Posts Tagged ‘Paul Krugman’

repealing and replacing Obamacare

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

A draft bill to repeal and replace Obamacare has been leaked to the press. According to “The Hill”:

The bill would eliminate subsidies for people to obtain coverage, and federal funds for states to expand Medicaid would be phased out in 2020. The mandate for people to buy insurance would also be killed.

Peter Sullivan, “Leaked ObamaCare bill outlines GOP plan“, The Hill, 24 February 2017.

That’s the “repeal” part. According to “The Hill”, here is the gist of the replace part:

The plan calls for a tax credit, which would increase based on a person

make America gasp again!

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Here is the beginning of a New York Times op-ed, written tongue-in-cheek by economist Paul Krugman.

Many people voted for Donald Trump because they believed his promises that he would restore what they imagine were the good old days

Trump’s pick for commerce secretary is a mercantilist!

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Donald Trump is expected soon to confirm Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary. Mr Ross (born 1937) is a billionaire investor who specializes in leveraged buyouts and restructuring distressed businesses. I learned, reading this weekend’s Financial Times, that he is also a vocal proponent of mercantilism.

The starting point of any trade deal, Mr Ross told the FT this month, should be to ensure that each side share its estimates of the effects on its own industries and jobs. ….

It is time to focus on deals which make sense, he says. That does not include the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, for example, which appeared to flip America

Krugman to young Americans: Your vote matters!

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Further to yesterday’s post, Paul Krugman pleas for young voters to vote for Hillary Clinton, rather than waste their vote on a third party candidate, as so many did 16 years ago.

Does it make sense to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president? Sure, as long as you believe two things. First, you have to believe that it makes no difference at all whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump moves into the White House

Paul Krugman on the TPP

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Over the weekend, leaders of a dozen Pacific Rim nations reached a final agreement on new rules for trade between nations covering approximately 40% of the world’s economy. Many on the political left, including economist Paul Krugman, have opposed the project, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The final draft appears to be significantly different from what was initially promised, though, so Krugman now supports it.

I’ve described myself as a lukewarm opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership …. But the WH [White House] is telling me that the agreement just reached is significantly different from what we were hearing before ….

What I know so far: pharma is mad because the extension of property rights in biologics is much shorter than it wanted, tobacco is mad because it has been carved out of the dispute settlement deal, and Rs [Republicans?] in general are mad because the labor protection stuff is stronger than expected. All of these are good things from my point of view. …. The TPP looks better than it did, which infuriates much of Congress.

Paul Krugman, “TPP take Two, The Conscience of a Liberal“, New York Times blog, 6 October 2015.

The TPP is still not a done deal, since it will not go into effect until approved by legislatures of the participating countries.

David Warsh on Paul Krugman

Monday, September 14th, 2015

[Paul Krugman] joined The New York Times [in 2001] as one of its marquee op-ed columnists. ….

Krugman routinely establishes important truths

history’s long shadow

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

All my life I have believed that history affects social and economic relations in today’s societies. To me, this is self-evident, so does not require extensive research. In conversation with friends, however, I have discovered that this view is not widely shared. One long-time friend went so far as to say that the horrific events that concern me – European treatment of native Americans, enslavement of Africans, etc. – happened long ago. We should, he insists, remember the glories of European colonisation, and forget all that is shameful.

This, I insist, is impossible. The sins of the past affect all of us today. I have been unable, however, to express my views coherently and convincingly. To my delight, Paul Krugman, in a column published in yesterday’s New York Times, has done the job for me. He wrote a column that I wish that I could have authored. Actually, it is better that he authored it, for a similar essay written by me would not have attracted even a small percentage of the audience that Professor Krugman attracts. Here are excerpts from his column. I urge you to click on the link below – which is not gated – and read the full column.

America is a much less racist nation than it used to be …. The raw institutional racism that prevailed before the civil rights movement ended Jim Crow is gone, although subtler discrimination persists. ….

Yet racial hatred is still a potent force in our society, as we

the human capital controversy

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Back in the 1960s there was a famous debate between economists (led by Joan Robinson and Piero Sraffa) of the University of Cambridge in England and economists (led by Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow) of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The debate, known as “the Cambridge capital controversy“, was over measurement and aggregation of physical capital. The Cambridge (England) economists argued that aggregate physical capital could not be measured without reference to the rate of return on capital. Cambridge (Massachusetts) generally agreed that the Cambridge (England) side won, though many professors of economics continue to teach aggregate production functions and economic growth theory as though the debate never took place.

A similar debate is now taking place, over human rather than physical capital. Noah Smith (HT Mark Thoma) provides a nice overview for those are interested.

Is “human capital” really capital? This is the topic of the latest econ blog debate. Here is Branko Milanovic, who says no, it isn’t. Here is Nick Rowe, who says yes, it is. Here is Paul Krugman, who says no, it isn’t. Here is Tim Worstall, who says yes, it is. Here is Elizabeth Bruenig, who says that people who say it is are bad.

Noah Smith, “Is human capital really capital?“, Noapinion, 21 February 2015.

Noah Smith offers an alternative view: human capital requires owners to work (give up leisure time) to obtain a return from it, so the more leisure is valued relative to other things, the less valuable human capital is. This will be different for each person. In consequence, you are “entitled to your own modeling conventions and definition of terms. So whether human capital is capital is up to you.”

This is an interesting, complex debate. I am still thinking about it but, as TdJ readers might predict, I am most persuaded by the arguments of Carleton University economist Nick Rowe. Before turning to Branko Milanovic and Nick Rowe, however, I would like to emphasize two points that are not always appreciated by participants in this debate. First, financial capital is not capital in an economic sense. Nick makes this point clearly, but others confuse financial capital with physical capital. Financial capital – stocks, bonds and the like – are just pieces of paper, IOUs. They are claims of lenders, and the loans may even have been made for the purpose of consumption rather than investment.

Second, even if human capital is a useful category of income-producing assets (and I think it is), it is as difficult to measure as physical capital is. In fact, it is probably even more difficult to measure. This does not really matter though, as it is impossible to measure aggregate assets of either asset apart from (only in theory!) the present value of the future income the assets produce. The problems of measurement of human capital are

international bond yields and exchange rates

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Princeton economist Paul Krugman recently posted an explanation of why nominal yields on US sovereign bonds exceed nominal yields on

inflation and deflation

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Since the 1007/2008 financial crisis, austerians have consistently warned that fiscal stimulus and loose monetary policy would produce severe inflation. This did not happen, so austerians have been quiet lately. One outspoken austerian (Chicago economist John Cochrane) now admits that we face a problem of deflation, not inflation. Does he admit that his forecasts were terribly wrong? No. Does he say he is sorry for encouraging policies of austerity in the Great Recession? No. He now thinks that economies are robust, that markets are self-correcting so long as governments do not interfere too much.