Do people really read and buy what Paul Krugman writes? GorT knows he’s jumping into ‘Puter’s playground of mockery here by taking on a Krugman op-ed in the NYT, but he just couldn’t let it fly past without comment.
Krugman decided to spend his likely-placeholder real estate on the NY Times Opinion pages tackling presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s recent remark that Americans need to work longer hours. Regardless of the spin you want to believe: it’s about the “nation of takers” belief that Krugman thinks all conservatives have, or Bush’s aides spinning it that it was about part-time workers needing to move to full-time status, Krugman fails factually later in his piece.
First, a brief aside: at the core, Jeb Bush is pointing to an issue that is largely ignored by the left – the labor participation rate. It is the lowest it has been since the late 1970s. Conservatively, the unemployment rate would be 7.3% (rather than 5.3%) if the workers that are “missing” from the labor pool were counted as actively looking for jobs. But no one on the left is talking about that. Some are starting to discuss the flattening of income but no one is talking about the shrinking labor pool*.
Ok, back on target. Paul Krugman later opines:
Federal spending on “income security” — food stamps, unemployment benefits, and pretty much everything else you might call “welfare” except Medicaid — has shown no upward trend as a share of G.D.P.; it surged during the Great Recession and aftermath but quickly dropped back to historical levels.
Mr. Krugman is mistaken. Some simple data digging is all it takes.
By using data here and here, it’s easy to create the chart pictured. Clearly, welfare spending has increased and is the highest it has been as a percentage of GDP. SO you have this Nobel prize winner for Economics and simple data analysis eludes him. He has simply become a mouthpiece for the democrats and weak policies that have gotten us to where we are.
Much of the rest of his piece attempts to align Jeb Bush’s beliefs with those of an author of a book published in 1994. He makes assumptions and guesses and essentially uses his opinion piece as a baseless attack on Mr. Bush. At least the NY Times had the smarts to put it in the Opinion section where it belongs as it has no factual basis to support the claims.
* Many will argue that the decline is due to the Baby Boomer generation retiring, and while it is true that is the cause of some of the decline, it doesn’t fully support the numbers. The missing labor force is comprised of folks from across multiple age demographics.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.