“The bubble that encases the New Elite crosses ideological lines and includes far too many of the people who have influence, great or small, on the course of the nation. They are not defective in their patriotism or lacking a generous spirit toward their fellow citizens. They are merely isolated and ignorant. The members of the New Elite may love America, but, increasingly, they are not of it.” Charles Murray, ‘The tea party is right. The ruling class is out of touch’ The Washington Post, October 24, 2010
“As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine…what A, B, and C shall do for X” But what about C? There was nothing wrong with A and B helping X. What was wrong was the law, and the identifying of C to the cause. C was the forgotten man, the man who paid, ‘the man who never is thought of” ” Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History Of The Great Depression. Harper 2007
In a more rational world, it wouldn’t be this way. Fiscal policy, which packs the power, would be doing the heavy lifting – by combining tax cuts and spending today with credible deficit reduction for the future. Monetary policy would take the back seat by keeping interest rates low. But we don’t live in a rational world. And as Donald Rumsfeld might have said, you go to war against recession with the army you have.” Alan S. Blinder, ‘ Our Fiscal Policy Paradox’, The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2010
What may look fine and dandy when viewed from an elitist window in Fisher Hall, Princeton, may well look downright disgusting from a grimy apartment window in downtown Little Rock. As Charles Murray rightly notes in his above-cited commentary, professional class elitists like Alan Blinder are way out of touch with regular Americans, who have now found a voice through the Tea Party and other focus groups for those who still value the contributions of the Founding Fathers. Blinder is an unfocused proponent for Manifest Destiny, and for stoking the furnace for unlimited government. Regular folks are much more enamored with making themselves worthy for Divine Providence and for the fruits of laissez-faire capitalism and constitutional government.
Blinder’s policy proposal for 2011 is more of 2008 and 2009. The engine of growth for the U.S. economy should be more temporary big spending and more temporary tax cuts by the federal government, even if the focus of these should now be on state governments. The federal government has spoiled its own fiscal nest; so let us share the burden by spoiling the fiscal nests of all the 50 state governments.
This babbling is yet another repetition of Aesop’s Fable about the fox who has lost his tail and recommends the benefits of brush loss to all foxes who still parade their splendid appendages.
Princeton University’s Department of Economics appears to be particularly badly afflicted with the disease of elitism. Where Alan Blinder follows, so Paul Krugman leads, in a lemming-like lunge over the edge of the economics precipice. They, together with many of their fellow academics, and legions of elitist undergraduates, pace the sheltered grounds of a progressive socialist campus, far-removed from the lives of regular Americans. They do not care at all about the economic burdens placed by their foolish policies on C, the forgotten man, whose job prospects dim, and whose future tax burden increases everytime that a dirty federal stimulus dollar floats out from Capitol Hill into the grasping hands of interest group X.
The Blinders and the Krugmans of this world are so personally wealthy, so personally privileged, and so personally protected from the repercussions of their policy pronouncements, that they indulge themselves in a fantasy world where Maynard Keynes still towers, unchallenged by reality, where expansionist fiscal policy can still save a nation, and where private frugality, hard-work and private ambition is to be relegated to snide humor over tea and crumpets and other delicacies served up to the best and the brightest: the Princeton men and women.
Well, a plague on Princeton University, say I. Go back to the Great Texts Mr Blinder and Mr. Krugman, learn some better economics from the likes of Friedrich von Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman, and take a look now and again at the real world beyond those elitist spires and quadrangles. Mr. C deserves your serious attention. For Mr. C puts the tea and crumpets on your table, repairs your toilets, takes out your garbage, and clears your snow, as you seek blindly to destroy the wealth of your nation and to break Mr. C’s back with your evil fiscal levies.