Tag Archives: Paul Krugman

Quotes From Carpe Diem

Anytime I get a good chuckle out of reading economic news and political soap-operas, I have to post.  Today I have two, both from Mark Perry over at Carpe Diem:

The First:

It’s hard to believe that this is the same paper that hosts former economist Paul Krugman, but check out this shocking New York Times staff editorial arguing against raising the minimum wage because it’s a fundamentally flawed solution to overcoming poverty.

I love the idea of referring to Krugman as a former economist.

The Second:

I’ve found that somebody’s position on the minimum wage is a pretty good “litmus test” of a person’s ability to understand basic economic principles and think logically.  Those who support increases in the minimum wage demonstrate their inability to think clearly, logically and rationally, and their inability to understand basic economic theory.  Supporters of the minimum wage embrace emotional “thinking” over truly rational thinking, and generally therefore really can’t be taken seriously. Just my opinion.

Jon Stewart – Pure Platinum

Look, Stewart is funny, wickedly funny.  His timing, expressions and body language are the best. And the fact that his patter is politics only makes it better; I like politics, he makes political humor.

What’s not to love?

But lot’s of people forget that the man is a clown.  He’s an entertainer.  He’s on a stage making people laugh at jokes. Think Abbott and Costello.  Andrew Dice Clay.  Rodney Dangerfield.

Gifted all.

He isn’t a commentator.  He’s isn’t a reporter.  He isn’t a writer.

So I love it when folks use Stewart as a source of news or to make a point.  I especially love it when he turns his schtick back on the liberal establishment that loves him so:


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Paul Krugman & the Trillion Dollar Coin
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

On Crazy And Irrelevant

A few days ago Paul Krugman jumped the shark:

Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. He will, after all, be faced with a choice between two alternatives: one that’s silly but benign, the other that’s equally silly but both vile and disastrous. The decision should be obvious.

So, there ya have it.  Paul’s contribution to the debt ceiling problems.  And his reasoning?

For those new to this, here’s the story. First of all, we have the weird and destructive institution of the debt ceiling; this lets Congress approve tax and spending bills that imply a large budget deficit — tax and spending bills the president is legally required to implement — and then lets Congress refuse to grant the president authority to borrow, preventing him from carrying out his legal duties and provoking a possibly catastrophic default.

I think Paul is forgetting that we can service our debt very easily with existing revenues.  The money we don’t have is for additional spending.  There really is very little danger of defaulting on our debt.

Anyway, cooler, calmer and more rational minds have saved the day:

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Saturday it will not produce platinum coins as a way of generating $1 trillion in revenue and avoiding a battle in Congress over raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

The idea of creating $1 trillion by minting platinum coins has gained some currency among Democrats in recent days as a way of sidestepping congressional Republicans who are threatening to reject a necessary increase in the debt ceiling unless deep spending cuts are made.

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, both independent of one another, each concluded this was not a viable option.

“Neither the Treasury Department nor the Federal Reserve believes that the law can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit,” said Treasury spokesman Anthony Coley in a statement.

File this under “no kidding”.

If You Don’t Believe Me – Believe Your Nobel Winner

Ask your Google who said this:

Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today’s young may well get less than they put in).

I’ll give you a clue.  His name starts with Paul and ends with Krugman.

Has Paul Krugman Outlived His Usefulness?

I noticed this past week that for quite some time now, any blogger, right or left, libertarian, democrat or republican, that leads his or her story with:

Paul Krugman writes…

Get’s skipped and the story gets ignored.  To waste electrons on what an ex-economist has to say seems worse than sleeping with the lights on.

The Fonz Is Going To Jump A Shark

A long time ago there was a really good economist.  Then something happened and now that economist doesn’t exist anymore.

After claiming that aliens would solve our economic woes, now rumors are out that the aforementioned Krugman has claimed that a larger earthquake would drive economic recovery:

“People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.”


Reminds me of this:

Milton Friedman went to Asia to visit a jobs project; it seems that a canal needed to be built.  When he arrived on the site, he witnessed that the workers were using shovels and wheelbarrows.  He asked the government administrator why there wasn’t any heavy earth-moving machinery?  The official responded that this was a “jobs program”.

Milton responded, “Well, if that’s the case, why not give them spoons and buckets?”

99 Weeks Ending Soon

The Recession hit.  And it hit hard.

And now that it’s over, many people, economists and politicians, are wondering when the jobs are going to come back.

Heck, look at the recent election for proof that current conditions are brutal.  Don’t think that the surviving Democrats aren’t mindful of where we are and where we’re going.

And the current dilemma?  Unemployment benefits are going to expire for many folks pretty soon.

Continue reading

Unemployment? Perhaps Unemployment is the “New” Job?

More and more I’m convinced that what we see here isn’t a true indicator of unemployment.  Rather, what we’re seeing is a text book example of:

In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of “Eurosclerosis,” the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.

And can you guess who said THAT?

The most Liberal Economist Alive:  Paul Krugman; that’s who.

Anyway, Exhibit in the Unemployment Fallacy:

Note to Obama

Obama is having his jobs summit today; in fact it may already be over.  In the spirit of wondering how to create more jobs, I noticed that Krugman has a solution:

Meanwhile, the federal government could provide jobs by … providing jobs. It’s time for at least a small-scale version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, one that would offer relatively low-paying (but much better than nothing) public-service employment. There would be accusations that the government was creating make-work jobs, but the W.P.A. left many solid achievements in its wake. And the key point is that direct public employment can create a lot of jobs at relatively low cost. In a proposal to be released today, the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, argues that spending $40 billion a year for three years on public-service employment would create a million jobs, which sounds about right.

That got me to thinking.  There are currently about 15.7 million unemployed people in America.  Almost all are receiving some form of unemployment benefits.  How about instead of spending $40 billion a year for 3 years like Krugman says, we just make these people do the work he is suggesting and call ’em jobs?  Why would we create a program to offer “relatively low-paying” jobs for people to work when we already have a program that offers “relatively low-paying” jobs where people have to do–NOTHING!?

Krugman.  Sheesh.

Hat tip:  Forbes