In a rare shout-out to the hip-hop community, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in a New York Times article on Sunday that the current economic recovery is primarily being fuelled by rappers “using their vast sums of wealth to buy clothes and reimburse hoes for various services they provide. Also, a large percentage of their income is being spent on bling, houses, automobiles, and automobile accessories…Rappers are horrible savers, presumably because they associate more money with more problems.” Krugman goes on to attribute the remarkable comeback of the auto industry and the stabilization of the housing markets entirely to “rappers and their fans.” Says Krugman, “without rap culture, it’s likely that America would be a third-world country right now; it’s even possible we would find ourselves in the midst of a second civil war. Instead of criticizing the culture of hip-hop, we should be thanking it. Holler.”
Late Brooklyn-born rap legend Biggie Smalls was even cited in the article directly. “As Biggie once said, money, hoes and clothes, blunt smoke comin’ out the nose—is all a nigga knows. We should be thankful that niggas know about these things; I think we could all stand to learn a little on the subjects.” Although Krugman goes on to clarify that the smoking of blunts, up 42% from last year, has had a minimal effect on the economy. “The smokage of blunts,” he says, “while it has fueled the tobacco industry to some extent, and while it has boosted the black market profits of many a marijuana dealer, has also spawned a remarkable drop in productivity. Anyone who has blazed a fatty and sat paralyzed on the couch for two and a half hours will readily testify to this.”
The article goes on to use a number of boring, indecipherable graphs that Krugman claims serve to support his thesis, although only four people in the world are presumed to be capable of understanding them. One of the bolder claims the article makes is that Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package, while a good thing, is less responsible for the economic recovery than previously thought. The auto industry bailout didn’t hurt things either, but the reason American automakers are thriving again is because of a handful of rap stars with “racks on racks on racks.” Rack City, the metropolis where Tyga and a number of other rap artists now reside, is also mentioned as the epicenter of most of the recent economic growth.
Krugman is quick to point out that when he uses the term “recovery,” he does not mean the eponymous 2010 CD by the rapper Eminem—whom, incidentally, he cites as one of his idols—but rather an economic recovery. Krugman adds “Recovery did play a large role in the recovery, though. By the most conservative estimates, it helped to create 10 or 11 million jobs. Thank you, Mr. Mathers.”