Let’s hear it for Paul Krugman! He got Ayn Rand’s views right for once.
This is a big step forward, since he hasn’t always done well by Rand. Still, he managed to get Republicans wrong, so our cheers should be muted.
Here’s Krugman assaulting the “Republican Elite’s Reign of Disdain” on March 18, 2016:
The Republican elite is too committed to an Ayn Rand storyline about heroic job creators versus moochers to admit either that trickle-down economics can fail to deliver good jobs, or that sometimes government aid is a crucial lifeline. [Emphasis added.]
1) Ayn Rand’s story lines are about heroic producers and job creators versus moochers and looters. Now, mind you, it’s a myth to say that this means loving the wealthy for being wealthy or thinking all business CEOs are good people. But what’s wrong with thinking job creators are heroic? Krugman seems to be sneering here, but why?
2) Is the current political debate really about whether to have a raft of programs providing aid to the indigent, unlucky, and impecunious? I don’t think so.
The world benefits from more economic freedom, not less.
Krugman is attacking the Republicans here, and none of them plan to to eliminate these unjust subsidies. The debate is about whether there is too much or too little of these programs. And it is about whether these programs have undermined the work ethic and the family.
Krugman is too lost in his own left-wing echo chamber to even set up the debate fairly. So he ends with this straw-man contrast between no government anything and his own idealization of Swedish levels of social spending.
I wonder: how much subsidy would be too much, in Professor Krugman’s view?
In the article, he speaks approvingly of European welfare states. White mortality there is falling on average, not rising, like in the US. The real output per capita of those economies is mostly well-below the US—see this recent study of real mean per capita disposable income. So Krugman favors a massive economic cram-down on the vague hope that this will magically undo the cultural and educational problems affecting a significant minority of the US population. Thanks, but no thanks.
Professor Krugman should be more objective. And he should take into account the fact the world benefits from more economic freedom, not less—and from more creators, too.