Showing posts with label Paul Krugman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Krugman. Show all posts

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Paul is my favorite economist. I read his posts at his blog "The Conscience of a Liberal" every day.   He writes about economics in a way that folks like me, who are mostly unschooled in economics, can understand.  Along with his capacious knowledge of economics, Paul exhibits a great deal of plain old common sense, which I find quite appealing.  Oh, and he also won the Nobel Prize in Economics in  2008.  Before the day is over, I'll raise a glass to Paul's having many more happy birthdays, and I look forward to reading his wise posts, interspersed with humor, for a long time in the future.  And that's not to mention his Friday night musical offerings.

H/T to Bill in Portland Maine for the reminder and to my friend Paul (A.) for the link.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The reality, first, is that the deficit scolds — who are, after all, making a living by scolding — depend on constant warnings of imminent fiscal crisis to drum up interest. Saying that it’s a longer-term issue, and not our first priority right now, is not something they can afford to hear.
Ain't that the truth?  Read Krugman's post.

Friday, January 18, 2013


It’s looking increasingly as if House Republicans won’t crash the world economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, at least not right now. Score a big one for the White House (provisionally); its bet that it wouldn’t need a way to bypass the ceiling is looking like a winner (although it ain’t over until the tanned guy cries).
Paul nearly caused me to spew orange juice all over my keyboard with his final parenthetical comment.  Don't misunderstand me: Krugman has a biting wit, but it's not usually of the sort that will cause liquid to be spewed, so I was unprepared.

The reality that they will be blamed for a default seems finally to be dawning on Republicans.  That they would even contemplate such a move as not paying bills that the government owes seems quite reckless.  Their chief supporters of the GOP, investors, banks, and corporations, don't like the present uncertainty either.  Even now, the fact that the matter of the debt ceiling is not settled puts a drag on economic recovery.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Whoo-hoo! An upper-class riot over the fiscal cliff legislation?  So asks Brian Kilmeade.  Not that the rich would be out in the streets themselves. They'd send the hirelings to demonstrate.

The commentary at Faux News is so fecking stupid, that you have to wonder how anyone with half a brain buys any of it. The English guy, Stuart Varney, who moved to the US to get away from Europe says the US is going European, yet I hear people "over there" lament that US culture is taking over the world. So. Which is it? According to certain people here in the US, the epithet "European" is the worst kind of insult, implying wimpiness, immorality, and all sorts of other undesirable qualities.

What you don't hear mentioned at Faux News is that without the awful fiscal cliff legislation, taxes would rise for everyone.  But the folks at Faux only care that taxes will rise for the rich.  Anyone who has an income of $250,000 is in the upper 2%.  How is it possible to be in the upper 2% and still be middle class?  And that's not to mention the "compromise" in the legislation that raises taxes only on those with incomes over $400,000 for individual filers and $450,000 for joint filers.
So, what are the two sides really fighting about? Surely the answer is, the future of the welfare state. Progressives want to maintain the achievements of the New Deal and the Great Society, and also implement and improve Obamacare so that we become a normal advanced country that guarantees essential health care to all its citizens. The right wants to roll the clock back to 1930, if not to the 19th century.
The war between the two parties is about what kind of country we want to live in.  A country where the rich will have an ever-larger slice of the pie?  Or a country where we give at least a slight nod to evening out the portions?

H/T to MediaMatters for the Fox video.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


It sure looks as if we’re going over the fiscal cliff, but that may be the least of our problems. The debt ceiling is a much bigger and more dangerous issue, and it looks very much as if Republicans are set to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States if they can’t get their way.
Read the entire post.  I wanted to add "stupid" to my title, but I refrained in the spirit of the season of peace and good will, but I suppose thinking "stupid" is in the same category as lust in the heart.  Oh well. Mea culpa.

Paul Krugman is my favorite economist.  Why the president and Democrats in Congress don't pay attention to Krugman is a mystery to me. He knows his subject, does the research and the math, and speaks what looks like plain common sense to me.  He should be Secretary of the Treasury, but, if offered the position (not likely), he might not accept.  A Facebook friend reminded me that Krugman won the Nobel Prize, which should count for something, however I fear certain citizens of the country view Nobel Prizes as a liberal plot, thus it counts for nothing with them.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Paul Krugman is fairly certain Bobby Jindal doesn't understand the fiscal cliff, based on a recent op-ed by the Louisiana governor.

"You really have to wonder how someone who's a major political figure could be this uninformed," the Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote in the New York Times blog post.

Krugman wrote that Jindal fails to mention that "the looming problem is spending cuts and tax increases that will shrink the deficit too soon."

The fiscal cliff is a set of $1.2 trillion in tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take place on Jan. 1 if the government does not reach a deal to avert it. Economists warn that it could cause a recession by slashing government spending and raising taxes too quickly, but Krugman argues that Jindal doesn't seem to understand this.
I wonder what exactly Jindal does understand as he sets about destroying institutions in Louisiana.  Despite his Ivy-League university education and Rhodes Scholarship sponsored study at Oxford University, he seems to have only a dim understanding of his policies and their consequences.  He travels the country expounding his views, and the media see him as a shining light in the new Republican Party, but neither the media nor the Republican Party seem yet to have arrived at reality-based thinking.  How can it be that politicians and the media either ignore or make only feeble efforts to discover the facts of a situation or policy before holding forth? 

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Just a thought: if you follow the pundit discussion of matters fiscal, you get the definite impression that some kinds of deficit reduction are considered “serious”, while others are not.
The Obama administration proposes raising taxes on the rich; Republicans propose raising the age for participation in Medicare.
Those tax hikes would raise $1.6 trillion over the next decade; according to the CBO, raising the Medicare age would save $113 billion in federal funds over the next decade.
Paul Krugman is my favorite economist.  He inhabits the real world outside the Beltway and outside the heads of the very serious people who expound on the teevee.  Mr President and Democrats, keep in mind that the majority of people in the country voted for your policies.  You have no reason to make concessions to the side that lost the election, namely the Republicans, especially to the crazy extremists in the GOP.  Leave it to Boehner to pacify the hoards in the House.  That's his job.  Your job is to stand your ground and our ground, as you were elected to do.  Boehner, as was true of Mitt Romney, will not give details of his not-serious proposals to address the deficit, but don't we all know the devil is in the details?    

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


When I left for England, I fervently hoped that the matter of possible default by the US federal government would be settled by the time I returned home. While I was away, I didn't follow the news closely, but - Alas! - nothing is settled, but the US House of Representatives did pass the awful Boehner bill for cutting the deficit, which I trust (but you never know!) will go no further.

Please read IT's post titled 'Destroying America' at The Friends of Jake in which she links to Paul Krugman's column on the subject of 'balance' in the news in the New York Times. What have we come to in this country?

In the midst of my day with lots of other matters demanding my attention, I took the time to write to John Boehner, who is, after all, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of all the people in the US, not just of Republicans.
Dear Rep. Boehner,

Come on, now, we all need to share the pain of getting our fiscal house in order. The rich benefit most for the privilege of living in our country, so they should be willing to pay their fair share. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates agree. 72% of the people in the country want to see shared sacrifice, and they do not wish to see the deficit reduced only on the backs of the fast-disappearing middle class and the poor. Do your job as speaker of the House, Rep. Boehner, and represent the majority in this country.

Thanks for your attention.
I could have said much more, but when writing to politicians, I believe brief is better.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Now Is The Time For Universal Health Care

Paul Krugman in the New York Times:

The whole world is in recession. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe — in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care.

Which raises a question: Why has the Obama administration been silent, at least so far, about one of President Obama’s key promises during last year’s campaign — the promise of guaranteed health care for all Americans?

Good question. I've been wondering about that myself. When my son lost his job a couple of years ago, he tried to start a small business. The COBRA premiums on the health insurance from his former employer were too expensive, so he bought private health insurance. That was during the year after his divorce, and his blood pressure went up, no doubt due to the twin catastrophes, and the private plan doubled his premiums. He was forced to abandon the idea of a small business and take a job with health-care benefits. I wonder how many small businesses do not succeed or are never started due to health insurance issues. It seems to me that our country, where capitalism is valued next to God (or even higher than God!), entrepreneurship is too often stifled because of the pathetic state of our country's health care.

If you're wealthy, or elderly with Medicare coverage, of if you're well-covered by your employer's health care plan, you do all right. But if that's not the case, then you're in a pretty bad way.

Krugman lists several reasons why Obama's advisers may be cautioning him against moving forward on universal health care, which you can read if you click the link. Of the final possible reason, Krugman says:

Finally — and this is, I suspect, the real reason for the administration’s health care silence — there’s the political argument that this is a bad time to be pushing fundamental health care reform, because the nation’s attention is focused on the economic crisis. But if history is any guide, this argument is precisely wrong.

Don’t take my word for it. Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, has declared that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Indeed. F.D.R. was able to enact Social Security in part because the Great Depression highlighted the need for a stronger social safety net. And the current crisis presents a real opportunity to fix the gaping holes that remain in that safety net, especially with regard to health care.

I believe that Krugman is correct in his analysis.