Traduz-se bem para português pela pena do Eça de Queiroz e a voz do grande João da Ega:
“Lisboa é Portugal! Fora de Lisboa não há nada!. O País está todo entre a Arcada e São Bento.”
O resto aplica-se, tal e qual, sem necessidade de tradução ... Krugman, sempre ele:
Dan Drezner has an interesting article in Politico that’s framed as a rebuttal to Nick Kristof’s condemnation of irrelevant academics, but is actually much broader. Drezner argues that there are three tribes — money men, political insiders, and academics — each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each of which would be well advised to listen to the others (but doesn’t).
One passage expresses extremely well what anti-austerians were and to some extent still are fighting against:
One of the Beltway tribe’s greatest strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses: groupthink. As I noted before, a Beltway consensus actually counts for something in the world of international policymaking. That does not mean that this consensus emerges from any solid analysis, however. For example, a hidden cause of the enthusiasm for austerity in Washington that crested in 2010 was the consensus among foreign policy pundits that U.S. debt was spiraling out of control, rendering Washington vulnerable to foreign holders of U.S. Treasuries. This groupthink formed at the same time that the budget deficit as a percentage of output was shrinking at the fastest rate in American history. By the time the consensus had emerged, however, the change in the facts didn’t matter. Since the principal activity of Beltway folk is to talk to each other, the result is a feedback loop of confirmation bias that eventually leads to epistemic closure.
Yes indeed. When you tried to talk about the deficit, and why it didn’t deserve the crisis rhetoric, you ran up not so much against people who disagreed but people who thought that “nobody” shared your relaxed attitude; it was “Paul Krugman against the world.” I mean, surely nobody else was that crazy. Except that the anti-austerians were intellectual moderates, basically applying Econ 101, while the austerians were making up new economic doctrines on the fly to justify their groupthink.
Drezner also mentions that his own most influential publication was one making the obvious point that China’s ownership of a bunch of US bonds doesn’t give it leverage over America; a point people like Dean Baker and yours truly have also made. When you try to make this point to Beltway types, however, you encounter not so much disagreement as incredulity — “everyone” knows that China has immense power over us, “nobody” disagrees. Indeed, if you go to the link you’ll see that Dean was reacting to a news article that stated the Chinese power thing not as a dubious hypothesis but as simple fact.
The thing about this epistemic closure is that it’s highly resistant not just to analysis but to experience. Rarely in the course of human events has “everyone” been so wrong, and “nobody” so right, as in the case of the alleged deficit threat. Yet you will have a hard time finding anyone among the fearmongers acknowledging his wrongness, let alone engaging in some self-examination about why he was wrong. After all, he was only saying what everyone knew was true.