Paul Krugman on why “zombie” economic ideas should stay dead
Share Now on:
The zombies that haunt Paul Krugman aren’t undead people, but ideas —
false ideas about how the economy works that just won’t die, despite evidence proving them wrong. According to the New York Times opinion columnist and Nobel laureate in economics, they won’t die because politicians won’t let them.
“The ultimate zombie, the one that you see most often, is that tax cuts pay for themselves,” Krugman told “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.
This is the premise of Krugman’s new book, “Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.”
Krugman’s frustration is with how — as we try to adapt to globalization or contend with rising health care costs — these zombie ideas lead us astray in crafting public policy.
“You can’t protect people from change,” said Krugman. “But you can try to create an economy where it’s painful, but it’s not catastrophic — where you don’t lose your health care, or you don’t find yourself without adequate nutrition, where when change happens, that it’s not catastrophic.
“And most other advanced countries have done a much better job of doing that than we have.”
Click the audio player above to hear the full conversation.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.