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

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig