If one does not read enough economic illiteracy from Paul Krugman’s Monday column in the New York Times, there always is David Brook’s Tuesday column, which presents the neo-con (emphasis on “con”) view of the world. One must remember that the editorial writers at the Times actually believe that Brooks is a free-market guy.
Today, Brooks demonstrates his Great Knowledge of Capitalism in the following paragraph:
…Republicans could offer the public a realistic appraisal of the health of capitalism. Global capitalism is an innovative force, they could argue, but we have been reminded of its shortcomings. When exogenous forces like the rise of China and a flood of easy money hit the global marketplace, they can throw the entire system of out of whack, leading to a cascade of imbalances: higher debt, a grossly enlarged financial sector and unsustainable bubbles.
If the free market party doesn’t offer the public an honest appraisal of capitalism’s weaknesses, the public will never trust it to address them. Power will inevitably slide over to those who believe this crisis is a repudiation of global capitalism as a whole.
Wow! It is hard to know where to start. The rise of China’s economy is not some sort of “exogenous” attack on capitalism; it is the result of China permitting private investment and entrepreneurship, both of which were illegal when Mao and his henchmen (supported by the NYT editorial writers at that time) were in charge.
Second, “capitalism” has not “flooded” the globe with “easy money.” It was central banking and government policies that did that, something the ancients once called socialism.
Third, the Republicans never have been the “free market party.” In saying that he is afraid that the anti-capitalists are going to “win,” Brooks manages to lay the current crisis at the feet of capitalism without even mentioning the government’s roll in creating and maintaining this crisis.
But wait! There’s more! Brooks then gives us this one, which is full of “internal contradictions,” to use a socialist phrase:
…Republicans could get out in front of this crisis for once. That would mean being out front with ideas to support the wealth-creating parts of the economy rather than merely propping up the fading parts. That would mean supporting President Obama’s plan for global stimulus coordination, because right now most of the world is free-riding off our expenditures. That would mean eliminating all this populist talk about letting Citigroup fail, because a cascade of insolvency would inevitably lead to full-scale nationalization. It would mean coming up with a bold banking plan, rather than just whining about whatever the Democrats have on offer.
Whoa! He complains about propping up the “fading parts” and then advocates propping up a fading company. And then there is the line about the rest of the world “free-riding off our expenditures.” People, that is rich, rich, rich.
As Peter Schiff has said, it is the USA that has been free-riding off the rest of the world, taking their products for our green paper, which they then use to buy more U.S. Government debt, and then continue the practice over and over again. The “stimulus” is just another episode in this same sorry and unsustainable chain of events.
I must admit that while Brooks does not have the academic “credentials” of Paul Krugman, this column truly is worthy of Krugman’s praise and adoration. However, I would bet that Krugman himself would claim that this was a “free-market” column.