Krugman Disagrees With Krugman
March 6, 2010 · Posted in General Economics
Paul Krugman on unemployment benefits:
Take the question of helping the unemployed in the middle of a deep slump. What Democrats believe is what textbook economics says: that when the economy is deeply depressed, extending unemployment benefits not only helps those in need, it also reduces unemployment. That’s because the economy’s problem right now is lack of sufficient demand, and cash-strapped unemployed workers are likely to spend their benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office says that aid to the unemployed is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus, as measured by jobs created per dollar of outlay.
But that’s not how Republicans see it. Here’s what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning’s position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”
In Mr. Kyl’s view, then, what we really need to worry about right now — with more than five unemployed workers for every job opening, and long-term unemployment at its highest level since the Great Depression — is whether we’re reducing the incentive of the unemployed to find jobs. To me, that’s a bizarre point of view — but then, I don’t live in Mr. Kyl’s universe.
… and here, on the other hand, is Paul Krugman on unemployment benefits:
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.
It’s not that this particular contradiction should surprise anybody in any way or that this is some great ‘gotcha’ moment. He’ll come up with some stupid explanation that his deluded readers will gobble up. Just look at the hilarious comments on the above article!
Paul Krugman is a bigoted, dishonest and despicable apologist for state expansion wherever possible. His writing style is for the most part condescending and arrogant, meanwhile spouting some of the most incoherent and laughable nonsense one can find on economics.
He conveniently chooses to avoid syllogistic proof of his positions and sways with whatever a Democrat in power happens to need to have justified at any particular moment. Don’t take it serious, just tune out.