Friday, February 25, 2011

Krugman Discovers the Dastardly "Plot" in Wisconsin

No doubt, Paul Krugman makes fun of people who indulge in conspiracy theories, although it seems that he constantly comes up with wild theories of his own. Do you question "stimulus" spending on public works projects? Why, you are a racist who wants to bring back slavery.

Do you have a problem with Ben Bernanke's plan of showering the world with dollars, and with government creating a blizzard of paper money in general? Why, you are a racist who wants to bring back slavery.

Indeed, like a good parrot, Krugman recites the Party Line and calls it argument. So, why am I not surprised when he weaves together yet another conspiracy theory about what is happening in Wisconsin. Yes, it seems that Gov. Scott Walker is in league with Paul Bremer and everyone else who was involved with the invasion of Iraq, or maybe he is part of the world-wide cabal that wants to impose the "shock doctrine" on an unsuspecting world.

He also surmises that this whole thing is nothing more than a plot by the Koch Brothers to take over Wisconsin. Wisconsin today! Tomorrow the world!! (The only problem is that George Soros -- who really does bankroll internationalist groups that believe that what we need is One Single Bureaucracy to rule over us all -- gives more money to his "causes" in a year than the Koch Brothers have given in their lifetimes. Does Krugman get any Soros money? Inquiring minds would like to know. And, no, I don't get Koch dollars. Sorry.)

Krugman gives us the following statement, and I will point out afterward just what a howler it really is:
What’s happening in Wisconsin is, instead, a power grab — an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy.
First, the notion that public employee unions are a "counterweight" to unwarranted "corporate power" is a very sick joke. Keep in mind that the process which he praises consists of a cabal of politicians who are elected through the efforts of the unions of government employees and the unions themselves then imposing their will upon people who are not in that circle.

In other words, we have something akin to a soviet in which the government employees elect their paymasters. The problem is that the arrangement depends upon the people on the outside being able to pony up the cash to pay for the whole thing, and they no longer are willing and able to do so.

Krugman's academic Keynesian mind claims that this is bad because the party being fleeced consists of the Evil People Who Don't Want More Spending. Don't they know that if they just accede to having their bank accounts cleaned out, that all the spending will create new prosperity? Haven't they heard of circular logic, er, flow?

Here is the crux of the problem: government employee unions cannot cannibalize themselves. Like all parasites, they need a host, and they and Krugman are very, very upset that the current hosts are rebelling. In fact, their rebellion must be part of a plot by the Koch Brothers TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

So, in the end, Paul Krugman resorts to conspiracy theories. Now, while I might agree with him about backroom deals and other sorts of cronyism that can occur with privatization, does he really expect us to believe that the current socialistic arrangement is free of such things?

Krugman seems to be one of those folks who believes that union-created socialism is pure, pure, pure. Public employee unions are bravely serving as a counterweight to those evil corporations, and that these unions are the heart and soul of America's middle class. Yes, Paul Krugman really seems to believe that we can have a large and thriving "middle class" that consists of bureaucrats, and the more we expand the bureaucracy, the more we expand our wealth.

And if you are not part of this arrangement, then Krugman instructs that you sit back, let the state insert the needle, and then drain you of your blood. By so doing, you are helping to create prosperity.

32 comments:

Dan said...

Are you really referring to public employees as parasites? That seems extreme and insulting.

Aren't you a public employee? Are you a bloodsucking parasite on Maryland taxpayers?

Ridiculous....

Bala said...

"Are you really referring to public employees as parasites? That seems extreme and insulting."

Firstly, that is the truth. Secondly, "extremism" is something a lot of people out here wear as a badge of honour. So don't assume that too many people out here will cringe at your accusation. Thirdly, so what if it is insulting? How does that make a difference when it comes to telling the truth?

Public employees are net tax recipients. Tax is money taken away through the route of coercive expropriation. Taking a person's property away is robbery. Thriving on the proceeds of systematic coercive expropriation without killing the host is parasitism. Hence, public employees are parasites. Got a counter-argument?

Dan said...

Wow...I didn't know you felt that way about poor ol' Prof. Anderson. He tries to make them students learn doesn't he?

"Thriving on the proceeds of systematic coercive expropriation without killing the host is parasitism."

This almost sounds poetic. I didn't know craziness could sound so beautiful. Good thing your public school teachers taught you how to use adjectives so well.

Mike Cheel said...

Its not all public unions either that are bad.

I know some people in the entertainment industry. I remember a few years ago speaking with one particular person I know (who works on television and movie productions).

This person explained to me that the industry goes on hiatus twice a year for a couple of months (if memory serves me correct). This is why you have all the re-runs twice a year. I asked this person what the did while they were not working during hiatus. The explanation was, of course, that they collected unemployment. When I expressed surprise I was told 'Oh. everyone in the industry does that.'

Unions in general are just bad. I won't even mention the outrageous pay and benefits for the actual work done.

Another union story is I used to work as a bank teller in my younger days in a city with many movie studios. Industry people would come in all the time to cash their unemployment checks. A lot of the time their bank accounts had plenty of money in their (often 20K or more).

While unemployment originates with the employer, it is coerced by the state, which effects everyone. And lets not forget that you ahve to pay taxes on your unemployment!

Any way you look at it, unions are bad for everyone except their members.

Bala said...

"I didn't know craziness could sound so beautiful"

And I didn't know complete lack of arguments could sound this hollow. Try some genuine arguments for a change.

How many repetitions does it get for you to realise that I did not go to a US public school because I live in India and have always lived in India?

That apart, I am still awaiting your response to my previous comment calling upon society and representatives of society to expropriate me. Care to reply? Once again, no metaphors please.

Bob Roddis said...

The great Will Grigg explains the situation:

What would happen if tax victims, rather than tax-feeders, were to go on strike?
If Madison -- or the capital city of any of Leviathan's other 49 regional administrative units -- were over-run by thousands of productive people who decided that they would no longer consent to be plundered on behalf of unionized government employees, would their revolt be promoted by sympathetic media outlets, and supported by the president and his political machine?

Would self-described populist cable pundit Ed Schultz be there in person to confer an on-camera benediction to the rebels, describing them as people standing in "solidarity to fight for the middle class"? Would the state governor display restraint and forebearance in dealing with a malodorous mob that laid siege to the capitol for a week, if the throng were composed of people who withheld their taxes, rather government employees withholding their tax-subsidized services (such as they are)?

If this were to happen anywhere in the soyuz, every element of the Regime's punitive apparatus would be mobilized to put down the rebellion, hard and fast. Riot police and National Guard units would be deployed to beat and round up the rebels. I suspect that serious consideration would be made to the use of Predator drones to target those identified as "ringleaders" of the uprising.


http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2011/02/when-tax-feeders-revolt.html

Dan said...

Bob,

Ever wondered why this revolt has never happened? I mean public employee salaries are public information and people deal with them on a daily basis.

If the "productive" general population were that unhappy with the situation, I think we would have seen some protests from people other than you nutjobs.

Maybe there have been no large protests because *gasp* most (normal) people actually value their services and want to keep receiving them.

I'm sorry sir, but those of us who aren't in La La land don't tend to share your opionions...and since youre a fringe minority in a representative democracy that sucks for you!

Derrick said...

Dan is in for a rude awakening someday...

I have a feeling he has no gold in his portfolio.

zackA89 said...

Who’s this new statist? Dan? Seriously?


Ever wondered why the people of Wisconsin, the taxpayers, elected a Republican majority in both houses (in a overwhelming liberal and progressive state) and Walker in the previous election knowing full well he would put forth this deal (and yes, including restricting public unions ability to negotiate to just wages?


In fact there are protests in favor of Walker, however, the numbers are not that large because (gasp) most supporters of Walker realize they have go to work, do their jobs, and show up and be productive. Because if they didn’t, there wouldn’t be any stuff to finance these public unions benefits, pensions, wages, and other fringe benefits. So gasp, most normal people are at work and have no time to sit and wine and complain like a bunch of whiney Europeans.


The public is sick of having their tax dollars finance campaign contributions to democratic candidates, then have these democrats sit across the table and doll out even more generous benefits to the public unions who got them elected, than their private sector counterparts make.


Honestly, it’s the statists that are in wonderland. They are the fringe minority. They were thoroughly routed last in last November’s election, and clearly, haven’t gotten the memo yet.

Dan said...

I am no statist. I believe in constitutional democracy which seems to be a far left idea on this blog.

If the majority elects an official who goes after unions I must abide by that as a citizen...even if I do not agree with it.

The problem with the people here is that they will not even accept the premise of an elected government carrying out the will of the people.

But to say that the "productive" masses will rise up against public workers is ludicrous. Why do you the Republicans get hammered for the 1994 federal shutdown? What public services do you rely on every day? Lets start with working traffic lights...

Daniel Hewitt said...

Dan,

To be perfectly consistent, Dr. Anderson is a tax-feeding parasite. And a hypocrite for driving on publicly-owned roads. And a coward for paying his taxes. And so on, and so on.

These kinds of accusations have little relevance in a society where so much is state owned.

Daniel Hewitt said...

Bala,

Have you restricted your caloric intake yet? As you already know, Indian eaters (and Chinese savers) are ones primarily responsible for American economic malaise. ;)

Anonymous said...

Ok Dan, so say you’re not a statist. Fair enough.
The polls are divided on the Walker proposal; some say people favor Walker, and some say they favor the unions. Depends how the question is asked. So im not sure you can legitamtley know that “it is against the will of the people.’ Sometimes the miniority is the loudest voice, and the majority is silent. Keep in mind Walker was elected in the last election campaigning on enacting this very this proposal (including restricting collective bargaining to just wages), so if he won campaigning on this, how is it “against the will of the people.”
Keep in mind Democrats jammed through one of the largest piece of social legislation in our history, the health care bill, which was very unpopular with the public, and the only thing bipartisan about it was its opposition. In that case, the will of the people did not matter, and the Democrats jammed it through knowing full well it was against the will of the people, even liberal polls reflected that the public did not want it. So even if I concede that Walker’s proposal is “against the will of the people”, how come Democrats can ignore the will of the people on the national scale and get away with it?
Tea party activists I would consider to be a sign of things to come in terms of the productive masses rising up. I wouldn’t count your chickens, the private sector workers financing these public sector unions far outnumber the unions themselves.

Anonymous said...

@ Dan Hewitt

Where does all the stuff come from to finance those public roads? Comes from the private sector, wealth producing individuals create the wealth necessary for the state to tax out of the private economy and finance these roads. Starts with the private sector, always, and who said roads couldn’t be funded privately absent the state? They certainly could be. Prof Anderson is no hypocrite. There are no public roads without a private sector; the public sector needs the private sector more so than the private needs the public.

jason h said...

I believe in constitutional democracy [...] If the majority elects an official [...] I must abide by that as a citizen...

It's a shame your public schooling didn't inform you that you live in a republic. Wouldn't you prefer to send you money to a unionized school, without some governor interfering?

Daniel Hewitt said...

Anonymous 11:49 AM,

Agreed. I did say that Dan's accusations have little relevance, meaning that in a society where almost everything is either government owned or government controlled you can accuse pretty much everybody of parasitism.

For instance, although I work in the private sector, my industry (automotive) received taxpayer money. Am I a rent-seeking parasite? To be perfectly principled.....yes.

Even if all libertarians with government jobs were to quit, they would still use public roads. So the Dans of the world could still say "hypocrite!" to any libertarian. And, technically, he would be right.

That's why Dan's accusation has little relevance. Hopefully I've clarified adequately.

Anonymous said...

Yes, fair enough.

Same to Democrats who get tax breaks and rebates, and marginal tax rate reductions from Republican politicians. Should the Democrats that earn over 250,000 dollars a year pay higher marginal tax rates because they think rates should go up on the wealthy, including themselves? Should they give back their tax breaks, and voluntarily pay more taxes to the IRS (which you can do), to avoid being a hypocrite? Democrats claim to be more compassionate, except when it comes to voluntary charity Republicans overwhelmingly redistribute more of their own wealth then do Democrats. Dems only want to be generous with other people’s money. Republicans want to cut spending, but of course not pet projects in their districts, especially military ones. There is always some degree of inevitable hypocrisy arises on both sides.

John McFarland said...

Krugman also points out privatization provisions in the proposed Wisconsin legislation that look like setups for crony capitalism. I would be interested in Professor Anderson's thoughts on that issue.

As for conspiracy theories in general, we should all recall that the only real issue is whether they are true or not. The Koch boys are certainly not above a little conspiring against the interests of most of us, and the fact that they are unable or unwilling to bankroll such schemes to the same extent as George Soros is neither here nor there.

Dan said...

"Tea party activists I would consider to be a sign of things to come in terms of the productive masses rising up."

They will not last past the next couple of election cycles. Once the public sees that 95% of their legislation is for clowns (woohoo I can bring my gun to the bar!) and that they are doing nothing to cure long-term structural and fiscal problems they will be scuttled out.

@Dan Hewitt: So I should forgive libertarians who actively try to be parasites as opposed to those who are unfortunate enough to "have" to use the infrastructure the evil coercers put in place for them?

That makes sense.

William L. Anderson said...

To answer John McFarland, I think that Krugman's questions are valid, and pointed out in the post that there can be the kind of backroom deals that really do stink. All too often, privatization becomes the sweetheart deal, as we have seen with privately-owned prisons in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

However, Krugman then claims that the Koch brothers might be buying these facilities on the cheap or something like that, but offers no evidence for his claims. Furthermore, he forgets that state-owned enterprises often are repositories for people with political connections and cronyism.

As for the claims that I am a tax-feeder, to an extent that is true, given that Frostburg State is a state institution. The one difference is that we receive a lot of money from tuition, and I had to pass the tenure process like everyone else.

Nonetheless, one can make the claim I live in a glass house, and I won't argue with that.

Anonymous said...

Tea party people don’t bring “guns to the bar.” That’s foolishness. That comment was just a typically left wing argument, used in a desperate attempt to smear folks whom they disagree with. The tea party Republicans are primarily GOP freshmen that are pressuring the establishment for deeper cuts and real long fiscal solutions, they are trying, they can only do so much.


“The evil coercers” wouldn’t be able to finance, and build these roads without a vibrant, wealth producing private sector in which to tax. The roads libertarians drive on may be built by the state, by the state extracted private wealth out of the economy in order to finance them, so hall hail the state? Really?


How about all Democrats tax themselves at higher rates, just like they advocate, and deliberately over pay on your taxes (which you can do), do give the state more of their loot so it can squander it on politicaly connected projects. Go statists! lead the way! Intentionally overpay on your taxes, in order to avoid being a hypocrite. Give the state that much needed revenue to finance all these wonderful projects.

Anonymous said...

last post was @ dan

Dan said...

"Tea party people don’t bring “guns to the bar.” That’s foolishness. That comment was just a typically left wing argument, used in a desperate attempt to smear folks whom they disagree with."

I guess you don't live in Arizona. Our legislature is about as tea-party influenced as you can get and lets have a look at their legislative agenda:

The "Gun Omnibus Bill"
http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/01/31/20110131arizona-gun-bill-aims-loosen-laws.html

The "Lets Kick a Dead Horse...I mean illegal bill"
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/us/politics/24immig.html

Regardless of your stance on these issues, they are hardly tackling the serious fiscal situation that our state is facing. Although I suppose someone will twist this logic.

Anonymous said...

@dan
Ok, I’m sure with our without the tea party, those folks would still exist. It’s true that a lot of people in the GOP, even some Tea Party people, are not getting serious enough about the tough fiscal issues the nation is facing and many states are facing as well. Some GOP candidates just rode the tea party name because it was popular and they felt it would help them get elected.
I don’t live in AZ, so I would not know. I live in CT where we have tax and spend Dummycrats that, of course, just raised taxes on everyone to balance the budget (even the poor and middle class). Don’t know where the revenue is going to come from, or how long it’s going to keep coming.

Dan said...

"As for the claims that I am a tax-feeder, to an extent that is true, given that Frostburg State is a state institution."

Yep...another free-rider. I guess it works for you as long as only all the other parasites get screwed over. Just have to toss the old glass house phrase out a time or two, whimper that your a hypocrite, and continue living off tax dollars.

How convenient.

Does it tear at your soul that Paul Krugman depends less on tax money for his livelihood than you do?

Mike Cheel said...

@Dan "I am no statist. I believe in constitutional democracy which seems to be a far left idea on this blog."

The US is supposed to be made up of republics, not democracies. Just hearing you say this is very telling, at least to me. There is a difference you know.

Dan said...

P.S. - I didn't mean to be too rude to Prof. Anderson. In my opinion he provides very valuable services to our society. Education is highly correlated with a country's economic development. Our country's higher education system is unparalleled and has produced great prosperity for us all.

It's just sad (and curious) to see you and your supporters(?) shortchange what you do.

Anonymous said...

@Dan
Ever wondered why this revolt has never happened? I mean public employee salaries are public information and people deal with them on a daily basis.

If the "productive" general population were that unhappy with the situation, I think we would have seen some protests from people other than you nutjobs.

Maybe there have been no large protests because *gasp* most (normal) people actually value their services and want to keep receiving them.

I'm sorry sir, but those of us who aren't in La La land don't tend to share your opionions...and since youre a fringe minority in a representative democracy that sucks for you!



Who said this hasn't happened? Which states are gaining populations, and which states are losing them? States and cities with a poweful public employee bloc, states like California, are experiencing a mass exodus of people each year. Do you not consider that a revolt against the state???

Tel said...

So the slave says, "Well I don't want to be a slave anymore, I dream of a better world where I won't have a master and I can get paid a fair days wage."

And the reply from Dan, "But you work for this master right now don't you?"

Slave says, "Yeah, I guess I do."

Dan, "Ahh stinking hypocrite! Your master is good to you and the fact that you work for him proves it. Put up with your lot and be happy."

The real question of course, is which industries and which workers would continue in business if the government money slowly dried up sometime in the future. I'm not in the least bit concerned about being able to keep myself employed under such circumstances (presuming the government money doesn't selectively favour all my competitors)... and yeah, right now there are no businesses that don't accept government money either directly or indirectly because there's no industry where government doesn't stick it's nose in and bad money drives out good.

Make that money dry up... I dare you... I double dare you! See who gets nervous when it starts to happen.

Tel said...

I'm sorry sir, but those of us who aren't in La La land don't tend to share your opinions...and since you're a fringe minority in a representative democracy that sucks for you!

I'm sure that's exactly how the gun owners in Arizona and Utah feel about it. It will be very interesting to see which state gets through the coming depression better than the others.

John Jenkins said...

It's no surprise that the Krugman Keynesian Klan representatives on this comment board feel the way they do regarding republics vs. democracies.

Anonymous said...

"Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the host."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasite

Parasitism is very much confirmed by the existence of this blog which appears as number 3 in Google search for "Krugman blog" and, I would add, is little more than a rant.