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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Paul Krugman, "Republicans Against Reality": Krugman's Healthy Imagination

"Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.

. . . .

It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details."


- Paul Krugman, "Confronting the Malefactors" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/opinion/krugman-confronting-the-malefactors.html), October 2011

Do you remember "Occupy Wall Street"? Do you remember how Krugman suggested that OWS would prove a "turning point" in a populist war against American financial institutions? Is there anyone more delusional than this Nobelist?

In a July New York Times op-ed entitled "Delusions of Populism" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/opinion/krugman-delusions-of-populism.html?_r=0), Paul Krugman raged against Republican delusional thinking. Today, in a Times op-ed entitled "Republicans Against Reality" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/opinion/krugman-republicans-against-reality.html?_r=0), Krugman again claims that Republicans are deprived of reason. Krugman writes:

"The sad truth is that the modern G.O.P. is lost in fantasy, unable to participate in actual governing.

. . . .

Then House leaders announced plans to hold a vote cutting spending on food stamps in half — a demand that is likely to sink the already struggling effort to agree with the Senate on a farm bill.

Then they held the pointless vote on Obamacare, apparently just to make themselves feel better. (It’s curious how comforting they find the idea of denying health care to millions of Americans.) And then they went home for recess, even though the end of the fiscal year is looming and hardly any of the legislation needed to run the federal government has passed."

Food stamps? Maybe spending on food stamps cannot be cut, but there can be no "rational" discussion of the matter without first noting where America stands vis-a-vis this program. As observed in a Yahoo! Finance blog post entitled "Food Stamp Issue Derails Farm Bill as Recipients at Record High" (http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/author/siemond-chan/) by Siemond Chan:

"What will happen next with the farm bill, which has been operating under rolling extensions since the the old bill's 2008 expiration, remains to be seen. But its failure to thrive in the face of the food-stamp fight comes as the number of U.S. citizens receiving this benefit, at 47.7 million as of March of this year, exceeds the entire population of Spain, the sixth-most-populous country in the European Union.

Enrollment in SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] has soared by 70% in the past five years; the U.S. shelled out a record $74.6 billion on the program in 2012, more than double what was spent in 2008, when the financial crisis hit in full force toward the end of the year. The U.S. officially exited the Great Recession, which began in 2007, in June of 2009. Since then, the economy has experienced a slowly churning recovery — with plenty of hiccups — marked by an increase in payroll levels, a slow-and-steady housing comeback and a massive pop in equities that's been at least partially fueled by unprecedented monetary stimulus.

But amid the recovery, the U.S. has also seen an increase in poverty levels, which the Census Bureau puts at 15.9% of the total population, or close to 50 million citizens. The Census Bureau puts close to 50 million Americans, or 15.9% of the total population, at or below the poverty level. In 2008, that figure was 13.2% of the population. And, while the unemployment rate has fallen from 10% at its Great Recession peak in 2009 to 7.6% in May, 11.8 million Americans still remain without work; 4.4 million comprise the long-term unemployed."

Yes, the "reality" is that President Obama is presiding over an economic disaster.

Obamacare? As reported by the Voice of America (http://www.voanews.com/content/obamacare-mandate-delay-will-cost-bln-affect-1-million-workers/1713777.html):
"President Barack Obama's decision to delay implementation of part of his health care reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday.

The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration's unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate - a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty."

Or in other words, it's not just the Republicans who are interested in delaying implementation of what Democratic Senator Max Baucus said is heading for a "huge train wreck" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/max-baucus-obamacare_n_3101801.html).

Reality? As John Lennon once stated:

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."

As evidenced by Krugman's declarations concerning OWS, this Nobelist has a healthy imagination.

And we haven't even touched upon Krugman's trillion dollar coin proposal, which even Jon Stewart labeled a "stupid f#%*ing idea" (see: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/jon_stewart_responds_to_krugman_platinum_coin_is_still_a_stupid_fcking_idea/).

But never mind, Paul. Just keep those creative juices flowing!

1 comment:

  1. Krugman is a bozo, unlike me who on September 17, 2011 asked a friend (on the verge of being "fired" for becoming a neo-Nazi), all exited about some Occupy Wall Street rally: "Why the name?" I didn't have a doubt who was behind this "occupy" and confirmation came not only on the site which we visited some two hours into the initial event, but with all the endorsements which followed, including, of course, the American Neo-Nazi (or is it Nazi? - too lazy to check) Party.
    I visited it briefly again a couple of weeks later and watched with disgust a group of "progressive" "intellectuals" standing happily next to some Nazi posters.
    Bozos.

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