Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Paul Krugman Should Stick to Economics

Krugman has obvious credentials on economics, not least of which is a nobel prize. So no matter how much you disagree with him, he at least has to be taken seriously when he writes about economic issues. But as a political pundit, he's just another clueless leftist. Case in point, his latest column in yesterday's New York Times entitled, "Forgive and Forget?" Not suprisingly, Krugman echos the left-wing cry for political prosecutions aimed at the exiting Bush administration.  Is Krugman talking about the torture issue?  Oh no, there's much more. He's on board with the entire BDS spectrum.

 the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.
Apparently Krugman is unaware of the spoils system in politics. It's been with us since the founding of  the Republic.  We need to investigate the Bush administration for enivronmental policy?  Really?

Read Krugman's entire article if you want to see what passes for thinking among the irrational left.  It's a great example, and Krugman is much more coherent than most.  His entire argument can be boiled down as follows. Everything the Bush administration did that he disagrees with is either an actual violation of the Constitution, or a potential violation, and therefore needs to be investigated. If it isn't investigated, Obama will be allowing people to get away with crimes. And the next time another Republican administration is elected, more crimes will occur. Krugman only uses Republican examples, apparently completely oblivious to his own partisan hackery. 

Leftists like Krugman have been whining and sniveling throughout the Bush administration about the supposed destruction of the Constitution, and the irreparable damage that Bush was doing to the country.  Of course the Constitution provides a remedy for presidents who abuse their power.  It's called impeachment.  Democrats did not impeach Bush, even after they gained control of Congress.  Why? Because most rational people recognize that Bush's actions weren't anything like their ridiculous left-wing characterizations.  If Bush had really been grossly abusing his power, to the extent Krugman and others believe, he would have been impeached. In reality, the Bush administration, like many before him, did a number of things that could be interpreted as unconstitutional or illegal, but they operated close to the line. They always had a legal argument for what they were doing, no matter how flimsy. There was no single act flagrant enough to warrant impeachment. The left couldn't make an effective impeachment case against Bush when he was in power.  Now that he's out of power they want revenge, plain and simple.  

Hatred of Bush is what drives calls for investigations and prosecutions, not any desire for justice. The same imbeciles who make hysterical, exaggerated claims of the supposed damage Bush inflicted on the country, want to inflict actual permanent harm to our entire political system. They want to start a new tradition. Once the opposing party gains power, it immediately starts a series of investigations and prosecutions of the defeated administration. It should be obvious that this is a terrible idea. People like Krugman don't care.  They want their revenge for the supposed crimes, most of which are actually just policy differences. Look at Krugman's laundry list of things he thinks should be investigated.  If this tradition takes hold, I guarantee that any Republican administration will be able to come up with their own investigation list for any outgoing Democratic one.  Fortunately, it appears that Obama is a lot smarter than Krugman when it comes to politics.



  1. I wouldn't even give Krugman the benefit of saying he has credentials in economics. And as far as the Nobel Peace Prize, let's not forget that AlBore, Jimmy Carter, and Yassar Arafat are also laureates.

  2. The Nobel Peace prize is a complete joke, yes. But Krugman's nobel in economics was for work he did years ago in trade policy. It's not political. Even most harsh critics of his think the nobel was deserved. When I say we should listen to him on economics, I don't mean agree. But he does represent a serious school of economic thought -- albeit one that I don't like. And trust me, I hate defending him in any way.

  3. I wouldn't even give Krugman the benefit of saying he has credentials in economics.

    Who would you rather listen to - Murray Rothbard?

  4. I would rather listen to Thomas Sowell, Arthur Laffer, or Milton Friedman, if he were alive.

  5. Laffer was a third-rate economist, whose ideas have found no empirical verification. For example, Wikipedia's article on the Laffer curve lists a number of governmental and peer-reviewed studies showing that Reagan's tax cuts reduced rather than increased revenue, and that peak income collection is on the far side of 60%. It even quotes a supply-side economist saying that the Laffer curve is "not to be taken literally."