Krueger Time

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In The White House, no one can hear you scream.

The American economy is a nightmare. So who did the White House hire to be its new top economic adviser? A guy named Krueger. 

That would be Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist who specializes in labor issues and who formerly worked under Tim Geithner as assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy.

In the early 1990s, along with coauthor David Card, Krueger helped pioneer the argument that higher minimum wage mandates don't necessarily reduce employment. In his book, What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism, he pointed to data showing that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there's little evidence that most terrorists come from lower-class economic backgrounds. In a short 2009 piece for The New York Times, he toyed noncommittally with the idea that a delayed-implementation value-added tax might spur consumption now and higher revenues in the long run, an idea which worries Cato's Dan Mitchell. He's offhandedly warned that policymakers should remember that patients pay for health care with their time, not just their money. Wonder what he thinks about the Massachusetts health care overhaul

Reason contributors have had lots to say about Krueger and his work over the years. In the June 1995 issue of Reason Benjamin Zycher argued that Krueger's minimum wage work was based on flawed research. Nick Gillespie noted Krueger's work on terrorism here. Lots more from Reason on Krueger on here. My review of last year's Nightmare on Elm Street remake is here

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  1. I would imagine any economist who takes an administration job at this point is either brimful of hubris, a sucker, or has been promised something good if he’ll tought it out until the election.

    Combinations of the preceding are also possible choices.

  2. He might be a True Believer. Still dazzled by that O-magic. That the ‘Jobs Speech’ from the Big O will actually create jobs.

    Or he’s going planning on getting a bunch of board memberships with the usual corporate suspects after the Fall.

  3. Great. The NLRB needs another friend in the White House.

  4. Freddie would have been better.

  5. “Value-added Tax” is an oxymoron.

  6. Great. Another from the list of Ivy League Top Men? to save us!

  7. I’d like to think brainstorming meetings at the White House will be similar to those another famous Mr. Kruger held with George Costanza:

    Mr. Kruger and George are burning the midnight oil. George is working, Mr.
    Kruger is bouncing a ball against the wall and catching it. George is
    percolating.

    George: Would you mind helping me out with some of this stuff?!?

    Mr. Kruger: You seem like you’ve got a pretty good handle on it.

    George: No! I don’t! Don’t you even care? This is your company! It’s your
    name on the outside of the building! Speaking of which, the ‘R’ fell off and
    all it says now is K-uger!

    Mr. Kruger: K-uger, that sounds like one of those old-time car horns, huh?
    K-uger! K-uger!

    George: Huh-ho! Oh! You are too much, Mr. Kruger! Too much!

    Mr. Kruger (getting up to leave): Thank you George, you’ve been great. That’s
    it for me.

    George: Oh no, you’re not going out on a high note with me Mr. Kruger!

    Mr. Kruger: It’s K-uger!

    George: No! No!

    Mr. Kruger: Goodnight everybody!

  8. You libertarian crackpots are so predictable. Any time somebody prominent appears to question one of your sacred cows, you sound the alarm bells.What are dimwit true believers supposed to do, cover their ears and hum loundly?

    1. I notice that nowhere in your post do you actually raise an argument to defend any of Alan Krueger’s theories. You call us dimwit true believers? Have you ever thought about why you believe what you believe? Have you ever questioned your own beliefs?

    2. Mmmmm.. mmmmmm.. mmmmmm…

    3. Yeah, right. Only dimwits still believe in the laws of supply and demand.

      Even though Krueger’s conclusions are dubious, they make people feel good about raising the minimum wage. Well, everybody except for unemployable teenagers, gas station attendants, elevator operators, doormen, porters, and so forth. Who cares about them? Let ’em join the Army.

  9. What are dimwit true believers supposed to do, cover their ears and hum loundly?

    Judging from what I see and read, the dimwit true believers are going to vote to reelect Obama. You can hum loudly while voting in most jurisdictions, so you should be okay there. Covering your ears might be a bit of a trick, though. You’ll need at least one hand free. Perhaps earmuffs?

  10. Card,Katz,and Krueger’s NJ and Pennsylvania study just doesn’t hold up. The only supporters the study has are economists that might as well be politicians, they all work for liberal administrations. While the detractors are far and wide removed from politics and mostly academics. God I’m siding with academics, I feel so dirty.

    1. Oh, and of course Krugnuts loves the study.

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