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Krugman Attacks GOP Over College

March 12, 2012 by  

Krugman Attacks GOP Over College

Keynesian-leaning economist and columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman opined in a recent piece that advising students who are exploring college options not to attend institutions beyond their economic means by taking on massive student loan debt is anti-intellectual.

Krugman writes that members of the Republican Party harbor hostility to education which is “embodied in the personas” of GOP Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Referencing recent statements made by the candidates wherein Santorum referred to colleges as “indoctrination mills” and Romney advised a student to shop around for colleges with good programs rather than simply attending the most expensive, Krugman writes:

Wow. So much for America’s tradition of providing student aid. And Mr. Romney’s remarks were even more callous and destructive than you may be aware, given what’s been happening lately to American higher education.

For the past couple of generations, choosing a less expensive school has generally meant going to a public university rather than a private university. But these days, public higher education is very much under siege, facing even harsher budget cuts than the rest of the public sector. Adjusted for inflation, state support for higher education has fallen 12 percent over the past five years, even as the number of students has continued to rise; in California, support is down by 20 percent.

Krugman goes on to suggest that by putting less importance on government-funded college tuition assistance, Republicans will hold back less affluent and minority children and are taking a step away from an American tradition.

The National Inflation Association, which released the film “The College Conspiracy” in 2011, argues a case very opposite Krugman’s, saying that college is the largest scam in U.S. history. One NIA press release says:

If 70.1% of high school graduates enroll in a college or university, how does a college degree give you an advantage over the rest of the population? Back in the early 1960s, Americans didn’t need to go to college. We were a creditor nation with a strong manufacturing base. With an unemployment rate of only 5%, jobs were available to almost everybody. Less than 50% of American high school graduates enrolled into college. For those who did attend college and graduate with a degree, it was actually something special that made you stand out from the rest of the field, because not everybody had one.

American college tuition inflation has been out of control for the past decade. During the financial crisis of late-2008/early-2009, almost all goods and services in America at least temporarily declined in price. The only service in America that continued to rise in price throughout the financial crisis, besides health care, was college education. Despite real unemployment in America reaching 22%, students were brainwashed into believing that if they were lucky enough to be blessed with the privilege to get half a million dollars into debt to obtain a college degree, they will be on a path to riches and have a guaranteed successful career; whereas those who don’t attend college are destined to be failures in life.

View a portion of the NIA film below:

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • transformationtruths

    NYT Paul Krugman reflects how a intelligent degreed person can be almost as dumb as a donkey! Any person who can investigate, think and reason knows that John Maynard Keynes economic deficit spending is a disaster and one waiting to happen if engaged in over time! History has shown this to be so clear and true, especially seeing it happen before our very eyes in the U.S. in the last few years, you would wonder how they can be so blind and dumb! I mean really – you have to be living in a fog or in some la la land to not observe and know this!! Why would NYT even publish one word of a Keynasian corrupt mind and keep trying to deceive people!!

    • Jesse Fell

      History seems to support one of Keynes ideas — that deficit spending by the government can help an economy in a deflationary, liquidity starved depression.

      FDR, a fiscal conservative oddly enough, cut spending and raised taxes in 1937 because the government was starting to run up a deficit (the economy was also starting to show signs of life again). So he balanced the budget and triggered a recession within the depression.

      The came WWII and FDR threw fiscal caution to the wind. The government ran up big deficits to pay for the war effort. Rosie the Riveter got a good job and spent her paycheck on clothes, stuff for her kids, dining out — and in so doing helped create jobs for other people as well. In about a year and a half, the depression was over.

      The collapse of financial markets in 2008 left us in a deflationary state similar to the one that was at the heart of the Depression. Injecting money into circulation put the economy back on its feet then — it could do it now. Unfortunately, Obama had to settle for a stimulus package that was about 1/3 the size needed.

      People who object to Obama stimulus package remind me of the patient who said, “I took only 1/3 of the anti-biotics that my doctor told me take, and I’m sure glad I didn’t take the rest! Those damn pills don’t work!”

      • Warrior

        I think jesse fell and hit his head!

      • DonnieB

        So, it is OK to only take 1/3 of the poison? Besides being unConstituional, it doesn’t work. Sure there will be a few jobs created, but should the American taxpayer be paying 3 or 4 hundred thousand dollars for a make-work job that will go away as soon as the government funding (ie. stealing from other taxpayers) goes awayso that the party in power can make splashy headlines?

        The US capitalist systme (NOT crony capitalism ) works quite well. There will always be those in a population that don’t do well. Hoping to make ‘everything equal’ is a fools errand. If you are one that believes in the Bible, it tells you that the poor will always be there.Even if you don’t believe that source, some people will never be motivated or stay off drugs or are just plain lazy.

        The Constituion says what the Federal government can do and ONLYlegally do. Doing anything more is by definition un-Constitutional.

      • Jesse Fell

        Have it your way. It wasn’t government spending on WWII that ended the great depression — something else did, within about 18 months of our entrance into the war.

        What was that? Let’s identify it and get it working for us again.

        I’m eager to hear what it was.

      • FedUp

        Key among the details you failed to mention is money flowed from outside the Nation’s borders in to the Country for the purchase of durable goods during and after the Roosevelt administration.

        The “Stimulus” under the Busch/obama regime took money from Americans with more and gave it to Americans with less. There was no net gain in value as there would have been from exporting manufactured goods.

      • Marcia Diehl

        Jessie Fell,

        Please take the time to read this article. I think you will find it very educational:

        Also, in case you are wondering……Yes, I am a fiscal conservative, but I’m not the yahoo you think I am. I have a Bachelor’s Degree (graduated Cum Laude – if you don’t know what that is, it is Latin for “with Honors”); a Masters Degree (inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda – an Honorary Fraternity for outstanding scholastic achievement), and am currently pursuing another Masters Degree (half way through the degree plan).

        So please…….stop your faux intellectualism and quit whining that Republiacns are stupid. You bore me to tears (yawning as I speak).

      • L.P. Thibodaux

        “Jesse fall down hurt head”! Dumb Dumb dumb! Liberlism is a sickness and is uncurable.

      • Jesse Fell

        Marcia, Interesting article. FDR wasn’t much of an economist — even his admirers admit that. His efforts to damp down “excessive competition” by lax enforcement of anti-trust laws may well have helped prolong the Depression. Still, it’s hard to see how lax enforcement of anti-trust laws could be the main reason for the Depression’s longevity. According to your article, the Justice Department resumed the enforcement anti-trust laws with customary vigor around 1938; the Depression lasted into the 1940s — our war effort began to put money into the economy starting only in 1942, and it was after that that the Depression finally lifted.

        Today, it’s the “socialistic” EU countries who are applying austerity measures aimed at balancing their budgets — and the economic situation in these countries keeps going from bad to worse. The United States, in contrast, applied a Keynesian remedy to a limited extent, and is enjoying what the economists predicted: a limited recovery. It need not have been limited. Had we passed adequate stimulus measures, we could be out of recession by now, and tackling the deficit. But to balance the budget now would be to pull money out of the economy, dampen consumer demand, and stifle business — the EU way.

        I congratulate you on your “cum laude” honors. It no doubt took work to achieve them. Ad astra per aspera!

      • Jesse Fell

        TraderPhil, I can think of one economist who predicted what would happen — Paul Krugman, in his 1999 book “The Return of Depression Economics”. Krugman was concerned about the glut of savings in the west, particularly in the United States, that resulted from the investment of Asian countries in western assets. The Asian world had just averted a catastrophic financial meltdown brought on, Krugman argued, by mismanagement of currencies, and it wanted to park its assets someplace safe — with us, in other words. So the west was flush with cash. This was not necessarily a problem — we might have been use the savings for research, modernization, product development, and other sorts of smart things that don’t have an immediate return. Krugman correctly predicted that the west would go for immediate gratification, however — and that this would lead, sooner or later, to the blowing up of huge speculative bubbles. The rest is history.

        It’s worth noting that Krugman’s book came out during the DOT/COM boom, when it was hard to be taken seriously if you doubted the eternal nature of the then current wave of prosperity. Vox clamantis in deserto.

    • Jesse Fell


      No, the Obama stimulus package was nearly half tax cuts and no tax increases, so it didn’t take from A to give to B. The spending part of the stimulus package was funded by borrowing.

      I had never before heard that when the United States entered WWII, it started to run up a trade surplus, and that it was this that ended the Depression. Interesting. Why did the trade surplus appear? I thought Britain got most of its durable goods from us on a “lend lease” basis, the terms of the lease part being generous to begin with, and payment not be insisted upon.

      But suppose it was other countries that started buying durable goods from us, and in doing so lifted the American economy out of depression. Where did these other countries get the money to buy durable goods from us in sufficient quantities to make a difference? The entire world was affected by the Depression — no country had much ready cash.

      Our customers for durable goods would have had to borrow the money that they spent — and thus, they were deficit spending in order to apply a Keynesian stimulus policy of their own for the benefit of our economy. Such neighborliness!

      • Brad

        they claim it is borrowed but in reality it is from the FEDS print press. It is not that the economy will not coreect itself by people getting tired of sitting and not out doing something and buying goods. It is the print press that keeps inflation growing at a very high pace and interest rates being at an all time low for easy access to these government backed loans divied out to anyone that can fog a mirror. You did not have that in the great deprssion, they hit bottom before the stimulous . One reason I beleve is because in the depression the world hit rock bottom and people learned the value of a dollar. You talk one on one with a person who survived the Great Depression and you will see a wise conservitive. the problem I see is as the people of that hard learned era die off we have now have a sosiety with less appreciation for the value of a dollar and we lose that desire to better our situation because we have no idea of the consequences. Now a days we give them a prop up before they fall and they expect to be rescued. If you never hit the ground when your growing up you wont understand the through times to prepare yourself from falling time after time.

        It will be very scary if we have a double dip recession.


    • carrobin

      Krugman is totally right, as usual. He’s saying that education is vital to the survival of the country but college is too expensive, whether public or private, and the Republicans are making it more so by making it more difficult for young people to get loans. I’m baffled by people who believe that higher education “brainwashes” students. It sure doesn’t work for Republican politicians, many of whom went to Ivy League schools but still can’t think past ideology and/or theology.

      • frank1737

        Carrobin: It must be your Ass talking because surely your head knows better! Obama is a Hitler Lover and is out to do exactly what Hitler did to Hungry during World War II. Obama is following George Soro’s guidelines to totally backrup the U.S.A. and put us totally into a Socialist State. Example: Obama’s ambition is to, if by Satin he is re-elected is to have gasoline up to $8.00 a gallon (European Standards) Question: Are all of you Democrats (Socialist) Brain Dead??

      • Ted Crawford

        an you explain then Carrobin, why, if we place our money spent and our International Scholastic Standing on a graph, the money spent line, almost from the beginning of the Department of Education’s founding, shoots up and our International Standing falls down?

      • Brad

        Roll another one Corrobin that smoke is not yet effecting your brainwashed mind.

    • traderphil

      These so called “Economists” are a joke at best!!! How many warned of this impending financial doom??? NONE of the clueless fools!!! WHY???? Because they are either incompetent and/or bought and paid for by the banksters and friends! KEYNESIAN CRAP!!! Designed to ensnare the unwary! Add DERIVATIVES and the house of cards will implode,, just like every other attempt at fractional reserve “banking”! It is a LICENCE TO STEAL, imho, that is! WAKE UP FOLKS!!!!!

      • Jesse Fell

        TraderPhil, One very liberal economist agreed with you — John Kenneth Galbraith, who once said that the function of economists is to make astrologers respectable. Economics is a science, but it has a huge number of variables to deal with, and one unpredictable factor — human behavior.

        Still, when economists makes predictions of what will happen, for certain reasons, and those things do happen, for the projected reasons — it might be permissible to give the shamans credit for knowing a little something.

      • Ted Crawford

        Very true Traderphil! Economists have acurately predicted 57 of our last two recessions!

    • Alondra

      It’s NYT agenda to spread falsehood. It is equally corrupt as White House and democrats.

  • Matt

    Paul Krugman isn’t worth spitting upon. To me he’s one of those “PSYCHO” democrats. If you’ve EVER seen him speak, one can only discern that the man is totally off his rocker. He is a vile nasty lieing being. I reside in Missouri but lived for 50 years in New York. The only thing I’d do with the paper Krugman works for ( New York Times ) is line my birdcage with it. It’s too hard to wipe my own rear with.

    • Jesse Fell

      And who says men have a hard time getting in touch with their feelings?

  • peter

    Education or more correctly, indoctrination, in no way paves the way to wisdom but very often exactly the opposite. Have our most educated always behaved wisely? Unfortunately one cannot learn wisdom in class, that is the province of life itself. Money can buy an education but it cannot buy wisdom.

    • Shaana

      amen, Peter!

    • frank1737

      WELL PUT PETER!!!!

    • Ted Crawford

      It helps to remember that the Educated Professionals built the Titanic, but an amateur built the Ark. While all the Aeronautical Engineers were working to improve the Kite, two bicycle mechanics flew an airplane!

    • Alondra

      It is a TRUE FACT. Wisdom comes from GOD.

  • Buck

    What would Paul Krugman know about intelligence ? The common mistake of ALL demonrats is the belief that book learning increases intelligence when they themselves are living proof that this is a false assumption .

  • Speak2Truth

    I find this particularly repugnantly Orwellian, the way Leftists try to redefine American traditions.

    “by putting less importance on government-funded college tuition assistance, Republicans will hold back less affluent and minority children and are taking a step away from an American tradition”

    A person of reasonable intellect can work for several years to save up money THEN attend the higher priced college without those government loans – and with some real-world experience. They can even attend less expensive college courses to obtain a “stepping stone” job and work their way up.

    That is the traditional American way to achieve higher education, for those who could not afford it right away.

  • Rob

    Government ultimately gets most of its revenue from taxpayers and consumers. 2. The more government does, the bigger it has to be; i.e., bigger buildings, more employees, more intrusions into the private sector. Government growth requires more of everything, i.e., higher taxes. Higher taxation reduces the money taxpayers will have to spend. Less taxpayer spending means less private purchasing. Less private purchasing means less demand for real goods and services. Less demand for goods and services means private sector layoffs and business failures. Layoffs and business failures means government must take even more taxes from those who are still working to pay unemployment “benefits” to the additional workers who just lost their jobs. That is what is happening now. The newly laid off workers are like government “employees;” they get paid, but they do not produce goods or services. So, the supply of what the public wants shrinks and the prices go up. (You know–that supply and demand thing.)Government runs out of money, so it just prints more dollars, taxes more, borrows more, or all of the above. Printing more money “waters” the value of each dollar. And think about: how do those “new” dollars get into circulation and what follows? As the value of each dollar shrinks, producers have to charge more for their products. Soon, producers have to stop selling the things we need because the US dollars become worthless. Can you imagine the destination of the path upon which we find ourselves? Eventually, the “house of cards” collapses.

    • Brad

      YES!! BING GO!!!!!

  • David169

    What we have here is a failure to communicate!
    If I understand what is being said by a liberal who is totally OK with the lack of quality and substance gained by a modern day college education is upset that young impressionable youth are not buying into the program of paying $100,000+ at least 4 years of their lives to be further brainwashed into liberalism.
    Jimmy Carters DOE has dumbed down the complete educational system to the culminitation that a four year college education today imparts less knowledge to its recepient than a high school education did in the 70s. Which is about what an 8th grade education imparted in the 30s.
    When Jimmy Carter started the DOE the US was rated #1 in the quality of education. The last I heard we were #37 and declining rapidly. The question should be: Should US students pay a premium for a 37th place or lower education which has become so trivial that employers no longer place any weight on it for employment.
    If you don’t believe me just remember Nero graduated from Harvard (so the story goes) and he doesn’t have a clue about anything except his love of himself.

    • Brad

      BINGO AGAIN!!! is this not fun or what???

  • Kevin Beck

    Paul Krugman continually illustrates the uselessness of a university education every time he sits at his word processor to type. He proves himself a constant pox on the education system with thoughts like those presented in his “Ignorance is Strength” polemic. I guess he must be the strongest man in the world, since the title to the article is certainly true in his case.


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