Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why I LOVE Paul Krugman

Economics -- Just shoot me now, right? It's dry, boring, and (worst of all) complicated.  Right? The best thing ordinary folks can do is leave decisions about the economy to the big boys who know what they are doing.  Right? Enter, Paul Krugman.
Paul Krugman

I am tired of people telling me economics is just too complicated.  It really isn't.  I love Paul Krugman because he offers clear, concise, compelling explanations of economic issues without the bombast of name calling and the self-righteous rantings of unsubstantiated nonsense.

If you want the whole picture, you can read his book, End this Depression Now   (or you can start with my review of it) and then you can decide for yourself.  I have read a number of books about how we got where we are, but not so many about what we need to do about it.

Krugman presents a map for cleaning up the mess and ending the pain.  He backs it up with facts, with analysis, and with sound reasoning.  It is easy to understand and important to try.

If you want daily updates, you can read his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal.

In the meantime, here is what you need to know.  First, the things we are told  "we all know" are most likely dead wrong.  For example, "we all know that government cannot create jobs."  Government can, has, and should be involved in a major jobs creation programs.  

Second, the information Krugman uses is available to everyone yet, for various reasons, the experts we rely on are lying to us.  If we continue to act as if they are telling the truth, we are choosing to be mislead.

Third, the deficit is not nearly as important as job creation.  For one thing, because the deficit is tied to GDP (gross domestic product), when GDP increases, the deficit is automatically reduced.  See how easy it is to understand?

Finally, the only thing really holding our economy in stagnation is lack of clarity coupled with lack of political will.  Krugman makes a good case for the clarity.  We are responsible for the political will.

That's why this election is so important.  More clearly than ever, we are choosing between continuing the path outlined by economic ideologues who have a major stake in ignoring actual verifiable facts and a path that is at least willing to look at the facts and try something different.

So, where do you stand on current economic issues?  Is the trickle down (or as Archie Bunker called it, "tinkle down") economic strategy helping you?  Do you think more tax breaks for the wealthy will create more jobs or do you want the government to take action and create jobs now?  How would you get the economy moving again?

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