Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future

Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future

by Paul Krugman

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Overview

An accessible, compelling introduction to today’s major policy issues from the New York Times columnist, best-selling author, and Nobel prize–winning economist Paul Krugman.

There is no better guide than Paul Krugman to basic economics, the ideas that animate much of our public policy. Likewise, there is no stronger foe of zombie economics, the misunderstandings that just won’t die.

In Arguing with Zombies, Krugman tackles many of these misunderstandings, taking stock of where the United States has come from and where it’s headed in a series of concise, digestible chapters. Drawn mainly from his popular New York Times column, they cover a wide range of issues, organized thematically and framed in the context of a wider debate. Explaining the complexities of health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, Social Security, and so much more with unrivaled clarity and precision, Arguing with Zombies is Krugman at the height of his powers.

Arguing with Zombies puts Krugman at the front of the debate in the 2020 election year and is an indispensable guide to two decades’ worth of political and economic discourse in the United States and around the globe. With quick, vivid sketches, Krugman turns his readers into intelligent consumers of the daily news and hands them the keys to unlock the concepts behind the greatest economic policy issues of our time. In doing so, he delivers an instant classic that can serve as a reference point for this and future generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324005025
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 1,278
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul Krugman, recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics and best-selling author, has been a columnist at The New York Times for twenty years. A Distinguished Professor at City University of New York, he resides in New York City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: The Good Fight 1

1 Saving Social Security

Essay: After the Khaki Election 13

Social Security Scares 16

Inventing a Crisis 19

Buying into Failure 22

Social Security Lessons 25

Privatization Memories 28

Where Government Excels 30

2 The Road To Obamacare

Essay: Developing a Positive Agenda 35

Ailing Health Care 38

Health Care Confidential 41

Health Care Terror 44

The Waiting Game 47

Health Care Hopes 50

Fear Strikes Out 53

Obamacare Fails to Fail 56

Imaginary Health Care Horrors 59

3 The Attack On Obamacare

Essay: The Cruelty Caucus 65

Three Legs Good, No Legs Bad 67

Obamacare's Very Stable Genius 70

Get Sick, Go Bankrupt, and Die 73

How Democrats Can Deliver on Health Care 76

4 Bubble And Bust

Essay: The Sum of All Fears 81

Running Out of Bubbles 83

That Hissing Sound 86

Innovating Our Way to Financial Crisis 89

The Madoff Economy 92

The Ignoramus Strategy 95

Nobody Understands Debt 97

5 Crisis Management

Essay: The Triumph of Macroeconomics 103

Depression Economics Returns 106

IS-LMentary 109

Stimulus Arithmetic (Wonkish but Important) 113

The Obama Gap 115

The Stimulus Tragedy 118

6 The Crisis In Economics

Essay: The Cost of Bad Ideas 123

The Mythical Seventies 126

That Eighties Show 128

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? 130

Bad Faith, Pathos, and G.O.P. Economics 149

What's Wrong with Functional Finance? (Wonkish) 152

7 Austerity

Essay: Very Serious People 157

Myths of Austerity 160

The Excel Depression 163

Jobs and Skills and Zombies 166

Structural Humbug 169

8 The Euro

Essay: A Bridge Too Far 175

The Spanish Prisoner 178

Crash of the Bumblebee 181

Europe's Impossible Dream 184

What's the Matter with Europe? 187

9 Fiscal Phonies

Essay: The Gullibility of the Deficit Scolds 193

The Flimflam Mon 195

The Hijacked Commission 198

What's in the Ryan Plan? 201

Melting Snowballs and the Winter of Debt 203

Democrats, Debt, and Double Standards 207

On Paying for a Progressive Agenda 210

10 Tax Cuts

Essay: The Ultimate Zombie 215

The Twinkie Manifesto 218

The Biggest Tax Scam in History 221

The Trump Tax Scam, Phase 2 224

Why Was Trump's Tax Cut a Fizzle? 227

The Trump Tax Cut: Even Worse Than You've Heard 230

The Economics of Soaking the Rich 234

Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt 238

11 Trade Wars

Essay: Globaloney and the Backlash 243

Oh, What a Trumpy Trade War! 246

A Trade War Primer 249

Making Tariffs Corrupt Again 254

12 Inequality

Essay: The Skewing of America 259

The Rich, the Right, and the Facts 261

Graduates versus Oligarchs 282

Money and Morals 285

Don't Blame Robots for Low Wages 288

What's the Matter with Trumpland? 291

13 Conservatives

Essay: Movement Conservatism 297

Same Old Party 299

Eric Cantor and the Death of a Movement 302

The Great Center-Right Delusion 305

The Empty Quarters of U.S. Politics 308

14 EEK! Socialism!

Essay: Red-Baiting in the 27st Century 313

Capitalism, Socialism, and Unfreedom 315

Something Not Rotten in Denmark 319

Trump versus the Socialist Menace 322

15 Climate

Essay: The Most Important Thing 327

Donald and the Deadly Deniers 329

The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial 332

Climate Denial Was the Crucible for Trumpism 335

Hope for a Green New Year 338

16 Trump

Essay: Why Not the Worst? 343

The Paranoid Style in G.O.P. Politics 345

Trump and the Aristocracy of Fraud 348

Stop Calling Trump a Populist 351

Partisanship, Parasites, and Polarization 354

Why It Can Happen Here 358

Who's Afraid of Nancy Pelosi? 361

Truth and Virtue in the Age of Trump 364

Conservatism's Monstrous Endgame 367

Manhood, Moola, McConnell, and Trumpism 370

17 On The Media

Essay: Beyond Fake News 375

Bait-and-Switch 377

Triumph of the Trivial 380

Is There Any Point to Economic Analysis? 383

The Year of Living Stupidly 385

Hillary Clinton Gets Gored 387

18 Economic Thoughts

Essay: The Dismal Science 393

How I Work 395

The Instability of Moderation 407

Transaction Costs and Tethers: Why I'm a Crypto Skeptic 411

Credits 415

Index 417

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