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Paul Krugman's 'Twilight Zone' Economics

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman employed a bit of imagination while discussing the need for fiscal stimulus on Fareed Zakaria’s “GPS” last week, playfully suggesting that the discovery of an impending alien attack would force the American Congress to shelve debates about inflation and budget deficits and spend at a rate that would end the current recession in a year and a half.

“If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat, and really, inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months,” he mused. “And then if we discovered, ‘Whoops! We made a mistake. There aren’t actually any space aliens …’ ” the spending would leave us better off.

“There was a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace,” he added. “Well, this time, we don’t need it, we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.” –ARK

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