Krugman’s blog, 1/21/17

There was one post yesterday, “The Opposite of Carnage:”

Trump’s inaugural speech was, of course, full of lies — pretty much the same lies that marked the campaign. Above all, there was the portrayal of a dystopia of social and economic collapse that bears little relationship to American reality. During the campaign Trump got away with this in part because of slovenly, craven media, but also because of persistent misperceptions. The public consistently believes that crime is rising even when it has been falling to historical lows; it believes that the number of uninsured has risen when it has also fallen to historic lows; Republicans believe that unemployment is up and, incredibly, the stock market down under Obama.

The interesting question now is whether fake carnage can be replaced by fake non-carnage. How many people can be convinced that things are getting better under the Trump-Putin administration even as they actually get worse?

Will they actually get worse? Almost surely. Unemployment will probably rise over the next four years, if only because it starts out low — historically the unemployment rate has a strong reversion to the mean, and it probably can’t go much lower than it is now but can go much higher. The number of uninsured will soar if Republicans repeal Obamacare, whatever alleged replacement they offer.

Crime is less clear, since we really don’t know why it fell. But big further declines don’t seem highly likely; certainly we won’t see an end to the prevalence of urban war zones, because, you know, they don’t exist in the first place.

Oh, and this team of cronies is unlikely to help raise real wages.

But can Trump voters be convinced that things are getting better when they aren’t? The truth is that I don’t know. Views on many issues are driven by motivated reasoning, and when people say that things got worse under Obama, what they may really be saying — whatever the actual question was — is “I hate the idea of a black man in the White House.”

Still, I suspect that claiming vast job creation when people are actually finding it harder to get work and losing insurance won’t work as well as the claims of carnage did. I guess we’ll just have to see — which may be hard if, as I fear, the statistical agencies are a prime target of the new regime.

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One Response to “Krugman’s blog, 1/21/17”

  1. Russian Sage Says:

    Trumps last win

    Bloomberg ran a non-wonkish article on ten things by which to evaluate Trump’s economic results. From GDP to wages, to reentering the job market and the balance of trades the big ticket items will be hard to improve. Even tax cuts alone and repatriation of off shore cash hordes won’t be sufficient to raise spending on plant and equipment to pre Great Recession levels. To even include the plight of the poor in this list seemed mildly absurd if not cruel – under Trump. But the roar reported by Gail Collins when Chuck Schumer tried in vain to read a Civil War soldiers letter to cat calls of “lock her up” it’s clear the black man was indicted in the 2016 election while women and Jews were left hanging off poles like post Iranian revolutionary days, or Stalinist days or 1930’s Germany, or blacks in Jim Crow or Reconstruction days. It’s hard to attack a culture which patented creationism which also has billionaire hedge fund managers who are devoted to making money in Silicon Valley. VC. Must be the same as the DeplorableBall dancers and prancers.
    But I agree it’s hard to say how many Trump voters who are not deplorable in and of themselves can be reached while the media continues to report things like a “populist” message which takes to the wood shed the entire ruling class. Is this supposed to be an L Ron Hubbard sequel?
    Would Mr. Krugman weigh in on the plight of the small business owner and OT. It seems NAM has lawyers on the payroll who edit the colorful findings their writers come up with. It’s so easy for a middle class white man who grew up while segregation was legal to moan over anything which has elevated in his eyes the black person to his own status. I am left bewildered by their hatred. In all other outward manner they seem like suburban New Yorkers. You know the kind. As twitter loves to say: their ilk which owns the media as in “America First.” Yes the liberal elites who saw fit that their children would have a life that didn’t start out selling buttons and belts in the garment center during the 1930’s instead of being able to finish law school at St.Johns. God help you if u didn’t at least try your hardest. We are not alone of course. But I am sick of hearing the gruel the miner and steel workers grandsons have to eat with help from food stamps and Medicaid which is fit only for a black man. A better job is the rightful place of the white. And this is where it gets ugly if not easy to understand. The Richard Spencers of the world have it easy. They don’t need facts. They need a mouth.They need a pulpit.They need a Murdoch. They need a Twitter. They need to go. Peacefully. But to do that we must carry on the way the children of the sixties did about the war. That was a shared responsibility. And we need to cherish our rights. That to me is the only way to make Trumps first administration his last.

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