Nobody Understands Debt


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IHT GLOBAL OPINION | web clipping
OP-ED COLUMNIST

Nobody Understands Debt

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: January 1, 2012

In 2011, as in 2010, America was in a technical recovery but continued to suffer from disastrously high unemployment. And through most of 2011, as in 2010, almost all the conversation in Washington was about something else: the allegedly urgent issue of reducing the budget deficit.

This misplaced focus said a lot about our political culture, in particular about how disconnected Congress is from the suffering of ordinary Americans. But it also revealed something else: when people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least.

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A version of this op-ed appeared in print on January 2, 2012, on page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: Nobody Understands Debt.
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