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On Krugman's Epiphany

Bruce Krasting's picture




 

 

PKepiphany

 

Paul Krugman is one of the leading “names” in economics today. There are reasons for his stature. He’s got a Nobel Prize, he’s an academic at a leading University, he writes for the NY Times, and not a week goes by without him being on some TV show or another. If you asked the average guy on the street to name an economist, there’s a good chance the answer would be - “Krugman”.

 

PK has been having a slow motion epiphany over the last month. He has posted four articles on a topic since December 8. (Link, Link, Link and Link) He has identified a “phenomenon” that is occurring in the US economy. This new, powerful force that he has stumbled upon, is keeping him awake at night. Clearly, PK is troubled by what he has uncovered. His words:

 

“It” has really uncomfortable implications. But I think we’d better start paying attention to those implications.

 

Are you worried yet?

 

PK drives home the point that what he has uncovered is not now in mainstream economic thinking. He admits that even he missed the signs that something was amiss in the world of modern economics:

 

Not enough people (me included!) have looked up to notice that things have changed.

 

Okay. What is it that PK has found hidden deep below the economic rocks that is causing him such fits? Grab onto your seats - this is big. PK has observed, for the first time in his economic career, the simple fact that technology has reduced the role of labor in the economy.

 

krugmanfinal

 

That’s PK’s epiphany? He just came to that conclusion in the last month? I’m thinking, “What planet has this guy been living on the past 10 years?” But then I realized PK has not been living on Mars, he’s been living in Princeton; amongst the Ivy.

 

Has PK not gone to a new mechanized distribution center like FedEx, UPS and Amazon have? Does he not know that it takes less printers to make the NYTs these days? Has he not been to a modern assembly plant that makes things with robots? How could he have missed the notion that technology was reducing the demand for human labor all these years? The only way that this could have been missed is if PK had his eyes covered and his head in the sand. He had this to say about his big new "find".

 

Mea culpa: I myself didn’t grasp this until recently. But it’s really crucial.

 

pkrobots

 

Forget about why PK has not connected these very important dots over many years; focus on why he's crapping in his pants over his new awareness. It’s simple math. Take two examples A) where Labor = 60% of GDP and B) Labor = 50% of GDP. If GDP = $16T, then A = 9.6T and B = 8T.

 

The problem is that Social Security (SS) taxes Labor at 12%. The difference between A and B ($1.6T * 12.4%) means that SS ends up with $200 Billion less in annual revenue.

 

PK went off and pondered his “discovery”. He did the A and B math, then he wrote:

 

If payrolls lag behind overall national income, this will tend to leave those programs underfunded

 

Duh….

 

Then PK went on to really stir the pot by suggesting that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was using a rosy long-term estimate for the critical Labor/GDP percentage in its projections. PK says:

 

CBO could very easily be quite wrong here, and will indeed be very wrong if the rise of smart machines plays out

 

What’s dawning on PK is that his vision of the future does not take into proper consideration the role that technology has today, and will play in the future, on labor employment. What he's looking at is a structural change; one that can’t be altered. He’s coming to the conclusion that Social Security doesn't “work” when there are not enough workers paying into the scheme. This is a remarkable conclusion from the most liberal economist out there.

 

Move on a few days and PK does some more deep thinking. He now realizes that the current expectations for future revenue for SS are unrealistic. He knows that the lines will cross more quickly than is now anticipated. He understands that this is a here-and-now problem, but he also has grasped that this is also a 75-year problem. So he comes up with a plan; simple yet elegant. He wants to tax the robots.

 

There would be no problem, at least in economic terms, by adding revenue (to SS) from dedicated taxes on capital income.

 

No problem? PK thinks it’s okay to charge 12% FICA taxes on a robot. OMG!

 

Actually, I don’t think that PK really believes that taxing investments in manufacturing technology is a good idea. The fact is, it’s a terrible idea, and PK knows it. If you want an economy to grow, and be globally competitive, you create incentives (tax breaks) for capital investment; you don’t create disincentives. Period.

 

 

I suspect that PK is slowly recognizing that he has put himself in a box. He has come to conclude that SS, as it is currently configured, is not viable. The villain is technology that reduces the long-term demand for labor. His solution, not surprisingly, is more taxes. But there is not a chance in 100 of taxes on capital investments to support SS (nor should there be).

PK is walking a plank, he’s getting close to the edge. When he goes over, he will bring with him a bunch of other liberal economists that believe that the SS “miracle” can be sustained. In his latest missive on this topic PK promises:

 

I’ll be writing more about this in weeks to come

 

I can’t wait.

 

 

Notes:

 

- PK is quite right that the CBO's assumptions regarding Labor’s share of future GDP are optimistic. I’m sure that the folks at the CBO read PK’s criticism. I doubt they were too happy about it. The question is, what will CBO do, now that a Nobel has challenged a basic assumption it uses? If the CBO were to re-gear its computers to reflect a lower long term role of labor in the economy, it would create a massive hole in America's entitlement programs.

 

- It’s going on five years now that I’ve been writing about SS and the CBO. There must be a few hundred articles of mine in the ether on these two topics. Again and again I’ve said the same thing. The assumptions are not realistic, the numbers do not add up when realistic assumptions are used, the outcome will not be what is now anticipated, and there will be a disappointment when reality sets in. Sorry PK.

 

 

Maybe I should get a Nobel, that, or maybe PK shouldn't have one…..

 

bury

 

 

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Tue, 01/01/2013 - 12:34 | 3112150 pfairley
pfairley's picture

Write an article on this Bruce! Note P. Krugman's LARGE & DAMAGING propaganda that WW2 proves that high govt debt is beneficial...and no one challenges him  with stats like:  WW2 savings rate 25%!(these saving were believed to have gotten us out of 1946 recession)  AND no comparison on personal debt levels, peacetime size of govt, regulation/legal expenses, demographics..etc. etc. we were more like China in WW2 and more like Japan now...there is no post WW2 like growth for USA on even the distant horizon to save us.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:02 | 3109278 czarangelus
czarangelus's picture

God damnit even Zero Hedgers don't get it. Mechanization is a good thing and doesn't reduce the demand for human labor at all. It FREES UP human labor to do things no machines can do. It restores demand for frescoes and handmade furniature. It expands the market for services and creates entirely new service demands

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:07 | 3109296 Salon
Salon's picture

Yeah

And someone come rake my leaves

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:29 | 3109128 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Is that supposed to be a light bulb over Krugman's head or is it just a representation of his foetid brain outgassing?

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:45 | 3109210 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

+ 1 for the archaic (or British) foetid.

It just looks smellier than the US fetid.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:10 | 3109059 malikai
malikai's picture

I believe I can make machines which will replace the Paul Krugmans of the world.

I'm pretty sure the world will be a better place for it.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:10 | 3109052 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Please don't throw out the red herring that business just passes the taxes on to us.  Business is enjoying record profits in the current environment that primarily benefits a few."

 

Tell that to all the people holding retirement funds invested in those companies, which as their profints shrink due to higher taxes, see the value of their retirement funds go down.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:34 | 3109148 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Have you ever noticed that the 'red herring-ers' are people who never owned a business and/or had to make pricing decisions?

Costs increases, via taxes or materials = price increases with very little absorption in thin margin businesses.

Naturally, my experience in a real marketplace is no substitute for an elegant ideological theory...

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:10 | 3109312 Salon
Salon's picture

Yogi Berra says.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there always is.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:55 | 3109007 JeffB
JeffB's picture

I was intrigued by the headline, but disappointed in the article.

I was hoping that PK had finally slogged through the rhetoric and figured out that Keynesian economics is a fatally flawed farce.

Instead I read that he's latched onto another old economic fallacy, that technology has bad repurcussions for our economy.

My father-in-law is a retired carpenter. In conversations over the years he admits that the carpenters union fought against technology like power saws etc. because they "knew" it would wipe out tens of thousands of jobs.

It was as obvious as the noses on their faces that if one carpenter could crank out 2 to 3 times as much work with these power tools as a worker using hand saws and drills that the builders were going to need a lot fewer workers.

They lost out on that battle, of course, but to their surprise the number of carpenters, and union members went up despite the introduction of these new "labor saving" tools.

They didn't take into account that the increased productivity lowered costs and made building homes and businesses etc. a lot more affordable. Rather than using fewer workers to erect the same number of buildings they employed more workers to build more buildings.

Society was much better off.

That phenomenon has been repeated over and over and over again.

That technology that improves productivity doesn't hurt workers and ends up benefiting society in many ways.

We wouldn't be better off walking or riding a horse to work, using hand tools to do our jobs.

It may be true that some workers are displaced by technology at times, but the buggy whip makers should be flexible enough to find new jobs in the automotive field, and companies that made stenograph machines should be able to figure out how to embrace the technological revolution and make fax machines, computers etc.

I think the real issue for unemployment here is the globalization of companies and their workforces. We have been largely insulated from labor pools in third world countries for decades, if not centuries. Companies in the U.S. were able to thrive in a pro-business free market environment and had a strong labor pool with well educated workers with a good work ethic.

Many other countries had less stable governments, &/or less educated populace, little infrastructure, poor business environments etc.

That has all changed, and suddenly our workers are competing with people who have been dirt poor for many generations and are willing to work for far less than we have been accustomed to.

Ideally over time the world economy should grow as productivity is dramatically improved worldwide because of this new labor resource that has been opened up. More will be produced and living standards will go up for everone over time.

But it's a very big adjustment and we haven't gone through the process yet.

Whether we do so well or not is a big question and there are obviously major pitfalls along the way, but the bottom line as far as I'm concerned is NOT that technology is our enemy. It can and should be embraced for the betterment of society as a whole and the living standards of all the world's residents.

Worrying that the % of labor in the GDP numbers is falling is very shortsighted. It makes the fallacious and fatal assumption that GDP is a constant. If the technological advances raise GDP with the same amount of labor, that is not going to reduce the number of jobs and everyone will be better off despite the drop in the percentages in the economists' economic models.

Can you spot the fallacious assumption below?:

"Take two examples A) where Labor = 60% of GDP and B) Labor = 50% of GDP. If GDP = $16T, then A = 9.6T and B = 8T.

The problem is that Social Security (SS) taxes Labor at 12%. The difference between A and B ($1.6T * 12.4%) means that SS ends up with $200 Billion less in annual revenue."

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:51 | 3109226 MortimerDuke
MortimerDuke's picture

Thank you.  I too was attracted by the title and disappointed with the content.  The Luddite fallacy must be very deeply ingrained in the American psyche.  Nice reply.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:12 | 3109317 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

As a life long progressive (an authentic democrat, not a Clinton or Obama faux crat), I have always despised Krugman (and what this blogger neglects to mention is that Krugman has always belonged to the group representing the speculators and central bankers, the Group of Thirty ---- group30.org), and forever am frustrated by all those who take him at his word for being a so-called "liberal."

Krugman's argument is the typical one posed by faux econs and CEOs, exactly like the example some years back, when a CEO was explaining job losses (instead of offshoring the jobs, which was exactly what he'd been doing) by holding up a first general IC board (digital electronics computer board) against the latest, and much, much smaller board.

Obviously, as we all realize here, far more products and far more diverse products were developed and sold with the small chips, etc., than the older ancient stuff.

I've been a business owner, and the red herring argument stands.

An economy is a system, and those who believe it to be a one-way pipeline are the psychopathic greedheads who are forever destroying socieites while turning the masses into serfs.

Krugman was wrong calling the oil/gas speculation of 2008, "simple supply and demand" (coming down on the side of the speculators, as usual), was wrong about the housing bubble (ignored by him), was wrong in his EPI talk in the causes of the economic meltdown, and claiming the zombie banksters were now in a healthy state, and once again, that misinformation specialist from the Group of 30, Paulie Krugman, is wrong.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:39 | 3109172 WaltzTangoFoxtrot
WaltzTangoFoxtrot's picture

Yep I can spot the fallacy.  The equation assumes that there is no growth in GDP as inneficent labor reallocates to best use.

There was once a great and powerful guild that handed down the traditions and skills from one generation to the next for centuries.  The within about 5 years, they all disspeared.  Printing press type setters since the turn of the century, operating Linotype machines, were a skillful, vlauable and well paid trade.  This had been so since the days of the Gutenberg press (which itself put "scribes" out of work).  

In the 1970's, machines evolved to read typewrtten sheets on which were typed special coding and symbols along with the text, which would "print" columns that then had to be cut and paste to mock-ups of newpages.  These were then photographed, and then "printed" onto lead plates that went to the presses.  This advance put thousands of typsetters out of work, or more accurately, allowed them to be retrained in the use of the new technology.   I saw this happen as a "cub" reporter while in HS reporting for a local newspaper sports department.  

Now, entire newsrooms find themselves subject to the same principles of the growth and advancements of technology, and it's effect on their careers, pay scales, and productivity.   

Someday, Blogs will become ireelevant.  I can't predict how, but it will happen.

WTF

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:16 | 3109329 Salon
Salon's picture

A light bulb just went off.

Blogs will become irrelevant when an artificial intelligence can aggregate a and interpret a summary of a data set on command

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:46 | 3108974 Inspector Bird
Inspector Bird's picture

Um, yeah, new tech always reduces short term labor activity while boosting productivity of those continuing to work.  The overall situation is a net gain for all.

The cost of goods and services fall, while eventually labor opportunity is regained. 

It is true that fewer people are working today - but this is not the result of technology, per se.  It's the result of government activities which do not promote entrepreneurial behaviors and increased taxes on opportunities for all.  We are encouraged, by the last few administrations and this one in particular, to become government drones because only the government can take care of us.

While labor participation is down significantly, self-employed workers are also up significantly.  I know several people working for themselves, some of whom are working on a cash basis simply to remain below the radar.  I would if I could. 

The tax burden needs to be placed on the casino - Wall Street.  We need to tax the secondary markets (commodities, FX, stocks, bonds, etc.) where nothing is being produced.  A Tobin Tax, even a small one, will produce tremendous amounts of tax income and allow income taxes to be lowered. 

 

This will help the economy recover, as money shifts back into the hands of those who actually earn and produce.

 

I will not buy into neo-Luddite "technology is killing us" nonsense.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:09 | 3109030 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

The HFT algo-bots have marked you for elimination.

You have angered the machines and their masters.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:31 | 3108936 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Did Krugman miss the introduction of the tractor? When the self-propelled piece of farm machinery was widely introduced in the early 1920s it had the greatest impact on labor ever seen.  A full 50% of the jobs worldwide were eliminated.  The price of farm products plummeted and millions of farmers and their families left the farm for the cities. 

No.  I think Krugmen discovered another way to blame something besides his favorite Socialist government for the collapse of the economy.

 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:16 | 3109332 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Socialist?  You evidently are unfamiliar with Wall Street and the Wall Street puppets forever occupying the White House? (Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush #1, Clinton, Bush #2 and now Obama.)

Krugman may or may not be missing everything, stooge that he be, but he still belongs to the Group of Thirty.

http://www.group30.org/members.shtml

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:59 | 3109020 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Solution ala Krugman?

Tax tractors to death and subsidize planting with pointed sticks and reaping with sickles.

Scythes are too easy and won't keep chiropractors busy.

Forward.

 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:59 | 3108835 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

Like everything else "elite" and "liberal", until they pick up the idea and validate it, anyone else who is talking about it is hateful and repressive.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:40 | 3108775 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

"Paul Krugman is one of the leading “names” in economics today. There are reasons for his stature. He’s got a Nobel Prize, he’s an academic at a leading University, he writes for the NY Times, and not a week goes by without him being on some TV show or another. If you asked the average guy on the street to name an economist, there’s a good chance the answer would be - “Krugman”."

 

Bruce there is no Nobel Prize that Krugman has. He has a "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (Swedish: Sveriges riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne),"

It is an award invented by a Central Bank, not Nobel.

"The Prize in Economics, as it is referred to by the Nobel Foundation, was established and endowed by Sweden's central bank , Sveriges Riksbank, in 1968 on the occasion of the bank's 300th anniversary, in memory of Alfred Nobel."

This is like Al Capone establishing a "Chicago Mob Prize in Dominating Local Markets in Memory of Alfred Nobel".

Economics is not a science. That much is fact. Please stop perpetuating the myth that Krugman has a "Nobel Prize".

He has an award from a Central Bank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Memorial_Prize_in_Economic_Sciences

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:20 | 3109349 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

There you go, Mr. Moe, interfering with the Matrix existence of Brucie, where he -- in his usual simpleton manner -- identifies everything as "Keynesian" (even though the majority, and the most important ideas of Keynes were never accepted nor utilized at Bretton Woods Accords (major coorindator:  David Rockefeller) but only those of the American treasury secretary, Harry Dexter White (I'm going by memory, so I may be mistaken on that name).

Brucie has difficulty with multiple amounts of data, have pity on the simple dood.

 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:34 | 3108757 lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

I once dated a woman from NYC who stated, "The NYT is a middle of the road paper politically." She was a Mt Holyoke undergrad w/ a Rutgers MA. 

Another "useful idiot". 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:24 | 3109359 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Yup, NYT is about as disinformation as the Wall Street misinformation ops go:  Judy Miller, after being outed for planting false WMD-in-Iraq stories for her buddy, Dick Cheney, goes on to highly lucrative position at neocon Manhattan Institute, Krugman representing the speculators and central bankers with his membership in the Group of Thirty, and then there's Thomas "three chins" Friedman and Davy Brooksy....

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:35 | 3108701 paint it red ca...
paint it red call it hell's picture

Now I get it. The ever accelerating exodus of middle class jobs since the nixon administration has nothing to do with border crossing drive for slave wage labor. It's the machine's fault middle class hands went from fashioning goods to squirting ketchup on buns and wiping ass's. It's the automation's responsibility that goods (and toys) are of such inferior design, materials. construction and durability that they are hardly worth carrying home. Its the mechanization that has enabled Asia to rise from abject rural poverty to full blown corporate consumerism in about a generation.

No, predictably secure, well paying jobs are gone from the west, including the ones building running and fixing automation because WAGES outside western borders no more than 10 years ago, were less than 1/10th of western compensation and THAT through cheaper and cheaper (and shoddier, and shoddier) goods offset a hidden but steady keynesian devaluation of western currency. The dutch boy finger the bernank has stuck in the monetary dyke may as well be stuck up his ass. The continuing corporate profit game searching for market share is almost over as that focus finalizes shifting from west to east. Hell, I bet the U-Store-It facilities in China are just now under construction while the tide of stored precious household commodities has crested in the west to the point television has put it in prime time. Good God!

Steady yourself America as you realize non-farm payrolls are only the remaining domestic jobs that could not, or have not as yet been been offshored as elsewhere vs western wages flatten out by means of devalued currency.

Automation? Uh-hum, but the technology of automation still requires human presence, skill and hands in it's creation, operation and maintenance (somebody, show me the paperless society promised by the technology of personal computing). No its always been about corporate growth, margin and consolidation. Other non-western markets represented enormous potential. And as Ross Perot warned of the giant sucking sound 20 years back, the jobs door closing in that vacuum is currently slamming on American labor's fingers.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:28 | 3109377 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

There you go again, Mr. PIRC, explaining reality and the truth to the garbled Brucie readers.

The audicity, sir!

And still, there are Americans who profess to be knowledgeable and not realize that America became a NET IMPORTER of tech services back in 1999 --- due to critical mass for jobs offshoring having been reached across all employment sectors.

Which is why I recommend everyone to read Prof. Donald Gibson's two most excellent books:

Battling Wall Street:  the Kennedy presidency

and

Wealth, Power and the Crisis in Laissez Faire Capitalism

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:22 | 3108906 metastar
metastar's picture

These F*cking SOBs are so damn short sighted it boggles the mind. They cannot see or refuse to see the obvious. Or, worse still, it is premeditated.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:54 | 3108999 paint it red ca...
paint it red call it hell's picture

ask kissinger if it was premeditated........

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 13:34 | 3109386 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

It's funny you mention his name.  A longtime misinformation specialist falsely identified as a "radical" -- Noam Chomsky, who always sneaks in a whopper in all his talks, in his very last talk claimed that the Trilateral Commission was composed of "liberals" or "liberal internationalists" --- so David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, John "death squad" Negroponte, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Morty Zuckerman, Robert Zoellick, et al. are "liberals" ---

negative, but we all should know by now where Chomsky, Krugman, Kevin Phillips, Niall Ferguson and the rest of those disinformation specialists stand.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 09:58 | 3108629 Buzz Hacksaw
Buzz Hacksaw's picture

Money IN > money OUT = profit. Money IN < money Out = loss. Business 101.

Sell to people who have money, business 102.

From the perspective of a country, ship the job off shore (for no other reason than segregated profit) and there is less money IN to support social programs and less money OUT to decent wages that support the economy. PK conveniently misses this still.

The population, generalizing, has less relative income today than a decade or two ago and therefore has less money to go out. Debt has blurred this reality.

Technology has replaced jobs and new fields open jobs. Regrettably these new fields are being developed domestically, but once developed are produced with cheap (for profit, slave like) labor.

How's that "Free Trade" working for you?

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:54 | 3108823 Bob
Bob's picture

Much is made of the cost differential on labor, but the larger difference in profit margins by far is the result of the entire cost structure producers face in socially primitive "developing" countries, from environmental protections to taxes (that here support consumer protection, education, infrastructure, military, etc.)  For US based multi-nationals, the tax dodges written into our own tax code incentivized and further subsidized moving production to such neoliberal paradises. 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 11:22 | 3108907 Buzz Hacksaw
Buzz Hacksaw's picture

I couldn't agree more. Place this on the money OUT side of the formula.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 08:42 | 3108464 carlnpa
carlnpa's picture

Its not "tax the robots" its "tax the business that owns the robots".

100 years ago there was no Personal Federal income tax, there were business taxes and import duties.  Busness funded the government.

Today, 90% of government revenue is from personal income taxes.  We must roll the reliance on personal income taxes back and increase business taxes.

Please don't throw out the red herring that business just passes the taxes on to us.  Business is enjoying record profits in the current environment that primarily benefits a few.  It has to change or the US won't make it.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 09:55 | 3108620 wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

100 years ago!!!! these democrat nazi simpletons are living in the horse and buggy age. they want to drag us back to the 1800's....

just stick to praising the golfer and blaming bush...more realistic

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 08:56 | 3108482 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

So I suppose that the "business" just sucks up those taxes  and lets the bagholder, er I mean consumer skate. You are such a HUMP!!!

 

Where is John Galt? Having more than a lick of sense he's left town...

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 09:46 | 3108593 fourchan
fourchan's picture

this fiscal cliff is a revolt by those who produce against the paracites, the working man never worries about welfare cuts.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 09:03 | 3108490 carlnpa
carlnpa's picture

What part of 90/10 personal/business don't you understand is not sustainable?  Krugman is pointing out the hard reality, the jobs are gone and are not coming back.  Let that soak in for awhile.

Why did the 0/100 personal/business work in the past?

You are good little keynesian aren't you.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 08:41 | 3108463 Hedge Fund of One
Hedge Fund of One's picture

Seems a similar epiphany to that experienced by the Nobel laureates at Long Term Capital Management, though in that case, they had some of their own skin in the game. However, PK can pontificate from behing ivory towers well-insulated from all the havoc that he creates when politicians are encouraged by him to continue down their path.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 08:35 | 3108456 dcb
dcb's picture

we need more monetary easing to fix a propblem that isn't monetary related. that is what these academics think. I am no expert, but the courses I took in my mba made no sense. so I gave myself a different education. these folks are divorced from the real world

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 07:54 | 3108414 samhell
samhell's picture

I see my little one man farm as a reflection of whats going on. It is hard work and long hours 7 days a week....I look to the benefits of adding an employee.

Then I remember.... Workmans comp, liability, SS not to mention training, absenteeism, indifference,  etc.

Cant find anyone who wants to do this work anyway...oh well

So I look at the cost of an employee over 10 years, and justify buying equipment with those funds instead, to help with the workload.

time to milk the cows!

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 08:59 | 3108473 Hedge Fund of One
Hedge Fund of One's picture

You ungrateful, selfish bastard! Don't you realize you're part of the problem? Avoiding hiring someone who doesn't want to work and the taxes that go along with them is unpatriotic. You need to contribute your fair share! If you are unwilling to do that, the guv'meant will force you to pay a penalty ..er .. tax for at least as much as you would have paid to hire a sorry, lazy-ass human sob. And the Supremes will approve. But take heart, at least your equipment will produce for you and your partner, the guv'meant. 

:-) 

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 07:39 | 3108408 Stud Duck
Stud Duck's picture

Zeitgeist Movement tells it like it is, w/o the whinny Keyensian explainations, but doubt it will even be accepted by the rural landed aristocricy, but their children may understand,. or at least their grandchildren will understand, just like the Native American has had to accept that the land your forefather controled is now controled by a government subsidized corporation.

The only thing that stands between the Zeitgeisters and the landed aristocracy, is guns and lots of them, but that wont matter much to TPTB.

The rest of you whinners will just have to watch and wonder where the food is going to come from.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 07:36 | 3108406 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

The robots they should be making are Terminators. Most people are useless and there's no work for them anymore because machines are better than them. Save the economy, get rid of the humans!

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 09:47 | 3108597 fourchan
fourchan's picture

war what is it good for?

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 03:43 | 3108345 DR
DR's picture

If U.S labor's share of income keeps dropping like it has in the past decade then balancing out SS is the least of our worries-the biggest worry is the continued hollowing of the middle class.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 03:59 | 3108332 Arthur
Arthur's picture

Well at least Krugman has the smarts to try and walk his position back.  Though if he waivng a red flag, what is coming will not be pretty.

As for Bruce, my nomination of him has been sent off to Norway.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 07:48 | 3108412 StandardDeviant
StandardDeviant's picture

Er, I'm sure Bruce will appreciate the thought -- but the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science is awarded in Sweden.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 21:48 | 3111252 Arthur
Arthur's picture

Hmm learned something new.  The economics noble is really a johnny come latley imposter.  And is merely awarded with the original Nobel prizes that are administered out of Norway.

 

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics,[1][2] but officially the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (SwedishSveriges riksbanks pris i ekonomisk vetenskap till Alfred Nobels minne), is an award for outstanding contributions to the field of economics, generally regarded as one of the most prestigious awards for that field.[3] Although not one of the Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, it is identified with them, and prizes are announced with and awarded at the same ceremony.[3]

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 07:33 | 3108403 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Isn't Krugman the guy in a Mr. Rogers sweater holding a cat?

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