugmaniacs when they are baffled and the patient is near death. Everybody is looking to save Mom or Dad. What's the answer, Doc? More bloodletting? Less? More mercury? Less?
Surprise! Half the docs say more bloodletting will save the patient. The another half swear by less. After the patient dies they all point the finger at each other. Their cure woulda worked, and they honestly believe it.
Just like Dr. K.
But Krugman has a Nobel Prize in economics! He's famous !
Milton Friedman got the same prize and he always said the opposite.
Who is right? There is no agreement among economists. The economy is way too complicated. Like the climate.
Economics isn't physics. Not even close. The Econ "Nobel" prize is a ripoff from the real prize, not even given by the Nobel Foundation but the Swedish Central Bank. Like Obama's ridiculous Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for running while black -- the faux-Nobel in Economics is also a spinoff.
The financial crisis of 2007-2012 was triggered in part by economists who wrote "the formula that killed Wall Street" -- based on work by mathematician David X. Li.
Today the traders are blaming the professors and vice versa. The fact is, however, that eye-popping sums of money were bet on a mathematical formula that didn't work. The madness of crowds prevailed over common sense and very basic history.
So the New York Times hired Dr. K to peddle his faith from their agit-prop page. Why did they pick Dr. K? It wasn't based on facts, because they don't have the facts either. No, Dr. K had the answer they wanted to hear. Paul Krugman's "scientific certainties" are like global warming -- agit-prop dogma parading as science.
Liberalism is the blind faith of the ignorant. Obama is playing God (temporarily), and Krugman is his prophet.
Harry Truman didn't know how lucky he was with his two-armed economists. They didn't know the answers, but they were smart enough to know they didn't know the answers. At least they didn't make things worse.
You can't say that for Obama and Krugman. Obama admits he doesn't know if his economic policies work. But he believes with the fervor of a fanatic that they are "fair." So it doesn't matter if they work or not. Black unemployment is around 24%. Who cares? It's not science that matters, but fairness to all.
Like Obama, Dr K has lost the unknown unkowns. So he makes it up in his head, and creates such a fearful racket on the NYT agit-prop page every day that the other mediots are scared into believing him, like Elmer Gantry, who was running another religious scam, but really the same one.
Should we spend another ten trillion on Obamacare? Or just a few trillion on Krugmanism?
I don't know. But I'm pretty sure that Krugman and Obama don't either.
They are just telling 300 million people to follow them over the cliff.
Not me, buddy.
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