Paul Krugman: The GOP Wants to Pull Us Back to 1894

Posted: Sep 08, 2014 12:01 AM

If you ever have the strange desire to watch a couple of liberals devolve into an intellectual wasteland of platitudes and hypocrisy, just mention “Hobby Lobby”. During a recent TV special with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-People’s Republic of Massachusetts), Paul Krugman waded into the realm of idiocy (it was a short trip for him) while discussing corporate personhood, and the GOP’s desire to “push us back to 1894”.

Of course, this raises a few questions: If corporations aren’t people, then why should we expect businesses to exercise “economic patriotism” in their tax dealings? I mean heck, I guess we shouldn’t care if a company is “inclusive”, or “socially conscious”… After all, unlike people, corporations apparently don’t have the right to make moral or ethical decisions in how they conduct business, right Krugman? I guess Bernie Madoff should be let out of jail – after all, it was his company that stole millions, right?

So, sorry Krugman… But even companies have rights. (It’s too bad that a little limitation on government’s ability to coerce and compel upsets the American Left to such a degree.)

Of course, Krugman’s bigger point was that the mean old conservative wing of the GOP (apparently headed by Grover Norquist) wants to roll back the Progressive movement… According to our intellectually vacant “economist”, that means the GOP wants to go back to the days of 1894… Ya know: Into that dark period of history where former slaves were being freed, and government wasn’t forcing people to violate their religious sensibilities in order to earn a profit.

It’s awful enough that the American Left argues like children on the playground. But it is bordering on intellectual anemia for a Nobel Laureate to think that extending First Amendment protections (to a corporation) will result in the repeal of Women’s Suffrage. Especially when you consider the uncanny ability the Progressive movement has for clinging to pre-civil rights, pre-Suffrage, pre-20th Century concepts and policy “solutions”. Heck, the “Progressive” agenda is little more than a recycled list of failed ideas from the end of the 19th Century.

Since Krugman specifically pointed out the year of 1894, let’s take a look at what Progressives were up to around the close of the 19th Century: Oh, that’s right… They were fighting for a tax on rich people. (My, how little things have changed.)

In addition to continually campaigning on harnessing the discriminating power of the IRS, the Progressive mentality in America has been clinging to the idea of an ever increasingly paternalistic federal government. Today, our tax code serves as a massive redistributive Rube-Goldberg machine without sufficiently funding our treasury for repayment of the trillions we borrow. Despite spending trillions more dollars in entitlements than our record-breaking revenues can fund, our economy trudges forward with almost anemic uncertainty.

From Social Security, to healthcare, to tax rates, Progressives have changed their big-government- message very little since the days of Grover Cleveland. Krugman’s Keynesian ideals, and penchant for getting the economy wrong, have been a trademark of the “Pogressive” movement in the US… Heck, Krugman and Warren seem to have uncanny affection for the policies that left millions standing in lines for rationed bread in the 1930s. From imposing austerity on energy, to taxing those evil rich people, the Progressive message is an echo of the campaign speeches from America’s most economically challenging periods in history. From its beginning, the “Progressive” movement seems to have thrived off of the idea that government must ration prosperity.

It looks like your ideas, Mr. Krugman, are the furnishings of 19th century politics. So, no… The GOP doesn’t want to drag anyone back to 1894. They just want you to stop imposing 100 year old policy schemes on the rest of us.