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One of the live oaks that bless my home

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

When Denial of Reality Fails

To my relief, Dr. Paul Krugman has published yet another sermon, When Prophecy Fails.  For months, I have been fascinated by Dr. Krugman's blithe, unwavering insistence on the superiority of his arguments over those of differently clueless economists.  Today, I decided to compose my reply.

Back in the old days, in Poland, I often listened to a lovely satirical radio program on an FM station with a short range and not much attention from censors.  Among others, each week brought an installment of a philosophical discourse, entitled "On the Superiority of Easter over Christmas." The author, Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, a self-proclaimed Professor of Applied Presumptology, would explain in short, exquisitely absurd monologs the utter stupidity of the various pseudo-scientific arguments about economics and society. This episode, "Greed for Gold," is as good as any.  It ends with the following summary:
Why are we talking about gold, someone might ask? They also ask about things hundred times simpler, showing an astounding lack of understanding of almost anything. So why are we talking about it?  Applied presumptology gives the only correct, universal answer. I quote: "The question, 'Why?' should always be answered because in general a smart person will understand and stupid people might reflect at least once in their lifetimes."
Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, born January 26, 1936, in
Włodzimierz Wołyński, died in Warsaw, on April 21, 2007.
Since Dr. Krugman is a very smart person, I presume he is capable of a reflection at least once in his lifetime. Supposing that my presumptive assumption is correct, Dr. Krugman should perhaps think more about the root causes of the unceasing global recession that - according to him - would be over if all central banks printed enough paper money.  Professor Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski would no doubt advise Dr. Krugman to think about those reasons for the recession Dr. Krugman could not possibly comprehend as an economist, just as they are misunderstood by the economists Dr. Krugman criticizes so fervently.

As Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in his monumental book, "Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder," the governing Soviet-Harvard model of global economy presumes that smart people can always tell the present and future behavior of complex systems. Of course they never do, but this fact does not discourage them from making incessant prophecies they call "scientific predictions."  Now wait a second, wasn't Dr. Krugman objecting to the lesser prophecies by other, alternatively clueless economists?

Very briefly, so that Professor Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski would approve of my argument, here it is:  
The current global economic crisis is not over and will not go away until the fragile global economic system that created this crisis falls apart and gives birth to a simpler, noisier, and antifragile system of small and local economies. These messy smaller economies will not be centrally managed by the super smart puppeteers, ventriloquists and magicians from Harvard, IMF, the World Bank, the EU, UN, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Why?  Because smart as they are, they have already failed.

There are many, many reasons why the current centrally-planned system must fail. Some of the reasons are that this system is inherently unstable, unreformable, and will keep on propping itself up until it implodes.  Even more importantly, the physics and finite resources of the finite, spherical planet Earth are seriously interfering with the Soviet-Harvard model of the flat infinite Earth under the New World Order. That's it. And the Soviet part of the Soviet-Harvard model has already imploded. That's a fact.
P.S. Perhaps you are wondering why do I bother to write about so many unpopular issues? I have to. The spirits of my parents, Professor Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, and Bokonon are consistently framing my yet unformed thoughts. The rest is simple.

P.S.P.S. The last link in this post is a short simple song, which immortalized Professor Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski.  He sang this song alone on a huge stage at the last Festival of Solidarity before the martial law in Poland in December 1981. Imagine a diminutive man with an acoustic guitar, singing this against the tanks and armored personnel carriers that for a while enforced in Poland the Soviet part of the still governing model:
"Do not fear assholes, taught me Mommy Dear.  An asshole is an asshole, and he lives in fear.  My Mother educated me to be a history's witness..."
Given this advice, the first Minister of Finance of the newly independent Poland, Leszek Balcerowicz, stopped listening to the expeditionary economic brigade led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs and the Harvard Schools of Public Policy and Business, and saved the budding Polish economy from collapsing.  Similar brigades were sent to all eastern European countries and Russia, in a blatant attempt to reshape them according to the Harvard-Soviet model, with the Soviet part deemphasized. The year was 1990, but repeated attempts at subjugating the East European countries were made through the years 2000-2004. Those other countries were not as lucky as Poland.


  1. One of the reasons is that this system is unreformable and will keep on propping itself up
    I'm afraid the system is still in denial.
    Even as the light at the end of the tunnel is dimming.

  2. Whenever I doubt my personal sanity, I take comfort from Krugman's wisdom:
    "My spending pays my neighbours wages, his spending pays my wages"
    But then I start to wonder how that got a Nobel prize for economics, but I didn't get one With my theory of endless prosperity:
    You stand a hundred men in a circle, give each man a shovel and unlimited amounts of paper money, each man starts to dig a hole. He shovels dirt into the hole on his left, and pays the man on his right to shovel dirt into his hole.
    With Krugman economics, everyone should get rich

  3. Your comment illustrates the essence of the governing economic model. Professor Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski would commend you for clarity of thought and succinctness. Thank you.

    1. Just got back to reading your blog, but thank you, A compliment indeed.