Paul, Niall, and Fareed

Fareed ZakariaOn 8 July 2010, Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson were on Fareed Zakaria GPS.[1] Niall Ferguson was saying that we have to deal with the budget deficit now. He’s been saying this for years. Paul Krugman was saying that we need to stimulate the economy. He also said that eventually, we would need to deal with the budget deficit, but to do so now was wrong and probably self-defeating because it would hurt the economy and thus hurt tax revenues.

After interviewing both men, Zakaria came on alone to give his thoughts on what should be done. He said he agreed with both men. We should stimulate the economy now and work to close the budget deficit over the long-term. You can probably already see the problem here. Although he claimed that he agreed with both men, he only really agreed with Krugman. What Zakaria was proposing was exactly what Krugman had said. Ferguson didn’t say we needed to balance the budget eventually; he said we needed to do it now. We are coming up on two years, and still US government bonds are ridiculously low. Ferguson is finally coming around.

The problem here is not that Ferguson was wrong; it is rare indeed when Krugman is not right about such matters; pity the man who decides to argue against him. The real problem is that we have journalists like Fareed Zakaria who will not say what they think or what is obvious. He insisted on making nice and pretending to accept Ferguson’s fallacious ideas. And that makes it appear like the two sides are equally valid.

We’re only supposed to do that about global warming.


[1] This is the only video I could find. I know the whole thing is available somewhere online.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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