Skip to main content

As long as you ignore the short shrift he provides in his analysis of the current state of the U.S. housing market, Paul Krugman has an above average (for him) op-ed in Friday’s edition of the NY Times, headlined, “The Stimulus Tragedy.”

The Stimulus Tragedy
Paul Krugman
New York Times (Op-Ed)
Friday, February 21st, 2014

Five years have passed since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the “stimulus” — into law. With the passage of time, it has become clear that the act did a vast amount of good. It helped end the economy’s plunge; it created or saved millions of jobs; it left behind an important legacy of public and private investment.

It was also a political disaster. And the consequences of that political disaster — the perception that stimulus failed — have haunted economic policy ever since…

He then discusses the positive aspects of the administration’s stimulus program, and segues into the fiasco which, for purposes of discussion, I label as the austerity movement that swept Europe, first. (More about this in a minute.)

Krugman then glosses over the (first) U.S. housing bubble and the current state of that market, spinning it with barely a mention in a three-sentence paragraph…

…There’s no mystery about why: America was coping with the legacy of a giant housing bubble. Even now, housing has only partly recovered, while consumers are still held back by the huge debts they ran up during the bubble years. And the stimulus was both too small and too short-lived to overcome that dire legacy….
Stop.

No, Professor. In many local markets around the country we’re already well into yet another housing bubble. And, in large part, this one was created by our government throwing U.S. homeowners (equity in one’s home is/was the primary asset of the U.S. middle class; the primary asset of the investor class [the top 10%] is securities) under the bus, in favor of yet more giveaways to the investor class.

Adding more insults to even greater middle class economic injuries, the folks on Capitol Hill, with the blessing of then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, raided the $50 billion bailout set-aside for mortgage mitigation for Main Street, to the point where—as of today per ProPublica—just a pathetic $6.05 billion of those funds have been spent.

I’ve published other posts on this subject over the past few months (this is from October 31st, 2013)…

…As I noted in a post here on September 18th, after our economy crashed in 2008, our government set aside $50 billion to aid distressed homeowners via the originally-established homeowner/mortgage bailout programs that were implemented that year and in 2009.

That amount was then quietly scaled back in Congress to $29.93 billion.

As of today, since 2008, our government has spent a paltry $6.05 billion to aid homeowners with mortgage modifications. Here's a link to more from ProPublica supporting these shameful statistics

Just over five years after our economy crashed and burned, we now have a brand-spanking new housing bubble, as I’ve recently pointed out that Wolf Richter’s just reminded us. Thursday, he highlighted another angle to this story--something else which, frankly, should upset the hell out of any self-respecting, non-corporatist Democrat--and it’s this…
Housing Bubble II: What’s Ruining Home Sales? Not The Weather!
Wolf Richter
TestosteronePit.com
Thursday, February 20th, 2014   1:26AM PST

Broadside after broadside. Applications for mortgages to buy a home, not to refinance one, dropped 6% for the week, to the lowest level since September 2011, 17% below the same week last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported on Wednesday. Not a one-week debacle: they’ve declined sharply year-over-year since fall. Blame the weather?

Then the Census Bureau reported that in January single-family housing starts, an indicator for housing construction, plunged 15.9% and multifamily production 16.3% from December. Overall they were 2% below prior year – “due largely to unusually severe weather,” explained soothingly the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)…

The problem with the National Association of Home Builders’ (HAHB) spin is that, as San Francisco-based Richter points out, “…housing starts also plummeted 17% in the West, including on the populous West Coast where the weather has been gorgeous.

On top of this, the NAHB’s confidence index “…‘outright cratered’… In January, it was a lofty 56 (above 50 shows positive sentiment). In February, it dropped 10 points – its largest monthly dive ever – to 46. The NAHB blames the “unusually severe weather conditions across much of the nation” that led to a drop-off in buyer traffic.”

... the largest drop occurred in the sub-index for the West, including the West Coast where most of the West’s construction takes place, a region that was cursed with more sunny weather instead of much needed rain: home builder confidence plunged 14 points!
Sales to “…first-time home buyers – the crux of the housing market – dropped to just 27% of all purchases in December, from 28% in November, from 30% in December 2012, and from the 30-year average of 40%."
...First-time buyers have been pushed out not by bad weather but by higher home prices, higher mortgage rates, and a flood of cash buyers – 62.5% of all buyers in Florida – many of whom are investors...
Richter then proceeds to rip through a lengthy array of sales/price statistics to underscore the greater reality: “…homes once again [are] beyond the reach of many hardworking Americans."

And, who’s creating this new bubble? Well, it’s the investor class, of course!

We’ve now arrived at a point where, “In 29 of the largest counties where 20% of the population of the 325 counties in the study live, the monthly cost of owning a home now exceeds the costs of renting an equivalent home. Despite gravity-defying rents!"

Richter mentioned this trend, again on Thursday, as I had also noted in his crosspost published here on February 4th.

…first-time buyers, in addition to the price having moved beyond their reach, are struggling with a particularly tough handicap: ballooning student loans. Total student loan balances have quadrupled since 2003. An immense burden on the fragile shoulders of young people. They’re already having trouble servicing their student loan debt, with delinquency rates spiraling elegantly out of control.

“This is a huge issue for us,” admitted Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David H. Stevens. “Student debt trumps all other consumer debt. It’s going to have an extraordinary dampening effect on young peoples’ ability to borrow for a home, and that’s going to impact the housing market and the economy at large.”

Again, for emphasis: The CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association has just stated that student debt is undermining the lower and middle sectors of the housing market.

(From Wednesday, here at DKos: Wolf Richter: “The Young Subprime Debt-Slave Generation.”)

So, aside from overlooking this “little” problem with student loans, as well as how that’s also having an extremely adverse effect upon the housing market—the veritable financial backbone of the middle class—and the economic recovery on Main Street, in general, Krugman’s fairly spot-on in Friday’s NY Times. Especially, when he closes out his column, as follows…

…There’s a long-running debate over whether the Obama administration could have gotten more [financial stimulus from Capitol Hill]. The administration compounded the damage with excessively optimistic forecasts, based on the false premise that the economy would quickly bounce back once confidence in the financial system was restored…
Krugman, at least in part, is referring to the administration’s spin regarding our “Recovery Summer” from 2010. (You know, when we were all being told, time and time again, that ongoing, unacceptably high levels of unemployment were “just a lagging indicator in an economic recovery.”)

His final sentences today…

But that’s all water under the bridge. The important point is that U.S. fiscal policy went completely in the wrong direction after 2010. With the stimulus perceived as a failure, job creation almost disappeared from inside-the-Beltway discourse, replaced with obsessive concern over budget deficits. Government spending, which had been temporarily boosted both by the Recovery Act and by safety-net programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits, began falling, with public investment hit worst. And this anti-stimulus has destroyed millions of jobs.

In other words, the overall narrative of the stimulus is tragic. A policy initiative that was good but not good enough ended up being seen as a failure, and set the stage for an immensely destructive wrong turn.

(bold type is diarist’s emphasis)

No, Professor Krugman. Just ask any recent college graduate or young person attempting to enter the job market and/or settle down and raise a family if this is “…water under the bridge.” For far too many young adults there is no “bridge.” They’re losing sleep at night because they’re drowning in debt and living in a world where the American Dream has morphed into the American Nightmare.

It did NOT have to be this way.


#            #            #

If you'd like more in-depth info regarding what's happening with the latest U.S. housing bubble, be sure to checkout Kossack gjohnsit's excellent post, linked here: "What's wrong with housing today: A visual guide."


#            #            #

 
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Seriously? (8+ / 0-)

      Inside the bubble? He could change his name to Cassandra!

    •  I would like to mention to him (37+ / 0-)

      that it's not just the young who are drowning. The water is lapping the chins of some of us older folk who were decimated by job losses before full SocSec age, wipeout of 401Ks to survive, horrifying utility bills due to the frigid temps, loss of extended UI, not enough jobs to go around and age discrimination if you get interviewed, and so on.

      •  It's the middle-aged who took the hardest hit. (4+ / 0-)

        Something not often talked about b/c politically GenX voters and other plebians wield the least political power of any generation around.  Not as numerous as the Boomers, not as committed and inspiring as the Millenials. Gen X, and to some extent Gen Y, are the invisible generations in our politics.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:00:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "It did NOT have to be this way." (8+ / 0-)

      ...was the diarist's closing sentence.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the main thrust of Krugman's column? As in the Krugman quote the diarist cited:

      In other words, the overall narrative of the stimulus is tragic. A policy initiative that was good but not good enough ended up being seen as a failure, and set the stage for an immensely destructive wrong turn.
      •  The "water under the bridge" line bothered many (21+ / 0-)

        of us for several reasons.  Saying that the Stim "was good but not good enough" is also questionable.  When a WH issues a too rosy chart in early 2009 and the extent of the excessive rosiness is painfully apparent the following year, "green shoots" observations are woefully insufficient.

        There was an economic failure compounded by a political failure in 2009-10 that haunts us to this day.  While Krugman acknowledges the problem, he visibly understates its extent.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:57:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a very real sense it IS water under the bridge (7+ / 0-)

          And it was indeed a lost economic and political opportunity that haunts us.  For example, while heartened that the President apparently is done dealing with Congressional Republicans on the budget, etc. because of their intransigence, that move comes about 5 years too late.  To put it bluntly, he and a lot of Democrats could have strangled that Tea Party baby in the crib had they just told the GOP to pound sand the first time the GOP showed it had no interest in compromise.

          But I think Krugman is just being a realist at this point.  He could certainly be shouting, "I told you so", because he predicted the weak impact an inadequate stimulus would have back in 2009.  Maybe Krugman could have said the stimulus was "better than nothing, but not by much" rather than "good but not good enough", but he is not the one we should be taking to task.

          So what's to be done now?  Severely thinning the ranks of Republicans in Congress would be a terrific start, because it is the Republican Party that is the biggest deadweight on our economy and the biggest threat to our nation's future.  That should be the focus.

          •  Water under bridge means mistakes are recognized (7+ / 0-)

            and attempts are made to rectify them.  I've never seen any recognition of the colossal (both economic and political) errors that were committed in 2009-10, much less attempts to remedy them.  If a spouse has been gambling away the family nest egg for years, and said spouse continues to do so, that's not water under the bridge.

            EVERYONE on this site wants to thin the ranks of the GOP in both houses.  At present, however, I don't see anything remotely approaching a coherent party strategy for doing so.  I don't even see the Senate Dems, as a bloc, bringing minimum wage (a focal point of the SOTU) to the floor and forcing the GOP to take the politically unpopular move of filibustering against it.

            Exactly what issues and themes are Dems running on this year that should help thin GOP ranks?

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:43:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The biggest deadweight is Republicans? (3+ / 0-)

            I was going to write that the biggest deadweight is Wall Street and the speculative casino it runs, but actually, they're worse than deadweight; they're active agents of destroying and extracting wealth from the real economy.
            So, yeah, I suppose it's more accurate to describe the Republicans as "deadweight," so long as at the same time we describe Wall Street as worse than deadweight.  

            My point, of course, is that in terms of economic policies, the Democratic Party is really not that much better than the Republican Party. With the Democratic Party we got a mitigated disaster; with the Republican Party we would have gotten an unmitigated disaster.

            The real problem we have to solve is to restore the idea of the general welfare to economic policy making and implementation. As I have argued repeatedly over the past few years, a central idea of the classical republicanism the US was founded on is a hostility to concentrated power, both political and economic. Classical republicanism warns that the rich will usurp the government if allowed to, and use the powers of the state to enrich themselves, and protect and extend their power and privilege. But the left is increasingly abandoning any pretense of respect for the founding principles of the U.S., and arguing instead that the U.S. republic is inherently flawed as an exploitative capitalist system from the outset. This view totally ignores the voluminous warnings about the dangers of concentrated economic power at the beginning of our republic. The left is now well embarked on a path to unmitigated political disaster.

            So, you have the status quo Democrats like Obama and Rahm Emanuel on one hand, who squandered a historic opportunity to shift the balance of power from Wall Street to the citizens of the republic, and on the other hand you have the activist base of Democrats who have turned their back on the founding ideas of republicanism and are embracing the failed nostrums of socialism.

            Lawrence Goodwyn, author of the book,The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America, passed on a few months ago. I have received permission from his widow to start putting the book on line. Goodwyn's work is all the more remarkable because while it provides a detailed blueprint of how the Populists built a movement to challenhe concentrated economic power in the United States, his work also included a strong critique of socialism as well. For Goodwyn, the most important human struggle was not capitalism versus socialism, but the people versus the powerful and privileged. Or, in terms I prefer, democratic republicanism versus oligarchy. Socialism, Goodwyn saw, was just as terribly flawed as capitalism, and as ideologically rigid as the worst conservatism. Quite simply, Goodwyn noted, socialist societies were just as prone as capitalist ones to create oppressive regimes of hierarchical power: "the history of successful socialist accessions to power in the twentieth century has had a common thread-victory through a red army directed by a central political committee. No socialist citizenry has been able to bring the post-revolutionary army or central party apparatus under democratic control..." Discussing the collapse of populism following the 1896 election of Bryan versus McKinley, Goodwyn wrote, "socialists reacted to continued cultural isolation by celebrating the purity of their 'radicalism.' Thus individual righteousness and endless sectarian warfare over ideology came to characterize the politics of a creed rigidified in the prose of nineteenth-century prophets." Thus, it was naturally Goodwyn's next major endeavor to study, measure, and explain the revolutions of Eastern Europe in the 1980s. And in 1991, Goodwyn gave us Breaking the Barrier: The Rise of Solidarity in Poland.

            But back to the discussion at hand - the point that Democratic elites are almost as disastrous on economic policies as Republican elites are. I am further in debt to Goodwyn, because it reminds me of the disaster Populists faced in the 1896 election, as the national discussion of real economic and financial reform was submerged by the issue of "free coinage of silver."


            Here's part of the next to last chapter, "The Movement versus the Silver Lobby," in Goodwyn's book, The Populist Moment:
            But, as veteran populists viewed matters, two things were wrong with the free silver assessment, and they both pointed to one conclusive reality: it would destroy the people's movement… Since both old parties were in harmony with monopoly, it was necessary to restructure the party system in order to restructure the nation's financial and economic system. That was why the People's Party had to navigate between the sectional barriers of the two old parties and recruit voters from both by hewing to "the middle of the road and "fighting it straight." Indeed, that was what the Omaha Platform was all about. Even granting the highly debatable proposition that a free silver platform might achieve permanent party realignment, no thoughtful person had any illusion that it would address the underlying economic objective. In fact, by so sharply defining the limits of reform, a victory on the basis of a silver coalition would actually preclude the possibility of attaining significant alterations in the prevailing forms of the American monetary system. Free silver did not alter the existing banking system, nor did it end the destructive privilege national bankers enjoyed through their power to issue their own bank notes on which they gathered interest. Mid-roaders regarded this post-Civil War folkway as a veritable license to steal. Silver coinage elevated the folkway into a system; worse, by deflecting debate from the banking system itself as the proper object of reform, free silver actually undermined the greenback cause. What did silver coinage have to do with a flexible currency, for example? While "unlimited coinage at the ratio of sixteen to one" might end the contraction of the currency--if the silver mines held out long enough--it did not provide a flexible monetary system keyed to population expansion and industrial growth. Indeed, it did not even alter the metallic basis of the currency--for silver at a sixteen to one or at any other ratio was a coin of ultimate redemption. Though silverites seemed unable to ponder the monetary system long enough to think the matter through, hard-money inflation that left the banking system undisturbed utterly failed to address the real needs of the nation's producing classes. Anyone could see that free silver provided neither land loans nor commodity loans. Veteran Alliancemen and reform editors summarized their case by reminding party politicians that free silver was a palliative that would ward off the liberating triumph of a fiat currency. In terms of a decisive monetary breakthrough under capitalism, free silver had therefore become a step backward.

            The second objection to Populist-Democratic fusion turned on the need to rescue the democratic process from the permanent corruption that was rooted not only in the monetary system, but also in the power of large-scale capital to shape the substance of American politics. In not the slightest way did silver address the accelerating movement toward industrial combination. As John D. Rockefeller had conclusively demonstrated in the course of creating the Standard Oil Trust, railroad networks were a central ingredient both in the combination movement itself and in the political corruption that grew out of monopoly. Silver coinage utterly sidestepped the whole matter of government ownership of the railroads. What were silverites proposing--that railroad lobbyists begin buying state legislatures with silver coin instead of gold? Would that noticeably improve the level of ethics in the United States Senate? Mid-roaders could summarize all their arguments by asserting that the ultimate monopoly was the "money trust," a banking system of private plunder anchored in a metallic currency and assured of Power because it owned both "Sound-money" parties. "Free silver" was irrelevant to all of these realities; it did not address corporate concentration.

            Now, like then, a failure to understand that the key problem is the structure of the monetary and financial systems, leads directly to an utter inability to conceive of, let alone enact, the types of far-reaching reforms needed to restore balance to the national economy. And then, like now, other issues are used to divert people's attention for the key problem. Like Chris Hedges observed a couple years ago, the problem is no one has the option to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. I have told my Congressman, the handful of times I saw him an local Democratic Party functions that past few years, that there will never be an economic recovery until Wall Street is destroyed. It shocked and terrified him, and he looked wildly about for a way to escape. But I stand by the prescription. And some people here at DKos still object when I make that point. They are today's version of silverites - unable to see the problem, or the stakes involved.

             

            A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

            by NBBooks on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:37:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Read the column (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Headlight

          He agrees with you.

          And the stimulus battle is indeed "water under the bridge".  It was, as you state, "an economic failure compounded by a political failure".  We lost that fight, there's no going back to change the outcome.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:55:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read the column before I saw the diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dump Terry McAuliffe

            I never miss Krugman.  My core point here is that I see no indication whatsoever that the WH remotely recognizes that it made any mistake here whatsoever.  If people choose the wrong path and continue down that path when the extent of the wrong is obvious, the outcome will only continue to get worse.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:33:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's all artificial. (19+ / 0-)

    Stimulus happened, stopped the bleeding, then gets bad press and pared down. This is a planned failure.

    In other news I read that Soros has huge puts for the market to crash again........sometime in Q4 of '14.

    •  it got bad press (33+ / 0-)

      because it was too small by half- yes, stopped the bleeding, but wasn't enough to spark a real recovery. but the administration and its most ardent supporters kept trying to sell it as a real recovery, and then its impact petered out just in time to be spun by the gop as a total failure, in the summer and fall of 2010. both sides were wrong- the administration and its most ardent allies for overstating its impact, and the gop for saying it had no or negative impact. but politically, the timing was perfect for the gop's spin to prevail. in a very big way.

      and one of those who kept saying the stimulus was too small by half, and would peter out just in time to bury the democrats in 2010 was... paul krugman.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:28:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get the Krugman bashing (22+ / 0-)

        that's going on here; I get the diarist's issues with one of Krugman's columns and I understand what the diarist is saying.  I don't necessarily disagree.  But let's count the average number of words in one of the diarist's diaries and the average number of words in a Krugman column.  Krugman's space is limited, he can't go into the detail that the diarist does.  There are things that he just can't explain in a space-limited syndicated column.  And maybe he gets something wrong occasionally.  I'm sure the diarist is guilty of that too, as are the commenters here bashing Krugman.

        So why all the Krugman hate?  I really don't get it.

        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

        by democracy inaction on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:50:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The guy's limited to 500 words (7+ / 0-)

          Krugman has been the biggest and most vocal champion for Keynesian economics. He's been wrong, and done some wrong things. And I've sometimes been critical of him. But I don't see why there's a need to bash him.


          ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

          by NoFortunateSon on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:18:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When he gets bashed, it's usually from the right (8+ / 0-)

            Be it centrist and neoliberal Dems, supply side Repubs, or people who simply don't like his criticisms of Obama. I'm sure he gets it from the left too, but there's not a lot of that on this site, which is hardly far left for the most part.

            He's allowed to be wrong and make mistakes, of course, like anyone. But on the whole I think he gets things right, more so than most pundits.

            Maybe it's because, unlike most pundits, he has a real job too.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:20:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  well, this is Bobswern (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoFortunateSon, Farugia

            Who can only see dark clouds.

            We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

            by ScrewySquirrel on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:29:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Really. Obama humiliated Kuttner by (0+ / 0-)

            taking his advice for a change.

            Presidents going back to John Kennedy have issued executive orders requiring federal contractors not to racially discriminate in hiring and promotion…Today, there is an epidemic of violations of wage and hour laws, the Wagner Act, and the use of fictitious "independent contractors" to deny regular payroll employees their legal rights. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama could require any company that bid on a government contract to be a decent, law-abiding employer...
            Obama now supports an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That's great, but as the rest of his speech will make all too clear, Congress is not about to pass this overdue legislation, or anything else Obama proposes.
            ...
            The leaks and briefings about the president's State of the Union were silent on his power to issue executive orders. Let's hope that the president wanted to maintain the element of surprise.

            There's no such thing as a free market!

            by Albanius on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:10:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let me spell it out for you... (8+ / 0-)

          I.c.e.l.a.n.d.

          They didn't say:

          "But that's all water under the bridge."

          They jailed the bastards.

          And their country survived the terrorist shakedown.

          "The government bailed out the people and imprisoned the the banksters."  

          "The opposite of what America and the rest of Europe did."

          ~Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:15:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  First off, the quote is a fake. (6+ / 0-)

            Which should have been obvious. You really think a head of state would directly insult an allied head of state like that?

            Secondly, no, that's a myth. Very few people here went to jail for the financial crisis, and only for explicit, enron-style fraud, the exact same sort of stuff the US jails people for. The overwhelming majority of those who caused the crisis here got off scott free and are still living the high life. Ask Björgólfur Thor how much he's suffering these days. Poor baby, I'm sure he cries himself to sleep at nights sleeping in a billion dollar pile of cash.

            And FYI, things aren't as rosy here, financially, as you all keep insisting. Where to start, how about when they hacked off a third of all federal spending in austerity, and how 6 years later they're still cutting more?

            The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

            by Rei on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:43:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you sure this posting is meant for me? (6+ / 0-)

              From what we've been privy to via the Snowden releases and the leaked phone conversations we've heard about...I absolutely believe the current President of Iceland would say exactly that.

              Did we jail anyone like the Prime Minister here in the US, as they did in Iceland?

              Are they not rewriting their constitution?

              http://www.economist.com/...

              See the table at the link.

              Björgólfur Thor is being protected by the British gov't, that's why he fled there.  And isn't the British gov't still trying to extract billions from Iceland?

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:15:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Going to Iceland in April, I'll check the bankster (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea

                situation out for you.

                •  Not like it will matter... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  but here's something for you to do: stop 10 random Icelanders on the street and ask them whether any of that "Iceland jailed the bankers, got a new constitution, and threw the old prime minister in jail" - is true. Then come back here and report on your findings.

                  Not like it'll matter. There recently was a thread which was full of DKers with no connection to Iceland, and four people with connections to Iceland (I live in Iceland, one married someone from Iceland, another has family members in Iceland, etc). Every last one of the four with connections to Iceland was saying that the situation in Iceland is not at all like Kossacks keep reporting it. Everyone else, with no connection to Iceland, was insisting that they're wrong and uprating each other's completely false statements about Iceland.

                  It gets maddening sometimes.

                  The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                  by Rei on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:04:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Really? Don't believe your lieing eyes, believe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AlexDrew
                the Snowden releases
                ?

                Just...wow.

                •  ??? "lieing" or should it be "lying"??? (0+ / 0-)

                  Are the Snowden documents fake?

                  Are the reports of the leaked phone conversations too?

                  Give me something to work with here please.

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:37:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your 'quote' (0+ / 0-)

                    Is not from the Snowden documents. It's an internet meme. It never happened.

                    The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                    by Rei on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:08:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do you actually live in Iceland? (0+ / 0-)

                      Were you personally effected by the banking collapse?

                      How badly were you personally effected by all of these crimes?

                      You see, that collapse brought me to the brink of homelessness.  I was so desperate I had to give up my kitties...I couldn't afford to feed them anyfuckinmore!!!!!!!

                      If it wasn't for the great friends and associates here on DK I'd be dead!

                      I'm personally making 1/3 what I was 6 yrs ago...I live from paycheck to paycheck.  Our "social safety nets" are meaningless, I make $9 and that's too much for any help.  I haven't gotten my natural gas bill for this past month yet...but I already know it's going to be higher than I can afford...the simple choice will be...pay the gas company and don't eat or freeze to death.  I may be able to "make payments", I'm not sure yet.

                      The reality is there are millions of Americans  just like me, many even worse...Millions more worldwide that have been destroyed by these bankster's crimes.  They're still trying to privatize everything, so they can do to us what they did to your country, Spain, Greece, et al!

                      What's the suicide rate in your nation today?

                      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                      Suicide rates in the United States have risen sharply since the economic crisis took hold in 2007

                      -cut-

                      Similar rises in suicide rates have also been found in Greece, Spain, Britain and other countries hit by economic recession and rising unemployment in recent years.

                      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                      by gerrilea on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:18:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, I live in Iceland. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RiveroftheWest

                        Yes, among other things my fiance lost his house.

                        How bad am I affected? Well, gee, for starters, my salary  (and everyone else's) is effectively half of what it was due to the collapsed currency (still just as badly as immediately after the crash) , the public healthcare system has been cut by a third, along with all other government services, from roads to unemployment (which my fiance is currently on), and on and on. Gee, djathink I'm affected?

                        "You see, that collapse brought me to the brink of homelessness."

                        Which is an excuse to lie about Iceland and get indignant when you're corrected how...?

                        " Our "social safety nets" are meaningless,"

                        All of this sort of stuff you're writing is an excellent argument for why America needs to join the rest of the world in having a proper social safety net. It has absolutely nothing to do, however, with how governments responded to the crisis, and does not change any of the facts about what Iceland actually did in response to the crisis. America didn't have a social safety net before the crisis and doesn't after. We did before and after (although it's been very badly slashed by the austerity... still more than you all got, though)

                        Want America to get a proper social safety net? You've got my best wishes! I'm not the person to rail about that to, go find some conservative acquiantances or family members to persuade. I'm here to stop the BS mythology about Iceland's response to the crisis.

                        The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                        by Rei on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:16:14 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  First off, it's not 'they' (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                It's 'you all'. I live in Iceland.

                The quote IS fake. I'm sorry, but he never said that or anything like it. And again, you'd be an idiot to think that a leader of a country would make a public statement like that against one of their closest allies. What low-level diplomats say in private being completely irrelevant to public statements of your head of state. Stop being so damned gullible.

                You may also be interested to know that good old King Ólafur was the best friend of the útrásarvíkingar (read: "banksters") before the crash. Here's an example for you (translation mine):

                In a letter from Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to Björgfur Thor in the summer of 2002, which has now been published on the front page of the prime minister's office, the presient (Ólafur) says that Björgólfur and son are an exceptional example for other Icelanders who are trying for success overseas. Ólafur Ragnar had then been in a public visit to Russia and Björgólfur Thor, who was a state counsel in St Petersberg, be on hand for the visit.

                Ólafur lauded Björgólfur Thor in the letter and thanked him heartily for all the assistance and "warm reception" which Björgólfur THor had showed the president in the visit to Russia. The president visited likewise the famous Bravo factory which the father and son sold for 400 million dollars and Landsbankinn purchased for a portion of the proceeds at the end of 2002. The father and son had, to that extent, begun to push for Landsbankinn at the privatization committee. In the previous year they had also been involved in the lawsuit against Ingimar H Ingimarsson, their former business associate, about ownership of the Bravo factory

                The president says in the letter: "It was memorable to come to that wonderful factory with you two in St. Petersberg and get to see with my own eyes the bold buisness accomplishments which you have achieved by building up their operations. The perseverence and determination which showed in your operations in the Russian business environment, sometimes in troublesome times, is an exceptional examaple for all the young people who are trying for success in economics and business." said the president in the letter to Björgólfs, but their businesses in the country had long been highly suspect, as was covered in a series of articles by Halldór Halldórsson in DV recently.

                No, Haarde was not jailed. They tried to press charges, it turned into a giant poltical circus, and he got off with a slap on the wrist. It was a disaster.

                The crowd-sourced constitution meme is also BS. There was a committee which wrote a draft constitution. They had a facebook site which took suggestions, but these were in no way, shape or form binding - it was merely an idea drop box. The draft, in turn, was completely non-binding on what would be the final bill. The final bill, in turn, was successfully filibustered and killed by the right wing, who was then subsequently elected to run the country again.

                There are no charges against Björgólfur or 99% of the other útrásarvíkingar that caused the crisis.

                Yes, foreign news coverage of Iceland is generally crap*. Liberal blogs commenting on foreign news coverage of Iceland 5 times moreso. I hate to spoil your dreams, but Iceland is not the capitalism-abolishing anarcholiberal paradise you envision.

                * - Most recent annoying example: the environmental protest against road construction on Álfsnes. It was almost universally covered overseas as "a protest to protect elf homes". Aaargh.... can you picture how maddening that would be if the foreign press couldn't get a story about where you live right to save their lives?

                The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                by Rei on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:58:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry for the boldface (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  That was a misparse on the part of DK.

                  The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                  by Rei on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:00:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry for the boldface (0+ / 0-)

                  That was a misparse on the part of DK.

                  The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                  by Rei on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:00:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Stop calling me an idiot!!!!!!!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

                  If you don't like my grammar, don't read what I post.

                  Both Forbes and The Economist have stated your nation has prosecuted many of those involved.

                  I provided a link above, is that information in error???

                  Here's another:

                  http://www.forbes.com/...

                  “We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”
                  YOU MIGHT WANT TO TELL THE EDITORIAL BOARD AT FORBES ABOUT YOUR "FACTS"!

                  Internet meme, indeed!

                  Your bullshit that I allegedly wished or stated Iceland was a capitalistic bashing nation....is just that BULLSHIT...

                  Grow up and stop making things up, its insulting and offensive to legitimate discussion here.

                  Every American is on the hook for all the debt those bastards created and profited from...

                  YOU ARE NOT!

                  This is the problem we're facing, in this corrupt country:

                  Heinrich Honsell, a law professor, sees the use of Untreue recently in commercial cases as a disturbing phenomenon. “It’s not right to criminalise negligent mistakes,” he says. “Very soon judges will be telling us how to manage risk.” Opponents of the idea of a law against reckless management warn that the effect would be to discourage risk-taking of any sort.
                  Bullshit...it's all bullshit.  If I get into a car accident and kill someone, I'm gonna be charged with homicide, if it was truly an accident, negligent homicide would be the charge.

                  I made a bad decision...I hurt someone...I get charged for it.

                  But no, if you do so in business, INTENTIONALLY, you get invited to the goddamn White House!

                  "Steal 4.5 million homes, get dinner at the White House, steal an education for your homeless child...got to jail for 10 yrs!"

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:56:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I suggest you check your eyesight (0+ / 0-)

                    Because the quote you posted from Forbes is not the quote you posted above.

                    Now, do you want to discuss the different quote above, where he doesn't directly insult the US? Sure! Wow, shock of all shocks, a head of state is trying to play up the country under his tenure! Why, color me purple, that never happens. I remember your typical State of the Union Address in the US. "Ladies and Gentlemen: I've run this country into the ground. The country has made the wrong decisions at every turn and things are going down the tube - and it's all my fault. Thank you and god bless!". Isn't that how they usually go?

                    Yes, Ólafur, best friend of the útrásarvíkingur, who spent years talking them up and saying how wonderful the Icelandic economy was because of them, has done his best step turn and pretends to oppose them, while all the while working to undermine actual progressive legislation like the new constitution bill that was successfully filibustered during the last term.

                    The entire second half of your post has absolutely nothing to do with me, so go find someone else to rant to about that. I'm hear to correct your misinformation about Iceland.

                    NO, we did not "jail the banksters", only a tiny handfull went to jail and only for outright Enron-style fraud.
                    NO, we did not jail our previous prime minister, he got off with a slap on the wrist
                    NO, we did not get a new constitution
                    NO, we did not refuse to pay our debts
                    NO, we did not avoid austerity, we took some of the worst austerity in Europe
                    NO, everything is not peachy here like you seem to think
                    NO, Ólafur is not some progressive hero, and NO, he did no say what you wrote in your first post, and YES, you'd have to be an idiot to think a head of state would directly insult one of their closest allies like that.

                    The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendent's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendent's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

                    by Rei on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:08:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  The "water under the bridge" closing line was (9+ / 0-)

          disconcerting.  I had already read this column before seeing this diary, and, while my reaction to it wasn't as negative as bobswern's was, I was disappointed by it.

          It's not merely critics like Krugman who thought the Stim was too small at the time.  Christine Romer thought so, too:

          As Scheiber writes, members of the president's economic team felt that if they were to properly fill the hole caused by the recession, they would need a bill that priced at $1.8 trillion -- $600 billion more than was previously believed to be the high-water mark for the White House.

          The $1.8 trillion figure was included in a December 2008 memo authored by Christina Romer (the incoming head of the Council of Economic Advisers) and obtained by Scheiber in the course of researching his book.

          "When Romer showed [Larry] Summers her $1.8 trillion figure late in the week before the memo was due, he dismissed it as impractical. So Romer spent the next few days coming up with a reasonable compromise: roughly $1.2 trillion," Scheiber writes.

          As has now become the stuff of Obama administration lore, when the final document was ultimately laid out for the president, even the $1.2 trillion figure wasn't included.

          To make matters worse, in 2010, when there still was a chance to correct the initial error, we continually heard about "green shoots."  Both the economy and the Dems suffered as a result.  The wildly optimistic stimulus chart issued in early 2009 didn't help our future prospects, either.

          While the diary may be a little harsh, it does address a critical point.  The Stim was too small, it was tilted too heavily towards tax cuts, it was oversold, and its errors weren't corrected when Dems still controlled Congress.  Krugman's column understates the depth of that failure.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:29:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama "hears no Krugman" ... why should we ? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Green shoots, green shoots! (15+ / 0-)

        Yeah, the constant overselling leaves people with a bad taste.  I'm not sure if the administration (and site defenders thereof) simply felt they had to pretend everything was coming up unicorns and rainbows simply to offset the GOP piles of corpses and shuttered businesses lies, or what, but most people i know simply want to be told the truth, not lied to in different directions by each side.

        •  The green shoots were really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobswern

          old wood, to take the analogy further.

        •  When I had a lawn, "green shoots" was... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

          ... the signal to apply stage 2 of my fertilizer system.

          Was ever a plan to have a Stimulus Part II, if we had held onto the House in 2010 and were able to implement such a thing? My problem with "green shoots, green shoots!!" was that it seemed to imply that the Administration intended the Stimulus to be "a one shot deal" from the outset.

          Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:18:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The administration was heartily in favor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobswern, Laurence Lewis

        of riddling it with tax cuts as a form of really great stimulus. Isn't that so?

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:01:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  you read that, huh? (0+ / 0-)

      where? I would like to read it.

    •  I read that the world is going to end tomorrow. nt (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:07:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I agree with your valid points that the (21+ / 0-)

    enormous U.S. consumer debt imbalance is problematic, especially with regard to the depressive affect we can expect on home ownership of the next generations of young people with excess school loan debt, and agree that Krugman seems recently to have taken a wrong turn in this regard, but he may deserve more credit for strongly advocating a greater stimulus in 2010, when few others had that much courage.

    The aggressiveness of your post seems to blame this debt-crisis on Krugman and leave out the 98% of other economists who were in on this speculative bubble whole hog.

    Would you not agree that on the average, Paul Krugman has been one of the most consistent voices, if not the most consistent voice in advocating greater stimulus right from the first moment of the 2008 crisis?

    When the Obama stimulus plans were being formulated he consistently, loudly, and repeatedly expressed the opinion that the stimulus was not strong enough, and I believe history vindicates that opinion.

    I don't know exactly, what you wish he had done instead? Perhaps, a much more radical plan of debt forgiveness, or redistribution of debt would have been fairer, and a more effective economic stimulus in the long-term. I agree with you completely that the wealthy 1% made off like bandits, were made whole on their speculative gambling, and exploitation, while the debt was balanced on the backs of the average American homeowner.

    What is it we can do now? Within the realm of political feasibility with a Republican controlled House, and a possibility of losing the Senate in 9 months?

    The travesty is not over, as the magnitude of derivatives, and other debt imbalances is sufficient to bring down the world economy.

    In 2010, Krugman was already considered too radical in asking for a " mere"  doubling or so of the  percent of GDP of stimulus.  (I don't remember the exact percentage, but he wanted a substantially bigger program.)  How in the world do you expect that he would have been listened if he adopted a even more radical plan, after the one he advocated was rejected by the majority of Republicans and Democrats alike?

    Another area I disagree with Krugman is that he has bailed out on the theories of Joseph Stiglitz that one of the driving forces of the Great Recession has been an unprecedented spikes in income and asset inequality depressing consumer demand, due to the higher savings ratio of the scandalously rich.

    It's my belief that unless we come up with a major intervention to correct his we have little hope of avoiding a global economic disaster.  Perhaps, this is what you are saying and I've just lost continuity with your thinking. You alternative is not clear to me in this post. I've been doing other things for most of the last year, and only have dropped in briefly to help galvanize the upcoming 2014 Democratic election efforts.

    Although, not completely conclusive, I agree with Stiglitz and have not been able to figure out what Krugman's objection is. I've not studied this carefully in the last few years, so I'm just speaking as the average man on the street.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:31:04 PM PST

    •  Well, you've made quite "the stretch" here... (28+ / 0-)

      ...when you stated...

      ...The aggressiveness of your post seems to blame this debt-crisis on Krugman and leave out the 98% of other economists who were in on this speculative bubble whole hog....
      That's pretty ridiculous, especially considering the fact that I've probably praised Krugman in somewhere around 75-100 posts in this community over the past 6-7 years.

      But, over the past year, give or take, there have been times when he's done some spinning; other times, however, he's been spot-on.

      The bottom line is: I'm referencing his post, today, in Friday's NY Times. And, again, there's absolutely NO VALIDITY, at all to your preconceived notions (some of which you're just making up out of thin air) about my general sentiments concerning Krugman.

      In fact, I've regularly caught crap in this community--ESPECIALLY from 2008-2011--from many with regard to how often I highlighted, supported and wrote about his commentary here! With many Kossacks--some to this day, still trolling my posts--back then stating that Krugman didn't know what he was talking about!

      LOL!

      Meanwhile, make no mistake about this: Tim Geithner and Larry Summers (whose now talking out of the other side of his mouth), really didn't give two shits about mortgage modifications or helping homeowners. (Geithner was dressed down and rebuked, MANY TIMES--including many times by none other than Elizabeth Warren--and by quite a few Democrats for his ADMITTED failure with regard to properly bailing out U.S. homeowners. Compared to how he coddled the banks, he all but totally ignored helping homeowners, and that's NOT a stretch. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it was one of the biggest failures of the Obama administration.) And, this almost entirely occurred in the first couple of years of the Obama administration, when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate.

      I have SCORES, if not hundreds, of diaries indicating "what I wished the Obama Administration"--primarily Geithner and Summers, who were leading economic policy at the time--had done back then. And, I caught a hell of a lot of sh*t for it in this community, too.

      Generally speaking, I've almost ALWAYS praised Krugman. But, tonight, he's somewhat off the mark.

      But, if you had been following my posts, you would have known this.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:59:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for you reponse, bobswern, but you (15+ / 0-)

        apparently didn't read my comment any more carefully than I read your post.

        I told you in the end I hardly read any of your posts for over a year.  Nor anyone's I didn't single you out, but burnt out after the 2012 election and decided to take up the advice of "get a life" that someone suggested.

        I remember your many posts from years ago, which I mostly agreed with as well, praising Krugman to a whole lot of folks who paid no attention.  

        Which is why your post tonight stood out. And, I specifically mentioned this in my comment. Look back at your post in total isolation, and tell me if it does not seem overly critical of Krugman compared to the other 98%, or even 99% of economists who appear to know squat about how seriously out of balance our national and global economies are.

        In fact, I've regularly caught crap in this community--ESPECIALLY from 2008-2011--from many with regard to how often I highlighted, supported and wrote about his commentary here! With many Kossacks--some to this day, still trolling my posts--back then stating that Krugman didn't know what he was talking about!
        '
        Yes, I agree these anti-Krugman posters can be a pain in the ass.  Especially, the ones who don't know crap about the economy, but were just bugged that he was critical of Obama, and acting like PR thugs to opposed economic theory they didn't understand.  

        I have SCORES, if not hundreds, of diaries indicating "what I wished the Obama Administration"--primarily Geithner and Summers, who were leading economic policy at the time--had done back then. And, I caught a hell of a lot of sh*t for it in this community, too.

        Yes, but what do you want to do, coast on your laurels? Each post should either stand on its own, or contain a little preface that indicates it is part of some series that require reading hundreds of posts for the sentiments to be correctly understood.

        Sheesh, you seem to be a little overly sensitive for someone who has posted 100s of posts here, not fully praising our President, when I hardly gave you a slight kick to the tires. Partially, out of boredom as no one else seems to be awake.

        I just challenged our President to stop diddling around and work harder to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and support making medical marijuana available to those with seizure disorders.

        And, before you blast for not supporting legalization please go back and read the dozens of posts I've done supporting that.  

        But I find you passion heartening, especially your apparent LOL, sense of humor about it.

        I'm actually amused that I finally managed to get response from you as I've commented frequently on your post since you arrived here, with nary a peep. Since I don't know how long I'll be hanging around here this cycle, I thought I'd say hello, and see if you were alive an still kicking.

        If it helps you become this passionate, I could give you an even greater whollup, if you like.

        I'm pretty good at "making stuff up out of thin air," to keep our better writers on their toes.

        If the rest of your posts were as entertaining as this comment, I might read more of them all the way through. Your average posts are almost as long as mine.

        Cheers, fellow traveler.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:24:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bigtime pro-legalization sentiments here... (15+ / 0-)

          ...as far as pot's concerned! And, thanks for taking the time to comment. Very much appreciated! (I AM, and have been for quite awhile, a fan of your posts, as well!)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:30:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks bobswern. That's what I would have expected (8+ / 0-)

            based on how much we agree on in economics, how could I have expected this though, since I don't remember you ever reccing many of my posts, while I've rec'd nearly every one of your posts I've ever seen.

            Except, for maybe one or two where you were up to your ears, fighting with some of those anti-Krugman extremists, and I saw no reason to jump in and jeopardize my own potential rec pool. lol

            I enjoy a good conversation as well. Particularly spicy ones like this. I used to be on a tightly knit research team at MIT where "we" would sometimes spend 8 hours a day non-stop tearing into our best friends equations to make sure their were robust and would work under all conceivable conditions in our simulation models.  Like engineers, testing a bridge design to make sure there were no flaws.

            I was the youngest and mostly listened as the founder of our field, who I worked for, would duke it out with our top professors. It sometimes got so heated I would be distressed, and think a fist fight was going to break out. But, then at lunchtime, or the end of the day, suddenly, everyone changed demeanor and were the best of friends.

            And, when any of our "enemies" in the rational expectations group would attack our work, we'd band together like a wolf pack. (We were one of the early "bounded rationality" groups trying to add theory from cognitive decision theory and others to represent decision making in complicated economic situations.)

            Since most people here are so mild mannered and polite, I sometimes miss the old days of fighting like wild dogs for the betterment of science.  

            Sorry if I poked you too hard, or with an unfair representation of your thoughts.  

             

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:53:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  On Stiglitz vs. Krugman...the contention btwn... (19+ / 0-)

      ...the two of them has been on Stiglitz' emphasis on economic inequality being one of the primary factors adversely affecting our economy. Krugman's not so keen on that. (Believe it or not, sometime Krugman DOES tacitly argue on behalf of the trickle-down school, whether he's willing to admit that or not. At the very least, I've witnessed him "waffling" in this regard.)  Which IS quite surprising, IMHO. Here's a link to an example of this. But, generally speaking, the two of them are usually--not always, but usually--fairly aligned in their thinking. From my perspective, Krugman's a bit more into sucking up to the status quo than Stiglitz. But, again, generally speaking, I'm a huuuge, huge fan of Stiglitz, and can state almost--not quite, but almost--the same level of support for most of Krugman's sentiments.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:20:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we agree then. I actually didn't believe (10+ / 0-)

        you had fallen as far from the fold, as your post tonight, in isolation, might imply, as few folks change their passionate, and fundamental intellectual frameworks so much this late in life.

        I've also got a pretty good memory, even for esoteric economic writing, which is why I chose Stiglitz to throw in to see if you were still awake.

        I'll have to check out this link tomorrow as I am way past my bedtime.

        I still don't understand why Krugman has a problem with the Stiglitz asset and income inequality theory of consumer demand suppression that I read in one of his articles about two or three years ago, since he seemed to agree with us on so many other issues, that I consider him to be a "progressive" economist.

        You might find it amusing that he walked out of one of my lectures during an MIT  intersession IAP program about 25 years ago. I had turned one of the academic computer simulation models of the Arms Race between the U.S. and then Soviet Union, into a computer game on one of the early PC for students and lay people.

        To make it more interesting for the festival like stand alone non-credit intersession workshops, I used the hypothetical scenario that the participants were advisers to the President and "she" asks you for advice with regard to the arms race, ...etc.

        Krugman had come across a divide of Sloan School buildings to see what was going on based on a poster or something, expecting a more hard core academic presentation, I guess.

        As, in the first two minutes, when I announced the scenario of a woman president, he threw up his hands in the back of the room, and walked right out. This was 25 years ago, and I was a iconoclastic young turk, back then.  

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:36:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent story... (8+ / 0-)

          ...I've been toying around with the idea of referring/blogging here regarding my time as a student at Tufts (late 70's; just down the road from M.I.T., as I'm sure you know), and then shortly thereafter, living in the Boston area for a few years (in the very early 80's). It was an amazing period in my life.

          Cool story ya' got there (in your comment, above). LOL! (Pretty obnoxious of the guy, IMHO, throwing up his hands and such...)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:44:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He was very self confident even then. (4+ / 0-)

            This intersession workshop was specifically intended to be a fun way for students in other majors, to check out other fields they might be interested in, but not wanting to risk damage to their GPA taking a credit course in other fields they are not majoring in.

            But, the many of the advanced research groups, and noble prize winners, consider the students to be annoying ants, that are best ignored, by the "picnicers of scholarly research."

            One common joke, you would only hear in the inner sanctums of the faculty club was "MIT is a great place, except for all these G-d d&^ students."

            I was temped to go see Krugman and show him the underlying mathematical models, but, never did.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:00:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wasn't part of the faculty, but just a research (4+ / 0-)

              associate. I did teach a few course, and in the executive education Masters, and summer sessions, with reviews I knocked out of the park, but I was never on the tenure track.

              I took the low road to pursue consulting opportunities and to set up a business so I never finished my PhD, after passing all the general exams.  But, I was one of what I believe were only a few on campus to hold a Research Associate position for 15 years without a PhD prior to entering the PhD program.

              Thanks for asking.  I've learned a great deal from your posts, including the introduction to Stiglitz' work. Which was part of the humor of challenging you with it. :-)

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:06:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Stiglitz and Krugman agree, not structural (9+ / 0-)

        They are both wrong. Krugman bemoans the lack of stimulus. Stiglitz talks passionately about income inequality as a cause and has a set of fixes. I just finished reading his book The Price of Inequality.

        Krugman takes exception to inequality as an economic factor:

        Krugman, responding to a column by Joseph Stiglitz arguing that inequality is slowing the economic recovery, wrote that he “can’t see how this works.” Though Krugman describes Stiglitz as “an insanely great economist,” he says, he’s not convinced “this particular morality tale is right.”
        I believe that neither respected professor has it right. I believe that if we listened to both these gentlemen we would improve the economy, but not fix it. We do have a structural problem and it's based around the fact that private capital gets to determine our large-scale economic decisions. Secondly, that the revenues from sales of goods and services must return to the workers or the economy is out of balance. How are they to buy those goods and services? There is no viable way to generate excess profits without harming the economy, and in this I am closer to Stiglitz than Krugman. The corollary to my hypothesis is that there should be no mechanism to accumulate large amounts of personal or corporate wealth, above that which is necessary for capital formation and a fair return on capital (~5%).

        Our economy now has a nasty positive feedback loop. The few take massive income while the many have to take debt to run their lives. That debt, is the wealth of the few. So not only have the few gotten fabulously wealthy, but the rest of us continue to pay them tribute from our measly incomes.

        It would be amusing if it were not so sick that Congress is hell-bent on protecting wealth. This is an expected psychological reaction. First you become wealthy beyond your wildest imagination and then you become paranoid about protecting that wealth. But now that you and your wealthy comrades have wealth and power you can turn to Congress to protect it. That's what the anti-bankruptcy laws are all about, that's what austerity is all about, that's why the banks got barely a slap on the wrist when they brought down the economy and put millions out of their houses. The facts that you can't get out of a student loan, a credit card loan and the bank can relatively easily kick you out of your primary residence is a moral catastrophe.

        •  I agree with everything you write here wizard. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Wizard, RiveroftheWest

          And, would add that in additional to the problems you described if our economy was a closed system, it is not in a way that make extreme concentration of wealth even more damaging to our economy.

          Because the hyper wealthy are investing substantial fractions of their wealth in both hard assets and financial assets overseas.

          So, new factories built in China, and other SouthEast Asian countries are soaking up substantial amounts of wealth
          that might have been invested in the U.S.

          And, also notice the transfer of our latest manufacturing technology and support infrastructure overseas.

          How sad.

          Are you an economist, mathematician, or engineer, Wizard? I couldn't help but notice your correct use of the term "nasty positive feedback loop," while many mistakenly believe those are the "good ones," instead of those produce exponential growth, or decline via reinforcing feedback. Positive refers to the sign of the transfer function from the old days of control theory mathematics.  

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:04:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Engineer (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, HoundDog, jadt65

            I'm an MIT grad. Although I didn't major in economics I took lots of courses including having Samuelson as a lecturer. My interest has always been driven by the obvious observation that Economics, especially Macro Economics, is poorly understood. I'm not surprised that we have run into a brick wall, this is typical of a non-linear feedback system which has discreet states. We go along and everything seems fine, but we are moving into a state in which we can't get out without a major change to the inputs or the internal functions or the internal state.

            My being critical of Krugman and Stiglitz has nothing to do with my respect for them,which is immense,  this is typical MIT culture.

            I also question GDP as a measure of economic health, as does Stiglitz. I believe that our economy is seriously sick and needs some major changes. Unfortunately we also have vested interests that are perfectly happy with the status-quot as they are filthy rich with big-time political power. So we will have to wait, but we should be forming some ideas for a twenty first century economy. We seem to have a perfect storm brewing, U.S. economy flat-lining, the rise of developing nations, especially China, and the Global Climate Crisis.

            •  Fascinating. I have become one of your followers. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jadt65, RiveroftheWest

              Our research at the time was to represent the actual stock and flows, (integration and derivatives) of an economic system and a realistic portrayal of economic decision-making based on non-linear feedback systems which we represented with difference equation, and then simulated the solutions using applied numerical methods and Runge-Kutta 2 and 4 methods to simulate the solution to what was about a 1,000 th order non-linear differential equation.

              We were trying to generate macro-economic behavior, from micro-economic representations of the decision-making processes of major sectors of the economy.  

              However, our director was such an iconoclast by nature, and much more of an engineer, rather than an academic economist, he managed to alienate nearly all the scholarly professional "real" economists. So most of our professors, and graduate students ended up going into corporate strategy or other fields.

              I miss those days a great deal.  What an electric thrill that campus was. Thanks for commenting.

              This was never accepted by mainstream economists but it was a wonderfully educational experience for me.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:11:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'm really mystified about what they (6+ / 0-)

    speak of when they say the stimulus was successful.

    The stimulus simply gave money to those who didn't need it, who used it to create a bubble in the RE and stock markets and further accentuated inequality of wealth.  I would say that is actually a rather big failure.  Sure it stopped the banks from failing, but the banks did nothing to help the real economy. Why did we ever expect they would?

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:36:31 PM PST

    •  it saved or created over 3.3 million jobs (14+ / 0-)

      and probably prevented a depression. it stopped the bleeding. to that degree, it was an enormous success. but it didn't revive the economy. to that degree, it was a failure.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:34:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It stopped the bleeding? (5+ / 0-)

        Really? How come there's so much blood all over the floor then. Depression/ Recession is semantics when you can't find a freaking job that pays enough to live on and the government cut's off your UE and food stamps cause your an irresponsible loser. We have no economy that works for regular people. We're just supposed to embrace the suck and sacrifice for the creation of wealth for the obscenely wealthy. Our common good is used as a bargaining chip for Austerity and keeping the banksters, masters of war and savvy entrepreneurs humming along while the rest of us are told to eat our peas and be glad that there is a new housing bubble a coming. This economy is nothing but bloody.      

      •  Just out of curiosity, where did you get that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, lotlizard

        figure?

        My personal experience suggests at best the stimulus money prevented layoffs state and local governments were looking to make.

        Sure, some of the road projects were promoted as being from stimulus money, but those projects were in the pipeline and were going to be shelved as a result of the crash. The stimulus merely prevented that. So it can't be said to have created those jobs, only preserved them.

        Same with some school districts being able to hold on to staff they were looking to layoff.

        Stimulus it seemed to me was the bandage that stopped the bleeding. The healing started happening quite naturally after the initial trauma.


        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

        by Pescadero Bill on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:49:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We have to go back to that moment in time. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, unfangus, tardis10

      Pursuant to what Lawrence just said to you, above, it is easy to criticize the stimulus from the future. Many economists, including Krugman, we're very vocal that the stimulus was going to be too small. But the CBO estimates coming in failed to show the magnitude of the depression coming on, which tainted the assessment of how large a stimulus should have been proposed.


      ODS results in Obama's amazing ability to humiliate his biggest critics, on the right and the left.

      by NoFortunateSon on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:12:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  one part of the stimulus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus, Loge

      helped state governments. It put off for a couple of years all the cuts in state jobs and services. It's too bad it wasn't for a longer period as all the cuts in state employment became a significant drag on the unemployment numbers.

      music- the universal language

      by daveygodigaditch on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:04:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jobs? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, Loge

      The stimulus created jobs.  It would have created more if it had been larger, and if it hadn't squandered so much on tax cuts.  Nevertheless, it softened the blow of the recession at a crucial point.  

      Infrastructure spending always creates jobs.  

      Damn, it's like I walked into RedState.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't really know what they mean (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, angel d, Pluto, Laconic Lib

    about a stimulus success.  What I see is that some people who didn't need it were given money, they put in the RE and stock markets and created a bubble there.  All it did was to exaggerate inequality.  Is that a success?  I mean I know it stopped a bank run in the short term, but did it really solve anything?

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:44:59 PM PST

  •  the American dream is now a nightmare? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban

    a nightmare?

    jesus christ.

    as Jon Stewart said to the tea party 'we're in hard times, not end times'

    (eyes rolling)

    •  Seriously, what planet are you on? (17+ / 0-)

      They must have really good broadband there!

      Are you at all aware what the hell's happening to this country's young adults, in terms of overwhelming student loan debt and the concept of buying a home and settling down?

      Or, do you just take these potshots being totally devoid of facts?

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:03:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read about the Great Depression (0+ / 0-)

        for some perspective.  There was open talk of revolution and some farming communities were creating armed militias (the real deal, not the playskool militias of today) and putting up roadblocks to keep out banksters and repo men.  Many of what today we would call "pundits", not fringe but mainstream, were talking of the need for a dictator and the end of capitalism and democracy.  There was no safety net, if people couldn't afford food, they starved.  Luckily, the country was more rural, so many people could poach food, but it was still a nightmare.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:18:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  first world problems, bob. first world problems. (0+ / 0-)

        nightmares are not being able to feed your kids anything but the dirt on the ground or having to pull their bodies out of the rubble of a drone strike

        having uncertainty about living like a relative king compared to the other 99% of humans on the planet isn't a nightmare

        jesus christ

        i am not going to cry tears for the poor helpless college graduates

        •  okay, i appreciate their anxiety (0+ / 0-)

          i don't know exactly what it's like to finish college and not be able to find a job.  i never finished college.

          but i certainly appreciate the anxiety of struggling to find a good job in the field of your study.  i spent years studying on my own to make video games and i didn't know if i would ever get my foot in that industry.  to me, it was a risk worth the uncertainty of success.  i only get one chance to live a life, so, i want to make the most of it.  

          a luxury i have thanks to living in America, which is why i groan listening to people talking about the uncertainty of a wonderful life as if it's some kind of horrifying thing.  it sucks, no doubt, especially after spending your youth working your ass off.  but we're talking about life not being wonderful here.  the American dream is called a dream for a reason.  it's not a guarantee.

  •  This is one of the reasons why (19+ / 0-)

    I am uneasy with the idea of thinking that waiting for demographics to doom the GOP will do the work for Democrats that actual brand-building partisan arguments, serious game-changing shifts in how we regulate and oversee corporate America, and ideologically driven counter-arguments to Movement Conservative epic fails of the past would accomplish for the party. So many things out of your control can make that strategy of be nice and wait epic fail.  

    Anything goes wrong, anything changes the landscape, and your caution and moderation and taking the council of people who are giving you really shitty advice because they are creatures of the status quo you need to fundamentally transform all helps sell you as the "real" bad guy when the shit times return unexpectedly on your watch.

    The Democrats getting the blame for Movement Conservatism's mass bed-shittings going down when they can be spun as being the other team's fault. By not fundamentally changing the game, you actually open yourself up to things going south again on your watch due to Movement Conservative policy principles and regulatory assumptions being dead wrong in a catastrophic way. Another bubble burst, but late in Obama's second term, who is going to get hit? Probably not the GOP. If anything, the Village is going to sell whatever the WSJ set line is. To add insult to national injury, you get punished as Democrats for the sin of not fundamentally changing the Republican-ideal dominated game.

    Say the Obama era is over.

    Hilary Clinton wins the White House.

    Splat! A year in, and, the flaming bag of poop appears.

    Her first mid-term election makes us nostalgic for 2010.

    And this is why I think being a Democrat is a threat to my sanity.

    Corporate America is always going to get a better deal from the Movement Conservatives. Always. The Democrats can be up to their eyeballs in Wall Streeters and Wall Street money, but they will always be second best to the madame of their favorite whorehouse. This means never having to learn their lessons for good. They just have to gut the (D) times out. Run out the clock.

    If they can just get through periods of non-Conservative governance with enough of the old status-quo preserved to go back to gangbusters, they will be back in business. And if they can exploit any new disaster from the pitfalls of the old status-quo still being in play on the (D)'s watch, all the more delicious for the CNBC set. They get back to corrupt gangbusters as a wave of "reformers".

    We could have another epic and sudden economic disaster and it wouldn't have to be as historic as the last one to lead to a political nightmare to go along with the economic nightmare. We are a nation full of patients who never recovered from the plague that fell down on them. Our middle class is till sick. The poor are poorer still. None of the changes made since the economic collapse are truly game changing in how the mess makers set the state for new epic messes. I see more avoiding the nasty but necessary partisan politics and ideological counter-arguments to Movement Conservatism in favor of more 'compare and contrast the crazy them with the reasonable us'.

    Now, that is not brand building. It's just helping the Republicans push off the demographic doom that the Democrats relish so much they view it as a substitute to mean ol' dirty nasty partisanship.

    Jesus.

    We are still low-information voter filled America.

    The land where an entire ideology exists to tell people that the vile arsonists are actually the noble firefighters and that the noble firefighters are actually the vile arsonists. Pop! Hello, new freaks who make Ted Cruz seem moderate.

    We had to fundamentally change the game to prevent another disaster. It would be the story of my life if the Democrats need to be clever and seen as Oh, So Very Serious and listen to those who are invested in the mess-making 1%er machines of corporate America instead of putting bits in their mouths.

    It boggles my mind that the Democratic Party still seems to think that legions of still-bamboozled people are more saavy and aware of who is truly to blame for their plights and pain.

    There is an opportunity here for the wingnuts. A new bubble-burst triggered economic mess leading directly to a new RW bamboozle for the ages.

    We could have another epic economic implosion "out of the blue" that "nobody could predict was going to happen", and it could do down in a way that the GOP and the Movement Conservative Right and the Wall Street gangsters can pin on the donkey.

    In the future, I expect those who run and call themselves Democrats to look back on this era of non-Conservative politics and policy fixes with sheer contempt and dismay. We went from conservatism-induced disaster to conservatism induced disaster, and never held the conservatives to account or blamed conservatism itself for its sins and disasters.

    Fighting conservatism with diet conservatism.
    Deficit hysteria.
    Non-Conservatism embracing punitive austerity.
    Gotta 'look forward and not back'.

    Thank God the civil rights movement didn't try to beat Jim Crow or the gay community didn't try to beat the inhumanity and callousness aimed towards them as they died by the score during the worst of the AIDs crisis using the philosophy of the 1990's era Democratic Party.

    As far as Paul Krugman is concerned, I take the position that he is going to have his share of too deep in the forest to see the forest through the trees moments.

    I wish we lived in a world where he could the chairman of the Fed or a high-ranking administration official.  

    Sadly, we are more likely to see a Democratic President make John McCain Defense Secretary that make a move like that.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:25:19 PM PST

  •  Of course, Krugman's column was about the (8+ / 0-)

    stimulus, not the housing bubble. He is only allowed 800 words by the NY Times to get his point across so could hardly be expected to cover everything to the detail you did in your diary.

    Krugman then glosses over the (first) U.S. housing bubble and the current state of that market, spinning it with barely a mention in a three-sentence paragraph…
    That paragraph was only providing background to the main theme of the column, so could hardly be called "spin."

    Just because he didn't digress into a subject you would have preferred hardly makes him worthy of criticism.

    •  Well, if you think that our gov't... (5+ / 0-)

      ...giving short shrift (what else may one say when only $6 billion of $50 billion originally allocated for mortgage relief on Main Street, actually makes it onto Main Street?) to homeowners, and the middle class in general, has little or nothing to do with the economic problems facing our country today, then I can certainly understand your point of view.

      But, the fact that someone like Krugman barely touches upon the subject in his analysis of the stimulus, while simultaneously totally ignoring the fact that we're already in another housing bubble, I believe is a very valid criticism of his column in today's NY Times.

      So, let's just agree to disagree, shall we?

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:13:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're correct (8+ / 0-)

        in saying that the new housing bubble is due to the rentier class.

        Nobody can much afford what the rentiers want to charge.

        So when their own self-inflicted housing bubble implodes, I won't be crying very much.

        Neither will the people who didn't buy or rent those homes at grossly inflated prices.

        It is time to allow the "free market" to do what the "free market" is supposed to do: make rich fuckers jump out of windows b/c they just became poor fuckers.

        Isn't that what capitalism is all about?

        /snark

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:17:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why should they (7+ / 0-)

          jump out of windows when they can just float gently to the ground on another round of bailout money provided by the people they victimize with their "investment" schemes? This new bubble may be "self-inflicted," but it is the taxpayer, not the scam artists, who will be wounded.

          The last time this happened, citizens on the left and right howled at the injustice of the taxpayer bailout. But citizens don't run the show; the people who "represent" them do.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:45:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Your diary would rock if you just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Turn Left

        explained the current housing bubble.

        Krugman was talking about the stimulus, and why it was insufficient.  I don't get how you make it into an apology for the current housing bubble.  

         

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:26:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Housing/Mortgages are at the core of the... (4+ / 0-)

          ...economy. And, this (housing/mortgages) is ground zero, in terms of the last meltdown.

          The story of the administration's coddling of Wall Street (from the gov't and Wall St. ignoring the rule of law in mortgage settlements, to failing to prosecute bankers, and everything in-between) at the brutal expense of Main Street, as far as this issue's concerned, is nothing less than ground zero for what caused the Recession, and with regard to why the recovery has taken as long as it has to reach Main Street.

          Crappy "new" jobs aside (and touting the BLS' U3 Index unemployment rate, which doesn't come CLOSE to accurately portraying the jobs situation in this country), ignoring this (or giving it short shrift to this) bipartisan fail (and compounding the problem with debt servitude now being faced by our nation's young adults) is nothing less than lying by omission, IMHO, when virtually ANYONE undertakes the "telling of the story" of our government's failures with regard to properly getting this country back on track, economically.

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:42:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with your assessment of the economy (0+ / 0-)

            And find it illuminating.  I enjoyed the diary.

            I just don't understand the vitriol towards Krugman.  He says right in the column that the stimulus was a failure and that fiscal policy is wrong since 2010.

            True, he neglects to mention the new housing bubble, but the column was focused on the stimulus.  It loses it's punch if he spends a paragraph explaining the new housing bubble.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:05:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again, the criticism here isn't "vitriol"... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias, lostinamerica, lotlizard

              ...and, if you'd like to see some legitimate, real vitriol, checkout some of the community comments in my scores (if not hundreds) of posts promoting Krugman's commentary at DKos.

              In the past year or two, Krugman has legitimately focused upon Republication obstructionism with regard to some Democrats legitimately attempting to move our economy forward. In-between, (occasionally, as in: once in awhile, sometimes he conveniently overlooks some of our own party's transgressions against the middle and lower classes in the process) he has still laid the blame on our country's ongoing economic woes in a bipartisan fashion.

              And, yes, I realize he IS very critical of both parties in this post, which is why I open the diary by telling the community it's a decent column...save for one primarily-overlooked truth; and even the slight mention of housing definitely contains some spin (and sells that inconvenient reality very short), IMHO.

              To discuss our country's economic policies over the past five-plus years, without accurately portraying the government's coddling of the TBTF banks (especially with regard to mortgages/housing policy), is a huge omission, IMHO. (And, this matter IS primarily related to the mortgage/mortgage-related securities meltdown.) It is at the heart as to why the so-called "recovery" has been so noticeable for the top 10% of our society, but for everyone else not so much.  

              "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

              by bobswern on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:36:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You're mistaking my defense of Krugman with (0+ / 0-)

        a disagreement with you about the new bubble. I have no disagreement with your assertion about the new bubble, but I don't think it's fair to dis Krugman for something he didn't do. His column was not about the housing bubble; he only mentioned it as background on how it caused, and still is causing, our economic problems. It was all about the stimulus, which is a completely different issue.

  •  In defense of austerity! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, tardis10, lotlizard

    from my as yet unchanged perspective, as a progressive European, I have to say I dont see the austerity movement as diarist calls it, in Europe, as such a bad thing. Just from a progressive viewpoint, it is to be avoided at all costs to become dependent on capital influx at usury rates like it happened to the PIIGS states as that means the end of all freedom to do social policy. I am all fine with keynesian anticyclic deficit spending as long as it is within a frame that  doesnt endanger states freedom of action. That is the lesson of Greece, for me. Unsustainable indebtedness is the opposite of social, or socialdemocratic, or socialist, or any other progressive policy. So one can argue about exactly where this debt limit level lies, whether the 3% level used in the EU is correct or not and how one can assess when and how long one can exceed it to dampen a slump. I am not claiming to be able to argue the finer points of these limit levels. But it appears to me unequivocally clear that the EU sovereign debt crisis has shown up the limits to indebtedness. One can not pretend that a state bankruptcy were keynesian policy. Thus, just for leftists, who eventually want to restabilise income distribution with the means of the state, they must fight the deficit if it becomes unsustainable. Thats the first thing they have to do then.

    The capital error in the EU wasnt the austerity drive by governments when deficits ballooned. There was no alternative to that. The capital error was to allow the private investors in the first place to not have to eat their losses, and allow that the debt burden they racked up was placed on the state at all. After that was allowed, austerity followed as a necessity. Bailing out the banks was necessary, but it would have had to be accompanied by a wholesale nationalisation of the institutions, -. like it was done by social democrats in the case of the ABN - to make sure that the private gamblers didnt run away with it. This however would not have been just hedge fonds and the like (impersonal "heuschrecken"), but it would have meant dramatic personal financial losses for the upper middle to lower upper class throughout western european societies: all those wannabe nouveau riches (managers, administrators, and the like) who parked their money in the fonds that then misgambled them. These people would have to have taken the losses, and that was politically impossible. So the problem in Europe was, and is, that this stratum of society drives a ruinous course of self-enrichment to the detriment of the state and society. That is what went wrong in Europe. Not the austerity that over-indebted governments then simply had to enact.

     

  •  I have my disagreements with... (6+ / 0-)

    Herr Doktor Professor and normally when I do I focus on other economists who understand the problem more clearly or are more forceful in their expression.  In today's piece I don't disagree with this-

    The case for stimulus was that we were suffering from a huge shortfall in overall spending, and that the hit to the economy from the financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble was so severe that the Federal Reserve, which normally fights recessions by cutting short-term interest rates, couldn’t overcome this slump on its own. The idea, then, was to provide a temporary boost both by having the government directly spend more and by using tax cuts and public aid to boost family incomes, inducing more private spending.

    Opponents of stimulus argued vociferously that deficit spending would send interest rates skyrocketing, “crowding out” private spending. Proponents responded, however, that crowding out — a real issue when the economy is near full employment — wouldn’t happen in a deeply depressed economy, awash in excess capacity and excess savings. And stimulus supporters were right: far from soaring, interest rates fell to historic lows.
    ...
    So why does everyone — or, to be more accurate, everyone except those who have seriously studied the issue — believe that the stimulus was a failure? Because the U.S. economy continued to perform poorly — not disastrously, but poorly — after the stimulus went into effect.
    ...
    But that’s all water under the bridge. The important point is that U.S. fiscal policy went completely in the wrong direction after 2010. With the stimulus perceived as a failure, job creation almost disappeared from inside-the-Beltway discourse, replaced with obsessive concern over budget deficits. Government spending, which had been temporarily boosted both by the Recovery Act and by safety-net programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits, began falling, with public investment hit worst. And this anti-stimulus has destroyed millions of jobs.

    In other words, the overall narrative of the stimulus is tragic. A policy initiative that was good but not good enough ended up being seen as a failure, and set the stage for an immensely destructive wrong turn.

    Indeed D.C. is still in the thrall of freshwater monetarists who have been constantly and consistently wrong for 40 years to the exclusion of all competing points of view and the only solutions considered by either party have such low multiples as to be almost entirely ineffective.

    Fiscal policies work to increase demand and economic activity.  Monetary policies don't work except to contain inflation.  Period.

    Moreover Herr Doktor Professor argues that these conditions apply only at low interest rates (zero lower bound) and that money can be created only through the Federal Reserve action (demonstrably false, a Department store can create money), but this is not a discussion of MMT.

    The Shrill One has consistently argued, against steadfast and vociferous criticism, for fiscal not monetary policy action and for actions with higher economic multipliers.  I don't have his back, but I think he deserves a little credit for that.

    We can educate him about modern banking and the money supply later.

    In the mean time we could do (and have done) worse with our policy decisions than to bury Mason Jars of currency in abandoned coal mines and let companies bid for the rights to do that and pay people to do that and other companies bid for the rights to dig them up and pay people to do that too.

    Or as Atrios suggests we could just give everyone some free money which has less impact on the environment.

    The point is that "stimulative" action should be stimulative and not just encourage the coupon cutting class to sit on their stash and pursue asset bubble after asset bubble.

    The problem is inequality.

  •  Fewer people want to buy (5+ / 0-)

    Especially with the present economic conditions, younger Americans realize what a boondoggle "home ownership" is and want no part of it.

    Renting is convenient, often lower cost, and allows accumulation of assets that aren't a slowly deteriorating house in the middle of unwalkable suburbia.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:19:16 AM PST

    •  There is that (3+ / 0-)

      And also the ability to move for a job when necessary. Much easier to break a lease or sublet than to sell a house.

      I see a lot of younger people seriously thinking about college and the cost. If it's not going to get them a much better job, why bother? And in many cases, it really doesn't.

      Sometimes they'd be better off getting shorter, more specialized training, at a way cheaper cost, and go back for the degree later, when they have a better idea what they want and WHY they want it.

      •  You've hit the nail on the head (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, virginislandsguy

        My friends, who are all mid twenties to mid thirties and in varying levels of debt and career building, all have chosen to rent.

        We are one of exactly two couples, in a friendship circle encompassing well over a dozen families, who decided to take the plunge and buy our house.  The other couple is now facing a mortgage they can't afford because one of them quit her job on the expectation of getting a new one only to have it fall through.  

        Everyone else is renting.  Not just because of student loan debt, although that is playing a factor for a few of them.   One of them doesn't know where his first full time teaching job will be, so they are renting and plan to buy once he has his first contract.  Another one has three kids and they prefer to rent an apartment within walking distance to the best school in town rather than buy a house in another area (and the houses in that school zone are way out of their price range, alas.)

        Still others are saving for a down payment.  One just had her first baby, and their savings took a hit because the ACA hadn't quite kicked in and the baby cost several thousand dollars more than they expected due to complications.

        And still others only recently moved to the town where they got their first full time jobs, and they are renting until they become more familiar with the neighborhood.

        Even my sister in law and her husband, who are fairly well off and well established, are renting because they are going to build their dream house - but they need someplace to live in the meantime.

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:30:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Housing returned to its natural status (0+ / 0-)

      Buying a house is consumption not an investment.  

      The population saw housing as an investment when we had high inflation, then when inflation was low and interest rates were low the continued housing appreciation led people to see housing as an investment.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:11:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look Up "Splitting Hairs" In Dictionaries (0+ / 0-)

    And you will see this diary as an example. WTF. You are bringing up separate issues of the failure of policy to address the insanity of not addressing troubled homeowners after bubble I and the insanity of watching bubble II develop. This has nothing to do with Krugman's point about the inadequate stimulus. An adequate stimulus could have had an element of not having HAMP be a weak piece of shit. I know we have grown tired of agreeing with brother Krugman over the years and it makes for a rather static diary.  

  •  Some good points- but kinda Unfair to Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoFortunateSon

    Your point about a current housing bubbles are interesting, but to criticize Krugman as "spinning" seems disingenuous when really the issue you have with him is he is not really addressing the problem as you see it. He wrote an article about the stimulus, not the housing bubble- so criticizing him for not looking at the current housing market more in depth in an article not really designed to do so seems unfair.

  •  I think one reason not a lot of that money to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, bobswern, Brooke In Seattle

    help homeowners refinance has been spent is that a lot of homeowners are simply afraid to even apply , after the spate of media reports about how a lot of folks who did apply for mortgage help instead wound up being foreclosed upon.

    I know I simply throw away every letter I get about 'HARP', because I don't feel safe in even considering touching my mortgage in any way, even though I could have shaved something close to 2% off my mortgage rates when rates were down at their lowest.

  •  Great, yet another diary that fails to praise (0+ / 0-)

    Obama unconditionally in favor of this thing called "reality", whatever THAT is. Obviously the diarist wants a repeat of 2010, which as we all know was mostly if not entirely caused by hateful bloggers ragging on Obama.

    Obviously, you would have preferred McCain/Romney.

    Shall I summon your pony?

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:15:42 AM PST

  •  Wow! I should believe you over Krugman (0+ / 0-)

    Umm...no.

  •  I think that a political miscalculation with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puakev, bobswern, Subterranean

    the stimulus was as much where the money went as it was the size of the stimulus.  

    I tend to think that much, much, more of that stimulus money should have gone to public spending on infrastructure -- the "shovel ready projects" that the President touted.  That's money that people can actually see and experience.  Instead, while you can categorize where that money went in nice platitudes (like stimulus for "green energy") where the money  actually went was in areas that the average middle class person did not see or feel.  It fueled the argument that it was just spending for the sake of spending.  Of course, a pure Keynesian would agree that even spending for the sake of spending helped the economy.  But to the average person, there's a huge difference, when you talk about spending the money they go to work every day to earn, on just "spending" versus spending it on roads, bridges, even expanding internet access -- things where they can actually see where "their" money is being spent.  

    I think it may have been better to push a "visible" public works program -- like Eisenhower's program for the interstate highway system. Even some sort of updated "internet access" system (putting in the infrastructure to provide universal access), calling it the interstate highway system of the future, may have been a better use of some of that money.  

    It seems to me that it was the political decisions on where the stimulus money went that is causing the current political issue.

  •  There was a day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    when Democrats knew all this stuff.

    Not anymore.

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:27:34 AM PST

  •  Yes we have made Beggars out of the working (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    class just as we did the thirties and the result has been largely the same - depression but in slow motion so we don't feel its full effect until its too late.

    Way, way too late

    Too Bad because history could have taught us better.

    In the end the good news is that it will ultimately destroy the Republican Party which placed hatred of Black People above Governance and Hatred of Poor People above that.

  •  The failure of the Stimulus (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, WheninRome, tardis10, lotlizard

    both politically and to bring about a true recovery was somewhat more forgivable given that the size and character of the thing was subject to the whims of Congress.

    But the failure of HAMP was unforgivable.  This was a program that was completely within the purview of the administration, something they administered, monies that were already allocated, and they just completely bungled it.

    And it would've helped a great deal politically if President Obama and his administration had at least frogmarched a few Wall Street titans and made the bastards go to trial, even if they'd have been acquitted.  Just making them have to go to court and defend their actions would've helped satiate the white-hot public rage against the banks that was felt on all sides at the time, and would've in my opinion bought the administration some good will even among denizens of white working class America who otherwise would not be inclined to support Obama.

    The hardcore Tea Party-types would never have been won over, but there were many more moderate conservatives who might've, at least for enough time to have enough political capital to get more stuff done.

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:28:34 AM PST

  •  Not to mention all us older people (9+ / 0-)

    who can't BUY a job either.

    Oh, but we aren't supposed to talk about that. There's no age discrimination; no, not at all.

    Shhhh. Never mind.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:30:53 AM PST

  •  Our elite LOVE economic bubbles... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, CFAmick, annan

    ....and it's no surprise that they would contribute to further 'bubble making' in the housing sector as that's how the banks leverage against loans.  

    We stopped making wealth around the time of NAFTA and have been living on credit.

    What goads me is how the same elite who encourage the bubble then turn around and scold americans after the bubble bursts

    This space for rent -- Cheap!

    by jds1978 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:15:02 AM PST

  •  Water under the bridge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy

    He's not saying the bad economy is "water under the bridge".  He's saying the battle over the stimulus is over and done - and lost.  

    Seems like the whole diary is a misreading of Krugman.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:51:27 AM PST

  •  have you considered (0+ / 0-)

    a limited word count,and editing.  It's quite possible he had more, and they told him to trim.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:01:40 AM PST

  •  Housing starts down 16% last month. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, WheninRome, lotlizard, Farugia

    The Housing Market Outlook Just Keeps Getting Worse

    My daughter has worked in the mortgage industry for years.  She was fired two weeks ago as the company shut down all operations.  Her friends in the industry are seeing the same layoffs and closings.

    We are headed downward again.  But the Obama admin keeps talking up how much "progress" and "recovery" we are making.  It's a freakin' joke.

    In my mind, the single biggest failure was allowing the banks and investment companies to remain whole.  Did one CEO or bank executive go to jail, or even go bankrupt?

    How many Wall St. investors who dealt in sub-prime packages lost everything?  I won't bother waiting for an answer, because it is zero.

    Were banks split up?  What?  They weren't?  WTF?

    Were banks forced to write down loans on houses that were valued artificially high because of the bubble they themselves created? No.  Once again, WTF?

    The only solution back then that would have had long-term benefits for main street instead of wall street would have been a massive writedown of debt.  Take the hit all at once.

    But no.. we allowed Wall St. to write the terms and Paulson and Bush and Obama and Geithner allowed them to do it.. no, they welcomed it.  Fuckers.

    •  might want to read this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JJ In Illinois
      Housing Bubble II: What’s Ruining Home Sales? Not The Weather!

      DateThursday, February 20, 2014 at 1:26AM by Wolf Richter

      The “potent combination of rapidly rising home prices” and “significant uptick in interest rates in the second half of 2013 caused the monthly cost of owning a home using traditional financing to jump substantially in many markets over the last year,” said Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, whose housing affordability analysis has just been released. The monthly cost of owning a home was becoming “dangerously disconnected,” he said. On one side, “still-stagnant median incomes”; on the other, prices that had been driven up “by investors and other cash buyers who are not tethered to the typical affordability constraints.”

      http://www.testosteronepit.com/

      '' one day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich''

      by lostinamerica on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:43:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes.. I kinda knew most of this.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostinamerica

        A daughter of a good friend recently quit her job to go into real estate, and I just shook my head thinking it was a very bad move.

        The only people buying are investors.. who mostly pay cash.

        But here's the thing.. if they are creating their own bubble, then they will be stuck with these homes because no one else is buying.  The only way to make real money is to flip homes.  They buy these foreclosed and short sale homes (the only ones really worth buying for an investment), put in a few thousand in quick fixes and need to sell them really quickly or rent them out.

        But no one else is buying and financing conventionally.  So, they will be stuck and the bubble will burst again.

  •  On purpose. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, tardis10
    A policy initiative that was good but not good enough ended up being seen as a failure, and set the stage for an immensely destructive wrong turn.
    On purpose.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:50:10 AM PST

  •  I think you're being a little harsh on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    "water under the bridge;" didn't sound to me like that was implying that all the effects of that inadequate stimulus were something past and best forgotten; I think it's just an academic's way of saying: "that's not the point I'm trying to make; the point I'm trying to make is that the political effect of the inadequate stimulus was just fucking awful."

    I could be wrong, of course.

    Great diary otherwise! Tipped and rec'd.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:52:08 AM PST

  •  It's not a tragedy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    Tragedies are inevitable and happen in despite of human decisions and actions.

    This was engineered and happened because of human decisions and actions.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:57:42 AM PST

  •  Then there's this: (0+ / 0-)

    http://mobile.reuters.com/...

    Please do write a diary on it. Came out an hour ago.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site