Krugman: You know what this economy needs? A space alien invasion!

posted at 12:05 pm on August 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Patrick Ishmael wrote about this in the Green Room, but why should he have all the fun?  Not too long ago, Dick Durbin lamented the demise of credibility for Keynesian economic proposals, but even I didn’t realize the Keynesians had become quite this desperate.  Fareed Zakaria offers a strange view of economics where government seizes capital to dig ditches, refill them, and then roll around in the taxes paid by the workers who did the work while everyone winds up with nothing.  Paul Krugman then doubles down on this idiocy by explaining that economic growth would be just around the corner — if only Space Invaders came to life:

I love the war analogies. Doesn’t the Left keep blaming our current economic malaise on the two wars that George Bush started? If war was all it took to create economic growth, we’d be peaking now, wouldn’t we? And didn’t Barack Obama start a new war with Libya this year?  How is the economic growth from that conflict working out?

The rest of this is just sheer idiocy. Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics, somehow forgets to tell Zakaria that seizing capital from productive enterprises in taxes (or worse, borrowing against future legitimate production in deficit spending) to fund the “ditch cycle” has opportunity costs — namely, the opportunity to produce something other than pre-filled ditches, which have a real value of zero.  That’s actually a significant part of what’s wrong now.  Government spending doesn’t create economic growth; it takes money from actual production, and so should be used sparingly and only for necessities.

Krugman then takes Zakaria’s reductio ad absurdum and makes it more absurd by postulating that a mistaken alarm of a space invasion would create vast economic growth, which would just remain even after the Emily Litella moment when the space aliens didn’t invade.  Unfortunately, the Nobel Prize-winning economist doesn’t explain what would happen when all of the assets built to meet the threat turn out to be useless and can’t be converted into productive assets for a non-space-war economy. Thanks to the massive seizure of capital it would take to create the defensive and offensive assets to meet that threat, we’d be left with little to power our economy, especially in a highly regulatory (and rationed) total-war economy.

It does explain a lot about Obamanomics, however, which has seized capital to deliver almost no real new valueonly to slightly speed up projects already on the planning board, and slightly speed up car and home sales that would have taken place anyway.  The credibility of Keynesian economics died with Porkulus, and all Krugman and Zakaria do is keep redigging the grave and filling it back up — which is apparently good for their own personal economies.

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Paul, call home. Arrange it.

RBMN on August 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Never ever ever never EVER trust a man who looks like that in a photo.

That pic just screams “Hi there I’m Paul. Do you like turtles? I like turtles.”

Bishop on August 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I don’t want to hear another liberal complain about how ‘crazy’ tea partiers are after hearing this.

Not one more.

Chaz706 on August 15, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Couldn’t the aliens just come and take Krugman away with them.

gh on August 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Just because he, er, Mephistopheles, is a space alien…

…and the one in the WH too…

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Well, if they’re going to consider make-work, how about a wall? At the southern border.

michaelo on August 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Quoting Rod Serling?
He basis his economic theory on a Twilight Zone episode?
How could anyone ever argue that point, Twilight Zone was awesome!
Of course what Krugman is talking about is “shovel ready” jobs…how did that work out last year?

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Notice the credibility Gore and Obama have from their Nobel Prizes too.

Libtards: Helplessly Hopeless

Roy Rogers on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Speaking of “shove ready” jobs…let’s bury Obama’s and Krugman’s economic policy’s…

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Advice Krugman!

Inkblots on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Krugman is looking mighty wild in that pic. Must be imbibing or inhaling. Nobel Prize committee should snatch his award away for sheer stupidity.

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

SETI is back and will get on this right away, Paul. Is there an alien village missing an idiot? Maybe you’ve been probed one to many times.

Kissmygrits on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Cowboys and Socialists.

Little Boomer on August 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM

For these types of folks the concept of not going stuck on stupid through your entire life never took hold as being a less than good outcome.

CommentGuy on August 15, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Zakaria says that digging a ditch and filling it is productive work. Really. What has been produced? These are the same people who believe that medical care is a right. Medical care is a product of work, for which payment is required.

InterestedObserver on August 15, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Yes, because any species capable of reaching our planet through faster-than-light or inter-dimensional technologies will surely be susceptible to our projectile weapons.

rogerb on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Why do we need space invaders to generate wealth? Why can’t we just imagine we are being attacked, and build our own space weapons in response?

So liberals, here is the ultimate end of your arguments: One way to getting the economy booming is to build space weapons.

Never thought I’d hear a liberal socialist say that.

Personally, I kind of like it. Why not a death star? Maybe not as powerful as the Force, we wouldn’t want to be too proud of our technological terror we created, yada, yada, but if it makes us all money, why not.

keep the change on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

More evidence that the progressives are morally and intellectually bankrupt.

As if we needed more.

Rebar on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Good Lord on that picture. Anyone have any eye bleach?

Knucklehead on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Aliens,

Please anually probe Krugman.

Oil Cann

Oil Can on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

which is apparently good for their own personal economies.

And that’s the rub.

As employees build up layers of insulation that protect them from accountability for their incompetence, the lunacy will continue.

I can hear their lawyers at their termination grievance hearing: “If no one is watching this network anyway, how could their [stupid] comments really harm viewership? The employees’ incompetence is really the fault of their employer.”

The scenario is a fantasy. The logic they use is real.

rwenger43 on August 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Erh…..isn’t the Border Patrol currently engaged in that very invasion right now?

“Hola`! We come in peace for our piece of the pie!”

BobMbx on August 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM

This is the kind of absurd nonsense one gets when one concentrates on job creation and not wealth creation or policies that allow wealth creation.

NotCoach on August 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Crazy eyes. Does Paul own firearms?

a capella on August 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM

How could anyone ever argue that point, Twilight Zone was awesome!

Except it wasn’t TZ. It was the Outer Limits, and we know how lefty that show was.

keep the change on August 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GpLMYxckPI

Del Dolemonte on August 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Aliens,

Please anually probe Krugman.

Oil Cann

Oil Can on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Probe him weakly.

gh on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Well, if they’re going to consider make-work, how about a wall? At the southern border.

michaelo on August 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Thread winner.

miConsevative on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Aliens,

Please anually probe Krugman.

Oil Cann

Oil Can on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

You mean anally probe, him. And not annually, either. Hourly.

keep the change on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM

So he bases his economic theories on The Twilight Zone?

txag92 on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Krugman finally escapes the orbit of the usual left-right debate and takes his views to a galaxy far, far away.

Lawdawg86 on August 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

You know the aspect of a war that would improve the economy? It would force the government to break up the suport structure for all the malinvestment that is currently holding the economy back.
Basically, it would do what our leaders have been refusing to do since 2008: let failure fail. Things won’t get better until we take the hit we have been putting off.

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

The rest of this is just sheer idiocy. Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics,

Given the recent history of the Nobel committee, this should prove the first part of the sentence.

BobMbx on August 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

So Krugmann is acknowledging that FDR did not end the Great Depression, WWII did.

Good, we got him on the record on this.

Really Right on August 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Maybe Dennis Kucinich could arrange this…

KeepOhioRed on August 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Where are all the permits for these ditches? Did they do the erosion and sedimentation control studies with sealed drawings for the ground disturbance? How about temporary and storm water management installations? Phase-1 and phase-2 environmental studies with approvals from applicable agencies all done? How about the State Historic Preservation Office? Have they established no impact on historic resources after studying the ditch diggers’ NEPA report? Workers Comp all paid up for the contractor?…

forest on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

With our luck, the only aliens we would encounter would want to build a highway through our planet.

OldEnglish on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

OT: Dennis Hopper dead

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

And people want drugs legalized? Good lord!!!

capejasmine on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I don’t want an Alien invasion,

I just want one to have a forced-landing in the woods near my house so that I can strike up a business deal with it to be the exclusive importer of Alien tech and exporter of American Coke and Marlboros to Aliens all over the universe.

Screw Captain Kirk, I wanna be Han Solo!

wearyman on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

How could anyone ever argue that point, Twilight Zone was awesome!
Except it wasn’t TZ. It was the Outer Limits, and we know how lefty that show was.
keep the change on August 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Didn’t TZ do an episode where aliens come down and demand that the nations of Earth put on a war for them so that they can enjoy the show?

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Hay, stupid Twitter twittered something a year old. Stupid twitter.

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

The whole premise is stupid and these leftists keep contradicting themselves!

“Infrastructure spending is awesome, unless it gets too crazy like the Big Dig”

What?!?

If you actually believe that borrowed and spent government money is the key to growth and that every dollar spent returns two (or whatever number they make up) what difference does the price tag make? Zakaria even makes that point! Why not borrow $100T and link the whole country by high-speed rail?

I love the war analogies. Doesn’t the Left keep blaming our current economic malaise on the two wars that George Bush started?

Bingo. My leftists friends, when asked to explain what caused the downturn ALWAYS blame the war. But that was government borrowing and spending. Giving money to Halliburton should have been the answer!

Krugman is an idiot. I don’t know how else to say it. But he’s married to Keynesian thought and the Left and the NY Times are married to Krugman.

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

OT: Dennis Hopper dead

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

For about a year now. Huh?

Knucklehead on August 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

I don’t want an Alien invasion,
I just want one to have a forced-landing in the woods near my house so that I can strike up a business deal with it to be the exclusive importer of Alien tech and exporter of American Coke and Marlboros to Aliens all over the universe.
Screw Captain Kirk, I wanna be Han Solo!
wearyman on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

+ 1 Mellenium Falcon

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

keep the change on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Funny, it blocked me the first time I typed anally. Maybe they got the message.

Oil Can on August 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Did Krugman take too many of the pink pills?

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

The credibility of Keynesian economics died with Porkulus

Statism\Socialism , and I include Keynesian economics, as a philosphy will never die. There will always be good number of people that want power over others’ decisions.

WashJeff on August 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Del Dolemonte, that song was great!

Little Boomer on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Good thing WWII was shovel ready.

Really Right on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I’m going to stop automatically posting things from Twitter, because apparently twitter is now having a brain fart and showing me year old tweets. Check dates.

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

That’s what happens when you are an empty suit

no amount of awards and credentials can fill that hole of mindless idealoque

Sonosam on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Why does anyone listen to a man that doesn’t completely wipe his a%s because he thinks the smell is attractive…?

Seven Percent Solution on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

So Krugmann is acknowledging that FDR did not end the Great Depression, WWII did.

Good, we got him on the record on this.

Really Right on August 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM

WWII didn’t end the Depression, the post-war scale-down did.

Both FDR and the WWII theories are mythology.

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Have you seen Alan Colmes? He could be a space alien.

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Where are all the permits for these ditches? Did they do the erosion and sedimentation control studies with sealed drawings for the ground disturbance? How about temporary and storm water management installations? Phase-1 and phase-2 environmental studies with approvals from applicable agencies all done? How about the State Historic Preservation Office? Have they established no impact on historic resources after studying the ditch diggers’ NEPA report? Workers Comp all paid up for the contractor?…
forest on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

…checked with labor union work rules…

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

But what about the Unicorns?

singlemalt 18 on August 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Not going to click on that link. The first frame looks like a Smoking Gun mugshot.

trigon on August 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

These people are sooooooo desperate….
How soon they forget that trillions have already been spent by Obama and it got us nothing.

albill on August 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

WWII didn’t end the Depression, the post-war scale-down did.
Both FDR and the WWII theories are mythology.
mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Yep.

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

The liberal proponents of massive Keynesian spending today like we had during WWII never mention the step we took immediately after we increased our expenditures and the wars ended.

Which was, of course, huge cuts as we demobilized millions of soldiers and sailors and cut back our military enormously.

Why do I think Krugman and Zakaria (who is getting ridiculous) would be screaming that the cuts threaten the recovery?

SteveMG on August 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

So Krugman is saying the only way Socialism works is if aliens invade us and enslave us ?

William Amos on August 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Funny when you read the best (whatever) comments in the article, they are all for krangman and obamao.
Could this by why obamao got rid of the space program, he was hoping for an invasion from space and we wouldn’t be able to stop it!

Bambi on August 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Quoting Rod Serling?
He basis his economic theory on a Twilight Zone episode?
How could anyone ever argue that point, Twilight Zone was awesome!
Of course what Krugman is talking about is “shovel ready” jobs…how did that work out last year?

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM

I was hearing Twilight Zone music in my head before he even mentioned the Twilight Zone.

cartooner on August 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Never ever ever never EVER trust a man who looks like that in a photo.

That pic just screams “Hi there I’m Paul. Do you like turtles? I like turtles.”

Bishop on August 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Snort!
My drug dealer, Fat Alice, never gets me this quality weed.
I think she’s selling it to Paul.

katy the mean old lady on August 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Have you seen Alan Colmes? He could be a space alien.

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I’ve always thought that if we painted James Carville green he’d look just like ET.

trigon on August 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

And to think I was mostly being tongue-in-cheek when I wrote this 2.5 years ago:

Why is it that these people think that if they do the exact same things wrong, only bigger and bigger, somehow in the end it will ever turn out right?

After a world-wide house of cards collapses, what will they do then?

Their only hope for another 30 years down the road will be to have imperialized space to the same extent as they have this planet, so they can ruin economies at a universal level as well!

aic4ever on August 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

+ 1 Mellenium Falcon

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Millenium Falcon. ;)

I’d also be happy with Mal Reynolds if I can’t be Han Solo. Serenity is a sweet ship too.

Either way, I want me an import/export deal and a cool ship. That’s all.

wearyman on August 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

During WWII we had rationing of everything. That was not a time of economic growth or of comfortable living. In many ways it was worse than life in the 30s.

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Enron misses its idiot.

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM

So the Obama kinetic action in Libya is really an economic plan to save the world’s economy???

albill on August 15, 2011 at 12:31 PM

During WWII we had rationing of everything. That was not a time of economic growth or of comfortable living. In many ways it was worse than life in the 30s.

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Wars are only a boon to the economy if you win and don’t have your infrastructure destroyed in the process. WWII was a unique case since the U.S. was left as the only economic power when the war was over and had no infrastructure damage.

PackerBronco on August 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM

WWII didn’t end the Depression, the post-war scale-down did.

Both FDR and the WWII theories are mythology.

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Thank you Mankai for reminding us all of something that cannot be stated enough.

That being said… the depression didn’t end until Ike rolled back a number of FDR policies. Hurt us in the short run… helped us in the long run.

Chaz706 on August 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Del Dolemonte, that song was great!

Little Boomer on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Dan Hicks is a national treasure.

And he’s still out there with the 2011 incarnation of The Hot Licks.

http://www.danhicks.net/in%20concert.htm

Del Dolemonte on August 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM

He, for one, welcomes our new alien overlords.

The Mega Independent on August 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

…checked with labor union work rules…

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

That too. And notify 500+ Native American tribes and wait for all to respond that they have no archaeological interests in the area of the ditches. If any do, conduct more studies…

We should be ready to go on these ditches no later than October of 2013.

forest on August 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

The credibility of Keynesian economics died with Porkulus

No, they just didn’t spend enough.
/Dem

John Deaux on August 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I’d give this guy a billion Quatloos just to go away.

trigon on August 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM

This guy is now learning his economics from Michael Bay movies?

Scrappy on August 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Never ever ever never EVER trust a man who looks like that in a photo.

That pic just screams “Hi there I’m Paul. Do you like turtles? I like turtles.”

Bishop on August 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Heh.

Krugman reminds me of the weird kid who was standing in line next to Ralphie waiting to see Santa in the movie A Christmas Story.

UltimateBob on August 15, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Well, Krugman is absolutely correct.
No. Korea is a perfect example of how make work projects create economic goodness and beautiful and awesome infrastructure..

The import thing to remember when you do these shovel ready projects is to use spoons instead of shovels, ’cause ya wanna hire everyone.

esnap on August 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Wars are only a boon to the economy if you win and don’t have your infrastructure destroyed in the process. WWII was a unique case since the U.S. was left as the only economic power when the war was over and had no infrastructure damage.
PackerBronco on August 15, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Well, no damage that wasn’t self inflicted, anyway…

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Me thinks Mr Krugman wants an anal probe.

Bevan on August 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Imagine the snarky furore if a prominent Republican was spouting off about alien invasions. They’d cut a 10 second clip out of context and replay it endlessly.

Also, ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’? Just, no.

mudskipper on August 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

During WWII we were no longer in a depression.

Really Right on August 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM

OT: Dennis Hopper dead
andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

What! NO! *frack*

“Apocalypse Now” will never be the same for me knowing he’s gone.

Bishop on August 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM

And what the hell is Krugman looking at at (0:18) in that clip?

Scrappy on August 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Because following a Keynesian economic mindset is a prerequisite to being intelligent spacefaring life from other star systems.

thirtypundit on August 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Really Right on August 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM

What?

mankai on August 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Krugman is on the alien recon team

faraway on August 15, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Krugman, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Wasserman, Biden, Gore, Holder, Clinton, Salazar, and all the rest. . . it’s like somebody beat a stick in the dark corner of a deserted building and all the cockroaches came rushing out.

rplat on August 15, 2011 at 12:41 PM

“Intellectual” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

faraway on August 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Anyone know were Krugman can pick up a brain?

GarandFan on August 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

If only we would get off our asses and start that massive works project to locate unobtanium.

NotCoach on August 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Rush is having a big time with this.

Cindy Munford on August 15, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Rush is having a big time with this.

Cindy Munford on August 15, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Oh good.

gh on August 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM

sorry, just broke out in laughter at the thought of Krugman in this role in “Mars Attacks” or, better yet, “Independence Day”. I can see it now:

PK: Mister President, in addition to the universal message of friendship, we should ask our visitors to provide their economic guidance on the debt crisis.

thirtypundit on August 15, 2011 at 12:45 PM

kesgardner Ken Gardner
by EWErickson
WSJ: An Obama economic advisor says Karl Marx was right about capitalism “self-destructing.” IKYN. (VIDEO, 3:29)online.wsj.com/video/nouriel-… #tcot

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:47 PM

http://t.co/lrqAFds

andy85719 on August 15, 2011 at 12:47 PM

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