Listen to the Gentiles

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

My god, this is frustrating to watch. A large group of professional economists are struggling to find the words to understand the anger in the USA. And so they are translating into their own language things that others have said repeatedly for the last 40 years. What a privilege it is that your intelligence can be taken for granted, even though you are nearly the last person in the room to understand what is happening.

For all that, there is nothing incorrect here:

How we respond to Trump is important. If we simply fall back on our standard numbers, we lose. If we confidently predict that TPP is a big win because it will add 0.5% to GDP by 2030, we lose. If we just use this as an opportunity to reiterate the importance of a college degree, we lose. We have been doing this for decades, and it helped deliver Trump to office.

… The speed of regional labor market adjustment to shocks is agonizingly slow in any area that lacks a critical mass of population. Rural and semi-rural areas remain impacted by negative shocks for at least a decade, but often longer. Relative to life spans, in many cases the shocks might as well be permanent.

The speed of regional labor market adjustment to shocks is agonizingly slow in any area that lacks a critical mass of population. Rural and semi-rural areas remain impacted by negative shocks for at least a decade, but often longer. Relative to life spans, in many cases the shocks might as well be permanent.

The phrase “Listen to the Gentiles” comes from Krugman, who did listen to the Gentiles, a few times, when he was young, but who generally went through most of the 80s and 90s doing the opposite. And even now, Krugman is coming around only slowly, and only because Trump forced him to.

It’s the economists such as Krugman and Delong who make me think of Sartre’s bit about Troubled Sleep.

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