Krugman redeems himself

Paul Krugman is the man the conservative/libertarian side of the blogosphere loves to hate, but occasionally, he writes an article like today's "Lumps of Labor" and all must be forgiven.

Ok, granted, it's not perfect. It's not even close. He intentionally feeds the widespread - but misguided - belief that it is the responsibility of government to create jobs - rather than simply refrain from destroying them. He also encourages even more federal spending, ignoring both the "moral hazard" arguments against allowing the federal government - by which he means fiscally responsible states - to bail out fiscally irresponsible states, as well as the fact that while spending is higher than ever, the Keynesian cure just isn't working.

And of course, as is his trademark, Krugman bashes "tax cuts for the rich," who just so happen to be the same people who pay the most in taxes.

But putting all that aside (and I admit, it's a lot to put aside), Krugman's voice is needed now more than ever. The public is most susceptible to protectionist arguments during economic downturns, and thus it is no surprise that protectionism is rearing its ugly head today. Without leftist economists like Krugman arguing for free trade, many on the left would simply ignore concepts like comparative advantage, the lump of labor fallacy, and the myth of competitiveness, and instead treat them as ideologically driven constructs of free-market capitalist extremists - a group of which I proudly consider myself a member.

So from a firm believer in unfettered markets (who likes fetters, anyway?) to a left-wing neo-Keynesian, I say thank you, Paul Krugman.

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