Monday, April 6, 2009

Great Depression and Great Recession Compared

By Eichengreen and O'Rourke, two leading economic historians, who say that the plunge now is worse worldwide than in the 1930s but the policy response is better.


This exchange would be crude even by the standards of American TV shoutfests. Mélenchon may confuse Article 2 of the NATO treaty with Article 5, but he's right on the merits, and Lellouche's willful confusion of the issue, substituting voluntary participation in Afghanistan with the ostensibly obligatory treaty response to an attack on a member state, is shocking for someone who aspires to foreign policy responsibility. Of course, in reality, every member state can opt out of responding as required by the treaty, but the whole point of collective defense is to induce in the mind of a potential enemy substantial doubt as to the wisdom of attempting a strike on an isolated member.

Lellouche's challenge to Mélenchon to fight a duel brings the absurdity to a pinnacle.