Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Republican Economy

Paul Krugman calls out his NYT columnist colleague David Brooks on the causes of immoral American profligacy. It seems that Brooks himself referred to the date when it all started, 1980, which, as Krugman strains to recall, has to do with someone whose name begins with R.

There have been a number of graphs out on job creation and other signs of a healthy economy, and the experts on free enterprise and its wondrous effects, the Republicans, don't do such a good job at those kinds of things.

For an empirical scientist like me, when the data overwhelmingly contradicts your theory, you change the theory. And yet the Republicans still say the same old things.


Andy said...

That all assumes the state of the economy at any point in time has a direct relationship to who happens to be President, which I don't think is a safe assumption to make.

troutsky said...

Policy matters.But "R" was also a culture warrior who glorified self-interest.Wall Street took it to heart.

Cheryl Rofer said...

Andy, eight years of bad economic policy (or is it thirty?) has to have an effect. And it's not just the president; we've got all those Republican free-enterprisers in Congress who have been passing all those bad laws.

Andy said...


Well, if you start with the assumption that R policies = bad and D policies = good, then it's only natural one would leap to certain conclusions. However, even though I was just a kid, I don't remember the economy in the late 1970's being all that spectacular and I seem to remember President Clinton fully supporting a bunch of policies (and Alan Greenspan, Mr. interest-rate killer)) that came around recently to bite us in the rear; that Congress under Reagan had Democratic majorities, etc.

Maybe it's just me, but blaming our current economic ills on that other "R" party doesn't sound very "empirical." I think the case is pretty strong that both parties failed to implement good policy.

Cheryl Rofer said...

Andy, you're reading assumptions where there aren't any. The policy is bad. It has been pushed by Republicans.

Sometimes each party puts forth good policy, sometimes bad. I think that many sorts of economic data suggest that the past thirty years of "free enterprise" and deregulation have proved the value of those policies.

They are mostly Republican policies, although at times Democrats have indeed been complicit.