Thursday, September 20, 2012

Disdain for Economics

I find it quite interesting that Paul Krugman has decided to recast himself as a populist, as though he is part of the "rest of us." (Anyone who has attended conferences and seen Krugman interacting with others can say quite assuredly that the guy hardly fits into the category of the "common man," especially since he is a multi-millionaire and an academic.)

As usual, in his latest column, he pretends to be Paul Krugman The Populist and excoriate Mitt Romney for his recent remarks at the Boca Raton fundraiser. What I find interesting, however, is that Krugman reverts to stereotypes, which hardly is what academics are supposed to do. Moreover, in other columns, he has claimed that inflation actually benefits the poor and middle class over the rich, which simply is not true.

Furthermore, instead of providing insight, Krugman provides Keynesian stereotypes. I find it interesting that Tim Carney, who hardly is a celebrated economist, gives much more insight into the whole Romney affair than Krugman ever could. Carney writes:
By tagging 47 percent of America as irresponsible, Obama-supporting government dependents, Romney showed again that his politics are grounded in false liberal premises.

Romney's statement at a closed-door fundraiser reflected the mistaken liberal view that the growth of government mostly redistributes wealth downward -- it doesn't. He also implicitly bought into the Left's narrow view that both tax cuts and welfare programs mostly benefit the immediate recipients. Finally, Romney conflated tax cuts with government aid, reflecting the perverse mindset that all wealth originally belongs to the state.
He then lays it out quite nicely:
Romney was correct that a portion of America backs President Obama because they "are dependent upon government" and "believe that they are entitled." We even know these dependents' names: Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, General Electric boss Jeff Immelt, Pfizer lobbying chief Sally Sussman, Solyndra investor George Kaiser and millionaire lobbyist Tony Podesta, to list a few.

In the last few years of bailouts, stimulus, Obamacare and government expansion in general, we have seen median income fall and corporate profits soar. Industries are consolidating as the big get bigger while the little guys shut down.
But it gets better:
When government controls more money, those with the best lobbyists pocket most of it. The five largest banks hold a share of U.S. assets 30 percent larger today than in 2006. Also, as Obama has expanded export subsidies, 75 percent of the Export-Import Bank's loan-guarantee dollars in the past three years have subsidized Boeing sales.

Romney, however, wasn't talking about corporate welfare queens. He was talking about the 47 percent of the population that pays no federal income tax.

Think about Romney's perverse logic here: He disparaged people as "dependent" for not owing income taxes. Many of these people are retired and living off the life savings they earned. A family of four earning $40,000 could owe zero federal income tax even without tax credits.

Keeping your own money isn't being "dependent on government." Sure, Obama speaks as if it were, lambasting the GOP for "giving" tax cuts to the wrong people. But Republicans are supposed to distinguish between government giving you something and government leaving you alone.
The real issue is not disdain for workers but rather disdain for investment and for economic growth. Romney certainly does not get it and neither does Krugman. (Nor does Obama, but we already knew that.) When I read Romney's quotes, all I can do is to shake my head, and when I read Krugman's quotes, I am reminded once again that he is a political operative, not an economist.

21 comments:

Dennis said...

Romney's comments on taxes confirm my belief that philosophically he is not all that different from Obama. No matter who wins, neither candidate would ever challenge the near-zero interest rate policies of the Fed until it is practically too late and the U.S. dollar craters along with what's left of the American economy.

Tel said...

The 47% that Romney was talking about refers to his support in the polls. This was a private tactical speech about how to win the election, people are going out of their way to misinterpret what was said.

Both Romney and Obama are sitting around 47% in the polls, and that hasn't changed significantly for months. Out of the 47% who support Obama, most of the polls indicate a higher proportion of low-income, foodstamp and welfare dependent voters. From a strategic point of view, it makes perfect sense for Romney to target the people most likely to change their vote, rather than target people with a vested interest in not changing.

The thing is, Romney is a political operative, well he is supposed to be doing that, he is a candidate for election so what do you expect? That's how Democracy works, you win 51% of the vote.

Zachriel said...

Tel: From a strategic point of view, it makes perfect sense for Romney to target the people most likely to change their vote, rather than target people with a vested interest in not changing.

That's not why people are angry. He called 47% of the American people entitlement deadbeats.

Romney: There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/disabled-veteran-47-percent_n_1901072.html

Bala said...

Zac,

Nice presupposition that people are angry. Which people, incidentally? The legion that constitute Zac?

And taking on from where it was left off, what do you do for a living? That may explain why all of you are angry.

Zachriel said...

Bala: Which people, incidentally?

Not sure what your problem is. We provided an instance.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/disabled-veteran-47-percent_n_1901072.html

Here's a few reactions in South Carolina:
http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/19/4271594/sc-working-poor-share-anger-over.html

And here's a poll that a 57% said that Romney "unfairly dismissed almost half of Americans as victims."
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/09/romneys-47-comments-dent-his-favorability-ratings/57093/

Tel said...

"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what."

That's exactly what the polls have been saying for the past few months. Both candidates have been hovering around 47%.

Bala said...

Zac,

"Not sure what your problem is. We provided an instance."

Looks like you don't get the basics of the English language. Your instances only allow you to make the proposition

"Some people are angry"

That automatically implies particular people and hence, my question "Which people?" is very relevant. Further, your instances do not allow you to make the proposition

"People are angry"

because it carries the connotation of "All people" or "People in general". Your attempt to hijack the language to manufacture popular resentment is quite hilarious.

You are truly an idiot.

Zachriel said...

Zachriel: That's not why people are angry. He called 47% of the American people entitlement deadbeats.

Bala carries the connotation of "All people" or "People in general"

Um, no. Indeed, you knew this because you even asked "which people".

Tel: That's exactly what the polls have been saying for the past few months.

Do the polls indicate that the same 47% of the people believe they are victims?

Daniel said...

You were spot on throughout especially in saying that he is a political operative, not an economist.

Bala said...

Zac,

"Um, no. Indeed, you knew this because you even asked "which people"."

Um, no. I asked the question to make you, with your non-existent intellect, face up to your attempt to hijack the language and its constructs. You are still an idiot.

Zachriel said...

Bala: Um, no. I asked the question

Yes, and we answered. Did you have something to add about the topic?

Bala said...

Zac,

"Yes, and we answered."

And the answer was, as is usual with you, wrong. For instance, in the sentence

"Tigers are mammals",

"Tigers" refers to "All tigers". That's how the plural form of any common noun works when used as the subject of a proposition. So, your attempt to hijack the language and misuse its structures to manufacture widespread anger is looking really pathetic.

Mike said...

Bala,

I have previously shown Zac to be an intellectual fraud. He adds nothing to this Blog discussion and should be completely ignored.

Zachriel said...

Bala: That's how the plural form of any common noun works when used as the subject of a proposition.

That's clearly not how it was being used, as was made even more clear by the following comments. Not sure why you are still having troubles with this, but the Principle of Charity applies.

Noticed you had nothing to say about the topic.

Bala said...

Mike,

If you notice, all I am doing is exposing the fraud a little more. So do give me 1 last push :)

Zac ( you fraud),

"That's clearly not how it was being used..."

There you are, brazenly lying after being caught with your pants down. The proposition

"People are angry...."

clearly carries the connotation

"All people are angry..."

That is in the very nature of the plural used as the subject. It is an aspect of the structure of the language and attempting to deny it leaves you as an ignorant imbecile (which you are in any case). If you didn't mean that, you should have said

"Some people are angry..."

where the "some" could be a sample as small as 1. That would have been consistent with the link you gave which showed "some" people as being angry. However, you chose to say

"People are angry..."

which clearly indicates your nefarious attempt to use data that permits you to say

"Some people are angry..."

to imply

"All people are angry..."

Thus, you stand exposed, as Mike has mentioned many a time, as an intellectual fraud who deserves nothing but outright scorn. What you say has no value in the discussion and must only be roundly ignored.

So, buzz off bozo....

Zachriel said...

Bala: which clearly indicates your nefarious attempt to use data that permits you to say

"Some people are angry..." to imply "All people are angry..."


We provided anecdotal information, but also survey results.

57% said that Romney "unfairly dismissed almost half of Americans as victims."
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/09/romneys-47-comments-dent-his-favorability-ratings/57093/

Bala said...

Zac you fraud and idiot,

"57% said..."

You absolutely retarded bunch of idiots!!! 57% of those who were asked the question and bothered to answer it said whatever bullshit that follows. That does not permit you to say

"People are angry"

You are a bunch of bare-faced, shameless liars who don't know the most basic thing about the language in which you type your gibberish. Rather you know it and are deliberately fooling around to claim mass anger where the truth is anger among a small portion of the small section that bothered to answer.

You bunch of crooks!! Just shut the hell up and buzz off to the rat-hole where you belong!!!

Zachriel said...

That's right. 57% of those who were asked the question and bothered to answer it said "Romney 'unfairly dismissed almost half of Americans as victims'." Glad we have clarified that.

Anonymous said...

Zac, arguing with this guy is pointless. He's nitpicking a point of grammar in a lame attempt to prove your whole point was wrong, which it isn't. Maybe you didn't use the exact correct form in terms of formal logic and grammar. Your intent was still clear because you did provide the example of which people you meant.

Anyhow, your last point sums it all up quite nicely.

Bala said...

Hey Troll fan,

"Anyhow, your last point sums it all up quite nicely."

What does it sum up? That x numbers of people thought something? And what makes that correct? People can think whatever they want to. Does 57% of those who bothered to answer saying something mean that what they said is actually correct? Since when did correctness depend on opinion polls?

So what is Zac the Fraud's point, actually, given that there is no mass anger but localised anger in a small section of the population?

Zachriel said...

Bala: What does it sum up? That x numbers of people thought something?

Tel defended Romney by saying the 47% was referring to his support in the polls. While being seen treating people as numbers on a spreadsheet may be unseemly, in actuality, Romney wasn't just referring to his detractors, but repeating a right-wing meme that those very same 47%, those that don't pay federal income taxes, are victims and moochers.

(Language warning)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WLBa6w5ZdA0/UF2430u3YbI/AAAAAAAAG7A/OG7Z2wTUpZo/s1600/fuck%2Byou%2Bmitt.jpg

Bala: Since when did correctness depend on opinion polls?

It has to do with the correctness of Tel's characterization of Romney's comments. Not that big a deal.