Posts Tagged ‘Paul Krugman’
May 31st, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Image of the Day: Paul Krugman’s Timeless Faceplant from 1998
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Paul Krugman, the political left’s favorite economist, claims quite a record for faceplant predictions.  Readers will recall his prediction on election night in November 2016 that markets would “never” recover from the ensuing crash that Donald Trump’s upset victory would trigger.

Here’s another timeless Krugman gem from 1998:

The Lefts Favorite Economist

The Left's Favorite Economist

August 23rd, 2011 at 8:31 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Krugman Zone
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 22nd, 2011 at 12:06 am
Further Proof that Paul Krugman is Unstable
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From today’s iteration of the inimitable (thank God) Dr. Krugman’s column in the New York Times:

… what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy.

If this is what makes it to print, one wonders what function it is exactly that Dr. Krugman’s ‘editor’ serves. The Grey Lady is on life support.

January 11th, 2011 at 10:49 pm
Paul Krugman Officially Departs Polite Society
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In the world of punditry, the difference between an ideological hack and a graceful partisan can be granular. On a daily or weekly basis, it may be nearly impossible to discriminate between the two. After all, even the most vapid political mercenary can summon reasonable talking points through a Google search and even the most discriminating scribes can at times fall prey to intellectual tribalism.

The acid test usually comes in moments that require grace and restraint. The tragic shootings in Tucson over the weekend presented such a moment. And Princeton economist, New York Times columnist, and liberal paragon Paul Krugman failed the test.

Krugman immediately took to his blog at the Times to decry the environment of hate created by conservatives, despite the fact that no tangible aspect of the Arizona story supported his thesis. It was an utterly revolting spectacle that revealed a man whose optic for all of life is partisan politics. But don’t just take my word for it. The Economist, a magazine which prides itself as the publication of note amongst the brandy and cigars class, comes down as follows:

In a blog item on Saturday, before any significant details about Mr Loughner’s motivations had come to light, Paul Krugman wrote:

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.

This struck me as irresponsibly premature, and one might have thought that, given a little more time and information, Mr Krugman would change his tune, or at least turn down the volume. Nope. In today’s column on America’s alleged “climate of hate”, Mr Krugman reports that he’s been “expecting something like this atrocity to happen” since 2008, conjures in his fevered imagination a “rising tide of violence”, and spots his hated political foes behind it all:

[I]t’s the saturation of our political discourse—and especially our airwaves—with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.

What’s more, unless the ranting right reins in the kind of talk that leaves Mr Krugman “with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach”, “Saturday’s atrocity will be just the beginning.” Welcome to crazytown, my friends, where it does not seem crazy to disgorge toxic, entirely evidence-free rhetoric about the mortal threat of toxic rhetoric. Does the man honestly think he’s helping?

November 15th, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Krugman Watch: The Key to Restoring America’s Economic Health is … Death Panels?
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Regular readers know that Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, and Joe Klein regularly jockey for the status of political pundit I most despise. Well, Dr. Krugman pulled into the lead with his stunning endorsement of “death panels” as the royal road to America’s fiscal health on yesterday’s edition of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”:

H/T: NewsBusters

September 27th, 2010 at 10:49 pm
Paul Krugman Aggresively Refutes Paul Krugman
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If America continues to be a sober nation, there will be a time a few decades from now when Paul Krugman’s economic hypochondria will be viewed with the same sneering contempt as Paul Ehrlich’s crazed claims that hundreds of millions would die from famine in the 1970s and 1980s or the fears of the rise of Japan that dominated public discourse in the late 1980s and early 1990s (the old empire’s economic lost decade intervened).

On his blog at the New York Times today, Krugman frets aloud (his muscle memory prevents him from doing otherwise) that Americans may tank the economy by attempting to pay down their unsustainable levels of debt (further proof that Keynesianism is the economist’s version of a drunken weekend in Vegas). But the big story here is buried in the complaint that undergirds his thesis:

So what will happen? In the end, I’d argue, what must happen is an effective default on a significant part of debt, one way or another. The default could be implicit, via a period of moderate inflation that reduces the real burden of debt; that’s how World War II cured the depression. Or, if not, we could see a gradual, painful process of individual defaults and bankruptcies, which ends up reducing overall debt.

Hang on a tick. World War II? Hasn’t Krugman spent the past two years using every inch of column space available to him to advocate that President Obama embrace aggressive neo-Rooseveltism? But now it’s the war — not the New Deal — that ended the Depression? We know that Krugman is a specialist in non-falsifiable theories (if only the stimulus had been bigger …), but if the eight years that FDR had set aside for “bold, persistent experimentation” prior to Pearl Harbor weren’t sufficient to heal the nation’s markets, maybe that was a sign that the problem was strategic and not tactical. Maybe the Sage of Hyde Park should have taken some pointers from the benighted Warren Harding.

This is all a bit shocking coming from a Nobel Laureate. After all, if Paul Krugman doesn’t speak with authority on economics … then maybe Barack Obama doesn’t speak with authority about peace.

August 11th, 2010 at 8:28 pm
Conservative Quandry on the Link Between Unemployment Benefits and Job Creation

Everyone except Paul Krugman at least acknowledges that paying for the recently extended unemployment benefits Congress just authorized is a serious issue; even if some consider it outweighed by other concerns.

In addition to increasing the national debt, extending unemployment benefits may also increase unemployment itself.  As Thomas Cooley explains in Forbes, studies show that unemployment benefits can reduce the urgency to find a new job.  However, Cooley mentions another phenomenon that bears further meditation:

Economists Lawrence Katz and Bruce Meyer, in a 1990 study, showed that an increase of one week of benefits increased the duration of unemployment by about 0.2 weeks. Note that some benefits have been extended up to 99 weeks. A back-of-the-envelope calculation means that going from 26 weeks of benefits to 99 would increase unemployment duration by about 14 weeks very close to the increase in duration shown in Figure 3. Recently, however, in a testimony to the Joint Economic Committee (April 29, 2010) the very same Katz said that the effects are small. The difference between the 1990 study and his current finding is that, according to his research, permanent job losses as opposed to temporary layoffs have played a bigger part in this recession. (Emphasis mine)

Unlike Krugman, I’m not one to quibble with logic and empirical data.  But the current unemployment situation is different from the usual circumstance of entities within a sector reshuffling the staff rosters.  Such events cause minor displacements – though not to individual workers and their families – and can be smoothed out when laid off workers find comparable employment in the same or similar industry.

This recession is different.  As the bolded text above shows there appears to be an economy-wide reduction in workforce afoot.  Employers are discovering unknown efficiencies with contingency workers.  In many cases, former full-time, full-benefit workers are being hired back as independent contractors for project work with no benefits.

Once employers get used to getting more production for less compensation, those former full-time, full-benefit jobs won’t be coming back.  That poses a serious quandary for limited government conservatives.  Should government provide a benefits supplement for those working multiple jobs, but still failing to pay the bills, even if it means adding to the deficit?  On the other hand, should benefits be cut to stop the fiscal bleeding with the hope that the former recipients find a way to make ends meet?

Whatever path is chosen, conservatives need to think hard about how to combine stopping the government spending with policies that enable sustainable private sector job creation.

December 18th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Krugman Grasping at Straws
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What’s Paul Krugman’s advice to liberals like MoveOn and Howard Dean upset over current health care negotiations in the Senate?  Pass the Bill.

It seems that liberals like Krugman want a bill just for the sake of passing a bill.   Politics and not principle appear to be his main motivation, which is strange coming from an economist and college professor.

Ideological purists like Howard Dean and MoveOn object to Harry Reid’s version of reform.  But why?  The current Senate bill supposedly lacks the government-run public option that liberals have been salivating over for the past year.  What remains from Senate negotiations is a hodgepodge of mandates, new regulations and higher taxes.

The one issue both sides of the aisle should agree on during the holidays is that the current health care bill is awful; it’s really really bad.

Conservatives and libertarians should hate the bill because it contains hundreds of billions in new taxes, an unconstitutional mandate for individual health insurance, an expensive employer mandate, costs over $2 trillion and it does nothing to bend the health care cost curve downward, among many other reasons.

Liberals should hate the bill because it (supposedly) contains no government-run public option, politically connected health care companies practically drafted the legislation, PhARMA supports it, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders doesn’t, it fails to cover 100% of the uninsured and it doesn’t bend the health care cost curve downward.

Dr. Krugman may attempt to use his perch at the New York Times to rally progressives toward a final health care push, but the ugly truth is that health care reform has become the product of Washington, D.C. politics.  That’s never a good thing.  President Obama rallied against Washington-style politics during his campaign but it appears that his bill and his political strategy have embraced the zero sum ultra-partisan approach that he derided so frequently in the past.

Dr. Krugman’s headline should have been “Kill this Bill.”

December 11th, 2009 at 12:53 pm
Dr. Krugman Misdiagnoses What Ails the Job Market

In today’s New York Times, economist Paul Krugman seems to think that along with propping up failed financial institutions and distorting the nation’s currency, the Federal Reserve should also play a part in creating jobs. Predictably, the answer is more government spending.

Mr. Bernanke has received a great deal of credit, and rightly so, for his use of unorthodox strategies to contain the damage after Lehman Brothers failed. But both the Fed’s actions, as measured by its expansion of credit, and Mr. Bernanke’s words suggest that the urgency of late 2008 and early 2009 has given way to a curious mix of complacency and fatalism — a sense that the Fed has done enough now that the financial system has stepped back from the brink, even though its own forecasts predict that unemployment will remain punishingly high for at least the next three years.

The most specific, persuasive case I’ve seen for more Fed action comes from Joseph Gagnon, a former Fed staffer now at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Basing his analysis on the prior work of none other than Mr. Bernanke himself, in his previous incarnation as an economic researcher, Mr. Gagnon urges the Fed to expand credit by buying a further $2 trillion in assets. Such a program could do a lot to promote faster growth, while having hardly any downside.

But there is a downside, and it’s more than immediately exceeding the proposed raise in the national debt by $1.8 trillion. As astute observers of California politics say, the government doesn’t have a revenue problem – it has a spending problem. As I’ve mentioned before, the main impediment to private sector job creation is not access to credit: it’s uncertainty about what the government will regulate or tax next. Some form of human activity has to be taxed in order to pay for “stimulus” policies like the one Krugman supports. Business owners know this because they must identify income before they pay out for services, goods, and yes, people. Adding an employee to the payroll is a tremendously expensive decision that isn’t made easier just because the Federal Reserve makes it easier to get a company credit card. If Washington is serious about job creation it needs to stop spending and taxing other people’s money.

October 15th, 2009 at 11:26 am
Nobel Laureate Got Big Federal Bucks
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Last week, two Americans were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics.  Thanks to our friend Paul Krugman, it was recently revealed that one of the winners, Elinor Ostrom, received a massive amount of federal funds during her career, in addition to her $167,018 salary at Indiana University.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), an organization tasked with promoting the progress of science, has given over $16.7 million in inflation-adjusted grants to Professor Ostrom.  This figure includes a hefty $9.8 million (inflation-adjusted) grant in 1971, when Professor Ostrom was just six years removed from her Ph.D.

Obviously, given her recognition and achievements in the fields of political science and economics, she put this $16.7 million to good use, but with that much money one could only imagine what else could have been achieved.

With lobbying heavyweights like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, there are plenty of voices lobbying for more education funding.  Everyone is trying to get a piece of the $3.6 trillion federal pie, and these groups are effective at ensuring more federal dollars go toward education funding.

Senator Tom Coburn has seized on NSF funding and has recommended the elimination of political science grants.  With over $147.7 billion in endowment wealth for the top ten Universities alone, there is plenty of higher education money available.  If Harvard dedicated just 1% of its endowment to research funding, it could provide life-time grants to 22  “Elinor Ostrom’s” every year (over $365 million in total).

Senator Coburn often likes to make the point that you don’t practice charity through the federal government.  You practice politics and favoritism.  With so much private wealth already accumulated in the nation’s universities and other foundations dedicated to promoting education, has the market really failed to invest in education?  If universities are as esteemed as they are in this country, couldn’t they afford a small investment in research grants?

September 29th, 2009 at 10:33 am
Paul Krugman: “The End Is Near,” For Real This Time.
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Remember 2005, when global warming alarmists claimed that Hurricane Katrina proved the effects of climate change, and that Katrina-level hurricanes would occur with increasing frequency until draconian government climate legislation was imposed?  The years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 apparently didn’t get the memo, judging by the dearth of major hurricanes.  Heck, remember the 1970s, when the fashionable climate-change hysteria was global cooling, not global warming?

Well, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman apparently has a short memory.

In his latest column, Krugman confidently instructs us that the sky is falling…  yet again.  For real this time.  He assures us that “I’m not engaging in hyperbole,”  but lacking any sense of irony or familiarity with recent history, he then asserts that “climate scientists have, en masse, become Cassandras — gifted with the ability to prophesy future disasters, but cursed with the inability to get anyone to believe them.”  You mean, sort of like the “gifted” alarmists who predicted global cooling in the 1970s and an coming onslaught of Katrinas in 2005?

Instead of writing a New York Times column, perhaps Krugman should instead join the city’s street vagrants and carry his own “The End Is Near!” sandwich board sign.