Yes, I have focused my laser-sharp mind on the problem...no, the epidemic, of obesity.
Or, in my own words:
"It is more important, however, to emphasize that there are situations in which "free to choose" is all wrong - and that this is one of them."
Of course, "free to choose" is almost always wrong -- from both utility and moral perspectives, as I am sure you will agree. But in this case, consider the issues:
A) People get fat through no fault of their own, and...
B) Being fat is very unhealthy, and...
C) Taxes are not high enough.
And now, I will unleash my brilliance:
D) Tax everyone so that the government can provide for fat people!
It's all in my column, except for the details of how exactly the government will actually use these tax dollars to help fat people.
Remember (to quote my today's column again): "The history of government interventions is one of consistent, life-enhancing success."
Dizzy with success!!
Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D
Dear Concerned Democrat,
As we know, AIDS is an excellent example of market failure -- but only under Republican administrations. When the ostensible leadership of the nation panders to a primitive constituency comprised free-market zealots and right-wing theocrats, don't be surprised when AIDS fatalities increase.
Judging by the vastly reduced frequency of AIDS stories in the media under Democratic leadership, and applying my rotated multilogit quadratic extraction matrices to the pertinent data, we can only conclude that Republicans and AIDS form a cause-and-effect relationship. Does this mean that Republicans are homosexual? Possibly, as their hostility towards gay rights might be an attempt to mask their own repressed leanings. But then, I am not a psychologist. I am only a (very talented) economist.
You are quite correct to state that the costs of AIDS fall on taxpayers. (And although I am not a physician, it is my understanding that AIDS can also have health consequences for taxpayers who are not yet infected.) And, of course, no one chooses to get AIDS.
And we can say the same thing about many other things. Though it is somewhat beneath me, let me provide you with a non-technical analogy.
The other day, I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike to Princeton, which is where I work. Out of nowhere, my car broke down, and I came to a dead halt in the left lane. Now, I am not a car mechanic; I am only a (legendary) economist. And so, I sat in the left lane, listening to traffic reports of congestion to the George Washington Bridge, and thinking about how I was (somehow) losing money by waiting for assistance. And that's when I realized that:
A) My car's failure is imposing costs on everyone else.
B) "Free to choose" is all wrong here.
C) No one could say that anyone rationally wanted to be in this situation.
And so, I am suing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority for one hour of my very valuable time.
In other words, almost everything we do has some externalities, and we are often the victims of unintended circumstances. Therefore, it is axiomatic that the government should provide a universal "safety net" for everyone for every misfortune.
I will need to submit this as a future column.
Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D (and many other honors)
Ha ha, Sir, if I may be so glib! You are a very earnest pupil, and I would easily curve your grade to at least 100% were it not for a few errors in thought:
A) Economists have purity of thought. We are scientists and cannot be influenced by petitions and other expressions of popular opinion. True, majority opinions signify moral rectitude (which is why the Republicans needed to cheat to win the last two elections), and the people should therefore petition the government, and not the economists. At that time, the government will consult with the most gifted economists, who will provide expert guidance to the government. Of course, in an ideal situation, the most gifted economists would be government employees anyway -- in order to maximize efficiencies.
B) Of course this is hard for you to understand. My prose, though exquisite, does not even begin to reveal the complex ideas, abstractions, and most of all, formulas, that can intimidate any challenger. My mastery of jargon, my accumulation of degrees and awards, my implicit endorsement by The Economist ("By Invitation"...they invited me to speak!) gives even my slightest utterances a degree of credibility that almost defies comprehension.
C) You are very perceptive; things are far too difficult for anyone to understand. For example, did you know that the cyclical aggregate substitution of surplus floating cost can be approximated by a non-stationary hyperbolic gamma-curve? This is why people outside the field should only be concerned with simpler things, such as selecting the correct brand of detergent, choosing a color for their next car (although efficiencies dictate that only one optimal color be available to all), paying their taxes, voting for Democratic candidates, and reading my columns.
Prof. Dr. Paul Krugman
I never communicated with anyone who did not attend college, so I hope that you will understand me. If you are illiterate, perhaps someone can read this response to you. I will struggle to use easy words.
Remember when you were a little itty bitty baby? And remember how mommy would feed you and dress you and take care of you? Remember how happy you were, and how easy it all was?
Good! You have a good memory! You are smart!
Now, remember when you were scared of monsters and bad people under your bed? And remember how mommy would make it all better?
Well, that big bad monster was only in the imagination of Little Sally. But quagmires and deficits are not in your imagination; they are real, and they are deadly. They are like the Bad Monster, but only much much worse.
Who will rescue you now, Sally, with mommy in her grave? Are you scared? Sad? Upset? Angry? You should be!!
It turns out that there's someone better than mommy. It is your government, and very very very very smart and compassionate people like me. Do you know what "compassionate" means? It means that we want to help you.
So, Sally...just as you gave your toys to mommy when you were a little baby, you need to give your money to the government. Just as those toys really belonged to mommy, that money really belongs to the government.
When you were little, mommy knew better than you. Isn't that enough proof that, today, your government knows better? Listen to us, vote for Democrats (or even Socialists, if the alternative is a right-wing Republican), and all will be better.
Do it for your children!
Dear Federal Employee,
Let's think about this, for thinking is my strength. Current unemployment, at 5%, would be 7% if we include employees of the Federal Government...and probably 10% or more if contractors are included. Now, a "10% unemployment rate" would really expose the present right-wing Republican administration for what it is, wouldn't it?
In fact, you'll note in my column that there may be "as many as" five million unemployed people. By analogy, and by applying some complex econometric modeling, we can say that a 10% unemployment rate is equivalent to "possibly" as high as 12%. Or 15%. Or even "possibly" as high as 75%.
And now, here's what separates advanced econometric theoreticians (like a certain humble academic columnist) from the ordinary man: If a 10% unemployment rate can "possibly" be as high as 75%, so too can a 1% unemployment rate be "possibly" as high as 75%. Hence, the unemployment rate--no matter what--is 75%...all thanks to Bush and Halliburton.
This also means that federal employment can...and should...increase from 2% to at least 40% of the civilian population. Because with a constant unemployment rate of possibly up to 75%, we need as many people as possible in the public service. Ideally, one can (in extreme) ponder the merits of 100% Federal employment with possibly up to 100% unemployment, which would address the issues of rich people, market distortions, "freedom to choose", social security privatization, and a host of other economic blemishes that are now searching for solutions.
It is curious that, of all my penetrating insights, you are questioning the most obvious one. Still, it is my responsibility as a humble teacher to educate everyone, including those who might have some difficulty with simple axiomatic truths.
The record of Democratic support for the military is as legendary as my reputation for being a highly sought-after brilliant economist, author, professor, columnist, and observer of world affairs. In particular, Democrats have been at the forefront of defending our nation efficiently and effectively; e.g, against the Branch Davidians, etc., etc., etc. But with respect to "9/11" Democrats have worked for a strong defense in many ways:
A) By having the courage to raise taxes. Defense is expensive, and the Republicans have bankrupted the military by giving the nation's wealth to rich people in the form of tax breaks; i.e. not taxing them as highly as I recommend. Fundamentally, the war on "terror" must first be waged against the rich.
B) By supporting the teachers' unions against private schools and of course, education vouchers. A nation needs a highly educated military almost as much as it needs highly-educated economic theorists. Only our public schools can educate future soldiers. Republican efforts to send our children to theocratic private schools, and worse, put our children to work to undermine union wages, will destroy our defense.
C) By demanding diversity. Our military must look like our nation. White, black, Hispanic, men, women, old, young, Jew, Muslim, heterosexual, homosexual, and the gender challenged must all be represented in proportion to their numbers in the general population in every branch of the armed services.
D) By demanding military sensitivity. We cannot beat the terrorists; we can only appease them. And appeasement works best through sensitivity; for example, by allowing suspected terrorists full access to the American legal system and banning any kind of security "profiling". (Kudos to Norman Minetta for implementing such a policy.) Remember: Terrorists can be of any persuasion, age, religion, gender, and sexual preference. And sensitivity requires the military not to offend the sensibilities of suspects; e.g., we must respect their holy books, grant them no contact with female interrogators, etc.
E) By focusing our nation's agenda on things like gay marriage, Wal-Mart, Karl Rove, etc. When the "terrorists" see how we bring justice to our own aggrieved, then they too will be more just. And (if I may paraphrase an influential movie producer), the "terrorists" will also realize that we did not vote for Bush, and will therefore leave us alone.
Different people have different aptitudes. Some people are facile in mathematics, others have strengths in other fields -- such as languages, athletics, cooking, or menial labor. To be sure, you must have many strengths. So many skills, in fact, that they "crowd out" other skills such as economics.
Specifically, I see that one of your strong points is that you know who to write to for advice. And to do so in an articulate manner spun in the very essence of brevity. And so, I will un-confuse you in two easy steps.
1) The science of economics is complex, specialized, and very difficult for almost anyone to understand. You are not alone. In fact, you are typical!
2) To understand this difficult field, we must all turn to experts; i.e, those who do have the gift of knowledge, understanding, and outstanding cognitive potential. And then we must listen to them and follow their advise. Always. even if it is a little difficult!
I hope this clarified things.
P.S. I trust you understood the big words.
Hello Mr. Toohey.
May I commend you on your selection of authorities to turn to for help.
In theory, "supply" refers to producers' propensity to provide goods and service. "Demand" refers to consumers' willingness to purchase goods and services. "Price" is what producers are willing to accept for their goods and services, and is also what consumers are willing to pay for thier goods and services.
In theory, there is a price at which producers will sell goods and services, and at which consumers will purchase goods and services in such a way that there are no leftovers; i.e., ther will be no "surpluses" or "shortages". At that point, we say that the market "clears".
From reading my columns, you would never guess that I know these things. That is because they are too complicated for ordinary people to understand – so I put it in simple terms like “Dick Cheney has threatened the nation with compulsory Christianity.” And if you read my academic papers…well, let's just say that any attempt will leave you awed into a trembling submission to my overwhelming intellect.
Anyway, supply…demand…price…that's only theory...and we know that "theory" is only useful in a classroom (and my academic papers). Now, needless to say, as an accomplished academic and author of scores of books and articles, it would clearly be impossible for me to explain the true nature of supply, demand, and price in a paragraph. But I will describe just a little of how flawed the theory is, and why there is such a demand (yes, that was a deliberate play on words) for my inexhaustible supply (yes, another play on words) of economic knowledge.
For starters, the theory fails to take monopolies into account. In capitalist societies, most corporations are monopolies, and will supply whatever they feel like supplying; usually as little as possible, and then only to white males. Hence the income disparities between white males and People of Diversity – and the discrepancy between workers and corporate owners. True, this has been somewhat mitigated by labor unions, but even the most earnest of unions cannot withstand the Republican onslaught of favoritism to Corporate America, and in particular, the lowering of their taxes.
The consequence of these monopolies is a “horizontal supply curve”. Now, if that confuses you, then I recommend that you stop reading this, and go to something simpler – perhaps a television program? Otherwise, this refers to the fact that suppliers know what price they want, and they will get it regardless of how much or how little they offer. And that means that the demand curve is irrelevant – except that as demand increases, so will profits. Untaxed profits.
Bottom line: Without government control (and my advice), we have become a two-class system of haves and have-nots. The suppliers have the demanders in an iron grip, and that's too high a price to pay. And that is supply, demand, and price.
Prof. Paul Krugman, Ph.D. etc.
P.S. If you take issue with what I say, may I refer you to my academic papers before you respond?
There are things you know, and there are things you don't know. And then there are things that you don't even know you don't know. That is where I come in as The Benevolent Explainer.
I realize that even the average reader of The New York Times, although in the top percentile of intelligence, nevertheless resides in a different intellectual space from yours truly -- and therefore has total admiration for my penetrating insights and my paradigm-shattering analyses.
You are very welcome, Sir.
Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D etc.
P.S. Yes, Donald Rumsfeld did steal that first line from me. (Just as they stole the last two elections.)
We have much in common, Young Economist. As you know, I was an economics legend at MIT, and in fact specialized in formulas that were too complex for any venue. But remember, I am The Teacher, and you are the pupil. As such, there is, and always will be, a distance between you and me that cannot be spanned. I lend you some admiration for not being completely frightened of me. You may approach me.
Allow me to compliment you on your conclusion. Yes, a (minimum) 50% federal sales tax would be an especially equitable, just, efficient, and caring solution to many problems. But as your Benevolent Teacher, I must criticize your methodology.
Let's examine the formula:
E = [(TR - TC) - (AW)]/AW
You correctly state that this is formula applies to corporations. That implies you are aware of its inapplicability to government programs where:
TR is some finite constant k,
TC is almost zero, and
AW approaches infinity.
Substituting these values, we can reduce the formula to
E = (k - 0 - infinity)/infinity = -infinity/infinity = -1
May I suggest that E always equals –1 for government programs?
But back to the flaw. In true corporatism, the worth of many products is zero. (Advertising forces consumers to believe that valueless items have some worth.) Therefore AW = 0, and E is an undefined quotient when AW = 0.
Please do not feel belittled by my analysis.
May I suggest that there is no other economist, living or dead, who has the uncanny ability to develop such insights?
P.S. If you were my student, I would curve your grade to at least 100% for your sales-tax theorem.
You are a very astute and moral observer of how athletic corporatism affects the poor and the diverse. "Liberalism" has become a dirty word in George Bush's America, but we still realize that in order to be blind to race, we must relentlessly focus on it. "Equality of opportunity" is synonymous with "preferential treatment". Yes, your biology matters because it should.
Which brings me to the shameful exploitation of black youth. Corporate America accumulates wealth on the backs of black youths through competitive athletics. Regardless of the athlete's compensation, there is no right to compete. Boxing, for instance, is a barbaric sport that needs to be banned. You do not have the right to hurt yourself for compensation.
Basketball, though not as violent as boxing, is also competitive and potentially dangerous -- and therefore needs to be banned entirely. The spectacle of black youths risking injury for the entertainment of a rich, white, male audience is a throwback to the Dark Ages.
Recall that the main purpose of government is to protect its citizens, and especially Citizens of Diversity. And in the case of basketball, players need to be protected from injury, protected from indignity, protected from stereotyping, and protected from competition.
My solution (which is identical to the solution) is to prohibit black males from participating in all competitive sports. Instead, we need to focus on ways to guide them to the safe non-competitive upper tiers of government employment -- and especially in areas where they are under-represented, and yes, even "unqualified". Remember: "Qualification" itself is a subjective and relative term, used throughout history to harm People of Diversity.
The urgent task before us is to develop committees, organizations, coalitions, and especially task forces (blue-ribbon, if possible) to ensure that this happens.
And that takes money -- which means that existing taxes must be raised, and new taxes must be developed.
But don't count on that happening with this racist White House.
Professor Krugman, Ph.D., etc.
P.S. I too am hoping for an end to the Reagan legacy. In fact, my research assistant informs me that both Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro are still alive; don't they deserve another chance at the Presidency?
Dr. Rufus T. Firefly
Respected Dr. Fuku:
And where is Enron today?
Need I say say more about my influence on corporate greed?
Hello Tiger Fan.
Or should I say "Hello Karl Rove"?
This is one of your worst attempts at pushing tax cuts through your conservative agenda. In fact, your tone is absolutely racist. Would you like to try to remove that stigma? Good luck, friend, you cannot steal three elections in a row.
R. Q. Moonbeam
R. Q. Moonbeam
You impress me as someone who will not be bullied by corporatists and fascists.
Here is what you need to know. Money corrupts. The persuit of profits does not produce socially desirable incentives, but instead promotes biases towards revenue maximization.
Socialism, though, is pure. Since there is no distorting profit motive, Socialist managers can dedicate their labors towards the pure objective common good. Think about your schoolwork. You did not get paid to do your homework, so instead, you gave it your best unbiased shot. And I'll bet you did well, given your inclination to question fascists and to come to Professor Krugman for sound advice.
And this is what we see in Socialist economies. For instance, Cuba has very progressive health care and North Korea has a very advanced weapons program. All without the monetary biases of capitalism.
Try to convince your fascist friend (and yes, you can call him anything to his face) of the purity and nobleness of selfless giving. Without the distortions of a free market, perhaps he too will begin to care a little more about others.
Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D etc.
P.S. If you really want to frighten him with how brilliant I am, just print and wave it in front of him. I can assure you that he will never question you about anything afterwards.
R. Q. Moonbeam
R. Q. Moonbeam
To my pupils; i.e., you, who are reading these words:
I have volunteered to explain the science of economics to the uninformed, the ignorant, and others who thirst for my knowledge. However, I ask: Need I respond to this vicious personal attack by a demonstrated (by a Harvard Panel, no less!) sexist and Republican stooge?
I will, because insult and innuendo must be countered with (my) indefatigable reasoning and logic.
Mr. Summers: There is no room in this world for your female-phobic words of hate and bigotry. And apparently, the $50,000,000 that your institution will pay to recognize female diversity is not enough. No amount will be enough to reverse the damage inflicted by you, Karl Rove, and Paul Wolfowitz.
You make me ashamed of my gender.
Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D., etc., etc., etc.
Down and Out
Herman L. Peckinstout
I am flattered by your compliments, but Bush would still lose a third time if he ran again.
Yes, I did say that...but of course my projection was not that simple; if it were that simple, why would anyone need to hear it from a highly trained and frighteningly disciplined economist? (And, may I add, with a remarkably charismatic television presence?)
As you might imagine, there were many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many caveats with that prediction. And unfortunately, my book was not nearly thick enough to include even a tiny sample of those caveats.
As if the mass market would have been able to understand said caveats' web of formulae and advanced thinking that I am so justifiably famous for!
The fact is, history has proven me correct time and again. Why else would the Times hire me? Their reputation is very important -- and if my thoughts were in the slightest way incorrect or misleading, they would never place me on the same page with Maureen Dowd.
Dr. Prof. Paul Krugman....Ph.D. and much much more.
P.S. If you would like to see the caveats for that projection, please send a self-addressed envelope to The Times with a lot of postage. Probably about the same amount as the tax cut that you did not deserve.
Joe A. Mericano
L. Ron Blubbard
Hello Mr. Ron.
The short answer is "Lionel Jospin".
But the thinking person has no short answers. That's the easy way out for Republicans who deceive people into believing that they can live well today without suffering horribly for it tomorrow.
And so, I will explain that Communism is not the answer. In fact, there is nothing wrong with capitalism and making money, as long as you pay your taxes. And do not discriminate. And support social programs, submit to government regulations, only hire union labor, restrict your purchases, vote for politicians who want to make everything free, welcome oversight for everything you do, support foreign enemies, and accept that everyone who is not a Leader is equal and must be rewarded as such.
So, the longer and better answer to your question is: "It doesn't matter who our leader is, as long he (or she!) follows my policy prescriptions".
Enjoy your elated sensation, Mr. Ron, for you have learned something from me today.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. h.c. Paul Krugman, Ph.D,
OH MY GOD PAUL!!!!!!!!!
R. Q. Moonbeam
It's Rainbow again, and I really could use some help!
I was trying to remember the URL to moveon.org and I accidentally found my way onto a horrible right wing blog site called powerline.
I should've shut down the window and disinfected my monitor immediately, but I started reading, and they were really ripping on you about your article about the USS Bataan.
Obviously I won't bother asking which side was right - after all, if it's a question of who to believe - you or Lt. Commander Sean Kelly (an officer aboard the ship), the ship's official military web page, and the injured that were treated by the ships medical crew - then the decision is obvious and I know you wouldn't lie to us.
Since this is obviously a government conspiracy to try to defame you, could you put my mind to ease and let me know which of these mentioned parties are culpable?
Lt. Commander Sean Kelly (Bataan officer)
Johnny Ramirez (Bataan Aircrewman)
LCDR David Hopper (Bataan Detachment Officer)
Cmdr. Jeffrey Bocchicchio (Bataan Air Boss)
Cmdr. Michael Illovsky (Medical Services Director)
USS Bataan Web Page
Google (directed the wingnut to the USS Bataan page to begin with)
- Rainbow Q Moonbeam
Living a life in spiritual harmony with the Planet way, way up in the top of that big damn tree down the street.
The problem with your analysis is that cutting road funds can lead us down the slippery slope of tax reductions. We might not need roads, but we do need to tax. That's sometheing like how we might not need The New York Times, but we do need my columns. And now, you must pay $49 per year to read my columns. And similarly, you must pay taxes to support roads.
Regardless, you should also know that your racist comment about "thieves, vandals, terrorists" will not be tolerated (unless you are referring to Republicans, of course). Thieves, in fact, make us richer. You see, when a poor person steals a flask of whiskey, it creates jobs. Jobs for police, jobs for distillers, and jobs for economics columnists. Furthermore, if employees are murdered in the process, it creates new jobs for replacement employees. And as we all know, the main goal of any society is to create lots and lots of jobs -- preferably the 24/7 type that pay a $75 minimum wage at a 97% tax bracket.
What a rush I get from my brain juices!
I think I'll have the Times make everyone pay a $500 annual surcharge for my columns. Yes, they're that good.
You raise a very interesting point for someone who is not an internationally-recognized academic powerhouse of economics.
But may I suggest that it isn't kayaks that they will use, but instead it would be public transportation. Of course, this is an old story. The rural, landlocked, and rather simple states have been raping the sophisticated coasts for years in their grab for highway dollars.
Morally, legally, environmentally, and economically, the bulk of transportation dollars should be spent on light-rail systems and other forward-looking forms of transportation (Seattle monorail, anyone?) in places where the educated classes reside.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of everyone to live near a bus stop.
Public transportation is not only somehow environmentally-friendly, but it is democratic. It is where the white-bread pilfering corporate racists must sit next to their fetid and unwashed betters.
Of course, a portion of the population will always need a secluded environment to concentrate on their academic pursuits. For some, Princeton NJ is the ideal, but I am afraid it is not for you.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. h.c. Paul Krugman, Ph.D,
I really enjoy receiving mail from ordinary people. Although their simple brains are not designed to grasp complex matters, they are the essence of what I live for. Indeed, my entire career has been one of applying my gift of knowledge to improve the lives of the common people.
Sue, you might believe that you don't have the money to read my columns, but you really do. In economics, we call this an "indifference curve". Yes, yes, I know that anyone named "Sue" will not be able to understand this concept, but I will explain anyway.
You have a choice, Sue. You can either pay for my columns or you can pay for your food. My columns are worth more than your food, Sue -- especially since you are undoubtedly obese. For your own sake, please refrain from eating, and continue to pay for your Times subscription.
Or, should I say two subscriptions, as your fired truckdriver husband would be in breach of the Times' Customer Agreement by not paying for his own subscription.
I assume that you will continue to admire my columns, as well as those of Maureen Dowd -- and of course, Bob Herbert.
I feel so...cleansed...having communicated with a "real" person, Sue. I know that you and your simpleton friends respect me, and I will reciprocate by encouraging the government to guide you through life.
Professor Paul Krugman
Monorail systems are fine and dandy, but the current political reality does not bode well for them in the short term. The trend in spending decisions now favors such projects as the Gravina Island-Ketchikan Bridge instead. Under these circumstances, the most you can do to help your friends is to harm your enemies, and this is best accomplished by deception. I recommend changing your tune to a neo-conservative, free-market hymn. I doubt any suspicions would be raised, as most neo-conservative intellectuals begin their careers as Marxists. (Do be sure to stage an epiphany, such as having your kayak stolen by Che-ware sporting eco-terrorists. If you don't know any, just inexpertly affix a kayak to your Volvo, and leave it in a grad student lot during a nice stretch of spring weather.) Believe me, with enemies like neocons, Marxists don't need friends! (And you'll be surprised how good our parties are, until you discover that we enjoy virtual diplomatic immunity, that is!)
See you at the Club,
Hello Justice Roberts.
Although I am dismayed by your presumptuous informal tone, I am also accepting that a supreme court justice would approach me for advice.
Despite your lack of economics training, you raise a very good point about slavery.
I will explain this in simple terms. Not so simple that the ordinary person would understand, but simple enough for a neophyte Republican hack like yourself to understand.
Economic theory cannot predict whether high taxes encourage or discourage work. Fortunately, I can, though. And the answer is that high taxes encourage work. This is because high taxes make require people to work harder and longer to make the same money. And when people work long and hard, society benefits by realizing a corresponding increase in government statistics.
Therefore, we would be best off by maximizing taxes to 100% -- or in a legal sense, to implement universal slavery. That way, everyone would need to work infinitely hard to earn absolutely nothing. (Or, technically, they would earn a $200/hour minimum wage, of which the entire amount would be taxed.)
In short, slavery is exactly the "free lunch" that we deserve.
Please, Justice Roberts, feel free to contact me any time you need to reduce your ignorance.
P.S. My grasp of constitutional law also exceeds yours.
Hello Mr. Rove.
I did not miss your point, Mr. Rove. In fact, I had an assistant check the list of New York Times employees, and it did not contain her name. Therefore, I can only assume that this person, whoever she is, has nothing to contribute to the discussion.
If anyone's wisdom can approximate mine, it would be yours. But unlike me, a humble economist, you are also a legendary moralist -- a man who has been unaffected by wealth. We listen to you for your ideas, never for your money. Despite your celebrity, you have a common touch -- though of course without the many flaws that common people generally have.
I respect your view that tax rates should exceed 100%, but please remember that personal debt will only follow the period when their assets are contributed to the government. That is, if you make my proposed minimum wage of $200 per hour, your taxes might be $220. That means that you will have the opportunity to contribute something you own that is worth $20.
What do minimum-wage people own? Perhaps a beer cooler? Or an old mattress? With Democrats in charge, we'll have commissions and committees guiding the common people appropriately.
Interestingly enough, "appropriate" also means "take away". Therefore, I have developed an intriguing play on words; i.e., a pun. You must admit that my sharp humor is unsurpassable.
Just think what good work could be accomplished and patronage bought with all that money. There are several world problems I would like to solve. The expansion of Empire rests heavily on my mind.
If the workers wanted to voluntarily opt out of 100% taxes we could offer them the opportunity to "buy a mortgage" on their life in the form of a simple contract of bondage. (Choices are the hallmark of freedom.) This would help fatten the ranks of our Imperial Arms and also ease the crisis we now suffer of a shortage of domestic help and indentured farm labor. It's a win-win for everyone.
Mr Prof. Dr. rer. pol. h.c. Paul Krugman, PhD., you are a genius!
It's George here again. I understand what you're saying about the 15%-20% tax surplus being quenched by selflessly giving away possessions to the government. However, my great mind had already seen past this problem.
As you yourself have commented many times, it's unfair for the rich to be rich - they gathered their wealth from an unfair system that's stacked against women, minorities, etc.
In order to prevent the unfair tragedy of life's lottery winners from merely cashing in pathetically small percentages of their estates, I assumed the following measures were enacted, ideally all at once:
- Mandatory Employment (jobs determined by the government, if need be)
- $100,000/hr minimum wage
- Price controls on every commodity sold within the US
Aside from the clear benefits that these actions would ordinarily have, it would prevent filthy republicans from simply retiring and retaining most of their wealth.
Hello Mr. Toohey:
I admire the Federal Reserve Board partially because it is a powerful arm of the government, but mostly because they apply complex formulae to confidently predict the most esoteric economic conditions. This is control as it ought to be. Is it accessible? Certainly not! Is it comprehensible? Only to a trained mind like mine.
Alan Greenspan does not impress me; a more suitable choice for Federal Reserve Board Chairperson would be someone like Frank Rich. It's about time that monetary policy be viewed from a gay perspective.
B. L. Zebub
I have an offer you cannot refuse. That is to say, should you decline, you will have Hell to pay. Having been around for quite some time, I can assure you that I speak with great authority. Those who claim to speak with authority in the pathetic media with which you are familiar are, for the most part, my slaves. Every now and then, however, somebody comes along who is not with the program. This brings me to you. I command you to cease advocating public policies that serve only to delay my inevitable victory over the Earth. (You have no doubt noticed that I have, of late, been working my Profane Tail off to destroy your ridiculous planet.) If you disobey me, you will spend eternity wishing your parents had never met. I admit, my goal is to make all people express this wish on an eternal basis, but, being naturally inclined to make a deal with The Devil, I am highly disposed to make exceptions whenever it suits my broader aims. In your case, I will exempt you from the fate that every human so richly deserves if, instead of persisting in your futile efforts to beat The Devil, you join with me to hasten my impending conquest. In return, I will permit you to spend eternity as my Chief Accountant, which is a fate that I know you are sure to relish. (To tell the truth, which I am always loath to do, I have The Devil's own time doing my books, and could really use the help.) All you need to do for me is continue your career as "The People's Economist" (BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!), but change your cant from a socialist sob story to a libertarian lament. But wait! There's more! If you act now, you'll receive a lifetime supply of Giffen Goods, ABSOLUTELY FREE! But act now- Supplies are limited, as will be your income if you don't wise up. Tormented operators are standing by, so go down to the crossroads at the next New Moon, or face the unbearable forever.
Welcome to my Service,
B. L. Zebub
Hello Mr. Halliburton:
A man/woman is best judged by their accumulation of awards.
I acknowledge your congratulations.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. h.c. Paul Krugman, Ph.D
Hello Mr. Meow.
In order to educate others, I recommend lecturing. Specifically, you should lecture to everyone you come across: Friends, relatives, acquaintances, store employees, flight attendants, UPS couriers, or anyone else who crosses your path. And don't forget about special circumstances, like lecturing emergency-service employees about nationalizing health care while they are resuscitating heart-attack victims. They're an ideal captive audience! (If you need help on what to say, I recommend that you go for ideas.)
Now, “Robin Hood Economics” is a vast area in the academic ocean of forward-looking progressivism. Suffice it to say that you can only be made better off if others are made worse off – and that the most efficient method of doing this is to directly take from the rich and give to the poor by way of as many agencies as possible.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. h.c. Paul Krugman, Ph.D
P.S. I acknowledge your pun.
A Fellow Traveller.
Since we built a People's computer out of work camp's cement mixer and poor Yuri Andronovich's brain we here at G11-372137849 have benefitted greatly from your sound economic sense. I have a small matter that I hope you could find the time to help us on. Our gang regularly recieves an eight ounce loaf of bread for each member at the beginning of each day, but recently we've begun to recieve a windfall of ten ounces a day, can you believe it!? A hot debate has since sprung amongst our gang of what to do with the excess bread. Alexander says we can trade it to the screws for fourteen centimeters of sausage. FOURTEEN!!!! Nikolai Nikolaivich says this guy in Gang 41 has offered four fresh cigarettes. Can you believe it!!! This debate turned violent and one man from our Gang had to go to the infirmary instead of lay bricks in the frigid siberian air. Can you help us comrade Kurgman?
Hello Ms. Lake -
Mr. Bush's primary thought is that he must follow the “kill” order issued by Jesus. In exchange, he believes that Jesus will incapacitate anyone who would vote for a Democrat. Hence, the Republicans will win. Unfortunately, he listens to neither me nor Congress; it is all divine – and lethal – inspiration.
For an in-depth analysis of Bush's motives, I recommend that you read what my cousin, has to say.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. hc Paul Kurgman, Ph.D.
Reichfuher SS Hit H Ead
Vhy do you inzult us facists? Vhy do you insist on komparing uz to zhe kapitalistz?
I makes me zad, as Hitler vas a Socialist (Nazi means National Socialist) and build von of zhe stongest kommand ekkonomies in zhe vorld. Our two great nationz crushed zhe zionist Poles in zhe name ov our two breedz of socialism, zhan kame zhe paternity dispute (see first article by looking up name). My point iz zhat facism and socialism are couisns. And like all cousins we get along, zhan fight, zhan make up, zhan zhe cycle starts ovar again. But VHY DO YOU KOMPARE UZ TO ZHE KAPTIALISTS? VHY? VHY? VHY?
Reichfuher SS Hit H Ead
Hello Reichfuher SS Hit H Ead
Please indulge my rhetorical jiu-jitsu as I deftly turn your argument against you. That is, I do not compare fascists with capitalist; I compare capitalists with fascists.
See how I did that? Jiu-jitsu!
You see, Dick Cheney is an enemy of Global Socialism, and Hitler attacked the Soviet Union. Therefore, Cheney = Hitler. Of course, if you prefer, we can say that Bush = Hitler, but we all know who pulls Bush's strings.
And so, the world can be represented as having two sides:
The Fascists: Bush, Cheney, Hitler
The Socialists: Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot
Of course, based on the above, we also see why Hitler is so despised: He was the predecessor of Bush and Cheney. Fascists three, they are!
Also, may I add that to the extent that Hitler was a Socialist, he was a rather poor one, as the only beneficiaries of his economics plan were Jews and Gypsies. A true Socialist, such as Mao, will work to the benefit of the entire population.
Ergo, Hitler was a capitalist.
I trust that this was a clear explanation.
Prof. Dr. rer. pol. hc Paul Kurgman, Ph.D.
P.S. You write with some odd spellings; are you a Canadian?
Hello Mr. Union Boss.
If my social status were considerably lower, I would apologize for the delay in my response.
In short, I am supporting the late Gus Hall for most elective offices. As you correctly point out, we are all suffering -- and the Christian right wing is impeding the unions' efforts to bring wealth to every man, woman, and child.
I believe that Mr. Hall will be on the Democratic ticket in most states. With enough support, he should win at least a few districts.
In answer to your other question, I do not run for office. My expertise lies in providing policy guidance and focused prescriptions for achieving optimal economic distributions and balanced social measures. And with Bush out of the way in '08, I expect every known problem to be promptly cured anyway.
Thank you for looking after the working people.
It is not often when I have an opportunity to communicate with someone of your somewhat low social order. It makes me feel “solidarity” with the people.
I trust that you understood my vocabulary.
"Demand" is a verb, and "non-negotiable demand" is a noun. For example, the following phrase would be incorrect: "WE NON-NEGOTIABLE DEMAND THE END OF AMERICA AND ZIONISM". Instead, it should read, "WE DEMAND REPARATIONS TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE".
Yes, wearing my "English teacher hat" was beneath me, wasn't it?
Hello Mr. AgathaYou are in my class, are you not? These questions were lifted from the final exam.
A) The tax burden always falls on the seller. That's why we tax, say, petrol -- to ensure that the oil companies do not profit. (Incidentally, you do like my new British affection, yes?) In fact, when taxes reduce obscene profits, they are humbled into lowering prices. Hence, tax increases actually benefit consumers. And then, of course, they benefit a second time when the government follows my prudent policy prescriptions for spending the money.
B) Trivial -- tax the elastic, inelastic, and everything in between. This raises revenues and has the beneficial social returns of encouraging people to substitute alcohol with table salt.
To use a common-man's sports metaphor, you must confess that I hit those out of the park.
I have a ethical economic problem. What would be your personal assessment of the current state of Entitlement programs? Everyday I hear reports that more and more Amerikans are becoming employed. Even the pan-handler who use to shine my shoes outside Party H.Q is now properly employed and doing well. This breaks my heart Comrade Kurgman and yes I miss the gleaming shine I once had on my exspensive Italian shoes. But what is the Party going to do? These people are now employed and performing physical task of labor when they could be collecting a government hand-up or shining our shoes.
It is a shame and loss for our movement, I NEED COMFORT FROM YOUR GLORIOUS ECONOMIC MIND THAT HOPE IS ON THE WAY...
Missing the shine on my shoes,
Whats up with your fellow communist columnist Al Gore? Why is he polluting the atmosphere in that gulfstream. And why is not LOGGING on to the system he created to answer technological questions? Do we want a technologically educated populace? Because that's what we are going to get if people start to self educate. Take me for example. I read Al Gore religiously and still had trouble getting my DVD drawer to open. Then he left, and I completed my first web site. The plan is going to hell. Try to spin this, Frou Frou boy.
THE WALLS HAVE EARS.
You are guilty of thoughtcrime.
SMERSH HEAD of KGB . sec.9.
Our liberators in Congress during the recent campaign spoke a lot about a
What is a living wage?
The recent unemployment numbers (given last week) claimed there was a loss of 4000 jobs. Intuitively that number is both wrong and higher. How do they determine the 4000 jobs, is it a certain job type or from certain limited sectors of the entire population?
Thank you for your insights.
I recently checked myself into therapy for possessing Supply Side Pornography. Let me share it with you.
On page one of the magazine, there is a picture of Lord Keynes being bludgeoned over the head with a shovel. I found myself sexually aroused, reported it as a thought crime to the appropriate nomenklatura, and am currently awaiting sentencing. Since I am hobbling on one working knee and virtually useless to the Revolution, I was scheduled to be liquidated none-the-less. But to die for thinking unpure thoughts is far worse than dying for actually being a useless Communist.
How can I cleanse myself? Should I bow before the Phillips Curve? Build a shrine to Rexford Tugwell or Gramsci? Should I shill for Fiscal Policy that makes FDR look like your cheap old uncle that'd give you the nine miles uphill in the snow lecture when you asked for a loan?
4 Hail Bob's, a bucket full of Pulosi's, and 36 Acameinbyjeanabobs and you will once again be in favor of the Pulitburo.
Just remember Comrade Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of indiviual ingorance.
As for my question to the Kurgsters,
Will the Amero-dollar take hold and destroy the American Pigs!!!!
I heard you today arguing with that reactionary John Stossel on NPR's "intelligence squared" about whether government should provide comprehensive health care. You framed your argument in moral terms but provided little or no economic data. Since you're the learned People's Economist, should I interpret this to mean that economic facts and figures can safely be ignored if they rn counter to moral--i.e., Party--reasoning?
If you're unable to answer this question, I'll assume it's because was in the audience, thus intimidating you through his stalking.
If government provides all health care, can it then be denied it to reactionaries like Mr. Luskin, at least until they learn to respect the Party and its leadership?
As you know, the American Imperialist Military-Industrial Complex has been killing innocent Iraqi women and children for oil for several years now. Even then, it did not stop oil from reaching $147/ barrel. However, lately, it has dropped to about $64/ barrel, praise be to Allah and Barach Obama's victory! But I digress....
My question is, do we now only need to kill 64/147ths (about 43%) as many innocent Iraqi women and children per barrel of oil to fuel the Imperialist War Machine, or does this operate independent of the price of oil?