You are mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence
— the Evil One could have been referring to Paul Krugman, from Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981)
I haven't gone after Paul Krugman for some time now, but that's an itch I just have to scratch once in a while. I'm going to tear Krugman a new asshole today, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. I started to go after him in yesterday's post, but stopped short. That just made the itch worse. It is regrettable that those of us who are burdened by the ravages of intelligence must endure such a man.
Let's move on to the offense itself. This following text and graph are from Krugman's blog post Is The Economy On The Mend? (dated September 5, 2012). I'm going to make this really easy for you. Look for the red text in the quote below.
The best case for that proposition, I think, comes if you believe that excessive household debt was at the core of the issue. Obviously this is a view I like; Gauti Eggertsson and I have done some formal modeling (pdf), and Atif Mian and Amir Sufi (pdf) have provided strong empirical evidence.
And if that’s what you think the problem is, we have in fact made significant progress. Here’s the ratio of household liabilities to GDP: [graph below]
Between debt repayment, defaults, and — since recovery began in mid-2009 — rising income, the US has made a lot of progress in deleveraging. Add in the fact that we’ve worked off the excess construction from the Bush years, and there’s a pretty good case that the stage has been set for a much stronger recovery over the next few years.
The Household Liabilities (Debt)/GDP Ratio. Krugman used a non-zero-scaled graph to mislead you about how much deleveraging there has been.
See here for a longer, deeper perspective (St. Louis Fed, CMDEBT/GDP).
Even if that’s true, by the way, inadequate stimulus and debt relief have inflicted huge, gratuitous suffering. But the case that we have been healing all the same is pretty good.
WTF! What a tool!
I will let the Pew Research Center and the U.S. Census Bureau refute this nonsense. The text is from Pew's A Recovery No Better than the Recession. The graph is from the latest 2012 Census report for the year 2011 (pdf).
The median income of American households decreased by as much in the two years after the official end of the Great Recession as it did during the recession itself. The latest estimates from the Census Bureau show that the median income for U.S. households in 2011 was $50,054. In 2009, the year the Great Recession ended, the median income of U.S. households had been $52,195 (in 2011 dollars). Thus, in the two years since the end of the recession, median household income has fallen by 4.1%.
The decrease in household income from 2009 to 2011 almost exactly equaled the decrease in income in the two years of the recession. During the Great Recession, the median U.S. household income (in 2011 dollars) dropped from $54,489 in 2007 to $52,195 in 2009, a loss of 4.2%. By this yardstick, the recovery from the Great Recession is bypassing the nation’s households...
From the Pew report referenced above — "The continuing decline in household income means that 12 years have now passed without the median exceeding a previous peak. Estimates of household income from the Census Bureau are available starting from 1967. The highest level recorded for median household income since that year is $54,932 in 1999 (inflation adjusted to 2011 dollars). That was the end result of a record-long economic expansion in the 1990s. The recession in 2001 triggered a significant decline in household income through 2004. As the recovery strengthened, the median household income in 2007—$54,489—stood at a level that was approximately the same as in 1999 [at the end of the soon-to-collapse Housing Bubble]. However, the plunge caused by the Great Recession was swift and rapid. The median income in 2011—$50,054—was 8.9% less than its level in 1999."
To sum up, median income has fallen as much during the two years since the "recovery" began as it did during the recession itself, despite the fact that Obama claims that some 4.5 million jobs have been created on his watch. In fact, according to the Bureau of Lies And Obfuscations, or BLO(W), also known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs in the United States has just gone net positive for the four years Obama has been in office.
How many jobs do we have now compared to January of 2009? "The revised data show that the economy added about 125,000 jobs since Mr. Obama took office, for a new total of nearly 133.7 million jobs" according to newly revised BLO(W) data. And what happened to median household income in the four years it took to add those 125,000 net jobs? It declined 4.2% in 2007-2009, and another 4.1% in 2009-2011.
Lately Mr. Krugman has dedicated his life to shilling for Hopey-Changey, or as is his wont, against the Bain Capitalist. There’s a pretty good case that the stage has been set for a much stronger recovery over the next few years, saith St. Paul. And why? Because of debt repayment, defaults, and — since recovery began in mid-2009 — rising income.
We might define an economist as someone who is paid to look the other way. Kind of like a Mafia lawyer or an SEC or DOJ prosecutor. I will be posting about the uselessness of economics soon, but I'll go in a different direction today.
Paul Krugman is the living personification of the DOTE aphorism Politics Makes You Stupid. This phrase can be understood in a number of different ways—they are all illuminating—but the sense I have in mind today goes as follows: the politically partisan are blind. There are no significant exceptions to this rule. And the more fiercely partisan a person is, the less discerning he becomes. No one is more politically partisan than Paul Krugman. He is hardcore. Consequently, Krugman is as blind as a bat.
Of course, I have just scratched the surface of The Krugman here today. He lives in world of delusions within delusions within delusions... These delusions serve to make him quite popular and successful here on Earth.
Well, I don't call it Planet Stupid for nothing.
You know, I have high blood pressure. I take medication for it. I don't need this shit. Nobel Prize! Princeton University! New York Times! It just goes on and on. It never stops! Jesus Fucking Christ! (See here.)
Yeah, I know, I should get over it. Mea culpa.
Well, I have scratched that annoying itch. I feel better now. Krugman Blows.