Why You Shouldn't Read About Paul Krugman While Drinking
[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Editor, Gary Gibson]
Have you ever been at a bar or some other public place and had to overhear some goober talking nonsense that wasn't just offensive but also aggressively stupid? We've all been there: listening to some idiot spout off on something that we know to be patently, embarrassingly wrong. We've all fought the urge to shut such idiots up with sudden, naked violence (because such violence would clearly be wrong). I found myself in just such a situation as I wrote the blog at my neighborhood bar earlier.
I had been talking to Kerry Lutz on his show just a few hours before about how the internet is making people smarter about the inherent problems caused by the state. Then I went to my a local bar to get internet access (because the internet at my new place won't be turned on till tomorrow) and had to overhear some asshat talking to his date about about social justice, the evils of Walmart, how paying less for stuff actually hurts people and how Jon Stewart is so smart. The guy was a bit of an ogre. Well over six feet tall with a deep, stentatorian voice, the kind that is impossible to ignore if you're within a ten-foot radius, even if he's trying to keep it down. With his "Daily Show" views, height and powerful voice, I suspect a future in politics for him.
It's not polite to saunter up to complete strangers and intrude on their conversation to tell them how uninformed their opinions are. But if I were rude enough, I would have pointed out to this guy and his date that all the problems he's so eager to fix with gun-backed regulation and redistribution are in fact caused in the first place by the state's monopoly on the definition and supply of money, which they then inflate thus transferring wealth to the government and the well-connected and away from the middle class and those further down the chain who are forced to borrow more and more to keep their standard of living from falling.
Further, I would have pointed out that the answer to the ills of the downtrodden isn't more political threatening, prodding and pushing. Political violence is the source of the wealth gap in the first place! But that would have been challenging some very basic assumptions about the role of the state as legitimate, armed regulator in human life. It would also have challenged the assumption that the state ought to be the controller of the currency and then require that more dots be connected in a short conversation than most brainwashed slaves are able to deal with.
The early after-work crowd started pouring in and the noise of their conversation started drowing out Mr. Social Justice. I was just calming down when TDV editor-in-chief, Jeff Berwick, sent me a link to the latest article on Paul Krugman. You can read the entire article here, but essentially Krugman tries to explain why the Keynesian paradox of thrift is actually a valid theory and not some lamebrained excuse for inflation and government debt. Did you think that the paradox of thrift nonsense had been put to bed? Au contraire, dear rational reader...
Crucially, Krugman continues, "what's true for an individual is not true for society as a whole". The analogy between a household budget and a national economy is "seductive, because it's very easy for people to relate to", and it makes some sense when we're not in the grip of a macro-economic crisis. "But when we are, then individually rational behaviour adds up to a collectively disastrous result. It ends up that each individual trying to improve his or her position has the collective effect of making everybody worse off. And that's the story of our times."
For those that don't already know, Paul Krugman is an especially obnoxious itch for any mind dedicated to good economic theory. Like every Keynesian, Krugman is a shameless apologist for centralized, violent, political intervention in the economy. If regulation and government debt were men, he'd proposition them in the bathroom of questionable bars. Biggest "stimulus" ever didn't work? Clearly we just need even more "stimulus", says Paul! Economies aren't households. Saving is only good for individuals, not groups of indviduals. And this is the state we're talking about! It can borrow without consequence to misallocate money to things the market doesn't want and magically come out richer later.
The article itself was written by the same sort of asshat whose interventionist, leftist claptrap I had to overhear at the bar. The author seems to have a bit of crush on Krugman, however. Which would be fine if the crush were based on Krugman's woodchuck-like good looks or obviously clever little mind or subtle charm. I mean, I can see it: The beard...the beady, little eyes... the teaching gig at a prestigious university. But instead the author is crushing on him because she thinks he's right.
Sadly, most of the brainwashed tax cows in the world would likely agree. More government, more regulation, more inflation, more government debt! It's a wonder these people manage to dress themselves in the morning.
Luckily, the din of the bar has blocked out most of the nonsense I was hearing earlier, but Jeff Berwick sending me that Krugman article has me even further infuriated. Reading anything from Krugman not only ruins my mood for days, but it also makes me feel like I am in the Soviet Union in 1976, listening to the Finance Czar talk about how great communism is despite the fact that you can barely find a pair of shoes in the country... at least not one for both the left and right foot. Krugman only gets to spout his nonsense because it tickles the ears of leftists who want to believe that there is no social program the government can't afford, no immorality attached to government intervention, theft and redistribution. The right loves the man to the degree that he sees war as economically beneficial. You can't deny that the man is whip smart. But he is popular because he champions Keynesian economic theory and thus confirms a pernicious, pro-state bias.
I suppose it is my fault, however, for having stayed in the USSA this long. I feel like those who stayed in the Soviet Union right up until 1991... except that most Soviets actually knew their system was terrible. They had two governmental "news" outlets, the main Communist newspaper and the main Soviet newspaper, Pravda and Izvestia. Those names meant "the truth" and "the news" respectively... and a popular Russian saying was "v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy" (In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth).
Here the local slaves still think the propaganda and drivel on CNN and other mainstream programming is actually both the truth and real news!
It's a good thing I am still sitting in a bar and can drink the only government-approved intoxicating agent...even if it is the least effective and slowest of the various ways to make the world melt away. No wonder everyone here drinks so much!
It's really looking like the final chapter of Atlas Shrugged with everyone clinging to centrally planned solutions even as those solutions accelerate economic collapse. It's a good thing TDV has created a real world version of Galt's Gulch to which to escape.
If you have had enough of the Jon Stewart worshipers who think Krugman is brilliant, and you are ready to divorce yourself from the US, then click here to see how TDV Passports can help you on your path toward permanent expatriation. If you insist on sticking around like your masochistic editor, be sure to tune into TDV Homegrown for tips and strategies to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Gary Gibson, The Dollar Vigilante’s Editor, cut his teeth writing for liberty and profit as the managing editor of the now-defunct Whiskey & Gunpowder financial newsletter. He now writes for and edits The Dollar Vigilante. In his capacity as managing editor of TDV’s monthly subscription letter TDV Homegrown, Gary insists on playing Russian Roulette by basing himself in the USSA heartland so he can round up information on how the TDV readers stuck in the USSA can best survive and profit in the increasingly turbulent times in the morally and financially bankrupt empire.