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March 05, 2010

Paul Krugman Thinks Republicans Are Stupid Because They Agree Wtih, Er, Paul Krugman

James Taranto looks at Krugman's Thursday column in the NY Times attacking Republican Senator John Kyl. Krugman was not impressed with Kyl's argument that extending unemployment benefits created an incentive that could actually increase unemployment.

Krugman scoffs: "To me, that's a bizarre point of view—but then, I don't live in Mr. Kyl's universe."

What does textbook economics have to say about this question? Here is a passage from a textbook called "Macroeconomics":

Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of "Eurosclerosis," the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.

So it turns out that what Krugman calls Sen. Kyl's "bizarre point of view" is, in fact, textbook economics. The authors of that textbook are Paul Krugman and Robin Wells. Miss Wells is also known as Mrs. Paul Krugman.

I was out with a liberal friend one night when I saw a flyer promoting a local appearance by Krugman. My friend said she was a big fan and expressed disappointment when she realized the appearance was the night before. I explained that I too was disappointed because I would have loved to have gone and heckled the guy.

Apparently once upon a time, Krugman was actually a rather good economist. It seems at some point he decided he'd rather have the fame and fortune that goes with toeing the liberal line in a Times column. Life is about choices.


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posted by DrewM. at 07:05 PM

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