"No man can become rich without himself enriching others"
Andrew Carnegie

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Krugman's Great Illusion

Cover of "The Great Illusion"
Cover of The Great Illusion
Paul Krugman is in Spain this week, most likely telling the Spaniards what they want to hear: The European Central Bank can end the country’s unemployment miseries painlessly by buying near-unlimited amounts of Spain’s government bonds and then floating massive amounts of new euros around the world. Yes, for the umpteenth time, Krugman insists that if Europeans print money and spend it as though they are rich — they can become rich!
Once upon a time, Krugman would have been classified as a “crank,” someone who believes that wealth is cranked up on printing presses. Today, he is seen as a prophet, a “lonely voice” crying in the wilderness with the message that economic salvation is easy. Repent and be baptized in a flood of inflation, and all will be well.
He uses the analogy of Norman Angell’s 1910 book, The Great Illusion, in which Angell claimed that because of the economic advances that had been made up to then, nations plundering nations via wars no longer seemed necessary: Trade and industry, he pointed out, not the exploitation of subject peoples, were the keys to national wealth, so there was nothing to be gained from the vast costs of military conquest.
Moreover, he argued that mankind was beginning to appreciate this reality, that the “passions of patriotism” were rapidly declining. He didn’t actually say that there would be no more major wars, but he did give that impression. 
We all know what came next.  ... Continue to read.
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