“How many times do people like these have to be wrong and people like me have to be right?”

I wrote recently about Paul Krugman and his struggle with the “austerians” — people who just know know know that austerity is the solution to this (or any) economic crisis.

The video below is a prime example. It’s a clip from MSNBC’s morning show Morning Joe — Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski plus guests talking with (and at) Paul Krugman about ideas that are taught in Econ 101.

Listen:

That’s Ed Rendell chiming in from time to time. When he’s not getting an evening–MSNBC liberal-cred paint job, he’s working for Fix the Debt, the corp- and CEO-funded move to take down the social insurance programs. Who runs Fix the Debt? Obama’s Catfood Commission chairs, Simpson & Bowles of course. (More on Fix the Debt, Ed Rendell and yes, supposed liberal Antonio Villaraigosa here.)

The obvious point — Econ 101–obvious — is that in a demand-driven recession (one where no one is buying), boosting supply is pointless. It just enriches the suppliers (which is the point, when suppliers make the case). If no one’s buying, giving money to factory owners won’t make them build more stuff — the shelves are already full. It just lines their pockets.

Again, obvious stuff, but when you work for the suppliers (in this economy, the predator class) you mouth(e) what they want you to mouth(e). [Update: “Mouthe” is like “breathe”, right? Soft “th”?]

Some fun samples from the clip:

■ Ed Rendell said the best way to stimulate the economy was to get the debt under control. To which Krugman replied, “Have you been living in the same country I’m in these past five years?” This is their only song, their constant theme. You’ll hear it many times in this segment; h/t Susie Madrak for the Rendell version. Note also, this is how Ed Rendell earns his keep. He spouts this stuff for pay, even if he believes it as well.

■ And later: “How many times do people like these have to be wrong and people like me have to be right?” Answer: An infinite number, Paul. For the reasons stated here.

Consider this gay-fearing San Francisco 49er counter-programming. Enjoy.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • GaiusPublius

    I was working on the analogy to “breathe”.

    GP

  • condew

    Yes, you can have growth when everyone has debt, they all just need income in excess of their debt service; much like the decades preceding Bush the lesser. In an austerity maniac’s dream, nobody has jobs, so nobody has income, and the economy slowly unravels in a no demand for goods/no demand for labor death spiral.

  • condew

    Sadly, this was on MSNBC; on the network pretending to tilt liberal the sensible voice is outnumbered 4 against 1.

  • rmthunter

    That’s what stimulus spending is for — you put money into the economy so that people have money to spend — that increases demand, which increases growth.

  • rmthunter

    We’re talking faith-based economics here — the paymasters said “Austerity” so austerity it is. Facts are irrelevant.

  • rmthunter

    working for me

  • rmthunter

    I used to work for a law firm that would only hire Harvard or Yale graduates, with an occasional U of C graduate. Some of these guys were jaw-droppingly dim — like the junior partner on a deadline who came out of his office during a power failure to insist that his secretary keep typing on a document. She said “The lights are out.” He said, “You do touch typing, don’t you?” We just stared — until someone gently pointed out that we used electric typewriters.

  • Guest

    Yes. Actually, you can. If you wait until every debt is cleared, regardless of how stagnant the economy is, everybody suffers. What people like you don’t seem to be able to comprehend in your constipated minds is that future growth takes care of present debt. And that a modest, controlled rate of inflation cures a lot of ills. Where have you been since 1929?

  • dula

    I’m sure he’s tired of talking/debating pro-austerity douches, but I wish he would call them out on their “entitlement” BS every time they promote it.

  • guest1

    You cant have demand or growth when everyone has debt

  • GoBlue

    How many high schoolers even take a basic economics class? I went to an all-girl Catholic high school and the only economics we were taught was HOME economics. Girls didn’t need to know about money, anyway–it was divinely ordained that wives are supposed to defer to their husbands about all things economic.

  • GoBlue

    “Mouthe” is not a word.

  • Houndentenor

    If your class doesn’t understand the basics, you can’t move on to intermediate much less advanced topics. It’s not Krugman’s fault he has to stick with the 101 topics. They obviously can’t even understand that. We all know that when we hear the same idiot talking heads say things like “no one could have seen the mortgage meltdown coming”. Except plenty did, and even the banks creating the mess had put on hiring freezes and other cost cutting programs in place in early 2007 to brace for the inevitable crisis they had created. They were warned, they did it anyway, and they never had to take the blame for what they did. And the idiot pundits who couldn’t figure out they were being lied to in 2007 and 2008 still can’t figure it out. Pathetic.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I suspect that the members of Congress to which you refer may even be lawyers, but have a collective IQ smaller than the sum of letters in Naja Pallida.

  • Naja pallida

    I think you hit the nail on the head… there’s no need to go into in depth and complicated economic theory. The problems with our economy should be readily apparent to anyone who has taken a basic high school economics class. Though, I’m pretty much at the point of believing that only a fraction of Congress actually has a high school education.

  • emjayay

    He may have a Pulitzer Prize and all, but Paul never goes beyond the basic concepts taught in any Econ 101 class in his teevee appearances. Actually, he doesn’t go beyond what I taught high school seniors in one semester of Econ. There is no need to. Still, it all seems to go over (or bounce off of) everyone’s head as ususal. Kind of like when Chis Matthews addressed the obvious totally race baiting and general otherness dog whistling of that Mormon guy’s campaign and the panel treated him like a rabid dog and responded with conventional platitudes.

  • emjayay

    No, he’s a Pulitzer Prize winning economist. Probably he forgot.

  • pappyvet

    “The Roman arena was technically a level playing field. But on one side were the
    lions with all the weapons, and on the other the Christians with all the blood.
    That’s not a level playing field. That’s a slaughter. And so is putting people
    into the economy without equipping them with capital, while equipping a tiny
    handful of people with hundreds and thousands of times more than they can use.”

    Louis Kelso

  • pappyvet

    But the economy IS working. Just not for the American people.

  • dula

    Does Krugman actually consider SS and Medicare, entitlements?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ” Where is the “supply” —-there is no actual supply. The minute finance gurus declared debt as asset, it was a slow unending road to depression. Part two will be coming up soon enough.

  • Guest

    Have always been mystified by the term “supply-sider”. Where is the “supply” — or what good is it — if there’s no market for it?

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks for the note, Kim. Just tested it; works for me. Try again? Anyone else having trouble?

    GP

  • Kim_Kaufman

    link to Villaraigosa/Fix the Debt is broken.

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