Krugman: Economic Contraction Begets Rightwing Extremism

Tribesman Paul Krugman short-shrifts his Harvard homie Benjamin Friedman in favor of a couple of Germans! who make exactly the same Captain Obvious Point! The outrage! There ought to be a law!

Krugman is alarmed that economic contraction leads to so-called “right wing extremism”

That’s the message of a recent paper by the economists Markus Brückner and Hans Peter Grüner, who find a striking correlation between economic performance and political extremism in advanced nations: in both America and Europe, periods of low economic growth tend to be associated with a rising vote for right-wing and nationalist political parties. The rise of the Tea Party, in other words, was exactly what we should have expected in the wake of the economic crisis.

So where does our political system go from here? Over the near term, a lot will depend on economic recovery. If the economy continues to add jobs, we can expect some of the air to go out of the Tea Party movement.

But don’t expect extremists to lose their grip on the G.O.P. anytime soon. What we’re seeing in places like Utah and Maine isn’t really a change in the party’s character: it has been dominated by extremists for a long time. The only thing that’s different now is that the rest of the country has finally noticed.

Here’s the Germans’ article:

16 May 2010 Print Email
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Will the global crisis lead to a rise in political extremism just as during the Great Depression? This column examines the vote share for extreme parties in a sample of 16 OECD countries over three decades. A one-percentage-point decline in growth leads to a one-percentage-point increase in the vote share for right-wing or nationalist parties.

The global crisis has hit OECD nations hard – the hardest since the crises of the 1930s. As the Great Depression was associated with a rise in political extremism, the world may be facing similar political developments today. Understanding to what extent declining growth rates lead to political extremism is hence of high importance. Is political extremism always likely to be marginal in rich economies? Will changes in growth promote support for right-wing or left-wing parties, or both?

Benjamin Friedman has argued that GDP per capita growth is a key factor for the development of a political system (Friedman 2005). His analysis, based on various historical case studies, points out that only a continuous improvement of individual living standards provides the ground for the development of what he calls a more “open” society. Accordingly, it is not so much the level of GDP that determines the way in which a democracy develops but the growth rate.

Over the last decades, political parties with extreme platforms frequently challenged more moderate incumbents in many western democracies. These entrants into the political market challenged long-term political incumbents with platforms that included major differences in the distribution of resources compared to more standard policies. In many cases, such political platforms propose to redistribute resources away from specific subgroups of society such as ethnic minorities, or citizens of specific regions.

In our recent CEPR Discussion Paper (Brückner and Grüner 2010), we examine the question of how GDP per capita growth is linked to the support for extreme policy platforms for a panel of 16 OECD countries. Our paper highlights the link between political regimes that emerge from the success of extreme electoral platforms and rising individual uncertainty about future income streams. Economic growth makes this uncertainty more costly for risk-averse voters. Declining growth rates reduce incentives of poor individuals to shy away from extreme policy platforms. Redistributing away from specific groups is more tempting when there is little prospect for improvements in the future.

In our empirical analysis, we proxy the support for extreme policy platforms by the share of votes received by right-wing or nationalist parties in the surveys conducted by the ZEUS on voting attitudes during the period 1970 to 2002. Obtaining an estimate of the causal effect of output growth on the support for extreme policies is of course complicated by many other factors – such as history and culture – that likely shape both the support for extreme policies and economic growth. We address this issue by controlling in our empirical analysis for so-called country fixed effects, which allows us to identify the link between economic growth and the support for extreme policies from exclusively the within-country variation of our panel data. We also exploit the significant response of OECD countries’ output growth to oil price shocks to study – using instrumental variables techniques – how a plausibly exogenous shock to per capita GDP growth is linked to the support for extreme policies.

Our main finding is that higher per capita GDP growth is significantly negatively linked to the support for extreme political positions. While estimates vary between specifications, we find that roughly a one percentage point decline in growth translates into a one percentage point higher vote share of right-wing or nationalist parties. Moreover, we find that the amount of income inequality in a country affects the role that growth plays. Highly unequal countries display a lower growth effect than more equal countries. For countries with a more equal distribution of income, a one percentage point drop in the growth rate may increase the vote share of far right parties by up to two percentage points.

Our results therefore make clear that countries should not expect right-wing parties to get majorities unless growth declines quite as much as in the 1920s. Nevertheless, even with a less significant fall in economic growth rates, a rise in support for extreme parties is likely to change political outcomes – for example through their impact on incumbent parties’ political platforms.

Our more recent research on the vote shares of other groups of political parties points out that smaller growth rates mostly benefit right wing and nationalist parties – and not so much the communist parties. One explanation for this asymmetry may be that voters perceive right wing parties as generating more individual income uncertainty.

Our results lend support to Benjamin Friedman’s view that economic growth determines the direction in which a democracy develops. This also implies that solving Europe’s growth problem may have important consequences that lie outside the purely economic sphere.

If they want to bring back the “economic growth par-tay” for Americans, they’ll have to deport millions of immigrants. Barring that, we get organic, deep rooted, cultural growth of “right wing extremism” which in my view, is just common sense. Liberalism depends on cornucopianism.

Our job is to take advantage of the situation, since we are not under any American exceptionalist religious illusions that “God gives us prosperity” and therefore we should “feed the world.”

I have been talking about Friedman’s book for years. He thinks the “moral consequences of economic growth” are good — that is, people are “tolerant, and open.” I think economic growth is just a Jewish bribe of our moral compass, corrupting and co-opting the more easily corrupted, and silencing the rest of us with the power of the well funded Anarcho-Tyranny state.

Surplus wealth has been the weapon of Anarcho-Tyranny; a huge “jobs and patronage program” for liberal bureaucrats. This is what Krugman and Friedman celebrate, and fear to lose. Whose going to pay for “landlord testers” to call landlords and make sure they are renting to minorities? Whose going to enforce diversity? How will companies be able to pay for affirmative action employees who don’t pull their weight? Good question.

I fear for those poor tenured professors, who will have to resort to walking around with a sandwich board that reads, “Will deconstruct the white male patriarchy . . . for food. No skills, please help. My intentions were always good.” LOL.


  1. declining growth rates reduce incentives of poor individuals to shy away from extreme policy platforms. Redistributing away from specific groups is more tempting when there is little prospect for improvements in the future.

    With less to lose, the two party system becomes commies versus far right. The Jews will back the commies of course. But we intend to play on the Jews sacred ground. We aren’t medieval Christians, so we’ll go after the banking and economy-control niche. If we seize that piece of ground, our enemies lose their best and really only advantage.

  2. “If they want to bring back the “economic growth par-tay” for Americans, they’ll have to deport millions of immigrants…. Liberalism depends on cornucopianism.”

    Deporting millions of immigrants will not restore the cornucopia.

  3. Coincidently Kuntsler’s rant addresses this today, in a tour de force of crackerpohibia. Its hilarious how white and jewish lefties have no respect what so ever for the non white ultru-lumpen. Only Whites are capable of anything beyond mowing a lawn.

  4. Soren,

    Deporting the immigrants, relocalizing the economy, going to mass transit and local agriculture, and repudiating odious Jewish bankster debt would restore the cornucopia for an America of say, 200 million. Then we might be able to solve the resource problems in a smart way.

    We need to criticize the incompetence of the international jewish banksters who control the “conventional economy.” They are not only crooks of the first order, but they suck as a managerial elite. The GOM spill is an example of international bankster economics — growth at any cost.

    The banksters would rather destroy the Gulf of Mexico, than cut their nation-wide and Europe-wide Psy-Ops program of mass media and government schooling against Whites.

  5. What’s so hard to understand? You deny Whites jobs by reserving them for non-Whites, you import tens of millions of more non-Whites and give them money and services that have been extracted from Whites, you allow White jobs and technology to be sent overseas, and you are surprised when Whites want to replace you? Are these people neurologically impaired, or are they simply lying in order to prolong the game and steal a bit more?

  6. Discard,

    So true. They have been telling us, “you’re fired and replaced,” and, surprise, surprise, we get the same idea!

  7. Kunstler is one of those to be fired, I hope. I’m sick and tired of his ‘cracker’ bashing.

  8. So contraction begets “extremism”. And Krugman, by virtue of being a Nobel Prize-winning economist who gives horrible economic advice (let’s borrow our way out of the debt crisis!), begets economic contraction.

    Maybe he’s a closet white nationalist. Thanks for the help, Paul!

  9. I like how the article casually mentions the rise of ‘political extremism’ during the Great Depression without defining it. God forbid we see any of the political extremism that men like Charles Lindbergh and Charles Coughlin exhibited leading up to World War 2. Wait, didn’t see that kind of anti-war extremism during the Bush Jr. years…from liberals? I guess it’s kosher as long as you don’t mention the tribe.

  10. Amazing what these spoiled kosher pointyheads call “extremism”: Tea-Partiers, Arizonans vs. illegal immigrants. Just a bit further down the road, they are in for a serious shock. Post regime-change, we might, for starters, encourage certain members of the Tribe to perform actual, physical work. I’m thinking “shovel-ready jobs”, and the like.

  11. CompassionateFascist,

    The main thing we have to fight for is the right to our own work, which isn’t controlled or mediated by Jews. With just this much freedom, we can do amazing things.

    You’re quite right though, about how mentally sheltered liberals are. Jews in Boston call Pat Buchanan a “neo-Nazi,” LOL. I think it really bothers them that he uses wink-wink type code words. They are terrified that we are wink winking and code-wording and conspiring AGAINST THEM the way they conspire against us.

  12. Buchanan is a threat to them because he’s confident and articulate and he has mainstream credibility. They get very uncomfortable when you aren’t in a white robe shouting racial epithets because there’s a chance you might attract an intelligent following.

    The main problem with the right wing is their slavish devotion to economic libertarianism. It’s a crippling flaw that needs to be drawn out of them like a poison. They need to have the Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul beaten out of them if they’re to be useful to anyone in the future.

  13. “I fear for those poor tenured professors, who will have to resort to walking around with a sandwich board that reads, “Will deconstruct the white male patriarchy . . . for food. No skills, please help. My intentions were always good.” LOL.”

    This may be coming sooner than you or they think. That idiot tribesman Robert Reich has been trying to make himself seem like “one of the people” by pointing out that as a California academic his salary was cut by 10%, and he bought his house at the top of the market. I prefer to think it shows he’s simply another “super smart” judaic fake [a la Kagan].

    More here:

  14. Sure I would think most would like a White nation under a Constitutional Republic like way back, however that was stood on its head by the Jews.
    These are extreme times and extreme solutions are called for, nothing less will do.

    I have to tell you always felt it would come down to Commies versus National Socialists in the end.

    That may seem ridiculous to many and I can’t say I blame those who feel that it is so yet I can’t shake that long time feeling.

    Contrary to what so many good people — out of sheer terror of ‘Communism’ — think, Capitalism is not ‘free enterprise,’ an incentive for success, ‘a chance for all.’ Capitalism is trusts, speculation, parasitical usury. Capitalism is J. P. Morgan, Rothschild’s bank, ripping apart the nations like maddened swine. Capitalism is the Jewish frying pan in which culture is rendered down to the grease of money. Following it, as the night to day, is the thrice hotter Jewish fire of ‘Communism.’

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