Posts Tagged ‘Paul Krugman’

The state of Puerto Rico, economic state, that is


For some thirty years, under Section 936 of the US tax code, the economy of Puerto Rico had benefited substantially from the influx of US corporations. While the US Congress would repeal Section 936 in August 1996, corporations would be granted a ‘breather’, a continuance of tax benefits for another ten years, expiring in 2005. That repeal of Section 936 was encouraged by the Commonwealth’s then Governor Rossello in the mistaken belief that the US Congress would promptly grant the dependency statehood.

The expiration of Section 936 would see the prompt flight of the corporations from the island to more lucrative destinations. (more…)


Economic austerity and the household belt-tightening analogy


Fallacy of composition as explanation fails to do the trick – too technical sounding. Perhaps something more than analysis, rigorous or simplified, with supporting data, simply explained, is needed. Not Simon Wren-Lewis with his macro mania, nor Paul Krugman, nor a host of others have succeeded in getting their message across. And nowhere was that failure more evident than in the recent UK elections. (more…)

‘Free trade’, corporate style – quick, unceremonious burial


At least for spurious arguments. No epitaph. None. Punto Final.

As is well known, all around the world, the ‘free trade’ deals, TPP and TTIP, being negotiated, would bother our famed linguist mightily. But that is one story.

Many a reputable economist has cast a jaundiced eye on the matter. Dean Baker is one. He has been unstinting in his repudiation of the misleading, truly disingenuous, arguments for these things. And there seems to be some multiplicative aspect to such rebuttals – the more the rebuttals the more the arguments keep coming back, yet the same piffle.

But before we get to Baker and others in their Sisyphean struggle against unyielding corporate interests, championed by the US President and shrilly promoted by the US MSM, a digression.

Jon Queally of Common Dreams has a post that focuses a spotlight on one set of supporters, Wall Street Titans Who Crashed Global Economy in 2008 Go Big for TPP. And he observes, (more…)

The Short, then the Long Reads – Austeri-who?


Dull, dismal economics stuff. Especially macroeconomics. Useful to cure insomnia.

As elections approach in the UK, it is worth a spare moment to look at some of the economics and ‘economics’. Chris Dillow at his mumbling and stumbling blog has had a heavy slog at trying to explain that ‘austerity’ is not really the economics discipline, and there ain’t no such animal as ‘expansionary austerity’, all to no avail. His most recent post, “SERIOUS” POLITICS, he states his choice of a party other than the two – in ally, the US, such a luxury is non-existent with an entrenched duopoly of corporate parties of cosmetic differences (‘culture wars’, ‘hot button issues’).

From my perspective, the main parties are just daft. They are promising to cut the deficit although this risks exacerbating any future slowdown and ignores the fact that negative real rates make this a great time to invest in infrastructure.


The farce of ‘free trade’, wondrous jobs and nirvana


A deluge of chat in the US about ‘free trade’, ‘job creation’, ‘wage increases’. And amplified into being truth by constant, unexamined promotion by its corporate MSM.

To take this bull by the horns, we attempt a succinct review of the analysis, a ‘guide for the incurious’, on the benefits of these US-initiated trade proposals. We start with a headline of 30 January 2015 that should capture events ongoing and before. And very apposite is that title of the blog post of Dean Baker, co-director of CEPR, at his beat the press blog. (And how apposite we will discover shortly.) The BS Storm is Coming on Trade Deals.

On the benefits of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, Baker informs us,

A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research in the U.K. said that the employment effect of the sister TTIP would be small and could go in either direction.


It is also important to note that a major thrust of these trade deals is protectionist in the form of increasing patent and copyright protection. This will lead to higher prices for prescription drugs and other protected products. This will slow growth and reduce purchasing power. Stronger patent protection is also likely to further disadvantage U.S. workers as increased royalty payments for patents will crowd out exports of goods, reducing manufacturing employment in the United States.

Nothing unclear there. (more…)