Tag Archives: clinton

Krugman’s Karma Forces Him to Feel the Bern and Attack the Kochs for “Buying Politicians”

By William K. Black
June 4, 2016     Bloomington, MN

When last we read Paul Krugman he was repeatedly demanding that Bernie Sanders cease criticizing Hillary Clinton for a lifetime addiction of taking tens of millions of dollars in political contributions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in speakers’ fees from Goldman Sachs and other business interests.  (I am an economic adviser to Bernie.)  While Professor Krugman consistently stressed that the data show that business campaign contributions do rig the system, Hillary Surrogate Krugman suddenly professed that business political campaign contributions and speaker fees have no corrupting effect on politicians.

Economists should be honest for all the usual reasons, but economists who wish to affect policy have an additional reason to embrace intellectual honesty.  Karma means that an intellectually dishonest economist is likely to be promptly confronted by the desirability of telling the truth in order to prevent disastrous policy on precisely the subject he or she just lied about.

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Progressives Don’t Let Friends Vote Neocon

By L. Randall Wray

The drumbeat is quickening as Hillary’s surrogates insist that Bernie’s supporters fall in line. Bernie’s chances are said to be hopeless. Continuing to run only plays into the hands of truly despicable Republicans.

And forget about trying to pressure the Democratic Party’s establishment to let Bernie play a role in formulating the convention’s platform. That also would just play into the hands of the Republicans.

Time to unite behind Hillary, and let her move further to the right. No more talk of revolution, of trillions of dollars of new spending, of significant increases to the minimum wage. Let’s talk about Hillary’s issues: regime change abroad, downsizing dreams at home, and protecting Wall Street from the pitchforks.

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Bill Clinton’s Blood Libel of the American People

By William K. Black
April 17, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Hillary Clinton uses a rhetorical device that is too clever by half.  Whenever Bernie Sanders points out that she continues to take millions of dollars for her campaign and over $650,000 personally from the infamous “Vampire Squid” whose frauds caused the financial crisis she responds that this means that Bernie is attacking President Obama too, for in 2008 his campaign’s largest donor was those same Wall Street felons.  She then says that the Dodd-Frank Act proves that campaign contributions do not affect elected officials.  Her devotion to Wall Street funding and her statement that campaign funds have no effect help explain why she does so poorly in the polls on credibility.  As I explained in a prior column, academic research confirms what we all know from life – campaign contributions play a substantial role in the decisions of elected officials.  Indeed, even Paul Krugman’s lecture notes show that he agrees with this point.  (Disclosure: I am an adviser to Bernie on economics, regulation, and criminology.)

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Democrats Need to Give Up Being Deficit Hawks Even When it Feels Good Politically

By William K. Black
March 24, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Representative Nancy Pelosi has just written the latest effort by a prominent Democrat to bash Republicans for the high crime of not being financially illiterate.  The Republicans are frequently financially illiterate on budget issues and they bash Democrats for the high crime of not being financially illiterate.  The leaders of both parties share the hypocrisy of bashing the rival party for supporting budgetary stimulus in circumstances in which stimulus is vital.  Particular forms of budgetary stimulus can be simultaneously desirable (relative to austerity) and inferior relative to alternative forms of budgetary stimulus.  The Republican‘s favored form of budgetary stimulus – large tax cuts for the wealthy – is a remarkably inefficient means of providing  stimulus that makes income inequality worse.  Those two points are the correct bases for criticizing their proposed tax cuts.  Far too many Democrats, however, cannot pass up the political opportunity to bash the Republicans for supporting stimulus when further stimulus is vital.  When Democrats like Pelosi launch these myth-based political attacks on Republican stimulus programs they help to enshrine economically illiterate austerity policies that make it even harder for Democrats to make the case for stimulus even when it is essential.

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TPP: Fast –Track Is Back: Shall It Pass?

Under this plan, they say, the President and the Republicans get what they want, and so do the free trade Democrats (as without their saying it do the funders of both parties). In addition, the free trade Democrats have the TAA fig leaf they believe they need to defend them against primary challengers and Republicans who may run against them saying that the sold out American workers and national sovereignty to foreigners.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t It? But here are the process problems with it.

Step one assumes that a clean TPA bill can pass the House. Proponents of this step assume that this will happen because 191 Republicans and 28 Democrats, a total of 219 members of the House, passed such a bill last Friday, June 12th, while 54 Republicans and 157 Democrats, or 211 members voted to defeat it. Continue reading

TPP: Fast –Track, the Next Rounds In Congress

The roll call 126-302 vote (Roll call 361) defeating the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill was a result worth a little celebrating on Friday, since it was a very decisive victory on that particular vote, and also stopped the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) fast track bill from being sent to the President’s desk for signature. If the vote on TAA hadn’t failed, it would have been far more difficult (I don’t say impossible as many do) to defeat all manner of “free trade” agreements (aka multinational sovereignty agreements), including the currently scheduled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services (TiSA) agreements over the next year or so.

Everything we know about these agreements is that they would have been a disaster for all but an extremely small segment of the people of the United States. So, we ought to be overjoyed that, for now, fast-track is stalled in the House, and may get pigeon-holed there for quite some time to come, if the re-vote on TAA fails. Still as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, and Bill Black say in their recent posts, this stall may be short-lived if we don’t keep up the pressure and make sure that the Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the President are, unsuccessful in reversing Friday’s vote on the TAA. Continue reading

Reinventing Government: the 1995 Speeches announcing the Road to Ruin

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

Introduction to the “Reinventing Government” movement

Anyone who has worked for a large government or firm knows their tendency to be bureaucratic.  Everyone has had the experience of dealing with bureaucratic mentalities, including the volunteer soccer referee who lets power go to his head and becomes an arrogant demigod.  Everyone has had to deal with a public clerk or a private insurance company’s claim official who drives one nuts.  Working for a federal agency meant that I often had to deal with a bureaucratic personality to get things done.  That is why so many of us that have worked for a large government or firm are passionately anti-bureaucratic.

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