Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I should win a Nobel Prize

(what will she come up with next? who knows?
do we really care? let's go get some cinnamon buns)

I never thought of myself as an expert on economics, or politics, or much of anything for that matter. But it turns out I have pretty good instincts! Who knew?

I've been muddling around with an idea for a blog post, wondering how to go about it. The idea is "The Myth of Small Government." See, it seems to me that when government gets "small" and private enterprise reigns supreme, the rich just end up getting richer and big companies get bigger and the rest of us get screwed.

So while all these people are yelling about taking back their country and getting government out of the way, I'm thinking "Are you crazy?"

~ Weren't you here for the past 8 years?

~ Did you sleep through the credit crisis?

~ Were you comatose when Wall Street went berserk, selling crap and calling it gold, taking our money and paying it to themselves as bonuses, while our teeny little government looked the other way?

~ Do you really think health insurance executives are going to suddenly say "Oh, wait! People don't have health insurance? What was I thinking, taking tens of millions of dollars for myself? Let's make some changes that will really help people!" ... Not in a million years.

I felt very validated when I discovered an op-ed piece by Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist who is known for his liberal views. Mr. Krugman describes the failure of Reaganomics, and goes on to ponder why the argument for "small government" still holds so much sway.


Here are a few quotes from the article:

"There’s a lot to be said about the financial disaster of the last two years, but the short version is simple: politicians in the thrall of Reaganite ideology dismantled the New Deal regulations that had prevented banking crises for half a century, believing that financial markets could take care of themselves. The effect was to make the financial system vulnerable to a 1930s-style crisis — and the crisis came."

“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937. “We know now that it is bad economics.” And last year we learned that lesson all over again."

"Some of the blame also must rest with President Obama, who famously praised Reagan during the Democratic primary, and hasn’t used the bully pulpit to confront government-is-bad fundamentalism. That’s ironic, in a way, since a large part of what made Reagan so effective, for better or for worse, was the fact that he sought to change America’s thinking as well as its tax code."

"How will this all work out? I don’t know. But it’s hard to avoid the sense that a crucial opportunity is being missed, that we’re at what should be a turning point but are failing to make the turn."


That's exactly what my blog post was going to say!

So there ya go.

What he said.



  1. Lesley, I read every one of Paul's columns, and I'm pretty sure that it's only a matter of time until he quotes you. When it happens, remember that I predicted it.

  2. Yes, you should be in the fold for the Nobel Prize if you and Krugman are like-minded on this topic of discussion.
    Reagan was a dunder head who did what he was told to do while in the Oval Office. Congress should seriously consider rolling back the Reagan tax cuts (not just the "Dubya" Bush tax cuts) to where they were pre-1981 and then see how much revenue is available to our country.

  3. Bruce: When that happens, I will definitely remember that you predicted it, since you will probably be the only person who ever does predict it. Also I will faint on the spot. But it would be very cool.

    Jim: Totally agree!! Those tax cuts should be rolled back. The fat cats wouldn't even feel it. They'd whine. Maybe they'd have to drive a Benz instead of a Bentley. But really, they wouldn't even feel it.