Wednesday, January 25, 2012

John Carney — Obama's New Protectionism

Read it at CNBC NetNet

Obama's New Protectionism
by John Carney | CNBC Senior Editor

John points out that Matt Yglesias takes the president to task for mercantilism, and Greg Mankiw criticizes him from the right for "xenophobic" protectionism.

Carney concludes:
Nationalism is on the rise across Europe, both in the periphery states tired of being bossed around and the core states tired of being asked to open their pocketbooks. Last night, President Obama joined the chorus that has just begun to sing the praises of "me first" economics.
This is just the sort of thing that Christine LeGarde was taking about when she warned of a "30's moment." Been there, done that. Why are we walking, or maybe running, down that path?


widmerpool said...


Because Republicans wouldn't budge an inch on anything. So now Obama will use every tool available to get reelected.

Obama is a centrist Dem at heart but he was cornered into this new populism.

Matt Franko said...

John quotes Yglesias:

"I think Gene Sperling must have been on vacation when they drafted the speech or something."


Sperling (Rubinite) was not on vacation; I believe I heard him interviewed on CNBC itself yesterday in advance of the speech and was talking it up... this whole speech was textbook "Rubinomics": "taxpayer on the hook", bond vigilantes in control therefore we have to "pay for" everything, "we have to compete" (ie in the race to the bottom).

Where is Sperling's record to the opposite?

I have to agree with John here, there is a lot of "protectionism" underlying the speech. And potential for crony-ism as to which companies get the tax advantages, etc...


Dan Kervick said...

Ygelsias campaigned for Romney's Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign when the former was at Harvard. I think he still has a crush on him.