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Thursday, February 19, 2004

Still a whipping boy!

This William Anderson article mentions some swipes he has taken at the Bush administration but he really sets upon Krugman as a non-economist.

I admit to being a regular reader of Krugman's columns, and I suspect that many of my fellow economists on all sides of the ideological divide read him as well, which is one reason the Times has made him a featured star. Of course, being of the Austrian School of Economics, I find very little in Krugman's statements on economics with which I can agree. (I think that some of his criticisms of the Bush Administration's policies are correct—and especially the war in Iraq—although the policy alternatives that he presents usually are as bad or even worse.) In fact, whenever I email Krugman's columns to my friends—which I do often—I also send the accompanying message, "Krugman is evil."

Yet, it does no good simply to accuse one of the nation's most "elite" economists—most likely a future Nobel Prize winner—of being "evil." He may be a right decent fellow, for all I know. What I consider to be evil is not his personality nor his Massachusetts Institute of Technology pedigree nor his wealth and fame. Rather, I consider that the policies he recommends are evil because, in the end, they constitute fraud. That's right, fraud.

Before deconstructing Krugman's economic views, let me also say that at least when it comes to his columns, he is more of a political operative than he is an economist. (That being said, many "public intellectuals" also are little more than shills for political parties, both left and right.)

However, let me say that since my own writings have been extremely critical of the Bush Administration and both political parties, it does not bother me to read Krugman's anti-Republican rants. What does bother me is that the man pretends to be something he clearly is not: an economist.

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