Photo credit: http://seeker401.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/ron-paul-attacks-cap-and-trade-bill/
Ron Paul, former champion sprinter and flight surgeon turned congressman, well known racist, gold standard enthusiast, and conspiracy thoerist, issues a weekly newsletter, under the sponsorship of his Congressional Office. Let's have a look at a recent offering
Texas Straight Talk
A weekly column
Keynesianism Delivers a Decade of Zero
This past week we celebrated the end of what most people agree was a decade best forgotten. New York Times columnist and leading Keynesian economist Paul Krugman called it the Big Zero in a recent column. He wrote that “there was a whole lot of nothing going on in measures of economic progress or success” which is true. However, Krugman continues to misleadingly blame the free market and supposed lack of regulation for the economic chaos.
Paul couldn't make it through the first paragraph without veering into a land that exists only in his imagination. We'll delve into his Krugman mistakes more deeply as we go along. As for "supposed lack of regulation," is the good Dr. suggesting that meaningul regulation still exists? Thanks to Phil Graham, Glass-Steagall was abolished, and any regulation of sophisticated financial derivatives was explicitely prohibited.
Since Paul doesn't bother to cite references - somebody might follow them and see how horribly dishonest he is - I'll do it for him. Here is Krugman's Big Zero Column.
It was encouraging that he admitted that blowing economic bubbles is a mistake, especially considering he himself advocated creating a housing bubble as a way to alleviate the hangover from the dotcom bust.
OK, hold it right there, Congressman. imagination is one thing, but, as we are often reminded, one cannot be permitted to generate his own facts. That is simply lying. Here is an expose of Paul's lie about Krugman, via our old friend Mish. As you can see in the expose link, Krugman did nothing of the sort.
But we can no longer afford to give prominent economists like Krugman a pass when they completely ignore the burden of taxation, monetary policy, and excessive regulation.
Here Paul treats us to loaded language: "The burden of taxation" after 50 years of reducing the tax rates on the rich; "excessive regulation" at time when regulations were decreased to 1929 levels. He also inserts another lie "ignore . . . monetary policy." Feel free to disagree with Krugman on monetary policy, if you think siding with a proven liar over a Nobel Laureate in economics makes any sort of sense. But to say Krugman ignored it is idiotic, as a cursory search reveals a combined 110 references between his Blog and Op Ed columns. In fact, in the NY Times Magazine article quoted below, Krugman says this about monetary policy:
So by late 2008, with interest rates basically at what macroeconomists call the “zero lower bound” even as the recession continued to deepen, conventional monetary policy had lost all traction.
After all, Krugman is still scratching his head as to why “no” economists saw the housing bust coming. How in the world did they miss it? Actually many economists saw it coming a mile away, understood it perfectly, and explained it many times. Policy makers would have been wise to heed the warnings of the Austrian economists, and must start listening to their teachings if they want solid progress in the future. If not, the necessary correction is going to take a very long time.
Far from scratching his head, Krugman offers a detailed analysis of what went wrong. In a nutshell, neoclassical Chicago school economists and New Keynesians alike drank Alan Greenspan's pseudo-rational, efficient-market Koolaid. And he offers some suggestions for improvement, which involve re-embracing Keynes - no surprise to people who actually read Krugman and live in the real world. Here is Krugman's NY Times magazine article. And, unlike Paul, Krugman actually names somebody who got it right: Robert Shiller. And if he's an Austrian, then I'm an ostrich.
The Austrian free-market economists use common sense principles.
Which is no guarantee of of correctness, or even raionality. Flat earth, anyone?
You cannot spend your way out of a recession.
A naked assertion, and naked New Deal Denialism.
You cannot regulate the economy into oblivion and expect it to function.
True, but irrelevant, as there is no such set of circumstances.
You cannot tax people and businesses to the point of near slavery
Reapeat after me: Lowest taxes in 80 years.
and expect them to keep producing. You cannot create an abundance of money out of thin air without making all that paper worthless. The government cannot make up for rising unemployment by just hiring all the out of work people to be bureaucrats or send them unemployment checks forever.
A litany of onerous policies which nobody has ever proposed.
You cannot live beyond your means indefinitely. The economy must actually produce something others are willing to buy. Government growth is the opposite of all these things.
Another naked assertion, and patently false. Pass the Koolaid
Bureaucrats are loathe to face these unpleasant, but obvious realities. It is much more appealing to wave their magic wand of regulation and public spending and divert blame elsewhere. It is time to be honest about our problems.
This, in the middle of a lie-filled diatribe. Do Libertarian have any sense of irony?
The tragic reality is that this fatally flawed, but widely accepted, economic school of thought called Keynesianism has made our country more socialist than capitalist.
Clearly, Paul (or whoever wrote this thing for him) has either never read either Krugman or Keynes, or simply does not care about the facts. Nor does he have even the most basic understanding of what either Keyenesianism or socialism is. Keynes was never about socialism. He was intent on making necessary corrections so that capitalism can work. Now, with economic disparity the greatest it's been since 1928, and finance executives raking in multi-million dollar bonuses, I don't thing we can seriously talk about socialism in our country.
While the private sector in the last ten years has experienced a roller coaster of booms and busts and ended up, nominally, about where we started in 2000, government has been steadily growing, because Keynesians told politicians they could get away with a tax, spend and inflate policy. They even encouraged it! But we cannot survive much longer if government is our only growth industry.
This is a grotesque misrepresentation of both Keynes and the last 10 years. Anyone who wants us to beieve that Bush administration economic policies were Keynesian, rather than gross and stupid economic irresponsibility is telling one more nose-growing lie.
As for a lack of regulation, the last decade saw the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the largest piece of financial regulatory legislation in years.
Correction: the ONLY piece of financial regulatory legislation in years.
This act failed to prevent abuses like those perpetrated by Bernie Madoff,
Action to make corporations more truthful and accountable, in the wake of Enron, Wolrdcom, etc. failed to stop an audacious scam artist with a highly attractive pyramid scheme. Therefore it must be damned. That is nothing short of idiotic.
and it is widely acknowledged that the new regulations contributed heavily not only to the lack of real growth, but also to many businesses going overseas.
I'm pretty sure that at this point he is just making shit up.
Americans have been working hard, and Krugman rightly points out that they are getting nowhere. Government is expanding steadily and keeping us at less than zero growth when inflation is factored in.It must be the government. Why? I dunno. Mr. Paul didn't tell us that part.
Krugman seems pretty disappointed with zero, but if we continue to listen to Keynesians in the next decade instead of those who tell us the truth, zero will start to look pretty good.Well, first off, nobody has listened to the Keynsians in the last 30 years. Second, Dr. Paul is one of those who wants to define his own truth - you know: a fruitcake. His policies: abolishing regulations, balancing the budget, and returning to the gold standard will guarantee the economy stays below zero for a long time - possibly forever.
The end result of destroying the currency is the wiping out of the middle class.
Uh - the currency is in no danger.
Preventing that from happening should be our top economic priority.
At last something we can agree on. Too bad what Paul wants will assure that is happens.
Posted by Ron Paul (01-04-2010, 01:36 PM) filed under Monetary Policy
So, here we have what we always get from Libertarians, and conservatives of every stripe. Paul doesn't waste much time with cherry-picked data or quotes out of context. Hell he doesn't bother himself with quotes at all. Instead, he misrepresents and makes up lies.
Why do people lie? The generalized answer, applicable to any and all lying examples, is that the truth doesn't serve their purposes very well. With Libertarians and neo-cons, when ideology comes up against reality, it's always reality that is wrong.
We are SO screwed.