The Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC Monday night featured New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. During the supportive chat, Keynesian Krugman again asserted that more federal spending would have headed off what he calls our current Depression:
The right comparison is if we had normal job growth in the public sector, which is roughly with population. So, which is what happened more or less under President George W. Bush....So this would not be a Depression if we hadn't had those big public sector cuts. It would still be an economy that was underperforming, but it wouldn't be anything like the disaster that we're still experiencing....And if we had a federal revenue sharing program, which we did not have a beginning of the Recovery Act, which President Obama proposed (?) last fall, then you can do that. So if we had, I've been saying $300 billion a year but you know we can negotiate numbers here. If the federal government were to provide that money, then those schoolteachers would be rehired with and we would be out of this Depression.
But to see Krugman in full smug mode, one had to check out his blog at nytimes.com. His Monday afternoon blog post could have easily passed for a parody of Krugman's pomposity.
We’re coming up on the second anniversary of my piece "Myths of Austerity," in which I tried to knock down the simply insane conventional wisdom then gelling among Very Serious People. Intellectually it was, I think I can say without false modesty, a huge win; I (and those of like mind) have been right about everything.
But I had no success in deflecting the terrible wrong turn in policy. Moreover, as far as I can tell none of the people responsible for that wrong turn has paid any price, not even in reputation; they’re still regarded as Very Serious, treated with great deference. And the political tendency behind that terrible economic analysis has at least a 50% chance of triumphing in America.