Quote of the Week – BONUS Krugman insanity edition

I had no more than published the QOTW yesterday, and this one popped up. I’m of the opinion now that NYT economist and columnist Paul Krugman has gone insane, because nobody with any intact cognition would make a statement like this. Even Al Gore hasn’t gone this far, this is in nucking futz territory.

The scene is set on HBO’s Real Time Friday. Krugman is a guest, pitching his book, but at the same time pitching an idea that he’s totally serious about. It involves aliens and scientists and lies to the public on a grand scale, plus a shout out to California’s high-speed rail boondoggle. Here’s the transcript, brace yourself.

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: This is hard to get people to do, much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.”

But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.

Watch the video here: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/05/26/krugman-scientists-should-falsely-predict-alien-invasion-so-governmen#ixzz1w5zk6aAO

UPDATE: one commenter thinks he’s being sarcastic or tongue in cheek, here’s my response –

If he had left the comment at that, I’d agree with you, but he added this without saying “I’m joking” or “That’s silly but…”

But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.

He’s a big boy, he knows the ropes of these interviews, and he didn’t insert an appropriate caveat. – Anthony

UPDATE2: This is now a theme with Krugman. Obviously he stands by his words or he would not have repeated it. See 1:01 in this Aug 14th, 2011 video.

===========================================================

The signs have been there. In Feb 2011, Krugman pulled another whopper. Paul Krugman’s opinion in the NY Times blamed climate change for the unrest in Egypt.

Dr. Ryan N. Maue wrote then:

Based upon this quote from Krugman:

But the evidence tells a different, much more ominous story. While several factors have contributed to soaring food prices, what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning.

There is no other way to interpret this than “I told you so” from Krugman directly linking climate change and the disparate weather events of the past year or two to food prices and the crises in the Arab world. To various commenters who are defending Krugman religiously, do you doubt that Krugman is linking the events implicitly or explicitly?  Remind you, this is the same Nobel prize winner that less than a few hours after Congresswoman Giffords was shot blamed conservatives for the so-called “Climate of Hate“.  How does he have ANY credibility at all — especially with anything related to physical sciences?

==============================================================

Indeed.

h/t to WUWT reader “good business”

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byz

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
John Maynard Keynes

Luther Wu

Oh yeah, spend some more “government” money, that’s the ticket.
U.S. gov’t debt is now over $138,500 per taxpayer and inflation is …
Print some more money and spend it.
That should help.

George E. Smith;

Krugman is nutz. World food output is directly proportional to world energy input to the food system. More energy for tractors, and other farming equipment means more food. Even the energy in the powder in an “eskimo’s” rifle ammo, increases his food production, as doe his snowmobile fuel.
So when enviro-wackos force curbs on world energy production, and raise energy costs, they doom some of the world population to starvation and the rest of it to higher food prices.

R. Shearer

Take a hard look at Krugman, Hansen, Gore, Mann, Gleick, McKibben, doesn’t it seem possible that something alien has infected their brains, leading to their insanity?

k scott denison

Nucking Futs comes close, but doesn’t go far enough. He is obsessed with the government spending more of money it doesn’t have and there is nothing he wouldn’t have some do, no matter how dishonest, to drive this spending. Alas, the spending won’t work, but he’s hellbent to see that it happens.
I guess if it weren’t so dangerous it would be sad to see.

tomjtx@sbcglobal.net

I think you are off base about his aliens comment. Watch the video, he is obviously being sarcastic. He is making the point that gov’t spending is what will bring us out of the great recession and referencing that it took the arms spending we did just before we entered WW2 to lift us out of the depression.
So maybe an alien invasion would get us off our butts and do the spending he feels is necessary.
If you disagree with Keynes, fine. But you don’t need to distort what Krugman said.
REPLY: If he had left the comment at that, I’d agree with you, but he added this without saying “I’m joking” or “That’s silly but…”
But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.
He’s a big boy, he knows the ropes of these interviews, and he didn’t insert an appropriate caveat. Sorry, your point fails. – Anthony

If he is serious he is totally barking, if he is not he is totally barking. Why a high speed rail link? Does he think an alien spaceship with warp drive will not be able to catch it?

byz

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.
Winston Churchill (his mother was American)

Krugman has a nasty economics text book which my daughter was obliged to buy for a class. Cost more than $100….It is a tough job ripping off students.

Follow the Money

BYZ–
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
John Maynard Keynes”
BYZ, that is an A+ zinger. Well played.

Babsy

R. Shearer says:
May 27, 2012 at 11:41 am
“Take a hard look at Krugman, Hansen, Gore, Mann, Gleick, McKibben, doesn’t it seem possible that something alien has infected their brains, leading to their insanity?”
It’s liberalism on parade! Oh, the HUMANITY!!!

Curiousgeorge

Maybe he was talking about Illegal Aliens, and signed up. Naaaa. Watched too many episodes of Ancient Aliens. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Those guys were smart – all those pyramids and stuff. 😉

I think Krugman is trying (poorly) to do a “Haha! Only serious.” He obviously does believe in aliens, and he wants you to believe as well, but he can’t bring himself to mention them, unless he can (clumsily) pass it off as a joke when somebody calls him on his crap.

GoodBusiness

Let me understand – Krugman (Economics – 2008), Gore (Peace – 2007, Obama (Peace 2008), Carter (Peace – 200e all share a common award – NOBEL Laureates all. Makes one wounder about POLITICS huh?

gnomish

i need a new drug
one that won’t get debate
one that we consense about
one that lets the fed inflate.
i need a new grant
any crisis will do
one that let’s me rip a rant
keep the lifestyle i’m accustomed to

Paul Westhaver

So…..
What is new about liberals telling a big lie and enrolling Hollywood to perpetuate the lie in order to back door profound policy initiatives favored by the left? This is normal operating procedure for the left, and since many scientist live in the left sphere, they are involved with it. They see it as actually acceptable behavior.
This why the act of lying, particularly within science, is so repulsive and why there should be a campaign of perpetual public ridicule if not criminal prosecution for anyone, particularly scientists who lie or contribute to a lie for the advancement of their own financial, religious, and/or political goals.
Michael Mann is a poster child for this and should occupy the coverage for a permanent legacy publication of known corruptors of truth. Paul Krugman is a lie by design advocate.
Lie at any cost because the end justifies the means….a axiom of the left.
There needs to be a severe penalty for lying. If I know that a person tells lies, I never speak to them anymore. For all you really know about a person is what comes out of their mouth. If that information is false, you are better off listening to nothing at all. Because at least nothing is neutral. Liars needs to be ostracized.

Krugman has also very seriously implied that natural disasters are good for the economy:
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/23/a-tsunami-of-bad-economics
Presumably Krugman, since he believes in CAGW, also prays that we will have more CAGW, since it supposedly causes all manner of disasters, and disasters are supposedly good for the economy.

As far as Egypt goes, he has a point. Since the Aswan Dam was built, the silt-bearing flood waters of the Nile no longer fertilize the river flood-plains. As the natural fertility has diminished, more and more expensive fertilizer has had to be imported, raising food prices. the burgeoning populations of the oil-rich states also have to be fed, and are prepared to pay top price to the egyptian farmers, So by stretching a few points Man Made Climate Change has happened in the Nile valley – just not the way Krugman describes.

GoodBusiness says:”Krugman (Economics – 2008), Gore (Peace – 2007, Obama (Peace 2008), Carter (Peace – 200e all share a common award – NOBEL Laureates all. Makes one wounder about POLITICS huh?”
Nope. The “Nobel Prize in Economics” does not exist. Alfred Nobel did not consider Economics a science. The “Nobel in Economics” is actually the Swedish Bank Prize and to call it a Nobel Prize is to go against the wishes of Alfred Nobel.

P Walker

tomjtx ,
Perhaps , but this isn’t the first time Krugman has mentioned alien invasions . In Feb. 2011 (I think) he wished we were threatened with an alien attack in order to ramp up defense spending , apparently forgetting that we were already fighting two wars . Krugman is insane .

Randle Dewees

The Dire Menace that requires Marshalling all of society’s resources. Pretty tired device. A better menace, and one that could actually happen, is a large comet on a high certainty collision orbit with the Earth. What if “The Consenous” determines that it is technically feasible to mitigate this hazard, but at the cost of all the productive capacity of the world, what happens? The world is saved but now enslaved?

MarkG

“He is making the point that gov’t spending is what will bring us out of the great recession and referencing that it took the arms spending we did just before we entered WW2 to lift us out of the depression.”
Government spending sucks money out of productive private uses to throw at what are mostly worthless boondoggles that no-one in their right mind would invest in. WWII ‘saved’ America because it required the rolling back of numerous regulations which had seriously harmed American business, and because most of America’s economic competitors were either bankrupt or bombed to heck afterward.
If you want growth, you need to roll back government spending and regulation, not increase it. All that’s left if you continue down the current path is decline into bankruptcy.
Perhaps Krugman should read up on the Broken Window Fallacy before he spouts more nonsense.

Krugman is one of the many delusional Keynesian economists who believe you can spend yourself out of debt and tax yourself wealthy. He conflates belt tightening with efforts to increase economic activity. His delusion is in his belief that there’s a magical money tree which perpetually sprouts wealth.
The austerity programs in Europe are not designed to grow an economy, they are implemented because they simply don’t have anymore money. They’ve been operating under the Keynesian economics for so long places like Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain have discovered that there is no magical govt wealth creating tree. Now they’re stuck relying upon Germany to float their economies.
What Krugman doesn’t understand about the U.S., is that our debt payments is interfering with our ability to provide for the social programs he thinks we need. By 2017 (in five short years) our debt payments will exceed $500 billion/year. It will be 1/8th of our entire budget.
So, what is to be done? It’s simple. We go back to the form of economics which worked. Have government get out of the way and create an environment which spurs economic growth from the private sector. Drilling, mining, industrialization. Of course, you’ll never get a leftists to understand this, much less advocate it.

My Real Science comment:
“Paul Krugman advocated on HBO’s Real Time Friday that scientists should get together and lie about an imminent attack to boost federal spending.”
Krugman is a hardened socialist / communist, about as leftist as you get. Some leftists, like Stalin, thought it was good to kill off a large portion of his own population. Compared to that, I guess, the fact that the leftists openly advocate outright lying, is not a big deal.
The leftist zealots behind the climate change scare are predictably also big time supporters of lying to deceive the public:
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace
“We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.” -Stephen Schneider, ipcc author, 1989
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, Chairman of Environmental Studies at UCSB
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. global warming.. would fit the bill…It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or…one invented for the purpose.” -Club of Rome

FreddyB

I firmly believe that Paul Krugman’s neo-Keynesianism is not economics at all. Economics concerns the attempt to satisfy unlimited demand with limited resources. Neo-Keynesianism is simply an effort to produce as much employment and GDP without regard to value, effect, or efficiency.

Mark T

Not one of them is a Nobel laureate. Look it uo.
Mark

Jason

Hansen, Krugman, and Suzuki are a skeptics best friend. They are the “Joe Biden” of global warming, the “gift that keeps on giving”, and while we’re at it…… “chuckoo for cocoa puffs.”

Dr Ken Pollock

This is the basic premise of “Report from Iron Mountain” thoght to have been written by John Kenneth Galbraith. Invent an alien threat to get the nations to work together.

sean2829

The Nobel committee seem to be using the prize to provide affirmation of their liberal socialist thinking.

Paul Westhaver

Aliens…..The new religion of the left. “Alien” has replaced “God” in broad circles of the left. Richard Dawkins, who is hostile to God, causally invokes Alien panspermia as more rational than a God despite it having no more evidence for its existence than God.
The left loves the Godless Alien notion and promotes it abundantly. So you should be asking yourself why since there is no evidence of it. Who has something to gain by this.
Krugman just gave you one reason….Krugman want you to worry. Krugman knows that people are motivated by fear. Global Warming does not frighten the majority anymore so he needs a new boogy man.
Yes according to Krugman, there will absolutely be a hostile alien invasion and the only solution is “one world government” where all the resources of the planet are directed to the common goal of an interplanetary Noah’s Ark. BTW it is a green, socialist Noah’s Ark, full of genetically modified, hybrid people, …. you can just imagine how far he would go…..

John West

Hide the decline,
Oust any non-compliant editor,
Demonize any critics,
Manufacture a hot spot,
Revise history,
Whatever it takes,
…… for The Cause!

John W. Garrett

When you shoot your mouth off as much as this clod does, it is inevitable that you will eventually say something really, really, seriously stupid. Krugman is one of a distinct class of people that derives incredible pleasure from the sound of their own voice.
My high school senior class took a vote for the person described as “Talks most, says least.” Krugman would have been a runaway winner of that award.

Jim D

I can’t believe people are taking him seriously. He is on as a guest of Bill Maher and making a Maher-like extrapolation. This is a comical look at politics in keeping with that show. It is almost like believing something from The Onion, which extrapolates politics only a little further than Bill Maher.

NZ Willy

In the midst of his ravings, Krugman is letting slip a show of lucid humor, methinks. He’s showing he knows about the scare-’em-green tactic of government, and searches for how to double down on the method. Usual tendentious oblivion of the need for a sound productive base, though.

Who is the least insane?
Tim “Unapliers” Flannery?
David “Humans Are Maggots” Suzuki?
Paul “Aliens Are Invading” Krugman?

byz

Follow the Money
Thank you 🙂
I just seemed appropriate 🙂
When I studied economics Keynes was ridiculed and had been consigned to the dustbin of history.
The problem we have today is that many Keynesian economists are not Keynesian at all, however if you go back and read what he said (very hard as it is written in 1930’s style english) you realise what a brilliant man he was and how we need to rediscover some great wisdom that has been lost through reinterpretation.
The problem is that Keynesian economics is nonintuitive it seems like “Alice in Wonderland”, however Alice was written by Charles Dodgson (AKA Lewis Carroll) a great Mathemetician and is based on mathematics. So this is why Keynes’s economics seems mad as it is based on mathematical rigour and experiment not on what feels right.
Aristotle based his philosophy on what seemed reasonable and all science was constrained for over a thousand years, when mathematical rigour and experiment were unleashed we started thinking differently (as Steve Jobs was keen on) and we advanced past the Greeks.
Think Different, Apple did despite people ridiculing opening “Apple Stores” (said they’ed be shut in six months) and did many things that flew in the face of inherited wisdom and now they are a stock most people would like in their portfolio 😮
Just because you don’t like something or think it is mad doesn’t mean it is wrong, remember climate scientists don’t tolerate those of us who question or who have a different point of view, don’t allow ourselves to be hypocrites when dealing with economics.
🙂

Richard G

Krugman translation: People won’t do what “We” tell them to do unless we fool them with lies.
He is now a self professed liar.
Krugman, meet liars paradox.http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Liar_paradox
“I am a liar. This statement is false.”

j molloy

wow,just wow

temp

Kind of sounds like what they are doing with global warming….

Vince Causey

Only one way to lay this to rest. Get Krugman put in charge of the Fed. Better still, both the Fed and secretary of state for finance, or whatever the American’s call it. Give him unrestrained powers to put his schemes into actions. Let him raise QE3 to be the Godzilla of all QE’s. Let him cut interest rates to zero – heck, he’ll probably make them negative. When the bond markets take such fright that even the Eurozone looks like a safe haven, let him crank up federal bond purchases to levels that would make Obama’s eyes water.
Then, when the scheme fails – no one, but no one, will eve again be able to trot out that tired old argument that it would have worked – if only we spent more money. Go Krugman, go!

MarkG says:
May 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm
Perhaps Krugman should read up on the Broken Window Fallacy before he spouts more nonsense.

Wouldn’t do any good — Krugman believes the Broken Window *works* to create jobs: “And now you can see why tighter ozone regulation would actually have created jobs: it would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money — but that’s the point!” My emphasis.
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/broken-windows-ozone-and-jobs/

Luther Wu

George E. Smith; says:
May 27, 2012 at 11:41 am
Krugman is nutz. World food output is directly proportional to world energy input to the food system. More energy for tractors, and other farming equipment means more food. Even the energy in the powder in an “eskimo’s” rifle ammo, increases his food production, as doe his snowmobile fuel.
So when enviro-wackos force curbs on world energy production, and raise energy costs, they doom some of the world population to starvation and the rest of it to higher food prices.
____________________________
As has been stated many times in these threads, it is no secret that a large part of “the plan” is to reduce human population by any means necessary.
The leftist advocates of “the plan” are very upfront about their ultimate purposes, if one takes the time to listen to them.

Freddy

tomjtx is right. Krugman is trying to emphasize his idea that in a liquidity trap (the current US economy) excess government spending increases economic growth without causing inflation. He feels exasperated that the Obama administration is letting economic growth be flushed down the toilet and temporary unemployment be converted to permanent, structural, unemployment. Krugman’s ideas are within normative capitalist economics.
He’s serious, knowledgeable and has a Noble Prize in Economics. None of this guarantees he is right, of course.
Krugman doesn’t know much about global warming, he believes his academic friends. Krugman is also a Democratic party activist, but not a good one. He also needs a TV coach and better pair of glasses.
REPLY: No, tomjtx isn’t right This is now a theme with Krugman. Obviously he stands by his words or he would not have repeated it. See 1:01 in this Aug 14th, 2011 video.

Elliot

Its pretty clear from the first quote he’s talking about Keynesian economics which is a fair suggestion. Of course the alien suggestion is ridiculous but I think it’s meant to be outlandish. I don’t think commentators have become so polarized that people can’t recognize an outlandish statement like this as hyperbole.
As for high speed rail America really needs to build this in places where it makes sense. If you doubt whether this is a worthwhile endeavor I suggest you go to Italy and take a train trip from Rome to Florence. It is absolutely amazing to get a train in the centre of one city (not some random airport 20ks away) at say 9am and be in the centre of another city before lunch. or how about a trip on the Eurostar? In Paris before lunch, magic.
It’s fine to disagree with Keynesian economics and I think everyone should be skeptical when it comes to climate stuff but high speed rail is awesome. The only way I can explain why Europe and china have lots of high speed rail and US has none is to say US is either disfunctional, backward or both which is just sad.
Sorry if there are errors typed on iPhone in a rush

Tom E

I used to read some of the NYTimes, however, I don’t bother anymore. Part of my reason was that reading Krugman’s column would fire up my thinking and ignite some aggravation. However he has become so irrational that there is no longer anything to debate in his ideas, so he should just be ignored. James Taranto rightly calls him “ex-Enron advisor” Paul Krugman.

stumpy

Hasnt his technique been tried before?
His statement should read:
“But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened climate change / man bear pig, and in order to be prepared for that impending global warming invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, we stopped the climate disruption.”
Its the standard alarm call of the green movement, hasnt he figured that out yet – or it didnt work, so lets change to alien invasion! I am sure there are some crackpot scientists out there who will write an international report clearly stating their 99% confidence that aliens will invade the earth in the next 100 yrs based on a model they built of the universe and what they cleaned about the aliens from studying their previous visits which are captured in the ring spacings of hockey stick shaped trees

byz

Let me give a example where western governments have really got things wrong at present.
When they spend money they hand it over to banks (quantative easing as it is called in the UK).
The trouble with this is that the banks then horde this money and it never goes into the economy, whereas Keynes said that it was better to pay someone to dig a hole and fill it in again than for them to be unemployed, as if they had money in their pockets they would spend some thus starting a spiral of positive feedback.
Here in the in UK everyone is trying to cut spending which means that less people buy things and the economy shrinks, what we need to do is not give the money to banks, but directly employ people to build infrastructure that will help the economy grow and thus put money into peoples pockets.
In the US you need to build your way out of a downturn if you don’t it will just be a downward spiral, the problem at the moment is the area of the economy you are currently spending money on is the wrong bit which only lines the pockets of the wealthy not the ordinary person.
When the average US citizen feels that they are a little better off then they will spend money, what you need to make sure of is that you buy things that cause us citizens to be employed (this is what the Chinese did for the last 20 years!!).

GoodBusiness

Keynesian theory has never worked one time – it extended the Great depression under FDR and we are still paying for people to be on the dole of government employment doing little or nothing. At the same time we all decided to move our “DIRTY” value added manufacturing to China and India. So, now we have cleaner air [marginally] and no employment for our blue collar skilled labor forces.
Take the locks off our natural resources and end the EPA/ESA over regulations and let us develop all the nuclear power plants and you will see coal fazed out and our value added manufacturing will be earning profits and America will be the undisputed economic leader for the next 50 years.

Gary Hladik

Dr Ken Pollock says (May 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm): ‘This is the basic premise of “Report from Iron Mountain” thoght to have been written by John Kenneth Galbraith. Invent an alien threat to get the nations to work together.’
Or he’s seen too many movies/TV shows, e.g.
Watchmen 2009: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/
Outer Limits 1963: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Architects_of_Fear

j molloy

in the above clip about 1:20″there was a twilight zone episode like this ” enuff said

Freddy says:
May 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm
tomjtx is right. Krugman is trying to emphasize his idea that in a liquidity trap (the current US economy) excess government spending increases economic growth without causing inflation.

In what world?