The most insulting curse known to man: liberal economist
George H.W. Bush is credited with the term “voodoo economics.”
Bush the Elder, of course, missed the reality boat, but he did go on to serve under the man whose economic principles he once reviled. But as it turned out, the 80’s worked out pretty well, setting the stage for economically even-better 90’s (and don’t forget the in-the-middle collapse of the Soviet Union, the poster nation for central economic planning).
Now, decades later, we have doo doo economics, and its prominent practitioner, Brad DeLong.
…the belief that macroeconomic stability requires only minimal government intervention is simply wrong. In the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has executed the Friedmanite playbook flawlessly in the current downturn, and it has not been enough to preserve or rapidly restore full employment.
Flawless? An interesting assessment. DeLong is among those who have called for more government, more borrowing, more debt, that is, more Obamanomics. DeLong can be likened to the wizened sage Joe Biden: we have to keep borrowing so we don’t go broke.
…the Friedmans’ hopes [Milton and Rose, not Tom and Ann] have been disappointed. The end of American preeminence in education, the collapse of private-sector unions, the emergence of a winner-take-all information-age economy, and the return of Gilded Age-style high finance have produced an extraordinarily unequal pre-tax distribution of income, which will burden the next generation and make a mockery of equality of opportunity.
How is it that a liberal economist can look at the same picture the rest of the world sees and draw the completely wrong conclusion? Perhaps because there is such thing as an incorrect worldview.
DeLong has made a huge intellectual investment in the school of liberal—read government interference—economics but even by his examples, the education industry—effectively a state-run monopoly—has been producing diminishing returns for a DeLong time; private sector unions are failing to grasp it’s a competitive domestic and global economy, and; winner-takes-all is more driven and enabled by crony capitalism, not real capitalism which favors competition and not barriers to entry.
And when the government subsidizes health care, picks winners and losers, extends unemployment, “helps” with college costs, “invests” in federal debt, et al, is it any wonder we get more costly health care, nationalized industry, extended unemployment, ever increasing college costs, and nearly unfathomable debt?
Why is it that the thing DeLong attributes as causation—the lack of government interference—is instead the source of the gruesome distortions we are now suffering through?
Because he’s a liberal economist.
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