Krugman Watch: Austerity Class? Or is it a Starve-The-Beast Class?
Paul Krugman Quotes Ari Berman today:
The central paradox in American politics over the past two years: how, in the midst of a massive unemployment crisis—when it’s painfully obvious that not enough jobs are being created and the public overwhelmingly wants policy-makers to focus on creating them—did the deficit emerge as the most pressing issue in the country? And why, when the global evidence clearly indicates that austerity measures will raise unemployment and hinder, not accelerate, growth, do advocates of austerity retain such distinction today?
An explanation can be found in the prominence of an influential and aggressive austerity class—an allegedly centrist coalition of politicians, wonks and pundits who are considered indisputably wise custodians of US economic policy.
This is part of Paul Krugman’s attempt to position the right as illogical or stupid rather than entirely rational, but nationalistic.
STRATEGY VS TACTICS
So which name applies? You can name the group by it’s tactic or it’s strategy. Strategically, It’s a ‘Starve The Beast’ class, and tactically it’s an ‘Austerity class’. Of course, engaging in framing is certainly helpful for your side of the fence. But what they are doing is not irrational. It’s entirely rational. It’s entirely logical. And to a large degree it’s working.
Nationalism always rules. People are tribal. Even in the aggregate, they’re tribal.
It would be helpful if more economists studied history, philosophy and politics – just so they’d know what they’re measuring. But then those on the left would become conservatives. :) And that would just be to much for them. :)
FREEDOM VS EQUALITY
The same is true of Freedom vs Equality. These things are polar opposites. The left wants equality (redistribution) and the right wants freedom (concentration) and the classical liberal (like me) simply wants to create a set of institutions that facilitate this difference in wants into a game of exchanges that are mutually beneficial.
The west’s uniqueness is it’s subconscious desire for freedom by creating institutional games that create a balance of power where everyone wins – even though as individuals, we sometimes win or lose.
Krugman and the left want to create a new Confucian bureaucracy. They have’t given up on totalitarianism. And they openly despise the philosophy of ‘The Game’.