Friday, June 01, 2012

How To and Not To Debate an Issue

With the Euro's death spiral and the Greek tragedy, Paul Krugman has been a hot interview.  Whatever bunnies may think about those issues, the two videos from BBC Newsnight below clearly show the difference between is and ought in modern policy debates.


Ought (w. Ken Rogoff @ 18:21 also @ 6:22 with Giorgos Papakonstantinou)


More please


bluegrue said...

There is no "Is" there, video is missing. Or is that the point? ;-)

bill said...

OK, Eli: I don't get it. Krugman being Krugman, saying the same things he always says as Krugman: recession + austerity = depression.

Since we can only assume it's him that you believe is doing something wrong here, can you help us out; what?

EliRabett said...

No, obviously Eli made a mistake here and the first part did not appear.

As you say Krugman is Krugman, it's the others

bill said...

Ah, yes - Paul Krugman versus The Zombies.

A movie that may, sadly, run for a loooong time yet...

amoeba said...

BBC World Service Paul Krugman Interview. I don't know whether this link will work outside the UK.

Really interesting, may shed extra light.

dbostrom said...

My headache just became worse. Argentina imploded overnight; this scenario has more inertia so is accelerating more slowly but on the other hand the dent it's going to leave in the final collision will be commensurately worse.

Finger-pointing by Germany is a bit over-the-top; just a few years ago they did offer an open checkbook to all comers, played a key role in bubble inflation. Wagging the the Dutch finger now comes off a bit hypocritical.

Meta-comment: I wish we had television like the BBC here in the States as opposed to our present market failure.

willard said...

Once upon a time, Rogoff was a strong chess player:

Rogoff on chess addiction and why he had to give up the game

susan said...

Krugman is a cracker, would we had his kind of sanity front and center. I guess this kind of brinkmanship is more noticeably urgent across the pond. We are so insular ...

willard said...

The Parsomatic (tm - Eli) moment of the first video:

> We're not in a depression.

As we speak, the econ blogland must be quarreling about the meaning of "depression", hopefully without sounding too much depressing.

susan said...

OTOH, our greedsters are less plausible and more deniable than those clever fruity accented Brits. The issue of tax cuts for the rich is not as noticeable.

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

Noted, in the first video, an intriguing false balance debate of nonsense. Paul Krugman, in his replies to the flak provided by the two mononeuron mosquitoes, was being very diplomatic too, I noted.

Let us look at the panelists back ground.

Paul Krugman:- A real economist, won the Nobel Prize in 2008. Pointed out tax cuts do not create jobs merely concentrates the wealth of a few and destroys the economy of the middle class consumers, creating a self replicating depression, in a consumer driven free market.

Angela Leadsom MP :- Graduate Political science(aka propaganda by any other name) last known employment Corporate Governance "Invesco Perpetual". Back Bencher MP since 2010, say it all about her career.

Jon Moulton :- Chairman "Better Capital", has an interesting resume. Initially joined well known accounting firm with a long history of tax evasion and very questionable corrupt accounting practices, world wide. It is one, which has lost some high profile law suits too, over questionable accounting practices and deserves the "Arthur Andersen Prize"! Career highlights up to 2009, included stints in the business of asset stripping, tax evasion and job destruction, across a whole spectrum of private industries. Only saving grace, has been critical over some of the lax standards and the Venture Capital industries willingness to use "Bottom of the Harbor Methods" to evade taxes.

Not exactly, a very balanced panel of experts, a Nobel laureate economist versus two mosquitoes, who have an extensive history of destroying jobs in the private sector, in the guise of "Venture Capital".

Now, what happens to Greece, if the countries borrowings remain in Euro's and Greece abandons the Eurozone. A quick check of the countries population demographics and economics, will tell us why this is a complete pipe dream.

The answer, to that question, why it is and will always remain a complete failure, can be found in a chapter of modern European history, written in 1919.

Those who fail to learn the lessons from history, are doomed to repeat the same mistakes in a mobius loop.

As always, one should always look beyond the smokescreen of propaganda and horse hockey and ask the basic question.

cui bono.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that one of the 'mosquitoes' Andrea Leadsom is once again desperately trying anything to boost her public profile. So far it hasn't been particularly successful.

The more I see of her, the less I'm impressed and I wasn't impressed the first time.


chek said...

The biggest elephant in the room that caught my eye in the first Krugman debate video was how the 'immorality' of leaving 'debt' to future generations is only a clear and present danger to a neoliberal establishment that only seems to perceive fiscal risk according to its anti-state (read: deregulataory, uncontrolled) ideology.

In contrast, the far graver dangers of climate change, the rise of the far right being turned to by frightened populations and total disregard for social stability.

Bear in mind this is not happening in a depleted, wrecked world (yet), but one that has never been wealthier.

John Farley said...

Good news from Greece! The left-wingers are promising to "renegotiate" the debt and nationalize the banks. The austerity "cure" merely aggravates the economic stagnation. A typical austerity program includes tax cuts for the wealthy, which means that it actually increases the government deficit.

Fortunately, there is an example of a country getting out of the debt trap: Argentina, which was trapped in a depression back in 1998-2002. So they repudiated the debt, spurned austerity, and experienced strong economic growth.
Marc Weisbrot explains it all.


Anonymous said...

Apparently I should be "starting a company." If only I weren't being held back by all these burdensome regulations!

Maybe I'll get a paper route and start a lemonade stand... that should cover those student loans.


Martin Vermeer said...

Probably I'm dumb, but I also don't understand why Greece would want to leave the Eurozone, go back to the drachma, devalue it -- to achieve, in an overly complicated way, the same effect that a state bankruptcy would: making their creditors lose part of their money.

Come on, states go bankrupt sometimes. Germany did so twice.

Anonymous said...

As for the program, the background of the stolen Elgin Marble Statues, with modern political leaders faces, is a dead give way! The shows producers are being very cynical and sarcastic, indeed.

Argentina's economy has not recovered, the funds owed to the Wells Fargo/Wachova Bank lent in the early eighties, are still outstanding and remain on their 2011 balance sheet. Rumor has it, Wells Fargo/Wachova Bank has remained on FDIC's too big to fail corporate bank list, since the late eighties, long before the S&L failures of lax regulatory regime of President GHW Bush Sr., between 1986 up to and including 1991.

Which fined corporate US Wank, totally ignored the lessons of the investment for profit property implosion bubble of 2008 and also has $359 billion dollars in unpaid student loans?

Link to the fine :-

The Banks legal counsel and audit committee was totally comatose at the wheel, for that crap to fly again, post October 2008. It also explains why it's stockholders said no, to the CEO'S Vickram S Pandit's latest pay rise/bonus request.


Those who fail to learn the lessons in history, are doomed follow the mobius loop.

bill said...

Incidentally; those caryatids in the background? Really, really creepy...

PS - some of these photos in recaptcha are of indistinguishable blobs!

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

As, I said before, the producers are really cynical and do not take themselves seriously.

"Paul Krugman: 'I'm sick of being Cassandra. I'd like to win for once'

The American economist has a plan to escape the financial crisis, and it doesn't involve austerity measures or deregulating the banks. But will policy-makers, including our coalition government, heed his advice?"

Link :-

Cheers ;)

willard said...

Where it is explained how Rogoff came to play the shortest draw in chess history which was also the shortest decisive game

Anonymous said...

A spectre is haunting Europe.

Is Europe still a ghost infested swamp and is that still the bedrock of the European Project?

Paul Mason told us (2nd Video 18:24) that "There is no shortage of spectres to haunt Europe".

Neither fascism, communism nor anarchism are what they used to be and these are not the 30s and 40s but nor have those decades past into irretrievable oblivion. They are locked away out of choice, by an intention that some things are best forgotten.

Was Mason wise to give us a glimpse of a largely ignored history?

Perhaps not but I do hope that the leaders of the nations that share in the project are aware of history.

It bothers me that they be sleepwalking in the swamp, as was their want.

The risk of that history repeating itself is gone but of it being summoned up to some other end hasn't gone away.

There is always the hope that leaders are dishonest and whilst saying one thing do another. That they talk the tough words but prepare to befriend and protect.

I cannot see that they can dare to say outright that they will defend the project no matter what it takes, but if they don't prepare such a defence then their European dream will not be quite the same ever again.

The spectacle of Greece tearing itself apart, or worse still Spain, may not risk a military conflict between nations but if they fall out of the Euro and are devastated economically would the whole Union come to their aid? If not what message do they risk sending?

Actions have consequences, if amongst them is a ressurgence of suspicion, fear and loathing then Europe will find much to remember and no shortage of opportunists to harness those bitter thoughts and prejudices.

I do not know if it is wiser to stay silent on these matters but I doubt it is wise not to recognise how much may be risked if Greece is shunned, or worse punished first and then abandoned.


J Bowers said...

How not to debate. On a popular live TV show, too.

Golden Dawn MP's live TV assault shocks Greece