Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman as Intellectual Shut-In. Plus, "Libertarian Populism."

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My new column in The Daily Beast argues that Paul Krugman 

has attained that rare level of eminence where he doesn't even have to engage the very opponents he dismisses as beneath contempt. Like Kurtz in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, he just needs to wave his hand, mumble vague abjurations, and rest assured his devoted minions will finish his work for him….

This is exemplified by his recent discussion of "libertarian populism," during which he starts yammering on about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for some reason. From the Beast column:

Had Colonel Krugman ventured outside his ideological compound, he might have happened upon the writings of Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner. To the extent that libertarian populism has a policy agenda, it's mostly thanks to Carney, who likes to write books attacking right- and left-wing crony capitalists. He's libertarian in that he consistently believes that freer markets function more fairly and more efficiently, and he generally thinks people should be left alone when it comes to economic and personal freedom (he's not an absolutist on most things). He's populist in that he is basically obsessed with what he sees as concentrations of power and wealth among elites who rig markets, status, and more against the little guy….

You can take or leave some or all of Carney's libertarian populism…but to confuse it with Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity is a sign that Krugman needs to get out more often. Intellectual shut-ins are a dime a dozen these days, and they all stink just as bad as the next one.

Read the whole piece.

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  1. It’s not Krugman’s fault. He’s obviously autistic, because bush.

  2. Calling Krugman an intellectual is like calling Michael Moore an auteur. Technically you could do it, but we all know it really doesn’t apply, no matter how much their sycophants want it to be true.

  3. n a blog post meditating on why he is always right (a curse, really, I’m sure), Krugman briefly considered the remote possibility that he was stacking the deck by either unfairly cherry-picking data or opponents to his own advantage.

    A world in which Krugman is actually always right is a world that I have no desire to be a part of.

  4. Krugman takes it as a point of pride that he doesn’t read his opponents’ arguments. He has admitted this. Responding to an attack by Krugman on your political beliefs is therefore pointless for two reasons:

    1. He clearly has no idea what your beliefs are because he’d rather re-read The New Industrial State or The Affluent Society for the 7000th time than understand his opponents

    2. He’s not going to read your response to his attacks because that would interfere with his reading The New Industrial State for the 7001st time.

    1. It’s more petty than that; if he read his opponents arguments, he’d be challenged to rebut them, which is pretty impossible. If he tried, he’d just look like an idiot and lose favor with anyone that might still buy into his bullshit.

      It’s kinda like the GZ trial in a way. The only thing Zimmerman could’ve done by taking the stand is hurt his case; so just say nothing.

      1. When you decide that you will grow up to control the world’s economy because you read a sci-fi book when you were 13, there’s a good chance that intellectual honesty will not be one of the hallmarks of your career.

        1. And to think, I used to like Asimov….

          1. Well, that’s not fair – how could he have known that someone would actually try to put that crap into practice?

            1. If he had studied his psychohistory enough, he would have!

              /Kruggie

          2. I like Asimov, but I always thought found Hari Seldon and his psychohistory to be very unsettling. Maybe because I instinctively realized that a certain type of asshole might think it was a real thing.

            In think this finally explains something that has puzzled me about Krugman, though. I’m convinced that he often knowingly lies (not surprising) but what’s strange is that he’s glib, almost gleeful about it. Now I get it. In his mind he’s Hari Seldon, telling his scientific lies and creating a better future.

        2. Is this part of Krugman’s story or a joke? I honestly won’t be surprised if it is actually real.

          1. Mostly true; couldn’t really read until he was 15, so there’s that…

            1. Well, I appreciate the evidence, and I got to here:

              I didn’t grow up wanting to be a square-jawed individualist or join a heroic quest; I grew up wanting to be Hari Seldon, using my understanding of the mathematics of human behaviour to save civilisation.

              and almost vomited. That’s all.

              1. This is really the antithesis of every quality I respect in my fellow humans.

                1. I respect this part:

                  using my understanding of the mathematics

                  Knowing math is always good. It’s just that other human beings are not a collection of numbers that you can just plug into an equation and get the desired output. He basically denies the very existence of human agency, except the agency of technocrats and economists like himself.

                  1. He basically denies the very existence of human agency, except the agency of technocrats and economists like himself.

                    Asimov’s robots are given more agency than your average human.

                  2. Yes, I respect understanding mathematics as well (my field is quantitative). I certainly didn’t mean to disparage that. But I suppose it’s the lack of recognition of human agency that caught my eye.

                    1. What modern leftists are is essentially a cargo cult of math and science worshipers. They assume math can solve every problem if you just figure out the proper equations, but they don’t realize that not everything is capable of being quantified.

                      In the case of economics, you’re talking about such a massive number of moving parts that the very idea of coming up with an equation to control those parts is ludicrous. You’d have an easier time counting to infinity.

                    2. What modern leftists are is essentially a cargo cult of math and science worshipers. They assume math can solve every problem if you just figure out the proper equations, but they don’t realize that not everything is capable of being quantified.

                      Yep. Many of them replace a faith in religion with a faith in science and math, and in so doing really ruin what is great about science and math- it’s not faith based!

                    3. Many of them replace a faith in religion with a faith in science and math, and in so doing really ruin what is great about science and math- it’s not faith based!

                      Actually what the believe in is government action. They use pseudo-scientific arguments to support and or argue for that belief but will quickly jettison science that challenges those beliefs.

                    4. I wish that were true,
                      they frequently ignore math when it comes to the debt

                      it’s basic math to understand that this country does not have $500,000 / person, even over the next 50 years. Leftists can’t seem to do this math

                    5. It’s also basic math that we are already one of the top spending countries on the planet and any claim otherwise is a blatant lie. Per citizen we don’t spend much less than Norway.

                    6. Progressives are the astrologers of the real world. They think they can bark orders, powerpoint statistics, and pass laws, and it will impress the rubes without having to do any actual hard work.

                    7. Yes, I respect understanding mathematics as well (my field is quantitative). I certainly didn’t mean to disparage that. But I suppose it’s the lack of recognition of human agency that caught my eye.

                      I wasn’t disagreeing, just pointing out that Krugabe’s literary hero, Asimov, treats humans like numbers in the Foundation novels, while at the same time, giving mechanical beings agency. Krugman doesn’t see this contradiction.

                    8. He was replying to me, but threading made it look like he was replying to you.

                    9. He was replying to me, but threading made it look like he was replying to you.

                      The Spectre of P Brooks wins again.

                    10. Actuary.

              2. He has a delusional messiah complex in addition to being a raving, bearded narcissist.

                I always wonder whether or not his followers realize that they’re just tools with which Krugman strokes his own ego.

                1. You are wrong. It was suggested some time ago, right here on these pages, that he is in fact a Dadaist performance artist provoking the idiocy of the left out into the light.

                  I prefer to believe that over him actually believing the things he says.

                  1. You are wrong. It was suggested some time ago, right here on these pages, that he is in fact a Dadaist performance artist provoking the idiocy of the left out into the light.

                    The Andy Kauffman of our day then?

                    1. No, not Andy Kauffman. More like the guy who “earned” an MFA by throwing pieces of raw meat at a crucifix, while blasting Slayer from a boombox covered in pig feces. That kind of performance art.

                    2. Yes. Any minute now he’s going to start singing “Here I come to save the dayyyy!!!”

                  2. You are wrong. It was suggested some time ago, right here on these pages, that he is in fact a Dadaist performance artist provoking the idiocy of the left out into the light.

                    Tim Cavanaugh made the argument once that Keynes’ General Theory on Yada Yada was really a modernist era work of literature disguised as an economic treatise. My own familiarity with it comes from reading the Failure of the New Economics, where Hazlitt goes in depth about the allusive, changing meaning of words in that text. Keynes was certainly sophisticated enough to pull that off, but not someone as witless as Krugman.

              3. “I grew up wanting to be Hari Seldon”

                So he should be confined to a wheel chair and have almost all his followers exiled?

              4. That’s about the exact point I read to before snickering and closing the window.

            2. Keeping that in mind, here’s a comment on Nick’s opinion piece.

              The thing that fantasy mongers like Nick Gillespie hate the most about Krugman is that he’s been proven correct time after time.

              While Nick deals in goofball fantasyland Krugman deals in the real world.

              1. The Japanese have spent 20 years trying every trick in the Keynesian book to get their economy going again. They have failed over and over. Meanwhile, they have collected debt that is equal to 230% of their GDP.

                The idea that Krugman deals in the real world is ludicrous.

                1. Duh, the Japs don’t have Krugabe. See? It’s just not the right Top Men.

                  1. Japs?

                    You would think that they would build their own…more precise and efficient than ours….and cheaper!

          2. No joke. He’s that much of a narcissist.

        3. But remember: It’s libertarians who base their world views on science fiction that they read as teenagers.

          1. I kinda snickered as I thought about that too.

          2. The difference being, they read the Foundation series, We and 1984 as instruction manuals instead of cautionary tells.

            1. tales — that was very tailing, or, telling.

      2. I’d like to suggest some winning arguments Krugman could borrow from his fellow travelers to rebut his opponents:

        1. What difference, at this point, does it make?
        2. Are you serious? Are you serious?
        3. No one needs that much money.
        4. You didn’t build that.

        And he still won’t have to read his opponents arguments to find out what’s in them.

  5. The first comment at the Daily Beast attacks The Jacket

    1. That’s because Paul Krugman’s fans are raving cultists. No one can be allowed to mock The Prophet.

    2. Why in Galt’s name would you read the comments? Don’t you know the First Rule of the Internet?

      1. Sadist?

        I couldn’t tolerate the stupid after reading about 5 honestly.

      2. Poor Impulse Control. I read the first and split.

      3. Isn’t that the one about any type of porn you can imagine already exists?

        1. That’s Rule 34. If you can imagine it, there’s porn of it.

          1. Then the first rules is 1) Do not talk about rules 2-33?

            1. They’re not rules really, more like guidelines.

          2. I actually found an exception to rule 34. That is something that there appears to be no porn version of.

            Unfortunately, I can’t tell anyone else what it is, because I know that as soon as I draw attention to the fact it’s an exception, someone will start making a porn version of it.

            1. If you read the comic, this is actually how Rule 34 is implemented.

      4. To see if his other audience is as critical as ours. They don’t lay a finger on him. Pathetic really. One believed that because Nick isn’t a liberal who fawns over Krugman he must be a fundie riding the back of a dinosaur.

    3. The Jacket hasn’t been seen in a while. I’d be very careful running my mouth about it. It could be waiting for you already.

    4. most of the comments attack the jacket, which is par for the course in a commentariat that makes DailyKos look like a think tank.

      1. The Daily Beast can’t go bankrupt soon enough, as far as I’m concerned. The only parts of that ship worth saving are McCardle and Gillespie.

        1. McArdle’s going off to Bloomberg, ya know.

          So…just the Jacket and a bunch of whiney illiterates.

    5. The commenters there seem obsessed with the idea that Gillespie is a republican (or “repuke” as the adults at the table say).

      Jeeze, I thought he was a cocktail swilling communist spreading the cosmotarian word among the gullible.

      1. Are they seriously calling him a ‘repuke?’ Sweet Jesus, leftists are unbelievably childish.

        This shouldn’t surprise me since liberals seem to have an incessant need to lurch from one pants wetting tantrum to another, but it just amazes me how someone could grow to adulthood and remain so infantile.

        1. IT’S MINE!!!!

          Yeah – you made the money all by yourself. Bwaaahahaha!

          From now on, when you take a crap, keep it in your own back yard.

          And don’t drive on the roads I’ve paid for. And don’t use the court system I pay for. And don’t fly in the skies that are regulated by people I pay for.

          You live in a fantasy world.

          *STAMPS FEET*

          1. They never seem to consider that we’re not arguing that we shouldn’t pay for roads or sanitation systems. If we paid just for those things that all of us use (roads, sanitation, national defense) we could pay about 1/100,000 of what we pay now.

            Almost all government spending is direct payments to various groups, not roads or sanitation.

            1. Yep, completely correct. If you were to simply get the government out of the welfare business, you’d pay off the accrued national debt within a decade. But that’s the moral equivalent of sending anyone who is over 70, a single parent, or a high school dropout to the gas chamber and therefore unthinkable.

          2. It’s just a cut at the pass preemptive argument to distract from it being pointed out that socialist are parasites and not producers, and in their hearts, they know they are.

          3. “And don’t fly in the skies that are regulated by people I pay for.”

            This doesn’t even come close to making sense.

            Do they think the sky somehow magically stops working if there isn’t a government official “watching” it?

        2. Yeah, not like the mature commenters here, who never resort to childish insults like “repuke”.

          1. I’m always glad when you grace us with your presence. When you aren’t here, I miss your mindless sarcastic little rejoinders, your half-assed, poorly thought out attempts to catch someone else in the most minor intellectual fallacies, your smug, whiny little tantrums about the Tea Party.

          2. “Yeah, not like the mature commenters here, who never resort to childish insults like “repuke”.”

            Do you really think you’re covering yourself in gory with this?

  6. I think Krugman is actually intelligent enough to know damn well that all he is doing is providing a narrative to confirm the world view of his readers, reality be damned.

    1. I think someone has convinced him he’s a guest star on Fantasy Island.

    2. Krugman checked out 15 years ago. He’s been in retirement, collecting paychecks for baseless bloviation and royalties for affixing his name to the textbooks his wife writes. And his sycophants eat it up.

    3. That’s absolutely true. If you read what he writes when writing for a technical audience (economists), he contradicts what hr writes in his columns. He’s not stupid. He’s dishonest.

      1. Like when he wrote a textbook which talks about how welfare programs can result in higher unemployment and then mocked Republicans in his Times articles for saying the same thing?

        1. That’s one example. There’s also the fact that he suggests that the Bush tax cuts may have staved off a massive recession. In his columns, however, he dismisses them as economically worthless.

  7. Mr. Gillespie,

    You, sirrah, are a Great Man.

    Sincerely,

    The Society to Promote Alt-text

  8. Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…

    1. That actually sounds like a Krugman worshipper. It’s almost perfect, though you’d need to work the words ‘Rethuglican,’ ‘austerity,’ and ‘BOOOOOSH’ into that somewhere.

      1. The MIGHTY BOOOOOOSH!

      2. Ok…

        Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘us’ is the middle word in Bush? If you can keep your spending going when all the Rethuglicans about you are pushing austerity and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…

        1. Do you know that ‘us’ is the middle word in Bush?

          Mind: blown.

        2. *Applause*

        3. Beautiful

        4. Yeah, that was fucking sweet.

          No ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘us’ in ‘bush’, sounds like an excuse for a gang bang.

    2. Kipling? I don’t think he’s on Krugbots favorite reading lists.

      1. Are you sure? “Take up the white man’s burden” seems like the progressive agenda in one sentence.

  9. I read comments.

    That is all. My brain is now gone.

    Been nice knowing you all.

    1. This is why I don’t bother any more.

      Fuck ’em. Let it burn. I’ll set my kids up with some property far, far away from the savages, well stocked and armed, so they can survive the Progtardalypse.

      1. I rarely read comments on other sites. I was out of practice.

    2. Hey, Krugabe must be one mellow, happy fella. The way the commenters fellate him so deeply, he must be zoning 22-23 hours a day, easily.

  10. We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig… cow after cow… village after village… army after army…

  11. From DB comments:
    Whatever any of you think President Obama’s actions shortened the Great Recession and I firmly believe the recovery would have been faster and stronger had he been “allowed” to fully implement his infrastructure plan and prevent massive layoffs of government workers jobs

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

    It’s fucking hopeless y’all, lets just throw in the towel.

    1. This is the way the fucking world ends! Look at this fucking shit we’re in, man! Not with a bang, but with a whimper. And with a whimper, I’m fucking splitting, Jack.

      1. Fuck, what movie was that? I forget.

        1. for reals?

        2. Has anyone quoted apocalypse now yet today?

          It’s the photog in it.

    2. I really like the moniker Colonel Krugman.

  12. The libertarian agenda is one of tyranny. Think about it. Libertarians want to subject people to economic liberty. How do you go about doing this? You must use force. How else can you stop those who create and enforce barriers to economic activity? You’ll have to force them to stop. So libertarians are all about using force. All that liberty stuff is just a charade. Libertarians are tyrants.

    /Tony

    1. Its like the facebook joke.

      Libertarians want to take over the country and force liberty upon you.

      1. Such a horrible, evil, and horribly evil plan. We must not succeed!

        1. Freedom! Horrible horrible freedom!

          That’s the image I have in the back of mind on the rare occasions that I discuss freedom with statists.

          1. I like this.

    2. What’s funny (and sad) is that isn’t an exagerration or parody of Tony’s beliefs, sarc. That’s pretty much a right on imitation.

  13. The tard force is out in full in the comments section at the beast…

  14. Intellectual shut-ins are a dime a dozen these days, and they all stink just as bad as the next one.

    I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. I hardly said a word to my readers, until I said “yes” to eternal stimulus. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back to Stockholm. I’m here a week now… waiting for inflation… getting richer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Libertarians like Paul Ryan and Rudy Giuliani squat in the bush, they get stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

  15. Liberals have to destroy Libertarian populism because it reveals the biggest and most fundamental truth about progressivism, it is class warfare waged by the elite against the poor and middle class. The biggest lie Progs tell themselves is that they are looking out for the little guy.

    1. Yep. Their whole selling point is that they’re for the people. Libertarian populism shows that that is not the case at all- not even close.

      1. Of course. Us libertarians want granny to die while waiting in line for a doctor cause she has no food stamps.

        Or something.

        1. get the updated talking points. we killed those kids in India with the inceticide-tainted swill

    2. Liberals will give away fish that they stole from someone else and make it illegal to catch fish on your own.

  16. I totally kick ass when I argue with the voices in my head.

  17. I grew up wanting to be Hari Seldon, using my understanding of the mathematics of human behaviour to save civilisation.

    But I wound up writing a political column for the New York Times, instead.

    1. I wonder if he curls up into fetal position when someone mentions “chaos theory” around him?

      1. I wonder if he curls up into fetal position when someone mentions “chaos theory” around him?

        There are frequencies that Krugman is incapable of hearing? It contributes to his invulnerability.

      2. Nah. His willful ignorance prevents him from coming face to face with the idea that NO amount of specification can predict the exact state of some systems at a point in the future.

  18. It’s just that other human beings are not a collection of numbers that you can just plug into an equation and get the desired output. He basically denies the very existence of human agency, except the agency of technocrats and economists like himself.

    This is appropriate here, too:

    Progressives merely want to make the world a better place, by making you a better person; at gunpoint, if necessary.

  19. Krugman is a nihilist like Keynes, and like him does not have any children, and does not care about the future.

    Though he has wrought much destruction, at least his seed will die with him. That is his one gift for future generations.

  20. From the comments:

    First of all, this snob bemoans Krugman calling names, but then fills his article with these:

    “Colonel Krugman”, Wall Street banksters and well-tanned pols such as Speaker John Boehner.

    Never start with a topic that you would violate later on, perhaps got his schooling from that other prestigious school while sleeping.

    Secondly, this is the guy who has been touting libertarianism as it’s the solution to everything, and worse as if we lived in agrarian pre industrial era and even then it didn’t work.

    The only place that real Libertarianism was tested is Somalia…

    Hahahaha, they really hit all the cliches over there.

    1. No one could’ve said it any better, contempt is the only reasonable response for the hard headed snobs like Gillespie.

      And this guy is the editor of a magazine called “Reason”, just go figure.

      Drink!

    2. Damn, I was just about to point out that some schmuck invoked SOMALIA!! in response.

      I wonder if people quietly snicker to themselves when he walks past. the clulessness just has to be Pigpen-like around that guy.

  21. I can’t help myself. This is gold:

    Krugman is the ONLY economist who appears to have the average American in mind when discussing remedies for the current recession.

    And as for this ass-clown…this should give you an idea of how informed he really is:

    Gillespie has never voted for a winning presidential candidate.

  22. Good thing you still write for the daily beast occasionally. Otherwise, how would I know about “Hottest women over 40”, “summer dates inspired by yolo”, whoever she is, “naughtiest bits of shades of grey speed read by a zombie”, “music’s scandalous videos”, “clooney batting with longoria” and other assorted bits of NSFW goodies.

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