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Paul Krugman: Prepare For Alien Invasion -- And Spend Our Way To Economic Recovery

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Paul Krugman proposes an interesting idea for wresting the country from economic doldrums: boosting spending as if aliens were a threat.
Paul Krugman proposes an interesting idea for wresting the country from economic doldrums: boosting spending as if aliens were a threat.

Economist Paul Krugman has a simple solution to America's economic woes: Prepare for an alien invasion.

Arguing that the United States successfully ended the Great Depression with government spending, he provided an interesting idea about how to replicate that economic feat on Tuesday at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, D.C.

"If you actually look at what took us out of the Great Depression," the Princeton University professor said in an interview with Chris Hayes of MSNBC. "It was Europe's entry into World War II and the U.S. buildup that began in advance."

"So if we could get something that could cause the government to say, ‘Oh, never mind those budget things; let’s just spend and do a bunch of stuff.' So my fake threat from space aliens is the other route,” Krugman said before a laughing crowd. “I’ve been proposing that.”

The Princeton professor and New York Times columnist is a well-known fan of science fiction, which might explain his imaginative plan to spur an economic recovery.

Krugman has offered up his space alien proposal before. Last year he told CNN about a "Twilight Zone" episode in which "scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace." He told CNN, "Well, this time ... we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus."

Check out some of Krugman's most memorable quotes:

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