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Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman

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I thought this was pretty interesting as the two seem to be polar opposites in regards to economic philosophies. I am not too sure how accurate RP's data is (on the Roman empire and after world war II) so if someone more knowledgable on this subject wants to clarify that for me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Edited by Matt Giannelli

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Ron Paul should have answered that first question by saying, "I'm an advocate of libertarianism in politics, capitalism in economics -- and liberty in general. Paul Krugman is an advocate of slavery in politics, socialism in economics -- and tyranny in general. I like Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, while Krugman likes Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. I want everyone to be free, rich, and happy; Krugman wants Big Brother to enslave and impoverish us all, and make our lives an infinite hell."

It's sad that Congressman Paul immediately starts off with trivia -- and doesn't focus on essentials, as I did above. I think he lacks both the ability and the desire to stick to the central political/economic/sociological issues. Paul is psychologically and spiritually weak, in my opinion. This whole debate could have been a magnificent and truly enjoyable Clash of the Titans. Instead, it's merely boring and annoying. And it's INFINITELY frustrating. :dough:

Paul needs to study philosophy more -- starting with Rand. But also Locke, Smith, Voltaire, and Jefferson. And certainly the economic giants Von Mises and Hayek.

Marx, Lenin, Mao, Keynes, Galbraith, Stiglitz, and Krugman are the anti-human, pro-slavery, economic scum of he earth -- but you wouldn't know it to witness this lame, useless, hopeless debate!

Edited by Wotan

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The core problem with this exchange is that Krugman is right and Paul is wrong--if you cede Krugman's core premises that it's okay to appropriate other people's money are true. The problem is, Paul doesn't go there. The easiest way to get rid of Paul Krugman is to bring up another economy that "worked" really well such as Egypt under the pharaohs--no unemployment there! Amazing!

The other problem with refuting Krugman the way that most latter-day Republicans do is that he's absolutely right when he says that austerity (lower government spending) will tank the economy as a whole in the short (or even medium) run. Coming off years of crack cocaine in the form of stimulus spending is never never going to just be a lot of fun like the Republicans would have you believe.

My fear here is that the Krugmans of the world are going to have their day (and they are having it now in terms of all of the current numbers) when they show that all of the promises of immediate recovery turn out to be false. Krugman remains quite confident even given a political climate that has turned against him and a giant PR disaster for Keynesian policies with the failed $700b stimulus package...

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I won't watch the clip, but Keynesians like Krugman are wrong in their prescriptions except for the short term. The U.S. Federal reaction to this recession has been unambiguously Keynesian, while the reaction of the States and Municipalities has had to include large elements of austerity. Netted out, the "solution" has been to provide fiscal stimulus. Krugman and his ilk will say it is insufficient, and they're wrong. Even in the little areas where we have seen austerity applied, it has done good. Our local school-district was forced to close a few schools and lay off some teachers. Other cities have been forced to attack their pensions issues. There is much more that needs to be done here, and some more would have been done if we did not have such a huge stimulus that was largely directed to help public-sector workers at the state and local levels.

Even if I were a politically realistic Keynesian, I would not adopt Krugman's advice. Firstly, I would have realized that this downturn is more serious that the typical one. Given this, a sensible Keynesian would have delayed stimulus for a little while, allowing a little more of natural market-driven liquidation. I would have advised Obama to use some of his early "political capital" to talk about austerity, asking everyone to tighten, using the bully-pulpit to tell people to take wage cuts in order to help the unemployed, and I would have used it as an opportunity to raise taxes on 'the rich". The country would have gone along with the new president if he had sold them on "shared sacrifice". He could not get away with it for long, but he would probably have a year or two. Simultaneously, I would have told him to talk about stimulus, and perhaps even to do a bit of it, but to keep the rhetoric high and the outflows low in the first year. The likely result would have been that unemployment would have become even worse and home prices would have fallen sooner. Then, in the second year, while he still had a Democratic congress, he could have passed the stimulus, keeping the bulk of the outflows in 2011, and the early part of 2012. As part of the deal, he could have "compromised" with the GOP, rolling back some taxes on the "rich but not too rich". The net result would be: a slightly healthier economy, because a little extra liquidation would have taken place, and a short term boost right at the time he needed it for re-election. He might even have kept the Congress in Democratic hands that way!

Edited by softwareNerd

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I would have advised Obama to use some of his early "political capital" to talk about austerity, asking everyone to tighten, using the bully-pulpit to tell people to take wage cuts in order to help the unemployed, and I would have used it as an opportunity to raise taxes on 'the rich". The country would have gone along with the new president if he had sold them on "shared sacrifice". He could not get away with it for long, but he would probably have a year or two. Simultaneously, I would have told him to talk about stimulus, and perhaps even to do a bit of it, but to keep the rhetoric high and the outflows low in the first year. [...] He might even have kept the Congress in Democratic hands that way!

Whose side are you on, anyway? ;)

Seriously, though, he'll probably win the election anyway.

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@Snerd: Krugman has bitched and whined about the original stimulus being way too small since before they even passed it. I'm sure he too saw what you are pointing out here.

When I run all the scenarios, I see Obama squeaking a win in Nov. (mostly because Romney is just so horrendously weak as a candidate and he has nothing significantly different to offer the voters).

As for fiscal policy, it's worth noting how Grover Norquist has built a water-tight big dam around the flood of new taxes--but of course has done nothing whatsoever about the water coming in (he assumes that Congress will "do something" hardy har). What does this mean? Visualize all Republicans who signed his no-tax pledge breaking their vows all at once as they will have no choice and there will be safety in numbers. Then that will be the end of Grover Norquist as a political force.

Then we'll be back to the world where Republicans will raise taxes just like Democrats do. Fiscally--Ron Paul and the t-partiers notwithstanding--I don't see any significant difference between the Ds and the Rs. If the Rs take power they will want to stay there--which means doubling down on the hand-outs. We've just seen

What well have when this is all over is the "Christian Redneck Party" and the "NYCali Elitist Party"--the overall difference being more to do with personality than ideology, which each picking narrow hot button issues to side on for all the special-interests.

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@Snerd: Krugman has bitched and whined about the original stimulus being way too small since before they even passed it. I'm sure he too saw what you are pointing out here.

When I run all the scenarios, I see Obama squeaking a win in Nov. (mostly because Romney is just so horrendously weak as a candidate and he has nothing significantly different to offer the voters).

As for fiscal policy, it's worth noting how Grover Norquist has built a water-tight big dam around the flood of new taxes--but of course has done nothing whatsoever about the water coming in (he assumes that Congress will "do something" hardy har). What does this mean? Visualize all Republicans who signed his no-tax pledge breaking their vows all at once as they will have no choice and there will be safety in numbers. Then that will be the end of Grover Norquist as a political force.

Then we'll be back to the world where Republicans will raise taxes just like Democrats do. Fiscally--Ron Paul and the t-partiers notwithstanding--I don't see any significant difference between the Ds and the Rs. If the Rs take power they will want to stay there--which means doubling down on the hand-outs. We've just seen

What well have when this is all over is the "Christian Redneck Party" and the "NYCali Elitist Party"--the overall difference being more to do with personality than ideology, which each picking narrow hot button issues to side on for all the special-interests.

Romney is a Keynesian as well so the real policy difference is miniscule. Neither are principled enough to risk losing the election by touching the entitlement programs -- especially SS and medicare, because older voters are the most dependable.

I think that Romney will lose particularly because of his inability to explain his healthcare policy in Massachusettes. His response, "it's okay for a state government to do it but not a federal government" is laughable. I am not happy between the two choices. But I do think, and hope, that 2016 will bring a candidate that is alligned with the Tea Party, hopefully it won't be a religious fanatic as the uprising has seemed to be mixed in with the relgious right and the war hawks.

@ Crow, I agree. I do think it is possible for Keynesian policies to work for a bit, however, it is doomed to fail in the long run especially when the government is still borrowing during times of economic surplus. It will fail by two possibilities, ceterus paribus, by a debt crisis or a revolution due to too much government control and influence. But you are right, there needs to be an intellectual revolution to defeat Keynesian economics. It needs to be attacked at the heart of its philosophy and the point needs to be made: Self-sacrifice through the appropriation of funds by taxation will never create true wealth. Wealth comes from innovation and production.

I heard something today that was pretty classic. Sean Hannity asks Bob Beckel (I don't like Sean Hannity because he is a statist disguised as a fiscal conservative but I do think this was sad): "How much money out of every dollar should I be allowed to keep?" and Bob Beckel responds: "45 cents."

When are we going to attack the core of their philosophy, which is what gives them the right to take other people's money and give it to someone else? That is when you expose collectivist policies for what they really are.

Edited by Matt Giannelli

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Well, note that even if you prove Keynesian economics will "work" forever, they would still be wrong because they depend on the idea that people owe their neighbors a living.

This is the problem I have with many Objectivist discussions about economics: there's a defense of Austrian economics where none is needed and an equally pointless attack on Keynes qua economics. I think this sort of thing gets Objectivists in a lot of trouble.

Proper economists need to start with the idea of individual rights and work from there. Arguing from the other direction is like using an argument for the gold standard to "prove" the existence of gold.

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Well, note that even if you prove Keynesian economics will "work" forever, they would still be wrong because they depend on the idea that people owe their neighbors a living.

This is the problem I have with many Objectivist discussions about economics: there's a defense of Austrian economics where none is needed and an equally pointless attack on Keynes qua economics. I think this sort of thing gets Objectivists in a lot of trouble.

Proper economists need to start with the idea of individual rights and work from there. Arguing from the other direction is like using an argument for the gold standard to "prove" the existence of gold.

I see your point but I believe launching a moral conversion against an opponent can be extremely difficult because of how vast the gap is between Objectivism and nearly every other philosophy out there. I have tried this strategy many times in debates and often I run into a brick wall of indifference or astonishment if I point out that I have never signed a social contract or that I am being robbed at gun point through taxation every year. This argument generally goes spiraling into political philosophy and is too much to cover in a single meeting. Unfortunately, it is often much easier to just use the Austrian route and point out how illogical the Keynsean policies are and how every market intervention will necesarily harmful.

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I see your point but I believe launching a moral conversion against an opponent can be extremely difficult because of how vast the gap is between Objectivism and nearly every other philosophy out there. I have tried this strategy many times in debates and often I run into a brick wall of indifference or astonishment if I point out that I have never signed a social contract or that I am being robbed at gun point through taxation every year. This argument generally goes spiraling into political philosophy and is too much to cover in a single meeting. Unfortunately, it is often much easier to just use the Austrian route and point out how illogical the Keynsean policies are and how every market intervention will necesarily harmful.

Exactly. You couldn't have made my point any better for me.

Yes, the intellectual change necessary to affect real change in our society is going to take a long long time. It will start in Universities.

The "Austrian route" is a dead-end, and ultimately makes things much worse in the long run. It reinforces the premise that economics should drive politics, which in turn will only lead to totalitarianism because, given that premise, you cannot win an argument for freedom with anybody with half a brain.

Now, none of this stops latter-day Republicans and t-partiers and Libertarians from trying. Insofar as they try, they look like unreasonable idiots--which in turn makes us all look like unreasonable idiots...

If you read Paul Krugman (and I think people should) you will see that his only problem is his basic premises, and he is remarkably consistent and rational otherwise--far more so than virtually all of those who oppose him qua economics. This is making Paul look very very good in the eyes of anybody with a dedication to reason, which for the long term cause of freedom is very very bad.

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Can't listen to Krugman. Total indignation.

Total indignation for you. Total fury for me. :devil:

Slugman is a monster. And he knows he's a monster.

Edited by Wotan

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