July 8, 2013
I disagree with Paul Krugman on just about everything. But his recent piece in the NY Times has some significant insights.
Put it this way: If unemployment rises from 6 to 7 percent during an election year, the incumbent will probably lose. But if it stays flat at 8 percent through the incumbent’s whole term, he or she will probably be returned to power. And this means that there’s remarkably little political pressure to end our continuing, if low-grade, depression.
Krugman’s hindsight is spot on regarding Obama’s re-election and our ongoing economic ennui. His closing correlation between what’s happening now and what happened in the 30’s is scary. Now, as then, Americans seem to be settling for mediocre solutions from mediocre leaders. We are willing to accept a lower standard of living and reductions in our personal liberties just to “get along.” Of course, Krugman’s solution is bigger government run by those same leaders. I think that would just lead to even more bureaucracy and even more mediocrity. And, as Krugman points out, the 30’s depression really only ended with WWII. Not a solution that any of us wants.
June 25, 2012
In the 1934 book, “The Logic of Scientific Discovery,” Karl Popper wrote:
“Long-term prophecies can be derived from scientific conditional predictions only if they apply to systems which can be described as well-isolated, stationary, and recurrent. These systems are very rare in nature; and modern society is not one of them.”