The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Take Paul Krugman’s Money

Posted on | January 20, 2014 | 44 Comments

Paul Krugman tediously rehashes his “economic inequality” gripes:

The reality of rising American inequality is stark. Since the late 1970s real wages for the bottom half of the work force have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled (and the incomes of the top 0.1 percent have risen even more). While we can and should have a serious debate about what to do about this situation, the simple fact — American capitalism as currently constituted is undermining the foundations of middle-class society — shouldn’t be up for argument.

Why the generalization, Dr. Krugman?

Why do you pin the blame so vaguely on “American capitalism,” when clearly the cause of economic inequality is you?

As the Smartest Economist in the Whole World™  it was your job to fix this  problem. Obviously you’ve been goofing off — phoning it in, going through the motions — and here you are again, recycling the same arguments you’ve been making for decades.

So we’re coming to take it back, Dr. Krugman. The middle class will be showing up to collect The People’s Refund. That three-bedroom $1.7-million Riverside Drive apartment you bought in 2009? It’s got enough square footage to house a dozen struggling grad students from Columbia and NYU. They’ll be moving in next week.

What’s your salary at Princeton University, professor? Last time I checked, the average Princeton professor made $190,000 a year and you’re clearly above average, so let’s say $250,000. We’re going to let you keep $60,000 of that — “incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled” — and redistribute the other $190,000 to the janitorial staff at Princeton, because . . . fairness.

Now, how to redistribute your New York Times income? If they’re paying you $300,000 a year (which is Tom Friedman’s reported salary, and certainly they wouldn’t pay a Nobel Prize winner less) then I figure we’ll cut you back to $75,000, re-distributing $225,000 in $25,000 increments to nine struggling young writers to be chosen annually for what will be known as The Krugman Fellowships.

See, Dr. Krugman, this is why your “economic inequality” arguments haven’t been fixing the problem. By dwelling on general categories — “the top 1 percent” and the “middle class” — you have failed to make it personal. If you break it down to individual cases, people can relate a lot more directly to the issue, deciding on how they’ll divvy up the wealth of specific rich people, like you.

Even after we re-distribute three-quarters of your income, Professor, you’ll still be making more than $100,000 a year.

That money will come in handy when you’re buying pizza for all those grad students sleeping on the floor of your apartment.

Social justice, eh?



44 Responses to “Take Paul Krugman’s Money”

  1. Lightwave
    January 20th, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    Bill Gates is another example of idiot liberal hypocrites. Forbes pegged him as the world’s richest in 2013, who at $75 billion or so is worth enough money to send a $250 check to every man, woman, and child in America. When he does that, then he can talk about income inequality.

  2. lk
    January 20th, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    You’re a fool. Most inequality comes from the top 0.1%

  3. DaveO
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    How, given the extremes of regulation, and government’s thumb on the scale, can America’s economy be called ‘capitalism.’ Our economy more closely resembles the Soviet 5-year plans (ours goes for 10 years), and rewards industrial farms for not producing food, and turning silage into a very poor fuel; and under Pigford, created tens of thousands of destitute black farmers.
    Our economy is many things, but the only capitalist economy in the US of A is the black market economy.

  4. Liberalism is Nonsense
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    I’ve begun to wonder – what is the source of Krugman’s visceral hatred for our sacred Constitution and our country.

    What is the driving force behind this alien ideology that he puts forth?

  5. Escher's House
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    Don’t forget to take a chunk of his speaking fees and his consulting fees, while you’re at it.

  6. Liberalism is Nonsense
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

    In Krugman’s demented mind, it seems that anything less than full-blown Trotsky-ite communism is somehow “unfair”.

  7. Dana
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

    Remember the scene from Dr Zhivago where Yuri Andreievich has just returned to Moscow from the World War. The beautiful mansion has been subdivided and the local Deputy from the Residents’ Committee states that there was room in that one house for 17 families? Dr Zhivago is appropriately cowed and responds that this was a better arrangement, more just.

  8. Dana
    January 20th, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

    Remember the scene from Dr Zhivago where Yuri Andreievich has just returned to Moscow from the World War. The beautiful mansion has been subdivided and the local Deputy from the Residents’ Committee states that there was room in that one house for 17 families? Dr Zhivago is appropriately cowed and responds that this was a better arrangement, more just.

  9. Rain
    January 20th, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    liberals never expect any sort of “equality” will adversely affect their own finances. I had a friend who makes at least 3 times what I did at the time talking about income inequality etc (this was couple years ago). To make the point I told her since she makes more than me she should have to give me a third of her paycheck “just to be fair”. HOOO boy did she backtrack quickly throwing every conservative reason why she shouldn’t have to, and yet still felt that others IE “the rich” should have their wealth taken away from them…..

  10. Gary Denton
    January 20th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    What is the point of this stupid post? When you can’t refute an economists on facts you try to belittle him for being smart and successful?

    “Since the late 1970s real wages for the bottom half of the work force have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled (and the incomes of the top 0.1 percent have risen even more). ” – Krugman.

  11. Rick Caird
    January 20th, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

    Actually the stupid post is the Krugman column. Krugman tells us:

    “American capitalism as currently constituted is undermining the
    foundations of middle-class society — shouldn’t be up for argument”.

    But, the so called “American Capitalism” is anything but capitalism. As government has grown, its share of GDP spending has increased from 18% of GDP to 25%. That reduces the investment pool and the money available for salaries and wages. The huge increase in crony capitalism and regulation favors old large companies over young entrepreneurs. The problem is government.

    These are things Krugman should know or investigate, but he throws away his economist credentials in favor of partisan bias.

    Krugman is harmful to the country.

  12. Dana
    January 20th, 2014 @ 3:44 pm

    Apparently this “stupid” post was a bit more sophisticated than you were able to understand. Our host was mocking the esteemed Dr Krugman for his overwhelming hypocrisy.

    Hypocrisy is a rather common failing amongst the liberal heroes, from Al Gore’s conspicuous carbon consumption when he’s telling the rest of us that we have to live poorer, to the Obamas flying on vacations on separate aircraft, costing the taxpayers millions of extra dollars, while saying that the top producers must be taxed more, to Wendy Davis and her little trailer on the prairie story when she used a wealthy older man to pay her way through college.

  13. PatDissent
    January 20th, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

    To hell with that!

    I want one of the man’s kidneys to give it away to someone on dialysis. Liberals always bitch about someone having a ‘surplus’; guess what, you pussies? It’s time to fork over a kidney because you have a ‘surplus’ of them. Since you aren’t willingly giving the kidney away you are, quite obviously, hoarding.

    Selfish, racist, hypocritical bastards.

  14. DaveO
    January 20th, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

    His desire for a social life. Seriously.

  15. DaveO
    January 20th, 2014 @ 5:00 pm

    Krugman’s Nobel prize came from his opposition to Bush-43. His work in ecnomics came out to a prediction that we would see periods of recession followed by periods of growing wealth. Which is hardly original, hardly useful, and puts Krugman in the same category of prophets who predict night following day. Krugman has shown, in article after article and post after post that he is unfamiliar with mathematics, statistical analysis, and how economies work. Krugman is a political hack who was given a formerly prestigous prize in order to give his hackery some heft. Like Obama’s Peace Prize… heh!

  16. Adjoran
    January 20th, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

    Gates is just keeping his wife happy by donating to her silly liberal causes. He can afford it.

  17. Adjoran
    January 20th, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    Actually Krugman’s work on the relationship between international trade and the business cycle was useful. But as with many Ph.D.s, he knows virtually nothing outside his very narrow area of expertise.

  18. Adjoran
    January 20th, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

    Notice he doesn’t mention that the “inequality gap” – a phony metric if ever there was one – increased faster with Obama in office practicing Krugman-approved Keynesian “stimulus” programs.

    Krugman makes so many errors of fact that there was for a while an effort to track and record them. Donald Luskin kept up his “Krugman Watch” for several years until it became almost a satire. There were so many errors and misstatements of fact in every column that it just no longer made sense to codify them all: the errata pages were getting to be almost as long as the columns themselves.

    His reputation for being wrong was already established in the early ’90s when James Carville dismissed him by noting that “Krugman predicted 19 of the last three recessions.”

  19. DaveO
    January 20th, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    You mean international trade and business cycle are related?!?!? Holy crap! Does the Hanseatic League know this? The Phoenicians?!?!?

  20. PatDissent
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

    Wait…hold it !!!

    You mean to say there are people STUPID enough to pay him to speak? And on top of that, STUPID enough to pay to LISTEN?

    Almost makes me wish I had employees again, so I could fire them for being dumbasses if I caught them attending.

  21. Rob Crawford
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

    You’re a fool — you care what other people earn or have.

  22. Rob Crawford
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

    Also, apparently, his wife.

  23. Rob Crawford
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

    No, Krugman belongs to a special form of speaker’s bureau. They sneak him into meetings, he takes the podium and starts talking. Within a few minutes, someone offers cash to shut him up — and then it turns into a bidding war.

  24. Rob Crawford
    January 20th, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

    The average Phoenician sea captain could have taught Krugman more about trade, international finance, international relations, and intellectual honesty than Krugman’s ever known.

  25. Dave Mears
    January 20th, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

    economic inequality is people with a million times your capital owning products that are 2 or 3 times as good. Big woop. They have bigger and more numerous houses, faster and more luxurious cars, even own their own boats or planes. Most of the things they can own which aren’t decorations aren’t that much better than anyone in the working class has ready access to. Granted, it may mean buying a ticket rather than ownership, but luxury is not that out of reach, even for the most humble of Americans. People like Kurgman act as though the rich live in floating cities, but it isn’t the case. They mostly have access to things two or three times better than the common man, certainly not a million times better. The Gates of the world could own a million cars, but how many can they drive at the time? We’re naturally limited by the fact that we are physical creatures, and can’t really take advantage of things vastly better than can be mass manufactured, as the time to develop such things would be prohibitive. How many times better is the best than a Toyota Corolla? Not 100 times. Certainly not a million. They are grumbling about cash, and yeah, they have more cash. Perhaps I should say “cash?” The wealthy usually have most of their money doing work. Mainly that cash is sitting in the market, making things cheaper for me. I HATE it when a rich man’s money makes my computer cost less. Okay, I don’t hate it. That isn’t something to complain about. They have better things, but those things aren’t SO much better as to justify all the complaints, which exist solely in order to foster divisions. You don’t think that Bill Gates occasionally has McDonald’s (or, you know, Dominoes, etc)? I doubt he wears a million dollar suit. that enormous divide they rant about endlessly simply doesn’t exist. Take it from someone on the low end of that supposed divide.

  26. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2014 @ 1:29 am

    I’m not an economist, but several I respect say that Krugman’s early work was groundbreaking in analyzing how trade and the business cycle relate. All that was before he started writing for NYT, though.

  27. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2014 @ 1:32 am

    Sorry, but it is not so. We need to give the Devil his due. It is sufficient to note that the immersion in statistical minutiae needed to analyze such esoteric data results in making one, in effect, an idiot savant.

  28. Gary Denton
    January 21st, 2014 @ 4:45 am

    “Paul Krugman has written extensively on international economics, including international trade, economic geography, and international finance. The Research Papers in Economics project ranks him among the world’s most influential economists.[29] Krugman’s International Economics: Theory and Policy, co-authored with Maurice Obstfeld, is a standard undergraduate textbook on international economics.[30] He is also co-author, with Robin Wells, of an undergraduate economics text which he says was strongly inspired by the first edition of Paul Samuelson’s classic textbook.[31] Krugman also writes on economic topics for the general public, sometimes on international economic topics but also on income distribution and public policy.

    “The Nobel Prize Committee stated that Krugman’s main contribution is his analysis of the effects of economies of scale, combined with the assumption that consumers appreciate diversity, on international trade and on the location of economic activity.[6] The importance of spatial issues in economics has been enhanced by Krugman’s ability to popularize this complicated theory with the help of easy-to-read books and state-of-the-art syntheses. “Krugman was beyond doubt the key player in ‘placing geographical analysis squarely in the economic mainstream’ … and in conferring it the central role it now assumes.””
    Responding to some uneducated drone.

  29. Gary Denton
    January 21st, 2014 @ 4:47 am

    And Republicans are not the bigger promoters of crony capitalism? Everyone of the Republicans sends money and contracts to their rich buddies while neoliberalism is comprised of one wing of the Democratic Party.

  30. Gary Denton
    January 21st, 2014 @ 4:52 am

    The party of hypocrites trying to find hypocrites?
    You evidently failed to read the article where Krugman discusses that putting in the top 5% in with the top 1% is a failing of the right. But you Republican followers cannot understand the difference between $100,000 and a millions.

  31. Gary Denton
    January 21st, 2014 @ 4:56 am

    The decision to attack Wendy Davis on her personal life is just another example of the lack of respect for women and a continuation of the GOP’s history of the lack of respect given to women and those who work their way up if they don’t submit to their boot licking philosophy to those with money and power. .

  32. NeoWayland
    January 21st, 2014 @ 8:08 am

    Davis brought it on herself.

    You can’t really claim virtue when you’ve lied about your history, particularly when those lies are the core of your political arguments.

    I’m not a Republican. I have to wonder why the Democrats would rather embrace fictional biographies than let their ideas stand on their own.

    That applies to Davis as well as the Imperious Leader (may his wisdom always show brightly).

  33. Rick Caird
    January 21st, 2014 @ 8:17 am

    Nice try. Do GE, Solaris, GM, and Chrysler ring any bells with you?

  34. Dana
    January 21st, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    The lovely Senator Davis isn’t being attacked on her personal life, but on the fact that she lied about it, apparently for political gain. Had she simply told the truth, she wouldn’t be having this problem.

  35. Dana
    January 21st, 2014 @ 9:20 am

    Perhaps I will have more respect for what the esteemed Dr Krugman writes when he actually lives the life he says that others must.

  36. lk
    January 21st, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    Like, *most* people except reality denying autists, I do not want to live in Brazil.

  37. DaveO
    January 21st, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    Ah, the old Ed Schultz/LGF trap then…

  38. DaveO
    January 21st, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    His due was given. It was one afternoon in March, 1987. Krugman was correct at that moment.

  39. DaveO
    January 21st, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    So basically Krugman restated that people will travel in search of business and stuff. Wow. That’s some hardcore stuff there. Christopher Columbus, the Venicians and Genoese register their shock! Shock! At Krugman’s revolutionary insights.

  40. Gary Denton
    January 22nd, 2014 @ 11:06 am

    What lies? I notice you don’t take a hard look at the major conservative figures life stories.

    “Wendy left home at 17, married when she was 18 and had her first daughter Amber when she was 19. She and her husband lived in a trailer, and Wendy continued to live there with Amber after they were separated.”

    “As a single mother at age 19, she often struggled to make ends meet,” the statement continued. “Wendy filed for divorce when she was 20 and she and Amber lived for a short time with her mother. The divorce became final when she was 21.”

    Davis later got help from a second husband, Jeff Davis, who helped pay for her two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard.

  41. Rob Crawford
    January 23rd, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

    Rather East Germany, eh?

  42. Rob Crawford
    January 23rd, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

    Those two are married? THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING!!!

  43. lk
    January 23rd, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    er…Denmark? Sweden? When you think every redistribution attempt is communism you just make yourself seem dim.

  44. Mojo
    January 27th, 2014 @ 1:51 am

    Hey, after we steal his money, can we kick him around for a while?