In what has now become a New York Times ritual, Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman immediately eviscerates "Civility" Prize Winner David Brooks, after Brooks writes his usual Wolf in Sheep's Clothing column pushing the latest right wing nonsense disguised in ludicrous "Centrist" rhetoric.
Today's Brooks column is actually titled The Structural Revolution and pushes the latest theme that it's not tax cuts or other reactionary policies he has pushed for years, but "core structural problems":
The diverse people in this camp — and I’m one of them — believe the core problems are structural, not cyclical. The recession grew out of and exposed long-term flaws in the economy. Fixing these structural problems should be the order of the day, not papering over them with more debt.Of course this leads to the conclusions that "the old economic and welfare state model is unsustainable." In other words, we need to kill the New Deal.
Unlike the cyclicalists, we structuralists do not believe that the level of government spending is the main factor in determining how fast an economy grows. If that were true, then Greece, Britain and France would have the best economies on earth.
Krugman will have none of it:
1. That’s what Very Serious People said in the 1930s too. Then the approach of war finally delivered the stimulus we needed, and all those structural difficulties turned out to be imaginary.His blog post today is nothing less than a point by point destruction of Brooks' "structural" column.
2. Ireland was praised for its wonderful flexibility; it was a shining example of the art of the possible, declared George Osborne. Then, when things went wrong, it was told that it must fix its deep structural rigidities.
3. Anyone who says something like “If deficit spending were the route to prosperity, Greece would be in great shape” should be immediately considered not worth listening to.
In Point 3, he is directly calling out Brooks' "Greece" comment above and telling readers that Brooks is "not worth listening to."
Of course, even "shrill" Krugman is civil enough not to call out Brooks by name (although we all know that Brooks is definitely one of the "Very Serious People"), but reading Paul after David makes it obvious:
The Nobel Winner thinks the other guy is a dangerous idiot.
Hmm. I wonder whom we should believe.
Update: In the comments, RFK Lives notes that the foremost Brooks critic, David Brooks' Irish Terrier, Moral Hazard, has finally weighed in (via Charles Pierce) on his Master's latest effort. My favorite quote:
So, once again, Master decided that the world was divided into two Capitalized Kinds of people, and, purely by coincidence, Master was one of the smart Capitalized Ones. Moral Hazard thought there were only two kinds of people in the world — people who thought the world was divided into two types of people, and people who actually knew what they were talking about. But he kept that to himself.Who's a good dog?