Jon Stewart trounces Paul Krugman

January 25th, 2013

One of the ways you know you’re living in a closed society is that only only the Jester can criticize the king and keep his head. The Jester has freedoms the King’s advisers don’t have because no matter how scathing a truth he exposes he can always claim to be only kidding. In America the power is disbursed, and the critics get pink slips instead of decapitation, but the result is the same. Most of the media are boot licking cronies of the authoritarian class, anyone with any real integrity gets booted out of the industry or relegated to alternative media. What’s left is a select few comedians who expose the idiotic idiosyncrasies of the sociocrats.

Jon Stewart is one such comedian, evidenced by the fact that the Daily Show, on Comedy Central, is one of the best rated “news shows” in the country. Now he’s taking shots at one of King’s henchmen, court economist Paul Krugman. But the so-called “rare gray-bearded urban laureate” is firing back.

It started when Stewart did a segment on one of the stupidest economic ideas I’ve ever heard of. Some economists are seriously suggesting we can avoid an economic catastrophe by minting coins and declaring them worth a trillion dollars. We’ve covered this before. Stewart said, “I’m not an economist, but if we’re just going to make shit up, I say go big or go home” suggesting a “100 quillion dollar bill.”

(Part of me thinks he meant to say “quintillion,” but since we’re working in the realm of unicorns and rainbows here I’ve chosen to pretend Jon Stewart is making a porcupine reference here.)

What’s hilarious about this is that people see immediately how idiotic a proposal it is to magically create a trillion dollars out of nothing, and a lot of people joke about larger amounts, but this is exactly how every dollar comes into being anyway, even every penny, which is just as silly if you think about it.

Anyway, Krugman didn’t take kindly to the ridicule and published a blog post calling Stewart’s economic acumen ”intellectual laziness.” Because apparently you have to be a Princeton Professor of Economics to understand this nonsense.

Krugman said, “what went wrong here is a lack of professionalism on the part of Stewart and his staff. Yes, it’s a comedy show — but the jokes are supposed to be (and usually are) knowing jokes, which are funny and powerful precisely because the Daily Show people have done their homework and understand the real issues better than the alleged leaders spouting nonsense. In this case, however, it’s obvious that nobody at TDS spent even a few minutes researching the topic. It was just yuk-yuk-yuk they’re talking about a trillion-dollar con hahaha.”

Apparently Krugman doesn’t realize that he is one of those “alleged leaders spouting nonsense.” But Stewart wasn’t going to drop it. He did a follow up segment poking fun at Krugman specifically and in the end said, “my ignorant conclusion is that minting a trillion-dollar coin to allow the president to circumvent the debt ceiling, no matter how arbitrary that may be, is a stupid fucking idea.”

Here’s a good break down of the fight from the Young Turks. It’s a little partisan for my taste, but it’s got the video:

Apparently cronies that surround Krugman are asking him to make his case on the Daily Show to which he said, “Um, first I have to be invited—which hasn’t happened since, I think, 2005.”

How awesome of a showdown would that be! The King’s economist debating the Jester on monetary policy. I’d pay to see it.

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About the Author: Davi Barker

In grade school Davi refused to recite the pledge of allegiance because he didn't understand what it meant. He was ordered to do as he was told. In college he spent hours scouring through the congressional record trying to understand this strange machine. That's where he discovered Dr. Ron Paul. In 2007 he joined the End The Fed movement and found a political home with the libertarians. The Declaration of Independence claims that the government derives its power “from the consent of the governed." He does not consent.