Paul Krugman apparently sees the problems in the economy as a vast Republican Conspiracy to deprive Americans of economic prosperity. According to Krugman’s view of the world, if we want real prosperity, we have to raise taxes, borrow more money, put more public employees on the payroll, and bail out failed industries. And when that rendition of the Broken Window Fallacy fails, there always is Goldstein to blame.
Goldstein1 strikes again. We are not at war with Eurasia; we are at war with Eastasia!
Likewise, the economy was doing just fine UNTIL THE REPUBLICANS TOOK OVER THE HOUSE IN 2011! But for them we’d be in recovery by now and everyone would have a job!
For two years — two years — Barack Obama had an overwhelming Democratic majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, but apparently even then Goldstein was lurking, directing everything in the shadows, keeping the government from spending like it should. Or so Paul Krugman would have us believe.
As I have said many times, I have no hope that Republicans in power would do any better than has Obama, especially given the fact that the housing bubble occurred under the watch of a Republican president and a Republican Congress, at least until 2006. However, I do believe that academic economists should do more than just shill for a political party, and that also means taking a critical look at what those parties are doing in regards to public policies. Instead, Krugman feeds the Democratic Underground more red meat and calls it “economics.”
Krugman’s latest assertion is that Obama is not spending very much at all, and if one counts state government spending, we are in a nation-wide “austerity” program. He writes:
What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.
At this point, however, Mr. Obama and his political team don’t seem to have much choice. They can point with pride to some big economic achievements, above all the successful rescue of the auto industry, which is responsible for a large part of whatever job growth we are managing to get.
Professor William L. Anderson is an Austrian School economist and teaches at Frostburg State University in Maryland. He also writes the blog, Krugman-in-Wonderland which critiques Keynesian economics and Professor Krugman’s columns in the NY Times.
However, Goldstein’s persona as an enemy of the state serves to distract, unite and focus the anger of the people of Oceania. Ostensibly, Goldstein serves an important role as both a convenient scapegoat for the totalitarian regime in 1984, and justifying reason for more military buildup, surveillance and elimination of civil liberties.