Untangled Web: Krugman on Poverty

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive! – Marmion, Walter Scott

A regular (meaning semi-weekly) piece to address some of what passes for intelligence in the media. This critique will break down an article or portion of an article to reduce the spin and bring to light the shadow in falsehood propagated by the left. While there may be factual error and omissions that need to be dispelled, the major problems are in presentation and leaps of illogic that create a false impression or point someone in the direction of more blatant lies.

Let’s start with the good old Grey Lady and her minion Paul Krugman. In the article The Insecure American, published 5/29 he seems to stumble into his tell tale bizarre economics on wealth distribution. What possesses this guy to write this crap!? One paragraph stands out.

I am not, or not only, talking about right-wing contempt for the poor, although the dominance of compassionless conservatism is a sight to behold. According to the Pew Research Center, more than three-quarters of conservatives believe that the poor “have it easy” thanks to government benefits; only 1 in 7 believe that the poor “have hard lives.” And this attitude translates into policy. What we learn from the refusal of Republican-controlled states to expand Medicaid, even though the federal government would foot the bill, is that punishing the poor has become a goal in itself, one worth pursuing even if it hurts rather than helps state budgets.

The “right-wing contempt for the poor” is a pure fabrication. George Will writes about “Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” He said that “the surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.” How is that a surprise? Do liberals do anything that indicates that they actually mean what they say? How can you be so bamboozled by “good intentions” and not see the real effects of liberal largess. Are you blind!?

Krugam rambles, “the dominance of compassionless conservatism is a sight to behold.” All this while Brooks ” identifies the forces behind American charity: strong families, church attendance, earning one’s own income (as opposed to receiving welfare), and the belief that individuals-not government-offer the best solution to social ills.” I’d like to think that a prize winning economist like Krugman can read, but my only explaination of his utter lack of understanding is either illiteracy or contempt for reason. Neither will help him in his future aspirations and goals.

Paul, what exactly is your reference to the Pew Research Center poll on opinions supposed to accomplish? Does this survey prove that the poor don’t have it easy due to government benefits? Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield underscores the divide between American poverty and the severity of global need. If you really want to understand poverty go to Africa. Conservatives do understand what government handouts have done to urban neighborhoods (Like Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit). And, to the extent that people living in these cities have a hard life because of liberalism and cultural rot I can see why Paul would be confused by the very correct conclusion that for people who don’t work, they may fear bullets and hunger, but they don’t have the daily pressures of an alarm clock, bills and pure unadulterated stress. That is the hard knock life Conservative are most probably describing that is nearly absent in much of the poor. Everyone considers their life harder than others, this is the nature of self-reinforcing beliefs and rationalizations. But this does nothing to shore up the tenuous claim  of the cold and mean Conservative.

He babbles on. When the author claims that “the refusal of Republican-controlled states to expand Medicaid, even though the federal government would foot the bill” I almost fell out of my chair. This has got to be one of the most inane sentences I’ve ever read. The government does not have any money that it doesn’t take from the American people now, or from future generations. The fiscal responsibility and constitutional fidelity of Republican governors is the only thing standing between us and outright economic disaster. Krugman’s foolish belief that if the government comes knocking at your door with a bag of money you should welcome it demonstrates his complete idiocy and ruinous nativity about what strings are attached to federal bundles.

Being financially responsible rather than running up the federal credit card is viewed as “punishing the poor” that “has become a goal in itself.” For Krugman to constantly double down on his backward logic that our government has near limitless resources that can be spread around is a clear indication of his wickedness or insanity. Our entitlements are crushing our future, and staving it off with additional debt is like using another credit card to pay off your existing loans. It only gets worse.

He further asserts that “it hurts rather than helps state budgets” to reduce expenditures on welfare. Let’s try this one more time, according to Cut Spending, Fix the Debt, and Reform Entitlements from Heritage there are many ways to help both state and federal budgets that do not include digging us deeper into debt. The fact that eliminating duplication and waste in these program never crosses Krugman’s mind reflects either his unoriginal and banal thinking or his fear that telling people the truth might cost him his job. As an aside, I refuse to believe that Krugman manages his own life according to his criticism of our views on poverty. In fact, he lives according to our views of work, earning and living. Except the source of his money is the sewer of liberal media, which is a decidedly less honorable vocation then that of many working poor who would rather die in the dirt than take more alms from the government.