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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breaking Gridlock in DC

For John, BLUFE J Dionne thinks gridlock is about partisan politics and ignores the possibility it might be about economic ideas in conflict, and thus the best path out of the Recession.

Yesterday's [Lowell] Sun had an OpEd by Columnist E J Dionne.  The title was "Can This Election Break the Partisan Party Gridlock?  You can find it here, at least for a while.  Mr Dionne talks about the problem in DC being about politics and elections and ignores the fact that we have a hugh recession and the two parties are presenting two opposing ways of solving the problem.  On the one hand, you have the Keyensians, pushing a plan that cuts taxes and increases Federal outlays to spur the economy.  On the other hand you have something that might be called the Chicago School (or reference F A Hayek), which believes that recessions are about bad investments, which must be purged to clear up the system.  These two views are not compatible.

Showing that he doesn't understand, Mr Dionne concludes:

If Obama wants to do more than survive, he thus has to fight a bigger and broader campaign that targets not only Romney but also a GOP congressional apparatus that has moved the party far to the right.  Paradoxically, Republicans who want to bring their party to a more sensible place share an interest with Democrats in the president doing just this.  It will take real toughness to produce more peaceable politics.
This misses the point that we have irreconcilable differences and to cut a deal in the middle is to give us the worst of both possible worlds.  Why doesn't Mr Dionne grapple with the real issue?  It could be that he doesn't understand it, but I suspect he just thinks Republicans and the Chicago School are stupid (putting him in the Paul Krugman School—as opposed to the less caustic Keynesian, Professor Brad DeLong).

Sometimes there are no easy answers.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Here is the version in The Washington Post.

  That is Chicago as in the University, not Chicago as in Municiple Politics.


Mr. Lynne said...


C R Krieger said...

How appropriate.  I loved it.  Thanks for that.

I guess economics is a science.  I don't think it is a real social science.  On the other hand, it isn't like Physics.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr. Lynne said...

I actually remember reading an excerpt from a book from the chair of some big university's economics department. Wish I could remember who. In it he pretty much warned of the same thing - there are two sciences that aren't like the others. Psychology and Economics - because they tend to be sciences built around 'pet theories'. The support for these theories are from inference, but the 'strength' of these inferences are not like the inferences you can draw from data in physics or chemistry or even medicine.