… is from pages 149-150 of Paul Krugman’s March 1993 speech “Challenging Conventional Wisdom,” as it is reprinted in Krugman’s vital 1996 collection, Pop Internationalism:
If I try to decide what the shape of the newly emerging conventional wisdom is, it seems to be one that places a totally unjustified weight on the importance of international competition in creating problems for the U.S. economy, both in terms of employment in the short run and growth in the long run.
Krugman’s prediction from 23 years ago certainly describes well the conventional ‘wisdom’ that infects today’s U.S. presidential campaign. Politicians, of course, are expected to sink into, and flop around in, the muck of protectionism: many voters seem to prefer candidates who are smeared in such ignorance and who peddle it as an essential ingredient in a magic economic elixir. What’s unexpected – and deeply disappointing – is that Krugman, of all people, is now giving aid and comfort to the enemies of globalization.