Paul Krugman recounts a litany of government failures, which he blames on . . . wait for it . . .
And the common theme in all these stories is the degradation of effective government by antigovernment ideology.
. . . .
Yet antigovernment ideology remains all too prevalent, despite the havoc it has wrought. In fact, it has been making a comeback with the rise of the Tea Party movement. If there’s any silver lining to the disaster in the gulf, it is that it may serve as a wake-up call, a reminder that we need politicians who believe in good government, because there are some jobs only the government can do.
Uhm, Paul, the connection between purported cause and effect seems a little murky. Indeed, mightn’t the causation run in the other direction? Ya think that people’s disenchantment with government might be, you know, empirically based? Rooted in experience? In direct observation?
But no, Peter Pan Krugman Knows. Tinker Bell Government is dying because not enough people believe in her! So believe, everyone! Repeat after Peter Pan Paul! I do believe! I do believe in government! I do! I do! Obama believes! Do you? Oh, I do believe in government! I do believe!
Actually, it is beyond belief that any adult would believe that if we only had “politicians who believe in good government” that we will get good government.
Like Peter Pan, some people never grow up. Rather than doing a bad imitation of Mary Martin, Paul Krugman would be better to consider these words: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” And there are few things more childish than blaming government failures on the ill will of “ideologues,” virtually none of whom are actually in government, and whose very ideology would indeed make them highly averse to being so. In other words, read public choice, not Peter Pan.