PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
Paul Krugman supports Occupy Wall Street, but he has some ideas about its agenda.
I'm going to seriously date myself here, but last year when writing about the Occupy Movement and its intellectual allies, I chose the above photo of New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman specifically because it reminded me of the famous Playboy Interview and its equally famous triptych photo layout for interviews of famous people. I mean, this was where Jimmy Carter confessed that he had lusted after women in his heart.
The Playboy Interview with Krugman is a real treat, and not just because he confesses that he lusts after some members of Arcade Fire in his heart. Here's a taste:
I’ve gotten some grief for my remark that if it were announced that we faced a threat from space aliens and needed to build up to defend ourselves, we’d have full employment in a year and a half. But that’s true. Why couldn’t we do that to repair our sewer systems and put an extra tunnel under the Hudson instead of to fight imaginary space aliens? Everybody in the world except us is doing a lot of investment in infrastructure and education. This is the country of the Erie Canal and the Interstate Highway System. The Erie Canal was a huge public infrastructure project financed with no private or public-private partnership. Can you imagine doing that in 21st century America? We really have slid backward for the past 200 years from the kinds of things we used to understand needed to be done now and then. And all of that because we are shackled to the wrong ideas.
Space aliens! Nutty. But you get his point. And later in the interview, it gets more worrisome. Krugman isn't a guy who does upbeat. He really thinks we might need an alien-invasion-level event to get the economy going again. Basically because nobody listen to him (not enough, anyway) about more rational ways to get things going again.
A Playboy Interview of this caliber really does take me back. It's a boring old joke to say that you subscribe to Playboy for the articles. But when it came to the Playboy Interview, it was totally true! You didn't look. You read. Attentively.
Read this one. Obviously, some NSFW stuff around the margins. So be careful. But also consider yourselves excused.