In our present neo-Keynesian moment, economics has never seemed more bewildering and arcane, or more the exclusive preserve of hated "experts" from the "East Coast elites." Most people I know, myself included, can't readily follow the algebraic equations that explain the "Keynesian multiplier," which, in its turn, is needed to explain TARP and the stimulus package. Belonging to a tribe different from Palin's, I simply take it on trust as a matter of faith that Paul Krugman, in his columns for TheNew York Times, is more likely to be right about such things than, say, Lou Dobbs or Senator John Thune, but I share in the general apprehensive fogginess about what's happening.
For Palin, it's simple. The national economy is a straightforward macrocosm of the domestic economy of the average god-fearing family of four. What's good for the family is good for the nation, and vice versa; and the idea that the family should spend its way out of recession is an affront to common sense, conservative or otherwise. On December 3, she tweeted: "Baffling/nonsensical: Obama's talk of yet another debt-ridden 'stimulus' pkg. Fight this 1, America, bc after last 1 unemployment rose, debt grew." Five days later, while Obama was speaking at the Brookings Institution about the economy, Palin wrote, "Quik msg b4 book event: Prez pls pay down massive, obscene U.S debt &/or give 'stimulus' $ back to Americans b4 propose spending more of our $."
Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The neâ€™er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself â€” one stink bomb after another, and now Governor Palin. . . .
Your broker kept saying, â€œStay with the portfolio, donâ€™t jump ship,â€ and you felt a strong urge to dump the stocks and get into the money market where at least youâ€™re not going to lose your shirt, but you didnâ€™t do it and didnâ€™t do it, and now youâ€™re holding a big bag of brown bananas. Me, too. But at least I know enough not to believe desperate people who are talking trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks McCain-Palin is going to lead us out of the swamp and not into a war with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English language. Theyâ€™ll need to lose their homes and be out on the street in a cold hard rain before they connect the dots.
As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, we've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here with those fighting the freedom of the press, and then the press, though not taking advantage and exploiting a situation, perhaps they would want to capture and abuse the privilege. We just want truth, we want fairness, we want balance.