August 29, 2003

#117: His stupidist column yet ...

P. Krugman

In Fistfuls of Dollars (08/29/03) Paul Krugman plays military affairs "expert " again and, in the process, writes the stupidest column of his entire tenure so far at the New York Times. And that covers a lot of stupidity!

His thesis today is that Bush will fail in Iraq because of a lack of money and troops. But Krugman's problem, as usual, is that he can't see beyond the end of his partisan nose. Bush won't fail quite simply because he (and we) can't afford to fail. If it takes a bigger deficit and the repositioning of some troops, then that is what will happen. But those are not even the most relevant issues. The greater Middle East including much of north Africa and as far east as Pakistan is a snake pit of failed societies. An unholy alliance of radical Islam and local hoodlums masquerading as government officials is holding back millions of people from economic progress. And that alliance is threatening the rest of us with violence at the same time. There is absolutely no reason why these mostly Islamic nations can't join the world community in growth and prosperity much as the Asian nations did earlier last century. But a free and democratically functioning Iraq is crucial to that process. The alternative is a nightmare that would be much more expensive ultimately in lives and dollars than we are expending now.

We think Krugman needs to get back to economic topics rather soon. He is about to begin a period of serious melt down over his anti-Bush economic outlook. The 2nd quarter GDP growth rate was just revised upward to a 3.1% annual rate. And, many serious economists believe SERIOUSLY that the 3rd quarter will be 7% or 8% and that calendar 2003 can exceed 4%. There will probably even be some job creation by the end of the year, but that normally lags a bit. In any case, Krugman will have some heavy duty damage control to undertake in the next five or six weeks. We can't wait!

[The Truth Squad is a group of economists who have long marveled at the writings of Paul Krugman. The Squad Reports are synopses of their discussions. ]

Posted by John Weidner at August 29, 2003 9:30 AM
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