Monday, April 16, 2012

Paul Krugman (and His Wife) Give the Occupy Movement the Keynesian Spiel

Salon is carrying a Paul Krugman/Robin Wells excerpt from the new interventionist book, The Occupy Handbook, aimed at co-opting the Occupy movement.

The Krugman/Wells case is that Keynesian policies are not being followed because the rich are preventing such. They write:
So how did we end up in this state? How did America become a nation that could not rise to the biggest economic challenge in three generations, a nation in which scorched-earth politics and politicized economics created policy paralysis?

We suggest it was the inequality that did it. Soaring inequality is at the root of our polarized politics, which made us unable to act together in the face of crisis. And because rising incomes at the top have also brought rising power to the wealthiest, our nation’s intellectual life has been warped, with too many economists co-opted into defending economic doctrines that were convenient for the wealthy despite being indefensible on logical and empirical grounds...

In 2008 we suddenly found ourselves living in a Keynesian world — that is, a world that very much had the features John Maynard Keynes focused on in his 1936 magnum opus, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.” By that we mean that we found ourselves in a world in which lack of sufficient demand had become the key economic problem, and in which narrow technocratic solutions, like cuts in the Federal Reserve’s interest rate target, were not adequate to that situation. To deal effectively with the crisis, we needed more activist government policies, in the form both of temporary spending to support employment and efforts to reduce the overhang of mortgage debt.

One might think that these solutions could still be considered technocratic, and separated from the broader question of income distribution. Keynes himself described his theory as “moderately conservative in its implications,” consistent with an economy run on the principles of private enterprise. From the beginning, however, political conservatives — and especially those most concerned with defending the position of the wealthy — have fiercely opposed Keynesian ideas.
How can Krugman/Wells write this stuff with a serious face. Do they realize how many Keynesian trillions have been pumped into the economy? Have they listened to billionaires Boone Pickens, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Sheldon Adelson, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Bill Gates? These guys are opportunists who regularly play footsie with the government and that's if they aren't outright warmongers. What billionaires are Krugman/Wells thinking about that are anti-government intervention in the economy? There are none.

It's total interventionist propaganda to write that modern day government connected rich are against government bailouts and money printing. Goldman Sachs, JPMorganChase, Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein couldn't survive in a free market environment.

Bottom line: Krugman's analysis doesn't get any better even when he has his wife helping him.


  1. Krugman and Wells are just devout and SERIOUS believers in the religion that social cohesion can only be brought about by abolishing individuality and uniqueness.

    In truth of course, since we're not ants but egoistic entities, social decohesion has been brought about because individuality and uniqueness have not gone far enough, and that many collectivist fetters and contradictions still persist in the minds of SERIOUS people.

    It is not wealth inequality that has created the social and political strife. It has been the persistent desire and call to end inequality through actual political power that has done it.

    How in the world can egoistic and unique entities socially cohere through forcefully abolishing their own egoism and uniqueness? It cannot be done. Krugman and Wells and all the other conservaliberals got the huge state that they always wanted. The US state is the largest most powerful state in the history of the world. Has it ever occurred to these morons that the fact that because such problems remain, that maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't that the state isn't strong enough to enforce the religion of equality among unequal men? That maybe the problem is with the conservaliberals' religion?

    If you are poor, then would you like it if rich people used the state to take your wealth? No?If you are rich, then would you like it if poor people used the state to take your wealth? No?

    So how in the world can social cohesion possibly be brought to bear by using the state to universalize the taking of wealth from some and giving it to others?

    Next thing you know, they'll be praying that the state start raping people so as to equalize the amount of sex people get. After all, social strife is increased when there is sex inequality.

  2. Typically and with scant few exceptions, the wealthy from the corporate class are anti-capitalist, anti-individual liberty, Malthusian population control types.

  3. Robert,
    Funny thing is he nailed it himself right here. This is the truth of the matter:
    “And because rising incomes at the top have also brought rising power to the wealthiest, our nation’s intellectual life has been warped, with too many economists co-opted into defending economic doctrines that were convenient for the wealthy...”

    He’s is the very elite who espouse and support Keynesianism. He nails it right there with a bit of truth…in that elite academic institutions like Harvard, Princeton, etc. all espouse the same Keynesian tripe to keep the gravy train going, it is their job to continue to play 3 card Monty with the general public...

    Keep them thinking the rich want to play freemarket free for all, when in fact the rich want to play interventionism and socialism to make them richer...