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Jean Turlington

Although this article is brief it brought up some very interesting ideas. Krugman is of the economic mindset that government spending as a whole helps the economy or at least the government cutting programs and spending does not really help things. With Keynesian ideas the economy will eventually correct itself even if those "austerity measures are never reversed." The thing that is wrong though and that he has a problem with is politicians jumping to conclusions after one example where austerity changed economic growth and actually helped it. The politicians think they understand and know economic trends just from this one example. One example or one time when it worked is not enough, there needs to be maybe an economic model to describe what happens to growth when there is austerity or some overarching idea that might explain this (instead of one example). Economists seem to look more at the big picture and long term effects to see what happens as a whole and in general as opposed to one specific time when austerity helped economic growth. This seems to work better overall and is what I think we will be looking more into in macroeconomics: less specific cases and more how things affect the economy as a whole.

Maddie Kosar

Going off of what Jean commented, I agree with Krugman's point. Economics is not about developing ideas based off of one situation, but rather empirical evidence. Trends are best observed over long periods of time. Economics, as a science, should treat its theories as scientists treat their experiments. Scientists cannot prove a hypothesis until it is tested time and time again, and the same must follows for economics. However, as humans, we are swayed by our preferences and can be led to false conclusions due to our desire to be correct. This probably leads politicians to quick conclusions as brought up by Krugman. We can easily identify that one example does not mean the theory is proven correct, yet as Krugman states, "that doesn’t mean that they won’t gain traction." We must learn to look at the whole economy over time, not just recently, which is a hard tactic with today's technology. The big picture will give us a clearer look at what is actually going to help in the long run, not just what is going to help us now.

Lizz Platt

Krugman raises an extremely important argument in this article. Economists analyze economic and fiscal issues by focusing on the whole picture. Rather than concentrating on the short term results that can be achieved by the austerity policies implemented by various politicians, economists look towards the long run. By employing austerity policies, the economy is, in essence, taking three steps backward and, in exchange, only one step forward. The true results are seen in the long run and the economy remains in poor condition. Krugman also discusses an equally important issue: the duty of citizens to understand national issues. As voters, citizens must take the time to understand the issues at hand. Instead of blindly listening to politicians persuade their views over the masses to ensure reelection, the masses must educate themselves on the issues and make an informed decisions when supporting politicians and national leaders in their endeavors.

pj cline

I agree with Maddie’s point that there is a link between the economy and politics. Krugman goes on to describe how the success of a politician is linked with the state of the economy. This can be seen with President George H. W. Bush’s campaign for reelection in 1993. Bush was seen as a lock leading up to election, but when the economy started plummeting so did his chances of success. A way to counteract this would be the dead-cat-bounce effect. According to Krugman, a smart politician could depress the economy for the first half of their term so that it would naturally recover the second half. We would hope that no politician would purposeldy do this, however one could argue that President Obama unknowingly walked into this situation in 2008. Obama’s election coincided with the financial crisis of 2008, therefore Obama could have done nothing and watched the economy naturally come back and therefore win the election in 2012. Granted I am oversimplifying the issue since the financial crisis called for immediate action by the government, but I thought the relationship between politics and the economy was an interesting issue to bring up.

Krysta Huber

Continuing with the point that there's a connection between politics and economics, after reading this article I was immediately able to make a connection between Krugman's argument and a discussion that took place this week in my state and local government class. There is a definition known as political entrepeneurship, which is the idea that electoral candidates have a tendency to propose policy innovations in an effort to publicize themselves as a candidate and ultimately win votes. While Cameron may not have been completely reinventing the wheel with his decision to maintain an austere government, he is purposefully trying to show that the economy is beginning to recover because he is headed into election season. Regardless of how the economy improved - whether that was his doing or the belief that it recovers on its own within a certain amount of time - the point is that any evidence of economic improvement bolsters his campaign.

Sarah Schaffer

I agree with Lizz. So often politicians and citizens focus on the short term and can't look at the big picture the way politicians can. Krugman brings up a fair point in his last sentence, stating that "from a sheer political point of view gratuitously depressing the economy for the first half of your term in office can be a very smart move." While it may not have been Cameron's goal, Krugman makes it seems as though some of the decisions made were looking at the short term goal of getting re-elected, and not at the long term goal of fixing the economy.

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