Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Estonian President Defends His Country's Economic Performance Against Krugman's Attack

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Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is not happy. Paul Krugman's latest snarky blog post ridicules the European 'poster child for austerity', claiming that Estonia's recovery has been modest but hardly anything to write home about. Ilves took to twitter to express his outrage and engage in some ivy-league banter:

Let's write about something we know nothing about & be smug, overbearing & patronizing: after all, they're just wogs

Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a "wasteland". Must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing 

But yes, what do we know? We're just dumb & silly East Europeans. Unenlightened. Someday we too will understand. Nostra culpa.

Let's sh*t on East Europeans: their English is bad, won't respond & actually do what they've agreed to & reelect govts that are responsible.

Follow Ilves on twitter here.

Krugman has dedicated a lot of blog space to criticizing so-called austerity in Europe. Countries where spending is increasing and taxes are rising, like the UK, have for some reason been a favorite target of Krugman who seems to think that the UK's unimpressive growth figures are some indication of the futility of austerity. Estonia, unlike most European countries, actually has implemented spending cuts. Krugman tried to show the failure of Estonia's spending cuts using the graph below, which shows Estonia enjoying a modest recovery after depression:

Estonian GDP 2007-present

As Dan Mitchell from Cato points out, this graph does not show the whole story. The graph only shows figures from 2007 onwards, and the Estonian government only began spending cuts in 2009. If figures from the 1990s and the 2000s are seen in one graph, as shown below, then Estonia's success story becomes apparent:

Estonian GDP 1996-present

The rise in GDP between 1999 and 2002 can be attributed to many of the reforms made by Prime Minister Mart Laar, a recipient of Cato's 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, who took inspiration from Friedman's classic Free to Choose when implementing privatization programs and banking reform.

The Baltic states are providing some of the only reassuring news coming out of Europe, it's a shame these successes are being so blatantly misrepresented by a Nobel Laureate. 

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  1. Mitchell’s post is devastating. For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone listens to Krugman anymore.

    1. Because he tells a certain group of people what they want to believe.

      1. That’s all I can figure out. As such, he’s more of a court mythologist than an economist.

        1. That is all he is. And really the only reason the New York Times sells any newspapers.

        2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Krugman is to economics as Obama is to peace. Good work, Nobel committees!

          1. And the Nobel in medicine goes to…Mary Baker Eddy!
            Congratulations, Mare!

            1. Jenny McArthy.

              1. If she wears something tiny and clingy to the award ceremony, I’ll watch. With the sound off.

                1. I will give her credit. She may be dumb as a post and quite literally a menace to society. But she has aged much better than most Playboy chicks. She punches well above her weight.

                  1. She seems to have found a much better surgeon than she had 5 years ago. For a while there, she was looking pretty offensive.

                  2. But she has aged much better than most Playboy chicks. She punches well above her weight.

                    Nah, she’s just exhibit #157,800 that white women do not age well.

            2. Jeez stop slandering Nobel blame the Swedish central bank who bought themselves some intellectual street cred by renting the Nobel name!

              Kruggies “Shield of Intellectual Impermeability” is officially the fault of…..the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel!

              1. anyone ever note that the Nobel peace prize is named after a guy whose main contributions to the world was the invention of smokeless powder for firearms, mostly enabling the world wars of the 20th century to be carried out with a great deal less haze?

                1. I thought he invented TNT.

                  1. Ballistite (forerunner of cordite), dynamite (a mixture of nitroglycerin and stabilizers), blasting caps.

                  2. Dynamite, not TNT.

                    1. Isn’t Dynamite the same thing as TNT?

                    2. Isn’t Dynamite the same thing as TNT?

                      No, different chemical compounds. But both packaged in identical looking packages!

                    3. “Isn’t Dynamite the same thing as TNT?”

                      If ACDC has taught us anything.

                2. Umm, that’s why he founded the Peace Prize. He thought his inventions would make war too costly to wage and was horrified to find out that wasn’t so. So, he took his money and spent it to promote peace.

                  1. So, he took his money and spent it to promote peace.

                    Based on the Peace prizes to the Palestinian terrorist leader, and the U.S. President who took his prize and then continued two wars, fought a third war, and spends part of each week flipping through cards deciding which people to unilaterally assassinate without any due process or judicial proceedings, I’d say you need to revise the above to say “… to promote reeeally ironic doublespeak about warmongerers.”

          2. While they’ve gotten some right, they’ve also made some uh… interesting choices at times.

            2009: Barack H. Obama – for starting a couple wars
            2007: IPCC / Al Gore – for lying their asses off.
            2001: UN / Kofi Annan – I have no idea.
            1994: Arafat / Peres / Rabin – for perpetuating an existing conflict.
            1990: Gorbachev – for fucking up and causing the end of communism.
            1985: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – for being the only thing to prevent nuclear war for 40 years.
            1979: Mother Teresa – see Hitchens bio of her.
            1973: Kissinger / Le Duc Tho – for implementing policies that killed millions of people.

            1. There have been some good ones. Doctor’s sand Frontiers. And Kissinger and Le Duc Tho ended a 10,000 day war. People forget that. The war ended in 1973. What happened in 1975 was a whole new war and much different than the one that ended in 73. The committee was certainly guilty of being completely stupid and naive to think that the communists would abide by the treaty. But it wasn’t the treaty that killed the people. It was the communists breaking it.

              1. It does depend on your perspective. The 1973 Rest Up and Re-arm for the Forthcoming Slaughter Treaty, as the communists saw it, or the 1973 Everything’s Great! Peace! Treaty as seen by the committee.

              2. The war had to end, for both sides. The US was at its limit politically. N Vietnam was stretched militarily, and with China coming out of the Cultural Revolution, they represented a much bigger threat than when they were a complete basket case. The Paris accords were simply a recognition of that.

                Norman Borlaug certainly deserved his prize.

                1. And had the US not cut off South Vietnam from aid and said we would never return, there would be a South Vietnam today and none of that would have ever happened.

              3. Doctor’s sand frontiers? What the fuck?

                It’s not French, it’s not English. It’s a band name?

                1. “Doctor’s sand frontiers” must have something to do with Maui, I’d think.

                  1. Maybe a country club in Scottsdale?

              4. But it wasn’t the treaty that killed the people. It was the communists breaking it.

                yeah, that was a totally unforeseeable unintended consequence.

                /snark

            2. 1990: Gorbachev – for fucking up and causing the end of communism.

              I can see that being worthy of some recognition. Maybe not a Nobel, but at least an honorable mention.

              1. Had he done it deliberately, he’d deserve a huge prize. He wanted to save communism, and was trying to reform it.

                Oops.

            3. 1979: Mother Teresa – see Hitchens bio of her.

              Is that where he claimed she could suck a golf ball through a garden hose? Because I have my doubts.

              1. Is that where he claimed she could suck a golf ball through a garden hose?

                He had the pics. Just saying.

            4. Two for the UN High Commission on Refugees, for… for…

              Running Palestinian ghettos? I dunno.

              1. Giving plastic sheeting to the survivors of the seige of Sarajevo?

            5. Gorbachev’s Nobel came just a few months before the massacres in Lithuania.

              And then there’s Rigoberta Menchu….

              1. “No, we didn’t shoot anybody, we just beat them up.”

    2. The rational people who matter don’t listen to him at all, only the people who are loony as he is do. That’s why he has been writing the same angry, childish “why won’t they listen to me” column almost every week for about two to three years now.

      1. And to think he used to be a serious person. Peddling Prosperity is actually a very good book. He wrote it in the 1980s. And it is a very good take down of the claims made by both supply siders and Keynesians in the 70s and 80s. He says in that book that economics is at about the level of development now that medicine was in the late 19th century in that they have figured out how not to kill the patient but really have no idea how to cure him. And now he rants and raves about how the government can solve the business cycle if it only would try harder. He really is a poster case for how fame and attention can corrupt you.

        1. Well, Greenspan wrote about the serious problems with flooding the market with paper currency as “stimulus”, back when he hung out with Ayn Rand and company…

          1. Power corrupts I guess. I think Greenspan was chairman too long. The ability to tweak the economy via monetary policy went to his head.

            1. ACTON LOOMS LARGE!

            2. Greenspan failed to follow the action Rand showed in Atlas Shrugged. He accepted the position that Galt turned down.

              1. I only wish Ayn Rand had lived long enough to kick his money-printing ass.

        2. And now he rants and raves about how the government can solve the business cycle if it only would try harder. He really is a poster case for how fame and attention can corrupt you.

          Nah, he is a poster boy for how being an apologist lending faux credibility to leftist talking points pays better than serious economics — and how rational people will often take the money and run.

      1. This is entirely too plausible to be coincidence.

      2. Goulet!!!!!

  2. Since we have already waived that whole natural born citizen thing for Obama, can we just elect this guy? We can just call anyone who objects a birther and someone who just wants to start a constitutional crisis and destroy the country.

    Never underestimate the power of group think.

      1. I was being factitious Zeb. I am not a birther.

  3. He lied by omission? No way!

  4. Fuck Estonia. I want to vote for this guy in November.

    1. I already have one convert. Who says this guy wasn’t born in the United States? He looks plenty American to me. What? You can’t have a funny accent and be an American?

      1. He grew up in New Jersey. He probably has a Jersey accent.

        1. Really now? Apparently, he could teach ole fattie, Christ Christie The Corpulent Jesus, a thing or two about fiscal matters.

        2. We could get him a birth certificate from Hawaii; I hear it’s pretty easy to do.

      2. Also, he rocks an awesome hat.

    2. If Monty Python can have a Norwegian Party, why can’t we have an Estonian Party?

  5. Compared to the graph for the US recovery a few posts back, Estonia, with its ‘backward’ approach, seems to be recovering better than the ‘sophisticated’ USA.

    1. HERESY!!!

  6. It is on like Donkey Kong!

    I could almost kiss that wog in his funny hat.

  7. Well, he’s wearing an Estonian top hat. All he needs is a monocle.

    1. It is almost a pilgram hat.

      1. Given his name, that’s the first thing I thought. Just add that little strap and buckle, and you’ve got a man planting Scarlet A’s on all the ladies’ dresses.

    2. I often wish hats were more in fashion…other than baseball caps.

      I always get funny looks in my top hat.

      Alas, I think the hat fashion really disappeared with the advent of indoor plumbing. Once you could shower every day, why ruin your hair by wearing a hat? At least, that’s why I wear a ball cap…on those days I don’t feel like showering and my hair is messed up.

      Still a cool fedora would rock to be able to wear without being “that guy that wears a fedora”.

      1. Or worse – seen as a potential hipster.

      2. Blame Kennedy. Hats went out of fashion when Kennedy got elected President and didn’t wear one.

        I wish they would too. But you should only be allowed to wear one with a suit and tie. And never if you in any way can be described as a beardo. Maybe we could issue hat licenses. You get to wear a hat when you have a job and are an adult. That way hipsters can’t ruin them.

        1. Blame Kennedy.

          Yeah. She never wears a hat.

          1. Say, didn’t Kennedy wear that Erykah Badu head wrap thingy for a Reason Teevee piece not too long ago?

        2. If I can’t rock the 19th century facial hair with my tux, top hat and monocle, what’s the point?

          1. Having facial hair does not make you a beardo. It is more of a state of mind. I am sure you are not a Beardo T. So your facial hair is a go.

            1. The wife has vetoed the 19th century facial hair, alas.

              1. Cause she doesn’t want to be married to a hipster douche – good for her!

        3. What constitutes a beardo?

  8. Let’s write about something we know nothing about be smug, overbearing patronizing:

    Isn’t that a requirement to get published in the New York Times?

    1. That and you have to have a punchable face, preferably with a hipster beard and round glasses.

  9. Since the recovery is being attributed to austerity, a raw GDP won’t tell the whole story since government expenditures going down will always lower GDP in the short-term. Anyone know of an online resource that would let me make a comparison of real GDP over time, less government spending?

    1. GDP is a meaningless measurement since anything the government “adds” to the economy must first be removed.

      1. It can also be backloaded onto the next generation in the form of higher interest costs and slower future growth.

        1. Debt comes with opportunity cost, since that money that was used to buy bonds could have been invested in something productive.

          1. Sure, but if you can’t immediately see the costs, then Broken Windows = Prosperity, and MORE Broken Windows = Unimaginable Wealth!

            Just ask Krugman.

        2. since the goal should be to have the smallest government possible, government spending shouldn’t just be unincluded, it should be subtracted.

    2. Try starting here?
      http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa……e=tsieb020

      Also, here is a link to the Michigan State GlobalEdge website. It has an index for international statistical databases. Some stuff is restricted to academia, but much is available to you and me. It’s really an excellent resource. Too bad it started in Michigan. Fuck Michigan!

      http://globaledge.msu.edu/Glob…..ta-sources

      1. Woo! Grazia!

      2. hey!!! /Michigan resident

        1. Sorry LH, but scarlet and gray still flows through my veins.

          1. Grey is a little unusual. You should get that checked.

      3. Didn’t quite find what I was looking for there, but Estonia’s statistical database is proving useful thus far. Looks like C+I growth is roughly the same as GDP as a whole, but I’ll put together a graph later with gov’t spending as % of GDP overlaid.

  10. Perhaps Krugie can show us a country that is successfully deficit spending its way to prosperity?

    1. Obama’s America. What are you blind? Some wing nut or something?

      1. No shit, I’m literally surrounded by green shoots…

        Oh, that’s my lawn I haven’t mown in like two months because it’s 49 degrees and raining sideways. Fucking global warming.

    2. Perhaps you can show us a country where pure libertarianism has been implemented. There. That proves that libertarians are all wrong. Ha!

      /MNG

      1. Perhaps you can show us a country where pure libertarianism has been implemented.

        Somolia

        also – Drink

    3. Someone on the Seattle times forum pointed to sweden. I admit I had no answer to that.

      1. You mean, the Sweden that has a lower debt as a percentage of GDP than we do, and whose deficit a percentage of GDP has declined in since 2007? That Sweden?

        http://www.gecodia.com/Sweden-…..a1915.html

        I don’t see any way to attribute their prosperity to increased deficit spending, since their deficits have been declining.

        1. Thanks,RC.

  11. As the proud and happy husband of an Estonian wife, I can assure you, one and all: no one ever, ever, EVER wins an argument with an Estonian. 😉

    1. I am married to an Italian. You can win an argument with an Italian you just regret it later.

      1. I am married to an Italian. You can win an argument with an Italian you just regret it later.

        Much too specific. Substitute “woman” for “Italian” there and it remains a true statement.

        Well, OK, technically John didn’t specify the gender of the Italian he’s married to, but from the context of his previous posts I’m guessing female.

    2. You can be happy or right.

      I choose to be happy.

    3. When you win, you lose. When you lose, you win.

    4. I may have heard this. It’s also not coincidence that Estonians are the butt of a lot of jokes by Russkiis. But then, which of the two has the better country?

      Enjoy your arguments and your make-up bliss all the more, Mr. Duck.

  12. I might actually have to break my no Twitter rule just so I can follow this guy. Anyone who puts Krugnuts in his place is to be applauded.

  13. Estonia rocks — free markets, beautiful women, relatively socially free. They could use better gun laws, but are otherwise on the right path.

    Krugman can fuck himself.

    1. I just googled estonian women…I have to agree.

      1. Oh my. I like what I see. John would hate it there.

        1. No I wouldn’t. Google “Estonian Women” not “Estonian Boys”.

          1. I did, and I saw many slender ladies. Not your type at all.

            1. It is spelled “W*O*M*E*N” not “T*R*A*N*S*V*E*S*T*I*T*E”

              1. Excuse me for not buying into the idea that the ideal woman is some plastic surgeon’s pride and joy on the cover of a magazine.

            2. Russia, Estonia, Ukraine — every group of people contains a supermodel-grade chick or two. It’s like a never-ending men’s magazine — with motion, and 3D.

              1. every group of people contains a supermodel-grade chick or two.

                Everywhere except Maine. I swear they’re all built like something from a Stephen King movie. John would love it here.

                Needless to say, my wife is a transplant.

                1. I have to agree with sarcasmic’s anecdotal observation. As they say, the difference between a moose and a woman from Maine is the former has all it’s teeth.

                  1. *its

          2. And didn’t you hear? Calling someone “gay” is no longer demeaning. At least that’s what some wizard in a black robe said.

            1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay. I in no way mean it as an insult.

              1. Gay? No. Pederasty? That one is arguable.

              2. I in no way mean it as an insult.

                And yet there you are using it as one, asshole.

                Why are you such a sad pathetic fuckstain? sarcasmic has fun with you and you, in response to your clear discomfort with his ribbing, respond by slandering an entire population to demonstrate the validity of your choice.

                Epi was right, you really are a bore.

                1. I am a real bore. That is why you stalk me on here with profanity laced rants.

                  If I am so boring, do everyone a favor and find someone else to stalk. In the mean time, the more attention you pay, the more I know you really love me. Would me giving you a blowjob make you feel better?

        1. Of course it’s blocked by the filter at work.

          1. Wow someone actually has a more restrictive firewall at work than I do.

            It is safe for work, for those who can get to it.

        2. Not vouching for the music (haven’t really listened), but…

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE_nc1Tt5s8

          1. They’re Estonian, btw.

  14. Prime Minister Mart Laar, a recipient of Cato’s 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, who took inspiration from Friedman’s classic Free to Choose when implementing privatization programs and banking reform.

    Ah, there’s the rub. No wonder Krugnuts spews such vitriol against them. Estonia is run by heretics!

    1. Drones are on their way with Obama’s cleansing fire!

      1. Ok, I will have to say this did make me laugh pretty hard. Nice work, Hammer.

  15. Gotta love a president who doesn’t mind just going, “Hey, fuck you Krugman”

    Also, a man who can rock a pilgrim hat and not give a shit.

  16. “Deng Xiaoping realized already in the late 1970s, a decade before the collapse of what by then was simply a Soviet khrushchyovka of worn-out cards that a society or a country cannot borrow on the future, that productive creative labor is what must needs be allowed, and that privilege without merit leads to Soviet-style stagnation.”
    http://www.hoover.org/publicat…..cle/111786

    1. and that privilege without merit leads to Soviet-style stagnation.”

      It is not that Krugman disagrees with Deng. It is that he just doesn’t see how this is a bad thing.

  17. Yes, Krugman, you fucking shitlicker — because when former Eastern Bloc shitholes are being governed better than a fucking superpower, it’s clearly appropriate to mock the better government.

    Seriously, what a fucking degenerate Krugman is.

  18. Let’s write about something we know nothing about be smug, overbearing patronizing: after all, they’re just wogs

    How do we get this guy on November’s ballot?

    1. When’s the last time a significant politician was anywhere near this honest and candid? The guy’s the fucking president of a country. Can you imagine Husseinius Obamus Barackus Caesar doing something like that?

      1. When’s the last time a significant politician was anywhere near this honest and candid?

        This is pretty much the main reason I’d never be able to make it in politics. I hate schmoozing with people I don’t like, and I have been known to blurt out uncomfortable truths when under duress. That doesn’t get you anywhere in politics.

        1. I don’t even have to be under duress.

          For example: John likes fat chicks.

          See? Uncomfortable truth, and no duress.

          And it doesn’t help me make friends, either.

        2. I’d pander. Then, when in power:

          “So, motherfuckers, what about an executive order commanding 90% of the federal government to cease operations immediately? Sound good? No? Well, you don’t got a say.”

          1. Well, I would hope President RPA wouldn’t drive near any grassy knolls…because that’s exactly what would happen, sadly.

            1. Your PhD in pessimism (or, maybe, it’s realism) is causing you to say things that depress me. Stop being so mean. 🙁

              Seriously, though, I don’t doubt such a presidency would have a hard time surviving in the current era.

              1. You’d just need to use the Biden strategy and choose a V.P. that would be even worse.

  19. …that a society or a country cannot borrow on the future, that productive creative labor is what must needs be allowed,…

    An actual communist has a better grasp of economics than our dear leader.

  20. Krugman is just jealous that H.E. Toomas Ilves is able to go home each evening at tear that ass up like Captain Caveman. Whereas, Paulie is married to a were-lemur.

    1. Good God Krugnuts’ wife is hideous. That probably explains a lot about why he is the way he is. He married a troll. He just needs a good “old fashioned” from an Estonian super model and he’ll be back to normal.

      1. It also says something that his wife/collaborator was so incompetent as an economist that she was forced to become a yoga instructor.

      2. She has that same “they taught me this in college” butt hurt look about her that Susan Fluke has. It is not an attractive look.

    2. PhD in economics from Berkeley. That’s an indictment, not a degree.

    3. Holy Shit!

      I didn’t think my admiration for Ilves could get higher but hot damn.

    4. I’m growing my hair out, and then you show me a pic of this hot woman with a hot pixie cut and it’s making me waver in my commitment to the longer locks (almost to my chin now!). Goddammit.

  21. “Yet let us be clear about what this means: Fiscally responsible countries will be asked to support fiscally profligate countries in the name of democracy.

    You can do it for a while, but if you are a country like Estonia, where the gdp per capita is almost the same as Greece but where the average salary is lower than the Greek minimum wage and where the pensions and agricultural supports within an internal market are three times lower, it is a matter of time before our voters revolt. The government in my country and the opposition voted to support the European Financial Stability Facility to aid a country richer than us and profligate. Three quarters of the parliament voted in favor. But, note: 75 percent of the population was against.”

    1. And this is why freedom, not democracy, is the correct goal, and why our public schools are such putrid failures.

  22. Obama lets it be known that Michelle gives lousy blow jobs.

    http://www.politico.com/politi…..25518.html

    1. That is a huge fuck-up on his part. You don’t make sex jokes about your wife as President.

      1. That is a huge fuck-up on his part. You don’t make sex jokes about your wife as President.

        ftfy

        1. You’re right, but I’m not running for re-election.

    2. Ew. Receving a blowjob from Michelle Obama. Ewwwwwwwwww.

      1. I’d have to burn it off immediately afterwards. And then rub rock salt into the resulting crater. Just to be sure.

    3. Wow. Talk about no class.

      1. Reminds me of that kid on Fat Albert

        “You’re like school at five o’clock in the mornin’! No class!”

      2. Yeah, that’s not just wrong for a president to say.

        That’s wrong in any kind of gig outside of open mike night at your local dive.

    4. Stay classy, D.C.

      By the way, Barry, just cover your dick in chocolate sauce. Michelle would be on that like, well, Michelle at a Shoney’s.

    5. The media gives him better hummers, I’m sure.

    6. That falls into what you would call a cultural violation. Even Clinton didn’t trash talk about Hillary in public and for good reason. It’s not acceptable form for a President in the US culture. You can sleep around, you can make a lewd joke about someone else, but never trash talk the First Lady. It just doesn’t fly in American politics and it will come back to haunt him.

    7. “Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,”

      Why am I not surprised that a wookie would be able to outdo scrawny metrosexual hipster* douche.

      As for her BJ proficiency, perhaps he should just thank his lucky stars that she doesn’t just yank it off. I’m sure and enraged wookie would have no trouble with that.

      *Assuming black people can be hipsters.

      1. Assuming black people can be hipsters

        What do you think?

    8. I think Obama was implying that he is so hung, that no woman could take all of his shaft.

      1. Yes, that’s exactly what he meant. And I would know. [stares dreamily at HOPE poster from ’08 election]

    9. And to think, many Americans are proud of the way they choose their “leaders”. They ought to be embarrassed.

  23. All this talk about Krugman, and all that comes to my mind when I think of him is that he is a colossal prick.

  24. Estonia uses the Euro, which means they’re bogged down by that currency. Whatever effect Estonia’s austerity is having, their economy still has to overcome the deadweight of the Euro. We in the U.S. wouldn’t have that problem.

    Second, shouldn’t we see Estonia’s GDP graph against the rest of the Euro using EU? How are non-austerity countries in the EU performing relative to Estonia?

    Krugman isn’t just failing to compare apples to apples here–I’m not even sure he’s bothering to make a comparison. He’s comparing austerity Estonia to what? Itself?

    How ’bout comparing it to a non-austerity country?

  25. When in an asinine bit of pro-government propaganda not based on reality, bureaucrats count government spending as part of GDP, regardless of whether that spending is for the equivalent of digging ditches and then filling them up again, it isn’t that hard to figure out that cutting government spending is going to result in a temporary dip in government measured GDP.

    Subtract out government spending from that graph, and a different picture might arise.

  26. Estonia, you say? All right then.

  27. Prediction: in a few decades, they’ll be teaching economics students how the suddenly-fashionable idealism of “austerity” pushed by the libertarians is the primary cause for the recession in europe. After all look at those charts, they both appeared at roughly the same time (if you don’t sweat causality issues or the definition of austerity).

    Those of us still alive will have reputations as cranky old geezers you do not want to get started ranting about economics.

    1. Yep. That about sums it up.

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