A Quick Note As To Why Journalists Should Never Write About Economics……


Sigh, WaPo has an article critical of the fiscal cliff deal.  To be sure, there’s much to criticize.  And, for a little as the writer offered, I think the idea he was trying to convey was almost accurate. …… not quite, but there’s only so much one can expect from leftist groups.

I was going to make this part of a larger post, but I’m battling time, again.  Still, this could be fun.  Some excerpts from the article…..

Economists generally offer three theories for what’s hampering the still-sluggish U.S. economy: the Keynesian theory, which would like to see lower taxes or more government spending; the spending/debt theory, which would like to see both of those reined in; and the uncertainty theory. Under none of them can the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” be considered an economic success.

Sigh, Keynesians like lower taxes?  Can someone point me to a Keynesian that advocates lower taxes in the real world?  And then there’s the “spending/debt theory” and the “the uncertainty theory“.  The author probably learned this from a technical writing class or something……

The deal will not inject more consumer spending power into the economy this year compared with last year — in Keynesian terms, it does the opposite. It won’t reduce government spending, and it will boost the national debt by trillions of dollars compared with what would have happened if lawmakers had not reached a cliff deal. It resolves only a slice of the policy “uncertainty” that many business leaders say is chilling investment in America.

It isn’t just in Keynesian terms, in fact, it’s a bit disingenuous to credit Keynes with the thoughts of injecting more spending power into the economy.  Keynes advocated govt spending to do so.  The fiscal cliff deal had little to do with that.  But, the point is valid…. there is less spending power, the debt will continue, (likely a deal will be made moderating the spending cuts kicked down the road in the deal) and there is still a lot of uncertainty which hampers business activity. 

Then the writer falls off the rails with this ……

From the Keynesian perspective held by many Democrats, it won’t stop a 2 percent jump in payroll taxes, which will sap almost as much consumer demand as extending middle-class tax cuts will preserve.

Yes, many Dems are from the Keynesian school of thought.  Their advocacy for lower taxes is well known.  We all know it is non-existent. 

Jim Tankersley is the author who penned this article.  Someone please drop him a note and tell him to confine his writing to the going’s on in Hollywood or D.C. gossip. 
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20 Responses to A Quick Note As To Why Journalists Should Never Write About Economics……

  1. philjourdan says:

    No, many democrats bastardized the Keynesian theories, but none actually adhere to them,

    And the uncertainty theory belongs in Physics (Heisenberg).

    The Spending/debt theory is actually the Keynesian theory (if done on a short term). And what is missing is the Monetary theory. But do not expect the WaPo to even know that exists.

  2. gator69 says:

    “Can someone point me to a Keynesian that advocates lower taxes in the real world?”

    John Kerry.

    “Saving GM and Chrysler saved about 1 million jobs. Had they been allowed to fail Ford and all the suppliers, and all the clothing stores, food stores, delis, diners, restaurants – all would have failed. Saving the American auto industry saved the midwest from a Depression. That’s not socialism; that’s what government is for. And Ford, GM, and Chrysler are profitable!”
    John Kerry

    “What yacht in Rhode Island?”
    John Kerry

    • suyts says:

      LOL, well, yes, they do advocate lower taxes for themselves. Interesting that Kerry believes GM makes clothing stores viable. It’s also interesting that Kerry believes that nothing would replace GM and Chrysler. Like there’s never been other auto companies.

      • philjourdan says:

        It was not the first time Chrysler went into bankruptcy. They came out the last time (but without illegalities). Many companies go into bankruptcy. The assets do not disappear. That is the purpose of bankruptcy. But if you abort the process, you have defeated the purpose. So GM and Chrysler will be going there again – and again – and again. Until the government stops meddling, allows the process to work, and they can emerge as leaner and stronger companies.

        That is who will replace them.

        • gator69 says:

          Last I read, GM is still restructuring under bankruptcy rules. In other words they are still in bankruptcy. Obama’s gift to the unions and vote buying scheme, funded by investors, tax payers and white collar workers who all lost retirement money.

        • philjourdan says:

          Gator – sophistry. They never went into Bankruptcy. They got the bailout. The rot that caused the need for the bailout was institutionalized and set in stone so that it would cause it to happen again.

          The use of the term “bankruptcy” in this sense is completely false. There has been no filings and no bankruptcy. Just a slush fund of billions from your wallet.

        • gator69 says:

          GM had plans to restructure under an actual bankruptcy that were nearly identical to what Big Brother has done. Under GM’s plan, stockholders would not have been shafted and the retirement plans of the white collar workers would have survived, but the unions would have had to make concessions. Big Brother used select bankruptcy rules to buy votes and punish enemies.

          My mother had a good portion of her investments in GM and lost it all. I am well aware of what happened.

    • leftinbrooklyn says:

      Huh… I kinda thought ‘too big to fail’ means you already have.

      I haven’t owned a car in about 15 years…oh, wait….yes I do. Well, not one that I can drive, or see, or touch. But somewhere out there is a car I paid for. Yeah, that’s what government is for.

  3. DirkH says:

    Love the “uncertainty theory” (that the journalist doesn’t explain).

    And love this comment:
    “Polly Klein
    1/3/2013 12:20 AM GMT+0100
    Saying “taxes” like it’s one thing is a Reagan-esque lie.
    Taxing the wealthy does not hurt the economy. They already spend all they can.
    Taxing the poor, via sales or gas tax, etc, causes immediate reductions in spending.
    Spending shoots up the day the earned income credits are mailed, despite their paltry amounts.”

    Polly hasn’t even noticed in the past 4 years that “spending” refers to government spending (and obviously thinks that a nation can and should spend itself to prosperity). And even more gems in her short comment.

    A word about money supply from the Wapo? About inflation? Nope. Too complicated concepts.

    • suyts says:

      I’m seeing that they simply reject things they don’t understand. And, if one has to think beyond the immediate, then they won’t understand it. It’s a vicious cycle of stupidity.

      • DirkH says:

        I stand corrected. The Wapo is the intellectual giant amongst the leftist US newspapers.
        “Uncertainty theory is a branch of mathematics based on normality, monotonicity, self-duality, countable subadditivity, and product measure axioms.[clarification needed] It was founded by Baoding Liu [1] in 2007 and refined in 2009.[2]”

  4. leftinbrooklyn says:

    ‘Taxing the wealthy does not hurt the economy. They already spend all they can.’

    I would think that spending all they can would make them no longer wealthy. If I got a million bucks, I can spend a million bucks. But then I’m no longer a millionaire. I’m broke.

    I would imagine this principle applies to nations also.

    • DirkH says:

      Yeah, how can one even write that without noticing the absurdity. Too much Prozac?

    • cdquarles says:

      Yes, Virginia, taxing the ‘wealthy’ will hurt the economy (mostly invisibly). You can never help the ‘poor’ by hurting the ‘rich’. Simply. Not. Possible.

      • suyts says:

        Apparently, for the left, becoming equally poor is a desirable outcome.

        • cdquarles says:

          True that :). Equality of result means the result is equal misery for the ‘proles’ and equal power for the rulers. Never mind that in the real world, equality of result only exists in Utopia, which is a place that does not exist.

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