Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Who Is Spreading Humbug?

For the second year in a row, Paul Krugman invokes "A Christmas Carol" as the theme of his Christmas Eve column. Last year, we found that ObamaCare would allow Tiny Tim to have unlimited medical care and that President Obama's legal monstrosity:
...will provide real, concrete help to tens of millions of Americans and greater security to everyone. And it establishes the principle — even if it falls somewhat short in practice — that all Americans are entitled to essential health care.
You see, Krugman was in such a giving mood that he actually believes that government can legislate away the Law of Scarcity. Unfortunately, today Krugman is not full of "tidings of comfort and joy."

No, he is upset that the "zombies" have not been kicked out of the country, or at least academe and the media. How DARE anyone be permitted to contradict The Great One in any media or academic forum!

Bob Murphy, whose debate challenge Krugman still has refused, takes the Nobel winner to task in his LRC column today, and Murphy's words are quite worth reading, although I am sure that Krugman would consider all of it to be "humbug." Murphy writes:
As far as the free-market fundamentalists dominating the political scene "more thoroughly than ever," I suppose Krugman is right, in the sense that two French poodles could dominate a pit bull more than one French poodle could. But as the Fed discloses its cumulative $9 trillion in backdoor loans, as the FBI raids hedge funds, and as federal spending as a share of the economy is at its highest level since World War II, I hardly think that DC is being overrun by laissez-faire shock troops.
Murphy continues:
To prove that free-market fundamentalists have seized power, Krugman's Exhibit A is Ron Paul:

(Krugman) How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to its knees, did we end up with Ron Paul, who says "I don't think we need regulators," about to take over a key House panel overseeing the Fed?

(Murphy continues) Of course, if we look at the actual context of what Paul is saying, we find that he means it is foolish to trust government regulators to nip asset bubbles in the bud, while the Fed and other government programs do their part in fueling such bubbles. Ron Paul was not saying, "Let the banks do whatever they want," instead he was saying that we shouldn't be bailing them out when they screw up. Instead, let them go bankrupt just like any other business would after making horrible investment decisions.
Furthermore, the Wall Street crowd did NOT want Ron Paul as subcommittee chairman, nor does that bunch support him politically. And while Krugman supported the TARP bailout, Ron Paul campaigned against it. Yet, Krugman continues to try to portray Ron Paul as a reckless "Zombie."

Krugman is not satisfied just to disseminate disinformation about Ron Paul. No, he attacks anyone who disagrees with him and issues an outright fantasy about the state of present discourse:
Still, why does it matter what some politicians and think tanks say? The answer is that there’s a well-developed right-wing media infrastructure in place to catapult the propaganda, as former President George W. Bush put it, to rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience where it becomes part of what “everyone knows.” (There’s nothing comparable on the left, which has fallen far behind in the humbug race.)
Yeah, there is no George Soros, who spends in a YEAR what the demonized Koch Brothers have spent in a lifetime on different advocacy organizations. According to Krugman, there is no Media Matters, no Center for American Progress, no Daily Kos, and no New York Times, Time, Newsweek, MSNBC, or Washington Post.

(I also should make the point that no one "funds" this blog or anything else that I am doing in my public criticisms of Paul Krugman. I'm just doing my "Zombie" activities on my own.)

In the end, Krugman not only bemoans the lack of an even bigger welfare state and the presence of people with the temerity to disagree with him, but he also claims that people are not standing up to the "free market zombies" because of a lack of courage. Right. Somehow, I don't think that Krugman is doing what he does because he is "courageous" and is "standing up to The Man."

If anyone is spreading humbug, it is Paul Krugman and his acolytes.


Unknown said...

Krugman also doesn't understand the difference between private charity and a welfare state because he believes that Dickens was referring to the "welfare state" when Scrooge refused to help a poverty fund.

the anti-krugtard said...

All hail the Krugtard!

sb101 said...

Haha...and yet another fine post critiqueing Krugman from the Austrian perspective :). Prof. Anderson-you're becoming more and more like Krugman with ever post! No analysis, little thought, lots of ideology!

Happy Holidays!!!!!

PS. Instead of this silly Murphy/Krugman debate, maybe, for charity, you two could put some money up on your inflation/dollar collapse/default scenario you claim is around the corner??????! I'm in...

Bob Roddis said...

I'd rather bet that the Chartalists will never explain where all of the stuff is going to come from to satisfy all of this unpayable debt.

And let's not forget that EVERYONE has an ideology and that EVERYONE applies theories to perceived facts.

David in Qatar said...


I've asked that very same question to The Pragmatic Capitalist and his response was that he didn't see how the Law of Scarcity applies to federal debt. AP Lerner, I am certain, feels the same way but is not honest enough to admit it. He'd rather slander Professor Anderson and embarrass himself on every post. (I don't think he has a life.)

Those are the kinds of lunatics that make up the MMT field. At the core of their ideology, they replace fundamental economic law with State worship. The rest is just a cover.

William L. Anderson said...


I really don't consider AP's comments (or those of LK) to be slander. Yeah, not-nice things are written, but that is part of having a blog like mine which is going to invite people who don't agree.

I'm glad that not everyone who posts here agrees with me because those comments stir a lot of debate on the comment section, which I think is good. Believe me, I've been called much worse than what AP or LK write.

Nonetheless, a Merry Christmas to everyone wherever you are. Here in Finzel, it is snowing moderately, which will add some nice powder to an already-established base. It will be soon to take the X-C skis out and give the dogs some exercise!

Have a wonderful and blessed day. If possible, please visit my other blog to see a wonderful song by the University of Utah Singers.

Tel said...

"According to Krugman, there is no Media Matters, no Center for American Progress, no Daily Kos, and no New York Times, Time, Newsweek, MSNBC, or Washington Post."

According to Krugman, there is no Krugman. Puzzle that one out.

The real answer of course is not to confuse the message with the messenger. If the Koch bros say something or Soros says something, then pretend you had no idea who was saying it and see if it actually makes sense from your own experience. If the offer seems like an amazing breakthrough that lets you have all you ever wanted without working for it... presume it's a scam before considering too much further.

Rob said...

According to Krugman, there is no Krugman. Puzzle that one out.

Tel I think that is the best line I've heard this year. Bravo.

sb101 said...

Federal debt creation is nothing more than a monetary operation. Laws of scarcity are irrelevant.

And for the record, I have never slandered Prof. Anderson. I enjoy the back and forth and he seems like a pretty nice guy, but I will point out when I feel he is being exactly what he accuses Krugman of: an ideologue. Both Krugman and Prof. Anderson and pretty much any economist these days are driven by politics and ideology. It's a shame.

And sure, I'm guilty of saying some pretty over the top things, but the blog has become crowded with the copy and paste crowd and other 'austrian' blogs have become crowded with political nonsense or just claim morality when you point out there ignorance. To Prof. Anersons credit, he at least makes an attempt to provide some (vet weak) defense to the inflationist/defaultist views of so called Austrians'