New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Wednesday broke down President Donald Trump's fundamental misunderstanding of the current opioid crisis -- and he said this misunderstanding will have potentially horrific consequences.
Writing on Twitter, Krugman explains that Trump's understanding of the drug crisis is straight out of the old "War on Drugs" mindset that engulfed American policy thinking in the 1970s and 1980s.
"What's so striking about Trump's 'response' to the opioid crisis -- aside from the fact that he's doing nothing about it except promising to kill people -- is that his vision of the problem is stuck in the 1970s," he writes. "He talks about it as if it was all about drug dealers, probably illegal immigrants, operating in big cities -- especially, of course, sanctuary cities -- and selling stuff smuggled in from Mexico."
In reality, writes Krugman, the opioid crisis is particularly acute in rural parts of the country, where people were originally hooked on legal painkillers pushed by drug companies before making the switch to cheaper, more readily available heroin.
"The key pushers in the epidemic are pharma companies," he explains. "But the idea that at least this piece of 'American carnage' is mainly about white people and greedy businesses just doesn't fit into Trump's vision of the universe, where the bad guys are always dark-skinned."
Read the whole thread below.
What's so striking about Trump's "response" to the opioid crisis -- aside from the fact that he's doing nothing abo… https://t.co/lhpmzHc9EV— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman)1521641672.0
Reality: the three worst states for opioid deaths are West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Ohio 3/ https://t.co/XQty0t9Bw0— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman)1521641846.0
But the idea that at least this piece of "American carnage" is mainly about white people and greedy businesses just… https://t.co/dGu17x5hB5— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman)1521642107.0