The Professor explains - @ NYTs - why our "smart people" - who among other things claim to listen to "the market" as arbiter of their reality - pretty much don't have a clue about much of anything other than their recycled insider-elite ideology:
Four years ago, as a newly elected president began his efforts to rescue the economy and strengthen the social safety net, conservative economic pundits — people who claimed to understand markets and know how to satisfy them — warned of imminent financial disaster. Stocks, they declared, would plunge, while interest rates would soar.
Even a casual trawl through the headlines of the time turns up one dire pronouncement after another. “Obama’s radicalism is killing the Dow,” warned an op-ed article by Michael Boskin, an economic adviser to both Presidents Bush. “The disciplinarians of U.S. policy makers return,” declared The Wall Street Journal, warning that the “bond vigilantes” would soon push Treasury yields to destructive heights.Sure enough, this week the Dow Jones industrial average has been hitting all-time highs, while the current yield on 10-year U.S. government bonds is roughly half what it was when The Journal published that screed.O.K., everyone makes a bad prediction now and then. But these predictions have special significance, and not just because the people who made them have had such a remarkable track record of error these past several years.No, the important point about these particular bad predictions is that they came from people who constantly invoke the potential wrath of the markets as a reason we must follow their policy advice. Don’t try to cover America’s uninsured, they told us; if you do, you will undermine business confidence and the stock market will tank.
Don’t try to reform Wall Street, or even criticize its abuses; you’ll hurt the plutocrats’ feelings, and that will lead to plunging markets. Don’t try to fight unemployment with higher government spending; if you do, interest rates will skyrocket.And, of course, do slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid right away, or the markets will punish you for your presumption.