Contrepoints, Contre-Krugman

Threat identified! Threat identified! Prof. Krugman, please call your office!

Paul Krugman continue de divaguer: Il est maintenant très évident que les recettes keynésiennes n’ont pas réussi…



And coming out of France, of all places! I thought liberals like Krugman were always in league with those cheese-eating surrender-monkeys!

But seriously, folks . . . I follow daily, and for that matter closely, Paul Krugman’s highly-influential New York Times blog The Conscience of a Liberal. I mean, who does not? – if you’re interested in economics generally and in the general economic mess the West has gotten itself into specifically. It’s just amusing suddenly to stumble upon a hotbed of anti-Krugman argument and invective from what you would think to be an unlikely source, and indeed one that has supplied this site’s Twitter-feed with the occasional news-bit – very occasional. (And yes, I know, Prof. Krugman is unlikely to care much – not about EuroSavant, certainly, and neither about Contretemps.)

Anyway, if you please, check out the article to which the above tweet links: Paul Krugman continues to ramble (as in “ramble & rave like a madman,” my Larousse tells me). The lede?

Keynsians are currently in hot water since it’s now quite evident that their prescriptions have not succeeded in relaunching the American economy. Despite billions of dollars committed, they tell us that it hasn’t been enough . . . They look for explanations to prove their point, but in so doing they only succeed in painting themselves into a narrower corner of their ivory tower.

So writes someone going by the name Le Minarchiste – probably a play on words – who zeroes in particularly on Krugman’s recent theme that “money is not a problem,” i.e. there is plenty of money out there, but banks are simply not willing to use it to make loans, nor firms in order to invest and hire people. Revenons sur terre si vous le voulez bien – let’s get back down to earth here: banks won’t loan, businesses won’t invest because too-high taxes make it unlikely they will get a satisfactory return for doing so. It’s after-all small business that is America’s jobs and economic-growth motor, and small business feels itself constrained not only by those taxes but by the general regulatory uncertainty and inflationary government-deficit policies.

Throughout the piece this Le Minarchiste peppers his text with references to one supposed expert after another. And he takes the very graphs Krugman recently used on his blog to prove his point (“money is not a problem,” remember) to disprove Krugman’s assertion, in a neat bit of rhetorical ju-jitsu. He even has the class – or his graphics editor does – to put at the top a fantastic shot of Prof. Krugman expounding a point (likely at one of the Sunday talk-show programs he frequents) and looking very dashing indeed.

Anyway, I think I’ll remain largely on Krugman’s side. But I admit that I don’t ordinarily go looking for on-line views that contrary to his (“counterpoints,” as it were), other than when the good professor himself includes such links in his writings.

Maybe I should. If so, this Contrepoints site looks like a good place to go. Check it out: on this same “Continue de divaguer” page you also have more juicy anti-Krugman articles linked off to the side:

A veritable anti-Krugman French cornucopia – and perhaps (along with Camus, De Beauvoir, Racine, and all the others) one more reason to learn to read French, dear reader!

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