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.