Friday, January 9, 2015

Paul Krugman, ‘Voodoo Time Machine’

Krugman on Republicans' reaction to "the sharp increase in American economic growth that, we now know, began last spring":

... So what would [Republicans] say?

Well, I didn’t see that one coming: They’re claiming credit. Never mind the fact that all of the good data refer to a period before the midterm elections. Mitch McConnell, the new Senate majority leader, says that he did it, that growth reflected “the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”

The response of the Democratic National Committee — “Hahahahahahaha” — seems appropriate. I mean, talk about voodoo economics: Mr. McConnell is claiming not just that he can create prosperity without, you know, actually passing any legislation, but that he can reach back in time and create prosperity before even taking power. But while Mr. McConnell’s self-aggrandizement is funny, it’s also scary, because it’s a symptom of his party’s epistemic closure. Republicans know many things that aren’t so, and no amount of contrary evidence will get them to change their minds.

At least Mr. McConnell didn’t do what many of his colleagues have done when faced with inconvenient facts: resort to conspiracy theories.

(Bolds mine. - SB)

Things Republicans Know
This is a fundamental difference between the D's and the R's. D's may occasionally claim a GOP policy is worse than in fact it is (an error that is more and more difficult to commit as the GOP evolves into a virtually dictatorial organization); R's, on the other hand, are absolutely certain that anything good that happens in America is a direct consequence of, and only of, their radical policies. "Epistemic closure" indeed... and on the whole, disgusting.

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