by Chris White
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman claimed President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-global warming position “may doom civilization,” but leave the U.S. economy relatively unscathed.
Krugman, a professor of economics at the University of New York, told his legion of followers Monday Trump will almost certainly decimate the environment, yet have almost no effect on the economy in the short term.
“Installing Donald Trump in the White House is an epic mistake,” the Nobel Prize winner wrote at TheNYT. “It’s consequences in the long run may well be apocalyptic, if only because we have probably lost our last, best chance to rein in climate change.”
Even though his presidency will destroy the Earth, and tilt the world into chaos, a Trump administration’s reluctance to address climate change will probably not hurt the economy. Krugman wrote, “don’t be surprised if economic growth actually accelerates for a couple of year.”
He said economic downturn would probably not come until well into Trump’s first four years, mostly because major policy changes don’t show any ill-effects until several months, if not years, down the road.
Brexit was used as an example of a change in policy direction that won’t be felt for quite some time – in fact, he said, “wide spread predictions that it (Brexit) would cause a recession were, as some of us pointed out at the time, not really based on economic thinking.”
Krugman’s decision to hedge his bets on economic turmoil comes on the heels of a significant jump in Wall Street fortunes. Futures jumped after initially flatlining Election Day night, when it became apparent Trump would win the presidency.
The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 750 points.
Krugman decided to leap into the fray shortly thereafter, releasing a blog post in which he predicted these jitters represented a new permanent reality in the U.S. economy.
“It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?” Krugman said in his post. “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
He doubled down, suggesting that a recession was eminent.
“We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight,” he added. “I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”