PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Saturday morning called the current state of the U.S. economy “incredibly awful.”
“If you don’t know multiple people who are suffering, then you must be living in a very rarefied environment,” he said in a brief address to the Netroots Nation conference. “You must be maybe a member of the Romney clan, or something.”
Krugman is out with a new book, “End This Depression Now!”, and he told the progressive gathering that the country’s economic problems are solvable.
“None of this has to be happening. We didn’t have a plague of locusts, we were not hit by a tsunami, there wasn’t some act of God that created this terrible situation. It was acts of man.”
Krugman, who has seen an advance copy of his newspaper’s review of “End This Depression,” dinged the Times’ book review editor.
“The New York Times Book Review is run by Sam Tanenhaus, who is very much a neocon, and makes a point whenever a progressive comes out with a book to find someone who will attack it,” Krugman said. “It’s not really an attack, but the reviewer is shocked at the lack of respect I show for ‘highly respected people,’ I think he uses that phrase.”
Krugman concluded that Americans are living under the tyranny of “very serious people” — people like Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, he said. “Solving this depression is not fundamentally an economic problem, it’s a political problem.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com