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Congress has always had a soft spot for “experts” who tell members what they want to hear, whether it’s supply-side economists declaring that tax cuts increase revenue or climate-change skeptics insisting that global warming is a myth.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Fuels on the Hill," New York Times, Jun. 27, 2008

Most people, I suspect, still have in their minds an image of America as the great land of college education, unique in the extent to which higher learning is offered to the population at large. That image used to correspond to reality. But these days young Americans are considerably less likely than young people in many other countries to graduate from college. In fact, we have a college graduation rate that’s slightly below the average across all advanced economies.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "The Uneducated American," New York Times, Oct. 8, 2009

Why are politicians so eager to pin the blame for oil prices on speculators? Because it lets them believe that we don’t have to adapt to a world of expensive gas.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Fuels on the Hill," New York Times, Jun. 27, 2008

If you had to explain America’s economic success with one word, that word would be “education".... Until now, the results of educational neglect have been gradual — a slow-motion erosion of America’s relative position. But things are about to get much worse, as the economic crisis ... deals a severe blow to education across the board.... We need to wake up and realize that one of the keys to our nation’s historic success is now a wasting asset. Education made America great; neglect of education can reverse the process.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "The Uneducated American," New York Times, Oct. 8, 2009

Politics determine who has the power, not who has the truth.

PAUL KRUGMAN, The Australian Financial Review, Sep. 6, 2010

The raw fact is that every successful example of economic development this past century – every case of a poor nation that worked its way up to a more or less decent, or at least dramatically better, standard of living – has taken place via globalization, that is, by producing for the world market rather than trying for self-sufficiency.

PAUL KRUGMAN, The Great Unraveling

The goal in the end is not to win elections. The goal is to change society.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Playboy, Mar. 2012

We're living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics. Remember, what defined the Dark Ages wasn't the fact that they were primitive — the Bronze Age was primitive, too. What made the Dark Ages dark was the fact that so much knowledge had been lost, that so much known to the Greeks and Romans had been forgotten by the barbarian kingdoms that followed.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "A Dark Age of Macroeconomics," Jan. 27, 2009

Until the Great Depression, most economists clung to a vision of capitalism as a perfect or nearly perfect system. That vision wasn’t sustainable in the face of mass unemployment, but as memories of the Depression faded, economists fell back in love with the old, idealized vision of an economy in which rational individuals interact in perfect markets.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?", New York Times, Sep. 2, 2009

It has been obvious all along, to anyone paying attention, that the politicians shouting loudest about deficits are actually using deficit hysteria as a cover story for their real agenda, which is top-down class warfare. To put it in Romneyesque terms, it's all about finding an excuse to slash programs that help people who like to watch Nascar events, even while lavishing tax cuts on people who like to own Nascar teams.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Four Fiscal Phonies," New York Times, Mar. 1, 2012

If you can create even the illusion of high profitability for a few years, then when the thing collapses you can walk out of the wreckage a very rich man.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Playboy, Mar. 2012

Our grandfathers lived in a world of largely self-sufficient, inward-looking national economies — but our great-great grandfathers lived, as we do, in a world of large-scale international trade and investment, a world destroyed by nationalism.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "The Great Illusion," New York Times, Aug. 14, 2008

For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Severe Conservative Syndrome," New York Times, Feb. 12, 2012

I've gotten some grief for my remark that if it were announced that we faced a threat from space aliens and needed to build up to defend ourselves, we'd have full employment in a year and a half. But that's true. Why couldn't we do that to repair our sewer systems and put an extra tunnel under the Hudson instead of to fight imaginary space aliens? Everybody in the world except us is doing a lot of investment in infrastructure and education. This is the country of the Erie Canal and the Interstate Highway System. The Erie Canal was a huge public infrastructure project financed with no private or public-private partnership. Can you imagine doing that in 21st century America? We really have slid backward for the past 200 years from the kinds of things we used to understand needed to be done now and then. And all of that because we are shackled to the wrong ideas.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Playboy, Mar. 2012

There is no economic policy. That's really important to say. The general modus operandi of the Bushies is that they don't make policies to deal with problems. They use problems to justify things they wanted to do anyway. So there is no policy to deal with the lack of jobs. There really isn't even a policy to deal with terrorism. It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do.

PAUL KRUGMAN, BuzzFlash interview, Sep. 11, 2003

Obama is very much an establishment sort of guy. The whole image of him as a transcendent figure was based on style rather than substance. If you actually looked at what he said, not how he said it, he said very establishment things. He's a moderate, cautious, ameliorative guy. He tends to gravitate toward Beltway conventional wisdom.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Playboy, Mar. 2012

If Europe's example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: own fuel-efficient cars, and don't drive them too much.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Stranded in Suburbia," New York Times, May 19, 2008

If you want a simple model for predicting the unemployment rate in the United States over the next few years, here it is: It will be what Greenspan wants it to be, plus or minus a random error reflecting the fact that he is not quite God.

PAUL KRUGMAN, Slate, Feb. 6, 1997

Economists don't usually make good speculators, because they think too much.

PAUL KRUGMAN, The Great Unraveling

we should reject the attempt to divert the national conversation away from soaring inequality toward the alleged moral failings of those Americans being left behind. Traditional values aren’t as crucial as social conservatives would have you believe — and, in any case, the social changes taking place in America’s working class are overwhelmingly the consequence of sharply rising inequality, not its cause.

PAUL KRUGMAN, "Money and Morals," New York Times, Feb. 9, 2012

Many people ... prefer to describe themselves as progressives rather than liberals. To some extent that's a response to the decades-long propaganda campaign conducted by movement conservatives, which has been quite successful in making Americans disdain the word liberal but much less successful in reducing support for liberal policies.

PAUL KRUGMAN, The Conscience of a Liberal


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