Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And Paul Krugman was on the grassy knoll, too

Yessiree, you heard it from wingnut central. Paul Krugman's massive fail from his August 2, 2002 column -- where he predicted that the Fed would attempt to inflate a housing bubble and grumpily predicted that it would not work (so much for Krugman's infallibility!) -- actually means... hold your breaths people... KRUGMAN CAUSED THE HOUSING BUBBLE!

Now you might wonder how that can be, since Krugman never had any power in the Bush administration and was pretty much on Alan Greenspan's shit list. But there's a story about that, a story that starts on a Monday evening in a brew pub in Phoenix, as a number of us comic book geeks and writers meet to, well, geek out on a day when there won't be too many jocks there to make fun of us. It is a sordid tale of mind control and supervillains, vast conspiracies and interest rates. So here, without ado, is the whole truth of what happened that Monday evening...


[Stan] Hey, Penguin! Guess what? I sold my latest comic book!
[Me] Oh get outta here. Which one was that?
[Stan] It was the alternate universe one, "Captain Bubble vs. the Legion of Central Bankers."
[Me] ... I don't think I'm familiar with that one. What's it about?
[Stan] Okay. First, there's Captain Bubble. He's the villain, and his secret identity is as a mild-mannered economist named Paul.
[Me] Paul? Your supervillain is named... Paul?!
[Stan] But I gave him a German last name, okay? Krugman! Heil! He has, like, a monocle and stuff! And anyhow, his evil plot is opposed by the Legion of Central Bankers, which is Alan and Ben. Uhm, Captain Oracle and Captain Helicopter. And there's also this secret society called the Austrians, they're not evil or anything, but they hope both Captain Bubble and the Legion of Central Bankers fail.
[Me] A lot of Captains there. Okay, so this is a superhero alternate universe comic. So what's Captain Oracle's secret power?
[Stan] He's an Oracle. He makes announcements and they come true!
[Me] That's it? He makes announcements?
[Stan] Well, he also sets interest rates, but that's kinda boring.
[Me] Okay. What about Captain Helicopter?
[Stan] He... (looks embarassed). He flies a helicopter.
[Me] That's it? He flies a helicopter? What kind of superpower is that?
[Stan] And he drops money out of the back of it! Money he creates out of thin air! That's a superpower, isn't it?
[Me] I'm not getting a good feeling about this story. So okay, what about Captain Bubble? What's his secret power?
[Stan] He... creates bubbles.
[Me] Excuse me?
[Stan] You heard me, he creates bubbles!
[Me] Uhm, okay, but so does my five year old girl.
[Stan] But not like this! See, Captain Bubble's super power is mind control! In my comic book, he controls the mind of Captain Oracle and forces Captain Oracle to... to... lower interest rates! And thus creates a housing bubble.
[Me] Mind control ... interest rates ... Dude. Nobody's going to want to read something so boring. Interest rates? How does this mind control thing work anyhow? Does he have, like, a mind control ray gun or something?
[Stan] Oh no. He has a column in the New York Times.
[Me] A... column in the New York Times. And ... uhm ... how does that work, exactly?
[Stan] Well, see, he encrypts secret mind control instructions that, get this, only the Legion of Central Bankers and the Austrians can see! Here, look at this example of one of his columns. Mere mortals like you and I and conservative economists just see a grumpy economist observing that Captain Oracle has no good options to improve the economy, but both the Legion of Central Bankers and the Austrians see the real message -- the secret mind control instructions that say decrease interest rates and cause a housing bubble! And only the intervention of Helicopter Ben several years later breaks Oracle Allen out of his fugue and returns things to normal.
[Me] What about the Austrians?
[Stan] They just sit on the sidelines and throw rotten fruit at both sides.
[Me] That's it? That's the plot? The whole thing?
[Stan] Pretty much, yeah.
[Me] Dude, that comic book sucks big time. Nobody would ever buy that. I mean, even bad science fiction has to have at least some plausibility. Like, how come nobody else can see these secret mind control instructions in Captain Bubble's editorials? Get outta here!
[Stan] But I already sold it!
[Me] Yeah? What kinda moron woulda bought somethin' like that?
[Stan] It was an outfit called The Mises Institute.
[Me] The Mises Institute?
[Stan] Yeah! And... hey. Get this. They think it is real!
[Me] Dude!

And now you know the TRUE story :-).

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. Here's some "right wing" feedback.

  2. Heh. Little do they know that I was actually there when their response was written! See above :-).

    -- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  3. What do you expect? These are the same idiots who believe that Fannie Mae caused the subprime crisis, and that ACORN stole the election for Obama, who is actually a Muslim sleeper agent and not actually an American citizen. These are not, in any sense of the word, sane, rational adults.

  4. Uh , Er , I really don't think they are on LSD , sounds more like Belladonna or some other poisonous plant . Perhaps Yahai ?
    an experienced w3ski


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