Primo Krugman.

Today’s column by Paul Krugman in The New York Times is especially tasty. It’s well worth reading the whole thing, but I pulled a few quotes from it for the Palace’s long-neglected quote collection:

[I]n America, at least, we have a pretty good record for behaving in a fiscally responsible fashion, with one exception — namely, the fiscal irresponsibility that prevails when, and only when, hard-line conservatives are in power.

[I]f you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes.

[D]ebt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.

The funny thing is that right now these same hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won’t do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they’re talking about? Why, themselves.

Here are a couple more Krugman gems I found lying around in the library, collecting dust:

America’s political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas — beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die. The most prominent zombie is the insistence that low taxes on rich people are the key to prosperity. [source]

[T]he next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation. [source]

He isn’t always right: the good Mr. Krugman was way off base regarding the effect of global trade on American wages, for example. But he is almost always right. And when he dishes out cold, hard facts to make a case for Keynesian economics, the conservatives in his narrative always seem to end up mocking themselves.

[h/t SJ]

4 thoughts on “Primo Krugman.

  1. Okay, now I’m really worried about you, Born. Either something is very wrong, you’re happily inebriated, or you’re just fucking with me. Time will tell: we’ll see if I get another one of your trademark rants soon enough. ;)

    • Ah, Iris – you’re thinking about this too much.

      I’m a big fan of Krugman ( AND – Krug!) Anyway, I usually agree with everything he writes, pretty much 90% of the time, which is good, yes? And, as the many tens-of-loyal-readers of the Perry Street Palace are probably aware, I’m a consensus, majority opinion kind of guy who doesn’t let facts or real sources, get in my way in trying to make a point. So, I had already read his editorial this morning when your post came in, so was just saying – I agree.

      So, no, I’m not inebriated, and nothing’s wrong, and I certainly WOULD NOT do anything that would subject me to the wrath! Actually, a buddy that edits a business paper in NYC, possibly you might know him, he’s been taking some of my time in a little back and forth about an Editor’s Note ( that’s what they call in there, gives them the liberty to be sloppy with the facts), he wrote complaining about the REAL backers of the Defeat Quinn movement. So, I’ve had my hands full with that.

      Anyway, I’m sure I could help you loose your concern for my well being over a plate of Fettuccini with bacon and caramelized onions :)


  2. Iris – you’re thinking about this too much.

    Well you know what I always say: it’s better to think about things too much than not enough. Actually I’ve never said that, but now that I have it sounds about right.

    Yes I know your (conservative who says he’s not conservative) business paper editor friend. I’m just glad to hear you’re giving someone hell.

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