Economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman revealed he had no soft corners for an emerging group he calls “recession truthers,” following a decline in inflationary pressure over the past year.
What Happened: In a New York Times op-ed, Krugman explained that these individuals, frustrated by the Biden economy’s refusal to enter a recession, insisted that one was already underway.
He noted an ideological difference between the old inflation truthers and the new recession truthers, highlighting that the former consisted mostly of “old-school reactionaries still pining for a return to the gold standard,” while the latter was dominated by tech billionaires.
According to Krugman, these recession truthers were more focused on the future and were more likely to be “crypto cultists” than “gold bugs.”
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Musk Leads The Way: Krugman singled out Tesla CEO Elon Musk as a prominent figure among the “recession truthers.” He shared a Twitter reply from Musk, in which he raised suspicions about the accuracy of job numbers.
While President Joe Biden‘s economic policy, referred to as “Bidenomics,” boasted about job creation and achieving the lowest jobless rate in 50 years, Krugman dismissed the claims of the “recession truthers,” led by Musk, as incorrect.
Krugman said that official data remained the most reliable way to track the economy, as private organizations couldn’t match the resources and expertise of the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We can be pretty sure that if political appointees were cooking the books we’d be hearing about it from multiple whistle-blowers,” he said.
Furthermore, Krugman highlighted the confirmation of government statistics by various independent sources of evidence.
Krugman’s Theory: Examining the motivations behind tech billionaires embracing conspiracy theories, Krugman suggested they believed in their exceptional brilliance, enabling them to instantly master any subject, from COVID-19 to global conflicts.
“And the wealthy men claiming to know better are actually less well-informed than, say, the average reader of The New York Times — because they don’t know what they don’t know, and nobody is in a position to enlighten them.”