There’s several great scenes in the classic ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ where Kevin Kline as the dim-witted narcissistic con-man gets riled up when someone calls him ‘stupid’. (see video)
Generally, we have found in life that we won’t follow the lead of someone who calls us ‘stupid’. On the other hand, we have also found that it is very difficult to get people to follow our lead or to even like us when we call them ‘stupid’.
Life just doesn’t lend itself to calling people ‘stupid’ and getting away with it.
Unless you are Nobel Prize-winning Paul Krugman who somehow has kept his job writing for the New York Times and his Nobel Prize despite having none of his prescriptions for restoring robust economic growth ever work over the past 4 years.
He has called Home Depot founder Ken Langone an ‘ignoramus’ which ought to go over really well in the Langone family. By implication, he has also called everyone else who doesn’t agree with his Nobel Prize-winning theories ‘ignoramuses’ as well.
If you click on the ‘ignoramus’ link above, you’ll get a better feel for the hubris of Mr. Krugman. It is pretty smug and for a Nobel Prize-winning economist, pretty petty when you get down to it.
Mr. Krugman says people are ‘stupid’ when they believe the economy works like a family budget:
‘The economy isn’t like an individual family that earns a certain amount and spends some other amount, with no relationship between the two’.
That much is sorta true..in the vacuum of space. The economy, the government and each family have a certain amount of finite resources beyond which it is more than dangerous to exceed spending. That is one part that we think Mr. Krugman and President Obama might be just a little ‘stupid’ on themselves.
Mr. Krugman will go to his grave believing ‘if we just spent more money on government programs in 2008-2013 (and still counting) and taken on far more debt and/or raised taxes by another couple of trillion or so, we would have slain the dragging effects of the massive economic retraction we have all been through.’
That is where we think he and President Obama are dead-wrong and dangerously so. They believe the government can ‘fix’ the economy. We believe the ‘people operating in a free economy can ‘fix’ the economy assuming government gets out of their way’ as Ronald Reagan preached in 1980.
Here’s what we truly don’t get about so-called ‘Keynesians’ when it comes to stimulating the economy:
‘Do they know anything about the trillions of micro-economic and business decisions that have to take place to create millions of new jobs in America?’
We don’t think so. That is why so many of them are living in the cloistered, ivy-walled towers of academia. It is a tough, dog-eat-dog world out there in the rough-and-tumble of everyday American capitalism.
We have often said that if ever elected to any office, we would give a Congressional Medal to any person who ever starts a business and hires one person, even it is only themselves. Why? Because the guts and perseverance it takes to start a company and then run it so it survives past its 5th birthday is monumental in scope.
It takes such an incredible amount of skill and strength to start and run a company that we almost consider it to be as high of a calling in America as serving in our armed forces, on a mission field or in the emergency rooms of the toughest of our nation’s cities.
Why, again? Because these are the people who hire the rest of us, pay us wages, provide us benefits, and then pay the taxes so the rest of us can have welfare benefits, Social Security and Medicare when we need them.
It is a virtuous cycle that begins and ends with the American business person and entrepreneur. We kill both of them with over-regulations and taxation and we have killed any hopes of a better tomorrow for ourselves and our children.
We put Mr. Krugman in the same camp as President Obama of not understanding this ‘virtuous cycle’ of American business simply because neither of them show any signs of ‘getting it’ when it comes to espousing and enacting policies that would actually ‘work’ to expand this economy and bring this desultory ‘jobless recovery’ to end.
But where guys like Krugman and President Obama fail to understand how the economy really ‘works’ is this:
They think all you gotta do is throw a hunk of government money (or borrow it from the Chinese or make it up out of thin air from the Fed on their balance sheet) at the ‘economy’ and poof! ‘Lo and behold! There will be jobs created tomorrow!’
Nothing could be further from the truth, as we have proven for the past 4 years in this petri dish of economic conflagration.
There are maybe 1000 steps between the Keynesian dream of ‘throwing government taxpayer money at the economy’ and the actuality of someone starting a company or an existing business manager hiring one more person to work for them.
Here’s a brief listing of the sorts of things a businessperson processes in their minds on a daily basis regardless of what Paul Krugman and President Obama want to ‘throw at them’ in terms of federal stimulus packages, infrastructure projects or just plain old pork-barrel log-rolling projects you learned about in high school civics classes:
- Who is going to buy my product?
- What is my target audience?
- Can I get my products made on-time?
- Will my products be made 100% perfectly?
- Can I get credit from the bank?
- At what interest rate?
- Has the local community college trained enough people to do the job I need them to do?
- How much money can I mortgage my house for or credit cards can I max out?
- Do I have enough ‘confidence’ to hire one more person and hope I can make more money with them than without them?
- Will this President along with his advisors who agree with guys like Paul Krugman ever figure out that we don’t need or want more regulations and we can’t pay for Obamacare and that is why we ain’t hiring anyone?
That is just 10 of the things that a business person processes before breakfast time every single day they wake up and head into work.
It is near about ‘preposterous’ that well-educated and honored economists such as Paul Krugman and even our President do not understand the basic granular facts about how businesses work in America. Maybe it is because neither of them have ever held a job in the private business or marketing sector. We can not find any evidence that Barack Obama ever set up a lemonade stand or delivered newspapers while growing up in Hawaii.
Running a lemonade stand or delivering newspapers to people’s doors should at least be a minimum prerequisite for any ‘Nobel Prize winning economist’ in the future, don’t you think?
Maybe our future Presidents as well.
Then maybe they wouldn’t feel compelled to call those who disagree with them so ‘stupid’ or ‘ignoramuses’. After all, have Mr. Krugman and President Obama been proven ‘right’ that their way is the best way…yet after 4 years of trying it their way?