SCOTT SUMNER: The Last 6 Months Have Been A Total Disaster For Modern Liberalism

YouTubeScott Sumner is one of the pre-eminent advocates of the idea that the Fed should engage in Nominal GDP targeting, as a way of getting us out of the crisis now and smoothing economic cycles in the future.

But while he is a big advocate of Fed easing, he considers himself to be a conservative (despite the fact that many on the right these days are associated with gold and hard money). And in recent post (via @noahpinion) he argues that the last 6 months have actually been a disaster for a lot of modern liberal ideas.

He cites 6 reasons for this.

We summarize in bullets:

  • Despite the sequester, the economy has been doing fine, which undermines how big of a deal “austerity” is.
  • The popular left-wing view that you need fiscal stimulus at the “zero lower bound” has been undermined by Japan, where the Bank of Japan is succeeding in easing.
  • An Oregon study showed that Medicaid expansion does not improved health outcomes.
  • Another study showed that giving poor students computers doesn’t help education outcomes.
  • The IRS scandal.
  • The left has been adopting Herbert Hoover’s arguments that despite the weak economy under Obama, things could have been worse.

Sumner’s bottom line: Rather than crowing about how they were “right”, liberals like Krugman should show more humility.

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