Friday, February 6, 2009

Paul Krugman: My Favorite Blogging Economist

Today in his blog at the New York Times Krugman says:

Appeasing the centrists

Atrios is right, though I’d put it a bit differently: centrism is a pose rather than a philosophy. And to support that pose, the centrists are demanding $100 billion in cuts in the economic stimulus plan — not because they have any coherent argument saying that the plan is $100 billion too big, not because they can identify $100 billion of stuff that should not be done, but in order to be able to say that they forced Obama to move to the center.

Which raises the obvious question: shouldn’t Obama have made a much bigger plan, say $1.3 trillion, his opening gambit? If he had, he could have conceded to the centrists by cutting it to $1.2 trillion, and still have had a plan with a good chance of really controlling this slump. Instead he made preemptive concessions, only to find the centrists demanding another pound of flesh as proof of their centrist power.

12 comments:

Randal Graves said...

They're Democrats. Did anyone really think the little guy wouldn't get it in the end? They're simply a bit more dilatory and gracious when placing the shiv in the back.

Extreme lunacy vs. center-right vs. the majority of center-left, albeit generally stupid and poorly informed, Murka.

themom said...

...and John McCain was thinking HIE version of a scaled back stimulus was better??? Egads...the same foxes in the henhouse want to dictate the future of their f**ked up mess. I need to find me an island. (You'd be more than welcome.)

themom said...

that would be - HIS instead of hie, damn fingers.

Utah Savage said...

Randal I don't believe the Dems want to fuck the little guy, but my cynicism is not yet honed so well as yours. Once I get there I will definitely be looking to become an expat.

TheMom, let me know how the island search is going. Cal and I both own our own homes and my is gaining value since it's very close to downtown and is a block from a bus stop, close to cinema, good restaurants, best coffee house in town, and near the University and the best schools in the valley. I will of course need time to find someone with enough money not to need a bank loan to buy it.

Dusty said...

Krugman was on Morning Joe today, suffering the assholes known as Joe and Pat Buchanan.


He made them look retarded, which probably isn't that far a reach. ;)

Utah Savage said...

I woke up at 4 AM yesterday to find Morning Joe blathering away. No one can make me scream at my TV faster than that bastard unless it's that bastard Dick Cheney.

MadMike said...

Morning Joe has the same effect on me Utah. Some of the crap that comes out of his mouth is downright astonishing. The level of his ignorance puts him right up there with nutters like Limbaugh et al. I do, however, agree with Klugman and the dozens of other economists who say we need a lot more money to make the stimulus work. I am confident that Obama knows this and will figure out a way to beat the Republican bandits at their own game.

susan said...

I think you're right that had he been serious about the stimulus package the number proposed would have been much higher.

We are considering expatitude but I'm concerned the US dollars in the pension fund next year might not be worth what they're printed on.

Utah Savage said...

Susan, I too am thinking of expatitude. Let me know where you're thinking of moving.

Mike, good to see you. I hope you're right about Obama, but so far the republicans are savaging him.

Kulkuri said...

At least Obama is fighting back and telling it like it is. He's putting the blame where it belongs, in the laps of the Repugnicans and others are now doing the same. He is being too polite, IMHO he should tell the NeverRight-Wingnuts if they ain't going to help fix their mistakes then get the hell out of the way!! Other Dems are starting to say things like it's all those tax cuts and other failed policies that have put us in the financial mess we are in. It still isn't enough, they are throwing it (failed policies) in their faces but they need to really rub their noses in it just like when a puppy shits on the floor!!

Utah Savage said...

Kulkuri, I agree, but I'm wanting them to pass the bill with 51 votes and let the assholes filibuster. It would be mighty entertaining to watch that spectacle.

MRMacrum said...

Interesting how the center takes it hard from both ends. Neither the Right nor the Left like the center. It tickles me no end. Because more often than not it is where we end up anyway.

I heard an interesting op/ed on the radio by some woman econo-geek with all the letters behind her name that prove her geekness. She talked about the proposals of the Right - basically tax cutting our way to safety. She talked about the Left's desire to spend our way there. And then she made what I thought was an interesting alternative proposal. Do nothing. Nada. Just ride it out. She went on to explain her reasoning and it made some sense at the time.

What she seemed to be emphasizing is not one group has a clue whether their ideas will work or not. No one does. We are in very diferent economic times than we have ever been in before. The "what ifs' are hamstringing us. The fear of failing is crippling our leaders. She contends if we are going to do something, it should be ASAP, or we might as well do nothing.

I think that half the battle of turning us around is not spending to do it, cutting taxes to do it, or sitting on our hands. What has to happen first is completely mental and emotional. Americans need to stop being afraid. I understand there is good reason to be afraid. But we always seem to favor the hysterical side of fear longer than we should. Just look at 9/11 and how long we allowed the Bush Gang to use it for their own purposes. When you aren't afraid, you tend to make smarter decisions.

If I had one complaint about the stimulus package it would be that it is not heavy enough on the capital improvement side. Infrastructure issues. Roads, Electric Grid, and Railroads especially. If we are going to take out a loan, we ought to at least end up with a sharper looking and running place instead of giving it to people who will piss it away on more crap from China, or finagled into some off shore subsidiary bank.