paul krugman

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Many argue that it was really World War II that got us out of the great depression of the 1930’s. Our vast increase in military spending is what reduced the 16.9% unemployment of 1936 to the 4.7% unemployment of 1942, they say.

So, Obama’s plan may not be up to snuff, may not be the fiscal equivalent of war. Paul Krugman is saying it’s only about one-third of what is needed. John Judis suggests an additional $70 billion in high-speed rail plus a new international monetary system.

Are these guys right? Or are our problems to be solved by tax breaks for the rich, Republican style? Me? I’ll take the former.

UPDATE: Obama in his press conference today said that if Paul Krugman is right, they’ll use his ideas, or at least evaluate them seriously. “No pride of authorship.”, said Obama.

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Paul Krugman is back with a great op-ed in Monday morning’s NYT. Here’s the point of his piece, taken from the second paragraph:

But there’s a problem: conservative politicians, clinging to an out-of-date ideology — and, perhaps, betting (wrongly) that their constituents are relatively well positioned to ride out the storm — are standing in the way of action.

There are already a goodly number of comments on Paul’s piece. Here’s one comment that sums up the situation perfectly in my estimation:

As a historian, I am utterly shocked by the response to this economic crisis by Conservative Republicans in Washington and Chancellor Merkel’s response in Germany. What planet are these people on? Have they ever opened up a history book? I hate to say it but it almost seems as if these people have absolutely lost their minds. Here in the U.S., I do feel that these Republicans are simply trying to score political points with their out-of-date ideology by killing another powerful labor union. Meanwhile, the middle class continues to shrink at an alarming rate. Companies like the Big 3 and other major manufacturers provide this country with thousands and thousands of middle-class decent paying jobs. However, all I hear from Republicans at my university and everywhere else is that any intervention is “socialism” or “communism” or part of some internationalist conspiracy for one world government. The Red Scare is over people and McCarthy has long been dead. Why do we keep bringing back these McCarthyist rants during these times of crisis? The truth is these economic conservatives have absolutely no clue what it is like working in a factory and being on the bottom of the ladder, struggling to make ends meet every month. All they want to do is criticize workers for wanting to make a decent wage that actually keeps up with inflation. What is wrong with that? Of course, these Conservative Republicans would have no problem voting for a raise for themselves. But at the second a poor man comes to them for help or wanting health care, they stick their noses in the air. Mr. Krugman, I hate to say this but if something is not done soon with this economic situation, this country is going to fall apart beyond description. What will it take for these people to understand the situation? Do people literally have to be starving to death in the streets, fighting for food, jumping out of windows, killing themselves in their forclosed homes before they notice the problem? I mean come on: it came out the other day that we have been in a recession since December of 2007….it took them this long to notice and fess up? We need to start acting with depression economics now before it is too late. It is time for a Kenyesian revolution now more than ever. The solution is staring in the face of not just the United States but the entire international community as a whole. Why will they not accept that their completely free-market ideology has failed them?

— Matt, Ball State University

Right! Their completely free-market ideology has failed them! And us! Let’s take some action. But we’re still in that state of limbo until Bush finally goes. :roll:

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Can it be that the world as we know it may be coming to an end? Naw, it can’t be that bad, can it? Well, I’ve been cramming as much of this global financial predicament as I can stand into my head the last couple days, between going about my daily chores and ablutions. And, as one might say, this is serious shit. Paul Krugman’s blogs have been my main starting points, but also I watched online Bill Moyers’ interview of George Soros, the man who predicted this perilous predicament a number of months ago. George states that we have wasted valuable time and are still behind the curve but may be lucky. Nothing less than a coordinated intervention by all the countries into their banking systems to supply vast sums of equity, plus huge economic stimulus packages and bailouts for homeowners, will work. Or at least it seems so. Tomorrow, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008, may be the D-Day, D for decision. Will it work? We’ll have to see.
Update Oct. 12: Well, here it is Oct. 12, Sunday, and it looks like the Europeans at least are starting to get their acts together. We’ll see about the U.S.of A. Paul Krugman still has doubts about our commitments, but thankfully our markets are closed tomorrow, the day Columbus discovered America, or so the story goes…… Oh, and here’s another great source of info on the current situation.

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Nobody expects the

Spanish Inquisition!!!

So saeth Monty Python!

Paul Krugman, the noted economist, sees a lead in with our economy here:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear and negative equity … The two things we have to fear are fear itself and negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions … Amongst the things we have to fear are fear itself, negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions.

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