Saturday, December 7, 2013

Republican Rejection Of Reality

Krugman and Friend
Paul Krugman comments on the extreme ideological obsession Republicans have in two areas, health care and monetary policy, and their utter refusal to accommodate reality in either area. He gauges right‑wing views based on the hate mail in his inbox, a source most of us small-time blog owners don't have in anything near the quantity Krugman sustains:

... is what I see a lot in my inbox (and in my reading): the furious insistence that nothing resembling a government guarantee of health insurance can possibly work.

That’s a curious belief to hold, given the fact that every other advanced country has such a guarantee, and that we ourselves have a 45-year-old single-payer system for seniors that has worked pretty well all this time. But nothing makes these people as angry as the suggestion that Obamacare might actually prove workable.

Indeed that is a curious belief, and a simple, compelling debunking. We already have such a system, which unfortunately we have limited to old people, and even the success of that system sends some right‑wing nut‑jobs shrieking about socialism and "death panels" (hearing Palin's atrociously stupid phrase, I can't help imagining Captain Kirk delivering the line, "Scotty! it's all those tribbles, hiding behind the death panels!"). Putting aside the wingnut demagoguery, the only thing that is "wrong" with the concept of Medicare for all is that it puts the insurance companies out of business.

And Krugman on inflation:

As I said, the other issue where I see this kind of enraged denial is monetary policy. There are a lot of people on the right who know, just know, that the Fed is debasing the dollar and creating runaway inflation. This belief doesn’t seem to have been dented at all by five years of failed predictions of inflation just around the corner.

I believe Krugman is as tired of the endless nut‑job repetition of fantasy horror stories as I am. And I think someone as inclined to accept actual socialism for some obvious governmental functions as I am would recognize it if it ever arrived in the morning email.

Krugman's conclusion:

On both the healthcare and inflation fronts, what you have to conclude is that there are a large number of people who find reality — the reality that governments are actually pretty good at providing health insurance, that fiat money can be a useful tool of economic management rather than the road to socialist disaster — just unacceptable. I think that in both cases it has to do with the underlying desire to see market outcomes as moral imperatives.

And I suppose there have always been such people out there. What’s new is that these days they control one of our two major political parties.
Damned if they don't. As Americans seems stuck in a permanent two‑party system, they can't really afford one party comprising unbridled economic right‑wing extremists. But I don't see how we get rid of them any time soon.

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