The Spectacle Blog

Krugman Upended by His Own Logic

By on 8.13.14 | 1:37PM

In a recent New York Times column, Paul Krugman made the assertion that “self-proclaimed libertarians deal with the problem of market failure both by pretending that it doesn’t happen and by imagining government as much worse than it really is.”

But suppose we flip that around — substituting “muddle-headed progressives” for “self-proclaimed libertarians” and “government failure” for “market failure.”

Compliments to Per Bylund, a research professor at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, for making the necessary adjustments in a blog post at Mises. org. This is what you get: 

Muddle-headed progressives deal with the problem of government failure both by pretending that it doesn’t happen and by imagining the market as much worse than it is.

Exactly.

Remember the federal stimulus program that did nothing to stimulate the economy? Predictably, Krugman said the program failed because — at $1 trillion plus — it was too small. That is the only kind of government failure that he will ever recognize — the awful mistake of leaving too much money in the pockets of people who earned it and who might be trusted to find better ways to spend it than government planners and bureaucrats.

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