by Young Back Choi
Paul Krugman complains the centrist US Senators’ attempt to whittle down the House stimulus plan by some $80 billion “eliminates hundreds of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, [and] undermines schools….” If not more government spending is eliminating jobs and depriving people of goods, then, obviously, the government should spend more. In fact, Krugman believes that the $800 billion House stimulus plan “wouldn’t have been enough to fill the looming hole in the US economy.” Krugman has indeed been arguing for government spending without any restraint. Are we to believe the assertion of last year’s Nobel Laureate in Economics that government spending will solve the problem of scarcity?
If he is right, no one has to make a choice, or a trade-off; one has only to ask the government to provide whenever one has a felt need for anything. We seem to have a case of a most distinguished economist refuting the fundamental laws of economics.
Sadly, Krugman is not alone. Every day, renowned economists from the most prestigious universities solemnly warn Americans that unless something drastic is done soon, (and what they want is a very large blank check), the economy will collapse with catastrophic consequences.
None of them, however, seems to be at all chastened by the thought that for all their expertise on things economic hardly one had any premonition whatsoever of the impending situation they argue is so dire. If anything, these are the very economists who promoted the policies that have brought about the current crisis—credit expansion to avert any sign of recession, or crisis, or simply for the benefit of the needy. Forgetting their past deeds, they want Americans to do something, now!
Isn’t creating the fear of losing what one has, and planting a false hope of painless gain, even as a quick decision is urged, the standard trick of a con man?