Some on the right have decided to suggest we liberals know nothing about economics. There was the Greg Mankiw claim that no real economist could support a higher minimum wage and then there was the Alan Reynolds claim that no real economist could doubt the superiority of consumption-based measures of inequality. And now Thomas Sowell follows suit over at the National Review:
People in the media, in academia, and among the intelligentsia in general who are obsessed with “disparities” in income and wealth usually show not the slightest interest in how that income and wealth were produced in the first place. They are hot to redistribute the existing income and wealth but seem wholly unaware that how you do that today can affect how much income and wealth will be produced tomorrow … Progressives” in the media and among academics and intellectuals claim to be interested in ending poverty but the production of more output is the only way to end poverty for millions of people … The real obsession of the Left is in gaining power or, at the very least, engaging in moral exhibitionism.
You see – unless you support George W. Bush’s crony capitalism and his attempt to shift the tax burden away from the rich (aka Dooh Nibor economics), you are not only an idiot but you are also morally inferior to the great Thomas Sowell. You see – Paul Krugman only plays an economist on TV.
Pardon my French – but this is a load of manure. But it’s the kind of manure we’ve come to expect from Sowell when he writes for the rag known as the National Review. Economists for years have considered both equity and efficiency considerations at the same time. And real economists know that “giving people their money back” so they can consume more reduces long-term growth. But the nitwits at the National Review still preach the free lunch supply-side garbage that ignores the most basic premise of all economics – the law of scarcity. Or maybe I should use the macroeconomic terms for the law of scarcity, which is crowding-out, given the fact that Sowell is hanging out with the Lawrence Kudlow crowd who missed this particular lecture during their Econ 101 class.