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Krugman On Jobs – When Politics Meets Economics



There’s a contention out there that there are in fact two Paul Krugmans. One is the excellent economist who entirely deserved his Nobel, the only surprise was quite how early he got it. The other is the highly political columnist for the New York Times. The two must be different people for the political edge of the columns is all too often willing to avoid or ignore good economics.

So some say.

There are even those who mutter something about the columns being written with the heavy aid of his wife – who is considerably political – and the economics not so which explains the difference.

All of which is undoubtedly most unkind. Except, well.

As he points out today the Republicans and others who worry about expanded and extended unemployment benefits harming jobs seeking. Well, that’s just because the Republicans always are Blue Meanies against the workers.

No, that is his argument, there’s no more than that there.

That somewhere between 25% and 50% of American workers make more not working than working has no effect on job seeking rates. Nope, it’s because Republicans are bastards.

Payroll employment was far weaker in April than expected. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 266,000 net new jobs were added—one-third of our expectation—while the unemployment rate edged up to 6.1%. Moreover, March’s figure was revised down to 770,000 from the 916,000 reported last month. Goods producers, retailers, transportation/warehousing and temp help all shed jobs.

No, really, it’s all because Republicans are bastards to the workers, only want to oppress them:

Job openings surged to 8.1 million at the end of March, the highest level since the series began at the end of 2000. Employers are having increasing difficulty filling jobs as millions of workers who left the labor force as a result of the pandemic remain out.

We hope we’ve been able to make clear that Republicans are bastards there.

As to the Krugman duality we do have to recall that some of his stuff is truly excellent. Ricardo’s Difficult Idea, the academic work, the Smokey Mountain piece, truly good stuff. It’s also not just that even Homer nods, as in Paul McCartney thinking The Frog Chorus should be released. Perhaps the easiest identification with Krugman is that if it appears in the New York Times it’s from the other one.



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