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Jan-31-2009 20:16printcomments

Paul Krugman and the Great Depression 2.0

Mr. Krugman and his cohorts at Princeton had speculated in the early years of the decade about just such a situation. He, in fact, wrote a book called The Return of Depression Economics -- now revised and reprinted as The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, but he didn't expect it to become reality. Nobody did.

Paul Krugman
Cover photo of Paul Krugman by Glen Bledsoe
Lower photo courtesy: Nadene Steinhoff /Willamette University

(SALEM, Ore.) - I'm a cartoonist not a reporter, but when Bonnie King, publisher of, asked me if I would be interested in covering Paul Krugman's visit to Willamette University Friday, I decided I could fake it.

I've been reading Mr. Krugman's column in the New York Times online for about nine years so I was familiar with his writing. I'm a liberal, and he's a liberal. Works out real nice. If he has an opinion about something I do, too.

Mr. Krugman, in addition to being an Op Ed columnist, is a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton. On October 13, 2008 Mr. Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. This guy is a rock star in his own crowd, and I'm a Krugman fanboy.

I'm an elementary school teacher not an economist, but Mr. Krugman writes so that nearly anyone can understand what he has to say, although you may not be able to explain it to others. You can pick up one of his books, flip to any page, just start reading and not feel lost. It just so happens that Mr. Krugman's area of expertise is hot now. You've heard that the economy tanked, right?

I arrived at Willamette University early. I was met by Nadene Steinhoff from the Office of Communications and made to feel welcome. (Thank you, Nadene.) Willamette is pure class and an enormous cultural asset to the community. (Full disclosure: I am a Willamette graduate and former employee.)

I was soon joined by reporters from a number of other news organizations. At last the man himself strode in through the door and took his place. He looked more or less like the photos I'd seen of him. Maybe he was shorter than I'd imagined--most famous people are shorter than I imagine. His tie was draped around his neck, but not knotted. But he wasn't casual. As reporters asked him questions, his face wore an earnest expression--worry. Serious times, friends. This was not about an economics rock star. This was about diagnosing the troubles of the world and searching for a remedy.

Having never done this reporter-thing before I was careful not to say or do something which might reveal me for what I really am. I wasn't worried about appearing to be ignorant about economics. Everybody, even economists (especially economists), looks ignorant on the subject these days. I was worried about not acting like a reporter. Like Catch Me If You Can I knew I should be cool and natural. Mostly I kept quiet and looked interested. Okay, I actually asked two questions, both too scattered to repeat here. I'm surprised Mr. Krugman could understand my stammering, but he answered me as if I were an actual reporter. How cool is that?

The press had their hour session with Mr. Krugman in the afternoon. Later that evening we were invited back to join members of Willamette University's extended family of staff and students to hear Mr. Krugman lecture. Mr. Krugman was clearly more comfortable in this setting. He slipped in funny one-liners under his breath as if he were trying to get his class of freshmen to relax on their first day. His message, however, remained the same as the afternoons: Oh, oh. Mr. Krugman and his cohorts at Princeton had speculated in the early years of the decade about just such a situation. He, in fact, wrote a book called The Return of Depression Economics -- now revised and reprinted as The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, but he didn't expect it to become reality. Nobody did.

So everything's going to be okay, right? Well, yes and no. Krugman says this isn't your father's recession. It's your grandfather's recession. The numbers may show that we're out of the recession later this year, but jobs may not return quite so fast. You may remember our jobless recovery not so long ago.

Is this the end of civilization as we know it? Mr. Krugman doesn't think so, but clearly the lesson is that business and banking must be regulated. The Free Market can't be trusted to do the right thing in spite of the conservative mindless mantra. Our advantage is that we have knowledge that will help us direct the recovery. If we knew no more than we did in the Great Depression 1.0 we'd be in real trouble.

This doesn't make me a reporter, I realize. Difference in style. But I want to thank Bonnie for the opportunity from the bottom of my heart.

Glen L. Bledsoe was born and raised in Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors of Art in Fine Arts and was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for several years. Glen made his home in Oregon in the early 80's where he continues to enjoy the mild climate and lack of sales tax. He and his wife Karen have published seventeen books together for the school library market. Glen has written extensively on the issues of technology and education for the National Education Association and other publications. When he not is creating "Reverend Benny & Mister Sid's At Your Service," Glen is either teaching, writing a novel, composing music, reading, or developing his sleight of hand.

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Shane February 4, 2009 10:29 am (Pacific time)

I have read in the past where some people (very few actually) felt that late radical community organizer Saul Alinsky turned things around for the mean streets of Chicago. Well as they say, "proof is in the pudding," and Chicago currently has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, a huge out of wedlock birthrate, very high school dropout rate, which has all added up to horrible systemic poverty on those Chicago mean streets. Prudent analysis from these above facts is that Alinsky's methodologies have been an abject failure in Chicago and in other places that use his methods. Look at most any urban area and see the close comparison they all have. Reasonable people may want to avoid tasting that above-referenced "proof in the pudding." Please see my 2/3, 12:17 p.m. post below and read Saul's rules #10 and #11 to see how his style attempts to distract perception.

JW February 4, 2009 9:28 am (Pacific time)

When the republicans voted against the stimulus package as it was originally written last week they did so as representatives of the conservative voters that put them in office. Hopefully many of you readers and posters have seen how the different pork in this bill has been exposed and excised since that vote, and much pork left to go through this cleansing process. The republicans in the house were denied any participation in writing this bill, just to vote on it. They did the right thing, you can't just allow a few writers of this nearly 700 page "bill of pork" be allowed to ram it thru. As the senate and the conference committee reviews the re-written legislation I am sure the public will be glad that these congress people stood their ground. That's how the process works, and how the Founders designed it. What it also shows, is just how dangerous a one-party system can be if they cancel out the debate process, and that is exactly what the Pelosi led house did.

Henry Clay Ruark February 4, 2009 8:17 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "seeing eye" shot from unchallengable authority "in the media", world-recognized: Republicans Clearly Are Willing to Let This Country Collapse if They Think it Will Win Them Elections By Doug Kreeger, AlterNet Posted on February 4, 2009, "Last week, we witnessed how the Republicans will help serve this country in the worst crisis since the Great Depression. "By standing together in opposition to the stimulus package, they showed the world that they haven't at all joined the momentum of the new administration, rather they are still playing politics and are focused on the 2010 elections. Their objections to the stimulus have nothing to do with trying to solve this crisis. "I was always struck during the Bush Error (otherwise known as Era), that the axis of evil title was slapped onto any entity not aligned with their inane response to any issue they faced. Whether it was Iraq or Hurricane Katrina, time and time again we were expected to take their word through blind faith and or outright deceit." --------------------- He continues with documented points you should not miss. Use link to evaluate with own mind from experienced, notable expert devoting life to truth on issues essential to nation.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 8:05 pm (Pacific time)

To all: IF you have any real question re Trilateral Commission, its purposes, membership, and any accomplishments, simply go to Wikipedia, pull up list of members, and see names you know and trust. I did, and found at least five who could not possibly be any part of any conspiracy as some openly charge. To so state or even hint here is to discredit unfairly and via propaganda technique an unusual and effective organization doing strong work in international cooperative effort clearly in the commonweal interest. Check it out and make up your own mind; best possible remedy for sensationalization directed vs its purposes and work by those who, as usual, stand to gain by so doing the best sabotage they can.

Anonymous February 3, 2009 6:56 pm (Pacific time)

JW: this is for you

Anonymous February 3, 2009 6:47 pm (Pacific time)

salem-news, Tim maybe? is there a way to contact other posters here? is it ok to give out my email address? let me know..thanks.

Tim King: Yes, that is fine, if it is important I'll make it into a hyperlink for you.

Anonymous February 3, 2009 6:44 pm (Pacific time)

JW: envious of your post. tried to learn to be as eloquent, but seems not to be my forte. But if it was, would hope it to be like yours. xlnt. going to go back to writing and recording music, something I am better at. Maybe I can put words in my music as well as you post.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 6:27 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Striking conclusion unavoidable after this thread is set forth very well in this "see with own eyes" reference: Obama, like Reagan, alters the political universe By EUGENE ROBINSON Watching the House Republicans vote unanimously against President Obama's economic stimulus package, I thought of Ronald Reagan, the air traffic controllers and the potential consequences for those who fail to recognize that one political era has given way to the next." ---------------------- WHO did WHAT re most of points made re Krugman appearance is nowhere nearly as fundamental as is the formative change demanded via the massive mandate the nation gave to President Obama. There has been precisely the same ending of one era and the beginnings of still another. Overwhelming consensus of main sources makes exceeding clear that mandate was laid on him, and his early response surely indicates he is receptive to it including early decisive action on inevitable problems totally unavoidable. His success, also unavoidably, will clearly depend on how well he carries out what we in toto feel is demanded --and it essential that we give him every possible support, simply for our own deep essential interest far beyond politics.

ChrisJones February 3, 2009 5:51 pm (Pacific time)

"our one remaining hope" Of what? You act like he's obi wan kenobi.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 4:16 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Given preceding Comments, this seemed demanded: "Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may." ---Mark Twain ------------------ Be that as it surely is, then "see with own eyes" from well-recognized national sources with no irons to grind and no special interests from which to gain should surely mean a good deal more than the usual resources of those seeking only to implement their own interests and often gains, too.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

To allL For straightforward discussion re Saul Alinski see "Hillary Clinton's Thesis About Radical Activist Saul Alinski", which sets record straight in detail while avoiding political pander approach to which we are sometimes subjected. Clinton goes beyond Alinsky, as do most others who understand him and today's issues, but he had much to contribute at that time and place --now again worth our attention. Here's link for "see with own eyes" and evaluate for your own satisfaction: -clinton%E2...

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 2:18 pm (Pacific time)

Shane: Some of us are familiar with "radical" Alinsky's work as well as his writings. We thus know him by what he accomplished at a very difficult time in Chicago. He would never hesitate to ID himself in full detail. Why then do you hesitate to speak of your own background, for citing him ? When one cites from a world authority, if one wishes readers to respect what one says, that is standard practice for professionals, whose work should set standard for others, don't you agree ?? By-line, for example, rapidly establishes responsibility and accountability, setting up any credibility thus gained ...which is why we have STAFF section here to give readers that basic information, often avoided by those who have any reason to do so--which is why most persons thus hide. If ethically applied these points you make are well worth some serious consideration for all concerned. We know naturally of the intended affect for those who choose to see all that happened in still another difficult time only in black-and-white, as per other allusions to Saul here. Happens I know a bit about him from having had contact with some of the kids, in late teens when I knew them, who were family-affected by what Alinsky accomplished. He was premier "community organizer" in toughest city in the world when that could --and did, for some-- cost you your life. SO my impression of what he did and why will differ wildly from what seems implied in yours. Set me straight if you can do so, sir, by stating directly what your evaluation is of him. Was he Communist-inspired at that point ? Could be...but so was R. Reagan at about same time in his life, too... Can we learn now from both China's differential Communism and from some socialist-others too ? I hope so; time for fear from their politics is long gone, while we repair what's left of our faltering, tattered, torn, depleted, damaged, and clearly now threatened by continuing GOP blockhead opposition to our one remaining hope for substantial and consequential change. SO ID self to editor, sir, and let's continue dialog you began re "radical" Alinsky and what his comparative personal contribution to the commonweal may have been, vs that of R.Reagan, both Bushes and Vp Cheney. When can I expect your ID to Editor, sir?

Shane February 3, 2009 12:17 pm (Pacific time)

The below is radical Saul Alinsky's rules for "ethics in politics", and I might add in other things also. They all are rather deceptive in nature, but notice numbers #10 and #11 and see if you recognize this style?: 1. One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue. 2. The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment. 3. In war the end justifies almost any means. 4. Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point. 5. Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa. 6. The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means. 7. Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics. 8. The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory. 9. Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical. 10. You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments. 11. Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace." Do these "rules of ethics" sound familiar in terms of style? Perception is reality in my opinion, so hone your perceptual skills.

JW February 3, 2009 10:16 am (Pacific time)

Henry I certainly do not have the formal post-graduate training in economics to question technical theories/hypotheses, but I do like to see robust debates between different viewpoints in lieu of "it's my way or the highway." As you are aware in 2006 our unemployment rate was around 5% and gas was selling for around $2 bucks. Regardless of our individual opinions on what happened to our economy since then and who took over the congressional purse-strings, it has happened, and before long we will see if the DC politicans can jump start the economy. What is troubling to me are all these cabinet appointees who have serious tax liabilities, and they are held up as the guru's that will solve our problems. The way they finally got Al Capone, "Chicago mobster", was via tax evasion. When Americans sit down at their kitchen tables prepping their tax forms, they will be talking about these appointees who clearly did not pay their fair share in a timely manner. I wonder how many people have had their lives totally disrupted by the IRS for failing to pay just a fraction of what Daschle owed or other appointees? I notice you keep going back to Reagan, who while president dealt with a democrat-controlled congress. For the last 2 years not one fatality has happened with major airline flights, so breaking the air traffic controller union has not harmed air safety. There are some unions that because "public safety" is an over-riding" issue, like law enforcement and air traffic controllers, their right to walk off their jobs has to be curtailed. Reagan acted in the best interests of public safety. My hope is the current administration engages all different perspectives so we can get back on track. The free market system needs some guidance, it does not need government control, nor will a one-party system, one that socialists are attempting to create, help fulfill what are Founders created for us, which is just the opposite of far left radical economic ideas that are floating out there. Congress will totally ignore them in my opinion, at this time.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 10:11 am (Pacific time)

To all: Re-reading Comments re Krugman Nobel-winning career, in close connection with today's realism re everything economic, reminds me of short squib written sometime ago: Ignorance promotes and protects Arrogance, leading to personal and professional Impatience. which builds Denial of realities, bringing on ever more crucial Anger at any opposition, now seen as personal attack, and magnifying Denial still further, on even more spurious grounds, resulting in Behavioral Incompetence, leading to Analytic and then Magniloquent Denial...the very worst kind ! ---HCR-Bend 2007 If anyone wonders re current application here, take some of Comments (your choice !) and with eyes firmly on self in mirror, simply repeat those revealing words-supplied. If you suddenly feel uncomfortable, don't worry: It is only your immutable commonsense prevailing over obvious political-pandering.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 9:36 am (Pacific time)

Shane et al: Yours neglects to show to whom those in desperate straits due to no failing of their own can now turn for help. I.E., where ELSE that to government, one-third of essential producers of wealth: Capital, Entrepreneurs, Workers. Here's "see with own eyes" link for you, left without even opening pgh by intent, so you cannot but understand what it tells you very directly via both image-and-sound: Senate GOP's 'Stimulus Plan' Costs 3.5 Times as Much as Obama's By Satyam Khanna, Think Progress Printed on February 3, 2009 -------------------- Note particularly to whom the benefits of GOP plan will go.

Henry Ruark February 3, 2009 8:56 am (Pacific time)

Friend Chris: You wrote: "...scientists, engineers, secretaries, accountants, salespeople, etc.) managed to enter the middle class ?" Simple answer, shortened here for space: Most were already in that group -scientists, engineers,accountants rquired to have specialized training and paid for it. Top-of-line secretaries often also,if not working for it, corporate mgrs demanding strong competencies paid to get it. Others suffered for lack of it, then fought to get preparation AND the larger incomes from it. Allathis reflected in educational history as well as corporate record, due to the great changes demanded in education to accommodate precisely this situation. That was also one of great dangers (on public record) in corporate/business groups then seeking to kill off emerging trends threatening their ongoing rapacities re paying workers, even for demanded special trainings. That's one reason Reagan chose Professional air-traffic group for smashing: To make target plain to all involved, with strong union ferment underway in industry, business. History is immaculate on all of this; ID self to editor for full documentation.("I vas dere, Sharlie ! Where were YOU, then ??)

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 7:28 pm (Pacific time)

Toall: Re Nobel Winner-economists, uptodate ref. is Dr. Joseph Stiglitz. See his "CAPITALIST FOOLS";Vanity Fair;10 Dec.08;

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 4:23 pm (Pacific time)

CJ: Re union membership-total, what you miss, sir, is that the labor market reacts to any change in any part of it, so when union wages move upwards they assist others to do the same. Works in reverse, too,which is why employers and corporate interests seek to kill off any/all union gains since they automatically move up the entire market level. In effect, our middle class was built to its strength by the New Deal union-gain impacts, which in turn led to agreement on longterm "social contract" understood by both unions and corporations. Forced at first, this later continued by common interests, via longterm union/employer negotiations, to the great benefit of both. IF that agreement-level had not been reached, good for some decades, we would have had conflict causing forced government action, which was one major reason for agreement by both sides, good for years until world trends forced changes.

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

I know I'm throwin alot out there at once but here's another tasty nugget I just pulled off the Lew Rockwell blog today re: unions (aka protectionism) .....Our current Puppet-in-Chief believes that it was unions that built our middle class. "I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution," he said. "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." Considering that at the peek of Union membership in this country, only about 30% of all U.S. workers were unionized, I'm wondering how the 70% majority of non-unionized workers (e.g., scientists, engineers, secretaries, accountants, salespeople, etc.) managed to enter the middle class?

Shane February 2, 2009 1:19 pm (Pacific time)

I would like to preface the following for Krugman supporters: Looking at the news earlier today leaves me wondering what is the "disqualifying" amount of tax arrearage one owes to keep them from getting a cabinet position? We saw that Gov. Richardson of New Mexico removed himself because of a federal grand jury probe, which was the right thing, and kudos to him. Then the Treasury Secretary pick owed approx. $42 thousand (not counting penalties, the statute of limitations expired for those earlier tax penalty missteps in 2001 and before) and now former senator Daschle (the South Dakota voters removed him) owes around $129 thousand, his wife is a lobbyist by the way. Don't forget about Charlie Rangel NY Dem, who writes the tax code, he also forgot to pay his taxes. Now Sen. Dodd, Conn. Dem, Chairman of the Senate Banking committee, who promised over 3 months ago he was going to make his mortgage papers public so as to dispel any notion that he got a VIP "sweetheart deal" us regular folk can't get, has now stated that he will re-finance his two mortgages so now we don't need to see the earlier deal he received. I could go on, but certainly a disturbing pattern is developing, that at least some organizations are reporting it. Use to be if you had an illegal nanny or owed back taxes you would get the hook. Now we hear only that "these" appointees can really help us, so that sounds like midway barker jargon to me. Regarding Krugman and his advice to congress, does anyone have a link or source where a member of congress has held up his economic idea's to the public or anywhere else as a template to follow? The cutback on the pentagon will be an interesting thing to observe during this time as it wrangles it's way thru congress. I heard the cost of this bailout equals all the paid income tax and social security withholding up thru August. Wow! I wonder if the economy would jump start quicker if we had a tax holiday say thru May?

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Finally got JW-link re Cato ad in NYT to work. Turns out their own explanation does NOT name the Nobel winners, which should conclusively show they know the names tied to old-stuff, thus not useful here when ID'd as normal in such ads. "Normal in such ads" I know, having placed a few, sold more than a few others. Also this check shows link to be to Cato home-base/section, clearly NOT "non-partisan", clearly nationally recognized as Far Left-site, with own statement clarifying "libertarian"-philosophy. Only thing wrong with that is the philosophy itself, long unpalatable to most thinking Americans, thus disguised here as everywhere else via intro as non-partisan when clearly Far-Right point-of-view. Anyone care to try to show "libertarian" for balanced and checkable and testable fights realities ever since Reagan, now world/recognized, with longtime results built-into most standard economic texts, starting with Samuelson first edition "where I came in".

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 12:37 pm (Pacific time)

C.J: Whom do you think has been running the economy ever since Reagan ? Neocon cabal with Reagan, two Bushes, dedicated to monetarism and "free market capitalism", have been most deeply engaged allatime. Whom do you think pursued militarism around the globe ? Whom do you think added all those billions to Pentagon budgets ? Reagan noted for that as among first actions, killing union leadership next one, then massive tax revision favoring rich on"trickle down" theory fed by known fallacy of "supply-side", labeled by his own Treasury Sect'y as steal. No way anyone can deny GOP in charge during key, nearly all, parts of that era since Reagan when those actions took place. NOT coincidental that series of bubbles then took place, too, leading to current crisis from which economy now suffers worldwide.

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 12:32 pm (Pacific time)

I take offense to you calling me un and misinformed. "Paul is longtime self-declared libertarian, economically self-committed by that token. Ask him for stance on Social Security, right to associate in unions, women's right to control own body" Social Security is a classic pyramid scheme, yes. The later victims of the scam are the ones paying the earlier dupes. As soon as less new patsies are found, the scam collapses, no different than what madoff was doing. Unions- the UAW ran the medium three into the ground. Unions also prevent certain ethnic groups from the job market, mainly blacks, and contribute to high unemployment rates, etc etc. As far as the last one, RP believes the topic of abortion should be decided by individual states, rather than the federal government. Why do you think any of these stances would be so shocking to anyone?

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 11:18 am (Pacific time)

JW: Check of your link turns up Cato Institute, longtime basic libertarian leader, part of noise machine for Reagan, long deeply funded by Far Right billionaires, now further backed by "corporate campaign contributions" and perverted political policies of neocons. NYT-ad "3 Nobel"ers surely includes Hayek, Mise, Friedman awards in early times prior to later debacles debasing the errant application of basic economic knowledge researched, proven by later experience as in current economic crisis. I.e. "out-of-date", failed, disabled, proven-disastrous, as in continued bubbles burst in decades since Reagan bust --each multiplying economic wounds from the preceding ones with more horrendous losses. Yr civil post appreciated since it faces fact of basic philosophical disagreement, with "libertarian" vs all other economic philosophies, continuing open war underway since Hamilton, Jefferson, others including Hoover, FDR. Check any history of economics, esp. Samuelson MACROECONOMICS, any edition since original 40 years ago. Friedman prior to death admitted his FarRight stand was in error. Point is NOT disagreement but catastrophic failure of policy based on those erroneous ideas now buried under Reagan-led concept that "Government IS the problem !". For proof of failures ask any American now unemployed, surviving with family on benefits barred by libertarian philosophy you cite. You ever been in that painful position ? Some of us have, and many millions more are there today. Try "libertarian" on them !!

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 10:29 am (Pacific time)

Free market capitalism also doesn't waste money on insane murderous conquests around the globe.

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 10:24 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's final pgh of Sirota report Monday on He's speaking of Obama action to seek TEN PERCENT cut in bloated Pentagon budget; and several other specific steps. "See with own eyes" at the link given: "I'd say the significance of these three pieces of news are in the proper order in terms of importance. They are certainly all significant, but if Obama is really serious about getting the defense budget under control, that would be monumentally huge, because it would provide the federal government the additional revenues needed to fund almost every other major priority in front of our country. Good on ya, Barack - more like this please." --------------- Shared here since clearly relevant to Krugman report.

JW February 2, 2009 8:37 am (Pacific time)

Below is a link-source to a previous posters' statement on Nobel winners who oppose the current stimulus in it's current form(this is a good debate so let's be polite, for I know there are intense viewpoints): "Economists against the Stimulus Cato has just published a full-page ad in the New York Times with the names of some 200 economists, including some (THREE) Nobel laureates and other highly respected scholars, who “do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance” — contrary to widespread claims that “Economists from across the political spectrum agree” on a massive fiscal stimulus package. Of course, many economists don’t like to sign joint statements, so this is only a fraction of stimulus opponents in the profession. Greg Mankiw pointed to a few noted skeptics last week: In a TV interview last month, Vice President Joe Biden said the following: Every economist, as I’ve said, from conservative to liberal, acknowledges that direct government spending on a direct program now is the best way to infuse economic growth and create jobs. That statement is clearly false."

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 8:25 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here's "see with own eyes" full information re Mises Institute from their own home webpage. If you want libertarian philosophy, this is the place to get it: The Ludwig von Mises Institute is the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics. Working in the intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995), with a vast array of publications, programs, and fellowships, the Mises Institute, with offices in Auburn, Alabama, seeks a radical shift in the intellectual climate as the foundation for a renewal of the free and prosperous commonwealth." FYI, it is the libertarian denial of any leading role for government which brought on the Reagan approach beginning the current economic/social catastrophe we now face.

Henry Ruark February 2, 2009 7:57 am (Pacific time)

To all: How many responding have read any one of Krugman's books ? His Depression II was right on the money way back then (when I first read it in original.) How about any of ten others I can name, all ISBN'd here ? Klein, Phillips,Goodman, Reich, Tannen, Sirota, others? How many ever done Econ 101 ? Re NYT-ad, name 3 who signed, please, for bgrnd-why, who paid for them, for ad, for much more ? Part of continuing "noise machine" working since Reagan days, via same paid-for brain-sellers, even same people, including sponsors of PNAC, root of Iraq attack. All ID'd here, in Op Ed detail, no rebuttals ever filed vs Op Ed. WHERE funds-from attacking Pres. O's program ? Do you KNOW ? Easy to figure why. Easy to overlook reality when it costs and is personally painful. Paul is longtime self-declared libertarian, economically self-committed by that token. Ask him for stance on Social Security, right to associate in unions, women's right to control own body; those your own choices, values ? OR do you prefer to remain UNinformed, OR MISinformed ?

Bob February 2, 2009 7:21 am (Pacific time)

You've been drinking coolaid chris if you think there is any chance the fed will be abolished. It might be something some people want but the chances of it happening is zero so stop wasting our time bsing about it

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 2:33 am (Pacific time)

Another thing-to the guy who said this- "Your claim re advance note by Paul and Schiff not in the record checked some time ago for other reasons. IF you can document, please give source, date, checkable link. Otherwise, sir, you remain making empty claim for big story...substitute another word for story if you wish. Happens I have K-articles in cumulative file, dates, etc., so can check vs whatever you can supply." ???? You are not very astute at research. Why don't you just go down to google and put in the words RON PAUL PREDICTS CRISIS. There's only about 50 videos there bro.

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 2:27 am (Pacific time)

Good try, but next time I wish they would've sent a reporter that was a little more knowledgeable on the subject and maybe a little less biased. Maybe not a "Krugman fanboy". Good shot though nothing personal. I would recommend some further research Glen. Heres a very scholarly 25 minute lecture by Dr. Paul at the 2009 Jeremy Davis Mises Circle in Houston on the topic of The Federal Reserve and the Depression. I know if I can grasp it you can too Glen. END THE FED is the title you can google if the link doesn't work.

ChrisJones February 2, 2009 2:03 am (Pacific time)

Don't drink the krugman kool aid guys.

Glen February 1, 2009 9:24 pm (Pacific time)

Shane is not a bottom feeder. I posted before his comment appeared.

Glen February 1, 2009 7:44 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the comments, Henry, JW and Jacek. As for the rest of you bottom feeders, I don't pretend to represent the complexities of Paul Krugman's ideas. I'll leave it to you to read his books, blog and columns if you wish to learn more. It is true that Ron Paul predicted the sinking of Atlantis. I think it was Ron Paul. I'll have to do a google and check on that.

Henry Ruark February 1, 2009 7:24 pm (Pacific time)

Mike et al: Your claim re advance note by Paul and Schiff not in the record checked some time ago for other reasons. IF you can document, please give source, date, checkable link. Otherwise, sir, you remain making empty claim for big story...substitute another word for story if you wish. Happens I have K-articles in cumulative file, dates, etc., so can check vs whatever you can supply.

Shane February 1, 2009 6:17 pm (Pacific time)

I also attended the Krugman Affair at Willamette. What shocked many of us was when Krugman said that we needed to nationalize the banks and all other financial institutions. For those of you who were/are concerned about the Patriot Act and potential government intrusion, then Mr. Krugman certainly knows what happens to your privacy if the government nationalizes these kinds of enterprises (any actually, for government is not about running private businesses) . Look at your credit report for a BRIEF GLIMPSE ON WHAT THE GOV. WILL HAVE ON YOU. It would not be potential intrusion it would be big brother/1984-type intrusion. There is no way to spin that, for if the government does that we will be Cuba in record time, except we won't have another country to escape to, to live in freedom. I say listen more closely to these so-called economists. There were three past Nobel winners in economics who totally disagree with Krugman as per a recent New York Times full page add, so I will go with the majority for none of them spoke about destroying capitalism in favor of implementing socialistic policies. Also they keep lowering expectations of turning around the economy, so it will be beyond the next 2 and 4 year election periods before we're recovered. That's like global warming will cause the oceans to rise several feet by 2100.

Jacek February 1, 2009 2:52 pm (Pacific time)

Great story. strikes again.

Mike February 1, 2009 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

(Edited) - Amen to Ron Paul and Peter Schiff. Way ahead of Krugman in predicting this collapse and they actually understand how we can get out of it.

Editor: The only part of your comment that was productive was left intact. Don't attack people in our comment section or your entire comment will be deleted.

JW February 1, 2009 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

This was a well written article. Though I am not a follower of Mr. Krugman, he does make his opinions on the economy clear which helps further the debate. No doubt there are some very intense opinions on which way we should go in dealing with our current economic downturn. We will no doubt soon see who has the better way to go. The democrats have controlled the congressional purse strings for over two years now and they can pass anything they want, so the economic ball is in their court. Will there be a true stimulus or something else?

Henry Ruark February 1, 2009 7:18 am (Pacific time)

Glen: No fake, friend; fine job, with easy-touch on painful points while making sense of what/why --and nice easy light on Krugman himself, too. Would admire to have done so well myself...having never seen him close-up except once in Chicago, with 50 others. Thanks for common sense and clear insights reflected here.

stephen January 31, 2009 11:34 pm (Pacific time)

but he didn't expect it to become reality. Nobody did. Please dont say nobody did, because there were plenty of us that said "yes it will".. I stood cold on street corners shouting it out, while THIS GUY was in his suit and tie with his girlfriends.!!! Sorry, I am a bit frustrated from this article. It has NO true facts... Read some of Ron Paul books LONG before this book that is mentioned. But Ron Paul is not zionist. I am so sick of the zionists taking over the U.S. and tens of millions agree.. the zionists will NOT win. The patriots, who believe in family, and truth will win. Because we dont want to control and take over the world.. We just want to work and feed our family. It is time for the U.S. to sever ties with israel.. they killed too many children. Klugman is a zionist.

stephen January 31, 2009 11:00 pm (Pacific time)

ooops.. I did some research.. a zionist. now it all makes sence. No need to answer previous question. I understand now. enjoy. enjoy his words just as you enjoy the destruction of of palestinians, and the failure of the lebanon war, and the failure of trying to destroy Hamas. Both isreael and the U.S. set up a stage for voting in hopes they would vote for Fatah..they did not. they voted democratically for hamas. But the U.S. and israel dont care about democratic voting, they only care about a country voting for who THEY want in power..this is getting ridiculous, and nobel prizes are set up by the elite zionist bankers.. this guy is a traitor to the U.S. and has said things Ron Paul said many years ahead of him.. but since his owners own the media.. and shame on you salem-news!!! wake up..

stephen January 31, 2009 10:36 pm (Pacific time)

In the early years of the decade? please give a date thanks. Ron Paul and Peter Schiff were saying it long before "this decade" ..please give a date.. thanks. and, if you have time, please let the readers know how printing more money, as mentioned from another article here, in regards to this guy..will help.

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