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Friday, October 14, 2011

Paul Krugman, "Rabbit-Hole Economics": Paul and I Almost Find Common Ground

Halleluyah! I almost found a bit of common ground with Paul Krugman. In his New York Times op-ed "Rabbit-Hole Economics" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/opinion/rabbit-hole-economics.html?hp), Krugman writes:

"In the real world, recent events were a devastating refutation of the free-market orthodoxy that has ruled American politics these past three decades. Above all, the long crusade against financial regulation, the successful effort to unravel the prudential rules established after the Great Depression on the grounds that they were unnecessary, ended up demonstrating — at immense cost to the nation — that those rules were necessary, after all."

Amen to that. I have been calling for reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and the Uptick Rule for as long as I can remember, but unlike Paul, I don't have a political ax to grind. Krugman writes:

"The Great Recession should have been a huge wake-up call. Nothing like this was supposed to be possible in the modern world. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be engaged in serious soul-searching, asking how much of what he or she thought was true actually isn’t.

But the G.O.P. has responded to the crisis not by rethinking its dogma but by adopting an even cruder version of that dogma, becoming a caricature of itself. During the debate, the hosts played a clip of Ronald Reagan calling for increased revenue; today, no politician hoping to get anywhere in Reagan’s party would dare say such a thing.

It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party, one that already has the power to block anything the president proposes — and which may soon control the whole government."

Apparently, Paul prefers to forget that Obama has occupied the Oval Office for the past three years, and during the first two of those years, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. More to the point, there are 15 months to go in Obama's first term of office, and would Krugman have us write off the coming year? Has the campaign season already begun, and can nothing be accomplished by America's current president within that time frame?

Krugman tells us that the prospect that one of the current Republican presidential candidates will be elected is "terrifying." Apparently, unbeknownst to Paul, we have already descended into the inferno, and the would-be messiah, now unable to deliver on promises of salvation, is ready to sell his soul to the nihilistic Occupy Wall Street movement in order to gain reelection.

Paul is "terrified" by the Republicans? I am more troubled by the anti-Semitic underpinnings of the Occupy Wall Street movement (see: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/13/occupy-wall-street-kalle-lasn/), which bring us face to face with the opening maw of hell.

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