One aspect of this interview that, I suspect, will soon be distorted by the right and libertarians in general is the exchange from 2.44–3.31.
It perfectly obvious that the exchange in which Krugman talks about space aliens is nothing but comedy, facetious remarks:
Bill Maher: So we need another Hitler? [laughs].The whole point of Krugman’s remarks is precisely that he wants spending on public infrastructure and social programs (“bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools”), and his comments on alien invasions are an attempt at a joke, which elicits laughs from the audience, as it was supposed to.
Krugman: I have actually suggested ...
Bill Maher: I am getting wrong?
Krugman: since it is hard to get people to do ... much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed ... I actually have a serious proposal, which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion, we have to do things like build highspeed rail. and .. and you know [laughs] ... And then once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.” But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the US government.
I have no doubt that we can now just sit back and watch as the libertarian and Austrian blockheads come out and distort these comments, and proclaim that Krugman is actually calling for a fake alien invasion.
Already we have an inkling of how they will treat it here.