Daniel W. Drezner

Your Paul Krugman crib sheet

In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman writes about the problem of macroeconomic imbalances between China and the United States.  Which is fine, except he wrote the exact same column last month.  Just like last month’s column, this one makes some good points and fails to mention some important dynamics.  Beyond the inclusion of a useful ...

In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman writes about the problem of macroeconomic imbalances between China and the United States.  Which is fine, except he wrote the exact same column last month.  Just like last month's column, this one makes some good points and fails to mention some important dynamics.  Beyond the inclusion of a useful footnote, however, there's nothing new here. 

As part of an ongoing public service to busy readers of Foreignpolicy.com, the hard-working staff here at the blog is ready to help you bypass the chore of having to read the same Krugman column time and again with this handy-dandy crib sheet.  My guess is that the next six months' worth of Krugman columns will boil down to the following assertions:

The root of macroeconomic imbalances is the Chinese (undervalued) peg to the dollar;Obama and Geithner should be "tough" on China's dollar policy;Concerns about incipient U.S. inflation are... er... inflated;That goes double for long-term concerns about rising debt levels;The February 2009 stimulus was too small;The Republicans are blinkered;The Obama administration should act in a more partisan and progressive manner. 

In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman writes about the problem of macroeconomic imbalances between China and the United States.  Which is fine, except he wrote the exact same column last month.  Just like last month’s column, this one makes some good points and fails to mention some important dynamics.  Beyond the inclusion of a useful footnote, however, there’s nothing new here. 

As part of an ongoing public service to busy readers of Foreignpolicy.com, the hard-working staff here at the blog is ready to help you bypass the chore of having to read the same Krugman column time and again with this handy-dandy crib sheet.  My guess is that the next six months’ worth of Krugman columns will boil down to the following assertions:

  1. The root of macroeconomic imbalances is the Chinese (undervalued) peg to the dollar;
  2. Obama and Geithner should be "tough" on China’s dollar policy;
  3. Concerns about incipient U.S. inflation are… er… inflated;
  4. That goes double for long-term concerns about rising debt levels;
  5. The February 2009 stimulus was too small;
  6. The Republicans are blinkered;
  7. The Obama administration should act in a more partisan and progressive manner. 

Now, let me stress that I agree with 1, 3, and 6 at this point, and I’m agnostic on 4 and 5, so it’s not like Krugman is wrong in what he’s saying.  It’s just that he’s saying the same damn thing over and over again. 

 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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