The Defining Issue of the 2012 Elections: Jobs Through Gold?

The candidates of both parties finally have realized that the defining issue of the 2012 presidential election will be job creation.  President Barack Obama leads with a proposal that commentator Larry Kudlow calls, persuasively, a straight jacket rather than a jobs creator.  The Wall Street Journal loves the plan put forth by the fast-fading Huntsman and slams the first-tier Romney plan. Meanwhile, a credible key to explosive jobs growth begins to come to the fore:  a credible monetary policy prescription for a seriously stable dollar.

A sure signal of a rising policy vector? The Washington Post sends forth a top gunslinger to attack it — “it” being the gold standard and the GOP candidates for considering it.  The Washington Post‘s Pulitzer-winning business and economics columnist Steven Pearlstein writes in his Sept. 10 column, “The magical world of voodoo ‘economists’“:

 

If you came up with a bumper sticker that pulls together the platform of this year’s crop of Republican presidential candidates, it would have to be:

Repeal the 20th century. Vote GOP.

They reject as thoroughly discredited all of Keynesian economics….

They also reject the efficacy of monetary stimulus to fight recession, and give the strong impression they wouldn’t mind abolishing the Federal Reserve and putting the country back on the gold standard.

… Rick Perry stands up and declares that “Keynesian policy and Keynesian theory is now done,” not one candidate is willing to speak up for the most important economic thinker of the 20th century….

I realize economics isn’t a science the way biology and physics are sciences, but it’s close enough to one that there are ideas, principles and insights from experience that economists generally agree upon. Listening to the Republicans talk about the economy and economic policy, however, is like entering into an alternative reality.

 

Too facile and too glib, Steve.

To call Keynes “the most important economic thinker of the 20th century” is, well, just weird.  Ten years ago no less than The New Yorker’s John Cassidy wrote an extensive column, The Price Prophet, explaining why Hayek, not Keynes, was the most important economic thinker of the 20th century.  Cassidy is no right winger.  Pearlstein, do at least try to keep up.

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