The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Moby Dick

On this Christmas Eve day, the New York Times decided to publish an oped by Paul Krugman, the Nobel-prize winning, left-wing economist who told us with absolute certainly that: (1) the stock market would crash upon the election of Donald Trump, and (2) the United States would go into an unrelenting recession that would lead to high unemployment and general misery for the middle class.

Hmmm. Let's take a step away from Krugman's delusional world of Trump hatred and toward reality, noting the following. We have seen the longest sustained stock market rally in history with market highs on nearly a monthly basis. The 401Ks of middle class workers have benefitted mightily. We have also seen a period of historic economic growth with unemployment consistently under 4 percent and wages up in all income classes. African Americans, Latinos, and women are being employed in record numbers. But hey, even Paul Krugman can make mistakes. In fact, he always does.

Today's Krugman rant uses Dickens' classic character, Ebenezer Scrooge, to asset that "...many conservative politicians only pretend to be Scrooges, when they’re actually much worse — not mere misers, but actively cruel." Yeah, that's the ticket. In the long tradition of demented leftwing pundits, Krugman argues that the GOP pushes grandma off a cliff by withholding medical care, grabs food out of the outstretched hands of tiny children, and punishes staving families by eliminating their food stamps.

Writing for the NYT's predominantly left-wing readership, Krugman revels in the canard that attaching work requirements to some social programs (e.g., Medicaid) actually costs money. After all, it's VERY important to keep people at the bottom of the economic spectrum dependent on government. You know, votes and all that.

Because Krugman tends to be incoherent, he appeals to the authority of another author when he writes:
In 2018, The Atlantic published a memorable essay by Adam Serwer titled “The Cruelty Is the Point,” about the political importance of shared pleasure from other people’s suffering. Serwer was inspired to write that essay by photos of lynchings, which show groups of white men obviously enjoying the show. Indeed, in America, gratuitous cruelty has often been directed at people of color.

But as Serwer also noted, it’s not just about race. There are more people than we like to imagine who rejoice in the suffering of anyone they see as unlike themselves, especially anyone they perceive as weak.

In fact, I suspect that this mentality is part of the explanation for the seeming paradox of strong Republican support in places like eastern Kentucky where large numbers of poor whites depend on programs like food stamps: Those who aren’t receiving aid actually want to see their poorer neighbors hurt.
So ... those who are more fortunate "want to see their poorer neighbors hurt." What a truly dark view of his fellow Americans. But then again, far too many Krugmans of the Left, wallowing in their elitist, condescending view of the 'deplorables,' would nod their heads in agreement.

I suppose Krugman thinks he's being clever by using Scrooge as a metaphor for his enemies. So let's consider another metaphor from classic literature.

Krugman has an eerie similarity to Captain Ahab, the protagonist in Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick. Borderline insane and unquestionably obsessed with his enemy—a great white whale—Ahab's decision making suffers, his judgment is faulty, and his tragic end is as predictable as it is inevitable. Krugman should take note.