AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (50 comments)

  1. It is true that the American Left forgets the poor and recommends policies that would harm them. But so does the American Right, which keeps advocating more and more spending and a bigger and bigger government.

    1. Methinks

      Of course the left doesn’t forget the poor, Vangel. They pimp them out regularly. They’re just lying about what they’re doing to them.

      1. Nice one! :)

  2. And the liberals at war with WalMart. The green energy mandate in Calif will raise utility bills by 30% with the poor suffering more. Benefits for green cars, which poor people don’t drive, goes to rich people. Catering to teacher’s unions because of their political contributions lets bad teachers stay in the classroom again hurting poor people. High traffic fines devastate poor people. The list goes on. “We only hurt the ones we love”, I guess.

  3. twenty-nine thousand six-hundred and ONE!

  4. PeakTrader

    It’s ridiculous to call a top economist a “former economist,” just because he’s also a political hack.

    1. Kevin L

      It’s because, as many centrist, libertarian, and conservative economists point out, Krugman does not write like any economist should when he writes for the Times.

      1. PeakTrader

        Many economists write in newspapers about economics and their political beliefs or value judgements too.

        Krugman is much better at it than most of the other biased economists.

        1. Krugman is much better at being a biased economist? Or his he just much better at writing biased economics?

          1. PeakTrader

            You tell me (edited for political hacks):

            Profits Without Production
            Paul Krugman
            June 20, 2013

            “Economies do change over time, and sometimes in fundamental ways.

            “…the growing importance of monopoly rents: profits that don’t represent returns on investment, but instead reflect the value of market dominance.

            …consider the differences between the iconic companies of two different eras: General Motors in the 1950s and 1960s, and Apple today.

            G.M. in its heyday had a lot of market power. Nonetheless, the company’s value came largely from its productive capacity: it owned hundreds of factories and employed around 1 percent of the total nonfarm work force.

            Apple, by contrast…employs less than 0.05 percent of our workers. To some extent, that’s because it has outsourced almost all its production overseas. But the truth is that the Chinese aren’t making that much money from Apple sales either. To a large extent, the price you pay for an iWhatever is disconnected from the cost of producing the gadget. Apple simply charges what the traffic will bear, and given the strength of its market position, the traffic will bear a lot.

            …the economy is affected…when profits increasingly reflect market power rather than production.

            Since around 2000, the big story has been one of a sharp shift in the distribution of income away from wages in general, and toward profits. But here’s the puzzle: Since profits are high while borrowing costs are low, why aren’t we seeing a boom in business investment?

            Well, there’s no puzzle here if rising profits reflect rents, not returns on investment. A monopolist can, after all, be highly profitable yet see no good reason to expand its productive capacity.

            And Apple again provides a case in point: It is hugely profitable, yet it’s sitting on a giant pile of cash, which it evidently sees no need to reinvest in its business.

            Or to put it differently, rising monopoly rents can and arguably have had the effect of simultaneously depressing both wages and the perceived return on investment.

            If household income and hence household spending is held down because labor gets an ever-smaller share of national income, while corporations, despite soaring profits, have little incentive to invest, you have a recipe for persistently depressed demand. I don’t think this is the only reason our recovery has been so weak — but it’s probably a contributory factor.”

          2. For instance there’s this clever bit of political hackery slight-of-hand:

            Apple, by contrast…employs less than 0.05 percent of our workers.” [compared to GM in the 1950s and 1960s]

            So what, and who cares? They are entirely different types of companies. Most companies these days – including GM – employ far fewer of “our” workers (whoever “our” workers are) than GM did. That’s called “productivity”. Getting more for less. This is an irrelevant comparison, and has no place in an economic discussion. It implies that apple is doing something evil by not employing more workers.

            To some extent, that’s because it has outsourced almost all its production overseas.

            And there’s another hot button Krugman, the political hack, pushes to inflame the masses. A real economist would explain that global trade, that takes advantage of comparative and absolute advantage, makes everyone involved better off. Outsourcing to reduce costs is a GOOD thing.

            But the truth is that the Chinese aren’t making that much money from Apple sales either.

            Notice this clever attempt to equate “overseas” with “Chinese”. In reality Apple products are sourced from dozens of countries all over the world. They are only *assembled* in China, so, yes, “The Chinese” aren’t making much on apple products.

            ““To a large extent, the price you pay for an iWhatever is disconnected from the cost of producing the gadget. Apple simply charges what the traffic will bear, and given the strength of its market position, the traffic will bear a lot. ”

            Yes indeed. The market values those products very highly, and buyers are willing to pay very high prices for something they value MORE than the money they VOLUNTARILY choose to spend. A real economist would point out that a high income and high profit is an indication of how well a provider is making use of resources and pleasing customers.

            Keep in mind that Apple only controls 10-12% of the total market for iThingie-like devices, and consumers can easily lower Apple’s profit margins by choosing not to buy from them.

            Well, there’s no puzzle here if rising profits reflect rents, not returns on investment. A monopolist can, after all, be highly profitable yet see no good reason to expand its productive capacity.

            Newsflash! Apple is not a monopoly. Apple cannot reduce production of iDevices in order to drive up prices. There are hundreds of competitors more than willing to make up for lower supply.

            And Apple again provides a case in point: It is hugely profitable, yet it’s sitting on a giant pile of cash, which it evidently sees no need to reinvest in its business. ”

            And Krugman again provides a case in point: Apple is a private company, run for the benefit of its owners, and as such it can do whatever it chooses to do with profits.

            It isn’t the business of you, or me, or PH Krugman to decide how they allocate profits. A real economist would point out that fact.

          3. PeakTrader

            The reality is U.S. Information-Age firms not only lead the world in both revenues and profits, since 2000, they together lead the rest of the world combined.

            Many of them are monopolies or oligopolies, or have market power, to raise profits rather than reduce prices.

            There’s no reason for them to employ idle resources, e.g. capital and labor, to expand operations and raise consumption, because that would reduce profits.

            The dominance of U.S. Information Revolution firms, along with U.S. overregulation, which makes it harder for businesses to start-up or expand, caused a disconnect between U.S. consumption and production.

          4. Many of them are monopolies or oligopolies, or have market power, to raise profits rather than reduce prices.

            You might want to purchase a dictionary because companies like Microsoft and Apple do not have monopolies in the noral sense of the word.

          5. the price you pay for an iWhatever is disconnected from the cost of producing the gadget.

            I guess the engineering portion of producing an iWhatever is completely free and not at all important. Nor must the software that runs the iWhatever. Engineering and software represent the bulk of the value of the iWhatever. That Krugman doesn’t understand this, which I doubt, means that he’s just an incredibly biased economist.

            Since profits are high while borrowing costs are low, why aren’t we seeing a boom in business investment?

            It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with President “you didn’t build that” who has a great cheerleader in Krugman.

            It is hugely profitable, yet it’s sitting on a giant pile of cash, which it evidently sees no need to reinvest in its business.

            So? How would this negatively affect an economy? What this means is that Apple has been enormously productive, but doesn’t consume anywhere near the amount it produces. This is a GOOD thing. It’s also weird that a Nobel prize winning economist doesn’t seem to clearly understand that money isn’t wealth. If Apple cashed out all it’s cash, then burned it all in a marking lot at 1 Infinite Loop, this doesn’t affect the amount of wealth in the world AT ALL.

          6. Many of them are monopolies or oligopolies, or have market power, to raise profits rather than reduce prices.

            What monopolies and oligarchies are you talking about? Surely not Apple? It’s not a monopoly and if you are speaking anything resembling English it’s an an oligarchy either. And of course Apple products have been dropping in price as dramatically as all other electronics. The iPhone 5 is roughly the same price as the original iPhone, but the iPhone 5 is orders of magnitude better in quality and quantity.

          7. PeakTrader

            The Cost Of Apple’s High Price, High Margin Strategy
            Forbes
            5/06/2013

            “There is of course a cost to Apple‘s high price and high margin strategy: it sells fewer phones than it would if they were cheaper. This is not a revelation of course. But where it all becomes more complex is when we discuss profits: and making profit is of course the name of the business game.

            Profit is what it’s all about, not volume. The thing is though, when the iPhone first came out Apple had a great deal more market power than it does now. Yet it’s still, to some extent, using the structures and tactics it was when it had that greater market power. It’s possible, but only possible not certain, that relaxing some of those conditions could increase Apple’s sales and thus profits.”

          8. It’s possible, but only possible not certain, that relaxing some of those conditions could increase Apple’s sales and thus profits.

            A truly meaningless statement, but are you now complaining that Apple is not profitable *enough*?

            You should get on one side of that question and stick too it.

            Yes, Peakadoodle, there is no shortage of people like Worstall and Krugman ready to to tell Apple – one of the most innovative and successful companies ever – how they could be even more successful.

            I suspect that Apple has some pretty smart people already working on that.

          9. Ron,

            ” It implies that apple is doing something evil by not employing more workers.”

            And it also leaves out of the equation all of the wealth and jobs created by the thousands of independent apps that run on Apple devices.

          10. There is of course a cost to Apple‘s high price and high margin strategy: it sells fewer phones than it would if they were cheaper.

            So the laws of supply and demand work? Huh? How would have thought of that?

            And who cares if they sell less phones. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of smart phones to choose from. If you think the above quote somehow damns Apple as an oligarchy or a monopoly, then you don’t understand what those words mean. This is like damning Ford as having a monopoly because they’re the only ones who sell Ford Mustangs.

            Profit is what it’s all about, not volume.

            So? You do understand that they earn this profit by making people’s lives better, don’t you? Or do you simply think that people that by iWhatevers are just idiots throwing their money away?

            It’s possible, but only possible not certain, that relaxing some of those conditions could increase Apple’s sales and thus profits.

            If the statement “Profit is what it’s all about, not volume” is true, then don’t you think Apple considered that increasing Apple’s sales would increase profits?

            As always, you stand outside, and from a very far distance, and think you understand what people are doing and why. And in addition to that you know what those other people should actually be doing because somehow you think you’ve got some information that they don’t have. Your arrogance is quite astonishing. As is your lack of ability to make a coherent argument.

          11. Paul

            And it also leaves out of the equation all of the wealth and jobs created by the thousands of independent apps that run on Apple devices.

            That’s for sure. Mobile devices and apps are incredible tools. I sometimes wonder how we ever got along without them.

        2. And the answer is…Peak doesn’t know a political hack when he reads one.

    2. In other words, he no longer writes economics, only political hackery.

    3. Givemefreedom

      Calling Krugman a former economist is insulting to all economists because it implies that he was an economist at some point. He never used objective reasoning and logic to support his theories.

      His is the worst kind of economics, a perversion of economics to support political arguments and incite the masses. Pure crap in other words.

      1. GMF

        Actually, Krugman is a Very Smart Fellow, and in his former life as Dr. Krugman, was well respected in his field, and even won a Nobel Prize for some of his work on international trade.

        Somewhere along the line he went to the dark side and now merely spews drivel on the pages of the NYT as *Mr.* Krugman.

        It’s remembering his former shininess that makes his descent so poignant.

        Someone with his smarts and background surely must understand how disgusting his current pronouncements are.

        1. It is quite sad to see just how often Mr. Krugman contradicts Dr. Krugman.

          It’s also hilarious to see how current Mr. Krugman contradicts earlier Mr. Krugman now that a D is in the WH.

          1. It’s also hilarious to see how current Mr. Krugman contradicts earlier Mr. Krugman now that a D is in the WH.

            Heh! Isn’t that the truth! And he just MUST understand exactly what he’s doing. Whatever else, he’s not stupid.

            Hence the well-earned title Political Hack, I suppose.

        2. Givemefreedom

          I stand corrected Ron. If that is the case then he knows better and he is spewing this crap on purpose? That makes it even more disgusting.

          1. GMF

            That makes it even more disgusting.

            Exactly. Check him out at Wikipedia. It really is disgusting.

        3. Someone with his smarts and background surely must understand how disgusting his current pronouncements are.

          I guess that advocacy pays well and he likes the money. On that Krugman is not alone. Surely most of the promoters of the housing bubble, shale gas, or treasuries must know that the ultimate losses will be massive but you still hear the same voices hype up the same messages over and over again.

          I don't know if you ever watch CNBC but I have noticed that Peter Schiff, who was absolutely right about the housing bubble, is not asked to comment on many issues these days while the people who were wrong are still asked to appear and give their opinions. Why is it that the promoters of shale gas, who got the story so wrong are on time after time while skeptics like Arthur Berman, who got the story correct are never asked to appear?

          It seems to me that the American media is more interested in ad revenues that come from the companies that want their promotion narrative out than in telling viewers and readers what is actually going on. No wonder CNBC is losing viewers to internet sites that tell the truth. When I can get better financial commentary and analysis on Russian Television than on CNBC there has to be some problem with the financial media in the US.

          1. Givemefreedom

            Vangel,

            I think you are being too harsh on Dr. Perry. I see the issue as one of integrity. Dr. Perry has different beliefs on the subjects of shale gas and the housing recovery than you do. I tend to agree with him on those issues by the way.

            There is no evidence that Dr. Perry has compromised his intellectual integrity with those stances. I see no connection between the shale gas or homebuilding industry and Dr. Perry that might indicate a conflict of interest that could cause him to skew his postings. Furthermore his reasoning is sound and logical. It may turn out that he is wrong and you are right but it will not be because of a lack of integrity from Dr. Perry.

            Krugman has no integrity left. His pronouncements are have labeled him a political hack for very good reason and his conflicts of interest are clear and numerous.

            The contrast between them could not be clearer and to lump Dr. Perry in with Krugman is very unfair.

          2. craigers61

            The reason Shiff doesnt get hardly any air time is that there is a huge animus agaisnt the Austrian school of economics, or hadnt you seen that? Every left wing blog attacks them and eqautes Hayek with facism.

          3. The reason Shiff doesn’t get hardly any air time is that there is a huge animus against the Austrian school of economics, or hadn’t you seen that? Every left wing blog attacks them and equates Hayek with fascism.

            In my opinion, Hayek was actually a statist, which is the reason why the media, which ignorant of economics use him as the representative of the Austrian School. And from what I see neither the GOP nor the Democratic Party have a problem with National Socialism because both favor a partnership between industry and government.

            But this is still avoiding the issue. Why is the person who got things right being ignored while those that got it wrong are still being asked to spin their narratives and keep hyping the same bubbles over and over again? Investors care about returns, not about economic philosophy.

          4. PeakTrader

            Austrian economics isn’t mainstream economics. It shouldn’t go beyond the 10% it’s right about.

            And, Peter Schiff is a broken clock:

            12 Ways Schiff Was Wrong in 2008

            •Wrong about hyperinflation
            •Wrong about the dollar
            •Wrong about commodities except for gold
            •Wrong about foreign currencies except for the Yen
            •Wrong about foreign equities
            •Wrong in timing
            •Wrong in risk management
            •Wrong in buy and hold thesis
            •Wrong on decoupling
            •Wrong on China
            •Wrong on US treasuries
            •Wrong on interest rates, both foreign and domestic

          5. Austrian economics isn’t mainstream economics.

            Correct. Mainstream economics is for big government and against individual liberty, the opposite of what Austrian economics is about.

            It shouldn’t go beyond the 10% it’s right about.

            Only 10%? I think that you are very misinformed.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGDisyWkIBM

            12 Ways Schiff Was Wrong in 2008

            •Wrong about hyperinflation

            I don’t think that he is wrong about this. Hyperinflation is only visible near the end of the currency’s collapse. That hasn’t happened yet.

            •Wrong about the dollar

            Hardly wrong. He recommended gold because it would rise against the dollar. It has gone up around 50% since then and should go up several hundred percent more before the USD collapses.

            •Wrong about commodities except for gold

            Since he pointed out that the real economy would collapse I do not think that you understand much of what he has been saying.

            •Wrong about foreign currencies except for the Yen

            How? Schiff has pointed out that all fiat currencies will fail.

            •Wrong about foreign equities

            In the long term foreign equities will outperform the American stocks because most foreign countries are in better shape to withstand an economic shock than the US.

            •Wrong in timing

            Like Faber, Schiff has never been vocal about timing. He is sure of the end game but not about what time frame it will take place in because he cannot predict how desperate and stupid the central banks will be.

            •Wrong in risk management

            I do no think that he is. I would rather own the type of holdings he prefers over the next decade than USTs or US equities.

            •Wrong in buy and hold thesis

            BS. Trading always leads to losses for retail investors. Buying cheap and holding on until the bull market has run its course works much better.

            •Wrong on decoupling

            You may be right here. While the fate of the US will decouple from that of foreign markets that won’t happen until the central banks choose to go their own way. The way I see it, it makes a lot of sense for the Arab countries, Chinese, and Russians to keep playing the game until they manage to transfer most of the gold that has been sitting in Western warehouses to the East. From what I can tell that is exactly what is going on.

            •Wrong on China
            •Wrong on US treasuries
            •Wrong on interest rates, both foreign and domestic

          6. Austrian economics isn’t mainstream economics. It shouldn’t go beyond the 10% it’s right about.

            You must be referring to that 10% that is the economic basis on which everything else is built.

            You know – all that basic stuff you continually demonstrate you have no clue about.

          7. PeakTrader

            No, what I mean is Austrian economics should focus on the 10% it’s right about and discard the other 90%, which is a big pile of trash. It shouldn’t even go there, to subjects like the minimum wage, drug laws, natural gas exports, etc..

            And Peter Schiff predicted the S&P 500 would fall to 500 when a new cyclical bull market was underway, and also predicted a housing crash many years too early.

          8. No, what I mean is Austrian economics should focus on the 10% it’s right about and discard the other 90%, which is a big pile of trash. It shouldn’t even go there, to subjects like the minimum wage, drug laws, natural gas exports, etc..

            As I pointed out, the Austrians are right. You pulled your 10% number out of your arse and aren’t exactly known for your knowledge of economics. You are still giving us the statist Keynesian or Monetarist argument 99% of the time, which makes you wrong more than 90% of the time.

            And Peter Schiff predicted the S&P 500 would fall to 500 when a new cyclical bull market was underway, and also predicted a housing crash many years too early.

            One can only argue about what is seen, not about the timing. It is easy to spot a bubble if you know what you are looking at but you cannot predict how long it will take for that bubble to burst because that depends on many factors that are not possible to evaluate ahead of time. For example, we know that the current FHA, Fannie, Freddie, and Fed driven housing recovery will end just as badly as the previous one. But we do not know if the data will start showing a decline in three months or three years. And we know that shale producers will have to write down many of their wells no matter what happens to price because most of the gas and oil have already been produced but only a small part of the total cost has been acknowledged by the accountants. We know that Texas, LA, and a few states will see their gas production decline and that eventually any of the investments sunk into LNG export facilities will have to be written off. We know that electricity costs will have to rise sharply once the EPA forces many of the coal facilities to close down and gas prices have to rise. We know that the municipal bond market has to decline sharply as more and more cities and counties go under and have no chance of paying back creditors. We know that the treasury market has to collapse since there is no way to pay off the unfunded liabilities and debt in a $16 trillion economy. We know that the foreign entanglements have to end because the US cannot afford to spend more money on military activities than it takes in from personal income tax revenues. We know that all fiat currencies will lose purchasing purchasing power until they become worthless. What we do not know and cannot know is when that happens.

            I am sorry to bright this up again but your hose of economic worship is intellectually and logically bankrupt. Friedman is no better than Keynes and the world works in a way that they couldn’t imagine. If you want to understand you need a better education in economics.

          9. craigers61

            Vangel, great response, I always find that the people who disparage the ASE the most are those who have never read them fully. They read a blog or two or a book agaisnt them and then wont open thier minds to look at the facts in a balanced way. Their businesses cycle theory is the only one that explains it fully and fits the historical facts. Using ASE theory I myself predicted the crash. So I know first hand it works. I was only off by one year. Not bad when the “90%” had us with blue skies forever on the way to a Keynesian utopia and laughed anad called names when anyone rained on their monetary parade.

          10. Vangel, great response, I always find that the people who disparage the ASE the most are those who have never read them fully. They read a blog or two or a book agaisnt them and then wont open thier minds to look at the facts in a balanced way.

            Actually, I think that you give them too much credit. The anti-Austrian arguments come from Keynesians or Monetarists who usually distort the Austrian views and never bother to check their facts. Sadly, many are self-proclaimed libertarians who have not managed to explain how they can be libertarian and still argue for positions that are anti-freedom and pro-central-planning.

            Their businesses cycle theory is the only one that explains it fully and fits the historical facts.

            That is right. But you still have the Monetarists and Keynesians trying to argue for money printing and stimulus as legitimate tools that could be used to prevent the business cycle. Along this line of argument you might be interested in David Stockman’s commentary, Milton Friedman: Freshwater Keynesian. Stockman argues that, “…Friedman thoroughly misunderstood the Great Depression and concluded erroneously that undue regard for the gold standard rules by the Fed during 1929–1933 had resulted in its failure to conduct aggressive open market purchases of government debt, and hence to prevent the deep slide of M1 during the forty-five months after the crash.”

            He goes on to note that, “Yet the historical evidence is unambiguous; there was no liquidity shortage and no failure by the Fed to do its job as a banker’s bank. Indeed, the six thousand member banks of the Federal Reserve System did not make heavy use of the discount window during this period and none who presented good collateral were denied access to borrowed reserves. Consequently, commercial banks were not constrained at all in their ability to make loans or generate demand deposits (M1).” In short, things were not as many of the self-proclaimed experts thought that they were but we are still using misunderstanding as the basis of the official response to the current business cycle difficulties.

            Using ASE theory I myself predicted the crash. So I know first hand it works. I was only off by one year.

            The problem for most people on this site is that ASE theory predicts the end of the bond bubble. Since they do not want to even consider the implications they would rather try to marginalize the Austrians than deal with their arguments. What I find interesting is that most of the venom comes from supposedly free market friendly institutions like Cato.

          11. PeakTrader

            Ron, you know – or don’t know – all that trash you continually demonstrate, that you think you have a clue.

          12. Ron, you know – or don’t know – all that trash you continually demonstrate, that you think you have a clue.

            You need to look into a mirror my friend. Ron knows exactly what he is writing about and has seen exactly where you go wrong. The simple fact is that you are unwilling to acknowledge that he is correct and that what you think is so isn’t.

          13. It shouldn’t even go there, to subjects like the minimum wage, drug laws, natural gas exports, etc..

            Q. E. D.

            Thanks for making my point for me.

          14. PeakTrader

            Vangel, the fact that you believe Ron understands economics proves you don’t.

            Any reasonable person knows that anyway from your crackpot comments.

          15. Vangel, the fact that you believe Ron understands economics proves you don’t.

            Any reasonable person knows that anyway from your crackpot comments.

            What was crackpot about arguing that the US economy was dependent on credit dependent bubbles in financial assets and housing? What is crackpot about arguing that we have a huge bubble in the bond market? Or that gold will outperform fiat currencies? Or that for shale production to be sustainable it will have to be economic?

            You like to believe in fairy tales being told by the charlatans who promote worthless asset classes as they get rich from taking their cut of the commissions. I prefer to see reality as it is and act accordingly.

    4. craigers61

      To be a “former,” you had to be an economist to begin with at one time, which Klugman never has been. That’s probably the best epitaph for Klugman, “has been!”

  5. Kevin L

    The answer is simple: tax the upper 49% of income earners to subsidized the bottom 51%’s energy use. Then when they try to recoup their costs -for example, by paying lower wages – up the minimum wage and add more regulation. And if they try to move their operations to other countries, shame them, fine them, and double-tax them. Finally, they will close their businesses and join the dependent class and become good Democratic voters.

    1. craigers61

      LMAO, you have the left wing plan down perfectly! Only they think a pot of egalitarian gold lies at the end of their malfeasance. Socialism causes the very poverty and resource shortages that socialists claim that only socialism can cure. A true QWERTY system.

  6. Benjamin Cole

    Yes..except it it red-pink state Senators and Representatives who have pushed through ethanol, by federal edict, and that makes gasoline more expensive…and they are now pushing for windmills, as the Plains States have lots of flat, rural land perfect for socialized windmills…

    Really, I don’t think the GOP helps the poor, or the D-Party….

  7. PeakTrader

    “…policies that uniformly hurt poor people.”

    After the 2012 election, California Democrats won a supermajority in the State House and Senate. So, with a Democrat Governor, they now they can do almost anything they want, including eliminating the supermajority vote on regressive taxes.

    State gas tax rises 3.5 cents Monday
    06/29/2013

    “A tax increase without the usual 67 percent supermajority vote?

    The Legislature gave the tax board the authority to raise the excise tax by a simple majority vote.

    Nobody likes high gas prices — or taxes — and Californians are about to get hit with both when a 3.5-cent increase in the state gasoline tax kicks in Monday.

    That will give the Golden State the highest gas tax in the nation — nearly 72 cents a gallon.

    Taxable sales of gas in California have fallen from 15.9 billion gallons in 2006 to 14.6 billion gallons last year, a result of the recession and vehicles that get better mileage. That translated to a $157 million shortfall in revenue last year.

    And consumption of gas was down nearly 53 million gallons in the first two months of 2013, about a 2 percent decrease.

    California drivers are paying an average of $4.03 a gallon, up 23 cents from a year ago.”

  8. Krugman and all the other NYT op-ed writers are nothing more than puppets for the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. If Krugman came close to being unhyperbolean Sulzberger would find someone else (Jared Bernstein is waiting in the wings.)

    So, we should be lambasting Sulzberger not Krugman, et al.

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