Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Krugman in Oklahoma

Alternate titles: "The devil came down to Norman", "We came not to praise Caesar, but to poison him".

Regarding the second alternate title, here is an un-photoshopped picture of the entree from the gala dinner (clic the pic for a more un-appetizing image):

According to my sources, Krugman was Krugman: Insightful and analytical on international economics, predictably partisan on domestic politics.

Bad news for Tyler: PK confessed to not having read "The Great Stagnation", though he said he was a regular reader of "Marginal Revolution".

Good news for rich people: PK said that had he been president, he would have let all the "Bush tax cuts" expire, even though it would harm the economy, because he feels that it was the last chance to ever get rid of the cuts for the rich. He fears they will now be permanent.

While endorsing more stimulus and more infrastructure spending, he dissed high speed rail, saying it should be a very low priority at best.

All in all, he did an hourlong Q&A with students and some Econ faculty, then the "dinner" and a speech. Here is a write-up of the Q&A from the student paper.

Bottom line: I am so so so glad I went to the Thunder game!


Neil West said...

That dinner looks repulsive. Is that a whole tomato with a sprig of rosemary sticking out of it? It looks like a tomato bomb.

Norman said...

I'm late getting my report in, but that summary covers most of what I was going to say anyway. A few of the more interesting lines from the Q&A session:

- He is concerned that the US could head the direction of Argentina since World War I.
- Greece is the only country whose problems are due to bad fiscal policy.
- The US should start tightening its fiscal belt in about 3 years time.
- All we need is 3-4% more GDP in government revenues.
- The Fed and the current administration are willing to listen to experts like him, but it's hard for that to translate into political reality due to a lack of education among the general populace.

And the summary of his view of the recession? Some people over-borrowed and are now deleveraging; among those who didn't over-borrow, "we can't persuade enough people to spend to keep the wheels of commerce turning."

So yeah, overall Krugman was Krugman.

And aside from the peeled boiled tomato, I'll add that before the entree there was a pleasant salad and no form of dressing available at all, at least at my table.

Pelsmin said...

The dinner was clearly picked to complement a speech on economic policy by Kroog. Think about it:
- Lots of pork
- Looks like no-one trimmed the fat
- Side dish is a Giffen good -- we'll be eating more potatoes as inflation drives up food prices
- Molotov Tomato, so everyone is pre-armed in case Kroog drones on too long.

Too bad they didn't combine the talk with Nickel Beer Night.

Mungowitz said...

Pelsmin: big. very big. nicely played.