So Greg Mankiw seems to be upset that all his economist buddies are supporting Obama. In a post called, “A View from India,” he quotes a newspaper columnist arguing that Barack Obama “embodies protectionism,” while John McCain has, “the courage and conviction to stand up to protectionist populism”. He then turns on that Mankiw charm, concluding with:
If any of my economist friends who are working for Obama wants to defend his positions on ethanol subsidies, tariffs on Chinese goods, the Byrd amendment, etc., shoot me an email, and I will gladly post it for my blog readers. But I am not holding my breath.
This is just silly, though I suppose it’s to be expected from guy who calls himself upper middle class while earning, in all probability, a couple mil a year. Does Mankiw really think that Obama “embodies protectionism?” Does he believe that Obama, once in office, will go on a tariff-increasing spree? Does Mankiw stop to consider that Obama might actually end up serving the cause of internationalism better than McCain, by promoting broad-based growth and not, you know, warring with everyone? And speaking of the view from India, have a look at The Economist‘s global electoral college. It certainly seems that India, along with most of the rest of the world, doesn’t share Mankiw’s concerns.
And yeah, yeah, Obama has some bad economic policies. Does Mankiw want to defend every last one of McCain’s economic policies? How about a spending freeze during a deep recession? Want to defend that? Or the gas tax holiday? It’s clear that Mankiw prefers McCain, and that’s fine. It’s absurd to act like most of the country’s economists–like most of the country’s voters–have been suckered in to supporting the guy against our better judgment.