Walter Rhett

Paul Krugman: Get Serious

In Perlo on May 13, 2010 at 8:16 am

 On Wednesday, 05/12, I disagreed with Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner for economics who writes a blog and 2 columns a week for the New York Times. Surprisingly, of 19 comments, my comment received the second highest number of recommends—30 Times readers agreed with my analysis and endorsed my view!

In a short blog, entitled, “Unserious People,” summarized as “ faking it on spending cuts,” Dr. Krugman cites Eric Kantor’s call to eliminate funds as “ludicrously trivial,” and Dr. Krugman argues that national Republicans “refuse to offer any serious proposals for spending cuts, pretending instead that there are large sums being wasted on things nobody wants.” Good point, but he begs the question of why and inadequately describes the root of the strategy, and inaccurately labels these efforts as “unserious.”

Here’s my reply:

“As a good economist knows, many critical relationships are inverse and logarithmic, expanded in large ways by small changes. Republicans, are in fact, serious, very serious; consistently, steadfastly unwavering in the repetition of their mantra of small government. Yet their real relationship to government is an inverse one, one in which spending voted by them when they are in power is rapidly expanded as their mantra is chanted unchanged. Defense spending is the best example.

This over/under inverse relationship is a social construct that has great power; its small, simple examples resonate with the public who are distracted from seeing the complex, larger and more expensive picture. Republicans are “serious” about protecting this formula at all costs. Their commitment is not a disconnect or frivolous; it is inverse (some might think perverse!) and one that Republicans who lack any national agenda for growth or prosperity, are zealously serious about, as it allows for enriching the coffers of friends, at the expense of the economy, the national infrastructure, education, healthcare, or job growth. Its only benefit is to shift blame to others while aiding big market forces to grab larger share. At this, they are serious and committed at any costs to the country.”

Thanks for reading. /wr. Stir the Perlo, leave a comment.

 This is a map of the most popular religion in 48 states according to USA Today.
Catholic: Red
Baptist: Blue
No religion: Green
Lutheran: Yellow
Methodist: Black
Mormon: Purple

(Image used under fair use.)


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