Paul Krugman on Capitalism and Waste

Is American capitalism inherently wasteful?

Paul Krugman: Well capitalism … is always somewhat wasteful.  As is . . .  Well you know all systems are wasteful.  But ours has some serious . . . everything from the vast sums that insurance companies spend trying to not cover people who are likely to have high costs and so on.  I’m not sure.  I don’t think the differences are as large.  If you asked how different philosophically is American capitalism from French capitalism, it’s much less than people imagine.  There are big differences in the policies, but those are more historical legacies than the fundamental philosophies.  So no, I’m certainly not an America basher on these things.  In many ways our, you know, entrepreneurial spirit is . . . is something very admirable.  And we do . . .  The fact of the matter is we do do a lot to take care of the less fortunate; just not enough by my standards.

 

All capitalism is to some extent wasteful, but America, says Krugman, is especially so.

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Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
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