Paul Krugman Pulls the Race Card From the Deck's Bottom
by John Tamny
For those who
follow economic commentary, New York Times columnist Paul
Krugman is known as the most prominent advocate of big government
solutions to almost any economic malady, real or perceived. Whatever
bad, historically discredited economic concept exists, from "stimulus"
spending to currency devaluation to tax rate increases to reduce
the deficits caused by all the government spending he supports,
Krugman is always there to defend each as public intellectualism's
walking, talking embodiment of that which won't, and hasn't worked.
minded among us might say that Krugman is a Republican mole, placed
inside the upper reaches of American liberalism's foremost cathedral
to destroy the movement from within, but if true, Republicans themselves
wouldn't so frequently pursue Krugman-lite policies (the George
W. Bush years, most notably) on the way to economic hardship. Instead,
it should be said that Krugman is a thoroughgoing statist, one who
actually believes all that he does with great conviction despite
an historical record that would logically give any rational human
But last week
it's fair to say that Krugman truly stepped over the line. While
his droolings are always worth an uneasy laugh combined with horror
that some actually take him seriously, his assertion that there's
a racial element behind the drive to achieve a strong, stable dollar
was just too much. Krugman should be ashamed, though that ascribes
to him a level of self-awareness that he apparently doesn't possess.
that stable-dollar advocates are racists eager to "seek votes
from Southerners angered by the end of legal segegration" as
a way of returning to "the antebellum era," Krugman unsheathed
the proverbial race card from the deck's bottom, and this is despicable
even by his already gutter-level standards.
during Fed Chairman Ben
Bernanke's testimony before Congress last week, Rep.
Paul Ryan made the perfectly reasonable and economically tautological
assertion that "There is nothing more insidious that a country
can do to its people than to debase its currency." From Ryan's
utterly harmless, though very correct statement, Krugman sickeningly
derived racist overtones; his argument being that Abraham Lincoln
devalued the dollar during the Civil War, and with Republicans (according
to Krugman) no longer embracing Lincoln, any criticism of devaluationist
policy is not just anti-Lincoln, but also racist for Lincoln's Civil
War having sped the end of wrongheaded secessionist policies in
his shockingly obtuse line of reasoning, Krugman cited one of the
witnesses Rep. Ron
Paul called before his subcommittee to discuss the Fed, Loyola
University professor and Ludwig von Mises Institute senior fellow
According to Krugman, DiLorenzo's not-so-glowing account of Lincoln
in his book Lincoln
Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe,
signals that he is a racist, and by extension so are the stable-dollar
Republicans seeking his testimony on the Fed.
while I've not read his book, I'm somewhat familiar with the more
libertarian criticisms of Lincoln, and none have to do with race.
That Krugman would suggest otherwise is the height of dishonesty,
and quite simply wrong.
objections to Lincoln and the Civil War have to do with the tariffs
imposed by northern manufacturing interests on imports that made
it difficult for southern agricultural interests to export their
goods. One can't export without importing, and the libertarian view
is that absent the tariffs, the war is less likely.
And while the
Civil War was also of course about slavery, individuals such as
Ron Paul certainly don't decry it for ending slavery; rather they
correctly point out that slavery was already dying around the world
without shots being fired. How unfortunate then that the U.S. needed
to suffer the death and destruction of war to rid itself of a tragic
institution that would have disappeared soon enough based on its
own, anti-human contradictions.
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