Krugman Unhinged

Paul Krugman advanced the argument in a recent NYTimes column — I kid you not — that there has not been a big expansion of government spending under the Obama administration. America needs more spending and bigger deficits in order to gin up some real stimulus!

I know, I know, Krugman is an easy target — like shooting fish in a barrel. But he won a Nobel Prize, forcrissake, and he’s a columnist in the New York Times, a newspaper that some people take seriously. What’s more, he’s so insufferably smug and contemptuous, he needs to be knocked down a peg or two. So, I do my best in the video above.

(Show mercy on me for the technical quality of the video. YouTube and video-making is a brand-new thing for me. But go ahead and thrash away at the facts and logic expressed therein.)


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7 responses to “Krugman Unhinged”

  1. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Gooze Views said…
    Jim,
    Your dissing of Krugman is off mark.
    Plenty of trained economists believe that more money should be spent now to kick start the economy. Others do not and cling to the idea that we have to address deficits now to prevent supposed disaster far down the road. Among them is Krugman who understands that deficit mania can choke off recovery and stick us with with a much worse downturn. After all, you need the economy to be humming to generate revenue to pay down deficits.
    I am more in sympathy with Krugman's view than with yours.
    You and I have one trait in common. Neither one of us is a trained economist. So why should anyone listen seriously to you? Or to me?

    Peter Galuszka

  2. Krugman is not pretty to look at and he is a partisan but as Gooze says – his view about the need for stimulus is not alone.

    in fact, as we speak – Obama is proposing a massive infrastructure funding program that he is very carefully not calling a "stimulus".

    The Republicans themselves complained that earlier stimulus needed to focus more on infrastructure and less on other things.

    It's a modern-day WPA – Works Progress Administration.

    " Until ended by Congress and war employment during 1943, the WPA was the largest employer in the country. Most people who needed a job were eligible for at least some of its jobs.[4] Hourly wages were the prevailing wages in each area; the rules said workers could not work more than 30 hours a week, but many projects included months in the field, with workers eating and sleeping on worksites. Before 1940, there was some training involved to teach new skills and the project's original legislation had a strong emphasis on training."

    so we have this "big govt" approach that is 60+ years old and almost all of us can point to some park or infrastructure that is still around that was built back then.

    Ironically also – this is the same "big govt" going on in China where the govt is building massive infrastructure projects ranging from roads, to dams to Nuclear and conventional coal plants – employing millions … and having enough left over to finance our DEBT in the USA.

    How come Capitalistic America is losing the competition with "big govt" China?

  3. this is a scream. Where have we heard this before:

    " Unlike the popular Civilian Conservation Corps, the WPA had numerous conservative critics. One of the principal criticisms of the program was that it wasted federal dollars on projects that were often not needed or wanted. Professional, "white-collar" WPA projects in particular were often singled out by conservatives for their allegedly overtly left-wing social and political themes. One criticism of the allocation of WPA projects and funding was that they were often made for political considerations.[citation needed] Congressional politicians favored by the Roosevelt administration, or who possessed considerable seniority and political power, often helped decide which states and localities received the most funding. The most serious political criticism was that Roosevelt was building a nationwide voter base with millions of workers."

  4. Government stimulus does not work.

    Today the fed announced its intention to further stimulate the economy and the market immediately jumped.

  5. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Peter, neither you nor I are trained economists, true enough. But at least we make an effort to check our facts. You can't say that about Krugman. I don't care if he won a Pulitzer prize for work done long ago. He's since evolved into a partisan scribbler. If he gets basic facts wrong — facts that are easily checked on the Internet — he's not much worth listening to.

  6. On the other hand – Krugman is certainly no worse than the right-wing partisans who insist that tax cuts create jobs and increase tax revenues even though we have 8 years of proof that they do not.

    Never-the-less, the Republican economists insist on this fiction as the reason why Republicans should be elected over tax&spend Dems.

    and if you want a really ugly counter example – how about Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney?

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