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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: U.S. conservatives who scorn Europe sure love its austerity (144 comments)

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  •  There has been ample evidence for well over 75 (5+ / 0-)

    years that sugests that deficit-funded government stimulus spending is how to best get out of a recession, but in reverse. That is, major cutbacks in spending have invariably caused recessions.

    For example, when both Jefferson and Jackson each drastically cut spending as president to retire the national debt (the only two times this ever happened in US history, btw), major recessions followed as a direct result of the cutbacks. When spending was restored, the economy picked up.

    In any case, every serious economist knows this. Even Hayek and Friedman knew it. Their beef was with continued government overspending AFTER the economy recovered and was no longer needed, and was actually harmful to the economy, they argued, because it sucked up capital from the private sector which was now able to put it to good use (I'll let actual economists tackle that one). But during serious recessions, they pretty much all agree that stimulis is necessary and helpful (even if they disagree on how much and in what form).

    So Samuelson is simply full of shit, and likely knows it. He's just desperate to be seen as one of the "very serious people", so he keeps plugging this shit to his fellow VSPs, nearly all of whom are just as dishonest and unethical and desperate to be among the beltway annointed.

    That's what hacks like him do when they can't or won't do what it takes to be actually good at something (or are afraid that they'll be punished by the folks upstairs for their inconvenient competence--Krugman, having tenure, could give a rat's ass). They create their own rules and reality and pat each other on the back for being so brilliant at this alternate reality. It would be funny if it weren't so harmful, because lots of low information types buy into their shit.

    Another thing. To be genuinely serious about something, you have to be willing to be honest and thorough about it and base your views on it on the facts, and not on what feels good or what powerful people want you to say or believe. And that takes scruples and courage, and genuinely caring about that thing. All of which these hacks lack: honesty, diligence, courage and ethics.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:31:59 PM PDT

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