Krugman's Crazy Crotchets

Paul Krugman is getting sillier and sillier these days. He’s supposed to be an economist, and not long ago some people in Sweden gave him an award for his economic work. So why would he suggest that economic incentives just don’t matter?

The New York Times columnist bashed Republican Senator Jon Kyl for stating that generous unemployment benefits can reduce the incentive to look for new work. Krugman says that this isn’t the textbook view of things shared by himself and the Democrats. “What Democrats believe,” Krugman says, “is what textbook economics says.”

Gee. So what does textbook economics say?

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal actually checked a textbook in economics. According to this textbook, “Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job.”

Interesting. So who wrote this textbook? Yes, that’s right: Paul Krugman.

This partisan fellow, Krugman, often seems to go out of his way to be contradictory as possible. Does he believe his own babbling? Or is he just trying to get a rise out of us?

Or is it to please his editors over at the Times?

Call it an economic incentive.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation, for more information go to www.citizensincharge.org