No, seriously, that is what this man has become. He recently blogged a chart on his blog (inappropriately—or maybe entirely appropriately—named “Conscience of a Liberal,”) showing first quarter growth for five countries:
He then goes, “Wait, what? Japan as star performer? What’s that about? Actually, no mystery.”
Japan’s economy expanded faster than estimated in the first quarter, boosted by reconstruction spending that’s poised to fade just as a worsening in Europe’s crisis threatens to curtail export demand.
So he then argues that the tsunami reconstruction has led to great economic growth, while so-called “austerity” (which isn’t actually austerity at all, if Krugman had bothered to pay attention) has doomed Italy.
It makes perfect sense! Absolutely! Let’s hit Japan with another tsunami that will kill over 15,000 people, injure 27,000 citizens, and make 3,155 go missing! If only the 2011 tsunami had destroyed even more than that paltry 130,000 buildings—if only it had actually caused Fukushima to go critical and explode—it would have created so much potential for rebuilding! It would have shot the Japanese GDP right over the moon!
Hey, you know what, America can do this! We can totally destroy a bunch of stuff, and it would help out everybody! We have over 5,000 nuclear warheads just sitting in silos not doing anything, not creating any GDP growth. Why don’t we just nuke some parts of the Midwest, California, and downtown Manhattan? That would be a lot of rebuilding and a lot of business for disaster relief! Man, we wouldn’t have to worry about unemployment for a generation! And hey, while we’re at it, we could help Europe out too! Let’s sprinkle a few nukes all over Europe. We could make Rush Limbaugh happy and turn Paris into molten glass! Better yet, we could nuke Rome, and not only would Barack Obama get rid of that pesky Catholic Church and its opposition to contraceptives, he’d be doing the Italians a big favor by making their GDP skyrocket! (Not sure if we want to waste any on Greece, though. Not like they’ve done anything for us.)
This is what Paul Krugman is peddling, here. He is quite literally saying that “destruction = economic growth.” As one of my friends said on Facebook: “How many lives must be destroyed to realize Krugman’s stellar economic growth?” He has, once again, given into the broken window fallacy, but this time on a horrendously massive scale.
Why anyone takes this guy seriously is utterly beyond me. A man who thinks that to boost the economy, we must suffer a horrific natural disaster? If that’s the “Conscience of a Liberal,” then thank goodness I’m not a liberal. I actually want people to live and enjoy their lives, not suffer and die just for a higher GDP.
I wonder who cares about people and individuals more: me, the humble libertarian, or this patron saint of idiocy, death, and misery?