CNBC's Joe Kernen Mocks Chris Matthews: 'You Studied Economics?'

June 2nd, 2011 11:37 PM

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday got a much-needed economics lesson from CNBC's Joe Kernen.

In the midst of a discussion about the economy and how it's going to impact the 2012 elections, the "Hardball" host bragged about having studied economics in grad school leading Kernen to marvelously ask, "You studied economics?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: If you were to advise Romney or one of these other guys who’s a little more exciting what would be their biggest indictment of Obama next year, what’s it going to sound like?

JOE KERNEN, CNBC: I would say $800 billion. Do you remember what we did to cut 40 billion? 800 billion and we’re at 9 percent [unemployment]. We’re trying to cut 4 trillion in ten years, Simpson-Bowles. It would be 3 trillion if we weren't fixing potholes with $800 billion and still at 9 percent. We weren’t supposed to go above 8 percent.

MATTHEWS: I grew up studying economics in grad school at North Carolina. I believe in Keynesianism.

KERNEN: You believe in Keynes?

MATTHEWS: Maybe not now.

KERNEN: You studied economics?

MATTHEWS: Maybe not now. Maybe not now. The idea that the government wants to stimulate the economy, it runs a bigger deficit, it spends more, taxes less. Why hasn't that worked effectively?

Why hasn't that worked effectively? Because it's never worked effectively.

For those unfamiliar, John Maynard Keynes was a 20th century English economist who believed that when the private sector fails, government can solve the problem with radical monetary and fiscal policy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt adopted this strategy during the Depression with little success. Barack Obama has tried the same policies since taking office with similarly poor results.

Despite the poor track record of Keynesianism, liberals - especially those in the media regardless of their education - continue to advocate such policies and then blame Republicans when they fail.

Even those like Matthews who - much to my surprise as well as Kernen's - did major in economics in grad school.

His ignorance concerning the subject makes you wonder if he ever went to class.