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September 9, 2010
Public Nuisance at the New York Times
I have refrained from bashing Paul Krugman of the NY Times. Indeed, I barely mention him because I found him embarrassing to be included in the economics profession. He has become such a Public Nuisance,appearing in print and on TV expounding his particular brand of nonsense, that it is difficult to ignore this political opportunist any longer.
Mr. Krugman is an accredited economist, having won a Nobel Prize ostensibly for his work in that field. However, he is less an economist than a political hack supporting whatever liberal idea is currently in fashion. Mr. Krugman's work is in the public domain and easily accessible. It shows a chameleon-like form of economics, adjusting positions depending upon whether the economic policy or program was instituted by a "good" politician or a "bad" one. Good or bad economics can only be determined via objective reasoning. This valuation is independent of the pedigree of its promoter.
In today's internet world Mr. Krugman is frequently tripped up by past or contradictory positions. Most people are unaware that he was paid by Enron. Few understand the contradictions of his past positions with his present ones. A particularly egregious example, for someone who presumes to provide advice as to how to solve today's economic crisis, is his part in its creation. Pogoprinciple reveals how Mr. Krugman advocated the creation of a housing bubble back in 2002:
Between then and now, his advice got no better. The Pogoprinciple article concludes harshly:
It is not that Mr. Krugman is totally useless. He does serve several purposes:
* First he demonstrates the liberal mentality, probably better than any other economist (although he is not without a lot of competition).
* Second, he consistently demonstrates the absolute bankruptcy of Keynesian economics.
* Third, he (along with Obama, Gore, Arafat, etc.) demonstrates that anyone can win a Nobel Prize (or grow up to be President, a rich fraud or a world "leader") so long as you are ignorant or duplicitous and stay in step with the liberal marching band.
* Fourth, he demonstrates limited intellectual integrity as pointed out innumerable times in both print and blog articles.
* Fifth, he provides bloggers with more fodder than any other so-called economist.
* Sixth, he is a fool-proof divining rod for readers. If you encounter a columnist who respects Krugman or anything that he says, don't bother reading the column.
I am sure there may be other good qualities, but these should convince you of his value. Even the fourth item, is of value. It shows either or both of the following: a perfect example of the Peter Principle or a good example of how economists can be rented to say anything.
His most valuable attribute is number six. In a world where time, information and knowledge are scarce, Mr. Krugman, as a near-perfect contra-indicator, performs his most valuable service.
Perhaps the old Euripides quote should be rephrased for these times: Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make Keynesians. Or how about Nations whom the gods wish to destroy are first led by Keynesians.