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Friday, February 15, 2013

Paul Krugman: Rubio and the Zombies

Marco Rubio is spouting revisionist, fallacious, scary, zombie-type ideas:

Rubio and the Zombies, by paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: The State of the Union address was not, I’m sorry to say, very interesting. ... On the other hand, the G.O.P. reply, delivered by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, was both interesting and revelatory. ... Mr. Rubio is a rising star... What we learned Tuesday, however, was that zombie economic ideas have eaten his brain. ...
Start with the big question: How did we get into the mess we’re in?
The financial crisis of 2008 and its painful aftermath ... were a huge slap in the face for free-market fundamentalists. ... Instead of learning from this experience, however, many on the right have chosen to rewrite history. ... Every piece of this revisionist history has been refuted in detail. No, the government didn’t force banks to lend to Those People...; no, government-sponsored lenders weren’t responsible for the surge in risky mortgages...
But the zombie keeps shambling on — and here’s Mr. Rubio Tuesday night: “...In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.” Yep, it’s the full zombie.
What about responding to the crisis? Four years ago, right-wing economic analysts insisted that deficit spending would destroy jobs ...and ... send interest rates soaring. The right thing, they claimed, was to balance the budget, even in a depressed economy.
Now, this argument was obviously fallacious... Sure enough, interest rates, far from soaring, are at historic lows — and countries that slashed spending have also seen sharp job losses. You rarely get this clear a test of competing economic ideas, and the right’s ideas failed.
But the zombie still shambles on. And here’s Mr. Rubio: “Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.” Zombies 2, Reality 0.
In fairness to Mr. Rubio, what he’s saying isn’t any different from what everyone else in his party is saying. But that, of course, is what’s so scary.
For ... one of our two great political parties has seen its economic doctrine crash and burn twice: first in the run-up to crisis, then again in the aftermath. Yet that party has learned nothing; it apparently believes that all will be well if it just keeps repeating the old slogans, but louder.
It’s a disturbing picture, and one that bodes ill for our nation’s future.

    Posted by on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 12:24 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (71)


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