Paul Krugman – USA

Paul Robin Krugman (born February 28, 1953) is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. He is also an author and a columnist for The New York Times, a twice-weekly op-ed for the newspaper since 2000. Krugman is well known in academia for his work in trade theory, which provides a model in which firms and countries produce and trade because of economies of scale and for his textbook explanations of currency crises and New Trade Theory. He was a critic of the “New Economy” of the late 1990s. Krugman also criticized the fixed exchange rates of the island Asia nations and Thailand before the 1997 East Asian financial crisis, and of investors such as Long-Term Capital Management that relied on the fixed rates just before the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Krugman is generally considered a neo-Keynesian [1: see in this article], with his views outlined in his books such as Peddling Prosperity. His International Economics: Theory and Policy (currently in its seventh edition) is a standard textbook on international economics without calculus. In 1991 he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association. Krugman is an ardent critic of the George W. Bush administration and its foreign and domestic policy. Unlike many economic pundits, he is also regarded as an important scholarly contributor by his peers.[2: see this reference] and [3: in this article]. He has written over 200 scholarly papers and 20 books [4: in this article] – some academic, and some written for the layperson … (full long text).

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Paul Krugman – USA

Video: The Conscience of a Liberal, by Google economic Talks, 71.17 min, December 18, 2007.

The Official Paul Krugman Web Page, the old version; and the same in the new version on NYT.

His publications: on his own website (old web-version); on columns of the PK-archive; on New York Times NYT; on the NYT’ blog, its unofficilial Paul Krugman Archive; on amazon; on wikipedia; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google blog-search.

He writes:

  • “I was born in 1953. Like the rest of my generation, I took the America I grew up in for granted – in fact, like many in my generation I railed against the very real injustices of our society, marched against the bombing of Cambodia, went door to door for liberal candidates. It’s only in retrospect that the political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost, an exceptional episode in our nation’s history”. (full text).
  • “If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance – nobody knows how big – that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen”. (full text).
  • Mr. Moore’s greatest strength is a real empathy with working-class Americans that most journalists lack. Having stripped away Mr. Bush’s common-man mask, he uses his film to make the case, in a way statistics never could, that Mr. Bush’s policies favor a narrow elite at the expense of less fortunate Americans – sometimes, indeed, at the cost of their lives. In a nation where the affluent rarely serve in the military, Mr. Moore follows Marine recruiters as they trawl the malls of depressed communities, where enlistment is the only way for young men and women to escape poverty. He shows corporate executives at a lavish conference on Iraq, nibbling on canapés and exulting over the profit opportunities, then shows the terrible price paid by the soldiers creating those opportunities. (full text).
  • The Bush administration’s hostility to discussion of climate issues is certainly part of the story. The White House wields a formidable publicity machine that deeply affects both the choice of current topics and the tone in which they are debated. But both houses of Congress are controlled by Democrats, not Republicans, and the Democrats have not highlighted climate change as an issue over which to attack the administration. The … comparative lack of attention to Stern in the US remains something of a mystery. Perhaps the American public, like most American economists, think that Stern is wrong. (full text).
  • On the political side, you might have expected rising inequality to produce a populist backlash. Instead, however, the era of rising inequality has also been the era of “movement conservatism,” the term both supporters and opponents use for the highly cohesive set of interlocking institutions that brought Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to power, and reached its culmination, taking control of all three branches of the federal government, under George W. Bush. (Yes, Virginia, there is a vast right-wing conspiracy). Because of movement conservative political dominance, taxes on the rich have fallen, and the holes in the safety net have gotten bigger, even as inequality has soared. And the rise of movement conservatism is also at the heart of the bitter partisanship that characterizes politics today. Why did this happen? Well, that’s a long story – in fact, I’ve written a whole book about it, and also about why I believe America is ready for a big change in direction. For now, though, the important thing is to realize that the story of modern America is, in large part, the story of the fall and rise of inequality. (full text).
  • “What we have here is a form of looting”. So says George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics, of the Bush administration’s budget policies – and he’s right. With startling speed, we’ve blown right through the usual concerns about budget deficits – about their effects on interest rates and economic growth – and into a range where the very solvency of the federal government is at stake. Almost every expert not on the administration’s payroll now sees budget deficits equal to about a quarter of government spending for the next decade, and getting worse after that. (full text).
  • My generation grew up in a nation of strong democratic values and broadly shared prosperity. But both those values and that shared prosperity have been slipping away. We can reverse that trend. Political and economic reform turned the oligarchic America of the Gilded Age, a place of vast inequality, bigotry, and corruption, into the imperfect but far better society of the postwar era. The challenge now is to do again what the New Deal did: to create institutions that will support and sustain a decent society. (full text).
  • The other day I found myself reading a leftist rag that made outrageous claims about America. It said that we are becoming a society in which the poor tend to stay poor, no matter how hard they work; in which sons are much more likely to inherit the socioeconomic status of their father than they were a generation ago. The name of the leftist rag? Business Week, which published an article titled ‘Waking Up From the American Dream’. (full text).
  • In a recent poll, only a minority of Americans rated the economy as excellent or good while most consider it no better than fair or poor. Are people just ungrateful? Is the administration failing to get its message out? Are the news media, as conservatives darkly suggest, deliberately failing to report the good news? None of the above. The reason most Americans think the economy is fair to poor is simple: For most Americans, it really is fair to poor. Wages have failed to keep up with rising prices. Even in 2005, a year in which the economy grew quite fast, the income of most non-elderly families lagged behind inflation. The number of Americans in poverty has risen even in the face of an official economic recovery, as has the number of Americans without health insurance. Most Americans are little, if any, better off than they were last year and definitely worse off than they were in 2000. (full text).
  • After all, if the administration had any real hope of retrieving the situation in Iraq, officials would be making an all-out effort to get the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to start delivering on some of those benchmarks, perhaps using the threat that Congress would cut off funds otherwise. Instead, the Bushies are making excuses, minimizing Iraqi failures, moving goal posts and, in general, giving the Maliki government no incentive to do anything differently. And for that matter, if the administration had any real intention of turning public opinion around, as opposed to merely shoring up the base enough to keep Republican members of Congress on board, it would have sent Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, to as many news media outlets as possible – not granted an exclusive appearance to Fox News on Monday night. All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor. In fact, that’s my interpretation of something that startled many people: Mr. Bush’s decision last month, after spending years denying that the Iraq war had anything in common with Vietnam, to suddenly embrace the parallel. Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home. What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq – and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war – will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures. (full text).

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