It is hard to blame our Tea Baggers and GOP and “Moderate” Democrats for the totally wacky policy we have of deficit reduction by means of killing jobs and benefits, because it seems that UK, Ireland and others are doing the same thing. So why, when it is so obviously directly counter-productive? It threatens to wreck things further which would help no one. The only thing I can come up with is that Global Business dreads regulation from any nation-state and wants to play only by their own rules which will benefit multi-nationals in terms of lowering costs in the short run. But if no governance outside of markets exists, markets collapse. They must know this, they allegedly have very good technical advice. I can only think that self-interest, however narrow, trumps not only the public interest or the global interest, but even what we used to call enlightened self-interest. The Tragedy of the Commons is being brought back as The Farce of the Private for the entire world (like the depletion of world fish stocks, only applied to everything). I recall how Bush and like-minded romantic nationalists have opposed treaties, world court, nuclear de-proliferation on stern principle: The Other Guys Always Cheat so we won’t give them a chance. Same attitude here, I guess.
Insanely stupid, but, after all, think of all the insane causes people have killed and died for in history. Back on the home front, The Tea Baggers are in the main stream of history. The GOP less so, because many of them know better but will take any risk to depopulate the Democrats’ base even if it wrecks the country. Do these folks have grandchildren? Denial of global warming, environmental dangers, et cetera, is part of this rabid anti-intellectualism as defense of the indefensible. Or, as John McCain might have said, “Real men don’t think!”
With increasing desperation, Krugman tries to straighten things out: