After reading Paul Krugman's latest anti-Wall Street screed, I have decided that I agree with him on principle: We need to occupy the place that is more responsible not only for the financial meltdown, but for the world depression that has followed it.
That's right, I am calling for an immediate occupation of...Princeton University, and specifically, its economics department. There is no other place on earth that has given us more players and more enablers of the financial madness that has gripped this economy for many years.
First, the chief architect of the depression, Ben Bernanke, was the chair of Princeton's economics department, and it was on his watch that Krugman was hired at Princeton away from MIT, Krugman's doctoral alma mater. Bernanke then went on to a position on the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors and help create the inflationary policies that followed in the wake of the Tech Bubble of the Bill Clinton years and then the Housing Bubble.
Bernanke always has been a champion of inflation, and one of his first speeches as a Fed governor, "Deflation: Making Sure it Doesn't Happy Here," set out the infamous "Bernanke Doctrine" which claims that inflation can be a cure-all for economic ills. (He and Krugman are of one mind on this subject, as both consider government-generated "money" to be a "free lunch" on which everyone can feast.)
Let us not forget where the "Bernanke Doctrine" (and its predecessor, the "Greenspan Doctrine") has led. If I can restate these doctrines, it would be the following message to Wall Street: "Don't worry about the financial bubbles you create because when you run over the cliff, Uncle Fed will be there to provide you with precious 'liquidity'.
Thus, in his attempt to keep a deep recession from happening, Ben Bernanke has created a depression, and according to him and his followers, the only thing that keeps us in this mess is that Goldstein, er, Ron Paul and others like him, is raising too much hell about the inflation. The only man alive who might have done more damage than Bernanke has been Greenspan, but the combination of the two inflationists has been the destruction of the economy.
Of course, Bernanke (and his alter ego Krugman) are utterly contemptuous of anyone who might think that spreading dollars around the world, bailing out this and that, might not have the desired effects of restoring the economies of the nations. Why would anyone even have the temerity to think that propping up unsustainable capital and directing investment away from those entities that actually are profitable might make things worse? After all, EVERYONE KNOWS that creating more money creates more "aggregate demand," and greater "aggregate demand" means more prosperity.
Second, one of Bernanke's main shills is Alan Blinder, another faculty member at Princeton and a longtime advocate of...inflation. I'd like to say that the current depression has been a case of the Blind (Bernanke) leading the Blinder, but from my perch, it looks as though the whole bunch has been blind from the start.
However, Blinder has managed to do damage not only in backing up Bernanke's inflationary urges, but also in advising the Obama administration on the disastrous "Cash for Clunkers" program. When an economics department is as destructive as Princeton's it is important to spread the destruction to all frontiers.
Third, there is Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton professor who claims that raising the minimum wage will result in...more employment. At his urging, the Obama administration prevailed upon Congress to jack up the minimum wage during a severe recession, with one of the worst results being the record unemployment among young black men. Yes, on one end we have Princeton giving us inflation, and on the other, Princeton making sure more people are out of work, a great one-two roundhouse against the economy.
And then there is Krugman. Yes, the Paul Krugman who advocates the destruction of capital through taxation and regulatory policies. The Paul Krugman who is demanding that the U.S. economy have the capital structure of a Third World economy, but with First World results.
With respect to Albert Einstein, I'd say that this was an economic definition of insanity: Following the disastrous policies of Third World governments, but expecting the results of an economy that welcomes real and profitable capital into its overall structure of production.