Paul Krugman Profile picture
Nobel laureate. Op-Ed columnist, @nytopinion. Author, “The Return of Depression Economics,” “The Great Unraveling,” "Arguing With Zombies," + more.
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30 Apr
A very good article. Many liberals are in denial about this; they've been conditioned by experience to see the US falling short, which we often do. But not this time, on this issue 1/…
You may wonder how we managed to do so much big spending on people in need while Trump was in office. My take is that we were helped by the GOP's haplessness when it came to substance 2/
When disaster struck, Rs literally had no idea what to do — if it doesn't involve tax cuts or punishing people, their minds are empty. Yet this was bad enough that even they realized that something had to happen. So they basically signed on to plans devised by Ds 3/
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30 Apr
This Onion classic was about mass shootings, but it also applies to things like universal healthcare and now universal childcare 1/…
I'm being bombarded by claims that a national child care program is impossible — that there would be no way to police the use of the funds, that the administrative burden would be immense, etc. But many other rich countries already have such programs! 2/
In fact, child care would in important ways be easier than health care reform. The big problem Obamacare had to confront was the existing crazy quilt of private insurance, which it tried to disturb as little as possible; this added a lot of complexity 3/
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29 Apr
The argument, such as it is, is that we should just give families money. So does the right support giving them money? Why, no 1/
The arguments change, reflecting whatever they think might stick. But the bottom line is always the same: no help for people who need it 2/
Working mothers are, on average, better educated and better paid than working women in general. But why 3/….
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29 Apr
The GOP response to Biden's speech decried "the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation," presumably a ref to the 1993 Clinton tax hike, after which we ... added 23 million jobs 1/…
Obama also substantially increased taxes in 2013, after which we ... gained 10 million more jobs 2/
Fwiw, this may represent genuine ignorance. Many GOP figures seem unaware that anything good happened between Reagan and Trump. After all, who that they listen to will tell them? 3/
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28 Apr
This gets at a broader thing I've been noticing since Bush: the demand that hacks and thugs be granted an unearned presumption of dignity because of the office they hold 1/
Once upon a time it was "how dare you suggest that THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" is leading us to war on false pretenses 2/
Under Trump it was "how dare you suggest that THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" is betraying the nation to Putin, and lining his own pocket at taxpayer expense 3/
Read 6 tweets
27 Apr
The Census confirms what we already basically knew: stalling population growth. Especially striking if you look at prime working years 1/
But isn't less population pressure on the environment a good thing? Yes, in some ways. But given how we run our economy, two big problems. First, fewer workers to take care of seniors 2/
Second, reduced investment demand, which pushes interest rates down, which in turn makes it hard to fight recessions (10-year rate minus 3-year average core inflation) 3/
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23 Apr
Tempted to say "Hey, I never ignored it." But when I published The Age of Diminished Expectations in 1990, the editors wanted me to remove the chapter on soaring inequality, saying that nobody cared 1/
That said, international trade economists were very aware of inequality as an issue in the 90s, because we had a model — Stolper-Samuelson — that told us to worry, and a fact — rising imports of manufactures from developing countries — that played right into that model 2/
In retrospect, too much focus on college-noncollege gap and not on wider issues, but some of us were well aware of those too. I talked about the 1% in that 1990 book 3/
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22 Apr
One thing I haven't seen pointed out much as the vaccination campaign moves forward is that this is a rare case in which individual decisions about whether to act responsibly are crucial to the outcome 1/
On issues like climate change, personal decisions are of marginal importance: we can't save the planet by persuading more people to paper instead of plastic or eat less meat. It's almost all about public policy 2/
But on vaccines, it's rapidly becoming clear that the crucial question isn't how many vaccines we can supply, it's how many people are willing to take them. Individual choices to be irresponsible and not take the shots may have catastrophic effects 3/
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21 Apr
Thinking some more about this: what do consumer expectations about inflation really tell us? The answer is, they're mainly about the *current* price of oil 1/
Chart 2/
One interpretation is that when people answer questions about inflation, they're really telling the survey whether they think the cost of living is currently high. In any case, consumer inflation expectations obviously haven't been a good predictor 3/
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21 Apr
We need a name for this kind of thing, which is a new stage in right-wing denial of facts. Maybe "lying eyes," as in "Who you gonna believe?" 1/
It's one thing to, say, reject data and refuse to believe experts on climate change; it's another to believe in conspiracy theories. In both cases, however, you aren't denying the clear experience of millions of people 2/
But to assert that DC was a ghost town last night, when anyone there can tell you it wasn't is a whole additional level of denial. Same for assertions that BLM demonstrators pillaged Manhattan, etc. Who you gonna believe, Tucker Carlson or your lying eyes? 3/
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18 Apr
Under Obama, the GOP could always round up the usual suspects to attack any effort to help the economy recover 2/…
They could find economists to make outlandish claims on behalf of Trump's economics 3/…
But these days the closest thing to an economists' critique of Biden is coming from ... Larry Summers. Are GOP economists unwilling to support the party of insurrection? Are they embarrassed about the inflation and investment boom that never came? 4/
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15 Apr
The difference from 2009, when Republicans managed to demonize everything Obama did, is amazing. Would like to see a serious poli-sci analysis. I can think of several stories 1/

1. Voters aren't scared of an affable old white guy
2. The populist nature of the policies has appeal
3. Rs paying the price for past deficit hypocrisy; nobody believes their posturing
4. The electorate has moved left

I actually don't know which is right 2/
But it's kind of funny to watch Rs keep repeating the magic words — socialism! job-killing! Democrat party! — in the belief that they'll work if only they say them often enough. 3/
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14 Apr
Will Andrew Yang actually become mayor? Will he be any good? I have no idea. I do know that he's dead wrong on his signature issue 1/…
Far from seeing a huge, job-destroying surge in productivity, we're seeing very slow productivity gains 2/…
By the way, the slowdown is really pronounced in manufacturing 3/
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11 Apr
Email from Peterson Institute for International Economics: John Williamson died yesterday. A lovely person and a major contributor to international economics — among other things coined the term "Washington Consensus" 1/…
Williamson also devised the "crawling peg" exchange rate system, which helped developing countries escape from repeated balance of payments crises. 2/
And I've long been indebted to him for the phrase "the doctrine of immaculate transfer," for claims that capital movements can somehow take place without changes in real exchange rates to induce the corresponding trade imbalances 3/
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11 Apr
So, will this be Inflation Freakout Week? Maybe, or maybe it will wait a month or two. But soon we'll be seeing some big headline price rises — and it will be important to put them in context. Even if you're worried about a long hot Summers of overheating, this won't be it 1/
Where we are now is that what looks like rapid economic recovery will run into bottlenecks that cause some prices to rise quickly — and temporarily. That is, it won't represent a rise in underlying inflation, it will just be a blip 2/
A fairly recent historical precedent: early 2008, when rising global demand hit bottlenecks in commodity production. Commodity prices really surged 3/
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10 Apr
This interview with Brian Deese is excellent, but I find it quite disturbing. Why? Because I've looked for major ways in which I disagree with Deese, and I can't find any 1/…?
I've been banging the drum for a while on things like describing short-term spending as disaster relief, not stimulus, making climate policy about job creation not just a carbon price, giving a lot of weight to political salability; spooky to see it all here 2/
Huge contrast with the early Obama years, when I was shouting into the wind about the underpowered stimulus and the foolishness of bipartisan fantasies 3/
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7 Apr
That's a pet peeve of mine. Everyone knows that the $'s reserve status changes everything — everyone except people who've actually looked into the issue carefully 1/
I still see constant assertions that the US has a unique ability to run persistent trade deficits bc of $'s role. Except many other countries do the same 2/
Here are current account balances as % of GDP for US, UK, Australia 3/
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5 Apr
I've been a bit surprised to see some Republicans opposing Biden's plans by claiming that the Trump tax cut for corporations was a big success. I thought they'd gone into hiding given its dismal failure 1/
I mean, we were promised a huge surge in business investment; here's what actually happened 2/
But silly me. The players involved here have a long history of denying plain facts that conflict with their agenda. Remember how Rs responded to the surge in Obamacare enrollments? 3/…
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2 Apr
Morning in America! 1/
Still a long way to go, but full employment by early next year — and maybe some temporary overheating — now looking very plausible. Why so different from the sluggish recovery after 2008? 2/
I and others were predicting a V-shaped recovery this time because the pandemic shock, unlike the deleveraging shock of 2008, didn't leave a large overhang of impediments to recovery 3/…
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1 Apr
Having a bit of fun delving into the history of infrastructure spending. Q: how big a deal was the Erie Canal? It cost $7 million, which sounds trivial. 1/
But the US economy was vastly smaller then than it is now, and prices were much lower. This may have been almost 1% of a year's GDP, the equivalent of ~$200 billion today 2/…
And this was a state, not a national project. As a share of New York's GDP, it was probably the equivalent of a national project > $1 trillion today 3/
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1 Apr
This attack might have a smidgen of credibility if the Trump tax cut had actually caused corporations to bring money back to America and invest more 1/…
But it didn't. 2/…
As a result, Trump's tax cut was basically a giveaway to stockholders — and foreigners own 40 percent of US equities 3/…
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