Paul Krugman: Advice for Obama Job Summit Transcript

Paul Krugman: Advice for Obama Job Summit Transcript

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh DialoguesPaul Krugman, Alison van Diggelen-Fresh Dialogues Interview

This exclusive interview with Paul Krugman was recorded on November 12, 2009 in SiliconValley. Dr. Krugman was in town to deliver a lecture as part of the Foothill College Celebrity Forum Series. Here are some transcript highights. To listen to the interview click here and or watch video.

Alison van Diggelen: Paul thank you very much for joining me on Fresh Dialogues.

Paul Krugman: OK. Good to be doing this.

Alison: Last night, you talked in your lecture of your concern about the unemployment rate. It’s very high and moving higher. In light of Obama’s announcement today about the job summit in DC in December, do you have any advice specific advice for Obama administration, particularly for green jobs?

Paul: Well OK, green jobs I think is going to be a much harder thing to get going. That’s going to take time. That really waits on climate legislation which we won’t get till next year, if we’re lucky. 

What he needs to do is get some actual targeted job measures, we need some policies that are aimed at encouraging job creation directly: probably a job tax credit and maybe some subsidies for firms that hang on to jobs. We can learn a little bit from European countries (like) Germany which have been relatively successful in containing the job losses…We just have to get something going…. If I had my druthers, if there were no limits politically, I’d say actually let’s just have a really massive second stimulus plan to get the economy going, but since that’s not going to happen we need some measures that are cheaper, don’t maybe do as much for GDP but create a lot of jobs…

Alison: You said last night he’s been too cautious, Obama has been doing things in half measures. What advice would you give him at this stage?

Paul: This jobs summit can’t be an empty exercise…he can’t come out with a proposal for $10 or $20 Billion of stuff because people will view that as a joke. There has to be a significant job proposal…

 Alison: Do you have a minimum he aught to spend?

Paul: There’s no hard and fast number, but if it isn’t several hundred billion dollars…OK, probably it’s not going to be as big as the first stimulus bill and not going to be as big as I think it should be… But I have in mind something like $300 Billion, you could do quite a lot that’s actually targeted on jobs.

Alison: Paul Krugman, thank you very much I really appreciate your taking the time.

Paul: Thank you so much.

Check back soon for more interview segments in which Paul Krugman discusses China, Climate Change and clean technology, the stimulus package, and why he prefers cap and trade over a straight carbon tax.  He also explains what gave him that “missionary zeal” to write such fervent columns in the New York Times. To check out more exclusive Fresh Dialogues interviews, click here