Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Escapist Literature My Ass -- UPDATE

Dr. Krugman finds that "Idocracy" was more present-day documentary than satirical futurist speculation:
Krugman Feud With Reinhart-Rogoff Escalates as Austerity Debated

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman refused to back down in a dispute with Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff over a 2010 paper they wrote that’s been used to justify austerity in the U.S. and Europe.

Reinhart and Rogoff, in a May 25 letter posted on Reinhart’s website, accused Krugman of “spectacularly uncivil behavior” for asserting in an article published in the New York Review of Books that they had withheld data from their research. A day later, Krugman said the two have done little to dispel what he called a misconception generated by their paper -- that economies falter when debt levels exceed 90 percent of gross domestic product.

Nobel Prize-winning Economist Paul Krugman pauses during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg “If the authors ever made an effort to correct this misconception, or indeed if they have ever even acknowledged that it’s a misconception, it was done very quietly,” Krugman wrote in the May 26 article on the New York Times website. “I’m sorry, but the failure to clear up this misconception has done a great deal of harm.”...

For those just catching up on this subject, here is a brief summary of Dr. Krugman's debate with the Beltway Insider Club over the last five years:
Krugman: Okay, look. You wanna solve this problem. So why don't we just try it, okay, and not worry about what economies crave?"

Entire Beltway Media Consensus: But austerity has what economies crave!

Entire Beltway Media Consensus: It's got Reinhart-Rogoff!

Krugman: What is Reinhart-Rogoff? Do you even know?

Entire Beltway Media Consensus: It's what they use to make austerity.

Krugman: Yeah, but why do they use them to make austerity?

Entire Beltway Media Consensus: Cause austerity's got Reinhart-Rogoff.
UPDATE -- Those with mad science fiction chops and a long memory know that the plot for "Idiocracy" was borrowed almost entirely from "The Marching Morons" by C. M. Kornbluth, which was first published in Galaxy over 60 years ago:
"The Marching Morons" is a science fiction story written by Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in Galaxy in April 1951. It was included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965.

The story is set hundreds of years in the future: the date is 7-B-936. John Barlow, a man from the past put into suspended animation by a freak accident involving a dental drill and anesthesia, is revived in this future. The world seems mad to Barlow until Tinny-Peete explains the Problem of Population: Due to a combination of intelligent people not having children and excessive breeding by less intelligent people, the world is full of morons, with the exception of an elite few who work slavishly to keep order. Barlow, who was a shrewd real estate con man in his day, has a solution to sell to the elite, in exchange for being made World Dictator.


Anonymous said...

I work in IT, so as much as I liked that movie, I cannot tell you just how depressing it was. No, it is *NOT* "speculative" fiction. It's Tuesday. Every, fucking, Tuesday. And some Wednesdays.

I cannot tell you how many persons with letters have gotten nasty with me because I am too lazy and/or incompetent and/or malfeasant to, say, "do something on the computer" to move a light switch or power outlet along the wall, or make the wall grow a new power or network outlet, or make she shelves on a desk's hutch grow taller, or make a monitor grow larger, or make a desk become weightless and slide along the floor because calling the movers is too much work.

I have learned to never be shocked that people say some astoundingly stupid shit, and then defend it against someone trying to get them to see reason.

Oh, and Driftglass, one of my captcha word was EPA. You may have to spray around the baseboards of your website for socialisms. If you don't spray often, you could start seeing communisms.


Pinkamena Panic said...


Please. Stop doing this. Everyone.

Compound F said...

sadly, Krugman is a "growth" specialist; the last thing in the world, literally, the world needs. As for the politics of austerity, one would do well to read Stirling Newberry, in particular, his "American Thermicor thesis, and subsequent updates, which outline that austerity is simply a measure to prevent demand for scarce oil, until the "Reagan Play II," comes to fruition, which it won't. Thank you for your time.

Scott Ingram said...

Compound F, do you mean American Thermidor?

Thanks for that, I'll have to check it out.


Anonymous said...

Krugman: Look at all these graphs showing what happened to the our economy after the stimulus. Look at these graphs of what has happened to the Euro economies after austerity...see the difference?
E.B.M.C: There you go with that "fag talk" again......

JerryB said...

From celebrated authority to third rate hack in three easy steps. 1) Release error ridden paper supporting RW theory. 2) Accept accolades for error ridden paper. 3) Be discovered to have produced error ridden paper by lowly grad student.

Frank Stone said...

Reinhart and Rogoff, in a May 25 letter posted on Reinhart’s website, accused Krugman of “spectacularly uncivil behavior” for asserting in an article published in the New York Review of Books that they had withheld data from their research.

Remember, kids: "uncivil" in the conservative lexicon means "calling us on our bullshit".

Anonymous said...

The problem is, they are not seen as third rate hacks. The grad student is socialist... something-something communism... Liberal Agenda... Kenyan Witchcraft! And, with that, the original authors can simply attack the student and never admit their paper is horribly flawed.

I actually didn't say "stupid people are breeding". I was actually talking about people with higher degrees, up to M.D. / Ph.D. The last person to yell at me, and then step out of the room to badmouth me to her co-workers, because I was too lazy/stupid to "use the computer" to make the only power outlet slide along the wall to the opposite corner, was someone with a Masters in Public Health. I don't think the problem is who is bumping the uglies. I think the problem is that we are rapidly crashing into a post-fact, post-literate society. In my experience, people think that they don't have to know things because those who do are public servants or personal servants. The story "Idiocracy" is actually a much better metaphor, here. Knowledge and useful skill marks you as the servant class. People don't know, and don't want to know. They simply want to make decrees that make the other person inferior and servile, they want to be told that they are right and smart, and they want to be obeyed. When that demand to be obeyed involves things that a reasonable person can see involves sorcery, that's a problem.


blackdaug said...

From anon.
I may not have my PhD in econ ...but i have my masters .....
And what I said is the absolute truth...
If not for the stimulus..we wold be looking at 22% unemployment .....right fucking now.
Take that you gg worshippers...

Pinkamena Panic said...

Mike K., it's not just you. It's every fucking time someone screams "OMG IDIOCRACY!" while pointing at someone/something they don't like. It's just so tiring to have to hear/read it again... and that's not even getting into the elitist undertones of Idiocracy itself.

bowtiejack said...

Yes! I am one of those with mad science fiction chops and a long memory and I loved both The Marching Morons and Idiocracy.

And Yes! Mike K. is right. Although I would say we are moving to a neofeudal arrangement where position/money/favored birth/religious belief/etc trumps actual science/facts/knowledge/competence.