Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Word of the Day: “sado-monetarism”

Paul Krugman, fighting the good fight  against draconian austerity measures at a time when stimulus is needed, lets fly  from his drawn bow  a couple of zingers:

Spanish banks did indeed need a bailout. Spain was clearly on the edge of a “doom loop” — a well-understood process in which concern about banks’ solvency forces the banks to sell assets, which drives down the prices of those assets, which makes people even more worried about solvency. 
Even as European leaders were putting together this rescue, they were signaling strongly that they have no intention of changing the policies that have left almost a quarter of Spain’s workers — and more than half its young people — jobless.
Call it the Darth Vader approach to economic policy; Mr. Asmussen is in effect telling the Greeks, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
… a mentality that sees economic pain as somehow redeeming, a mentality that a British journalist once dubbed “sado-monetarism.”

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This is something more than breakfast wit.    For there does tend indeed to be some correlation between one’s take on economics -- in principle a purely scientific, mathematico-empirical matter, free of all input  from personal quirks -- and one’s broader philosophy, and with that, one’s personality.  Thus a number of prominent economists  have been Ayn-Randers -- a Weltanschauung which, as much as nihilism or Branch-Dravidianism, should  at the outset  disqualify one  from any role in public life.

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