Krugman is at it again in his relentless attempt to run all aspects of society – starting, as always, with the foibles of capitalism. In a recent article, Dewey, Cheatam, & Howe, he takes the opportunity to besmirch the freedom of the marketplace by highlighting three current events that have “defrauded” the consumer at large. As always, he starts out with a passive disclaimer:
No doubt I, like anyone who points out ethical lapses on the part of some companies, will be accused of demonizing business. But I’m not claiming that all businesspeople are demons, just that some of them aren’t angels.
Of course you’re not demonizing, Paul, you’re just…demonizing but claiming you’re not. We get it. You’ve set yourself up to say something nasty, but disclaim responsibility for it. You’re like that guy that starts off a sentence with , “not to sound like an asshole, but…” – but then says something an asshole would say. Rest assured, Krugman, we all know you’re the asshole. So, anyway, here’s his first item of proof that capitalism is flawed:
Item: The C.E.O. of Volkswagen has resigned after revelations that his company committed fraud on an epic scale, installing software on its diesel cars that detected when their emissions were being tested, and produced deceptively low results.
Only – the results of the tests weren’t deceptive. The cars passed standards when tested. They didn’t”cheat” to pass – they passed. No, they didn’t function like that during everyday use, but they gave the consumer more miles per gallon and reliability when the emission controls were turned off. So, the consumers weren’t defrauded of any money, they actually saved money. If anyone was defrauded it was the EPA, and some say that the “environment” that we all share was defrauded and we’ll all die horrible deaths from…something or other. I sense an analogy here to the federally run public schools and being forced to teach to standardized tests instead of teaching skills and critical thinking that are more useful for everyday living, but I digress… In any case, Volkswagon aren’t “predators”. Rule-benders or cheaters, maybe, but at least they’re not overtly trying to cover up product liability of things that might actually kill people – like GM did while the US Government was the primary stockholder. Nope, a government regulation got defrauded – and that’s probably the worst thing that could ever happen to mankind according to people like Paul.
Item number two:
Item: The former president of a peanut company has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly shipping tainted products that later killed nine people and sickened 700.
Yes, it was a bad thing and people got sick and died. Companies got sued. President went to jail. I don’t see the evil here except that the system worked the way it was supposed to because this guy is going to pay for the crimes he committed. I’m guessing the company and their insurance are going to pay out lots of money in lawsuits as well. How more government control of business would have kept people from dying I don’t know – except maybe torture and death penalty as a deterrent for food producers. I’m sure that’s on Krugman’s agenda, but only when he becomes supreme leader. There is also an irony here. If the government DID extend it’s tentacles into all aspects of product control, there would still be no guarantees – even if they accepted all liability. People still make mistakes, and sometimes purposefully like the peanut asshole guy. And then, the broken families would have no recourse at all because you can’t sue the federal government – they have “sovereign immunity”.
Item number three:
Item: Rights to a drug used to treat parasitic infections were acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals, which specializes not in developing new drugs but in buying existing drugs and jacking up their prices. In this case, the price went from $13.50 a tablet to $750.
Yeah, that guy is a jackhole. Everything about that guy reminds me of every asshole from the movie, American Psycho. The blank, pale, inhuman stare. An insatiable lust for money and status and willingness to maim or kill to get it. The guy owns the right to make the drug. If you can make it cheaper, undercut him and steal his profit! I guess it’s just easier to play the rich asshole card and regulate him into bankruptcy. Fortunately, due to public outcry on television and the internet, the guy relented and said he’d drop the price to something more reasonable – new drug research be damned. So, social capitalism worked in this case with no “extra” regulation needed. Krugman’s article implies that all of these situations could have been avoided had there been a tighter Federal grip on on the neck of the economy. It’s his answer to everything: Capitalism doesn’t work so let’s force those greedy bastards to do our bidding. Economic forces aren’t doing what we want so let’s use government power to bend them. Social policies aren’t making people nicer, so let’s use the power of government to force them into submission. People can’t be trusted to do the right thing, so we must force them to always make the right choice. That sounds a lot like a boatload of tyranny, and, no doubt, music to Krugman’s ears. Fortunately in America we have courts to solve these problems. Courts of law and courts of public opinion. Krugman, however, believes it would be much easier to let the government handle all the problems.
The premise of all of Krugman’s arguments almost always begin with existence of evil “free markets”. Because they are supposed cesspools of evil-doers, they can’t be allowed to roam free – they must be controlled and forced to make nice nice instead of raping people with their freedom. But, fortunately for Paul, as long as there is government, there will be regulation, so his tirade against Jeb Bush and the neo-con movement to erase regulation is a straw man argument. It’s just a matter of what gets regulated, how oppressive it’ll be, and who’s cronies get paid. Krugman opts, obviously, for as much oppression and repression of the markets as possible. So, when he paints Republicans and conservatives as free-wheeling anarchists who want no rules to restrict their freedom, it’s simply not true. The argument is moot because regulation cannot and will not ever be “erased”. It’s simply not possible. That’s like saying the sky is falling or Republicans will end Social Security, or Democrats want to close Gitmo. It’s never gonna happen.
So Jeb, nor any other Republican hopeful won’t be letting peanut butter presidents kill people nor let German car makers steal our fresh air. Ronald Reagan may have said that Government was the problem, but he didn’t mean that no government is the solution. Even die-hard Libertarians know that government is a necessary evil. Krugman, however, believes that government is not only necessary but, in complete antithesis to Reagan, the only solution.