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Tilting at Windmills

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November 20, 2009

WHEN THE MAJORITY IS MISGUIDED.... A new CNN poll shows more Americans shifting their blame for the Republican recession away from the Republicans. As recently as May, 53% said Republicans are "more responsible for the country's current economic problems," while 21% blamed Democrats. In the newly released poll, a 38% plurality holds the GOP responsible, while 27% point the finger at Democrats.

That is, to be sure, disappointing, given reality. But the trend suggests public patience is waning -- the electorate expects Democrats to fix the problems they inherited from Republicans faster.

But that's not the most frustrating aspect of the poll. This is:

"Which of the following comes closer to your view of the budget deficit -- the government should run a deficit if necessary when the country is in a recession and is at war, or the government should balance the budget even when the country is in a recession and is at war?"

Given the precarious state of the economy and widespread concerns about unemployment, common sense suggests concerns over the deficit should wane. But the poll found that a whopping 67% of respondents want the emphasis to be on deficit reduction, while 30% see the deficit as necessary under the circumstances. Those results are very similar to those from an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken a few weeks ago.

It's probably worth noting that the majority is hopelessly wrong. I'm not even sure if the majority fully understands what the deficit is, why it's large, what would be needed to make it smaller, and how it fits into the larger economic landscape. For many, it seems the "deficit" is just an amorphous concept that loosely means "bad economy."

Which is why it's important that policymakers not base policy decisions on illiteracy. Americans say they want a stronger job market and a better economic growth. They also say they want less spending, lower taxes, and an immediate focus on deficit reduction. The inherent contradictions are lost on far too many.

Matt Yglesias recently explained:

A lot of politicians and political operatives in DC are very impressed by polling that shows people concerned about the budget deficit. I think it would be really politically insane for people to take that too literally. If Congress makes the deficit even bigger in a way that helps spur recovery, then come election day people will notice the recovery and be happy. If, by contrast, the labor market is still a disaster then people will be pissed off. It's true that they might say they're pissed off at the deficit, but the underlying source of anger is the objective bad conditions.

Once in a while, policymakers have to be responsible enough to ignore polls and do the right thing. If these results are accurate, people care more about the deficit than the economy. But that's crazy.

Steve Benen 8:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (49)

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Comments

Too bad pollsters didn't ask these questions during the Reagan/Bush era, when the present deficit was created. On the other hand, the most inspiring events of the past several weeks occurred on the floor of Congress yesterday, when elements of both houses, Dem and Rep, united to call for more action on unemployment and economic reform, and for the resignations of Geithner and Summers. It's the first time even some of those in both parties have been together since the election.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111903167.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: ericfree on November 20, 2009 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

I would guess that most casual observers believe that the budget for running a country is akin to their personal family budget. You just can't expect to pay for things when you don't have the money. So they think that government must act the same way. This misguided view has been stated many times by Republicans in the past year, knowing that the average Joe probably thinks like this.

It's up to our leadership to explain why this kind of thinking is not, and cannot be, applicable to government. They've got to get out in front of this deficit talk, and quick.

Posted by: terraformer on November 20, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

I suppose it would be to much to ask that the political class try to educate the masses about these issues. As long as the general public is ignorant about these sorts of things, we're screwed.

Posted by: jwr on November 20, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Fine. Now ask them if the government should run a deficit in time of war or raise taxes.

Posted by: martin on November 20, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Health Care Reform = deficit reduction.

Posted by: Obama Won on Change on November 20, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

"The deficit" is the shorthand idea in the public mind that "government is dysfunctional." God knows that's true. Since the only means of controlling the deficit are raising taxes and/or cutting Social Security, Medicare and defense spending, the pols know damn well to ignore the public sentiment.
I know this would NEVER happen, but I'd love to see Obama create two budgets -- the real one and a balanced one. Then ask the public which one they want.

Posted by: JMG on November 20, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Let's hear it for the Repugnants! According to this poll their little Weimar strategy is working quite well -- better and faster than expected.

Special credit has to be given to the Dims for all their support! Couldn't a'done it without their spineless and semi-repugnant corporate hackery...

And now we've got the big holiday season to endure, with all its miseries and shop-keeper horror stories...

Then of course, all those padded credit card balances to ponder in the new year...damn them Dims fer screwin' up the economy.

But them Repugnants...they kept warning you. Those tax-and-spender Dims are gonna ruin yer credit, make you lose your job, your house, your savings...

But hey lookie -- Jobs forum at the White House -- yippee! maybe Geithner and Summers will do PowerPoint presentations... maybe there'll be snacks...

Posted by: neill on November 20, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Americans say they want a stronger job market and a better economic growth. They also say they want less spending, lower taxes, and an immediate focus on deficit reduction. The inherent contradictions are lost on far too many.

Too many Americans want to believe the Republican bullsh!t that through the miracle of Supply-side Economics we can simultaneously cut taxes, increase defense spending, maintain social spending and balance the budget.

Apparently if we cut taxes enough, the Supply-side Fairy will flutter across the countryside and sprinkle the entire economy with her magical pixie dust that will make it all possible.

And because President Obama, the nation's best communicator, is more concerned about "bipartisanship" than getting things done, he refuses to aggressively refute this nonsense and will find himself with a much diminished Congressional majority in 2010 and a very difficult re-election fight in 2012.


Posted by: SteveT on November 20, 2009 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps they need a refresher in the meaning of Pharoah's dream: the government needs to save during the fat years and spend during the lean years.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on November 20, 2009 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Many of the same politicians who will point to this poll as why we need to reduce the deficit are the ones who completely ignore polls that shows a majority want health care reform to include a robust public option.

Posted by: John Wilheim on November 20, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

If there's ever any doubt about the ability of a majority of Americans to be wrong at a given moment, please remember the period from July 2002 through March 2003. A clear memory of that period will erase all doubt.

Posted by: Paul Dirks on November 20, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

This is the time when Obama needs to lead. Will he? Will he dither and putz around for months while the economy sputters and stalls? Will he be well served by an economic team that, overall, has not given him the best advice so far?

Posted by: sjw on November 20, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

terraformer said:
I would guess that most casual observers believe that the budget for running a country is akin to their personal family budget. You just can't expect to pay for things when you don't have the money. So they think that government must act the same way.

And this argument always seems to stop the Democrat in their tracks.

Here in the real world, if your roof is leaking and you can't afford to get it fixed, you take out a loan rather than let your house continue to deteriorate while you try save up enough money for the repairs.

When Bush left office, not only was our country's roof leaking, but there were holes in the walls, termites in the woodwork and the basement was flooded.

Someone on the Democratic side needs to give up the "bipartisan" pipe dream and tell the American people that the president that they were stupid enough to elect twice has left the country in a shambles and it's gonna take a whole lot of money to set things right again.


Posted by: SteveT on November 20, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

And lets not forget the TradMed's part in all this. Why anyone listens to Pete Peterson(of whom Elmendorf and Orzag are proteges) is beyond me.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on November 20, 2009 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

I would guess that most casual observers believe that the budget for running a country is akin to their personal family budget. You just can't expect to pay for things when you don't have the money. So they think that government must act the same way. This misguided view has been stated many times by Republicans in the past year, knowing that the average Joe probably thinks like this.

This is exactly right. A little more effort on the part of Democrats to publicly explain micro vs. macro would be extremely helpful, even if the media resists playing ball.

Posted by: shortstop on November 20, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

I would guess that most casual observers believe that the budget for running a country is akin to their personal family budget.

True, but most American family budgets these days are in the red also. So apparently it's A.O.K. for consumers to spend more than they earn but not A.O.K. for the government to spend more than it taxes?

But the poll found that a whopping 67% of respondents want the emphasis to be on deficit reduction

Does a whopping 67% also want their taxes raised dramatically to balance said budget?

Posted by: oh my on November 20, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Does a whopping 67% also want their taxes raised dramatically to balance said budget?

Certainly not. They want massive spending cuts in programs that benefit the Undeserving Other.

Posted by: shortstop on November 20, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I'll bet that same 67 percent, or almost all of it, will also say the budget deficit can be reduced without raising taxes or cutting Social Security, Medicare, and military spending.
The primary problem with U.S. governance is that the average American voter is full of it. Delusional. Unwilling to accept basic facts of arithmetic that might require THEM to do something to fix things.
That's why we will continue to drift down the leadership scale well below GW Bush. It's taking more and more fantastical lies to acquire popularity.

Posted by: JMG on November 20, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

As so often, Krugman has the best word on this. Two of the last sentences of today's column: "Banks are still weak, and credit is still tight; we desperately need more government aid to the financial sector. But try to talk to an ordinary voter about this, and the response you’re likely to get is: 'No way. All they’ll do is hand out more money to Wall Street.'"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/opinion/20krugman.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1258725819-MNuKPIN3ajT50FOL0dW8UQ

Posted by: ericfree on November 20, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's possible that a majority of Americans believe the deficit real, while spending to fix the economy is ineffectual. If that were true, increasing the deficit would not be a good idea.

For example, they might believe they are being taxed so that massive bonuses could be paid to Goldman Sachs employees, an unusual undeserving other, but still and undeserving other.

Posted by: foosion on November 20, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

When Democracy fails...

Which is why it's important that policymakers not base policy decisions on illiteracy.

But what happens when those elected to do policy are dumber than their electors?
I believe there is snatch of internet poetry that captures this moment: We're. So. Fucked.

Of course the deeper question is how did we manage to dig into this hole?
Why would citizens elect dumb officials?
Why would they willfully poison their Democracy so?

I think we know the answer: The dumb officials have the same Culture War values as their electors. And those values trump intellect, literacy, honesty and every other value you can think of.

This is why those that have driven this Culture War, insisted on it, and profited off of it are our most dangerous enemies. And yeah: I am talking about Murdoch/Limbaugh/et al.

For a long time I didn't understand all this...
And wondering why Steve focused so much on these creatures.
Why so many posts on Beck and Hannity and Crazy?

I now know.
These people are destroying our democracy: minute by minute by minute...

Posted by: koreyel on November 20, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

GDP = C + Inv + G
If C (consumption) is negative and
I (Investment) is negative
Please do tell me what MUST be positive in order for GNP to grow?
Simple answers to simple questions...
You'd be surprised how many people stop railing about deficits when given this simple formulation.

Posted by: JMK on November 20, 2009 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

According to this poll their little Weimar strategy is working quite well -- better and faster than expected.-neill

And wondering why Steve focused so much on these creatures.
Why so many posts on Beck and Hannity and Crazy?I now know.
These people are destroying our democracy: minute by minute by minute...-koreyel


A good little breakdown of the Weimar Strategy by Robert Freeman can be found @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article22211.htm

It very much helps explain why the Republican party is fighting every.single.effort.by.Obama.

Posted by: oh my on November 20, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans spent eight years setting up an economic catastrophe that cannot be fully rectified in the two years between Congressional elections. So, according to the dynamics of our elections, that means the incompetents who caused the problem must be returned to power? Something is wrong here.

Posted by: bob h on November 20, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Two quotes come to mind when I read articles like this:

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. H.L. Mencken

And:

I knew it. I'm surrounded by assholes. -Dark Helmet

Posted by: doubtful on November 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

It is interesting that one in four on average indicated it was both parties at fault. I am glad I don't take investment advice from Steve or this group. I expressed the oppion that they would inflate their way out. Here it comes. Low inflation, but the dollar keeps losing value. You indicated I was ill informed. We shall see.

Posted by: EC Sedgwick on November 20, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

So, when the polls show support for the public option -- even though a Pew survey found that over 40% of the public didn't associate that term with health care -- you tout it as if Congress should do the public's bidding.

But, when a survey shows people blame Democrats instead of Republicans for the economy, then they're illiterate and should be ignored.

I think you've sufficiently demonstrated your intellectual integrity on this one.

Posted by: freemas on November 20, 2009 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

In 1984 the economy and deficit were both booming and the incumbent won in a landslide.

In 2000 the country was running a surplus but the economic boom was waning. The incumbent party barely eeked out a victory in the national vote, close enough for the Florida fiasco.

People may talk deficit in polls, but they aren't directly affected by it. They VOTE economy.

Posted by: Anonny on November 20, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, I have a theory about the deficit, why it tends to have so much play politically, and it has little to do with people's fears that the nation will go bankrupt. The debt stands as a proxy to "higher taxes", because people figure someone has to pay the piper once we are on the other side of bad economic times. So, to ask a question about what would be "better" in people's minds on a issue that really shouldn't be that subjective is silly, people's reaction to what should be a math question turns it into a subjective one that is at the whims of people's feelings when they are asked it.

Posted by: Paul W. on November 20, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with polls is that nobody wants to think about the 10 year consequence of any given policy or action. People love tax cuts so the GOP and Dems gave huge tax cuts with no real thought to the consequences which was huge deficits from 2001 to present.

Now in a period (recession) when deficits should not matter assuming you don't structurally change the tax code (see Bernanke's numerous writings about the Depression), we're focusing on it. The populist angle is that everyone else has to live within their means so why not gov't. You'll notice that increases defense spending is not subject to scrutiny by either party (hurray Dems trimmed a few billion from bad projects!).

Aside from 1-2 strategic interests, e.g. healthcare, the Dems need to be very focused on new spending so that it does address jobs (new jobs tax credit would offset the now skyrocketing unemployment tax). I think another one time tax credit to people making under $50K for 2009 would pump a lot of money in the economy.

Posted by: KenZ on November 20, 2009 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

What the hell does Fox News know about economics? They're just a noise machine.

Why not poll people to see if the public thinks we are overfilling the Space Shuttle's fuel tanks.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 20, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

It makes no good sense for anyone to oppose healthcare reform. It seems some are more worried about Insurance companies being crowded out due to competition and lower costs than the Health of the people. Or the fact that they are more concerned for the Insurance Compaines that the small businesses who have to pay high premiums for their employees, forcing some out of business or some to set up shop elsewhere other than the United States!

It is too bad that we have a certain group -- the Party of No and Fear -- who are Advocates of Can't, Won't, Shouldn't, Distortion, Fear, Hatred and Divisiveness. They are a dark group, a bitter group. For too long we have been spoon-fed a bunch of lies and fear by these powers who want to immobolize us, paralyze us and confuse us and to keep us circling the Yellow Brick Road!

It is a sad fact that the Afghanistan War too is a false war. These terrorists do not stay in one place or in one country, they are all over. And we are not at war with any one country, this is a fallacy. WE are in a "struggle" with an ideology, yes or evil, yes, but we are not at war with any country. WE have terrorists in our own country who are not Muslims, does this make us at war with the United States?

Oh, if we only had a Brain....., Courage....., Heart/LOVE!

Posted by: angellight on November 20, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Look, probably fully half of adult americans are functionally illiterate, barely able to perform the most basic tasks in math and reading to get along. To expect the American electorate to have even the dimmest notion of what the "deficit" is, and what it means, is laughable.

this is not elitist, it's just simple truth. It's a simple truth our right-wing had been exploiting for 100 years and more: the abysmal ignorance of our electorate when it comes to anything even remotely complicated.

Politicians know all this. They will do what they have always done: act in their own personal interest. Polls of this kind have value to a politician only insofar as they support, or undermine, the ability of a politician to keep what they have and get more..power, money, status.

anyone who thinks our political system is different from a school of sharks during a feeding frenzy hasn't been paying attention.

Posted by: LL on November 20, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

"It's probably worth noting that the majority is hopelessly wrong. I'm not even sure if the majority fully understands what the deficit is, why it's large, what would be needed to make it smaller, and how it fits into the larger economic landscape. For many, it seems the "deficit" is just amorphous concept that loosely means "bad economy.""

If the public doesn't understand, why don't you explain it to them. I don't even think everyone agrees about the cause of the meltdown. What went wrong? Why are we here? Too little government? Too much government? You tell me.

Posted by: Shakes on November 20, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

So, when the polls show support for the public option -- even though a Pew survey found that over 40% of the public didn't associate that term with health care -- you tout it as if Congress should do the public's bidding.
But, when a survey shows people blame Democrats instead of Republicans for the economy, then they're illiterate and should be ignored.
I think you've sufficiently demonstrated your intellectual integrity on this one.
Posted by: freemas on November 20, 2009

Steve has used the Public Option polling to point out the inconsistencies in Republicans' incessant whining about "not hearing from a single American who thinks it's a good idea". He has said many times that he doesn't advocate public polling to guide public policy.

Freemas, you're not disingenous, you're in a whole other class. You're a straight up Republican propaganda huckster.

Posted by: about time on November 20, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why are we here? -Shakes

Predatory lending, credit default swaps, various other phantom financial products made possible by irresponsible deregulation and the previous Administration's willingness to turn a blind eye.

The people who don't agree those are the causes have a dog in the fight.

Posted by: doubtful on November 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

It's probably worth noting that the majority is hopelessly wrong. I'm not even sure if the majority fully understands what the deficit is, why it's large, what would be needed to make it smaller, and how it fits into the larger economic landscape. For many, it seems the "deficit" is just amorphous concept that loosely means "bad economy."

Someone is surprised by this? Think back to high school, people - how many of your fellow students had the slightest clue about what was going on in politics? Assuming your school even had a course in "government", how many of your fellow students took it? And how many slept through it?

And for those of you under 40, most of your cohort are functionally illiterate, thanks to the wonders of the professional eddumicaters with their "whole language" bullshit teaching philosophy, so most of your fellow students never learned to actually think (it takes an ability to read to learn to think in a complex manner, because you need to study such things as logical arguments and such, which comes by osmosis through reading) - the good news here is that those under 25 are in better shape, due to this educational bullshit having been discredited, but the problem there is most of them don't participate politically.

The truth is that the majority of the American public - my generation of boomers first and foremost - are really only semi-educated. The economic-political system doesn't want that highly educated, independently-intelligent body of citizens Jefferson waxed eloquently over. They want people who can read the memos from management and who "work and play well with others" while "recognizing and cooperating with properly-constituted authority" (the two areas I always got "progress required" notes on in my public school report cards).

Face it, the people who benefit from the system as it is don't want voters who understand the issues - and they want as few voters who don't understand the issues as they can get.

Posted by: TCinLA on November 20, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

I know it's in to be all panicky and nasty about people who feel this way but it's not that they don't understand the deficit. They know exactly what it is: the government is spending more money than it has. That's why they oppose it.

I'm not saying it's appropriate to run in these circumstances but when the government uses deficits to WORSHIP THE BANKERS I don't particularly want them spending money either.

Posted by: MNPundit on November 20, 2009 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

This is fantastic news. Keynesianism is massive hoax. The public is catching on!

The MSM noodle-brains are hysterical!

Marvelous.

Posted by: Bob Roddis on November 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

If it makes you feel any better, most people didn't understand deficit spending when Alexander Hamilton proposed it in the 1790's, either.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on November 20, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah kind of reminds of Geithner talking back, of which you mentioned yesterday. But seriously, economically speaking, things are better today than they were when George Bush and the Republicans were in power. They left this country in the worst economic condition since the Great Depression. It's only been 10 months since a new president set new policies and a new economic course. It's going to take more than 10 months to fix 8 years of George Bush. Why weren't Republicans so concerned about the economy and the deficit 10 months ago?

Posted by: Chris- The Fold on November 20, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives (not "Republicans", per se, but fiscal conservatives who are informed and tend to be Independent or Republican) HAVE been concerned about the deficit for a long time, and Bush got whacked plenty from the right about his reckless spending. McCain was not fiscally conservative enough for them, either. So, to say "why didn't Republicans voice concern under Bush?" is to create a false argument.

As for blaming Obama for the deficit, what we are seeing is blaming Congress for a terrible strategic play in counteracting recession and unemployment. If the stimulus legislation had been "focused, direct, dramatic, trackable, and temporary" and highly visible to Joe Sixpack, and if it STILL didn't work to counteract unemployment then the administration would have a case that "we did what we could". Instead, we get a trickle down stimulus on a slow drip, and bogus jobs "created/saved" claims to boot.

At some point, botching becomes obvious, just as effectiveness does --- and we are at that point, like it or not.

Posted by: Terry Ott on November 20, 2009 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

This poll result means only one thing: Democrats are not communicating their views in a way that average Americans can understand.

The Repub "balance the budget like your family would" resonates. "Record deficits for bailing out banks" doesn't. Therefore the message has to change - and Obama can't do it by himself.

Why isn't every Democratic governor and congressman presenting a unified message on why a federal deficit is required right now? Something like:
-Economic shortfall = people out of work
-Private investment not picking up the slack, so unemployment remains high.
-Government spending is putting people back to work to jumpstart the economy.
-A strong America can easily handle the debt, and with the Democratic policies that were paying down the debt in the 90's, we will build that strong America.
-Don't let Republicans screw America again!

Posted by: The Optimist on November 20, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Most people, when they hear "deficit" think in terms of their own checkbooks. They know that when they, or their small business, run a deficit, it means that it's collapsing. Therefore, they think that they know that the government can't run a deficit without collapsing. As a result, they will respond that deficits are always bad.

Posted by: Sisyphus on November 20, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

What can you say? Generally speaking, people are stupid, and have appallingly poor judgment regarding what is good for them. They apparently can't understand - even though plenty of evidence is out there in spite of the reluctance of the press - that the Democrats WOULD fix things faster, if only they didn't have to do everything in the face of shoulder-to-shoulder obstructionism by the Republicans.

Some might think by now that America deserves to fail - for the economy to collapse completely, the country to slip into a profound depression and for the rich to flee, leaving the poor and middle class to starve. People are just so stubbornly stupid, and so willing to fall for the Republican bullshit all over again.

The trouble with that scenario is that the Republicans would get no blame for such a depression, if it happened. All the blame would fall on Obama and the Democrats, and another slate of pugnacious rich white guys would get elected in reprisal.

Perhaps at some point, a deficit just gets too big to be overcome; both monetary and moral.

Posted by: Mark on November 20, 2009 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

GDP = C + Inv + G

LOL. If you're going to use broken macro, at least try to use it correctly.

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)

So, all you need is to have exports in order to have positive nominal GDP growth. Economically literate would have gotten the equation right. :-)

Of course, keynesian econ. is fundamentally flawed, and based on the sociological elitism of Lord Keynes, who thought that society should be ruled by enlightened upper-class. He also thought that inflation would turn stones into bread (in his words), and when interest rates would hit 0%, we'd live in the land of plenty. That turned out to be a folly, now didn't it? :-)

The elitism that is so fundamental to keynesian thinking is oddly missing in the rhetoric of new-keynesian egalitarianism, but when all the solutions to every problem lie within a new bureau led by a new chief bureaucrat, it's not all that different after all. :-)

Posted by: Santtu on November 25, 2009 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Is it possible that the public makes eminent sense in wanting to reduce the deficit, and the so-called economic experts who call for deficit spending are in fact the real idiots?

Perhaps the public thinks that our money is being destroyed by all the shenanigans inherent in the management of a debt-based banking system, and they don't feel like being reduced to serfs by the financial and political elites.

Perhaps they don't feel that the 535 members of Congress have more intelligence regarding market affairs than the buying decisions of 300+ millions of Americans.

Perhaps they sense that going into debt to consume more is not the way to long-term wealth, despite the pronouncements of Nobel Prize winning economists.

Perhaps they are starting to realize that our money is rotten to the core, and that its issuance by a well-connected few is the heart and soul of the beast that has taken over the world---debt-based money and fractional-reserve banking.

Posted by: acudoc on November 25, 2009 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

JKM, GDP is a metric designed to measure growth in an economy just as the purpose of a speedometer is to measure the speed of your car. Simply boosting GDP doesn't improve economic growth for the same reason that fitting a speedometer with bigger numbers on it doesn't increase the speed of your car.

Posted by: teqzilla on November 25, 2009 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

You guys are getting into the nuts & bolts of it, but I'd like to add that it's important to comprehend the big picture too, which is that, eventually, the parasites (government/government supporters) kill the host (productive people). Keynesianism is a fantastic tool for parasites that don't respect individual self-ownership.

Posted by: klonopin on November 26, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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