Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Couple Of Quotes On Economics

Some random examples of how silly things are getting in our national debates on just about everything:

Paul Krugman responds to an oped by some numskull about Keynesian economics:
[T]here’s something deeply weird about asking “where’s the market failure?” in the face of massive unemployment, huge unused capacity, an economy producing less than it did three and a half years ago despite population growth and advancing technology. Of course there’s some kind of market failure, which means that there’s nothing at all odd about asserting that better policy can yield free lunches.

Irregular Economics
If you've wondered how that economics you learned in that introductory course you took years ago actually work in the real world, the rest of Krugman's article might be worth a read. The important point here, though, is that there is clearly a failure in the economy of the country. What that might be could be open to debate (I don't think it is, at least in general terms - it's lack of demand, thanks to lack of gainful employment for a large segment of the country), but it's not debatable that there has been a failure. We're close to another banking collapse, the second in three years. That's not a healthy system. Anyone who claims to understand economics who can't find a market failure right now is like a surgeon can't find his ass using both hands and a large-print edition of Gray's Anatomy.

The second quote is courtesy of Robert Reich, one of the other economists on the blogroll:
Perhaps there would still be something to celebrate on Labor Day if government was coming to the rescue. But Washington is paralyzed, the President seems unwilling or unable to take on labor-bashing Republicans, and several Republican governors are mounting direct assaults on organized labor (see Indiana, Ohio, Maine, and Wisconsin, for example).

So let’s bag the picnics and parades this Labor Day. American workers should march in protest. They’re getting the worst deal they’ve had since before Labor Day was invented – and the economy is suffering as a result.

This Labor Day We Need Protest Marches Rather than Parades
While this might be a good idea, it seems unlikely that anyone is going to be able to organize such a thing in the next few days. We certainly need for ordinary Americans to get together in some way to let their politicians know that things are getting unbearable for us. They don't seem to understand. If they understand, they certainly don't care. And I'm amazed that Americans aren't fighting mad about this state of affairs already.

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