Not going to try and parse the latest numbers; just read Ernie Tedeschi. One thing we should be aware of, however, is that economic numbers going into the election will be historically uninformative 1/
The problem is that we're living on Covid time, and things change so fast that normal data are vastly out of date compared with where we are 2/
The final pre-election employment report will be released early next month, but it will reflect data collected *last week* — ie, give almost no sense of where the job market is in the weeks before Election Day 3/
The GDP report on Oct. 29 will, as I understand it, reflect average GDP for the 3rd quarter, which roughly means growth from May-August, which we know was fast as the economy partly snapped back from lockdown; but we also suspect that growth has slowed a lot since then 4/
So we'll be going into the election with official data that, through nobody's fault, tells us very little about what's really going on 5/
Now, real people don't read GDP reports. The public will on average come into the election with a sense that things have improved from the bottom but are still pretty bad — which is about right. 6/
This is, I think, bad news for Trump. The economy won't be bad enough to noticeably hurt him, unless that last job report is really bad; but it won't help him much either. And what else does he have? 7/
People believe (rightly) that he isn't even trying to save American lives, and his "scary antifa is coming for the suburbs" pitch doesn't seem to be working 8/
I guess we'll see what he and Barr come up with for an October surprise. But making the economy great again again isn't going to cut it 9/

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More from @paulkrugman

20 Sep
In terms of policy, the immediate impact of the Supreme Court fight is most obvious on the fate of Obamacare. So worth remembering what Rs declared about the ACA: It wouldn't work, it would kill jobs, and it would explode the budget deficit. How did it turn out? 1/
ACA went into full effect in 2014. Uninsured rates (<65) in US and CA, which expanded Medicaid and in general implemented the law as intended 2/ Image
Employment. See the effect of ACA (and also Trump election)? Neither do I 3/ Image
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
Why is the SC like the budget deficit? Not a trick question. There's actually a strong parallel: in both cases Republicans claimed absolute allegiance to a supposed principle; in both cases they instantly abandoned said principle as soon as it was politically advantageous 1/
Not sure how many people remember the extent to which Rs spent most of the Obama years claiming that deficits were an existential threat. Those of us who pointed out that they were obvious phonies were lambasted as partisan 2/ nytimes.com/2010/08/06/opi… Image
Then Trump squeaked in, and suddenly deficits vanished as an issue and $2 trillion tax cuts were just fine. Even govt aid was fine as long as it went to the right people: $28 billion for farmers even as Puerto Rico got stiffed 3/
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
I have no idea what will happen in the election. But I keep seeing statements to the effect that Trump may have an upside if the economy is strong. People, the election is only 1 1/2 months away; some voting has already begun! 1/
This means that there just isn't time for economic perceptions to change much. There will be only 1 more jobs report, based on data from *last week*; it will probably show gains, but at a slowing pace, and won't change anyone's mind (unless it's disastrous) 2/
There will be a 3rd quarter GDP report, which will show big gains — but I think most people will realize that it's about the summer snapback, and not about whether we're making America great again again again 3/
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep
A lot of people in the news media seem baffled by the utter failure of Trump's law and order stuff to move the needle, at least if the polls are right. As many are now pointing out, 2020 isn't 1968; but why didn't everyone realize that? My answer is, examine thyself 1/
After 2016 many in the media effectively reached the cynical conclusion that white Americans are very, very racist. And a lot of them (us) are. But remember that Trump barely squeaked through — and he wouldn't have gotten close without a lot of help from ... the news media 2/
I mean, judging from media coverage the most important issue of 2016 was Hillary's email server; Trump's racism and dishonesty, while not ignored, were crowded out by breathless coverage of a fake scandal 3/
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep
You know, once upon a time — maybe even last year — the WTO ruling that the centerpiece of Trump's trade policy was illegitimate would have been considered major news. As it was, people barely noticed 1/ nytimes.com/2020/09/15/bus…
Not disagreeing with media organization, btw: with the fate of democracy on the line, even trade specialists have a hard time focusing on other stuff. But this offers an occasion for brief nerdy thread on a problem I'm having with textbook revision 2/
I've been co-author of an intermediate textbook on international economics for many editions — I think we used stone axes to chisel out the first edition — and we've always included a ch on political economy of trade policy, emphasizing the importance of special interests 3/
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep
I’m going to do a delayed update on a tweet from 9/11 that sparked a lot of outrage. Before I start, however, let me give you some data from the FBI’s hate crimes database, showing victims of hate crimes by motivation in selected years. ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime 1/
A caveat: the “anti-Islamic” category understates the real total, because there was also a rise in hate crimes based on “national origin/ethnicity,” some of which was surely anti-Arab and anti-groups confused with Arabs, such as Sikhs. But it won't change the basic picture. 2/
I wrote that “there wasn't a mass outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence.” I didn’t mean that there was no outbreak, but that it wasn’t as severe as one might have expected and feared. Maybe my point would have been clearer if I had provided the data above. 3/
Read 10 tweets

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