On August 7th, 33 Chilean miners were trapped 2300 feet underground. They were located 17 days later. The problem was – how to get them out? The Chilean Government contacted the Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman for advice.
“Keynesian theory dictates that you dig a hole in the ground – a big hole - and that you keep on digging.” The Chilean Government took his advice. Finally, on the 12th of October, the trapped workers were reached and the rescue started. On learning the good news, Paul Krugman was ecstatic. “We have been waiting 75 years. Now, finally, we have an unequivocal vindication of Keynesian economic theory.” He added –“as a further bonus, Keynesian Economic Theory predicts a massive stimulus to the economy when the hole is filled in.”
Flushed with the success of this venture, Paul Krugman was asked whether he saw any domestic application. “Actually, I have already been on the phone to the governors of Kentucky and West Virginia to see if we could dig a hole and rescue workers trapped down a coal mine. Obviously, we cannot deliberately trap workers down a coal mine – we would need volunteers. So far The United Mine Workers of America will endorse the idea provided that the workers are paid extra for overtime, night shifts, and weekend in accordance with the Union Contract. They would also require paid time off for all accumulated breaks while the workers were trapped underground.
In West Virginia the governor suggested that the unemployed could volunteer to be trapped underground. “We have a growing problem with unemployment in the state. This would reduce our unemployment numbers – it is hard to claim that you are “actively looking for work” when you are trapped 2000 feet underground.”
However, this plan has run into stiff resistance from the UMWA and Democrat politicians running for re –election. A Union spokesperson said – “this is union work – all the unemployed would need to join the union.” An anonymous Democrat Congressman was quoted as saying – “kick-backs from union dues are a major source of political contributions to democrats – we are desperate – we need this money now – we don’t have much time left – we are behind in the polls – the election is only weeks away.”
Meanwhile, OSHA has been getting involved – they claim that they will need a plan and will need to review and study the plan before they can give their approval, and this will take time.
The Governor of West Virginia is furious – “our State economy is in the tank and we need this stimulus now, not later. I am going to ask President Obama to sign an Executive order to fast-track this project”.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Krugman's Excellent Mine Rescue
While I am doing my day job work, I have decided to post a report from Mike Davis, who is Johnny-on-the-Spot with the latest stimulus idea from Paul Krugman. Take it away, Mike!!