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Krugman on Media and Economics
September 22, 2003 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Video of Krugman on Media and Economics
If Bush said the earth is flat, of course Fox News would say "Yes, the earth is flat, and anyone who says different is unpatriotic." And mainstream media would have stories with the headline: "Shape of Earth: Views Differ; and would at most report that some Democrats say that it's round."
So said Paul Krugman during a recent interview in Boston with Chris Lydon, former host of NPR's 'The Connection.'
posted by ericrolph (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 

posted by angry modem at 10:51 AM on September 22, 2003


You just justified the whole in-line image thing for me, angry modem.
posted by orange swan at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2003


Haha! Still, you judge without viewing.
posted by ericrolph at 11:05 AM on September 22, 2003


Of course the current state of the economy is just exactly as obvious, well-determined and inarguable as the shape of the planet. If you're Krugman.

Krugman stands or falls on his repeated (and repeated and repeated) prediction of a Japanese-style liquidity-trap deflation in the US. Since economics is his field of greatest expertise, if his economic prediction fails then he was talking out his ass about everything else too.
posted by jfuller at 11:10 AM on September 22, 2003


You mean the Labor Department numbers are wrong? That year-over-year change in payrolls have been negative for 25 straight months, the longest stretch since 1944-46? Maybe you're refering to deficit spending which is the worst since forever. Krugman is not wrong when he says the Bush White House is feeding us a pack of lies about how well our economy is doing.
posted by ericrolph at 11:28 AM on September 22, 2003


As has often been said, Krugman should be an economist who is willing to occasionally embarrass the Democratic Party. Instead, he's a Democrat who's occasionally an embarrassment to economists.
posted by gd779 at 11:31 AM on September 22, 2003


ericrolph, I can't view this video now since I'm at work. But I do wish you'd used something other than a silly analogy from your linked material to create your FPP. I'm assuming there's better stuff in there.
posted by orange swan at 11:42 AM on September 22, 2003


Seconded. The video is 1 hour 14 minutes long. Though I agree with the sentiments in the FPP, I'd agree that it's very, very weak, probably even a candidate for deletion. ericrolph, is there some actual new information in there, something we couldn't see or hear somewhere else, and if so, what is it, and what timecode should we go to to see or hear it?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:47 AM on September 22, 2003


Yeah, and supersize that while you're at it!
posted by rocketman at 11:52 AM on September 22, 2003


The teaming masses are never satisfied. Krugman is often considered, "shrill" and I wanted to point out that while he may be shrill, he is also funny – those who enjoy Fox News, I concede, won't find that funny.

He discounts blogs as primary news sources, discusses the distress of the U.S. economy, problems with budget deficits, what the Neo-Con Republicans are doing to our economy, why Democrats are failing, why Ralph Nader was not a good choice for presidential election, the state of journalism, economic problems with the war in Iraq, Alabama's tax problems, globalization, and the international press.
posted by ericrolph at 11:59 AM on September 22, 2003


Don't you find it interesting that someone like Krugman, who 25 years ago would have been labelled a center-right republican, is now tarred and feathered as a "liberal?"

Vaca
posted by vaca at 12:01 PM on September 22, 2003


Your name wouldn't be Vaca by any chance, would it?

Also, I think the term "worst since forever" is funny as hell.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2003


...Krugman, who 25 years ago would have been labelled a center-right republican...

It would be interesting, if it were true, and if his position hadn't changed. I'm not saying that it's not true--I don't know--but it would be nice to have an argument rather than just your statement that it is so. It seems like it would be a difficult statement to research, actually.
posted by goethean at 12:27 PM on September 22, 2003


Hm. Or maybe not so difficult. He worked at the White House Council of Economic Advisers in 1982-3.
posted by goethean at 12:30 PM on September 22, 2003


Alabama's tax problems

Finally.
posted by Witty at 12:46 PM on September 22, 2003


Chris Lydon, on his blog, has the interview in MP3 audio format, broken into three parts: part 1, part 2 and part 3.
posted by ericrolph at 12:59 PM on September 22, 2003


> It seems like it would be a difficult statement to research, actually.

It's not that what counts as the "center" has drifted rightward. It's that two or three decades ago Republicans/conservatives were against deficit spending and Democrats/liberals thought deficits were OK. Now the opposite is true: the Bush admin, Republican though it be, seems intent on spending out the wazoo, which co-opts the former liberal position and leaves the Dems with the choice of either flipping to the opposite view or else ceasing to oppose. Not a rightward drift of the center so much as an end for end flip-flop.
posted by jfuller at 2:16 PM on September 22, 2003


The teaming masses are never satisfied. Krugman is often considered, "shrill" and I wanted to point out that while he may be shrill, he is also funny – those who enjoy Fox News, I concede, won't find that funny.

This part of the teaming masses doesn't enjoy Fox News or find Krugman funny. He makes a hyperbolic analogy about a subtle trend that smacks of soundbite-ism, not pithy insight. His statements about economics are ironically just as "with us or against us" as other over-simplifying blowhards (who will remain nameless). His opinions are no richer than the average enthusiastic first year economics student who is learning the principles for the first time and mistakenly thinking they are rules. Tediouser and tediouser, said the White Rabbit.
posted by dness2 at 3:04 PM on September 22, 2003


Krugman stands or falls on his repeated (and repeated and repeated) prediction of a Japanese-style liquidity-trap deflation in the US.

This is a ridiculous standard, as ridiculous as saying that "jfuller stands or falls on his assertion about Paul Krugman's prediction."

Just because an individual is wrong about one thing does not mean that he or she is wrong about everything (assuming he is wrong about this -- we shall see).
posted by moonbiter at 5:39 PM on September 22, 2003


Krugman stands or falls on his repeated (and repeated and repeated) prediction of a Japanese-style liquidity-trap deflation in the US.

Krugman made no such prediction. He did bring to people's attention the well known fact (among economists) that very low inflation rates accompanied by very low interest rates lie very close to a cliff from which there is no easy return. A shrill Alan Greenspan made the very same "prediction" earlier this summer.
posted by JackFlash at 6:09 PM on September 22, 2003


[Krugmans] opinions are no richer than the average enthusiastic first year economics student who is learning the principles for the first time and mistakenly thinking they are rules.

He writes essays for non-economists that are clear, effective, and entertaining – of course, he is equally effective at writing in-depth economics text books and other academic scholar from his years a professor of economics at MIT and Stanford.

Krugman is primarily concerned with stupid economic policies and outing those who attempt to tell the public otherwise. He is one of the best at analyzing and exposing the stupidity of the Bush administration for the general public.

I'm willing to take suggestions on opinion writers doing a better job than Krugman.
posted by ericrolph at 6:20 PM on September 22, 2003


+ Yale and Princeton
posted by ericrolph at 6:27 PM on September 22, 2003


Is one hour of Paul Krugman better than five minutes of clenching?

* clench clench *
posted by troutfishing at 8:22 PM on September 22, 2003


So what's up with the dness2, dness? You get transmigrated, transfigured or is this some sort of new model avatar?
posted by y2karl at 8:40 PM on September 22, 2003


The original dness imploded from the pressure of Kantian malaperts. I am now new and improved, practicing equanimity, but I still have flashbacks every once in awhile.
posted by dness2 at 9:12 PM on September 22, 2003


ericrolph-- Fine job of self-moderation. So you like Krugman?

I'm willing to take suggestions on opinion writers doing a better job than Krugman.


Do you mean people who write about the markets and economics?

Arnold Kling

Doug Noland
Gary North
Steven Roach
James Picerno

to name a few. And it's a diverse group.
posted by trharlan at 9:14 PM on September 22, 2003


Previous Krugman post by me here for those interested.

Yeah, audio and video aren't as nice as text. Maybe NPR will release a transcript. Personally, I don't have the time to watch this, even though I really want to. That's the nice part of the web, reading is much faster and easier to digest than video, plus things like "is that a piece of ham on his moustache" don't seem to matter as much.

May the web never degenerate into TV.
posted by skallas at 1:49 AM on September 23, 2003


Thanks for the list of authors trharlan – some heady stuff there – I noticed a few of them comment on Krugman's writing.

As for the web degenerating into TV, never fear, audio and video merely add depth of information and meaning – on the web, text will always be king due to your stated reasons; however, transcripts skip the richness of laughter and the rolling-of-eyes that provide further context to speech.

Watching the chipmunk-like Krugman is a treasure for those who enjoy Krugman (me).
posted by ericrolph at 6:09 PM on September 23, 2003


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