Monday, September 21, 2015

The unscrupulous Paul Krugman

While Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times is rarely read here, today was different.  Even though it might seem that his opinions should be rational and egalitarian, they are not.  Often they are self absorbed resentful rants.  The column "Rage of the Bankers" today was no different.

On the surface the column was about the Fed's decision to not raise interest rates last week.  Krugman was supportive of the Fed's decision, that's his call, and that is not the subject of this comment.  To support his unfolding column Krugman intially cites a Swedish economist who wrote about economics more than 100 years ago.  Of course Krugman must be right if he refers to such a righteous source, but of course it is just Krugman's usual patronizing intellectual posturing.  Everyone knows that economic theories are directional and none are set in stone.  They are interesting and informative but citing them does not mean that they right, or that Krugman is right in a situation one century later.

Krugman's main point in the article is that bankers, yes hideous bankers, who as Krugman chooses to note "have excellent tailors", were the main segment of the economy that wanted this rate hike. Bankers did want the tiny rate hike but they were far from the only members of our society that did. Heaven forbid if rates were hiked and pensioners began to receive a smidgen of interest, what if savers for retirement or college funds could receive some return on their funds without feeling compelled to participate in a stock market that they might not understand or worse yet buy annuities that provide neither liquidity nor a good return and, God help us, what if bankers did see the rate hike, however small, as a chance to step up lending to small businesses.

It is hard to believe that the NYT continues to publish Krugman.  His comments are not constructive or honest.


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