Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal Editorial Writer Knows Absolutely Nothing About Economics

Which Qualifies Him to Write On Economics for the WSJ - In Fact, It's a Requirement

He is really not this ignorant, he has a hidden agenda

If you have an inflexible ideological bias, like the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, and basic Macro Economics does not support your positions, what do you do?  What do you do?

Easy answer, you have one of your regular editorial page writers make stuff up.  By claiming what he writes is real economics, you can have the pseudo economics support  your positions.  This frees you entirely from the constraints of logic, analysis and data.

White House Press Secretary Carney
"If This is Too Hard for you Mr. Moore,
I will go slower"

This week Mr. Stephen Moore gets that assignment.  He seems like a natural, probably why he was chosen.  Here is a sample of his make believe economics.

Consider what happened last week when Laura Meckler of this newspaper dared to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney how increasing unemployment insurance "creates jobs." She received this slap down: "I would expect a reporter from The Wall Street Journal would know this as part of the entrance exam just to get on the paper."

Mr. Carney explained that unemployment insurance "is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren't earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get . . . and that creates growth and income for businesses that then lead them to making decisions about jobs—more hiring."

This is a Whopper Mr. Moore
 Your Explanation of Economics is also a Whopper

That's a perfect Keynesian answer, and also perfectly nonsensical. What the White House is telling us is that the more unemployed people we can pay for not working, the more people will work. Only someone with a Ph.D. in economics from an elite university would believe this.

Let’s leave aside the obvious moral issue of supporting people who are unemployed through no fault of their own and want to work (the very definition of cyclical unemployment) and see what Mr. Moore is saying.

First of all, almost every economics Ph. D., even those from non-elite universities believe what Mr. Carney said is true.  Yes there are dissenters, but only those who ideological bias and desire for an appointment in a Republican administration drive their positions.  But Mr. Moore makes it personal

I have two teenage sons. One worked all summer and the other sat on his duff. To stimulate the economy, the White House wants to take more money from the son who works and give it to the one who doesn't work. I can say with 100% certainty as a parent that in the Moore household this will lead to less work.

thus illustrating another of his idiocies.  No one is taking money from the employed, the government is borrowing the money from people eager to lend it to the government. Unemployment insurance works just like Mr. Carney says it does, it just that the analysis doesn’t fit Mr. Moore ideology.

Now even Mr. Moore is not this ignorant of basic economics.  He has a hidden agenda, or rather Conservatives have a half hidden agenda that he is trying to promote.

That agenda is this.  Conservatives want to cut unemployment benefits.  Currently the benefits can go for 99 weeks.  Well the government cannot afford both tax cuts for the wealthy and unemployed benefits for the unemployed, so benefits for the unemployed must be cut. 

But this logic cannot be set out, the public will not accept that.  So a new theory has to be developed, a theory that will justify cutting unemployment benefits. 

That theory is that unemployment benefits cause unemployment.  That’s right, the unemployed are basically a lazy shiftless group of individuals who would rather lie around and receive $200-$400 a week, getting by on Food Stamps, visiting the Food Bank, getting medical care from Medicaid and learning the intricacies of foreclosure rules rather then make $30,000, $50,000 or even $75,000 working.

So the policy of cutting unemployment benefits will actually help the unemployed and lower the unemployment rate. Yes, those of you who comprise the 14 million large army of the “willing to work but unable to find a job” category, they are doing it for you.

You can send them a thank you note after you lose your benefits.

Oh, and the title of Mr. Moore’s piece, “Why Americans Hate Economics?”  The answer of course is that they have been deceived by people who use the credibility of a great newspaper like the Wall Street Journal to peddle myths and mistakes.  That would make anyone hate any social science. His comments even tend to turn The Dismal Political Economist (one of those Ph. D.'s from an elite University) against the field.

1 comment:

  1. Trickle down economics designed to help the wealthy will deprive middle and low-income individuals and families of economic resources required to meet basic everyday needs, including access to affordable, quality healthcare and tuition costs for continuing eduction.