Niall Ferguson's Absurd Critique of Obama in One Chart

Niall Ferguson's Absurd Critique of Obama in One Chart

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 19 2012 8:53 PM

Niall Ferguson's Absurd Critique of The Obama Administration in One Chart


Niall Ferguson, the once-distinguished economic historian turned crank political pundit has a big attention-grabbing piece in Newsweek offering a comprehensive takedown of Barack Obama and his tenure in office. Indeed, it's so comprehensive as to be completely incoherent. Noah Smith notes, for example, that it's odd to simultaneously deride fiscal stimulus while asserting that the looming "fiscal cliff" will deal a terrible blow to the American economy. But really the chart above tells you all that you need to about the ridiculous kitchen sink quality of the argument.

Ferguson is implicitly making two points with this graphic and it's difficult to know which of them is more absurd—the idea that Obama is responsible for rapid economic growth in China or the idea that if he were responsible that would be blameworthy.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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