Unless you’re a demagogue or an ideologue (or, like Paul Krugman, both), it might have occurred to you that this country’s outsized money printing by the Fed and our ongoing fiscal deficits are going to end badly; that the debts being piled up, at the velocity of a hurricane, will never be repaid (indeed couldn’t be repaid other than with greatly devalued dollars); and that the likely end result therefore is going to be destabilizing inflation, and the passing along to future generations of staggering debt.
To harbor such thoughts is not only rational but wise, and undoubtedly on the minds of millions of Americans. Which – along with the fact that he’s promoting a new book – perhaps explains why David Stockman recently wrote a lengthy op-ed piece in the New York Times in which he elaborates on these concerns, and lays the blame on Keynesianism and what he regards as other destructive concepts, past and present.
Titled “State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America,” Stockman’s piece is powerful stuff and so, of course, has attracted the wrath of legions of the “progressive” members of the commentariat. Taken together, their criticisms speak volumes about the impoverishment of the progressive mindset but almost nothing about Stockman’s concerns.
Indeed, one gets the impression that the important thing for the sort of people encountered at places like the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and New York Times was to be early to the scene; rather like a contest, the winner would be the person who scored on Stockman the first and punchiest ad hominem attack.
So it is that Stockman’s piece is variously described as “spittle-filled,” a “horrific screed,” and the “unfortunate rant” of a “cranky old man.”
None of this is unprecedented, of course, and in fact it positively guarantees that Stockman’s book will be a best seller. But there’s something a little creepy about the invective employed by people who profess to come by their opinions as a consequence of sweet reason. Creepier still is the intolerance displayed by Krugman, who characterizes his employers’ decision to publish Stockman’s piece as “mysterious.”
Whatever else one might say, the only people who would question the Times’ decision to publish Stockman’s piece are those who think that only their own views deserve a hearing.
Nobody is going to agree with everything that the gentleman wrote, but the decision to publish his piece was not only not mysterious, it was correct and, if anything, belated.
The opinions expressed above are those of the writer and not of The Media Institute, its Board, contributors, or advisory councils.