Americanly Yours

Promoting Free Markets, Free Trade, and Freedom!

Liberal Economists Lining Up Against President Obama

March 31, 2009 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

It has been common for conservatives and libertarians to criticize President Obama lately, especially for his economic policies.

The attacks from fiscal hawks (myself included) have been relentless.  But, what is becoming increasingly more common is to hear attacks on the President’s economic policies from the left.

I wrote earlier that Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz criticized the bailouts and argued that the type of government intervention proposed by President Obama could lower our standards of living for the next 20 years.  As I mentioned in that previous article, Joseph Stiglitz has advised both President Clinton and President Obama.  Interestingly enough, Joseph Stiglitz is a liberal who has been very critical of the free market and free market economists in the past.

Dr. Stiglitz is hardly the only liberal economist to criticize President Obama’s economic policies.  In fact, he is not even the only liberal Nobel Prize winning economist to criticize the President’s economic policies.  Recently, 2008 Nobel Prize in economics winner Paul Krugman has become a vocal critic of President Obama’s economic policies.

Paul Krugman is very much a liberal economist.  He is a strong advocate of European style “social democracy” as well as welfare programs, and the welfare state.  He even said of the welfare state:  “I was then and still am an unabashed defender of the welfare state, which I regard as the most decent social arrangement yet devised.

I dont agree with Krugman’s proposed solution–a nationalization of the banking industry, but I do agree that Mr. Obama’s plans will hurt the economy and the country in the long run and that his plans are the wrong way to go.  Here are a few articles written by Mr. Krugman criticizing the Administration’s plans.




In one of my classes this semester [right before the passage of the “stimulus” bill], we had a guest speaker who was a labor economist who eventually became an Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Jimmy Carter.  This man was very critical of Reagan, Republicans, and conservatives in general.  However, he came out strongly against the “stimulus” plan.  He complained that it was very expensive, that it was spending money too slow, and that it was spending money on things that wouldnt lead to job creation or real stimulus of the economy.  A similar argument can be found in this writing by Robert Samuelson.

As I said above, you can expect conservative and libertarian economists to oppose the President’s economic plans.  However, it is somewhat disturbing when prominent (Nobel Prize) winning liberal economists begin criticizing the President’s economic policies.  Even supporter Warren Buffet has criticized the President’s plans.  These liberal critics of the President’s policies, combined with the conservative and libertarian critics leads to an important question:  are there any prominent economists who are not a part of this administration who support President Obama’s economic policies?  I have yet to hear from any.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet

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Response To Comment

January 20, 2009 By: americanlyyours Category: Uncategorized

As of yet I have not responded to comments from readers.  I probably wont do so much in the future either, but I received a comment on my Inaugural Costs article that I felt needed a response.  Here was the comment:

“The government can’t help the fact that millions of people are about to flood the streets of DC. Obama’s election was too huge of an event for Americans to even allow a scaled back inauguration, and they will show up in DC regardless of the size of the “party”. It’s necessary to spend large amounts of money for safety reasons when dealing with a crowd that big; it’s not like they’re buying $40 million worth of booze. With so many nonresidents showing up, the crowd could easily become restless and end up costing the gov’t (not to mention the poor people caught in the subsequent panic) even more money than they’ve already spent.

Think about it: do you remember anyone jumping in their car to go see Bush sworn in? Me either, although I do know quite a few people that will be traveling well over a thousand miles this week just to catch a glimpse of history.

Anyhoo – most of the money spent on the actual festivities comes from private donors. Public funds are used mainly for unavoidable security reasons”

Let me start my refuting the 2nd to last sentence.  Most of the money spent on the festivities is NOT coming from private donors.  For one, the Federal government’s costs alone are at least $49 million.  As I said in my previous post, Virginia and Maryland’s combined costs are over $28 million.  Washington D.C.’s costs are at least another $47 million.  The total so far for D.C, Maryland, Virginia, and the Federal government is $124 million, meaning that this is the vast majority of the funds being spent.  If the total costs of the inauguration are $160 million, at least 77.5% of the money will be coming from the government.

Also, I understand that this is a historic event, but my argument was simply that Obama could have tried to tone down the celebration.  I used the example of Jimmy Carter in my article.  President Carter was inaugurated in 1977 after 16 years of failed presidencies, including a long war, corruption, criminal behavior, and an economy that makes today’s economy look great.  Yet, Mr. Carter explicitly asked supporters to tone down the celebrations.  All I was saying was that Obama could have at last asked his supporters to limit the inaugural activities.  People poured into D.C. because Mr. Obama encouraged it.  He could have refrained from encouraging it, given the current economic turmoil our nation is experiencing.  I would have.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet