Rhetorical Analysis of “The Very Bad Economic of Killing DACA” (P2)


I recently read a blog post authored by Paul Krugman, “The Very Bad Economics of Killing DACA,” published by The New York Times on September 5th, 2017. In this post Krugman states his opinions on DACA ending and what he believes would happen to the economy. Krugman’s main points state that the economy would suffer with DACA ending because of the decrease of the workforce.

Krugman uses tools such as pathos and ethos to make his point. However, he leaves out logos which could have made his argument more powerful.

His piece is strong from an emotional standpoint, but it needs more than just a strong voice to be effective. The article is lacking a strong logos appeal to back up the claims he is making.


Paul Krugman’s blog starts out with ethos due to him defending DACA right off the bat, with a blunt and sarcastic tone. “Trump’s decision to kill DACA — never mind the attempt to obscure things with that meaningless delay — is, first and foremost, a moral obscenity” (Paul Krugman), from this opening sentence we know that the rest of the writing will be in defense of DACA. Therefore right away it shows Krugman’s character of being on the ‘good’ side of the situation to the community that supports DACA. Also, he is a New York Times colonist which shows his creditability of knowing what he is talking about.


Secondly, Krugman is able to establish pathos in multiple ways. One being in the previous example, stating how he cares about what is happening to the DREAMers. Giving the readers a feeling of trust due to his thoughtfulness. The other way he shows Pathos is towards the end of the post where he uses a very sarcastic tone. “And what would make secular stagnation more of a problem? Hey, let’s expel hundreds of thousands of young people from the current and future work force” (Paul Krugman), this sarcastic tone that he uses does the same as his opening statement. It shows his stance on the situation and again shows his emotion on caring about what would happen to those who are affected. Which in turn gives the reader a reason to put trust and empathy within the reader for being on their side.


There is only one example of logos, but it is a very small one. “Their (the DREAMers) educational and behavioral profile, as Cato notes, doesn’t resemble the average immigrant, let alone the average undocumented immigrant” (Paul Krugman). From this quote we do see some evidence from another source, however, it isn’t one that is necessarily needed. What Krugman should have done is find some evidence that supports his two ideas of why the DREAMers help our economy. One being that the DREAMers help the decreasing working age workforce to pay taxes that contribute to Social Security and Medicare. However, he shows no evidence of a decreasing workforce. His second point is about secular stagnation, which he says once again will be affected by the predicted decrease of the workforce, but still no evidence for it.

How to Improve

Overall I think Paul Krugman’s blog post is a very powerful one due to his tone, and his use of ethos and pathos.Through his strong point of view on DREAMers being so important, he allows the reader to then put their trust within him. Showing how he is able to get their trust, along with establishing his credibility. However, his post could have been improved if he was able to add some supporting evidence that could have made his argument solid, while establishing logos.

Work cited

Krugman, Paul. “The Very Bad Economics of Killing DACA.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Sept. 2017, krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/the-very-bad-economics-of-killing-daca/?mcubz=0&_r=1.

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