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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Greg Mankiw loses credibility

Greg Mankiw tries to pretend that it wasn't Bush's tax cuts that causes the swing from budget surplus to budget deficits. Fortunately, it looks like his readers (in the comments on his blog) catch him on this attempt to weasel out of this Republican responsibility. I have to say, I used to have respect for some of the more academic conservative types, but my meetings with both Larry Summers and now this recent series of mendacious posts by Greg have really brought them down in my eyes. In contrast, my encounter with Joe Stiglitz, Brad De Long, and of course my reading of Paul Krugman's well-written, well-analyzed articles give me confidence that the type of economic advisors Democrats consult really are in a different class of human beings and professionals than the type of person the Republicans hire.

Considering that the best software engineers are more than 100 times as productive as the median, it is no surprise that the economy does tend to do significantly better when the Democrats are in power, just based on the quality of the hired help. Not only that, while the Democrats tend to have leadership that actually pays attention to its hired help, the Republicans have had a tendency to ignore its economists as well as to do things like dismantle the Congressional Office of Science and Research, which served an incredibly important role in helping shape science and technology policy. Like David Brin says, this is one of the many good things the Democratic Congress should be able to do without any possibility of veto from the moron in the White House.

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