Jan 24, 2008

William L. Anderson: Paul Krugman blames the late '90s tech bubble on "animal spirits"

Even when [Paul] Krugman "gets it right," he actually is wrong. In recent columns, he has admitted that there were speculative excesses in the stock market and elsewhere. However, in Krugman's world, that just happens because such unwise speculation, in his opinion, is simply nothing more than a trait of capitalism. Like most noneconomists posing as economists, Krugman does not acknowledge what Carl Menger wrote in the first lines of the first chapter of his path-breaking Principles of Economics: "All things are subject to the law of cause and effect."

Yes, Krugman admits there was unwise mass speculation during the latter years of the "fiscally responsible" Clinton Administration, yet he has no idea from whence it came, other than to place his faith in Keynes' dictum that these things were the results of the "animal spirits" that are released by capitalism. While Austrians can clearly point to the reckless credit expansion by the Federal Reserve during the late 1990s as the cause of the speculative bubbles, Krugman has nowhere to turn other than to say that capitalists are stupid people who need the guidance of the state.

~ William L. Anderson, "Krugman the Keynesian," Mises.org, September 11, 2003

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