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Krugman: confidence fairy zombie?

January 10, 2014

Paul Krugman uses “zombie” often on his NYTimes blog, “The Conscience of a Liberal“, today with post titled: “The Zombie Confidence Fairy“.

zombie paul krugman

Krugman discusses the zombie idea (persistent falsehood) of a confidence fairy. He lambasts Robert Rubin for referring to business confidence arguing that the numbers don’t support Rubin’s claims. Krugman asserts:

… it’s almost as if very serious people are willing to grab any argument that supports their deficit-reduction obsession, never mind the facts.

Ok, except of course, it’s also as if Krugman has an obsession for finding flaws in every deficit-reduction argument, never mind the context. Business leaders absolutely do express fears of “fiscal outlook as a deterrent to hiring and investment.” Even if that fear is illogical and not evidenced in GDP numbers, the fear is real. Zombies and fairies are real. The mind makes them real. The effect sizes are small and often irrelevant amongst other more powerful predictors, but the mind is real. The fears are real; perhaps more real than any so-called facts. The facts are socially constructed, the fear is in us, constitutive of our very body chemistry, part of the being itself.

Don’t let facts bring you down. When you wish upon a star, makes no difference if you are a zombie, if you can look up and desire, your intentions for reality become manifest. FDR fought the zombies and of course said: “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”.

Every time the bell rings, a confidence fairy becomes a zombie?

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From → economics

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