Apr 212004

Michael Klein’s letter to the editor glorifying the position

that Reaganomics led to the ’90s expansion brought to mind Albert

Einstein’s book “Ideas and Opinions,” particularly the section

entitled “Why Socialism?”

In the section, Einstein not only lays out his support of

Socialism, but also lays out the argument as to why such a

“non-expert” as himself should be allowed to speak about economics.

His first point is that, “The discovery of general laws in the

field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that

observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors

which are very hard to evaluate separately.”

Here Einstein shows more understanding of economics than Klein

and Brian Zimpfer, who wrote a letter on Tuesday, do. Sure, things

like tax breaks and other stimuli can take years to work due to the

money multiplier effect, but to attribute economic performance to

the president who was in office a decade earlier would be a gamble

and is debated among economists, but it is far away from the views

of “most economists,” as Klein would have your readers believe.

Would Klein have us believe that Bush senior’s two recessions

were due to Jimmy Carter? Most good economists list numerous

factors to the ’90s expansion, such as the emergence of

multi-billion dollar Internet commerce, increased worker

productivity and increased global competitiveness. Neither Reagan

nor Clinton invented the Internet, nor did they cause domestic

economic problems in Japan and Germany. This reductionism is

economics at its worst, as these oversimplified models are used to

justify solely political views.

Anonymous Author

Senior, Economics and Sociology

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