The current situation, as Krugman explains, is based upon what is called an "inventory bounce." He writes:
Such blips are often, in part, statistical illusions. But even more important, they’re usually caused by an “inventory bounce.” When the economy slumps, companies typically find themselves with large stocks of unsold goods. To work off their excess inventories, they slash production; once the excess has been disposed of, they raise production again, which shows up as a burst of growth in G.D.P. Unfortunately, growth caused by an inventory bounce is a one-shot affair unless underlying sources of demand, such as consumer spending and long-term investment, pick up.It is interesting that Krugman brings up "long-term investment," because at the current time, we don't see businesses investing for the long haul, especially in this country. This is not due to myopia on part of business owners, but rather because we have a situation of what Robert Higgs in this excellent paper calls "regime uncertainty."
During the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration was openly hostile to business owners, forcing up taxes to confiscatory levels (FDR even tried to have a 100 % tax on all income above $25,000 a year), and making open threats to seize companies or force them to shut down. Now, this made him popular with lots of voters, as "populism" does seize upon the resentments of people.
If you notice, Obama is doing the same thing. Now that many of his initiatives are being beaten into the ground with the loss of the 60th Democrat in the U.S. Senate, he is resorting to Huey Long-style threats against private enterprise. No doubt, this will please the Paul Krugmans of the world, but it also means the end of long-term investment here.
And the end of long-term investment here means that businesses will try to keep current operations going but also are going to have an exit strategy, just as they had during the 1930s. However, during that decade, they did not have the option of investing in places like China, which has shown itself to be much more friendly to capital investment than the United States.
To a Keynesian like Krugman, I might as well be speaking gibberish. Keynesians believe that all that is necessary is for the government to print lots of money, make sure that people receive it, and then watch them spend. The more people spend, the more the economy magically grows, since in the Keynesian mind, all assets are homogeneous and spending is the yeast that makes the economic bread rise.
Remember, Krugman holds that investment is useful only because it is another mechanism for spending. The concept that capital investment means more production in the future, and creates the means for people to obtain a higher standard of living simply does not exist in the Keynesian thinking. It is always spending all the time.