When a delicate snowflake is suddenly faced with a perceived reality so devastating as to be an existential crisis, the mind’s reaction to dealing with this cognitive dissonance can be disabling for some. Certainly for The New York Times’ flip-flopping, hate-mongering, fact-twisting, Keynesian poster-boy Paul Krugman it appears coping with “no” is not going well and his tirade last night in Twitter has us gravely concerned for his mental stability, which is ironic given how he began yesterday…
Trump may be corrupt, but he’s also mentally unstable. Thanks, Comey https://t.co/gs451Ixlvc
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 13, 2017
But that was followed quickly by a six-tweet-rant nothing short of what we would expect from a dejected five-year-old who just got denied another scoop of ice cream…
Why won’t Team Trump even *pretend* to stand up to Putin? The obsequiousness had people wondering even before the dossier pic.twitter.com/b10uhQfrTX
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 13, 2017
So much to worry about right now; so let me add to the pile. I suspect that we’ll soon see massive rage on the part of Trump supporters 1/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 13, 2017
In a time of great change; upheaval of norms and establishment status quo dissolution, there is one steadfast member of the elite that the world can rely on to never change – no matter how the facts around him do. Nobel-prize-winner Paul Krugman has begun the year as he ended the last, with a New York Times’ op-ed exclaiming that “America has become a ‘Stan’.”
In 2015 the city of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, was graced with a new public monument: a giant gold-plated sculpture portraying the country’s president on horseback. This may strike you as a bit excessive. But cults of personality are actually the norm in the “stans,” the Central Asian countries that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union, all of which are ruled by strongmen who surround themselves with tiny cliques of wealthy crony capitalists.
Americans used to find the antics of these regimes, with their tinpot dictators, funny. But who’s laughing now?
… and to propose this …
… you have to be a fucking idiot, an elite puppet or both.
* * *
In our initial take on the WaPo report of a “secret” CIA assessment, according to which Russia, without a shred of evidence, helped Trump win the election (it remains unclear just how Putin “hacked” several hundred thousands Rust Belt workers into believing Hillary Clinton would offshore their jobs), we summarized in five point how this was nothing short of a “soft coup” attempt by leaders of the US Intel community and Obama administration to influence the Electoral College vote. To wit:
Just a few days after his latest tweetstorm attacking Donald Trump, the NYT house economist was once again unleashed on Twitter lashing out, only this time he took aim not only at president-elect Donald Trump but also his campaign, contradicting Ray Dalio’s optimistic assessment of America under a Trump administration, instead predicting that Trump would turn the US into an “all-out kleptocracy, along the lines of what happened in Russia or Ukraine.”
The Keynesian expert took aim at Trump’s still to be finalized public and private infrastructure plan, and suggested that instead of boosting public spending it would “be largely about privatizing public assets.” His allegation is that instead of infrastructure investments, the upcoming spending spree would convert public assets into private projects: “His transition team is basically all lobbyists and his infrastructure plan, such as it is, sounds as if it’s going to be largely about privatizing public assets” Krugman tweeted.
Back in December 2014, when we first learned that Japan was willing to risk hundreds of billions in Japanese pensions to boost and prop up the domestic stock market – the only true “”arrow of Abenomics – by shifting cash out of bonds and into stocks in the country’s gargantuan (and world’s biggest) $1.4 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, or GPIF, we wrote that “The GPIF Has A Warning For Japan’s Citizens: Abenomics Better Work, Or Your Pensions Are Toast.”
As the WSJ wrote then, “Japan’s $1.1 trillion government pension fund is betting that a long-term recovery and rising corporate profits will push Tokyo stock prices higher, helping the fund increase returns for the nation’s retirees. Mr. Abe has pushed for the fund to become a more aggressive and sophisticated investor. The fund decided in October to shift its portfolio to seek higher returns, slashing its target allocation to domestic bonds almost in half while nearly doubling that of domestic and foreign equities.”
Despair, American Style
A couple of weeks ago President Obama mocked Republicans who are “down on America,” and reinforced his message by doing a pretty good Grumpy Cat impression. He had a point: With job growth at rates not seen since the 1990s, with the percentage of Americans covered by health insurance hitting record highs, the doom-and-gloom predictions of his political enemies look ever more at odds with reality.
Yet there is a darkness spreading over part of our society. And we don’t really understand why.
You can’t make this stuff up!
– Paul Krugman “What Ails The World Right Now Is That Governments Aren’t Deep Enough In Debt” (ZeroHedge, Aug 21, 2015):
This was written by a Nobel prize winning economist without a trace or sarcasm, irony or humor. It is excerpted, and presented without commentary.
From the NYT:
Debt Is Good
… the point simply that public debt isn’t as bad as legend has it? Or can government debt actually be a good thing?
Believe it or not, many economists argue that the economy needs a sufficient amount of public debt out there to function well. And how much is sufficient? Maybe more than we currently have. That is, there’s a reasonable argument to be made that part of what ails the world economy right now is that governments aren’t deep enough in debt.
As a side note:
If you take advice from Krugman, then you are either a bloody idiot, …
… or an elite puppet (or both).
– Did Greece Just Launch Capital Controls: “Mandatory Cash Transfer” Decreed Due To “Extremely Urgent Need” (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2015):
We warned last week that capital controls were inevitable and it apears the first steps have been taken (very quietly):
- GREECE ISSUES DECREE: LOCAL GOVTS OBLIGED TO TRANSFER DEPOSIT RESERVES AT CENTRAL BANK
So, following the pension fund raid, the Greek government is now centralizing all Greek cash citing an “extremely urgent and unforeseen need.”.
As Bloomberg reports:
You can’t make this stuff up!!!
– Greece Is About To Be ‘Fixed’ For Good (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2015):
What could possibly go wrong?
— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) April 17, 2015
Just wait until he tells the Greek PM that “debt doesn’t matter.”
“After two years of economic torture and financial destruction, Abenomics has finally claimed the Keynesian prize: real wages crash 4.3%, the most in the 21st century, and Japan’s legendary savings rate, which peaked at 23% in 1975, just turned negative for the first time ever. Game over Japan.”
– Game Over Japan: Real Wages Crash Most In 21st Century, Savings Rate Turns Negative (Zerohedge, Dec 26, 2014):
When about a month ago it was revealed that Japan’s shadow economic advisor is none other than Paul Krugman, we said it was only a matter of time before the Japanese economy implodes. Terminally. We didn’t have long to wait and last night the barrage of Japanese economic data pretty much assured Japan’s transition into failed Keynesian state status.
From the article:
“Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly…. Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken aggressive action, consistently lowering interest rates such that today they hover near zero. They have also pumped trillions of dollars’ worth of new money into the financial system. Yet such policies have only fed a damaging cycle of booms and busts, warping incentives and distorting asset prices, and now economic growth is stagnating while inequality gets worse. It’s well past time, then, for U.S. policymakers — as well as their counterparts in other developed countries — to consider a version of Friedman’s helicopter drops. In the short term, such cash transfers could jump-start the economy… The transfers wouldn’t cause damaging inflation, and few doubt that they would work. The only real question is why no government has tried them”…
– It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That “Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly” (ZeroHedge, Aug 26, 2014):
… A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman’s famous “helicopter drop” of money
– Ben Bernanke, Deflation: Making Sure “It” Doesn’t Happen Here, November 21, 2002
A year ago, when it became abundantly clear that all of the Fed’s attempts to boost the economy have failed, leading instead to a record divergence between the “1%” who were benefiting from the Fed’s aritficial inflation of financial assets, and everyone else (a topic that would become one of the most discussed issues of 2014) and with no help coming from a hopelessly broken Congress (who can forget the infamous plea by a desperate Wall Street lobby-funding recipient “Get to work Mr. Chariman”), we wrote that “Bernanke’s Helicopter Is Warming Up.”
– Krugman Can’t Understand How Someone Could Be So Stupid As To Believe What He Used To Believe ( The Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, Jan 17, 2014):
Over at CafeHayek, Russ Roberts is mystified at a recent Paul Krugman blog post. Concerning the debate over whether the US federal government should extend unemployment benefits, Krugman wrote on January 12:
There’s a sort of standard view on this issue, based on more or less Keynesian models. According to this view, enhanced UI actually creates jobs when the economy is depressed. Why? Because the economy suffers from an inadequate overall level of demand, and unemployment benefits put money in the hands of people likely to spend it, increasing demand.
– Ron “Austrian” Paul Vs. Paul “Keynesian” Krugman – You Decide (ZeroHedge, Dec 1, 2013):
The concept of the business cycle and its un-natural intervention-inspired boom-bust process is at the core of the following three minutes of dueling quotes from two of the most infamous public proponents of change (Ron Paul) and the status quo (Paul Krugman).
- “Cut interest rates a couple of percentage points, provide plenty of liquidity, and call me in the morning.” – Krugman
- “Printing money is not an answer… Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom… cannot last forever.” – Paul
You decide who “was” right, and who “will be” right again…
(h/t Jim Quinn’s Burning Platform)
Of course, we’ve seen them head-to-head before…
– Krugman’s Adventures in Fairyland (The Ludwig von Mises Institute, Nov 23, 2013):
After studying and teaching Keynesian economics for 30 years, I conclude that the “sophisticated” Keynesians really do believe in magic and fairy dust. Lots of fairy dust. It may seem odd that this Austrian economist refers to fairies, but I got the term from Paul Krugman.
According to Krugman, too many people place false hopes in what he calls the “Confidence Fairy,” a creature created as a retort to economist Robert Higgs’s concept of “regime uncertainty.” Higgs coined that expression in a 1997 paper on the Great Depression in which he claimed that uncertainty caused by the policies of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was a major factor in the Great Depression being so very, very long.
Nonsense, writes Krugman. Investors are not waiting for governments to “get their financial houses in order” and protect private property. Instead, he claims, investors are waiting for governments to spend in order to create enough “aggregate demand” in the economy to bring about new investments and, one hopes, full employment.
– Paul Krugman the Marxist (Ludwig von Mises Insitute, June 24, 2013):
Someone once wrote that criticizing economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is the internet’s favorite pastime. I, too, have engaged in the sport – with no success of changing what Robert Higgs calls the “vulgar Keynesianism” that dirties the Grey Lady’s editorial page. To the betterment of my pride, nobody else has had much luck in the arena of ideas either. Krugman continues to carry the torch of excuses for the Democratic Party while lampooning the bigoted, racist, old, white, and rich GOP.All along, the Princeton prof has stayed true to the cause of aggressive government action to forestall the downtrodden economy. Large fiscal expenditures, aggressive monetary stimulus, increased legal privileges for organized labor, and boosting the degree of state pillaging – Krugman is the caricature of a tyrannical apologizer who will defend the cause of rampant statism at any cost. He has been accused of being a communist, socialist, a Democratic shill, and every other leftist insult that might exist. Much of this is done in a tongue-and-cheek style. Still, the underlying charge of Krugman being a vehement statist willing to justify any and all government action remains accurate. Basically, there is little activity Uncle Sam could do that he wouldn’t approve of.
But now, it appears Krugman has gone overboard with his progressive moaning. In a recent column, he laments, once again, over the fact that some people make more money than others. The wealth inequality canard – which is favored by every leftist under the sun – has become a tiresome ploy at this point. I think Krugman knows this, so he proceeds to justify his indignation by bringing some new evidence into the mix. Now things start getting interesting.
– Ron Paul: It’s Going to Get Much, Much Worse (Peak Prosperity, June 10,2013):
Dr. Ron Paul has long been a leading voice for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, sound money, civil liberty, and non-interventionist foreign policies.
His last term in the U.S. House of Representatives ended earlier this year, so we caught up with the former Congressman to get his latest perspective on how successfully our national leadership is dealing with America’s economic challenges.
In Dr. Paul’s assessment, Washington is too committed to deficit spending and the debt-based economy – both operationally and philosophically – to expect it to embrace a more fiscally-responsible model without a forcing crisis (which he believes is coming):
From the article:
“Since Mr. Krugman tells us all this spending and debt issuance/guarantees are not only good and necessary but in the long run, painless, why are we bothering with personal income taxes?
The US government will collect approximately $2.0bn this year in Personal Income and Payroll taxes. But why? Why are we even bothering with this when today’s leading economists and politicians are telling us that debts/deficits don’t matter and running up astronomical debts is a long-term painless process? It’s practically patriotic. So why shouldn’t we just add our tax burden to the list of items the Fed should be monetizing? Seriously. Why not relieve the burden on every tax paying citizen in the United States (about 53% of us according to Mitt Romney)? You want an economic recovery? Reduce my taxes to zero and see how fast I go out and start spending some of that extra income.”
– Thought Experiment: Why Do We Bother Paying Personal Taxes? (ZeroHedge, June 3, 2013):
Submitted by Lucas Jackson
Thought Experiment: Why Do We Bother Paying Personal Taxes?
“Stupidity combined with arrogance and a huge ego will get you a long way.”
– Chris Lowe
I will admit right up front, I am not a fan of the views of Paul Krugman. If Paul Krugman was to be given his way – and by and large he is being given his way – my children and grandchildren will be burdened in the future with paying back untold amounts of public debt just so his life and the lives of countless other Boomers can remain comfortable and embarrassment free today.
This is the essence of his grand plan for a US recovery – MOAR and MOAR debt.
Wow. Genius. Why I didn’t I think of that? Just keep borrowing and printing, borrowing and printing. Got it. Now that I understand it, do I get a PhD?
Who’s going to pay the money back? How will it effect future generations? How will it effect the markets? What will this do to civil society?
– Four Signs That We’re Back in Dangerous Bubble Territory (Peak Prosperity, May 21, 2013):
Stocks, bonds – everything – at risk…
– Paul Krugman Goes on the Attack: Calls Bitcoin “Antisocial (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 15, 2013):
Anyone on the fence with regard to Bitcoin should consider coming to the side of supporting it after reading Paul Krugman’s ridiculous and riddled with errors hit-piece in the New York Times this weekend. The key tipoff as to where he is coming from in this absurd editorial is in the title itself in which he calls Bitcoin an “antisocial network.” Anti-social is one of the most favored collectivist/fascist terms and concepts of all time. A term meant to demonize those in a particular society that think for themselves rather than conform to whatever the oligarchs or dictators in charge of the state deem appropriate or “social.” Jews would have been seen as “antisocial” in Nazi Germany, just as anyone with glasses would have been deemed “antisocial” in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. This is a very dangerous term and one that is intended to guilt people into the acceptance of a stale, authoritarian and conformist society.
Now let’s get to some of the more ridiculous passages from his editorial. From the New York Times:
The economic significance of this roller coaster was basically nil. But the furor over bitcoin was a useful lesson in the ways people misunderstand money — and in particular how they are misled by the desire to divorce the value of money from the society it serves.
The similarity to goldbug rhetoric isn’t a coincidence, since goldbugs and bitcoin enthusiasts — bitbugs? — tend to share both libertarian politics and the belief that governments are vastly abusing their power to print money. At the same time, it’s very peculiar, since bitcoins are in a sense the ultimate fiat currency, with a value conjured out of thin air. Gold’s value comes in part because it has nonmonetary uses, such as filling teeth and making jewelry; paper currencies have value because they’re backed by the power of the state, which defines them as legal tender and accepts them as payment for taxes. Bitcoins, however, derive their value, if any, purely from self-fulfilling prophecy, the belief that other people will accept them as payment.
This paragraph is so riddled with blatant errors it is almost difficult to know where to start.
– Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt: 10 Hilarious Examples Of How Clueless Our Leaders Are About The Economy (Economic Collapse, March 13, 2013):
They didn’t see it coming last time either. Back in 2007, President Bush, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and just about every prominent voice in the financial world were all predicting that we would experience tremendous economic prosperity well into the future. In fact, as late as January 2008 Bernanke boldly declared that “the Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.” At the time, only the “doom and gloomers” were warning that everything was about to fall apart. And of course we all know what happened. But just a few short years later, history seems to be repeating itself. Barack Obama, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and almost every prominent voice in the financial world are all promising that the U.S. “economic recovery” is going to continue even though Europe is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit. But the economic fundamentals tell a different story. Our national debt is more than $6,000,000,000,000 larger than it was back in 2008, the number of Americans on food stamps just hit another brand new all-time record, and the bankers up on Wall Street are selling gigantic mountains of the exact same kind of toxic derivatives that caused so much trouble the last time around. But all of our “leaders” swear that everything is going to be okay. You can believe them if you want, but denial is not just a river in Egypt, and another crash is inevitably coming.
– Currency Wars Are Trade Wars (Azizonomics, Feb 16, 2013):
First of all, what people think they know about past currency wars isn’t actually true. Everyone uses some combination phrase like “protectionism and competitive devaluation” to describe the supposed vicious circle of the 1930s, but as Barry Eichengreen has pointed out many times, these really don’t go together. If country A and country B engage in a tit-for-tat of tariffs, the end result is restricted trade; if they each try to push their currency down, the end result is at worst to leave everyone back where they started.
And in reality the stuff that’s now being called “currency wars” is almost surely a net plus for the world economy. In the 1930s this was because countries threw off their golden fetters — they left the gold standard and this freed them to pursue expansionary monetary policies. Today that’s not the issue; but what Japan, the US, and the UK are doing is in fact trying to pursue expansionary monetary policy, with currency depreciation as a byproduct.
There is a serious intellectual error here, typical of much of the recent discussion of this issue. A currency war is by definition a low-level form of a trade war because currencies are internationally traded commodities. The intent (and there is much circumstantial evidence to suggest that Japan at least is acting with mercantilist intent, but that is another story for another day) is not relevant — currency depreciation is currency depreciation and still has the same effects on creditors and trade partners, whatever the claimed intent.
You can’t make this stuff up!
– Paul Krugman: “We Should Kick The Can Down The Road. It’s The Responsible Thing To Do” (ZeroHedge, Feb 9, 2013):
The below article, recreated in its grotesque entirety, is a real, serious Op-Ed written by a supposedly real, non page-view trolling, Nobel-prize winning economist, in a serious paper, the New York Times. It can be classified with one word: jaw-dropping.We can only hope that some time in the next five years, when the global economy is in ashes following the implosion of the final central bank bubble, that the US department of injustice will prosecute authors of such drivel (and all those sell-side analysts who have had Buy recommendations in the 2009-2013 period) with the same ferocity it has demonstrated toward those US-downgrading rating agencies, which are now supposed to be solely accountable for the Second Great Depression and the $30 trillion or so in misallocated capital in the past five years.
Kick That Can
By Paul Krugman
John Boehner, the speaker of the House, claims to be exasperated. “At some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’s time to act.”