Krugman — self-protectionist free trader11 March, 2016 at 14:51 | Posted in Economics | 5 Comments
Krugman has been a booster of trade and globalization for thirty years: marginally more restrained than other elite economists, but still a booster.
Now, the political establishment has what it wanted and the effects have been disastrous for those not in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.
At this stage, as exemplified by Krugman, the economics elite is moving to reinvent itself with a combination of minor backpedaling and its own studies that belatedly acknowledge the damage wrought by globalization.
There is no professional cost to be paid for the grievous injuries it has helped inflict; no mention is made of the fact that outsider critical economists have long predicted and written about these injuries; and the policy recommendation is we must stay the course because we are now locked-in and have few options …
Krugman’s self-protectionist moment is another example of gattopardo economics, whereby the mainstream economics profession changes to keep things the same. Even as he tries to slip in to a new skin, the politics remains unchanged. Senator Sanders, the longtime opponent of neoliberalism, is described as irresponsible and feckless: Hillary Clinton, the longtime advocate of neoliberalism, is portrayed as a model of trade policy responsibility.