What Border Crisis? Tone-Deaf Paul Krugman Suggests Immigration Surge ‘Secret’ to US ‘Success’

March 26th, 2024 1:08 PM

Somehow, New York Times economics propagandist Paul Krugman managed to one-up himself on his really bonkers Bidenomics hot takes.

Millions of illegal border crossings? Humanitarian crisis? No problem, suggested Krugman in his March 19 piece, “Are Immigrants the Secret to America’s Economic Success?” In his wild logic (if you even want to call it that), Krugman blathered how supposedly “the very surge in immigration that has nativists so upset has played a big role in increasing the economy’s potential.” Yes, he actually wrote that. Never mind the fact that foreign born employment is up at least 3.3 million above its pre-pandemic levels while native-born employment is 1 million beneath its pre-pandemic level. That’s apparently a win in Krugman’s view. Not once does the word “border” appear anywhere in his half-cocked column.  

Krugman downplayed the epidemic of crimes being committed by illegal immigrants crossing the border, and tried to spin one of President Joe Biden’s most damning indictments on his national security policies into a positive. “I’d still say that even if the migrant crime wave Trump and his allies harp on were real, and not a figment of their imagination (violent crime has in fact been plummeting in many cities) [sic].” Ah, but Krugman bypassed key context. The Council on Criminal Justice released a study in January 2024 showing that “Most violent offenses remained elevated in 2023 compared to 2019, the year prior to the outbreak of COVID and the widespread social unrest of 2020. There were 18% more homicides in the study cities in 2023 than in 2019, and carjacking has spiked by 93% during that period.” If that wasn’t telling enough, The Center Square also reported that “Hundreds of thousands of the migrants caught entering the U.S. have criminal records often including violent offenses.” 

But Krugman, staying true to form, spewed that “even if there weren’t growing evidence that immigration is helping the U.S. economy — indeed, that it may be a major reason for our surprising economic success.”

To say his argument is utterly ridiculous would be an understatement. The Heritage Foundation economist E.J. Antoni wrote in a Feb. 22 analysis, “With millions of such illegal aliens pouring across the southern border due to Biden administration policies, it makes sense that this would augment the workforce of foreign-born people here legally and boost employment numbers.” However, said Antoni, “That native-born Americans have made no progress in terms of job numbers in four years is a key reason why they view the economy so poorly, but it isn’t the only one.” Inflation-adjusted weekly earnings have plummeted at least 4.2 percent under Biden’s term in office, Antoni noted. 

What Krugman’s argument amounts to is essentially as follows, as Antoni described: “The benefits of ‘Bidenomics’ go to a few, and Americans as a whole come last.” But Krugman attempted to get ahead of this fact too by cherry-picking a Goldman Sachs chart allegedly showing no rise in native-born unemployment during the "immigration surge" to claim “that there is no good evidence that immigrants are taking away jobs from workers born in America.” He must have missed the fact millions of workers are still missing from the labor force.

Krugman even mischaracterized former President Donald Trump’s recent Ohio comments: “When we accuse a politician of dehumanizing some ethnic group, we’re usually being metaphorical. The other day, however, Donald Trump said it straight out: Some migrants are ‘not people, in my opinion. Well, in my opinion, they are people.’” Fact-check: Trump was specifically referring to MS-13 gang members, but Krugman’s not exactly known for including mitigating context when the ensuing narrative doesn’t fit his agenda.

That held true even for the data Krugman plastered in his piece to — ONCE AGAIN — gaslight readers into believing that Biden’s economy is a wonderland filled with heavenly-scented marigolds and daffodils. Krugman argued that post-pandemic, “real G.D.P. has risen by about a percentage point more than expected, while employment exceeds its projected level by 2.9 million workers.” But Krugman didn’t disclose that much of the so-called growth in GDP is being buoyed by the federal government taking on trillions of dollars in new debt (at least $6.6. trillion). Additionally, as Antoni told MRC Business, “There are a variety of ways to measure how” far the labor market is below its pre-pandemic trend, “but each of them shows that we’re missing at least 4.8 million jobs.” In fact, Antoni argued that “it seems more accurate to say Biden is short jobs than he has added them.”

But Krugman wasn’t finished. He proceeded to praise the Biden administration for its absurd policy stance of going “big on spending, probably contributing to a temporary burst of inflation but also helping to ensure rapid recovery — and at this point the inflation has largely faded away while the recovery remains.” 

Yes, Krugman is still blue-pilling himself with his long-since debunked “transitory” inflation argument despite admitting he got inflation wrong nearly two years ago. Add to the mindless drivel the fact that inflation-driven prices are over 17.6 percent higher than they were since Biden took office, and Krugman’s assertion that “inflation largely faded away” also blows up. A recent MarketWatch headline also undercuts Krugman’s position: “Inflation here to stay? U.S. could face unstable inflation for next decade, top investment pro says.” 

Hang it up, Krugman. No amount of gaslighting on America’s immigration crisis will get citizens to treat Biden’s economy like anything other than the decrepit monstrosity that it is. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact The New York Times at 800-698-4637 and demand it distance itself from Krugman’s awful takes on Bidenomics in the midst of America’s immigration crisis.