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Takeaway: Economic history refutes Paul Krugman. Again.

“A country without a memory is a country of madmen.”  

- George Santayana

My friend Jimmy Pethokoukis wrote this morning that while he doesn’t like Paul Krugman’s tone or personal attacks, Krugman's core economic point is correct in his recent piece, Non-inflation Denial.

I respectfully disagree with Jimmy. Krugman’s argument is a crock.

Krugman’s Crazy Math - krug

The NYT’s Nobelist is saying there is no inflation now, using the highest period of food price inflation ever recorded (2003-2012). Folks, food prices hit an all-time high in 2012—deflating Bernanke’s Bubble doesn't mean there's no food inflation.

In essence, Krugman is misrepresenting (aka “cherry picking”) the economic data by using a time period that doesn't show the actual truth about food inflation. He’s using a 10-year chart, instead of a 20 or 30-year chart. Some people call this lying.

Krugman really ought to take a look at our chart below.

History refutes him.

Krugman’s Crazy Math - Chart of the Day

Why did Krugman disguise the truth?

Perhaps he hopes Americans will forget history in lieu of his latest political narrative. Perhaps he hopes Americans don’t actually pump their own gas, shop for their own groceries, pay their own heating bills, pay their own visits to the doctor, pay for their childrens’ education, etc, etc.

Facts don’t lie; political people do.