Baruch College Hosts Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman Who Says We Are Getting Change -- Slowly
(New York, NY, Friday, Dec, 11, 2009) Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman told an overflow crowd at Baruch College, "We are getting better as a country ... we have become more enlightened, more tolerant and open.” Delivering the 14th annual Donald H. Smith Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday night, Krugman struck a note of qualified optimism as he answered his own question, "Are We Getting the Change We Need”?
Asserting that the U.S. still has a long way to go to overcome a centuries-old legacy of slavery and racism and achieve a more just and egalitarian society, Krugman predicted that, "the next few years will be tough." While last year’s economic crisis has been "contained,” Krugman suggested that the recovery would be slower and more painful than people think. On the other hand, he was relatively optimistic about the health care bill currently wending its way through Congress. "It will be a mess,” he said, but even so, a vast improvement over what exists now. The current irony, he noted, is that, "We spend a lot of money making sure people who need health care don’t get it.”
Characterizing President Obama’s election as a wonderful watershed moment in U.S. history, Krugman noted that, despite some recent political souring, "People in this administration are not evil and not stupid. That’s a big improvement.”
Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, Krugman is also a columnist for The New York Times and a prolific author, most recently of the best seller, The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008.
A lively Q & A session followed Mr. Krugman’s talk.
Contact: Zane Berzins