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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Paul Krugman gets death wrong

Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman proved once again the worthlessness of both academic awards and economics in his column, "America’s Red State Death Trip. Why does falling life expectancy track political orientation?"

Spoiler alert: It doesn't.

His argument is that people in red states are fat, poor, and have a lower life expectancy than people like him who live in blue states.

He wrote, "Democratic-leaning areas used to look similar to Republican-leaning areas in terms of productivity, income and education. But they have been rapidly diverging, with blue areas getting more productive, richer and better educated. In the close presidential election of 2000, counties that supported Al Gore over George W. Bush accounted for only a little over half the nation’s economic output. In the close election of 2016, counties that supported Hillary Clinton accounted for 64 percent of output, almost twice the share of Trump country."

It is interesting how he described income disparity. It is not that the people in blue states have higher incomes.

No, no, no.

Krugman said people in blue states are "more productive, richer and better educated."

Now apply that language to white people in comparison to people who are Hispanic or black. I dare Krugman to write white people are more productive, richer and better educated.

Onward our bearded soldier went, writing, "The thing is, the red-blue divide isn’t just about money. It’s also, increasingly, a matter of life and death."


He wrote, "I looked at states that voted for Donald Trump versus states that voted for Clinton in 2016, and calculated average life expectancy weighted by their 2016 population. In 1990, today’s red and blue states had almost the same life expectancy. Since then, however, life expectancy in Clinton states has risen more or less in line with other advanced countries, compared with almost no gain in Trump country. At this point, blue-state residents can expect to live more than four years longer than their red-state counterparts."

4 years.


The life expectancy at birth for white people is 78.9 years. For black people, it is 75.4 years.

3 1/2 years.

Let us try this again.

Krugman wrote, "Beyond that, there has been a striking divergence in behavior and lifestyle that must be affecting mortality. For example, the prevalence of obesity has soared all across America since 1990, but obesity rates are significantly higher in red states."

Oh my.

CDC reported, "Hispanics (47.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%) had the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by non-Hispanic whites (37.9%) and non-Hispanic Asians (12.7%)."

If Krugman believes red states are inferior because of income level, education level, life expectancy, and obesity, then what does Krugman think of black people?

And is he saying Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin became fat and lazy between 2008 went they supported Obama and 2016 when they helped elect Donald John Trump president?

Maybe Obama made those 8 states so miserable that they voted for President Trump.

And if red states are so miserable, how does he explain why Texas and Utah are the fastest growing states by population?

Meanwhile, Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia are the only 3 states to lose population since 2010. The first 2 are blue states while West Virginia is the Trumpiest state in the whole USA.

But the biggest question for Krugman is this: why are the "more productive, richer and better educated" people in blue state New York moving to red state Florida?

Krugman writes for Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's New York Times. I do not link pay sites.

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