It’s Officially Time To Stop Taking Paul Krugman Seriously

Enough is enough.


WASHINGTON, May 15, 2015 – There was a time when economist Paul Krugman was a well respected member of the intellectual community.  However, something happened during the Bush administration that triggered a long list of questionable moves that sent him on a crash course with partisan political hackery.  Slowly but surely, Krugman’s astute political observations morphed into uninformed misleading opinions.  It’s time to come to terms with the painful reality that Paul Krugman just doesn’t possess the objectivity needed to be considered a relevant economist.

It is a well known fact that Krugman hated George W. Bush.  It seemed that every week during the Bush administration, Krugman was on the front page of the New York Times bashing the president for one thing or another.  That wasn’t unusual though and most politicos chalked it up to typical left leaning skepticism.

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The problem is that the irrational criticisms didn’t stop there.  In October 2008, when President Bush was on his way out the door, Krugman went on the record and claimed that Enron will be viewed by historians as a greater turning point in U.S. society than 9/11.  This was truly the beginning of today’s liberal anthem that corporations are worse than terrorists. Anyone who wasn’t paying attention certainly perked up a little bit on that one, and things continued to deteriorate from there.

Paul said some other fairly controversial things about 9/11 that he deservedly got into a little trouble for.  He wrote in a blog post that what happened “after 9/11 was deeply shameful” and criticized George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani for being “fake” heroes.  He jumped on Bush again in 2004 for adding to the national debt, yet turned around and praised Obama for his deficit spending less than ten years later.

Clearly, Krugman has established himself as a man who is not able to separate his disdain toward Republicans from his economic theories.

It wasn’t just Krugman’s biased positions on certain topics that got him in trouble, he also amassed a pretty strong track record of being wrong about things.

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Ireland’s economy came roaring back from a six year recession by making significant spending cuts.  If there is one thing that Krugman hates more than George W. Bush, it’s austerity.  He doesn’t believe in ever making cuts and when cuts are made and good things happen to the economy, it has nothing to do with cuts.  That was his position here.  Krugman wrote a few very short pieces citing one single economic indicator, unemployment, and nothing else.

He referred to the recovery as a “sick joke” and essentially implied that austerity supporters were mistaken that the recovery was even happening. It turns out that it was happening, and Ireland today has one of the freest economies in the world and one of the strongest in Europe, primarily because they addressed their massive debt situation.

England’s economy was lucky enough to be singled out by Krugman as well.  Any follower of his can probably guess how that worked out, he was wrong again.  In 2008, the conservatives took control of England from the Labour Party and began to focus on spending cuts in order to cut the deficit.  What they embarked on was not austerity, as Krugman incorrectly asserted, but rather cuts in projected spending that was already in the budget.

Krugman immediately accused Prime Minister David Cameron of recklessly imposing hard austerity measures which would hurt the economy.  That didn’t happen and not only did Conservatives recently earn an overwhelming victory in the UK election, England’s economy is on the rise.

All throughout Europe, when many countries across the continent were faced with overwhelming and unsustainable debt problems,  Krugman was calling for more spending and criticizing anyone who thought cutting spending was the solution.  He was wrong every time. In France. In Italy. In Spain.  Literally everywhere.

His economic follies were not unique to just Europe. Krugman has missed the mark on plenty of domestic issues.  He praised President Obama’s stimulus plan, which failed to move the needle in any meaningful way.  He wrote an article in the Rolling Stone celebrating Obama’s presidency as a historic success while omitting the long list of scandals and economic strife that has plagued his tenure.  Without mentioning any of Obamacare’s crippling issues, he praises a law that cancelled millions of insurance plans and bankrupted state exchanges as a smashing success.  In other words, Krugman is completely detached.

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There’s more to the Paul Krugman story than railing against Republicans and incorrectly predicting economic trends.  He also found himself in hot water for plagiarizing his New York Times column.  In 2013, an accomplished UCLA professor penned an open letter to Krugman accusing him of stealing his research.  Krugman responded to the letter by claiming he had “never read” any of the professors work but then contradicted himself in his next sentence by saying he had read it before but didn’t like it.

The problem with Paul is clearly not his intellect, it’s his inability to separate his own person bias with his economic observations.  There is room in the world for economists with partisan leanings. There are plenty of liberal and conservative economists that are highly regarded in their field.  Krugman used to be one of those, but his desire to disparage the other side simply grew too strong for him to resist.  Time and time again he has chosen to contradict basic economic principles and instead relies on his own personal beliefs in liberal policies. That might be nice for a panelist on an MSNBC show, but its not worthy of any attention from those interested in objective analysis of reality.

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  • Sadly, Dr. Krugman has company on both sides of the aisle. When political passion interferes with professional perspective, it may be time to stop hiding behind the guise of journalism. Of course, I could be wrong about that, so you may want to ask George Stephanopoulos for a second opinion. ;o)

  • John Horst

    What amazes me most about Krugman is how he fails to see that the things he criticizes corporations for – which essentially boil down to rent-seeking – are caused the monetary policies he champions.