Monday, August 08, 2011

Quote of the Day

"What makes America look unreliable isn’t budget math, it’s politics. And please, let’s not have the usual declarations that both sides are at fault. Our problems are almost entirely one-sided -- specifically, they’re caused by the rise of an extremist right that is prepared to create repeated crises rather than give an inch on its demands."

-- Paul Krugman in yesterday's Times


Steven D Skelton said...

Our government is running a budget deficit of 33%. Our government owes 700% of its annual tax reciepts.

But the problem is 30-40 Members of the house and a handful of senators that want to cut spending? That's why we got downgraded?

Krugman is delusional. There are some people in the world that are just too damn smart for their own good.

Chez said...

Steven, I generally respect your opinion, but you're the one who's delusional on this. Sorry, man. You of all people should know that it goes much, much deeper than the current GOP freshmen; it's the outsized amount of control they and their very small constituency are inexplicably able to exert.

There are a whole lot of subjects on which I'll give credence to dissenting opinions; this isn't one of them. If you can't see who's largely to blame for the gridlock, downgrade and the very threat to our economy as well as the globe's, you need to see your doctor immediately.

Incidentally, this write-up in the Washington Post is a pretty good explainer of just how the GOP became the dangerous monstrosity it is at the moment.

paleotectonics said...

Apropo of nothing, that's...a bit odd. Steve Sack is a serious wingnut, hired for balance at a local (MN) "liberal" (not by any real definition of the word)newspaper (and also syndicated) - that cartoon is way out of his wheelhouse.

kanye said...

Paul Krugman is a nitwit.

He's also every bit as dangerous the Tea Party; probably more so.

Chez said...

There are a lot of things you can rightfully call Krugman, Kanye -- a nitwit isn't one of them.

Mart said...

Funny how they hate on the Nobel Prize Winner in Economics who is right almost all of the time; but still love their nitwit Cramer's and Kudlow's and their cable ilk who are wrong almost all the time. They are part of the taxes are bad messaging machine that has this country in real trouble.

How many people know that the percentage of federal tax revenues collected are at their lowest since the Korean War?

kanye said...

Is that what you think of me, Mart? I’m a “they”? Oh God. Listen, I don’t mind if people think ill of me, but not quite that ill. Let me see if I can’t lay this out a little better for you.

Over the past three decades, four or five major, long-term studies have been performed as to the analytical/predictive efficacy of the field of Economics, and they all reached the same conclusion: The field of Economics enjoys an accuracy rate of 50%. That’s irrespective of ideology or School or individual. Half-the-time, economists get it right; half-the-time, they get it wrong. When they get it right, they apply their particular theories and calculations to explain why; when they get it wrong, they apply their particular theories and calculations, the very same theories and calculations that led them to the wrong conclusions in the first place, to explain why they got it wrong. It’s circular reasoning--self-affirming logic at it’s most absurd.

Economics is, at best, a soft science in which individuals attempt to collate known historical data with what they perceive to be the norms of human behavior in an effort to explain the past behaviors, and predict the future behaviors, of relevant economies; at worst, it’s a pseudoscience in which rigidly ideological individuals take a disparate group of facts and string those facts together in such a way as to comport with their own particular ideologies. There’s a word for that: Religion.

Paul Krugman is man who’s been gifted with innumerable talents and a towering intellect. I’ll acknowledge that, unhesitatingly. But he’s also a man who’s chosen to ply his talents and intellect in service to a discipline that’s been proven to be absolutely unreliable in it’s pronouncements.

There is no shortage of very smart people who undertake the serious study of Economics. Most of them end up abandoning their studies. Not because they aren’t smart enough, or because they just can’t hack it, but because they inevitably come to the realization that the “science” they are studying, isn’t.

Paul Krugman never came to that realization. The data is apparent, and yet he seems unable to process it. Instead, he keeps plowing forward, tilting at his chosen windmill.

That’s why I think that he’s a nitwit: His obliviousness to the simple fact that the discipline to which he has devoted his life’s efforts produces measurable results that can be equaled by that of a 12 year-old boy, flipping a quarter.

And when you step back and tally up the entirety of his analysis and predictions, over time, what you get is an economist who gets it right half-the-time, and who gets it wrong half-the-time. He’s no better/worse than the rest of his field.

Dig into the works of Jane D'Arista. Her writings on money, finance and their concomitant architectures is the best that I've ever read.