A Sweet 77 Seconds: Paul Krugman Raps George Will on Great Depression and New Deal

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This is a sweet 77 seconds in TV history.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

27 comments on “A Sweet 77 Seconds: Paul Krugman Raps George Will on Great Depression and New Deal

  1. erichwwk says:

    First, thank you Linda for your comments re DDE and the opportunity costs of military expenditures, one of the few aberrations of Paul Krugman.
    Re. George Will, TWN readers may be interested in a recent WP OP-ed, where he butchers the important economic concept of “rent-seeking” [try wikipedia on this concept, an old concept popularized in the US by the same person that brought Hayek and the information and co-ordination concepts to the PRC – Steven Cheung].
    The WP oped is here: http://tinyurl.com/6chzbb
    George Will writes:
    “In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking — bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.
    As for the president-elect, he promises to change Washington. He will, by making matters worse. He will intensify rent-seeking by finding new ways — this will not be easy — to expand, even more than the current administration has, government’s influence on spreading the wealth around.”
    Amazing. George seems oblivious to the fact that rent-seeking- essentially an option open only to those that ALREADY have monopoly power, is the OPPOSITE of Socialism, or the spreading of wealth around. This may well be the George Will blurred the lines between objectivity by working on Reagan’s 1980 campaign against Carter. Reagan is the president under which fairness and objectivity flew out the window, giving us the voodoo economics of “supply side” economics. This began the era of selfishness, the CAPTURE of the wealth of the bottom half of Americans. As Robert
    Franks has documented, “rent-seeking” after Reagan resulting in undoing the even sharing of GDP in the postwar years. The bottom 40% of Americans LOST 76.3% of their PREVIOUSLY held wealth in the years 1983-1998.
    Is George Will trying to misdirect the role he played in America’s financial mess?

    Reply

  2. erichwwk says:

    First, thank you Linda for your comments re DDE and the opportunity costs of military expenditures, one of the few aberrations of Paul Krugman.
    Re. George Will, TWN readers may be interested in a recent WP OP-ed, where he butchers the important economic concept of “rent-seeking” [try wikipedia on this concept, an old concept popularized in the US by the same person that brought Hayek and the information and co-ordination concepts to the PRC – Steven Cheung].
    The WP oped is here: http://tinyurl.com/6chzbb
    George Will writes:
    “In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking — bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.
    As for the president-elect, he promises to change Washington. He will, by making matters worse. He will intensify rent-seeking by finding new ways — this will not be easy — to expand, even more than the current administration has, government’s influence on spreading the wealth around.”
    Amazing. George seems oblivious to the fact that rent-seeking- essentially an option open only to those that ALREADY have monopoly power, is the OPPOSITE of Socialism, or the spreading of wealth around. This may well be the George Will blurred the lines between objectivity by working on Reagan’s 1980 campaign against Carter. Reagan is the president under which fairness and objectivity flew out the window, giving us the voodoo economics of “supply side” economics. This began the era of selfishness, the CAPTURE of the wealth of the bottom half of Americans. As Robert
    Franks has documented, “rent-seeking” after Reagan resulting in undoing the even sharing of GDP in the postwar years. The bottom 40% of Americans LOST 76.3% of their PREVIOUSLY held wealth in the years 1983-1998.
    see: http://picasaweb.google.com/erichwwk/IncomeDistribution#
    Is George Will trying to misdirect the role he played in America’s financial mess?

    Reply

  3. TonyForesta says:

    Sound economics is based on math first, and secondarily calculations of theoretical and academic discussions regarding behavior (rational or not) of consumers and markets. The problem we all must hazard and endure presently, is the math is proving there is a 20 to 25 trillion dollar blackhole. All the worlds financial intitutions and the global financial system exacerbated by the criminal and fraudulent conduct of America’s former crown jewels in the finance sector, and further compounded by the lawlessness, and lack of enforcement and regulation by the fascists in the bushgov.. must unwind or deleverage 20 to 25 trillion dollars in valuations from the system. That’s trillions. TRILLIONS. The numbers are almost imponderable and terrifying. Look at America’s, or any other socalled 1st world nations GDP and compare the blackhole, and you will have some appreciation of the “turbulence” and “uncertainty” in the markets. Managing this massive unwinding or deleveraging will be a long difficult, arduous, and painful process. Heaping trillions of dollars into the financial sector and the fiends, shades, sharks and criminals on Wall Street, who conjured and advanced this nightmare is doomed to fail. The unwinding, or deleveraging is inevitable. Valuations globally must subtract 20 to 25 trillion, – thats TRILLIONS of dollars from the global system. Hense the turbulance, uncertainty, fear, and dread concern. The days of perpetuating and promoting an irredeemable debt society are, or should be over. Though Paulson and his predatorclass cronies are bent on funnelling as much of our childrens wealth as possible into their offshore accounts before the inevitable callapse, – the collapse is inevitable! The Fed printing money won’t solve the problem, nor will bailing out criminal, fraudulent, and failing companies help in anyway. The answer is returning to a goldstandard economic system (the original Bretton Woods model) and repudiating forever the bizarre and often criminal crony capitalist irredeemable debt economies of the last 50 years.
    Again – pain is inevtible. There is no escaping the underlying math. The critical question is how that pain is dispersed through the system. If the superrich, the predator class are immuned, or somehow shielded from their fair share of the pain, – the result will be wild and furious desperation in the lower classes who will then be forced to burden, hazard, and shoulder a disproportionate share of that pain. Desperate people do desperate things. No jobs. Lost homes. No representation in the government. Ruthless deprivations. The result will be conflicts, and violent conflicts on a globals scale as the havenots forced into desperation restort to desperate means to shelter and feed their children.
    Pain is coming for everyone. But that pain must be shared with equanimity between thehaves and the havenots. The key is employment. And yes there are nuances and underemployment is an issue, but an individual that is working no matter the pay, – is far more empowered that an individual who is unable to secure employment. Employment is the key. There are great opportunities if leadership musters the courage to spurn the oil, energy, military, pharmacuetical, and insurance oligarchs – and focus on the 21st century and green technologies universal health care and developing the infrastructure for those technologies and universal health care. Putting Americans back to work and alleviating the monsterous and crushing burden of healthcare costs from the American work will restore equalibrium to the system. The only other option is a great big real horrorshow world war, and a return to the failed irredeemable debt economics of the past 50 years.
    “Deliver us from evil.”

    Reply

  4. WigWag says:

    It sure was terrific seeing Paul Krugman doing a drop kick to the arrogant and misinformed George Will. But when it comes to stupid journalists, George Will is only a bronze medalist.
    Wouldn’t it be great to watch Paul eviscerate the silver medalist in journalistic stupidity, Maureen Dowd? I guess Paul’s employer, the New York Times, might not look favorably on one of their columnists taking out another.
    Of course, best of all would be watching the Nobel laureate eviscerate the dumbest and most odious pundit in America. That would be the gold medalist for journalistic idiocy, Andrew Sullivan.

    Reply

  5. vontrapp says:

    George Will masks his rather pedestrian intellect with a large vocabulary.
    I love watching him tap his fingers in frustration at being immediately corrected by a far superior (and Liberal) mind, as opposed to the sycophantic behaviour he usually receives from the other media mouthpieces on the show.
    Paul Krugman should have a leading roll in the Obama administration, and in setting economic policy for our nation.

    Reply

  6. Tuma says:

    Erich says: “Merely working (jobs) gets one nowhere.”
    Okay, I see your point and see the ambiguity in the notion of
    “creating” jobs.
    But remaining a bit befuddled by this, I might add, “But what we
    should or could easily be talking about is GOOD jobs.”
    That is, jobs that take us to a place where we want to be. Not
    jobs where we build bombs or make war, etc.
    Surely, we don’t get to where we want to be WITHOUT working.
    And people can’t acquire the necessaries or luxuries of life
    without working and getting paid. And surely, things like
    houses, cars, food, education, roads and bridges would not
    “appear” without folks working to bring them about. IOW, there
    is always useful and beneficial work to be done, no?
    I suppose, if we could figure out a way to get all of this without
    anyone working (say, robots did it all) at least the superficial
    sense of what you’re saying would be true. But I can’t see how
    we get there from here.
    I’m sure I’ve failed to grok the conceptual jump you’re going for
    here. If you have further elucidation, great. If not, maybe I’ll
    head to your sources for enlightenment.

    Reply

  7. anna missed says:

    a matter of “national security”?

    Reply

  8. anna missed says:

    here is it that the investor class ranks all immunity from moral or patriotic responsibility? Will simply parrots the standard mantra that all must answer upward to capital investment. And if they are not happy with how high we are made to jump, then it is perfectly legitimate and acceptable for them to withdrawal their investment and take it elsewhere. Some how the common man, during a national security crisis, is expected to pony up either unyielding support, personal service, or even their life as a patriotic duty in the name of “national security”. Why is there not a similar expectation placed upon the rich, and if not them personally, then their money?
    And didn’t John McCain recently describe a stable economy as

    Reply

  9. Mr.Murder says:

    Cuban stepped on the wrong toes.
    ‘Now Cuban is spending his money on behalf of another kind of transparency.
    He’s founded the website bailoutsleuth.com, an effort to find out what’s actually happening to the government’s $700 million rescue plan for troubled financial institutions.
    “Its job is simple,” Cuban wrote last month on his personal weblog, blogmaverick.com. “Keep an eye on our taxpayer dollars and call Bullshit when necessary.”’
    http://news.muckety.com/2008/11/03/mark-cuban-shines-a-light-on-benefactors-of-bailout/6311

    Reply

  10. Mr.Murder says:

    In other news: NBA owner Mark Cuban gets SEC fines for insider trading on a paltry 750k transaction for a search engine venture project.
    Seems like a lot of effort is being done to go after this small amount of money.
    Cuban has a much bigger crime on his record, public admittance that he voted for Obama.
    Is the first of a witch hunt movement?

    Reply

  11. Mr.Murder says:

    Krugman is right, see also the GI Bill, the 50’s rode the boon of Ike’s GI Bill into the greatest era of American productivity ever.
    It would appear that market confidence was boosted by the housing boom of that time. Got mortgages?
    As for Winston Churchill, he on the board of BP. He tried to occupy Iraq for its oil. He lost that fight, not before they British were able to cede a puppet state in Kuwait from Iraq’s grasp.
    He also said only a fool would ever try to establish a democracy or western style gov’t in the middle east as an outsider.
    World War Two could have perhaps been avoided, but there was market share to gobble up! Let them languish, why rebuild any of our competition, why develop the framework for exchange, can’t one side of the ocean or the Channel not control all of the wealth?
    Of course the rise of nationalism in Germany was likely to continue regardless, the only other known answer was Communism. It was feared that restoring the country too quickly would see the average man compelled to vote his personal interests and perhaps consider a “spread the reichsmark” kind of government.
    Right wingers in America, and Republicans in particular, helped cull and groom the nationalists in Germany as the answer to socialism and communism. Hitler was a breath of fresh air, an answer to the commies, and he really understood how to vilify ethnics and use hate speech. He was the ideal republican apparatchik for those reasons. He was a failed artist of the watercolor genre, poor chap couldn’t afford to continue his dream.
    It could be argued that had we done the Marshall Plan then and helped rebuild the schools that Germany would have raised a generation of artists and architects. These minds could helped rebuild all of Europe into a sprawling skyline so impressive that Ayn Rand would have drooled like Pavlov’s dogs in her appreciation. They also would have reached the moon first as part of a space race ,instead of building the most effective long range missiles of their day, they would have put those minds to the purpose of peace.
    Had we spent money on German schools it would have meant we would have to spend money on American schools. We could not do that, we have venture capitalism to uphold. The greed mongers drove us to the depression instead. FDR was still a Sec. of the Navy, wasn’t he? He wasn’t too far removed from the world view Smedley Butler opposed at the time, but his own personal situation saw Roosevelt uphold the graces of his better half Eleanor in how we’d approach policy.
    You want to see how far away we really are? Look south of the border to Mexico. That’s us in 20 years. No, this isn’t a slight at people who have come here from there. It is a comparison of the actual production means, resource availability, scale back of educational spending, culmination of tabloid media and pop culture, and the overlaying religious edifice of a prior era’s use in exploitation.
    There’s no there at that place. Just a country being challenged to its own southern border by the arrival of poor from neighboring lands as an upset to the work force ability to set better pay standards. Being challenged to the North by a country with better overall civil structure and support, technology and education access, is celebrated in comparison.
    It’s a vortex of consumption, and uses some of that as a means of developing a tourist industry.
    Its rulers are scandal plagued, it has Diebold and vote machines that don’t count well, it bends over backwards for venture capital and still neglects its fundamental obligations in the social contract under a federated republic.
    That’s America, Mexico’s 32nd state.
    Maybe one day America will be fortunate enough to be considered as Canada’s eleventh province, or even as its fourth territory.
    Until then we’ll be the ugly sister state that everyone makes fun of when they think we are not in earshot of.
    “She doesn’t even have universal health care…”

    Reply

  12. Linda says:

    Interesting discussion by all above.
    Erich, thanks for mention of Kenneth Boulding.
    Could not agree with you more.
    Eisenhower surely knew all about WWII, and while he is using 1950s figures, he expressed it well in his Chance for Peace address:
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
    This world in arms in not spending money alone.
    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
    We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”
    The DOD budget should be considered discretionary spending and could easily be cut in half were it not for the miliary-industrial complex being present in every Congressional district.

    Reply

  13. erichwwk says:

    in reply to Tuma:
    (Disclaimer- I am indebted to Armen Alchian for first making that clear to me, and Kenneth Boulding from whence that likely came. I accept any and all errors in regurgitation).
    It is OUTPUT, not INPUT, that is correlated with well being. Does one live to work, or work to live?
    Whenever one can save INPUTS, Keeping OUTPUT constant, one gains. Building a house with 20,000 man hours (one man year/ or one ‘yearly’ job) is preferred to building that same house, with double the man hours, or double the jobs, despite the double speak that has become so become so prevalent post Kenneth Boulding/ John K. Galbraith where politicians sell the snake oil of “creating jobs”.
    It is not “jobs” that one wishes to maximize (it merely “appears” that way since normally one does not make the world better (change the STATE) w/o
    working- the FLOW).
    Merely working (jobs) gets one nowhere. What matters is the extent to which things are made better. Digging holes and filling them in creates infinite jobs, but NO improvement in the state of things. The less time one wastes doing useless work, the more time is available for productive work. No-one (I assert) wants to live or eat a nuclear bomb, a nuclear sub/aircraft carrier, or B-1 bomber- At best such production is a necessary evil (input) to change the world in a way we DO want. Military expenditures are NOT outputs. Krugman has acknowledged (elsewhere) that jobs created by “building bridges to nowhere” are undesirable, even during a recession.
    We are simply too far from the envisioned “heaven on earth” to waste that kind of effort/
    “Jobs” are always “there”. They are NOT created by either entrepreneurs nor politicians. They exist because we have a vision (desire) for a different (better?) world. “No jobs” implies a perfect world. Why on earth, in that case, would one want to work (change that)?
    Military expenditure’s (try Eugene Jarecki’s latest book, or Andrew Bacevich) are merely a vehicle whereby wealth can be transferred from those that work (create wealth) to what Galbraith (and Pigou, a century earlier) calls the predators, those who capture wealth without working. THAT (not providing security or increasing GNP) is what military expenditures (and war) are mostly about, and have always been about. In that sense there is little difference between the Iraq war (which most recognize that way) to WWII (which most don’t despite Winston Churchill’s acknowledgment, per Pat Buchanan’s book by that title, and most recent “cold war” analysis.
    George Will (and to some extent Paul Krugman) were both raised on the history of the victor’s, hence a WWII history not shared by much of the rest of the world.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    “If, for instance, one was having a discussion with a Nobel
    Laureate in physics, no other physicist would be so impolite, or
    foolish, as to interrupt. When such a lack of manners — here
    coupled with a lack of respect for the scholarship that leads to
    the awarding of a Nobel prize — is modeled to the publiic in
    such a forum, we can see the societal building blocks that led to
    the nomination of Sarah Palin and so on and so forth……”
    Yes, but no. Economics is a much less exact science than
    physics; if you compare astronomy and astrology, economics is
    still more on the astrology side of things, and experts in
    economics frequently get it wrong. How many professors and
    experts in finance predicted the financial meltdown, or even
    expressed fear that it could happen? Nine out of ten expressed
    the opposite, and spent more time explaining why the current
    financial framework was so brilliant. I admire and respect the
    work and writings of Paul Krugman, but my trust in the average
    expert in economics, regardless of “credentials”, is much lower
    than my trust in the weather report.
    This does not however imply that we should give anybody carte
    blanche to deliver false statement and ideologically driven
    bullshit. But even the statements of so called experts in
    economics are usually more or less ideologically driven and part
    of politic (in a different way than for instance physics). So yes,
    these experts should be challenged and interrupted.

    Reply

  15. Raclare Kanal says:

    Almost daily we hear interpretations of what caused the Great Depression, given by devotees of one or another Great Economic Theory – or just chosen for political advantage. How delightful to have the proponents face to face, able to reply directly and offer the contrasting ‘read’ of history. Krugman’s tongue-in-cheek labeling of WWII as a huge public works progress must refer only to its economic effect. Of course it was horrible. So, Churchill thought it could have been avoided? Interesting – I grew up during WWII and we were taught – and believed – that there was no choice but war. I was surprised years later when a friend, whose parents had fled the Holocaust, suggested that it might have been avoided if more aid had been given to the Weimar Republic. It is surely better to avoid war, but the economic effect is simply a fact – and that, I assume, is what Krogman was citing.

    Reply

  16. Tuma says:

    Erchk writes: “I continue to be flabbergasted at Krugman’s inability
    to recognize that in the end, it is ZERO, not MAXIMUM employment
    that is optimal, for any given level of REAL GNP.”
    Can you explain?

    Reply

  17. Phoebe says:

    Also notable on “This Week…” Sunday’s program was that each of the “round table” of journalists (none with creditials in the social science of economics) kept interrupting Prof. Krugman with drivel. How can this be? If, for instance, one was having a discussion with a Nobel Laureate in physics, no other physicist would be so impolite, or foolish, as to interrupt. When such a lack of manners — here coupled with a lack of respect for the scholarship that leads to the awarding of a Nobel prize — is modeled to the publiic in such a forum, we can see the societal building blocks that led to the nomination of Sarah Palin and so on and so forth……

    Reply

  18. lovable liberal says:

    “George Will rocks. Krugman is an out of control liberal.”
    Now there’s a convincing argument!

    Reply

  19. Spunkmeyer says:

    Sad when a subject matter expert, correcting the falsehoods of a
    partisan bloviator on a National TV program, is revolutionary. I
    really hope the tone of programs will now swing back towards
    substance and critical analysis.

    Reply

  20. erichwwk says:

    Saw this live, and my reaction was similar to Steve’s. Kudos for capturing the essence!
    Re to WWII as a public works program, I find THAT assertion as preposterous as George Will’s.
    I continue to be flabbergasted at Krugman’s inability to recognize that in the end, it is ZERO, not MAXIMUM employment that is optimal, for any given level of REAL GNP. One should NOT, of course, count military spending in GDP as it is an INPUT, to be minimized, and not an OUTPUT.
    Arguing as Krugman does that military spending is a beneficial public works is again to arguing that a person that employs more workers to build a given house (perhaps by employing them to sleep in their trucks – or better at home, saving the transportation expense and thus adding additional “sleepers”) is doing society a service.
    Come on Krugman, you’re a much better economist than to continually accept the “broken window falacy”, ie we can increase well being by creating jobs, destroying what we already have.
    For a similar sweet moment (not as terse as the one Steve captured), watch this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfascZSTU4o
    There is a lot of literature building on Winston Churchhill’s comment in the preface to his “The Gathering Storm” where he calls WWII the “Unnecessary War- none was easier to stop”.
    Rather than a “public works”, WWII was created as a diversion, and attempted for the predators to continue their privileged position to capture wealth, rather than to work for it. Jamie Galbraith has captured this point in his “Predator Nation”. I hope someday Krugman clears up this major delusion.
    Andrew Bacevich, Winston Wheeler, Joe Stiglitz, are others that don’t fall into this WWII “broken window” fallacy.

    Reply

  21. KJ says:

    This is all part of the right wing revisionist history to try to prove that government is always the problem. If the history of the Great Depression is such that it shows that government can actually (horrors upon horrors) help, then re-write history.

    Reply

  22. bob h says:

    With Buckley gone, Will seems determined to fill the role of the pretentious, right-wing fop.

    Reply

  23. rich says:

    Will has always been hobbled by the impression that erudition supplies factual accuracy, diction confers authority, and grammatical correctness implies moral clarity.
    His tone also enables Will to offer up a series of totally untenable if not completely anti-factual assertions.
    Goerge Will’s notion that government under FDR “had the fidgets” and was at fault for the Great Depression is as Orwellian as it gets. It was great to see Paul Krugman’s response because Will’s dogmatic pronouncements are so often laughable, and rarely conservative–and almost never challenged. Perhaps the major flaw in public debate and MSM news for the past 25 years is the tradition of putting Will, Brooks and fellow sophists on the air, with scant or no expert voices to contradict them with the facts. Krugman was a rare sighting, and Stphnpls’ reference to his Nobel Prize signaled (for once) there’re limits to Will’s pathological denial.
    This isn’t limited to ABC and FOX. The NewsHour recently had Ramesh Ponnuru on to ‘analyze’ the financial crisis—and Ponnuru actually asserted that the 1929 Stock Market Crash and subsequent Great Depression was “caused by government policy.” Jim Lehrer just smiled benignly, and said nothing.
    Ponnuru wrote The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life. What was he doing on the NewsHour? What were his credentials? Yeah, I know where he was groomed to be an rhetorical assassin—but those aren’t credentials. Unless we need to reconceive what it is the NewsHour is doing on a daily basis.
    That’s the sort of episode that’s so badly damaged the reputation of the Lehrer and the Newshour. Substituting in openly false statements for two valid viewpoints has done a great disservice. (Brooks & Shields are Exhibit A.)
    Robert Kuttner, at Saturday’s ‘First 100 Days’ conference (@ Columbia, by FERI), stated that to solve this financial crisis, we need to “throw out the last 30 to 40 years of conventional wisdom, and it’s long past time for the pundits & operatives who’ve provided it with intellectual cover to go out and find honest work.”
    That it’s taken so long for consensus on this point to catch up with everyone else who’d paid attention in high school history class, well, it just speaks volumes.
    ______
    questions–you’re right. Check the unemployment and other numbers before and just after WWII—military expenditures did not fix the economy. Middle class buying power, a result of access to education and affordable mortgages, did.
    It’s that kind of disservice that’s

    Reply

  24. arthurdecco says:

    Is there a correlation between the cryptic nature of a poster’s self-selected name and their intelligence, the718? The more cryptic, the less intelligent, say?
    You seem perfectly placed to let us know.

    Reply

  25. the718 says:

    George Will rocks. Krugman is an out of control liberal.

    Reply

  26. TonyForesta says:

    Yikes!!! The only real solution to the US and hence global economic crisis is a great big horrible world war. It will cull huge swaths of the worlds poor and middle class populations, get the rest of living to work, feed industries, and refocus every human being away from their lower standard of living, and onto winning the great war.
    Throwing trillons of dollars of taxpayer dollars and heaping even more imponderable debt on the shoulders of our children pumping up and bailing out the fiends, shades, and sharks in the finance sector (who are responsible conjuring and perpetuating this crisis) and other US oligarch who failed, is a recipe for disaster. This elitist – I dare say fascist approach will only prolong the inevitable agony and is ultimately doomed to FAIL.
    What we need now is WW4.

    Reply

  27. questions says:

    Watch Will tap his fingers in irritation. Not so fun to be the local pedant upstaged by a Nobel laureate — especially a laureate in the field you were just bloviating about. My guess is that Will won’t stop talking, though.
    (Note that Thom Hartmann had a piece on Air America suggesting that WWII was less effective than typically thought as the cause for lifting us out of the Depression. He suggested that in towns with the highest defense spending, the local economies didn’t do so well because so much labor and material went to war production that there was little left for domestic needs; hence some localized domestic economies suffered a longer and deeper depression than the US overall. I can’t evaluate the claim, but it sounds interesting. It’d be nice to see this taken up by Krugman.)

    Reply

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