For a postmodern progressive, almost everything is a question of opinion. Biology, climate science, and mathematics have lost more accuracy in the last 10 years than when I turned up for my final exams after a night of drinking. And I can assure you that my hungover answers were pretty inaccurate. Today, on the other hand, the Left has discovered a science that is not a question of opinion: economics. You may think they’ve finally figured out that you can’t spend more than you earn. You would be wrong. They’re still all for the spending ceiling reaching the International Space Station. They just happen to have discovered that people have the wrong views on economics, especially those of us who believe that a baby pangolin with its hands tied to its tail could manage anything better than Biden could when he was in his prime, circa fifth century BC.
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The celebrated and prestigious chicken sexer Paul Krugman is not worried about the U.S. economy; he is worried about what people think about the U.S. economy. In his latest article, he asserts that the American economic situation is “remarkably strong” and yet “the public remains very negative on the economy.” I read him so astonished that I can only fall back on the old adage to try to figure things out: If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and behaves like a duck, then it’s probably Paul Krugman!
Let’s see. If everyone except Krugman has the feeling that Joe Biden is wrecking the economy, there are only two possibilities: Everyone is wrong, or Krugman is wrong — an option that, as you know, the economist does not contemplate.
The economy is one of the few subjects where optimism or pessimism conditions the data. It doesn’t matter too much how the economy is actually doing if those who have the capacity to expand or tighten it are scared to death, or depressed, or have lost all hope.
Any reasonable person would agree that the negative perception about the country’s economic performance could be related to the total distrust generated in investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs by someone like Joe Biden — and, in particular, his socialist policies aimed at penalizing those who have succeeded in life, those who have created great businesses, those who have managed to get rich with their hard work, and his maniacal tendency to condition the laws of the market so that Greta Thunberg can go to sleep happy at night, following lunatic environmentalist postulates. But no, before that, Krugman prefers to assert that millions of Americans are wrong about what they see on the street and in their pockets. Today’s socialists not only think they know better than you what to do with your money; they think they can interpret better than you how your household finances are doing. This reflects exactly to what extent sectarianism always trumps rationality on the postmodern Left.
Still, perhaps Krugman is right that we should consider data separately from perceptions. But it amazes me that the Left only claims this in the economic sphere; if, for example, in any debate about transsexuals you ask them to separate data from perceptions, the most normal thing is that they would burn you at the stake, because that would imply isolating the essential fact: Anyone that does not have a penis is a girl. What makes impressions more important in biology than in economics, when it is precisely in the latter where they can contribute something that influences reality? A postmodern progressive is someone who does not believe that a bunch of hopeless investors can unleash economic disaster but does believe that a bunch of people who think of themselves as gladioli will get flowers to grow on their heads.
Krugman also alludes to Republican “extortion” in the matter of the spending ceiling. Personally, here, in France, in Spain, or the Congo, I feel more extorted by excessive taxes. Beyond the issue of Biden’s perceptual economic management that the New York Times describes, the whole thing is misguided: It is a mistake to let politicians manage the spending ceiling. Who should be in charge of that is their mothers. If you’ve ever seen Mom do the household shopping, you’ll know that she’d never think of increasing spending without first eliminating stupid federal waste, which is a large part of the total federal waste every time Democrats occupy the White House.
As a columnist, I’m a scientist of stupidity. So this is also data, Paul.
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