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Paul Krugman explains economics to Stephen Colbert while riding a roller coaster for the first time

Economist Paul Krugman taught Stephen Colbert macroeconomics on a roller coaster
CBS / YouTube
Economist Paul Krugman taught Stephen Colbert macroeconomics on a roller coaster

Late night TV host Stephen Colbert has a theory that "a roller coaster is a perfect classroom." As he put it, "I think they keep you awake even while learning about something as dry as macroeconomics."

To test his theory, he asked Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman to join him on the Nitro roller coaster at Six Flags. Krugman agreed.

"Are you ready to explain economics to me in two minutes in 4Gs?" Colbert asked Krugman at the start of the ride.

Krugman's macroeconomics lesson was succinct. Here were three takeaways:

Colbert: Should I buy gold?
Krugman: No.

Colbert: Is money good or bad?
Krugman: Money good. Print much more of it.

Colbert: Do you think inflation can ever be good?
Krugman: Yeah, a little bit. It can be helpful.

Colbert took a stab at summing up what he had learned once the ride was over: "It seems like the economy is like a roller coaster in that it goes up, it goes down and occasionally makes me want to puke."

Krugman agreed, writing on Twitter afterwards that "it was indeed my first and I hope last time on a roller coaster."

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