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Fisk Me Daddy Eight To The Bar

28 June 2010 @ 11:23

If you’re a regular reader of these Dispatches, you know that, when I discuss economics at all, I keep it very simple.  I do this, not because I think you all can’t handle any deep discussion of the dismal science, but because I lost any interest in pursuing any such extensive knowledge after spending a semester listening to a Keynesian professor drone on and on about how bloody awful the free enterprise system was [I was marked down on the final for vigorously defending the free market].  It’s like that one night you are drinking rum-based drinks and you go overboard, get violently ill, and never touch rum again because just the memory of it’s smell and taste sends vomitous shivers through your body [I’m doing that now].  That’s economics to me.  I trust people like Stacy McCain and Stephen Moore to dumb it down for me so that I can comprehend what is the happening.

However, I occasionally make an exception to my aversion.  This is one of those times, thanks to Smitty.  He is one of those people I trust to navigate me through the vicissitudes of the dismal fog.  This is also one of those times where my interest is really motivated because he is captaining a vessel made of Fisk.  To carry the sea analogy to it’s absurd end: Smitty harpoons the great white whale known by the name of Paul Krugman, reducing the blubber of his mind down to a useful oil to light the lamps of the world.  A highlight:

What is dawning upon citizens around the world, who are neither stupid nor instinctively political, is that the world is governed by thieves and morons that are stupid and all too political. No good can come of this open loop system of debt and more debt. Like an idiot savant dope fiend on a bender, the best result of Krugmanism might be a slightly lengthened euphoria before an even more devastating crash.

I am well-sated [and I don’t even like seafood, having had a rum-like experience with it many years ago] and have had my Fisk Fix of the day.  Thank you, friend Smitty.

SIDENOTE: Someone has slipped me a recording of Smitty and Stacy talking before Smitty wrote the Krugman Fisk.  I reproduce the relevant part here for the sake of history:

Stacybuck: To be enraged with a dumb brute that acted
out of blind instinct is blasphemous.

Captain Rehab [aka Smitty]: Speak not to me of blasphemy, man;
I’d strike the sun if it insulted me. Look ye, Stacybuck,
all visible objects are but as pasteboard masks. Some inscrutable
yet reasoning thing puts forth the molding of their features.
The white whale tasks me; he heaps me. Yet he is but a mask.
‘Tis the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate; the malignant thing
that has plagued mankind since time began; the thing that
maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright
but letting us live on, with half a heart and half a lung.

  1. Roxeanne de Luca permalink
    29 June 2010 @ 11:12 11:12

    I read Krugman’s column and was appalled. First, as a scientist, I’m always irked when people call things “[blank] science” and completely neglect any empirical analysis. It’s obvious that huge government spending causes a long-term drain on the economy, as taxes must be raised to pay for it all. But Krugman says things like:

    The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity

    which leads me to think that he’s gotten his economics column mixed up with his list of physiological issues to discuss with his doctor.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      29 June 2010 @ 12:13 12:13

      You may be on to something there, Roxeanne.

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