The wrong way forward

I don’t know anything about economics, so why do I advocate for particular economic policies? The reason is simple: as a scientist, I have a particular way of analyzing and solving problems, and when I see another person apply that same technique to a different field, I am more likely to trust their conclusions. For this reason, I trust a lot of what Paul Krugman says about economics: he thinks like me.

In a recent post, Krugman summarize the state of our economy as,

…terrible growth prospects; low inflation; oh, and low interest rates, with no sign of the bond vigilantes.

So what’s the solution? He writes,

Ordinary macroeconomic analysis tells you very clearly what we should be doing: fiscal expansion and monetary expansion by any means we can manage; in fact, the case for a higher inflation target pops right out of just about any model capable of producing the kind of mess we’re in.

Sounds like a reasonable analysis. So what is the solution that our politicians (including the president) are advocating? Krugman writes,

And what are we talking about in policy terms? Spending cuts and an end to monetary expansion.

In other words, they’re doing exactly the opposite of what they should be doing.