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Paul Krugman Talks to Bill Moyers About How to Speed Recovery -- And Why He Doesn't Want to Run the Treasury

"I probably have more influence doing what I do now than I would if I were inside trying to do the court power games that come with any White House...," Krugman said on "Moyers & Company."

Photo Credit: Moyers & Company


Nobel Prize-winning economist and  New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that saving money is not the path to economic recovery. Instead, he tells Bill Moyers, we should put aside our excessive focus on the deficit, try to overcome political recalcitrance, and  spend money to put America back to work. Krugman offers specific solutions to not only end what he calls a “vast, unnecessary catastrophe,” but to do it more quickly than some imagine possible. His latest book,  End This Depression Now!, is both a warning of the fiscal perils ahead and a prescription to safely avoid them.

A transcript of Krugman's interview with Bill Moyers on the PBS show, Moyers & Company, appears below the video.




Paul Krugman Explains the Keys to Our Recovery

Moyers & Company, January 11, 2013

BILL MOYERS: Welcome. Just before the holidays, we asked you, our viewers, to recommend the one book you thought President Obama should read as he prepares himself for his second term in office. As ever, your suggestions were thoughtful, provocative and eclectic – from books by authors who have appeared as guests on this broadcast, to works by the late John Steinbeck and A. A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. You can see a list at our Web site,

Many of you asked for my choice, too. This is it – Paul Krugman’s  End This Depression Now! It’s both prescription and warning: our current obsession with slashing the deficit and avoiding that well-known and worn fiscal cliff is killing us, Krugman writes, getting in the way of what really needs to be done – which is dedicating government to creating jobs and getting us back to full employment. He blames not only Congress but the White House.

Paul Krugman is professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. Since 1999, he's been an op-ed columnist at  The New York Times and now also writes a blog for the paper titled "The Conscience of a Liberal." According to the search engine Technorati, it’s the most popular blog by an individual on the internet. Author or editor of some twenty books and more than 200 professional papers, Krugman is a thinker so esteemed and widely known in his field he's become an icon. Not only has he won the Nobel Prize in Economics, he’s also the subject of this song by the balladeer Loudon Wainwright III…

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III: I read the New York Times, that's where I get my news; Paul Krugman's on the op-ed page, that's where I get the blues. 'Cause Paul always tells it like it is, we get it blow by blow…

BILL MOYERS: As if being immortalized by the blues isn’t enough, there was even an unofficial campaign and petition in the last few days urging President Obama to make Paul Krugman the next Secretary of the Treasury. It was an honor, as Shakespeare would say, that Mr. Krugman dreams not of.

Paul Krugman, welcome.


BILL MOYERS: So, like William Tecumseh Sherman you refuse to be drafted.

PAUL KRUGMAN: Well, you know, fortunately it hasn't come to that point. But I think I probably would.

BILL MOYERS: But you remember what General Sherman said when there was a movement to run him for president. "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected." That was the Sherman like statement you issued.

PAUL KRUGMAN: That's, well, I'm not quite up to Sherman's standards and I don't think I'm quite ready to lay waste to Georgia either. But a good, good man I admire actually.

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