Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It was sure to happen

If there is one "go-to" economist on the American political left, it must certainly be Paul Krugman of Princeton and the New York Times.

But lately, he's beginning to take fire from the left wing of the party who have a growing list of disputes with him.  The folks over at firedoglake have broken into open warfare.

But when you think about it, this was inevitable.  Here are the important facts:

1) In 1991, Krugman was awarded the John Bates Clark medal.  This thing was named after one of the most notorious right-wing economists of American history.  Clark's theoretical contribution to economic thought was to postulate that the Theory of Marginal Utility could be applied to everything--not just purchase decisions.  The assumption long has been that the Clark winner would be a conservative and Krugman had written nothing that would scare off the selection committee.

2) In early 1999, Krugman took money from Enron to brief them on economic and political issues.  Nothing about what Enron was attempting to do as a business concern bothered him enough to turn down their cash.

How a guy like this came to be considered a lefty only highlights how far to the extreme right our political elites have moved.  Krugman isn't really a lefty, understand, he is simply the farthest left one can be and still be employed at the New York Times.  So now when some of the blogging lefties have discovered that Paul Krugman is politically to the right of say, Richard Nixon, they have turned their fire on him.  Like this.
Krugman Shoots the Messenger: Blames Wheeler, FDL for Fueling “Fake Scandal” over Gruber
By: Jane Hamsher
Monday January 11, 2010 12:37 pm
Paul Krugman challenges Marcy Wheeler’s work on Jonathan Gruber’s failure to disclose his contract with HHS, saying it is simply the result of Gruber “being too much of an academic” who needs to “to reserve as much space as possible for real content” in 800-word essays.
He argues that Gruber was only saying what he would have said anyway, even if he weren’t being paid, and concludes:
What the folks at Firedoglake should ask themselves is this: do you really want to become just like the right-wingers with their endless supply of fake scandals?
Gruber received $780,713 in government contracts in 2009. In addition to the HHS contracts, he was hired by the Department of Justice, the NIH and the State Department for work this year. Krugman is right to say that the government awards these kinds of contracts to academics on a regular basis. But there is a fundamental difference between the HHS contract and the others. more

1 comment:

  1. This is satire, right? Krugman won a medal from a group of conservative economists and took $ from Exxon to give a talk to them and he's given them... whaaaaat in return?

    This is whack. He's the bane of Exxon and the Chicago School.