7.14.2009

Missing the point on boiling frogs

I read Paul Krugman's latest column in the NY Times yesterday, and I think he's beginning to lose it a little bit. He bemoans the fact that the nation's economy may be experiencing a jobless recovery - even though there is no hard evidence that we have entered a recovery of any kind as of yet - and that if we don't act soon people could be without jobs for months, even years. The problem is that his solution is another stimulus package even though only 10% of the last one has been spent.

Maybe, just maybe, we should let the first one be spent before we declare it a failure. And while we're talking about "boiling frogs," what about the coming fiscal crisis if we continue to add hundreds of billions of dollars to our debt each year? Won't that have a pretty damaging effect in the coming years?

But, what gets me the most is that Krugman then makes the leap that we also need to act now - yesterday would have been better - to pass cap and trade and save the planet. Well, there's only a couple problems there. First, that whole jobless recovery that he was afraid of? Cap and trade will only make it worse. The massive new penalties and environmental restrictions will only make our economy worse or at best prolong the recovery. Second, I have no idea how Krugman actually believes that we can "save" the planet.

I am all for conservation and reducing pollution, but the notion that human beings can destroy the planet is ludicrous. A quick look at history shows us the immense power of the planet. Ice ages followed by warmer periods. Great port cities of the ancient world now underwater or miles from the coast due to changing sea levels over several centuries. The planet is alive, I don't dispute that, so what makes anyone think that we can control it?

Also, from a logical standpoint, how would our own reduction of carbon emissions have any appreciable effect when India and China are exempt from the same standards?

But, if Krugman and other liberals are so obsessed with boiling frogs, maybe we should focus on the coming fiscal nightmare of our entitlement programs? Just a thought.