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Paul Krugman, Brexit, and Unaccountable Government


Paul Krugman, Brexit, and Unaccountable Government

Dean Baker

Paul Krugman devoted his column on Friday to a mild critique of the drive to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union.


As long as the "economic" system allows for externalities such as poverty and pollution, we are going to see a very dirty toilet.


"Anyhow, there is a real problem of unaccountable government in both the EU and the United States and it is ingrained very deeply in elite culture. If we can't fire people at the top when they mess up horribly, then there is no accountability."

As I've mentioned before, Janine Wedel's book explains how the Shadow Elite operate and one phrase she uses is that they "fail upwards." In other words, those who belong to this highly exclusive club always see career boosts. Their performance metrics are not those typically assessed by mainstream channels (or MSM pundits).

The second thing I want to speak to is this idea that these people "fail." That reminds me of the frame that insists that U.S. martial forces are "losing" wars. Both frames miss something central; and it's that to those calling the shots, these are not misses or failures.

The ongoing wars provide constant financial flow to the MIC and its war profiteers; and it's arguable that given the boom and bust cycle that is a verifiable pattern, that those who pushed hard to take down the Glass-Steagall Wall (in order to "liberate" investment banks' assets so they could be siphoned into Wall Street's sky's-the-limit betting houses) didn't also plan on how they'd profit once the crash and burn phase manifested.

These Deep State/Shadow Elite players see politicians, the world's workers, and all its collective assets as theirs to use, abuse, and manipulate via puppet strings. Some of those strings are apparent to viewers and writers while others are not. In fact, some are so unthinkable and unimaginable that one would have to BE a sociopath to penetrate their depth. (Think: Depraved indifference to all forms of sentient life.)


There was an excellent recent interview on Democracy Now where the guest explained how often media stories remove all AGENCY from their story lines.

In several of the naked murders of unarmed Black males, terms like "an arm came around ____________" were used. That is very different from defining whose arm it was and what the circumstances REALLY were.

When it came to the wars of choice executed on the basis of evidence FIXED FOR war, the media uses the frame that "Mistakes were made," without defining who made them and why.

This type of verbiage is similar:

"Anyhow, there is a real problem of unaccountable government in both the EU and the United States and it is ingrained very deeply in elite culture. If we can't fire people at the top when they mess up horribly, then there is no accountability. As it stands, we can't even talk about it. (Did anyone see any columns in a major newspaper calling for firing Bernanke for his failure to see the bubble and to take steps to counteract it?"

It uses the falsely representative WE frame instead of honestly explaining how the corporate media has itself become captured by corporations that WANT things to operate just as they are.

This idea that "we can't talk about it" doesn't define who the WE is. Mostly what passes for talk are the Talking Points repeated often by the "pundit class." Many of their memes come directly off the Think Tank boilerplate presses.

WE, meaning The People, can talk about anything we damned please. What the corporate media talks about and promotes as official story is an altogether different thing; and the distinction between the two should be mentioned since it is the defining measure.

It's hardly the stuff of "conspiracy theorists" since SEEING is believing. So check this out:


Not only was Bernanke not fired for failing to avert the 2008 meltdown, he was retained by Democrats when his term ended in 2010.

Just as Bill Clinton twice retained Raygun appointee Alan Greenspan as Fed Chief, Obama and the Senate (controlled by Democrats) in 2010 retained Greenspan protege Bernanke, thereby approving and rewarding him for all the damage done to the main street economy. You can bet your last nickle that if Bernanke had wanted to be retained in 2014 Obama would have continued to retain him.


For those who may not know, Baker is a well-known economist who is one of Sanders' supporters. Krugman not so much..


Amazing and funny, thanks.


Do you think it's funny or dangerous?

Most people don't recognize how saturated with lies, Official Narratives, and talking points the mainstream media is.

This is another expose on the subject. Again, funny is really not what this is about:


Dangerous and tragic, but funny seeing people say the same thing over and over, maybe it's my sense of humor.


That I would agree with.


Dean Baker is the man and should be the Secretary of Treasury at a minimum but it's incorrect to describe these "leaders" as unaccountable. They are perfectly accountable to their corporate masters who are perfectly satisfied with their performance otherwise they would quickly be finding "more time to spend with their families".


i thought Baker might also make a nod toward Krugman's frenetic support for the corrupt and incompetent Clinton. Accountability for the horror in Libya, anyone?


Corrupt indeed, but don't mischaracterize Hillary or any other Clinton as "incompetent".

Although Obama is rapidly catching up, the Clintons are second to none in their competence at delivering for the 1% at the expense of the 99%.


All Krugman has to do is keep the flowery appraisals of Clinton and the status quo coming and he will find himself at least the next secretary of the treasury.


Krugman's upcoming efforts will represent a small fraction of 1% of the general election Clinton candidate brand PR saturation that we will witness between now and November that will make even the most arduous student of progressive politics question their own findings.

The budget for creating the general election candidate Clinton brand will be beyond what any product advertising or political campaign here or abroad has ever seen. No expense will be spared.


You mean all those women volunteering for Bernie's campaign weren't there just because, as Steinem told the world, "thats where the boys are" ?

You don't see any Hillary signs or bumper stickers because her supporters are embarrassed to be associated with a candidate with such lame endorsers.


Cliinton is neither incompetent nor corrupt, any more than someone at her level of the social order is corrupt. Does she conform to your sensibilities of what an altruistic, egalitarian, promoter of the common good is? Probably not. Who knows what your sensibilities are anyway? She is part of the establishment Democratic party that has lost touch with the common people it once defended more robustly, and has all the connections that make someone in her position well connected, but unless you have indictments coming down that are real and supported, allegations of corruption are so much hot air. The party needs reform of the sort Bernie has been promoting, but demonizing Clinton isn't how it will get there. Support for reform, for Sanders and Warren, and pushing Hillary Clinton toward those reforms is a better strategy than hyping the unforeseen and uncontrollable consequences of events in Libya as corruption. It looks more like a cheap shot.


i'm very sorry that you have been so pummeled by the deep-set horror and corruption that defines the present political economy, that you look at this utterly corrupt war-monger, and see some shreds of hope.


And "unforeseen consequences" is ridiculous. Numerous scholars, activists, political operatives, and of course people from N Africa, gave clear assessments and warnings against what Clinton and the US did to Libya. But they wanted to believe what they wanted to believe, and had their own - deeply corrupt - agenda.


The Clinton family's legacy of domestic corruption is self evident and will never be subject to indictment seeing how much of the Clinton Administration corruption included decriminalizing (media calls it deregulation) what had previously been "corporate or white collar crime".

More than 1000 bankers served jail time for their roles in the 1980s savings and loan scandal, an event that negatively impacted perhaps a million Americans. No bankers were jailed for their roles in the 2008 meltdown that negatively impacted way more than a billion people in nearly every nation on earth. Most of the decriminalization that kept the 2008 perpetrators out of jail occurred during the Clinton Administration. Bill Clinton has enjoyed payback in the form of eight figure annual corporate speaking fee income ever since leaving office in 2001, in addition to payback in the form of corporate contributions to the family foundation that exceeds the speaking fee income.

Not to mention Chelsea's $200k job straight out of college in 2001 when $200k was real money.

There may be equally corrupt DC politicians but the Clintons are second to none.