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Paul Krugman - New York Times - Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies

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OCTOBER 14, 2017 4:23 PM October 14, 2017 4:23 pm 949

"Modern conservatives have been lying about taxes pretty much from the beginning of their movement. Made-up sob stories about family farms broken up to pay inheritance taxes, magical claims about self-financing tax cuts, and so on go all the way back to the 1970s. But the selling of tax cuts under Trump has taken things to a whole new level, both in terms of the brazenness of the lies and their sheer number. Both the depth and the breadth of the dishonesty make it hard even for those of us who do this for a living to keep track.

In fact, when I set out to make a list of the bigger lies, I thought there would be six or seven, and was surprised to come up with ten.

So I thought it might be useful, both for myself and for others, to put together a crib sheet: a fairly long-form description of ten big lies Trump and allies are telling, what they’ve said, and how we know that they are lies. I’m probably missing some stuff, and for all I know some new big lie will have been tweeted out by the time this is posted. But we do what we can. So here we go..."



"But can the debate really be as one-sided as I portray it? Well, look at the results: again and again, people on the opposite side prove to have used bad logic, bad data, the wrong historical analogies, or all of the above. I’m Krugtron the Invincible!"

Thus wrote the great Paul Krugman. A man so modest as to proclaim that “I think I can say without false modesty, a huge win; I (and those of like mind) have been right about everything.”

Quite a claim. Indeed, predictions are extraordinarily difficult. Even to an expert in a subject who has dedicated his life to a field of study, predicting the future proves elusive. Daniel Kahneman referenced a study of 284 political and economic “experts” and their predictions and found that “The results were devastating. The experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned equal probabilities to each of three potential outcomes.”

A whole book of such wildly inaccurate predictions by experts was compiled into the very humorous The Experts Speak with such prescient predictions as Dr. Alfred Velpeau’s “The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it” and Arthur Reynolds belief that “This crash [of 1929] is not going to have much effect on business.” Indeed, a foundational block of Austrian economics (that some Austrians unfortunately forgot regarding premature predictions of hyperinflation) is that the sheer number of variables in the world at large makes accurate forecasting extraordinarily difficult.

So it must be a rare man indeed that can be right about everything. And this man, Paul Krugman is not.

Predicting a Bubble He Recommended

Paul Krugman likes to reference the fact that he predicted the housing bubble. Of course, he also sort of recommended it. From a 2002 column of his,

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.
In 2009, when this came out, he denied its obvious implication and wrote, “It wasn’t a piece of policy advocacy, it was just economic analysis. What I said was that the only way the Fed could get traction would be if it could inflate a housing bubble. And that’s just what happened.” So that doesn’t count as a recommendation? It certainly sounded like he was agreeing with Paul McCulley on inflating a housing bubble. And he verified that that’s exactly what he meant in a 2006 interview where he said,

As Paul McCulley of PIMCO remarked when the tech boom crashed, Greenspan needed to create a housing bubble to replace the technology bubble. So within limits he may have done the right thing. But by late 2004 he should have seen the danger signs and warned against what was happening; such a warning could have taken the place of rising interest rates. He didn’t, and he left a terrible mess for Ben Bernanke.
The best Krugman can possibly say is that he thought Greenspan went too far with the housing bubble he recommended.

Deflation is Around the Corner

While running victory laps because the United States hasn’t seen massive price inflation, Krugman seems to have forgotten what his prediction actually was. In 2010 he wrote, “And what these measures show is an ongoing process of disinflation that could, in not too long, turn into outright deflation ... Japan, here we come.”

Robert Murphy called him on this and noted Krugman’s response,

... Krugman himself ... said of his 2010 analysis: “(In that post, I worried about deflation, which hasn’t happened; I’ve written a lot since about why).”

Note the parenthetical aside, and the timing: Krugman in April 2013 is mentioning in parentheses to his reader that oh yes, as of February 2010 he was “worried about deflation, which hasn’t happened.” In other words, Krugman entered this crisis with a model that predicted how prices would move in response to the economic situation, and chose his policies of government stimulus accordingly. He was wrong, and yet maintains the same policy recommendations.
But of course to Krugman, anyone who predicted price inflation can’t explain why that hasn’t happened. Such people are just those “... who take a position and refuse to alter that position no matter how strongly the evidence refutes it.” Krugman is different.

Europe Will Do Better Than the United States

In 2008, Krugman wrote:

... tales of a moribund Europe are greatly exaggerated. ... The fact is that Europe’s economy looks a lot better now — both in absolute terms and compared with our economy.”
Later he noted that “Americans will face increasingly strong incentives to start living like Europeans” and that “he has seen the future and it works.” (I should probably note that that is a quote he borrowed from Lincoln Steffens about the Soviet Union.)

Then Greece went bankrupt and the international consensus is unquestionably that the crisis hit Europe harder.

The Euro Will Collapse

Niall Ferguson counted eleven different times between April of 2010 and July 2012 that Krugman wrote about the imminent breakup of the euro. For example, on May 17th, 2012, Krugman wrote,

Apocalypse Fairly Soon. ... Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams. We’re not talking about a distant prospect, either. Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years. And the costs — both economic and, arguably even more important, political — could be huge.
Most of these predictions are laced with weasel words such as “might,” “probably,” and “could” (more on that shortly). Still, while I’m no fan of the euro, and it might still collapse, as of today, three years later, it has not. If the word “imminent” means anything at all, Krugman was wrong.

The Sequester Will Doom Us All

Paul Krugman at least admitted the sequester was “relatively small potatoes.” But for “relatively small potatoes” he makes a big deal about it, referring to it as “one of the worst policy ideas in our nation’s history.” And it “will probably cost ‘only’ around 700,000 jobs.” (Note the word “probably” again.)

Then later, he decided that these were actually quite large potatoes, stating,

And, somehow, both sides decided that the way to buy time was to create a fiscal doomsday machine that would inflict gratuitous damage on the nation through spending cuts unless a grand bargain was reached. Sure enough, there is no bargain, and the doomsday machine will go off at the end of next week.
The economy has done quite well since then actually. Indeed, how $85.4 billion dollars in “cuts” (from the next year’s budget not the previous year’s spending) could affect anything in a $17 trillion dollar economy is simply beyond me. And of course, it didn’t.

Interest Rates Can’t Go Below Zero

In March of this year, Krugman wrote in regard to some European bonds with negative nominal yields,

We now know that interest rates can, in fact, go negative; those of us who dismissed the possibility by saying that people could simply hold currency were clearly too casual about it.”
But as Robert Murphy points out, “The foundation for the Keynesian case for fiscal stimulus rests on an assumption that interest rates can’t go negative.” Murphy also points out that Krugman should admit he was wrong again because back in 2009, Krugman wrote,

And the reason we’re all turning to fiscal policy is that the standard rule, which is that monetary policy plus automatic stabilizers should do the work of smoothing the business cycle, can’t be applied when we’re hard up against the zero lower bound. [i.e. zero percent interest]
“Inflation Will be Back”

In 1998, Paul Krugman predicted “Inflation will be back.”


“The Rate of Technological Change in Computing Slows”

Same article as the last one, “... the number of jobs for IT specialists will decelerate, then actually turn down.”

Aside from a short dip after the 2001 recession, the answer would be nope again.

Weasel Words and “Accurate Predictions”

Let’s take a look at Paul Krugman’s “accurate prediction” of the financial crisis. On March 2nd, 2007, he predicted the following explanation would be given a year from then for the financial crisis he was sort of predicting,

The great market meltdown of 2007 began exactly a year ago, with a 9 percent fall in the Shanghai market, followed by a 416-point slide in the Dow. But as in the previous global financial crisis, which began with the devaluation of Thailand’s currency in the summer of 1997, it took many months before people realized how far the damage would spread.
So the crisis would begin in China? Almost.

He concluded that column by saying, “I’m not saying that things will actually play out this way. But if we’re going to have a crisis, here’s how.”

That’s a good hedge, just like with the euro. He can say he got the financial crisis right (albeit happening in a different way than he expected), but then say he didn’t get the euro wrong because he added “probably” before any prediction about it.

Normally, there would be nothing wrong with these weasel words. Given the nature of predictions, any prediction that is made should have a qualifier in front of it. It’s simply an admission that you aren’t omniscient. But you can’t eat your cake and have it too. Either Krugman was right about the crisis (sort of) and wrong about the euro (and many other things) or neither should count at all.

Or course, this doesn’t refute Krugman’s theories. But then again, Krugman may want to slow down on his victory laps.

Deus X

Deus X

RE: PkrBoy's Mises Institute post:

Oh, ferChristsakes! This is just more nit-picking pettifoggery from the same place that published a book titled "Reassessing the Presidency" that posits the spurious, neo-Confederate claim that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery and was all about an attempt by Lincoln to raise tariffs on the South.

The Mises Institute has been thoroughly discredited by all serious historians and economists. Anyone who would post an article from them is a fool and a dupe!

Of course, PkrBoy knows nothing about Mises, Austrian economics or much of anything else. He's so ignorant, he thinks people will fall for his bullshit.

Krugman's a Nobel Prize-winning economist. He made some bad predictions, big fucking deal! Notice the absence in this melange of bullshit of all the stuff he got right. Not for nothing do they call it the dismal science.



How the Money Power created Libertarianism and Austrian Economics

“You say that Marxism is the very antithesis of capitalism, which is equally sacred to us [The Money Power] It is precisely for this reason that they are direct opposites to one another, that they put into our hands the two poles of this planet and allow us to be its axis. These two contraries, like Bolshevism and ourselves, find their identity in the International.”
Otto Kahn, Investment Banker

William S. Volker (1859-1947) was a wealthy German-Jewish businessman. Dismayed by the rise of Socialism in America, he created the Volker fund to provide a reactionary ideology based on “laissez-faire” and Social Darwinism. This was to become Libertarianism.

This article was written for Henry Makow

Libertarianism and its twin sister Austrian Economics were invented by the Money Power to be the other side of the dialectic with Communism.

According to this amazing report, all non-specified quotes in this essay are taken from it, “Volker was no great scholar or thinker. The ideology he set out to create was built upside down, starting only with a set of foggy conclusions for which he had a predisposition. From these conclusions, it was the task of Volker’s considerable fortune to find a set of justifications, then an enabling ideology or “theory” that gave it all perspective and unity and, eventually, a true philosophical platform from which to launch the whole.”

Even though Volker was not an economist of philosopher he had money and, very important, influential relations with the University of Chicago, founded by John D. Rockefeller.

This turned out to be a crucial connection.

Volker’s nephew Harold Luhnow took over the Fund in 1944.

Friedrich Hayek’s ‘the road to Serfdom’ was published the same year. With its defense of ‘laissez-faire’ capitalism and claim that any attempt at regulation would inevitably lead to totalitarianism, it was exactly what the Volker Fund had been looking for. It was only then that the Volker fund started to have a real impact. It arranged for a reprint of Hayek’s book with the University of Chicago and made sure the book ended up in every library in the United States.

The Volker Fund would finance all the leading Austrian Economists and would have a substantial impact on the ‘Chicago School of Economics’, including Milton Friedman.

Von Mises, who throughout his career never held a payed job at any University, was maintained first by David Rockefeller and then for decades received money from the Volker fund and related business men, like Lawrence Fertig.
Von Mises’ biographer, Richard M. Ebeling:
“Many readers may be surprised to learn the extent to which the Graduate Institute and then Mises himself in the years immediately after he came to United States were kept afloat financially through generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, for the first years of Mises’s life in the United States, before his appointment as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University (NYU) in 1945, he was almost totally dependent on annual research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.”

David Rockefeller himself was quoted as saying: “Finally, in his most surprising statement, he revealed he considers himself a follower of the Austrian school of economics. Friedrich Hayek had been his tutor at the London School of Economics in the 1930s.”

Rothbard too was financed by the Volker Fund:
“Rothbard began his consulting work for the Volker Fund in 1951. This relationship lasted until 1962, when the VF was dissolved. A major part of Rothbard’s work for the VF consisted of reading and evaluating books, journal articles, and other materials. On the basis of written reports by Rothbard and another reader – Rose Wilder Lane – the VF’s directors would decide whether to undertake massive distribution of particular works to public libraries.

Rothbard later called his work with the Volker Fund, “the best job I’ve ever had in my life.”

The Volker Fund also explored a tactic that was to find wider application later: it spawned an enormous number of organizations, loosely organized to suggest mutual independence and a ‘Libertarian Movement’. Among these was the Foundation for Economic Education, which in turn would create the Mont Pelerin Society.

The Mont Pelerin Society
The Mont Pelerin Society was named after the Swiss Alp where the first conference was held. It was founded by Hayek with the financial support of the Volker fund, which payed for the expenses of all American participants. Key co-founders were von Mises, Milton Friedman and Karl Popper.

No less than eight Noble prizes for Economics were to be won by Mont Pelerin members in the decades ahead. Not bad, for a ‘fringe movement, ignored by the Mainstream’.

The Mont Pelerin, in turn, oversaw the creation of many influential institutions. One of them was the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, 1955. This organization reinvented the Conservative Party, of which Margeret Thatcher was to say: “You created the atmosphere which made our victory possible… May I say how thankful we are to those who joined your great endeavor. They were the few, but they were right, and they saved Britain.”

The Heritage Foundation was also a result of the Mont Pelerin Society, as were the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which in turn birthed a plethora of think tanks, including the Fraser Institute.

The amount of money that was invested in all this was tremendous:
“John Blundell, the head of the IEA, in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, and Atlas in 1990, would identify a rare failure in the Society’s efforts. Shaking his head at the abortive attempt to subsidize academic “Chairs of Free Enterprise” in dozens of countries throughout the world, Blundell complained about wasting, “hundreds of millions, perhaps one billion dollars”. This was just one initiative among many.”

The Koch Family.
The Volker fund was disbanded in 1962. It still had $7 million in assets, which it donated to the Hoover society.

But in the mean time another very wealthy Jewish family, the Koch family (see ‘the Zionist Billionaires that control Politics‘), had taken over the organization of Libertarianism and Austrian Economics.

Fred Koch founded the John Birch Society in 1958. Ed Griffin was educated there. He later wrote a famous book, “the Creature of Jekyll Island”. This was a rehash of Eustace Mullins’ brilliant ‘Secrets of the Federal Reserve’, with one exception: it left out all Mullins’ analysis of the Gold Standard as a Banker operation and how Britain’s demand for taxes payed in Gold were the cause of the war of Independence. Instead it called for the reinstatement of a Gold Standard. This is a key part of the story how Austrian Economics managed to take over the ‘Truth Movement’.

Koch’s son Charles Koch founded the CATO Institute, together with Murray Rothbard. The CATO Institute remains to this day a leading Libertarian outlet.

Libertarianism as a Jewish Movement
Most Leading Libertarians are or were Jewish. Von Mises, Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Irwin (and Peter) Schiff. According to Peter Schiff, his grandfather Jacob Schiff is not the same as the infamous financier.

Rothbard himself had interesting views about race and inequality in the free market: “Rothbard was proud to be a ‘racialist’ because racialism exposed the true source of inequality in a free market, namely genetics. A belief in biological racial inequality was, for Rothbard, part of the libertarian project, because racial inequality was simply how markets reflected nature. Moreover, this was no sudden conversion: Rothbard promoted the same view, as early as 1973, here.”

So Jewish Supremacism can be retraced directly to the Austrian Economics’ main proponent himself.

Libertarianism and Austrian Economics are not the products of maverick free thinkers. On the contrary, all leading proponents of the movement were highly connected individuals. In the early years the Volker Fund made available vast sums of money, because Austrian Economics was considered the right answer to communism, to maintain the dialectic the Money Power needs (also see: ‘Banker explained ‘Occupy America’ Scam‘).

Far from a fringe movement, Mont Pelerin Alumni collected no less than eight Noble Prizes. Alan Greenspan testified of its pervasive influence by saying in 2000:
“the Austrian School have reached far into the future from when most of them practiced and have had a profound and, in my judgment, probably an irreversible effect on how most mainstream economists think in this country.”

In this day and age when communism is no longer considered a threat, but with Marxism/Liberalism/Political Correctness a strong force in Western nations, Libertarianism has found a new lease of life as a way co-opting the resistance in the Alternative Media.

The dialectic continues unabated.


Here's more:

Mr. Anonymous & The Libertarian Movement

(not suprisingly, the above article appeared in December, 2008)




The real fascists:

As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism—“blood and soil”—for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.
Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of liberalism.

Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production.

The fascist leaders’ antagonism to communism has been misinterpreted as an affinity for capitalism. In fact, fascists’ anticommunism was motivated by a belief that in the collectivist milieu of early-twentieth-century Europe, communism was its closest rival for people’s allegiance. As with communism, under fascism, every citizen was regarded as an employee and tenant of the totalitarian, party-dominated state. Consequently, it was the state’s prerogative to use force, or the threat of it, to suppress even peaceful opposition.

If a formal architect of fascism can be identified, it is Benito Mussolini, the onetime Marxist editor who, caught up in nationalist fervor, broke with the left as World War I approached and became Italy’s leader in 1922. Mussolini distinguished fascism from liberal capitalism in his 1928 autobiography:

The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (p. 280)

Before his foray into imperialism in 1935, Mussolini was often praised by prominent Americans and Britons, including Winston Churchill, for his economic program.

Similarly, Adolf Hitler, whose National Socialist (Nazi) Party adapted fascism to Germany beginning in 1933, said:

The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai 1990, pp. 26–27)

Both nations exhibited elaborate planning schemes for their economies in order to carry out the state’s objectives. Mussolini’s corporate state “consider[ed] private initiative in production the most effective instrument to protect national interests” (Basch 1937, p. 97). But the meaning of “initiative” differed significantly from its meaning in a market economy. Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade “corporations,” each with Fascist Party members as senior participants. The corporations were consolidated into a National Council of Corporations; however, the real decisions were made by state agencies such as the Instituto per la Ricosstruzione Industriale, which held shares in industrial, agricultural, and real estate enterprises, and the Instituto Mobiliare, which controlled the nation’s credit.

Hitler’s regime eliminated small corporations and made membership in cartels mandatory.1 The Reich Economic Chamber was at the top of a complicated bureaucracy comprising nearly two hundred organizations organized along industry, commercial, and craft lines, as well as several national councils. The Labor Front, an extension of the Nazi Party, directed all labor matters, including wages and assignment of workers to particular jobs. Labor conscription was inaugurated in 1938. Two years earlier, Hitler had imposed a four-year plan to shift the nation’s economy to a war footing. In Europe during this era, Spain, Portugal, and Greece also instituted fascist economies.

In the United States, beginning in 1933, the constellation of government interventions known as the New Deal had features suggestive of the corporate state. The National Industrial Recovery Act created code authorities and codes of practice that governed all aspects of manufacturing and commerce. The National Labor Relations Act made the federal government the final arbiter in labor issues. The Agricultural Adjustment Act introduced central planning to farming. The object was to reduce competition and output in order to keep prices and incomes of particular groups from falling during the Great Depression.

It is a matter of controversy whether President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was directly influenced by fascist economic policies. Mussolini praised the New Deal as “boldly . . . interventionist in the field of economics,” and Roosevelt complimented Mussolini for his “honest purpose of restoring Italy” and acknowledged that he kept “in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman.” Also, Hugh Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, was known to carry a copy of Raffaello Viglione’s pro-Mussolini book, The Corporate State, with him, presented a copy to Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and, on retirement, paid tribute to the Italian dictator.

Deus X

Deus X

PkrBum wrote:

It is a matter of controversy whether President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was directly influenced by fascist economic policies. Mussolini praised the New Deal as “boldly . . . interventionist in the field of economics,” and Roosevelt complimented Mussolini for his “honest purpose of restoring Italy” and acknowledged that he kept “in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman.” Also, Hugh Johnson, head of the National Recovery Administration, was known to carry a copy of Raffaello Viglione’s pro-Mussolini book, The Corporate State, with him, presented a copy to Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and, on retirement, paid tribute to the Italian dictator.

Great, PkrBoy posts an article linking FDR and the New Deal to Fascism. You stupid shit, PkrBoy, the New Deal SAVED capitalism. You have the historical perspective of a mayfly--and, apparently, the intelligence as well.

As a result of the dog-eat-dog capitalism of the 20s, the Great Depression was driving the country into anarchic chaos. Read some REAL history, you dumb shit, instead of crazy-ass reactionary drivel.

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