Paul Krugman is Popular – Because Paul Krugman is Right
Suppose for some reason that the Metropolitan Museum of Art of all people held a panel discussion on the economy. No, we don’t know why that institution would do so, but they did. Also suppose for some reason that the panelists were noted economists like Edmund Phelps and Jeffrey Sachs. The questions is, how much would you have to pay people to attend such a session?
However, add Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman to the panel and that question changes. Now the question is how much would people be willing to pay to attend the session. Well you could charge $25.00 and see if anyone would buy them. It turns out, they would and more.
Advance tickets cost $25 and were sold out, and standing- room tickets offered the same day also sold out an hour before the panel began.
That is, of course a testament to the intelligence of Mr. Krugman and the fact that he has been “right on” in his analysis of the economy and of economic policy. The reason for this is not that Mr. Krugman is smarter than the rest of those folks, it is that he is developing economic analysis based on economic principles. His critics, like Mr. Sachs
Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University who also spoke on the panel, criticized Krugman earlier this month for not paying enough attention to the growing federal debt. Sachs said the government should focus more on investing in long-term programs like education instead of short-term stimulus measures.
are driven by ideological positions, and force their analysis to conform to pre-determined conclusions. This results in bogus commentary that results from bogus conclusions.
Mr. Sachs has called Mr. Krugman out for being a “crude Keynesian”.
“Krugman has staked out a rather crude Keynesian position and unrelentingly so,” Sachs said Feb. 9, referring to John Maynard Keynes, the British economist who advocated government spending to spur growth during the Great Depression. Krugman “knows one thing, which is stimulus, stimulus, stimulus and expand deficit spending,” Sachs, 57, said in the television interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Ken Prewitt and Tom Keene.
And Mr. Krugman has taken that criticism with his usual good charm
“So I’m the Keynesian on this panel,” Krugman said yesterday after fellow panelist and Nobel-prize winning economist Edmund Phelps also referred to “crude” Keynesianism. “I’ve been saying that the next guy who calls me ‘crude,’ I’m going to call him out and punch him in the schnoz,” he said to laughter from the audience of more than 700 in the museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.
But the reality is this. Mr. Krugman has a long record of commentary, and he has been right. He said that the Stimulus package of the Obama administration was good, but insufficient, and he was right. He said that European policy of trying to grow their economies by austerity would lead to recession, and he was right.
Maybe this is the problem with his opponents, they cannot attack Mr. Krugman on his positions and analysis, which have been proven accurate so they resort to terms like “crude Keynesian”. Wow, that must really hurt.