Krugman as Failure: A look back…

Oct 15, 2012 by

Joe Costello

Joe Costello

Roosevelt Institute Braintruster, NewDeal2.0

Posted: April 2, 2010 01:14 PM


We were warned the NYT‘s Nobel Laureate was going to start talking about “financial reform.” If you look over Mr. Krugman’s blog, he’s even reading some things about finance and monetary history. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, it would be good for the country if we all did. However, you’d think a guy who won a Nobel for economics already knew something about the financial industry, but you’d be thinking wrong.

Mr. Krugman’s really fond of little thought experiments, in fact he’s gone almost as far to say economics is nothing more, and he’d be right about that. So, let me give you a take on how Paul’s financial reform advocacy will go:

First few columns: “These bankers are greedy bastards and Wall Street really needs to be fundamentally changed.”

Next few columns: “We really need this, this, and this. It’s imperative, to do anything else would be a sham on the American people and destructive to the American economy.”

Columns once the bill is pretty much intact: “All this is not nearly enough, they didn’t do anything, but there’s still time to make a couple good changes.”

Columns once it’s clear even to Mr. Krugman the Democrats are in the tank for Wall Street and nothing good is going to come of it: “Well, this isn’t a great bill, but we need to hold our nose and vote for it, to do nothing will be fatal for November.”

Column when bill is passed: “This is historic, the Democrats are just great, we can improve it in the future.”

OK, so maybe in the past when I’ve labeled Mr. Krugman a hack, I was a little hard. Maybe in the end he’s just a good Democrat. After all, there have been no greater advocates of global corporatization and “free trade” than Mr. Krugman and much of the Democratic party. So, maybe the most disconcerting recent babble to emerge from the Nobel Laureate is his advocacy of a 25% “surcharge” on goods imported from China — the Krugman Tariff. However, Mr. Krugman won’t call it a tariff because that flies directly in the face of everything he’s been advocating for the past three decades, getting him his prestigious perch at the NYT. I won’t say his Nobel, that was for hounding W.

Now, I’d like to direct you to a scathing, sniveling little review Krugman wrote fifteen years ago on Bill Greider’s most excellent One World Ready or Not. Greider’s book documents the ravaging of the American middle-class caused by the processes of corporate globalization. Krugman counters with a ludicrous little tale about hot dogs, and then proceeds to defend it pushing all the pop-economic theory of the day. By so doing, an economist was bestowed with money and pats on the head from the mega-corporate boardrooms; you know, like the money Paul was paid working for Enron. According to the Nobel Laureate, replacing good paying steel jobs with McDonald’s jobs was just great. Today, fifteen years later, Mr. Krugman’s contradicting what he’s been saying his entire career, while Greider, no back page of the NYT for him, was right all along.

Mr. Krugman represents the most serious problem this republic currently faces. Power has lost all accountability. From the top of government, to media, to finance, to our large corporations, we’ve seen spectacular failure, and no one held accountable. It’s a lot bigger problem than the fact that Paul Krugman is really a very silly man. Instead of reading Krugman, try Greider’s Come Home America, it has some actual thought about our predicaments.

Crossposted with Archein.

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