In his series of blogs today, one of them one of them calls out (and describes why) how economically stupid it would be to increase the Medicare eligibility age. He in says this stupidity is only in part due to self interests at play, but fails to describe the actors that promote and propose this stupidity as anything other than Very Serious People.
This failure remains and has been rampant in almost all his blogs where he appoints the source of poor fiscal policy decisions or directions or proposals or .... to Very Serious People.
Obviously, his intent is to assign the VSP's to be those that have great influence on creating & proposing these poor fiscal policies, choices, proposals, etc, but beyond that they could (being objective here) just as easily be figments of his imagination.
What bothers me ... more precisely makes me wonder why... Krugman steadfastly refuses to elaborate on sources of VSP's.... who or what interest groups, lobbies, behind the scenes titans of the economy, or whatever, are these VSP's in each case? If he doesn't himself have the inclination or interest in seeing that they're identified, then he at leasts understands the interests his audience, and hence the public's interest has in identifying the VSP's. So why wouldn't he make a serious effort to have somebody he knows or some insider's, some public interest group(s), some "liberal" think-tanks, etc. to identify these VSP's?
In real effect he's shirking an implied responsibility ---- when you caste blame on unidentified targets you're more than just a little obliged to identify real people, interest groups, titans, etc... at least to narrow the potential field of possible candidates and provide the basis for incentives that the identified VSP's have for making poor or bad fiscal macro-economic decisions, proposals, excuses. etc.
Let me put this in an objective context: When somebody blames a fictional group or persons for doing something they don't think should be being done... for whatever reasons... they are indicting that which cannot refute the allegations, leaving the blamer free to blame without argument or response from those being blamed.
Krugman's blog, on the whole is opinion which on one side he supports with credible, documented publicly available economic data and macro-economic models. On the other side however, he fails wholly and completely to support, in any form, his opinion related to his fictional VSP's. He, like most propagandists on either side of any issue, leaves it entirely and completely up to the reader's imagination to decide who or what the VSP's are... and why they support or propose policy, directions, or acts which are in opposition to Krugman's claims.
Since Krugman's NYT columns are widely published, and his blog so widely read, and since he's one of the few distinguished Nobel economists still actively involved in his profession, he is in a relatively unique position to provide the public with credible economic information and it's effects ... both in the global and U.S. contexts. What, therefore prevents him from filling in the other side of his credibility, where he's been wholly deficient (even derelict), by identifying his fictional VSP's to the public readership?
I can surmise one potential reason --- his NYT employer's legal team prevent his identifying the VSP's as actual groups, individuals, organizations, etc. This makes sense only if the NYT believes it (the newspaper entity's owners) would either be economically harmed by the naming of VSP's, or that they could be held legally liable for libel. To be legally liable for libel, however, requires that the the named VSP's are in fact an untruth. To avoid accusation of libel, or to prevail in court, would require Krugman to have documented proof of his claim(s), or other independent corroboration.
Even if the NYT couldn't be held liable because the blog is an author's personal opinion, then Krugman himself could be accused of libel.... and legal costs of defense would be prohibitive.
So if that potential reason for his not identifying the VSP's has merit, then Krugman in fact has no verifiable or other proof of who the VSP's are.... just that he surmises that such entities must exist by his decree... somewhere, in some context, and in some real non-fictional form This is no different that decreeing that the earth is flat because "god" made it so, or that the earth is the center of the universe, because "god" made it that way, or that creationism is the truth because I want it to be. Another form of this, oft expressed, our father's decree at one time or another... or on several occasions, saying "Because I said so".
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