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The Sunshine Economy

Why The U.S. Should Pay People To Dig Holes And Fill Them Up To Create Jobs

Tom Hudson

Paul Krugman is a lightning rod for economic criticism. He's used to it. For several years Krugman has argued in his New York Times columns for more government stimulus spending, not less.

The Nobel prize-winning Princeton economics professor has been among the loudest and most persistent critics of government spending cuts while the job market continues its stubbornly slow recovery. In short, he blames government job cuts for the lackluster economic recovery.

RELATED: Q&A With Paul Krugman: How Illiteracy In Economics Impacts U.S. Politics

But he hasn't found support for his strategy in Congress or in state and local governments. Instead, the public sector has continued shedding jobs even as private industry has been adding to payrolls.

Krugman argues private job growth would be much more robust if governments were adding workers even to do meaningless labor, for example (in his words) digging holes and filling them up again), because it would add consumer spending to the overall economy. Miami-Dade and Broward counties together have cut 5,700 jobs since 2008.

We spoke with Krugman on the sidelines of his EconED 2013 conference lecture to economic professors at FAU's Davie Campus.

In a journalism career covering news from high global finance to neighborhood infrastructure, Tom Hudson is the Vice President of News and Special Correspondent for WLRN. He hosts and produces the Sunshine Economy and anchors the Florida Roundup in addition to leading the organization's news engagement strategy.