Niall Ferguson: It’s the Stupid Economy

If you thought Niall Ferguson was an insufferable git in print, just wait

Matt Duss introduces this video: “If you thought Niall Ferguson was an insufferable git in print, just wait.”

Certainly, he’s rather theatrical for my tastes.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Liberty60 says:

    OK, so Ferguson’s suggestion is that by reducing the corporate income tax, small businesses will rush out and start hiring?

    I happen to be a midlaevel manager at a small A/E firm.
    We paid less in taxes than what we would earn on one single project;
    We paid far less in taxes than we spent on marketing.

    Or to put it another way- if our taxes were reduced to zero, we would not hire a single person.
    One new project would pay our taxes, recoup our marketing expenses and leave anough left over for free pizza and beer for the staff.

    Many of our clients are not building things, because no one is buying buildings. Accordingly, the development firms have little or no income- they hve laid off their staff, and are left with a skeleton crew of shareholders who are living off of their personal wealth or other investments.


    What level of taxation would cause a real estate developer to begin building something when no one is buying?
    You have heard about that 47% who supposedly pay no taxes? Ferguson’s theory is to give them a tax break, in hopes they may rush out and start buying things.

    “Insufferable git” is not nearly strong enough an insult for Ferguson. We need something more vicious, something far more sordid and personal an insult, something that captures that combination of stupidity, arrogance, preening self-importance and depraved indiffierence to the suffering of others.

    I suggest Republican.

  2. Hey Norm says:

    We are a low tax nation.
    Many companies that hire overseas pay more in taxes to those countries than they do to this country.
    It’s DEMAND, stupid!

  3. john personna says:

    Important and related:

    The social safety net is broken

    Less unctuous to boot.

  4. Ben Wolf says:

    Ferguson is the poster-child for why neo-liberal/supply side economics needs to be put out to pasture: it cannot provide an accurate description of the problem, and it cannot prescribe an effective solution other than “More neo-liberal/supply side economics.”

  5. Lomax says:

    This year, sales of Halloween related goods (candy, costumes, masks, cupcakes, soft drinks, hot dogs, and admissions to Haunted Trails/Houses and scary movies) were at an all time high.
    Attendance at “professional” sports, including wrestling, has increased. Movie attendance is up. Video game sales are up.
    Based on this, is the economy in that bad of shape? Someone has some money, not just wealthy people.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    What a twat this guy is. I own a corp. I pay zero corporate taxes. How are you going to cut them? And if I paid some, how would cutting them cause me to hire someone? To do what? I’d take the money and travel overseas. It would be a break for French waiters and Spanish hoteliers.

  7. Drew says:

    “It’s DEMAND, stupid!”

    GDP was 2.5% – the long term average – in the third quarter.