Paul Krugman on What Shaped America

The great land of reinvention.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: What forces shaped America?

Paul Krugman: America is the great land of reinvention.  I mean it’s . . .  If there’s a consistent in the thing that makes it so great, it is that it was reinvented by successive generations – both from the immigrant experience, the frontier experience, the . . .  Most of us are not descendants of the original colonists, but of people who came, one way or another, to make themselves a better and different life.  And it’s always been innovative.  And there are negatives too.  One of the things that I wrote about in my book is the extent to which still America’s life is warped by the legacy of slavery, the original sin of our country.  But you know when . . .  All advanced countries now have a lot in common.  America has its virtues, its defects.  But what strikes me is how similar in the way the choices, the dilemmas, the positive things are across . . . across the advanced world.  We’re not . . . we’re not . . . we’re not that exceptional.