Sunday, January 16, 2011

Krugman the Idiot

I know that it is a given that Paul Krugman is an idiot, but every once in awhile it is tempting to remind oneself why by reading his column.  This prevents the normal mellowing that you have for any ignorant fool, and to which Krugman is not entitled.  The latest comes in the form of his opinion piece "A Tale of Two Moralities."  In this sophist tripe, the esteemed Nobel Prize winner (motto: We only pick people who will drive Republicans crazy, even if they haven't achieved anything) takes it on himself to examine the difference between him and everyone else.  Tigerhawk has already done an excellent job of deconstructing his nonsense, but if I may, Dear Reader, I would like to add a few more items for your consideration. First
One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.
This is so fraught with unexplained leaps of logic, I can only assume that he is going for the Olympics next. Mr. Krugman believe that it's only right for the rich to pay more to pay for those less fortunate. They do. In spades. But the logic still fails in one very vital aspect: What if rich people give their money directly to the poor instead of giving it to the government. In the overall cost of things, isn't that better? It cuts out the middleman and eliminates overhead. But I suspect that Mr. KRugman would not be satisfied. It would seem as if in his world, the only legitimate way to aid the less fortunate is to do it through the government. There is no explanation for this assumption, and I am at a loss to explain one.
The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That’s what lies behind the modern right’s fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty.
Taking out the utter nonsense about violent rhetoric which has nothing to do with the rest of the paragraph, I am not that much in opposition to him. But he thinks that I am being selfish. I see no difference between what the government does and a mugger sticking a pistol in my side and telling me to give it over. Mostly because of the gross imbalance of how much is taken. It is similar to a discussion I had with a young friend who is a True Believer of the Left side. He though it only fair that the rich should pay their fair share. When I pointed out that would mean a tax cut, he was completely at a loss. It seems as though so many of the Left are unable to think beyond their preconceived notions.
No, I said, if you have a flat 10% tax, and someone earns $10,000 they would owe $1,000 in taxes. But is someone made $1 Million, they would pay $100,000 in taxes, which is a lot more than the first example. "Well, yes" my young friend said, "but the guy making a million has too much stuff, he can do with less." I asked him, how much less? He had no numerical answer, but just knew that they should be able to do with less, since the guy making $10,000 is able to get by with less. I then reminded him that he makes more than $10k, should he give up his stuff to get down to the $10k limit as well? Again no answer, since he was planning on helping poor people, and they would reward him with more than the $10k guy because he helped. I then asked him why they shouldn't reward the millionaire even more, since that guy helped them even more than he would? Again, I got the look of "What's wrong with you?" Which is given everytime you ask questions outside of their orthodoxy.
Krugman and my young friend suffer from the same disease: The desire to help without actually, you know, doing anything. This is not about helping the poor, since that can be done directly, but this is about power. The power to redistribute wealth as they see fit. Not with logic or any sense of fairness, but to punish those they think undeserving for whatever reason, and to reward those they think disadvantaged in order to reap their adulation of being so generous with other people's money.
The sort of wealth redistribution that they long for was tried before in this country. People don't really remember, but those of us old enough can hark back to the day when a worker's pay was increased if he married, and again for children by the private employer. The rationale was that it was good for society to have stable families, and it may have been, but the net result was that a poor worker with a large family could be paid more than a good worker who was single. The interesting thing is that what ended the policy was the advent of Women's Liberation. By demanding equal pay for equal work, it forced employers to re-look who was getting paid what, and to tailor it to the needs of the company.
I really can't deal with the rest of the post by Krugman, but you are welcome to read it here if you want. But I still think Tigerhawk has the better.

No comments: