Friday, October 22, 2010

The Guitar Has No Strings

When our eyes are no longer our most trusted instruments, when we rely upon others to tell us a truth contrary to that which we plainly see, we are a lost people. 
Sooner or later there must come a time when even the least educated amongst us must realize when we are being duped. It is certainly an admirable trait to defer to experts in particular fields, but such reliance cannot be accepted automatically simply because of ones credentials, and especially when they are clearly lying. 

Paul Krugman is a columnist for the New York Times, writing on political issues based heavily on the economic aspects thereof. He has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. He is also Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University as well as Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics. Very smart guy, that Krugman; some would say infallible. Some, but not all...

On October 10th, Krugman wrote a piece in the New York Times Opinion Pages titled Hey, Small Spender, in which he makes the incredible claim that the federal government has not expanded the size of the government under Barack Obama, nor has it increased spending. His opening two paragraphs (emphasis mine): 
Here’s the narrative you hear everywhere: President Obama has presided over a huge expansion of government, but unemployment has remained high. And this proves that government spending can’t create jobs. 
Here’s what you need to know: The whole story is a myth. There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.
Krugman goes on to complain that there hasn't been enough spending, blaming a campaign of disinformation for what he perceives as a fallacious claim that the country is spending too much. Fortunately, someone better equipped than I to counter Krugman's absurd claims has noticed and responded.

Charles Blahous wrote yesterday a blistering rebuttal to Krugman's piece, laying the culpability for disinformation squarely where it belongs; on the Left. Blahous was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be one of two trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Programs. In his article on Economics21, he provides some very interesting government charts which show that Krugman is using his expertise for nefarious intent. Below is one such chart:
The chart is from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Do you doubt that government spending has soared under Obama and the Democrats? Can Krugman be taken seriously based solely on his work to attain the status of uber-expert in economics? Sadly, too many urban elites - who live in ritzy areas of big cities and wave the Times like a badge - have an unassailable claim of intellectualism when debating in public. Think about it...who would you believe in an argument? The person quoting the New York Times, or the person quoting Sanity Sentinel? 

As a guitar player, I would assert on this page that a guitar has strings. I've felt them and heard them, every time I play, albeit poorly. But if Les Paul, a legend of guitar and a designer of the instrument suddenly declared that the strings are a figment of a musician's imagination, how would I, a layman, dare to contradict him? Of course I'd be right, but if no one believes me, I might as well be wrong. 

It is pretty much the same here. Krugman, a recognized economic genius, goes off the deep end and tells us we know nothing of what we see, and we're expected to accept that? Not me, and I suspect, not you either. 

*Special Hat Tip to Karl Rove for his earlier tweet. 

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Anonymous said...

You missed Krugman's point. He was talking about total government spending. Your graph shows only federal spending. He also points out that much of the stimulus bill consisted of tax cuts, which conservatives never acknowledge. I know it hurts, but Krugman is essentially correct in his analysis.

Woody said...

I missed nothing but Krugman's subversion of the truth. What hurts is having an alleged expert try to sneak one by us under the guise of his expertise.

In the first two paragraphs, Krugman draws the readers' attention to the notion that Obama has presided over a huge expansion of government, and then promptly refers to that notion as a myth.

From bank seizures, to Government Motors to health care, people don't buy the snake oil being peddled by Krugman. Combined with the Congressional Budget Office figures regarding the national debt's rapid increase in less than two years, Krugman's assessment is offensive to people with common sense.

As for your comment about the stimulus "consisting of tax cuts, you will really need to provide some proof of that. For now, I'll leave that one for the other readers to chew on...

Anonymous said...

Sorry it took so long to get back to your comment on my comment. I'm surprised you apparently didn't know about the tax cuts, in fact the largest two-year cut ever. This is a matter of public record. Remember all those "stimulus" checks that were sent out last year? Chew on that for awhile.