Shut Up Out There!
Robert Higgs fisks Ben Bernanke’s recent op-ed. One of the most enjoyable economics pieces I’ve read in weeks. Highly recommended. Excerpt (Bernanke in bold; Higgs in regular font:
“The government’s actions to avoid financial collapse last fall — as distasteful and unfair as some undoubtedly were — were unfortunately necessary to prevent a global economic catastrophe that could have rivaled the Great Depression in length and severity, with profound consequences for our economy and society,” he wrote.
Yes, it is distasteful when we little folks have to take a financial beating so that the rich and well-connected can flourish; we do tend to get a bitter taste in our mouths. But, then, we certainly don’t want another Great Depression, do we? But wait a minute. How does Bernanke know that if, say, the government and the Fed had not taken the slew of outrageous measures they have taken in the past fifteen months, another Great Depression would have occurred? I have a Ph.D. in economics, same as Bernanke, and I’ve been a professional economic historian of the United States for more than forty years, and I don’t know this thing he claims to know. Does he have a pipeline to God? (A more reasonable hypothesis is that he is God’s agent on earth, put here to punish us for our sins.) This constant reference to an impending Great Depression makes for excellent politics of fear, but where’s the theoretical and historical meat? My best guess is that had the government refrained from all of its extraordinary interventions of the past year or so, the worst of the adjustments would already have been made, and a genuine recovery would now be in progress. Instead, thanks to Bernanke and Co., we may never see a flourishing economy in this country again. Argentina and other countries have been ruined by a great deal less meddling.
Here’s a question I want to ask Bernanke: If you’re so prescient, why didn’t you see this whole mess developing, then take steps to defuse it? If you’re so good now, why were you so bad two years ago? What has changed? It makes no sense. Bernanke (and virtually every other mainstream economist in America) preaches stimulus and bailouts, but he didn’t see it coming. Show me an economist who saw it coming, and I’ll listen to him.
To all economists out there: If you didn’t see this coming, shut up. Simply shut the he** up. No one in their right mind wants to hear from you now.
Also Seen at Lew Rockwell
I found that Higgs piece at Lew Rockwell. They also recently linked to this good piece at The Telegraph. China, gold, and the civilization shift.
I’ve been seeing more and more MSM writers talk well about gold. It’s only a trickle of interest, but the whole notion that paper currencies are intrinsically worthless seems to be seeping in. It’s an encouraging sign, if in some ways a scary one.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList