If you have watched the MSNBC news stars lately (Olbermann, Maddow), you have likely seen this face:
This is Paul Krugman. His boyish, impish grin and his Nobel for Economics has been too much for TV news producers to resist ever since the financial crisis became a front page story.
Along with Krugman’s vague (and sometimes contradictory) ‘guidance’, you are likely to also hear this come through the lips of Maddow and Olbermann:
“Every economist in the country agrees that this stimulus package is required to prevent the recession from becoming another Great Depression.”
These 200 economists, apparently a group too small for the radar screens of these popular MSNBC anchors, subscribe to the ideas of another Economic Nobel winner, Friedrich Hayek.
Wikipedia had this to say:
Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics with Gunnar Myrdal “for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.” He also received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991.
Hayek had a VERY different view from Krugman’s on the concept of stimulus, central banking and the causes of economic booms and collapses. He would have objected to the ideas coming out of DC right now and it’s likely that to a man that position is shared by the 200 economists aligned with Hayek (a group often referred to as the Austrian School of Economic Thought). One such economist is Dr. Thomas E. Woods, who’s brand new book “Meltdown” is a must read in my estimation. Ron Paul is another notable leader in Austrian Economics.
Mr Olbermann & Ms Maddow were both responsible for top notch journalism during the Bush years, providing crucial opposing voices at a time when many writers and anchors went submissive to the White House like so many frightened pet rabbits.
And now, under an Obama administration? This rhetoric from both of them, this myth that ‘all economists agree and support the stimulus bill’ smacks of the very ‘say anything to help the team’ stench that Olbermann and Maddow so deftly criticized the right wing pundits for these past 8 years.
At a time like this, when so much is at stake, one would think that economists who predicted the current financial downturn would be regarded as prophets. While it’s true that Austrian Economic thinker Ron Paul has been summoned for TV interviews (he foretold all of these economic events years ago), the vast majority of economists that have been pushed before viewers are disciples of exactly the kind of thinking that got us all here in the first place. Krugman is a good example.
So, please…the next time you hear someone tell you that ‘all economists support the stimulus plan’, please correct the myth…and please write an email to Olbermann and Maddow while you are at it.