Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Niall Ferguson Is Even Worse Than I Thought

Noah Smith read Niall Ferguson's Newsweek article in which he argued that we should elect Paul Ryan and get rid of Obama.  Noah found several instances in which Ferguson actually contradicted himself in the same article.  Ferguson not only misquoted the CBO in making the case against Obamacare, he was logically inconsistent.  It seems as if Ferguson started out with an intention to make a case against Obama, and for Ryan (note that Ryan takes precedence over Romney), he then threw a bunch of things together to support his conclusion with little regard for the facts or logical consistency.  He gets on the cover of Newsweek, and is invited to be a guest on one of our Sunday TV news shows by writing garbage.  His garbage is given credibility by his pedigree.  He was at Oxford and is now a tenured professor at Harvard.  There is something wrong with this picture.  The market for ideas is not self correcting.  Ferguson must have written some history that stood up to peer review and earned him tenure at Harvard.  Apparently, this gives him a license to say whatever he pleases about US politics and the economy, and it will be reported by the media.  One of the reasons for the attention that he gets is that his ideas are provocative, and they help to sell magazines and build TV viewership.  After all, these are businesses, and they make money by attracting an audience, and the advertising revenues that are based upon the size of the audience.  Another reason is that Ferguson's conclusions are welcomed by powerful people who are eager to give him a platform to advance their goals.  Unfortunately, Ferguson's poor reasoning, and misrepresentation of data,  may not affect his reputation within Harvard.     After all, Ferguson is not being criticized for writing a bad article for a peer reviewed journal.

1 comment:

  1. The stock market refutes everything Ferguson says, in spades, as it doubled since Obama took over. Economists never agree, except they all agree Obama inherited the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. By the time Obama took over, the economy was in freefall, losing over 700,000 jobs a month. The biggest American banks collapsed and had to be rescued. Banks that survived the Civil War, the crash of 1929, WWI & II collapsed. AIG alone needed a $180 billion bailout. General Motors, the top icon of American manufacturing, went bankrupt and had to be rescued by the taxpayer. The entire multi-trillion dollar housing market crashed, as did the stock market. Many millions lost their jobs and homes. Over $29 trillion was pledged to backstop the system. All under George Bush and Republican economic policies. Now Romney would have let the auto industry collapse, and that probably would have added momentum to bring the house down completely - which easily shows that he is even more stupid than Bush, if you can conceive that.

    The metaphor is that Bush pushed the economy over a cliff. Obama caught it, and is trying to push it back up the hill. All the while Obama is being kicked and punched by the same people who pushed it over the cliff, and they're saying put us back in charge - sheer unbridled insanity.

    Now Ferguson's man Romney is running to give tax breaks to the rich - even though we've tried that stench already and it didn't work. Didn't work is a hyperbolic understatement - reality is that it brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

    Today corporate America is flush with cash - trillions. Banks are flush with cash - trillions parked at the Fed and elsewhere. The rich are flush with cash - trillions. Trillions sitting overseas in off-shore accounts of corporations. Trillions sitting in off-shore accounts of the rich. Given that under Obama the stock market has doubled from the Bush abomination - that's more trillions for the rich. They already have the cash, so where are the jobs? The rich and corporate America do not need more tax breaks to create jobs. That's sillier than silly, and represents the most despicable wanton criminal greed. In fact, if their taxes were being raised, they would put their money to work and get investment deductions rather than just hand it over in taxes from where they have it parked.

    If Ferguson wants to know why the economy is sluggish - it's because the rich are getting richer, and everybody else is left with a smaller piece of the pie.

    And Ryan would have these parasitic leeches pay just one percent tax, while implementing austerity. Children should not be allowed to play with fire.

    What an embarassment that such idiocy as Ferguson's diatribe can flow out of Harvard.

    This is not Greece - nothing can bail out the USA. Romney/Ryan economics is the biggest threat to human existence ever, as it would bring about total collapse of civilization in short order. But I guess that's what Ferguson wants to.