Paul Krugman's Evolving Philosophy

The Nobel Prize winning economist chronicles his economic philosophy.
  • Transcript


Question: What is your economic philosophy?

Paul Krugman: I’m a liberal, and in the proper sense of it. I believe in we are our brothers’ keepers. Not in the sense of communism, but a wealthy, civilized country has an obligation to take care of its less fortunate, and to provide a safety net for everybody.

I believe in democracy in the broad sense, that we should have a shared political vision.

There was a time when I was very young when I flirted with conservatism. I think it’s a phase that people go through. You could see there were excesses; but it didn’t last very long.

And the only thing I would say is I don’t know that my politics have changed much, but I have become more political.

When I was in my 20s, maybe even when I was in my 30s, I could imagine that policy was really a matter of intelligent discussions between people and the best ideas would automatically prevail. And well, that’s not the way it is. There are discussions among intelligent people; but you have to do more than just; being right is nowhere near enough.

Recorded On: October 26, 2007.