This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai
reminds National Review Online readers
that fellow high-profile economist Paul Krugman is wrong about many of the issues that attract his attention.
- Professor Paul Krugman "has a good understanding of the essentials of international trade (the basis for his Nobel Prize Award) and explains them well," I wrote in December in my new book about President Trump and his economic team. But I added that Krugman "is wrong about most [other] economic subjects . . . [and] helpful for predicting mistakes that would be made by the President's opponents." ...
- ... Throughout the summer of 2020, Professor Krugman opined on the consequences of renewing in-person schooling. ... [H]is amateur and partisan theory of disease trumped that assessment. He advised his five million followers that reopening school this fall would "be a complete disaster" that "would kill thousands" as it "disastrously reinforc[ed] the pandemic." ...
- ... Many schools did in fact dare to open. ... Using a larger dataset, Brown University professor Emily Oster found that "schools aren't super-spreaders . . . fears from the summer appear to have been overblown." Krugman had no business stoking those fears with an improbable scenario from outside his expertise, when he knew that the human-capital costs to children of e-learning were enormous and guaranteed.
- This spring Congress hastily prepared a pandemic assistance package that ultimately proved to pay the unemployed almost $1,000 per week (primarily a special $600 "bonus"), which was more than most of the beneficiaries were earning before they were laid off. ...
- ... Professor Krugman had, to put it charitably, a unique perspective. "I've been doing the math, and it's terrifying . . . the end of benefits will push down overall consumer spending . . . more than 4 percent," he wrote in early August. Furthermore, he insisted that drop would be followed by "a substantial 'multiplier' effect, as spending cuts lead to falling incomes, leading to further spending cuts."
- Although not mentioned to his readers, Krugman's conclusion is the opposite of a decades-long consensus in our profession.