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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Krap from Krugman: Pontificating in Scientific Areas where He has no Training



Abstract: Certain people, when graced by some award, earned or not, have a tendency to become freshly-minted sterling advocates on topics in which they have no training. This becomes an endowment and a basis for a grand crusade and a wonderful political privilege for those award earners as they can now drop names and issue authoritative opinions ex cathedra by merely parroting those who either composed the instant political theme or are major chum chuckers for the cause. Krugman’s achievements in economics are meager at best and his Prix Nobel was a political gesture by the Swedes similar to the ugly mistake they made in granting a similar prize to Obama for doing exactly nothing.  We have to separate crude sophistry from political advocacy and media stoogery to get a clear picture of what many people are recommending and why. In the Krugmanical kase[1] this is pure political fluff of the most sordid kind and ranks up in the air with his political screeds.  Today, Paul Krugman spouts from his podium of Ignorance about climate of which he has no credentials other than getting a paycheck from the New York Times.

Paul Krugman[2] is a political operative working for the New York Times, or, better known, as the Walter Duranty Papers. The word tautological must be first inserted and then carefully expanded in scope and depth to be able to analyze most of the hackneyed scribbles and coached mental gyrations of the near-financially bankrupt New York Times—aka the Walter Duranty Papers.[3]  To suggest that there is little more than a short stack of soiled, but politically sanctified clich├ęs, to guide the ‘writers’  in their narrow written works in the Opinion section of this ragzine is to offer too much latitude to those who are intellectually and morally chained in such a narrow media latrine. Words like drone or stooge must be intercalated with the existing context of popular tautology of the day and assessed using the current text of the political assignment to describe what passes for thought in this section. This will become self-evident shortly.

How to best read my blogs:

[I offer extensive quotes in this blog so that the reader can view the exact language and can be confident that nothing was taken out of context or that nobody was misquoted. The easiest way to take in the salient points is to read the emphatic points in the quotes and then peruse my comments. Comments on my comments are always welcome: 

We begin to view this current absurdity with this enlightening statement:

A couple of weeks ago the Northeast was in the grip of a severe heat wave. As I write this, however, it’s a fairly cool day in New Jersey, considering that it’s late July. Weather is like that; it fluctuates.”[4]-Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN OP-ED COLUMNIST Published: July 22, 2012

The causal statement, probably the most bland and uninteresting lead-in in modern media screedery[5] almost expunges the rest of his comments. This is a difficult beginning.

He then concocts an analogy with mixed metaphors and circular logic that might make Plato blush:

And this banal observation may be what dooms us to climate catastrophe, in two ways. On one side, the variability of temperatures from day to day and year to year makes it easy to miss, ignore or obscure the longer-term upward trend. On the other, even a fairly modest rise in average temperatures translates into a much higher frequency of extreme events — like the devastating drought now gripping America’s heartland — that do vast damage.” -- Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

This concoction presumes much like the ability to accurately measure the average temperature of the planet with any degree of confidence. Averages are constructed from data sets[6] and present only the most probably values. Error calculations are frequently dismissed by advocates, sophomores and the enthusiast due to embarrassment over the range of numbers that could be included in any conclusion. Imagine if the mathematics revealed that the temperature increase predicted by their ‘models’ was exactly 2 degrees centigrade + or – 10 degrees. We could be in a cooling trend! Actually, we will as we shall see below from competent scientists.

The focus is set:

On the first point: Even with the best will in the world, it would be hard for most people to stay focused on the big picture in the face of short-run fluctuations.” -- Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN

We can only presume what the ‘big picture’ is here. I think it is new and massive tax revenues and issues for left-liberal political types to use against their opponents.  What else could a carbon tax due but bring more money to the left?

In this next paragraph, the Evil Ones are named and the nasty practice of ‘denial’ is firmly stated as a crime and probably one against humanity:

Making things much worse, of course, is the role of players who don’t have the best will in the world. Climate change denial is a major industry, lavishly financed by Exxon, the Koch brothers and others with a financial stake in the continued burning of fossil fuels. And exploiting variability is one of the key tricks of that industry’s trade. Applications range from the Fox News perennial — “It’s cold outside! Al Gore was wrong!” — to the constant claims that we’re experiencing global cooling, not warming, because it’s not as hot right now as it was a few years back.” -- Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN

But, before we traverse too much hokum and blow it is of interest to quote Phil Jones as to his true feelings about temperature effects on the earth although he was a major advocate of Global Warming before he was undone by certain e-mails that detailed his data fudging, cabal formation, attempts to exclude critics from publishing in certain scientific journals and more.

This is interesting and several references are supplied:

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.[7]-- Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 By JONATHAN PETRE 14 February 2010

Talking about getting yer head handed to you. Where is the denial now? In the place were much of this hysteria began??


But, True Believers, like our hero today, will pursue this topic even if it is proven to be false because there is money on the drum and power to be had from scaring the public and exacting higher and higher taxes. Tax-whoring is like saintly conduct for the left. They need other people’s monies fast and badly.


The current ‘science’ in the GW arena is a silly as the famous and phony ‘computer study’ conducted by MIT in 1970 and published in a book title: Limits to Growth [8] whose sophistical computer models clearly predicted, with ringing praise from the ‘scientists,’ that we would run out of oil, copper and lead by 1992 by and natural gas reservoirs by 1993.  Much of this junk science resembles the political works of Carl Sagan (big time pot smoker) who was twice refused AAAS membership because of his sloppy, inaccurate, sophomoric and juvenile articles about the “Nuclear Winter” he submitted in the respected scientific journal Science. His ‘computer model’ was analyzed and shown to be a farce by respected scientists. Any high school algebra student could have defeated Sagan’s phony hypothesis. It was found that very small changes in parameters and numbers into his math model would convert the predicted ‘winter’ into an instant sauna. The math model waxed hot and cold like a flopping fish on the pier with small changes in inputs. It is numerically unstable and any undergrad math student would be given an F on this rubbish by any respectable university except, perhaps, for Cornell or Harvard or now Penn State. There was a grand political point to be made so they could afford to neglect the defects.[9]

More names are dropped:


How should we think about the relationship between climate change and day-to-day experience? Almost a quarter of a century ago James Hansen, the NASA scientist who did more than anyone to put climate change on the agenda, suggested the analogy of loaded dice. Imagine, he and his associates suggested, representing the probabilities of a hot, average or cold summer by historical standards as a die with two faces painted red, two white and two blue. By the early 21st century, they predicted, it would be as if four of the faces were red, one white and one blue. Hot summers would become much more frequent, but there would still be cold summers now and then.

And so it has proved. As documented in a new paper by Dr. Hansen and others, cold summers by historical standards still happen, but rarely, while hot summers have in fact become roughly twice as prevalent. And 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.” -- Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN

This is what Hughes Rudd would have done: bring the title theme back into play with some clever artifice and word play. Hansen is not exactly wart-free and has many critics and appears to be some kind of public chum-chucker his movement even joining radicals in a march to protest the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, DE. He was arrested.[10]

Hansen said that he had to speak out, since few others could explain the links between politics and the climate models. "You just have to say what you think is right,…" he said.”-- Does NASA's James Hansen Still Matter in Climate Debate?"[11]-- By Christa Marshall, New York Times Climate Wire, published July 14, 2009

So, he is right because he thinks so? Krugman has that disease.

And so it has proved. As documented in a new paper by Dr. Hansen and others, cold summers by historical standards still happen, but rarely, while hot summers have in fact become roughly twice as prevalent. And 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.” -- Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN

The facts are that the globe is cooling:

Climate change itself is already in the process of definitively rebutting climate alarmists who think human use of fossil fuels is causing ultimately catastrophic global warming.  That is because natural climate cycles have already turned from warming to cooling, global temperatures have already been declining for more than 10 years, and global temperatures will continue to decline for another two decades or more.”[12]-- Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling

And more:

Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.
The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”—Daily Mail.co.UK 29 Jan 2012.

So, Krugman selects the krap rather than proven science.

This is typical of political variants: they tend to cobble up what makes a sensitive and tear-jerking story along their favorite or mandated political themes and state that as FACT while neglecting the salient facts.

Comments: ryckki@gmail.comn


[1] A new word.

[2] The Eternal Whine for More Taxes from Krugman

Krugman Spins Muppet-Grade Fables to Defend the Defenseless: Solyndra

Mysterious Math Emanating from the Conscience of a Liberal

Tax Mongering at its Pinnacle: Krugman invokes the Social Contract

Hijacking the Hijacked Crisis According to Paul Krugman

[3] In honor of that celebrated Communist stooge and liar and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the NYT. The color RED is used in my essays in honor of Walter Duranty, a saint, if there could be one, in the Marxist Archives of Honor.

“He said that these people had to be "liquidated or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty claimed that the Siberian labor camps were a means of giving individuals a chance to rejoin Soviet society but also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign which led to the famine was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Unionwhich only history could judge.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Duranty

[4] Loading the Climate Dice By PAUL KRUGMAN OP-ED COLUMNIST Published: July 22, 2012 835 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/opinion/krugman-loading-the-climate-dice.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

[5] Almost a new word.

[6] Sometimes fudged as Phil Jones taught many to do.

[7]Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’. Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 By JONATHAN PETRE 14 February 2010”-- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory. 

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.”

Leading Global Warming Believer Now Admits There Hasn’t Been Any for 15 Years  http://news.newclear.server279.com/?p=1460

Climategate: CRU's Jones Admits Science NOT SETTLED!


[8] The Limits to Growth in 1972. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limits_to_Growth.

[9] Phony (Political) Science from the Left
Posted by rycK on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:46:13 PM

[10] Critics of Hansen
Andrew Freedman, an environmental journalist and columnist at the Washington Post, believes the American Meteorological Society erred in giving Hansen its 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal: "His body of work is not at issue... Rather, the problem arises due to the AMS' recognition of Hansen's public communication work on climate change."[90] Former AMS member Joseph D'Aleo, a skeptic of human caused climate change, also criticized the award.[90][91]
Physicist Freeman Dyson is critical of Hansen's climate-change activism. "The person who is really responsible for this overestimate of global warming is Jim Hansen. He consistently exaggerates all the dangers... Hansen has turned his science into ideology."[92] Dyson "doesn't know what he’s talking about", Hansen responded. "He should first do his homework."[92] Dyson stated in an interview that the argument with Hansen was exaggerated by the New York Times, stating that he and Hansen are "friends, but we don't agree on everything."[93]
After Hansen's arrest in West Virginia, New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin wrote: "Dr. Hansen has pushed far beyond the boundaries of the conventional role of scientists, particularly government scientists, in the environmental policy debate."[86] In 2009, Hansen advocated the participation of citizens at a March 2 protest at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, D.C. Hansen stated, "We need to send a message to Congress and the president that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations and all life on the planet".[94]
New Yorker journalist Elizabeth Kolbert believes Hansen is "increasingly isolated among climate activists."[95] Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, said that "I view Jim Hansen as heroic as a scientist.... But I wish he would stick to what he really knows. Because I don't think he has a realistic idea of what is politically possible..."[95]
New York Times climate columnist Christa Marshall asks if Hansen still matters in the ongoing climate debate, noting that he "has irked many longtime supporters with his scathing attacks against President Obama's plan for a cap-and-trade system."[96] "The right wing loves what he's doing," said Joseph Romm, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a think tank.[96] Hansen said that he had to speak out, since few others could explain the links between politics and the climate models. "You just have to say what you think is right," he said.[96]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen#Critics_of_Hansen

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Resurrecting a Zombie: The Revival of the Failed Keynesian Myth and the Logic of Joseph Stiglitz


Resurrecting a Zombie: The Revival of the Failed Keynesian Myth and the Logic of Joseph Stiglitz

Abstract: Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz recommends the economics of Keynes as a stimulus as do a lot of economists and particularly so from Paul Krugman, another Nobel laureate. To date, there is no believable benefit from several trillion dollars in deficit spending and the prospect of thrice that in the future. The economic arena is overflowing with theories and ‘examples’ that portend the ability to climb out of massive debt by spending and then growth, but an inspection of some of these, like Argentina, show that a debt restructuring was the only effective remedy. This resulted in massive defaults, collapses in the country’s credit and other major problems. We are buried in debt and are told that we can ‘spend our way’ out of this debt. This is nonsense.  The Fed is trying to inflate our way out of debt and monetizing the debt as we go along. The US is in bad shape economically, but the UK and EU are even worse off. And, in all this flurry of spending suggestions there exists not a single detailed plan to pay back that debt. The EU will crash and disintegrate from this debt because, unlike Argentina, there is no way to ‘restructure’ our debts in the US-UK-EU group as no nation or organization has the necessary 20-40 trillion dollars it would require.  If we cannot stop spending and bloating government we will go bankrupt. Period.

Here is the Stiglitz comment:

Thanks to the IMF, multiple experiments have been conducted – for instance, in east Asia in 1997-98 and a little later in Argentina – and almost all come to the same conclusion: the Keynesian prescription works. Austerity converts downturns into recessions, recessions into depressions. The confidence fairy that the austerity advocates claim will appear never does, partly perhaps because the downturns mean that the deficit reductions are always smaller than was hoped.”[1]--To choose austerity is to bet it all on the confidence fairy The mystical belief is that a smaller deficit will lead to an investment boom. What Britain really needs now is another stimulus By Joseph Stiglitz guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 19 October 2010 22.00 BST [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

Here is some info on the Argentinean default:

The Argentinean default in 2002: Argentina defaulted on part of its external debt at the beginning of 2002. Foreign investment fled the country, and capital flow towards Argentina ceased almost completely. Argentina was "left out of the world." The currency exchange rate (formerly a fixed 1-to-1 parity between the Argentine peso and the U.S. dollar) was floated, and the peso devalued quickly, producing massive inflation.[2]—Wikipedia

We know from reading Niall Ferguson’s excellent book The Ascent of Money that Argentina ran out of money on Friday 28 April, 1989.  The World Bank refused to put any more money and accused the country of not controlling its deficits and the printing of money forced inflation to rise to more than 100% per month. The national debt was denominated in dollars and soared in relation to the inflating austral. Changes in currency did not help. There were three bailouts by the International Monetary Fund, the IMF. Later the bondholders were clipped down to 35 cents per dollar of debt. By 1994 the debt reached 64% of the GDP.[3] This mess ended in default.

So, at this point, I wonder just how the Keynesian Formula can be applied in this case.

Critics say government won't spend the money well. To be sure, there will be waste – though not on the scale that the private sector in the US and Europe wasted money in the years before 2008. But even if money is not spent perfectly, if experience of the past is a guide to the future, the returns on government investments in education, technology and infrastructure are far higher than the government's cost of capital. Besides, the choices facing the country are bleak. If the government doesn't spend this money there will be massive waste of resources as its capital and human resources are under-utilised.” --To choose austerity is to bet it all on the confidence fairy

Here, we can look at some of the Obama ill-spent monies that contributed to the debt at great future expense and made the intervention look silly if not psychotic.

We are still stuck with a 9.7% unemployment rate [as of March 27, 2010] and much of our current GDP comes from temporary stimuli like the recent ‘jobs’ program spent $92,000 per job[4] and, then, we spent $24,000 per car on the Clunker Follies and a mere $43,000 per house on the housing scam[5] And, none of these had a lasting effect. All of the money to propel this was either borrowed or printed up quickie fashion by our government.[6] This observation refutes the notion that the returns on government investments are effective or cost worthy.

I think it is clear that this spending is foolish. Obama wants to spend 9 trillion more in his term[s]. There are many enemies of capitalism and Obama and most leaders in the European Union are allies in this view.

This Stiglitz view can be contrasted with the Rogoff position:

In an open letter to Joseph Stiglitz of June 2002[7] we read about the use of deficits and debt to ease the growth of countries in dire debt: “The laws of economics may be different in your part of the gamma quadrant, but around here we find that when an almost bankrupt government fails to credibly constrain the time profile of its fiscal deficits, things generally get worse instead of better.[8]-- An Open Letter By Kenneth Rogoff, [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

The general gist of this is to learn that some variant of Keynes, with its stimulus and all that. can somehow lead any country out of the massive national debt they conjured due to spending in the socialist manner. But, missing is a realistic estimate of how we can avoid defaults and pay back that debt.

Stiglitz concludes:

Britain is embarking on a highly risky experiment. More likely than not, it will add one more data point to the well- established result that austerity in the midst of a downturn lowers GDP and increases unemployment, and excessive austerity can have long-lasting effects.

If Britain were wealthier, or if the prospects of success were greater, it might be a risk worth taking. But it is a gamble with almost no potential upside. Austerity is a gamble which Britain can ill afford.”-- To choose austerity is to bet it all on the confidence fairy

I seem to get the feeling that Keynes didn’t solve any problems anywhere and that his emphasis on government spending was only a political sop to the socialists or worse. The Neo-Keynesians seem to be flush with all sorts of spending options and banking regulations including nationalization, but they seem to offer some vague ‘solution’ to be created by the ‘growth’ that will enable countries to handle their debts.

I have formed the impression that many of these ‘economists’ are only advocates or peanut gallery level chum chuckers for the rabid Left. No matter what the occasion, it seems many like Paul Krugman and now Stiglitz have no other solution but to spend or tax and spend and create mountains of debt. For this reason, they and their like-minded colleagues must be considered as a collective encumbrance to effective societies and those socialist countries that are now crashing in debt [this includes the US]. The so-called stimulus conjured by Obama and those ‘economists’ on the left have spent almost 4 trillion dollars [counting TARP] with nothing to show in terms of positive results. The notion that ‘millions of jobs have been saved’ is not convincing. Increasing the government is not any kind of a solution.

Krugman’s Eternal Solution to all government problems: spend more.

Austerity is self-defeating: when everyone tries to pay down debt at the same time, the result is depression and deflation, and debt problems grow even worse. And conversely, it is possible — indeed, necessary — for the nation as a whole to spend its way out of debt: a temporary surge of deficit spending, on a sufficient scale, can cure problems brought on by past excesses.”[9]-- 1938 in 2010 By Paul Krugman

From a previous blog” [Sep 2010]

 “It is of interest here to wonder how massive deficit spending on foolish stuff is effective in any way. The consequences of debt are always ignored.  The Obama stimulus #1 has not worked and neither did cash for clunkers or the housing subsidies. The recent ‘jobs’ program spent $92,000 per job[10] and, then, we spent $24,000 per car on the Clunker Follies and a mere $43,000 per house on the housing scam.[11] And, none of these had a lasting effect. All of the money to propel this was either borrowed or printed up quickie fashion by our government. I wonder why Krugman cannot seem to defend or explain why these measures failed as he seems to cover up this offal with some nostrums about caution or insufficiency. In the lexicon of the left the word failure is always used as the limiting case. We failed to spend enough…or we failed to tax the rich some more or… When confronted with defending a stupid program like busing, War on Poverty, HUD, Welfare etc. there is silence. There is always a reason why such programs didn’t work out that well and they will recite the 1,2,3s above as the reason why the project was not exceptional.[12]

We cannot believe these people any more. They are now just a chorus of advocates singing the old Fabian songs of 1900.

rycK

Comments: ryckki@gmail.com



[1] To choose austerity is to bet it all on the confidence fairy The mystical belief is that a smaller deficit will lead to an investment boom. What Britain really needs now is another stimulus By Joseph Stiglitz guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 19 October 2010 22.00 BST http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/19/no-confidence-fairy-for-austerity-britain [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

[3] The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Hardcover) by Niall Ferguson (Author) http://www.amazon.com/Ascent-Money-Financial-History-World/dp/1594201927
[6] Maximizing Both Tax Revenues and Economic Growth: The Folly of Government and the Generation of Phony Numbers and Class Warfare


[7] To Joseph Stiglitz,
Author of Globalization and Its Discontents
(New York: W.W. Norton & Company, June 2002)

The Stiglitzian prescription is to raise the profile of fiscal deficits, that is, to issue more debt and to print more money. You seem to believe that if a distressed government issues more currency, its citizens will suddenly think it more valuable. You seem to believe that when investors are no longer willing to hold a government's debt, all that needs to be done is to increase the supply and it will sell like hot cakes. We at the IMF—no, make that we on the Planet Earth—have considerable experience suggesting otherwise. We earthlings have found that when a country in fiscal distress tries to escape by printing more money, inflation rises, often uncontrollably. Uncontrolled inflation strangles growth, hurting the entire populace but, especially the indigent. The laws of economics may be different in your part of the gamma quadrant, but around here we find that when an almost bankrupt government fails to credibly constrain the time profile of its fiscal deficits, things generally get worse instead of better.”-- An Open Letter By Kenneth Rogoff, Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, International Monetary Fund http://www.imf.org/external/np/vc/2002/070202.HTM

[8] An Open Letter  By Kenneth Rogoff, http://www.imf.org/external/np/vc/2002/070202.HTM [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

[9] 1938 in 2010 By Paul Krugman [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.] Published: September 5, 2010

Krugman Offers Us Canned Circular Revisionism: We Can Repeat the War Time Successes of FDR. 
[12] Krugman Offers Us Canned Circular Revisionism: We Can Repeat the War Time Successes of FDR.