Nobel prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman, has another good Op-Ed in the NYT this morning. I’ve been reading the comments to his article and found one I think is spot on and one-ups Paul. Here it is:
Dr. Krugman, without digging through dozens of books and articles, and hundreds of email newsletters and posts, I can’t say exactly how many I’ve read predicting both the current American disaster and explicating the stupid and selfish policies of the I.M.F., World Bank, and our Fed and financial system. America was drunk on power and self-satisfaction. Mr. Bush and his “team” — if that’s what we could call an emaciated shell of neocons and the likes of Greenspan and Paulson — were not borrowing from Peter to pay Paul but robbing both to support their bogus wars and pie-in-the-sky budgets. They deliberately pumped up the price of real-estate and allowed a reverse salami-tactic to add small slices of greed until finally the whole cancerous mess exploded in our and the world’s face.
Of course every word you write tonight makes sense, but I didn’t see the worst miscreants even mentioned. Yes, Rubin, Greenspan, and Summers were there about two-thirds of the way through the build-up of the house of cards, which began during Reagan’s first year in office. And, yes, they were blind to the disaster they were pushing further down the path. Mr. Clinton, who was so compromised after the CIA/Contra operation in Arkansas, was further weakened by scandal and Newt Gingrich, such that he stopped being a Democrat and rolled over to be an Eisenhower Republican (lite). Then along came liar George Bush, 9/11 (which somehow happened despite numerous warnings), the use of 9/11 as a pretext for what Mr. Bush had in mind all along, and the American people fat-dumb-and-happy from all the prosperity of the exploding housing market, which turned perhaps half the homes in the country into giant ATMs.
It is no wonder that Europeans don’t respect us, that U.S. G-20 efforts will be met with resistance. The one thing you say tonight with which I disagree is: “even when — as in this case — the Americans are right.” Perhaps from a purely economic perspective we’re more right than the Europeans, which is to say that they should make stronger stimulus efforts. Certainly you’re correct in saying that the whole world needs to pull together, especially the G-20 nations. But if we are deranged enough to think we can continue to wage war (or peace, or whatever today’s euphemism is) in Iraq and Afghanistan, maintain some 800 military bases around the world, be the de facto world cop, and march relentlessly ahead with our military budget, why would Europeans and others respect us? If we can’t simply pass a few laws about automobile mileage and emission standards and then enforce them, why would Europeans think we could lead the world economy? If we can’t figure out a way to shift to an economy based more on production and less on consumption — especially of foreign-made goods, again we can see why others are cynical about the U.S.’s ability to lead.
The ultimately ugly truth is that we are too hypocritical as a nation to be taken seriously by others. If a child’s parents are on drugs, they’d best not lecture the child about not using drugs.
— Butler Crittenden, San Francisco, CA