On incestuous amplification:

We saw that in the run-up to Iraq, where perfectly obvious propositions – the case for invading is very weak, the occupation may well be a nightmare – weren’t so much rejected as ruled out of discussion altogether; if you even considered those possibilities, you weren’t a serious person, no matter what your credentials.

Which brings me to the fiscal debate, characterized by the particular form of incestuous amplification Greg Sargent calls the Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop. I’ve already blogged about my Morning Joe appearance and Scarborough’s reaction, which was to insist that almost no mainstream economists share my view that deficit fear is vastly overblown. As Joe Weisenthal points out, the reality is that among those who have expressed views very similar to mine are the chief economist of Goldman Sachs; the former Treasury secretary and head of the National Economic Council; the former deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve; and the economics editor of the Financial Times. The point isn’t that these people are necessarily right (although they are), it is that Scarborough’s attempt at argument through authority is easily refuted by even a casual stroll through recent economic punditry.

But these people aren’t part of the in-group, and if they do make it into the in-group’s conversation at all, it’s only by blurring their message sufficiently that the in-group doesn’t understand it.

And at this point, of course, all the Very Serious People have committed their reputations so thoroughly to the official doctrine that they almost literally can’t hear any contrary evidence.

Also, what Digby said.

3 Responses to Krugman

  1. imhotep January 30, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    How curious? The U.S. economy in the last quarter of 2012 (Oct., Nov., Dec.) contracted by .1%. Even though consumer spending during that same time period posted a 2.2% gain. And the previous quarter (Jul., Aug., Sept.) showed a 3.1% increase. Somebody wasn’t spending “their fair share” during the last quarter? Wanna bet it was the 1% and the corporations? Folks like Scarborough and those of his ilk who were out to show us “little people” how angry they were that we reelcted Obama. Our economy sucks and millions of people are still unemployed because the corporations are sitting on $4 trillion in uninvested dollars. The 1% is going to bring us austerity whether we like it or not. And the Republicans are egging them on.

  2. Adams January 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    A DNA coded recording of Peggy Noonan debating Krugman on economics in general and the debt and deficit in particular should be sealed into a time capsule and sent out into space to all intelligent life. As a warning of the rampant stupidity that rules elite thought in the capital of Earth.

    She’s even dumber than George Will.

  3. Ron January 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with Digby when she says “Washington is corrupt, but it’s not that corrupt.” I guess I’m an idiot conspiracy theorist. Forget the historical proof, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear have watched the absolute failure of ‘deficit reduction’ EVERYWHERE it has been implemented. While I believe all of the CW crowd are corrupt, I don’t believe they’re that stupid. Either their goal is to destroy the middle class and turn the US into a third world polity or this an incredibly evil process of CYA, which has the same destructive effect on the nation.

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