The Paul Krugman Thread:

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1 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 06:32:55 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
I love to bring him up. Might as well give the guy his own thread.
2 USAF71318th Sep 2011 06:34:34 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
So, since not all of us are familiar with him, let's start by talking about who he is:

In a nutshell, he's a Keynesian economist who pisses off the Right and Left, and who is apparently very good, but... unorthodox.

Anything to add, Tomu, or is that basically the gist of it?

Edit: That's a great demotivator. [lol]

edited 18th Sep '11 6:36:25 PM by USAF713

I am now known as Flyboy.
3 Enkufka18th Sep 2011 06:39:25 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Enjoyed that.

You did post that one time about how he is rated more correct than most pundits who predict things. Might be a good idea to post that before someone comes in and calls him a "partisan hack"
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
4 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 06:43:55 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Nah, it's better to wait for someone to put their foot in their mouth so you can be all like "NOPE YUR WRONG~"

In all seriousness, he needs a thread. Because he's a guy I mention a lot.
5 AceofSpades18th Sep 2011 07:23:56 PM , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
So how exactly does he piss off the left and right?
6 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:29:48 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
He pisses off the left because he calls Democrats out on being pussies, and for not going far enough. In particular, he's very critical of blue dog democrats. Finally, he abhors the cult of centrism, which is the media that basically in order to avoid being accused of having a "liberal bias" will let Republicans on to say total BS crap that's demonstrably false and not call them out on it.

Basically, anytime a liberal isn't liberal enough, he calls them out on it.

As for how he pisses off Republicans? Well, he likes Keynesian economics-aka "Spend your way out of a recession." He promotes tax hikes for the richest Americans. He points out that austerity measures have not improved Ireland's economy one whit.

Pretty simple stuff.
7 MajorTom18th Sep 2011 07:33:33 PM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ And here I thought it was his Holier Than Thou condescending manner that's so elitist it makes actual elitists like John Kerry look positively everyman.

edited 18th Sep '11 7:33:47 PM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
8 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:35:29 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Well, he doesn't pull punches (he is, at times, vitriolic), I'll give you that much.

Also: Stop derailing the thread into John Kerry. Maybe you didn't mean to, but now I have to call you out on BS on that, and blah blah blah, and it's just gonna run around in circles.

Krugman doesn't really dumb things down. He actually talks on an academic plane. That some people might somehow think that makes it wrong is just rather mindboggling.

edited 18th Sep '11 7:36:12 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

9 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:35:45 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
He is pretentious. But I imagine that Don't Shoot the Message comes into play.

I take less issue with his arrogance and more with his "and everybody who reads should already understand economics." That is the worst form of elitism, IMO: not that you think you're better, but that you think explaining is below you, apparently...
I am now known as Flyboy.
10 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:37:00 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
USAF, if you don't get it, you're really not the target audience <_< And there are some things that can't really be explained to laymen. Particle physics for instance.

He will occasionally try an analogy, but he's not always that good at them ;x

edited 18th Sep '11 7:37:32 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

11 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:38:41 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Target audience my ass.

If the economists expect anybody to take them seriously, they damn well better come up with a better way of explaining, and don't just go "well, just go with it, ok?"

This is why sociology is the best science: easy explanations for everything. tongue
I am now known as Flyboy.
12 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:39:22 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
For every real world complex problem there is a simple solution-

-that doesn't work.

<Attributed to Einstein, along with about 10 billion other people>
13 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:42:11 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Simple solution? Hardly.

An explanation for how the solution works that isn't mind-fuckingly difficult to understand without 10 years of economics courses? Yes, I'd think that's quite possible...
I am now known as Flyboy.
14 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:43:29 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Dude, I had four ;P

Besides, you're overestimating how dense what Krugman's saying is. It's maybe not "Common man's thinking" but it's not like it's particle physics.
15 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:45:15 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
It's usually not dense in terms of text, but the graphs are mind-boggling and he often starts at the top-level with the assumption that everything he's saying makes sense.
I am now known as Flyboy.
16 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:46:02 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Well, give an example, maybe I can help explain it.
17 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:49:26 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.

What he's saying makes sense ("this policy fucked shit up, and the new one will only negate the damage caused by that, not bring us back into the green"), but the graph... does not make sense...
I am now known as Flyboy.
18 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:52:28 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Q means quarter. The Y axis is percentage points. My guess is we're talking growth as a percentage of GDP.

The basic blue line is the Obama proposal-that is, expectations if the propsal goes into effect. The dotted blue line would be the "adjusted" proposal. You'll note that the Obama proposal will just barely get us into positive growth territory, whereas the dotted proposal won't.

What's complicated? None of this has to do with economics even. It's just reading graphs. You should have learned that in high school. Probably in senior year.

Hmm... the bars are kinda weird come to think of it. Also, remember: this isn't a graph he made. This is him presenting a graph he found elsewhere that he thought was a pretty good indicator of the information that policy makers should be looking at.

edited 18th Sep '11 7:53:48 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

Basically, it says 'Dude, the President is thinking way too small with his Jobs act.' Which is what I (and Tomu and probably others) have been stating in several threads for quite some time, especially in regard to the first stimulus.
20 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:55:40 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I'm a junior in high school, buddy. tongue I also passed up AP Microeconomics (and American Foreign Policy) in favor of Spanish.

Dumb mistake, but, ah well.

What I don't get are why... oh, alright. So, the blue line with dots is "if the Republicans succeed in gutting the bill of everything but tax cuts?"

What are the big bars? Those are confusing... And I'm not really sure what the black line is, either.
I am now known as Flyboy.
21 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 07:57:26 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
The graph doesn't adequately explain them <_<

I... think it's a reflection of the spending of state, local, and federal governments, but ... that really shouldn't go on the same graph.

Honestly, I'm beginning to wonder if this WAS a good graph for Krugman to use. Shame, Krugman. Shame.

edited 18th Sep '11 7:59:06 PM by TheyCallMeTomu

22 USAF71318th Sep 2011 07:59:31 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
See! tongue
I am now known as Flyboy.
23 TheyCallMeTomu18th Sep 2011 08:01:10 PM , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
But it's not his graph! and if you ignore the bars it makes sense? :P

In all seriousness, looking at it further, the bars are a representative of how state and local and federal spending affects overall GDP. The lines are a reflection of expected GDP. So, they're sort of merging two graphs together that are tangentially related. I'd separate the graphs entirely myself.
24 USAF71318th Sep 2011 08:04:07 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Yes, it makes sense without the graph. I still don't get what the black line is, but...

This one is good—true and intriguing. Also amusing, which is good for holding attention for those of us who might otherwise be lost to the economics implications...
I am now known as Flyboy.
The light gray line represents state and local spending, and the dark line represents federal spending. The black line represents the sum of the two; that is, total effect of government fiscal policy on the economy. The blue lines represent alternative fiscal scenarios whereby portions of the Obama Jobs Act get passed.

The takeaway: even with massive fiscal stimulus at the federal level, it is only just sufficient to counteract massive fiscal drag caused by budget cuts and the state and local levels (which are usually required to maintain balanced budgets through thick and thin).

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