‘Puter’s no economist, thank goodness. It’s not called the dismal science for nothing, and ‘Puter has enough dismal-ness to deal with in the maw of Upstate’s wintery, dead gray.
And, to be fair to real science, economics like many other social “sciences” isn’t really scientific at all. Real science permits of experiments to verify or falsify hypotheses, usually involving controls and rigorous standards. Real science permits of duplicable results. Real science encourages publication so skeptical colleagues may do their level best to disprove or falsify another scientist’s results.
Near as ‘Puter can tell from his observation of Paul Krugman, economics consists of making wild-assed conjectures about a global economic system so complex and intertwined that no being short of God could possibly determine with any accuracy the effect of tinkering with any single (or multiple, for that matter) input. We, the unwashed and semi-literate, are expected to accept Mr. Krugman’s (and his like-minded solons’) conclusions with unswerving faith. Questioning one so learned and beneficent is intolerable, and to be met with a deserved hail of Mr. Krugman’s wrath and fury. Mr. Krugman need not show his work! He is a Nobel Laureate! Asshat.
‘Puter read Mr. Krugman’s column in the New York Times yesterday, in which Mr. Krugman belittled England’s austerity program, otherwise known to we simple folk as “living within one’s means.” Mr. Krugman claims that cutting government spending in the midst of economic turmoil would plunge the country back into recession.
Before addressing Mr. Krugman’s core contention, please bear with ‘Puter as he offers Mr. Krugman and his editors some much-needed advice. Please do not waste ‘Puter’s time in penning the first three paragraphs of your opinion piece, only to disavow everything you’ve just said in the fourth paragraph.
In his first three paragraphs, Mr. Krugman finds it telling that in this recession, England has not regained its economic footing as quickly as it did in the Great Depression. Mr. Krugman in the next paragraphs expands his premise to include the rest of Europe, then to America.
“Holy cow! We’re worse off than we were in the Great Depression! We’re screwed! Noted economist, Nobel Laureate and catamite of the leftie talk show circuit Paul Krugman says so!”, you scream as you tear around your house preparing for the forthcoming apocalypse.
Nope. Mr. Krugman bails on his conclusion so totally in the fourth paragraph, his lack of awareness of his duplicity stunned even ‘Puter. Mr. Krugman notes:
O.K., about those caveats: On one side, British unemployment was much higher in
the 1930s than it is now, because the British economy was depressed — mainly
thanks to an ill-advised return to the gold standard — even before the
Oh. OK. So, if we use data and assumptions that are inapplicable to the current state of affairs to generate the results we want, that’s just dandy, so long as we note that the opening of our piece has been an out-and-out lie. ‘Puter assumes this is so because it comports with the Great Unifying Liberal Principle. That is, liberals can make crap up so long as it advances the correct (read: leftist) ideas, and no one is permitted to point out their dishonesty.
Well, enough said about Mr. Krugman’s patent intellectual dishonesty in service of his failing and flailing ideological agenda. On to the fun.
‘Puter’s assailing Mr. Krugman because: (1) he’s been overdue for a good beat down and (2) his column misses the elephant in the room. That is, America is in an ongoing recession and must cut spending precisely because of Mr. Krugman’s preferred policy views. Krugman’s Keynesian prescription is the cause of America’s difficulties, not their cure.
Keynesian economics holds that government should spend lavishly into the teeth of a recession in order to stimulate demand and increase employment, even when such government spending is debt financed. What Mr. Krugman chooses to ignore is that Keynes also believed a government’s debt financing should be retired once the recession’s danger has passed, from the theoretical rising tax receipts.
When, during the 1990s, did you hear Mr. Krugman bashing the Clinton Administration for not paying down the national debt? ‘Puter thought as much.
For the moment, let’s play along with Mr. Krugman. Let’s assume Keynesian economics were the right path for America during the Great Depression (1929-1939). According to the Treasury Department, the United States increased its debt from approximately $17 billion in 1929 to $40 billion in 1939, more than doubling. Lots of spending. And hey! Guess what? America’s out of the Great Depression! So far, so good.
Let’s look at America’s paydown of debt that, according to Mr. Krugman and his fellow Keynesians, most certainly followed. Um, not so much with the debt paydown, its seems.
Due to World War II, the United States’ debt skyrocketed to $270 billion by 1946. But certainly Krugman’s Keynesians would have paid off the debt, or at least significantly paid it down, after the national crisis passed. Again, not so much with the paydown. Spending feels so much nicer than responsible debt management, after all.
National debt did decline slightly to about $252 billion in 1948. However, since 1948, our national debt has risen each and every year, through both Democrat and Republican Administrations alike, to its current horrific $15.3 trillion. In fact, if you add America’s current debt to the difference between America’s future “obligations” and America’s expected future income, the actual national debt is closer to $211 trillion. But let’s cut Mr. Krugman a break today, and stick to our current debt, and not pretend as he does that we can in any manner accurately predict America’s economic fortunes decades into the future.
In hindsight, maybe Mr. Krugman has a point when he says Keynesian economics hasn’t failed because they’ve never been tried. But not quite in the way Mr. Krugman would have us believe. Keynesian economics has never been tried not because America hasn’t spent borrowed funds like drunken Amish teenagers on Rumspringa, but rather because America has never tried to repay what it borrowed.
‘Puter finds it more likely that we are in a current economic torpor because we’ve pulled future year revenue forward to current years and spent it all. America spent and spent and spent, never once worrying about the consequences. Surely, Future America would pay off our insane borrowing, and, just as certainly, Future America would never arrive while we were alive. After all, it’s Future America. You know. America, but in the future. Not now. Because that would just be crazy. Can’t have future in the present, now can you?
Well guess what, spendthrifts? Future America has arrived, and it’s broke. Enjoy the logical outcome of your selfishness. Enjoy reduced or nonexistent Social Security and Medicare. Enjoy diminished social welfare. Enjoy economic stagnation as America’s government and citizens deleverage. Enjoy America’s declining standard of living.
‘Puter’ll try really, really hard not to say he told you so.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.