Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why I Don't Read the Economist Anymore

They're no longer the reliable champions of free markets and individual liberty they used to be to the point that their some of their articles stoop to a level that would barely pass as commentary in the New York Times. Their recent snotty post "Americans are shoddy Keynesians" is a case in point. While being a shoddy Keynesian (in favor of significant deficit spending in economic recessions in attempts to smooth out business cycles) might otherwise be something to be proud of (if not disavowing the dubious practice ( altogether), the Economist goes on to say "And why are Americans so concerned about government borrowing? In their own households they love debt."

Does the Economist seriously not differentiate between private sector debt and spending and that of government? So because it's a feature in the private sector, we should have no problems whatsoever with government doing the same? The US government looks like it's going to expand faster than at any point since the New Deal into goodness knows what and they're going to do it with massive amounts of debt. Does anyone remember (and does the Economist care) what happened the last time (New York Times)? Sheesh.

Update. Further Proof. Remarkably, the Economist criticizes Greg Mankiw for ignoring context when that is precisely what they do when they ignore his larger underlying argument that there's no more rare or mythical a beast than a temporary government program.

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