Is it real or just a goof? Kevin Williamson isn’t sure and neither am I, but given that this is the same guy who fantasized recently about the Keynesian awesomeness of an alien invasion, it’s at least a toss-up. All day long I’ve felt relieved that the quake caused only very minor damage, but now suddenly I’m bummed that the Brooklyn Bridge didn’t fall into the river. Maybe we can get DHS or the NYPD to blow it up? That’s a few thousand jobs right there.
Exit question: Who’s up for breaking some windows?
Update: Added a question mark to the headline because there’s no way to prove that that’s really him updating that Google+ page. But there’s also nothing on the page that suggests it’s a parody. If someone’s impersonating him, that’s an odd way to do it.
Update: If it’s not him, it sure sounds like him. Here’s a bona fide Krugman original, published … September 14, 2001.
It seems almost in bad taste to talk about dollars and cents after an act of mass murder. Nonetheless, we must ask about the economic aftershocks from Tuesday’s horror.
These aftershocks need not be major. Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack — like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression — could even do some economic good. But there are already ominous indications that some will see this tragedy not as an occasion for true national unity, but as an opportunity for political profiteering…
First, the driving force behind the economic slowdown has been a plunge in business investment. Now, all of a sudden, we need some new office buildings. As I’ve already indicated, the destruction isn’t big compared with the economy, but rebuilding will generate at least some increase in business spending.
Second, the attack opens the door to some sensible recession-fighting measures. For the last few weeks there has been a heated debate among liberals over whether to advocate the classic Keynesian response to economic slowdown, a temporary burst of public spending. There were plausible economic arguments in favor of such a move, but it was questionable whether Congress could agree on how to spend the money in time to be of any use — and there was also the certainty that conservatives would refuse to accept any such move unless it were tied to another round of irresponsible long-term tax cuts. Now it seems that we will indeed get a quick burst of public spending, however tragic the reasons.
Update: As of Wednesday morning, the “Krugman” Google+ profile has disappeared and this guy is claiming he, not Krugman, was behind it. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know; we’ll have to wait for the man himself to weigh in. But if it wasn’t his profile, I’m mighty curious to know whether he agrees with the point made about the quake. It’s the same Keynesian argument as in his post-9/11 piece. If the quake is different somehow, what makes it different?
Update: And here’s the man himself weighing in. It wasn’t his Google+ page. Duly noted, and I apologize for the error. But I hope he addresses the argument in the fake tweet on his blog. If World War II ended the Great Depression, why is it outrageous to think a Keynesian might see an economic boon to a natural calamity?