Paul Krugman’s anti-austerity, pro-Keynesian views sounds like a broken record, even to the left-wing publications that agree with him.
Mike Pesca, who has a daily podcast for Salon called “The Gist,” said that the Nobel Prize-winning economist’s opinion columns for The New York Times are getting tiresome because he mostly talks about the same three things. Pesca noted, “He says austerity is bad, inflation fears are overblown and Keynes was right. I get it. I agree.”
The Salon podcaster and The Huffington Post both recently criticized Krugman for talking about the same three issues over and over, but both outlets credited the economist for being correct on all three in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Even though Pesca had grown tired of of Krugman’s repetition, he fully endorsed Krugman’s liberal economic views. He compared Krugman’s rallying against austerity, and for inflation and Keynesian principles, to a geographer in 1491 Genoa constantly having to defend his round earth theory from attacks by flat earthers.
Alexander Kaufman, Business editor for The Huffington Post, agreed with Pesca. He said, “Paul Krugman is like a favorite pair of jeans. The Nobel Prize-winning economist’s commentary in The New York Times always seem to fit just right, but they’re a bit worn.”
While it is good to know that the left is just as sick of Krugman’s refrains as his opposition, both those outlets defended his views as correct, in spite of evidence against him.
Countries like France and Italy, according to an analysis by Stratford Global Intelligence, and Ukraine,according to a new book by Anders Åslund, a Swedish economist and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, have followed the Krugman plan against austerity. This has not helped their economies, it has only increased their problems while delaying the much worse hardship for later. Whereas, according to articles in Forbes and CNBC, countries like Estonia and Latvia implemented austerity programs and are now two of the fastest growing and most successful economies in Europe.
Krugman supports steady, consistent inflation, and claims deflation is a greater concern. But, as Bob McTeer, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas explained to Forbes, inflation is not really a good thing. It punishes savers while rewarding debtors and reduces the purchasing power of every dollar you own. Inflation does not create wealth, it only tricks people into believing they have more money.
What Keynesians ignore or fail to recognize is that the economy is not easy to manage. Government cannot just flip a switch on or off to jump start or slow an economy, nor should it try. Keynesians argue that through government manipulation, a country can maintain low inflation and full employment. But according to the Mises Institute, this idea was discredited during a period of stagflation, inflation mixed with unemployment, in the 1970s.
Salon and The Huffington Post got it half right when they noted that Krugman sounds like a broken record. But only half.