Tag Archives: krugman

Krugman’s Karma Forces Him to Feel the Bern and Attack the Kochs for “Buying Politicians”

By William K. Black
June 4, 2016     Bloomington, MN

When last we read Paul Krugman he was repeatedly demanding that Bernie Sanders cease criticizing Hillary Clinton for a lifetime addiction of taking tens of millions of dollars in political contributions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in speakers’ fees from Goldman Sachs and other business interests.  (I am an economic adviser to Bernie.)  While Professor Krugman consistently stressed that the data show that business campaign contributions do rig the system, Hillary Surrogate Krugman suddenly professed that business political campaign contributions and speaker fees have no corrupting effect on politicians.

Economists should be honest for all the usual reasons, but economists who wish to affect policy have an additional reason to embrace intellectual honesty.  Karma means that an intellectually dishonest economist is likely to be promptly confronted by the desirability of telling the truth in order to prevent disastrous policy on precisely the subject he or she just lied about.

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Paul Krugman and Holman Jenkins Shill for the Giant Banks

By William K. Black
April 20, 2016     Bloomington, MN

Holman Jenkins, the ultra-conservative Wall Street Journal columnist who specializes in global climate change denial and elite financial fraud denial, has written recently to join Paul Krugman in defending the systemically dangerous banks.  Jenkins is a member of the WSJ’s loopy editorial board.  Jenkins’ title was “Big Banks Aren’t the Problem.”  Jenkins’ thesis raises obvious and vital questions – he ignores each of them because answering them would falsify his thesis.

The 2008 crisis did not begin in a handful of too-big-to-fail banks, but in incentives cast far and wide among home buyers, mortgage brokers, lenders and others to underwrite tax-advantaged, one-way bets on home prices.

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“Liberal” Economists Cheered the New Democrats’ Deregulation of Finance

By William K. Black
April 11, 2016     Bloomington, MN

This is the second part of my series on how Hillary and Bill Clinton and Paul Krugman have pivoted in response to Bernie Sanders’ series of electoral wins and are racing hard right on finance and crime.  In my first column I wore my criminology “hat” to explain how Bill was disinterring outrageous (false and racist) positions that Hillary and he had once championed.  This was all the more bizarre because Hillary and Bill had recently repudiated those positions.  In the mid-1990s, Hillary and Bill sought to spread a “moral panic” about subhuman black “super predators” in order to secure passage of the crime bill that led to mass incarceration and then to maintain the 100-to-one disparity in sentencing for crack v. powder cocaine once it was known that the scientifically baseless sentencing disparity was leading to a dramatic rise in the incarceration of blacks and Latinos.  I also deplored Bill’s false claim that Black Lives Matter protesters were “defending” those who murdered black children.

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Krugman on the Corruption of our Nation via Perverse Incentives

By William K. Black
April 4, 2016      Bloomington, MN

Paul Krugman April Fools’ Day column launched another attack on Bernie Sanders.  In it he announces that he, a strong Hilary Clinton supporter, is “Dad” and gets to set the rules for candidates – “it’s time to lay out some guidelines for good and bad behavior.”  This is a lot like John McEnroe giving lectures on tennis etiquette.  Two sentences later, Krugman mocks voters for Sanders in “very white states,” which is a pretty clear example of “bad behavior.”  Tellingly, Krugman is oblivious to his bad behavior.  Krugman ends with this patronizing and insulting sentence:  “Sanders doesn’t need to drop out, but he needs to start acting responsibly.”  Krugman is obviously itching to instruct Bernie to “drop out” and hand the contest to his candidate.

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Krugman and the Gang of 4 Need to Apologize for Smearing Gerald Friedman

William K. Black
February 21, 2016     Bloomington, MN

If you depend for your news on the New York Times you have been subjected to a drumbeat of article attacking Bernie Sanders – and the conclusion of everyone “serious” that his economics are daft.  In particular, you would “know” that four prior Chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) (the Gang of 4) have signed an open letter to Bernie that delivered a death blow to his proposals.  Further, you would know that anyone who dared to disagree with these four illustrious economists was so deranged that he or she was acting like a Republican in denial of global climate change.  The open letter set its sights on a far less famous economist, Gerald Friedman, of U. Mass at Amherst.  It unleashed a personalized dismissal of his competence and integrity.  Four of the Nation’s top economists against one non-famous economists – at a school that studies heterodox economics.  That sounds like a fight that the referee should stop in the first round before Friedman is pummeled to death.  But why did Paul Krugman need to “tag in” to try to save the Gang of 4 from being routed?

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Krugman Is Half Right

By William K. Black
Quito: May 16, 2015

Paul Krugman has a nice column entitled “Fraternity of Failure” dated May 15, 2015.

In Bushworld, in other words, playing a central role in catastrophic policy failure doesn’t disqualify you from future influence. If anything, a record of being disastrously wrong on national security issues seems to be a required credential.

But refusal to learn from experience, combined with a version of political correctness in which you’re only acceptable if you have been wrong about crucial issues, is pervasive in the modern Republican Party.

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The New York Times’ Secret Rule Forbidding Its EU Writers from Reading Krugman

By William K. Black
Quito: May 10, 2015

I don’t know when the New York Times adopted the (obviously secret) rule that forbids its news staff that writes about the EU from reading Paul Krugman’s columns in that obscure newspaper named the New York Times. I can say that compliance with the rule appears to be nearly 100 percent. It is, of course, a mystery why the NYT would give Krugman, a Nobel Laureate in Economics; the most prominent position in the world to explain economics and then require its news staff covering Europe to ignore virtually everything he explains.

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Krugman’s Bashes Progressives for Criticizing Obama on Grounds that He Criticizes Obama

By William K. Black

Paul Krugman’s admirers would never list modesty as one of his characteristics. He has written a column “In Defense of Obama” that begins by explaining that his criticisms of President Obama were correct, but that unidentified others’ criticisms of Obama constitute “trash talk.”

Specifically, Obama “came perilously close to doing terrible things to the U.S. safety net in pursuit of a budget Grand Bargain.” Obama sought to produce a self-inflicted disaster by desperately trying to reach a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans that would have inflicted austerity on our Nation in 2012, “slash[ed] Social Security and [raised] the Medicare [eligibility] age.” As even Krugman admits, we were saved from this catastrophe “only by Republican greed, the GOP’s unwillingness to make even token concessions” to achieve the Grand Bargain. What Krugman omits in the tale is that it was also a revolt by Democratic progressives against the Grand Bargain that saved Obama and the Nation.

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Krugman, Helicopters, and Consolidation

By Scott Fullwiler and Stephanie Kelton

Paul Krugman has a new post that explains why the debate over money- vs. bond-financing of government deficits is really much ado about nothing.  In it, he essentially echoes longstanding MMT-core principles, as we will show below.  Indeed, MMT blogs have written as much many times previously (for example, see here, here, here, and here).

Krugman’s post looks at two alternative scenarios:

Case 1: The government runs a deficit, selling bonds to offset the shortfall, while the Federal Reserve does QE

Case 2: The government runs a deficit but does not sell bonds, instead financing all of its spending by “printing money” (i.e. with newly created base money)

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Revealed Biases: Why MMT Critics Continue to Rely on Strawman Arguments

By William K. Black

Economists of nearly every flavor believe in the concept of “revealed preferences.”  What matters is not what people say they will do in a hypothetical situation, but what they actually do.  Their actions speak more credibly than their words.  In this column I announce a related concept: “revealed biases.”

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