Friday, November 4, 2011

Washington, D.C.: The REAL Oligarchy

Back from Iceland, Paul Krugman now takes on what he calls the Oligarchy, but as usual, he points his guns in the wrong direction. According to Krugman, we have huge amounts of income inequality that is destroying U.S. society because, according to him, the State does not have enough power.

(Since Krugman's annual income literally is in the millions of dollars, I am not sure why he does not blame himself in part for the problem. After all, if according to his Keynesian doctrines, wealth only can be distributed, not created, then Krugman is as big a thief as he accuses others of being.)

Readers can look at the column and draw their own conclusions, but it seems to me that Krugman has missed something that tells the REAL story about our economic plight: the least-productive and most parasitic area of the country -- Washington, D.C., and its immediate environs in Maryland and Northern Virginia -- is also the highest-income locale. Let that one sink in, folks.

No doubt, a number of readers of this blog will be enraged by what I am writing. Washington not productive?!? Why, no one spends more than those who inhabit the nation's capital, and every Keynesian knows that the most productive thing anyone can do is to spend, spend, spend.

Indeed, according to the Keynesians, Washington is SO efficient in its spending that it is making the rest of us better off via the vaunted Keynesian multiplier. Furthermore, Washington with its regulatory and lawmaking power is able to create huge barriers to economic growth, confiscate property (and redistribute it among those who live there), and then get its shills like Krugman to claim that others are to blame.

It is Washington that forces us to put ethanol into our cars, damaging the engines and lowering gas mileage; it is Washington that creates regulations that benefit the least productive people at the expense of those that are productive. It is Washington that has created thousands of new criminal laws that are so expansive that most readers of this page have committed at one time or another felonies that could land them in prison -- yet were not even aware that they were breaking the law.

(The courts in Washington have ruled that every citizen is responsible for knowing every law and every regulation that comes out of the city. There are exceptions, however: prosecutors, judges, and the police do not have to know the law and are not punished when they break it, especially out of ignorance. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" applies only to those of us who are not employed carrying out the law.)

I agree that Wall Street has been out of control. This blog has long dealt with those issues regarding finance and the symbiotic relationship between Washington and the banks, but let us also keep in mind that both the Republicans and Democrats have seen Wall Street first and foremost as a cash cow for campaign contributions are are desperate to keep the spigots flowing.

Yet, when Wall Street goes over the cliff, Washington forces the rest of us to rescue the bankers instead of permitting people to bear the consequences of their own actions. But what is Krugman's "solution"? It is to expand the moral hazard that Washington creates, and to force taxpayers to pony up and finance disasters like Solyndra. (And Krugman has defended the Obama administration's funding of this firm, as has his employer, the NYT.)

So, let us be frank here. Paul Krugman is not against an "oligarchy." Indeed, he absolutely supports Washington becoming wealthier, and according to his Keynesian doctrines, the more Washington confiscates our wealth, the better off we are.


Eric said...

Normally I try to read your posts and look for ways you misinterpret and overlook what Krugman has written, and try to use Krugman's points to respond to your critiques, in an attempt to keep the dialogue going. However, this posting in no way responds to todays column. The only time you directly mention the column is when you mention you agree with him about income inequality. If you want to have a blog that critiques Krugman, you should actually critique the things he says.

William L. Anderson said...

No, Krugman clearly has an agenda. If he did not think that this income situation were contributing to the crisis, he would not be writing about it, especially since he is in the 1 percent.

Pete said...

It is amazing how people, even pseudo-Nobel winners, actually believe that inequality in the US is exacerbated by the state, and in general what he advocates. Inflation? Wealth transfer from poor to rich. Regulation? Smaller businesses cannot compete, thus wealth transfer from poor to rich. Government spending? More money was spent on the bailouts than the entire Iraq war.

I cannot for the life of me understand how people can believe that other people spending money for their own benefit and the benefit of their friends, somehow benefits everyone in the economy. It's as if we eat money instead of food, wear money instead of clothes, and live in money stacks instead of houses.

The only "flow" that benefits the average person is flow of real goods towards them. Flows of money towards them means goods and services are going the other way.

Pete said...

Oops, I meant "not exacerbated by the state."

Anonymous said...

The Krugman Keynesian Klan believes that DC encapsulates the necessary intelligentsia to successfully plan our economy. It's only "fair" they be provided with the highest income and live under the best conditions for their efforts.

In other words, some animals are more equal than others.