The favorite slogan of the King of the Broken Windows

by Russ Roberts on September 8, 2011

in Uncategorized

From Libertarian News (HT:Steven Wagner):










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Evolutionarily September 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Too good! One of the originals in case anyone is interested:

gregworrel September 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat – and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that – this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake there aren’t actually any space aliens.

And just think of all the anti-alien slime we would have to play with. Or maybe slime only works for ghosts. I get confused about our anti-alien weapon systems. Phasers? We could always sell them on eBay.

gregworrel September 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Either way, We’d be RICH!

tdp September 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Is he trying to compare the aftermath of a scenario like this to the prosperity that followed World War II? Because that was due to our having no competition in manufacturing and government spending cuts, as well as the fact that war rationing and a lack of consumer goods forced people to actually save, creating pent up demand for goods. None of these things would happen if aliens did invade. However, if we could convince them to take Krugman away with them…

Stone Glasgow September 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm

We’d have been richer had WW2 never happened.

brotio September 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I’m not so sure. Without WWII, I don’t know if we’d have ever been able to repeal enough of the New Deal to let the Depression finally end.

vikingvista September 12, 2011 at 4:45 am

Interesting point.

Searcher September 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm

“Stay stupid, my friends”

Economiser September 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Heh heh heh.

Mattiacci September 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm


Chucklehead September 9, 2011 at 2:10 am

Krugman wants not bitcoin, but icecoin. Spend it before it melts. Hyperinflation accomplishes much of the same effect. He must long for the good old Carter years.

Chucklehead September 9, 2011 at 2:23 am

For a more thorough explanation of why deflation is good, see this article.

JS September 9, 2011 at 8:31 am

This subject has been ignored, even on the right. Fear of deflation is used as justification for all sorts of wrong headed policies.

The creation of wealth is ‘realized’ through a progressive/incremental process of deflation, or a steady increase in the purchasing power of a currency. Monetary policies that aim for ‘price stability’ are actually inflationary policies, since prices, in relatively free and unencumbered markets, should always trend downward.

These policies have the effect of transferring purchasing power from the creditors to the debtors, the creditors being the general population and the debtors being governments, large leveraged financial institutions, corporations, and the banking sector that makes profits loaning them money.

The population should get richer in aspects other than how much money they make in their jobs. They should be getting richer from the spontaneous process of creative destruction and the intensification of the division of labor, but sadly, the government takes it before it reaches them in the form of lower prices.

kyle8 September 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

unfortunately deflation is usually accompanied by negative economic growth. And that causes real pain, and unemployment.

I don’t hold with any deliberately inflationary governmental policies, nor would I root for deflationary policies.

What I would like to see is just a strong currency, sound lending policies, and a lower regulatory and tax burden. Let everything else take care of itself.

TedBarnhart September 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

Kyle, I could be wrong but it seems to me you and JS are proposing the same thing, just in different languages.

The deflation that you describe (and what we see in the real world) is the result of failed inflationary policies, and the bursting of bubbles.

The deflation that JS describes is “progressive and incremental” resulting in a steady increase of purchasing power. Which would be the result of a “strong currency.”

JS September 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm

There would be no such thing as a ‘deflationary fiscal policy’. A free market naturally results in deflation as more goods and services are available per its unit of money.

vikingvista September 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Roughly speaking, deflation, like inflation, is a change in the ratio of money to goods. Expansion of goods relative to money (deflation) is POSITIVE economic growth.

However, contraction of money relative to goods (also deflation) may very well be the result massive unexpected defaults, which many people obviously experience as bad economic times.

Contraction of money may also be an orderly change in people’s preferences for debt. That would correspond to people’s desires, and therefore not be generally considered an unpleasant economic condition.

Of course deflation, like inflation, is always heterogeneous, resulting in a redistribution of resources. Both also often have an epicenter, commonly a central bank.

When someone (regardless of whether or not they hold a Nobel prize in economics) speaks simply of deflation as being bad, they are either ignorant or deliberately misleading. Very different processes may cause deflation.

RedSoxNation September 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

Wow. That really is funny. Does everyone else read it in thier head with the commercial voice…

Liberty Drum September 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

Spot on!

Randy September 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

Wondering if he’s a fan of 9/11.

Bob September 9, 2011 at 9:02 am

Krugman ought to be featured on local TV coverage of natural disasters. He could tally up and promote all the “positive economic activity” that will ensue after the event wrecks havoc on the community. LOL

Bill September 9, 2011 at 11:31 am

This should be the P-Kroog theme song

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Here’s a good Paul Krugman song:

Timothy Geithner uses turbotax!

Stone Glasgow September 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

“I love Paul Krugman. I think he should run the country. He is very honest; he wrote a book once and he cares about nature.. and he has a beard, so we know we can trust him.”

vidyohs September 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

If the RNC had any balls at all they modify this ad above and insert a model who resembles Obama to sit beside the Krugman look alike, but use the same language up to the punch line proposed by Searcher above…..”Stay stupid my friends.”

Run the thing several times a day and let the looney left wing howl. It would be a winner.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Krugman is a pariah around the Obama admin if you didn’t know.

I saw something on Krugman’s blog I thought was very telling. He said he gets lots of emails about how has he tried to explain to Obama what’s going on, and he said:

“Update: To commenters saying that I need to have dinner with the president, or vice versa — been there, done that, didn’t help.”

kyle8 September 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

You mean somebody there actually has a lick of sense?

Boyd Klingler September 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

He’s the most incorrect man in the world.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Yeah, like the time he started a war in the wrong country for the WMD’s that weren’t there then walked away and left that incompetent Pace in charge for six years.

Darren September 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

What people don’t understand is that GWB is secretly the Shadow Dictator of the U.S. and is *really* calling the shots. All this crap is really his fault.

muirgeo September 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I’ve always thought the biggest promoters of breaking windows are the fee-market types who tell us to ignore the externalities. Don’t worry about all these increased damages from a more hyped climate related to burning heavily subsidized fossil fuels. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, fires act… are all better addressed via adaptations (i.e. making more windows) then admitting to the flaws in your beliefs and being proactive and …HORROR… planning your economy and society. Ewe I said “landing”…what an awful dirty word.

mcwop September 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I am against subsidies for fossil fuels, in fact, I am against all government subsidies. I am also for pigovian taxes that account for externalities, and cover the expense of the items used such as roads. So much for you free market type stereotype.

vidyohs September 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

You’re stupid, the people you live among are most of them stupid. Day before yesterday I watched one of the electric trolleys go by me in San Francisco and a sign on the side of the trolley said “Emissions Free”, and one can almost sense the smug glee put into making and displaying sign.

Only in California can people be stupid enough to think that electricity is produced with zero emissions, especially when most of California’s electricity comes from out of state.

BTW about that environmental and financial disaster regarding the sewage in San Francisco we addressed on this Cafe several months ago. Well your big city still smells like shit in so many places, it is enough to gag a maggot.

I am writing to Rick Perry and Governor Monn-beam Jerry Brown and asking Perry to propose that Texas buy Mendicion County from California. It would help your financial woes out there and give us a really pretty county to vacation in without listening, seeing, or hearing the really intense stupidity constantly squawked by the native California Envirobird.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm

vidyohs, you’ve made 2,913 comments on Cafehayek. We’d all be better off if you started working on quality, not quantity.

JS September 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

We’re waiting for your first quality post.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm
JS September 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Useful idiot.

You can chop off your head and you wouldn’t be any dumber.

indianajim September 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Who is this “we” person you speak of? I’d better off if you had not posted this ignorant pap claiming to speak for others.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

OK, we’ll subtract you. Roughly 7 billion to go.

indianajim September 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Are you retarded: Who are you referring to in saying “we’ll”?? Are you capable of thinking yourself as an individual and speaking for yourself or are you just a shill for some other person or persons who you wish to take responsibility for your word? Man up (or woman up) as the case may be.

muirgeo September 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Sorry vidyohs…. you Texans don’t get Mendocino. You’re stuck with your hot, dry, smoggy, muggy burning hell fire, happy to be number 1 in executions state that is Texas.

Anyway hope you enjoyed the Golden State.

EG September 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I agree with you Muirgeo!! I don’t understand why these people just don’t understand the need to plan the economy and society. I mean, its not as if we’re short on money! We can just tax doctors like yourself at 90%. And then we can use that money to subsidies windmills to produce electricity instead of subsidizing oil. I mean, true we only subsidize oil by 0.5%, and we’d need to subsidize wind by 70%, but think of how many LESS hurricanes will happen 50 years from now….cause…you know…science teaches us that we cause hurricanes because of our sinful use of Hummer H3s (and washing ourselves a little too rigorously).

And when the wind doesn’t blow…its ok…we’ve got a plan for that too! We’ll just tax you at 98%.

Muirgeo. You’re right buddy. We planned things in Eastern Europe. And we’re Europeans, so you know we’re right.

Methinks1776 September 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Вперед, к победе коммунизма!


Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I can’t help notice you complain about your firm dying but you spend work hours at cafehayek. How about you spend some time at work doing work instead?

Methinks1776 September 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

And miss all your fresh, steaming piles of your whizdumb? Never!

JS September 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Note that Muirgeo never debates chain-link logic economics. He avoids it like the plague. He’ll make general ideological statements based on his envy-stricken world view and then hide when people challenge his reasoning. He has yet to offer one post that employs economic reasoning. He implicitly denounces human liberty on everything he submits. Every thing he advocates removes from humans the freedom to choose and substitutes it with the command to obey. And he has the balls to say that he is doing it in order to help people, for their own good.

Invisible Backhand September 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Useful idiot.

You can chop off your head and you wouldn’t be any dumber.

Weren’t you the one going on about the carefully reasoned economic arguments you make the other day? And I pointed out that you used ad hominem arguments?

Darren September 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm

fee-market types who tell us to ignore the externalities

Who might those be?

EG September 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm

He confuses externalities with made-up sins the church of Al Gore makes up.

vikingvista September 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

“Who might those be?”

Apparently anyone concerned about the externalities from having government deal with externalities.

brotio September 10, 2011 at 3:15 am

I’ve always thought…


The next time you think will be the first time.

Browsersim September 10, 2011 at 5:16 am

I am really keen to see what Obamas economic program will result in. I hope it can push the economy.

Celina October 6, 2011 at 1:47 am

I never thought I would find such an everyday topic so enhtrllaing!

dtfzwrml October 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

BmP83y lbylonqetciu

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