French President Francois Hollande is not liberal enough for Paul Krugman. He started out a bit left of center, but quickly strove to the right, pushing for tax reductions (!) on businesses and cutting government spending to offset the revenue lost. Oh, the humanity. Krugman calls Hollande’s turn to the right the real French scandal, instead of the one where Hollande is cavorting with a French actress. I’ll concede that point. The only thing scandalous about Hollande’s affair is that he’s making every heterosexual male in the Western world jealous. In my next life, I hope to be a French libertine.
Krugman would apparently prefer, instead of a tax cut, a military buildup yielding to war, genocide and oppression. There is nothing like war, or preparing for war, to warm the cackles of the Keynesian heart. Here’s what he said, in his column in the New York Times today (January 17, 2014) regarding the Keynesian stimulus that lifted Europe from the funk of the Great Depression:
They went off the gold standard; they stopped trying to balance their budgets; and some of them began large military buildups that had the side effect of providing economic stimulus. The result was a strong recovery from 1933 onward.
Indeed, recovery was quite strong, especially after 1940 or so, especially for Germany. If only the Germans had been allowed to continue their reign, Europe would not be in this mess today. Besides, Germany is now poised to do economically what it failed to do politically and militarily after 1933—to exert its hegemonic influence over the whole of the Continent (save, of course, that rocky, wind-swept isle, Britain). The world will know the blitzkrieg of London is on again (in a more placid iteration) when German bankers show up to buy that portion of London real estate not already owned by other foreigners, mainly oligarchs from a nation (Russia) that has seemed always to present an impediment to German imperial aspirations.
In any event, it was just a matter of time until Krugman got around to admitting what he’s long believed—there is no such thing as bad government spending. Even when it’s motivated by fascist dreams of empire and ethnic purity, government spending sure makes the GDP numbers look swell.