Paul Krugman

Euroratbags given a kicking by economists

Nobel Laureate Economist and prominent left wing commentator Paul Krugman has a great article telling the Euroratbags they were actually wrong about whether the Euro would work.

Europe is pretty much rooted from too much government, and the deluded Eurocrats thought that they were going to form a currency union without actually having any clue about economics, as Krugman points out.

There?s a bit of a lull in the news from Europe, but the underlying situation is as terrible as ever. Greece is experiencing a slump worse than the Great Depression, and nothing happening now offers hope of recovery. Spain has been hailed as a success story, because its economy is finally growing ? but it still has?22 percent unemployment. And there is an?arc of stagnation?across the continent?s top: Finland is experiencing a depression comparable to that in southern Europe, and Denmark and the Netherlands are also doing very badly.

How did things go so wrong? The answer is that this is what happens when self-indulgent politicians ignore arithmetic and the lessons of history. And no, I?m not talking about leftists in Greece or elsewhere; I?m talking about ultra-respectable men in Berlin, Paris, and Brussels, who have spent a quarter-century trying to run Europe on the basis of fantasy economics.

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Chris Trotter’s politically incoherent rant about Greece

Chris Trotter can usually be relied on to give a sensible opinion on most political matters, though occasionally he loses himself in an orgy of self congratulation when it appears someone can claim ?Capitalism doesn?t Work?.

Chris’ delusions about capitalism and the Greek Crisis have come to a head with a piece where he welcomes the bludging Greek ratbags voting not to pay their debts.

He usually gets the diagnosis right, but doesn’t always get the treatment right.

THE UNFOLDING CRISIS?in Greece has stripped Neoliberalism of its protective disguise and the world is recoiling from its ugliness. In normal circumstances the true purposes of the world?s neoliberal elites are masked by their use of opaque economic jargon. In the case of Greece, however, the social science of economics has been turned against them by some of its most impressive exponents. Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have told the world that what is being done to Greece has nothing to do with economics, and everything to do with politics. A whole country is being driven to the wall in a desperate bid to destroy its left-wing government. Neoliberalism simply cannot allow the Greek Prime Minister?s, Alexis Tsipras?s, powerful lessons in democracy to go unpunished. If his Syriza Party is allowed to defeat austerity in Greece, what is there to prevent Podemos from defeating it in Spain? Or Sinn Fein in Ireland?

Yes Chris, it is all to do with politics, although those from the Austrian or Chicago schools of economics might disagree with well known left-wingers and Keynsians, Stigliz and Krugman. The politics is pretty easy to understand, especially if you take a step back from the ideology of a looney left Greek government who says ?We won?t pay you?.

Germany?s 72-year-old Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, has clearly been unable to cope with his 54-year-old Greek counterpart, Yanis Varoufakis. Everything about the free-wheeling Greek economics professor offends the unyielding German ideologue. Varoufakis has been unsparing in his criticism of Germany?s inability to grasp the necessity for Greek debt relief (which even the IMF now acknowledges). It?s an act of insubordination which Schauble and his colleagues are resolutely determined to punish. So unchallenged has neoliberalism?s ideological hegemony been since the collapse of Soviet-style socialism that it finds itself unable to adequately respond to Varoufakis?s neo-Keynesian populist critiques. Their greatest fear is that, like the little boy in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the Greek Finance Minister will draw the world?s attention to the fact that the neoliberal German Emperor is wearing no clothes.? Read more »

More on the lack of peak oil

Yesterday we explored the lack of peak oil.

I also found an interesting recent article on the?topic at Real Clear Politics.

In a chilling 2010 column, Paul Krugman?declared: ?peak oil has arrived.?

So it?s really not surprising that?the national average for a gallon of gas?has fallen to $2.77 this week ? in 10 states it was under $2.60 ? and analysts predict we?re going to dip below the two-dollar mark soon. U.S. oil is down to $75 a barrel, a drop of more than $30 from the 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Research?estimates?that we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet electricity needs for around 575 years at current fuel demand and to fuel homes heated by natural gas for 857 years or so ? because we have more gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia combined.

With prices returning to ordinary levels and a few centuries? worth of fossil fuels on tap, this is a good time to remind ourselves that nearly every warning the left has peddled about an impending energy crisis over the past 30 to 40 years has turned out to be wrong. And none of them are more wrong than the Malthusian idea that says we?re running out of oil.

Each time there?s a?temporary spike in gas prices, science-centric liberals allow themselves a purely ideological indulgence, claiming ? as Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and countless others have ? that we?re rapidly approaching a point when producers will hit the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum. Peak oil. With emerging demand, fossil fuels will become prohibitive. And unless we have our in solar panels in order, Armageddon is near. ? Read more »

Stopping sprawl isn’t a good idea

Len Brown wants Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city…in order to get us there he wants us all to settle for living in smaller places…while he exempts himself from such things by living on his lifestyle section.

But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that stopping sprawl isn’t such a good idea.

Among university professors, government planners and mainstream pundits there is little doubt that the best city is the densest one. This notion is also supported by a wide number of politically connected developers, who see in the cramming of Americans into ever smaller spaces an opportunity for vast, often taxpayer-subsidized,?profiteering.

More recently density advocates cite a?much-discussed study?of geographic variations in upward mobility as suggesting that living in a spread-out city hurts children?s prospects in life. ?Sprawl may be killing Horatio Alger,??quipped economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Yet the study actually found the highest rates of upward mobility not in dense cities, but in relatively spread-out places like Salt Lake City, small cities of the Great Plains such as Bismarck, N.D.; Yankton, S.D.; and Pecos, Texas ? all showed bottom to top mobility rates more than double New York City. And we shouldn?t forget the success story of Bakersfield, Calif., a city?Columbia University urban planning professor David King?wryly labeled ?a poster child for sprawl.? Rather than an ode to bigness, notes demographer Wendell Cox, the study found that commuting zones (similar to metropolitan areas) with populations under 100,000 ? smaller cities that tend to be sprawled by nature? ? ?have the highest average upward income mobility.? Read more »

Reality bites Pinko Economist on the arse

Paul Krugman is the economic equivalent of a global warming advocate. He doesn?t let reality get in the way of a good theory.

The simple explanation is that the Baltic countries have pursued the opposite policy of the southern Europeans. In 2009, the Baltic governments each carried out strict austerity, with a?fiscal adjustment?of about 9.5 percent of GDP, mainly though expenditure cuts and substantial structural reforms. The southern Europeans, by contrast, delivered substantial fiscal stimulus in 2009. Previously fiscally conservative Cyprus and Slovenia?ran up budget deficits?of 6 percent of GDP?in 2009, but neither benefited from greater growth. Instead, they have been trapped with large budget deficits and are now being overwhelmed by their public debt, admittedly also because of banking crises.

One would think, given the divergent outcomes, that a serious economist would advocate for countries to follow the successful example of northern Europe rather than the failed strategies of the south. Nobel laureate and?New York Times?columnist Paul Krugman doesn’t seem to see it that way. Throughout the crisis, Krugman has attempted to explain away or even mock the Baltic countries’ success even as they have continued to inconveniently disprove his arguments.

Good on the Baltic countries for sorting out their own shit and taking a bit of pain instead of going on the bludge.

Understanding why the left are nasty

? RealClearPolitics

The other night Pam Corkery exposed the nastiness of the left, Martyn Bradbury is another and in general the Labour party has well earned the title of the nastiest party in parliament. The left likes to think they are above the nasty, I even got an email the other day from a Labour MP professing all innocence of the nasty game…at the same time threatening to bring on ?a war against me.

They really are deluded. It is probably because they have been born and raised into the nasty side of politics:

Given how many more Americans define themselves as conservative rather than as liberal, let alone than as left, how does one explain the success of left-wing policies?

One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of. It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits. But an even greater explanation is the saturation of Western society by left-wing hate directed at the right. The left’s demonization, personal vilification, and mockery of its opponents have been the most powerful tools in the left-wing arsenal for a century.

Since Stalin labeled Leon Trotsky — the man who was the father of Russian Bolshevism! — a “fascist,” the Left has labeled its ideological opponents evil. And when you control nearly all of the news media and schools, that labeling works.

The liberal media even succeeded in blaming the right wing for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy even though his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a pro-Soviet, pro-Castro communist. Similarly, just one day after a deranged man, Jared Loughner, attempted to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murdered six people in the process, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that it was right-wing hate that had provoked Loughner: “It’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence. Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. . . .”

Krugman made it all up. But what matters to most of those who speak for the left is not truth. It is destroying the good name of its opponents. That is the modus operandi of the left.

It works.