Obviously this is a subjective take (which is fine!) but there are multiple reasons now to believe that reports of NYC's death were greatly exaggerated — and that's part of a larger story 1/ nytimes.com/2021/12/30/nyr…
Until Covid came along we were looking at a clear — and in some ways troubling — bifurcation of US economic geography. A knowledge economy "wanted" to concentrate in large, highly educated metros, leaving much of the heartland stranded 2/
Then came the virus, and for a little while people thought "density=death", and hence that the trend would reverse — although even then such movement as took place was largely to suburbs and exurbs of the big metros 3/
But while Covid killed a lot of people in the NYC area in the early months, that turns out to have been mainly about arriving there first at a time when we didn't know enough about ways to cope. The correlation btw density and death soon vanished 4/
And with the coming of the vaccines the correlation went into reverse, bc highly educated metros are also highly vaxxed. For a little while Omicron seemed to be replaying the initial story, but that's going away fast as Omicron surges in the south. 5/
At a guess FL will soon be reporting higher case rates than NY state; Miami already past NYC despite doing only about 1/4 as much testing. And given lower vax rates, this will probably mean more, maybe a lot more, hospitalizations and death in red states soon 6/
So disease won't be a factor deterring the relative rise of highly educated metros. If anything it might be a factor going the other way, bc highly educated areas aren't just more vaxxed, they're more supportive of science-based public health measures 7/
The main limit to this process, as far as I can tell, is housing: NIMBYism is a huge force making places like NYC (and, of course, CA even worse) unaffordable. People may be more productive and, it turns out, safer in big coastal metros, but can't afford housing 8/
But that was true before. What's striking about Covid is that it hasn't changed the forces of geographic unequalization and may have reinforced them 9/

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More from @paulkrugman

1 Jan
Do you share my sense of dread about the year ahead? If not, why not? 1/
At this point I'm not personally all that afraid of Covid. I do know vaxxed/boosted people who've had breakthrough cases, but both anecdotes and the available data say that these cases are usually mild. For those acting responsibly, we're down to normal-risks-of-life levels 2/
Longer term I'm terrified of climate change. But at this point that fear has been overtaken by the near-term risk of political catastrophe right here in America 3/
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 21
Price controls VERY occasionally have their uses — during wartime when rationing is rampant and perceived fairness/lack of profiteering are important 2/
There's also a *possible* argument for temporary controls to break a wage-price spiral that is persisting despite a weak economy — although making that work is so hard that it would be a strategy of last resort 3/
But we don't have a weak economy; we have inflation because we have a booming economy, with supply chains having trouble keeping up with the boom in goods consumption. And there's no hint of a wage-price spiral 4/
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 21
Covid time is a flat circle, especially in FL. Remember when the first Covid wave started in the NY area, and right-wingers demanded that we apologize to Ron DeSantis — just as infections and deaths soared across the Sunbelt? 1/
Then that episode went down the memory hole and it was back to anti-mask and social distancing being great — until the Delta wave wreaked havoc across the red states, FL in particular 2/
And then that wave subsided, and until a few days ago DeSantis's people were boasting about their low case rate as Omicron hit the Northeast first. Sure enough 3/
Read 8 tweets
19 Dec 21
Absolutely. As someone who began my academic career in the late 70s, as equilibrium macro was tightening its grip, we all knew that fundamental business cycle issues were a minefield nobody with a reality sense would enter 1/
Try to publish anything in which monetary policy — let alone fiscal policy — did what it clearly did in the real world, and you would be blockaded from the journals and frozen out of appointment committees. You had to keep yr views private and build your reputation elsewhere 2/
International macro was a bit better because Rudi Dornbusch's work kept sticky-price macro respectable. But even so you had to frame your work as being abt exchange rates or financial crises and hope people didn't notice the Keynesian core 3/ krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/rud…
Read 5 tweets
17 Dec 21
Wondering whether David will get the kind of hate mail I've been receiving over my Kentucky piece 1/ nytimes.com/2021/12/17/bri…
The odd thing was that I didn't say anything negative about the people of Kentucky (as opposed to their politicians), or assert in any way that they were responsible for their state's problems. I just pointed out the arithmetic 2/ nytimes.com/2021/12/14/opi…
All I said was that KY should acknowledge that it benefits from a transfer union in which richer states subsidize poorer — as they should! Btw, I did a scatterplot on this a couple of years back 3/
Read 4 tweets
16 Dec 21
My long take on inflation. Timing was fortuitously good — right after the Fed's sort-of pivot, which I was able to incorporate 1/ nytimes.com/2021/12/16/opi…
I say sort-of pivot because while the Fed has stopped saying "transitory", it still seems to believe that much of the inflation we're currently experiencing will fade away without the need to impose a lot of economic pain 2/
One odd thing about this debate is that the actual policy demands of the inflation hawks have been pretty moderate: an end to bond purchases (which I've always supported) and a baseline of fairly modest rate hikes. And that's what the Fed just delivered 3/
Read 5 tweets

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