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Krugman deserves his own thread for this one

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Batman Jones, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Sorry I missed this earlier - That's well and good, there's definitely probably always going to be private borrowers with a better profile than the UST, but I don't know if we can take much from that.



    I don't think anybody wants to run deficits for 10 years, it's merely a fact of demographic reality. Obviously the biggest factor in that is some health-care based solution (which does not of course entail handing folks a few hundred bucks in vouchers and saying goodbye). As far as how much infrastructure can be built - I don't know if I entirely agree with you. $7 trilllion does sound like quite a bit, obviously, but I think that, as compared to the current plan of basically 0 - a few hundred billion is a good start.

    One of the ironic things about 2009, when the very low-grade stimulus was passed, was that the common retort was that "well there really aren't that many "shovel ready" projects. If only we had started on some of those 2-3 year window projects then .....maybe we wouldn't be gettin sh-tty GDP numbers today (more on that in a bit).

    I don't really get this part at all - the weakness of demand (in both the C and the G) has been the contributor to lack of the private sectors to spend - I completely agree with you in that getting the C to spend is a big deal, but I dont' think default/cutbacks is the way to do it, and tend to think that augmenting the G will help the C.

    I think the ratings agencies (in fact, not think, i KNOW) the ratings agencies don't have any more ability/information to predict the future than you or I - they don't go to UST headquarters and look at secret books that you and I don't get to see.

    They want what they want for the same reason why they were rating subprime tranche pieces of sh-t "AAA" -> because that's what they think people want to hear them say. The drumbeat of austerianism beats loud in their ears when it comes to gov't debt as much as the banks influenced them in the 00's for rating subprime stuff as good.

    The answer to your latter question (ineffecitve G) is probably (possibly?) no - but I haevn't done a historical survey. The reason why the G hasn't been as effective is that you're not taking into account the net. the "extra" G we've poured on in the last 2 years or so hasn't really been that much on a net basis, because state and local gov'ts have been slashing to the bone.


    Again, see above - we are going thorugh something that is either the equivalent, or at least in gross terms, worse than the Great Depression and we haven't even come close to matching the remedies employed. Total government spending (fed + state + local) has actually gone down considerably since 2007 - it's crazy to say "more spending won't work!" when all we've done is to lower it.
     
  2. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    BJ,

    Since you asked nicely I will respond to this thread. I haven't read much beyond the 2nd page of this thread so pardon me for coming late. I had read the Krugman piece earlier though and while he makes some good points regarding Republican intransigence but frankly I am not clear what he is arguing about.

    He is excoriating the Right wing yet seems to blame Democrats and the media for it. I personally haven't seen much reporting that paints Democrats, or more specifically Obama, as being intransigent. The news sources where I have been getting my news from primarily have been pointing out what offers and counter offers have been made. In general I haven't been hearing much that Obama isn't compromising as far as I can tell the MSM seems to be reporting that Obama is willing to compromise more. In fact the biggest criticism I've heard about Obama outside of overtly right wing coverage is that Obama is willing to compromise too much.

    In terms of the argument that "both sides do it" well the fact is that they do. Even you Batman Jones, admit to that, but acknowledging that fact that doesn't diminish that one side is doing it more than the other. The argument that you have put forward and Krugman is doing the same, is one of absolutism of rhetoric where you either have to accept completely that only one side does it and the other does not. Well that's not true. One side does it more than the other, certainly yes and they deserve to be called out for it but that doesn't mean it is all one side.

    Now why does that matter? If one side is being way more intransigent than another then why acknowledge the fewer instances of the other side?

    It matters for two reason. One is that in terms of an intellectual debate absolutism isn't a good idea. It makes the discussion shallow and causes the discussion to get bogged down in rhetoric rather than an actual give and take. Two it matters in the political context since things change. I brought this up back when the Republicans dominated all three parts of elected Federal government that it would be a huge mistake for them to invoke the nuclear option since they might be in the minority and someday and need the filibuster. I brought the same point up again last year when Democrats were talking about changing the rules regarding the filibuster. For all we know in two years Democrats could be the minority with a President and Congressional majorities beholden to the Tea Party. At that point I suspect many here complaining about Republican intransigence will be hoping for Democratic intransigence.

    Also in terms of where Krugman writes:
    [rquoter]And yes, I think this is a moral issue. The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.[/rquoter]
    I heard someone say earlier that one of the problems with today's politics is that too many things are being turned into moral issues. When something is a moral issue you can't negotiate with them because its no longer about politics but about righteousness. To me Krugman making this a moral issue just paints himself into more of a corner and is doing what he is criticizing. He is allowing ego and self-righteousness to turn a political discussion into a moral discussion and failing to consider nuance. Now I can't speak for everyone who says "both sides do it" but I can certainly tell you that this isn't a matter of ego or fear. This is a matter of not simplifying the discussion into absolutes of good and evil.

    Now maybe Krugman does feel that the Republicans are evil because of their intransigence but if that is what he thinks his target then should be Republicans. What he is instead doing is alienating people who politically should be allied. Using terms like "this is a moral issue" isn't convincing and is just as rhetorically loaded as what the Tea Party uses.

    Now what interest would a centrist have in agreeing with Krugman if both he and the Conservative rhetoric is so absolutist that you have to agree with them100% or you are immoral?

    Now as far as the criticism of a "centrist party" as a member of such a party I can tell you that our support is being drawn more from disaffected Republicans now than disaffected Democrats. Just because we don't choose to identify as Democrats doesn't mean that we are Republicans and have no problems calling out Republicans for things. At the same time though we don't always agree with the Democrats such as in MN with Gov. Dayton's tax the rich plan.
     
  3. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Truthiness, thy name is Judoka.

    I stopped reading your post there.

    Bull****.

    I've been asking you for one example for weeks or maybe months.

    Your one example so far has been some random speaker at a Nader rally.

    If you have not one shred of evidence, give up this malarkey and admit you were wrong. Your failure to provide even one and to keep repeating this crap makes a basso of you.

    Your only argument amounts to "Come on, you know they do."

    That isn't an argument.

    SUPER FAIL.
     
  4. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Which party is that? The Farmer-Labor Party? My understanding has always been that it's essentially the Minnesota Democratic Party with an interesting moniker.
     

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