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Some of you may be familiar with the work of the Economic Policy Institute -the organization that “Works for People Who Work for a Living.” You can imagine what that euphemism means. It means higher minimum wages, free health care for everybody, lots and lots of union jobs, and so forth. But don’t I work for a living? Does not my wife (soon to be a nurse) work for a living? Of course these guys don’t work for me – they work for some people that work for a living and a lot of people who actually don’t work for a living.

It should therefore come as no surprise that in honor of their 25th anniversary they have named Paul Krugman as their first annual “Distinguished Economist.” The winner of next year’s second one is also featured prominently in the video.

Here are some highlights in case you don’t want to watch all 6 minutes (you should do it however).
“(Paul is) As close to having an “indispensable man” as we can have right now”
No man is near indispensable. Whatever Paul’s merits, and he surely has them, such a sentiment tells you a heckuva lot about the mindset of folks who worship at the altar of the intelligentsia. That doesn’t inspire me inasmuch as frighten me.

Here is motivation from Paul:
“I want a decent society … I don’t want the kind of society we’re turning into … which is one where one misstep, one piece of bad luck, among other things such as the bad luck of having the wrong parents means you plunge into the abyss … That doesn’t have to be true in the 21st century ”

Well hell, don’t we all Paul. You might want to pause for like two minutes, and like, perhaps, like, consider that there might be someone outside the left who also hopes to have a decent society. And gosh, that some of us don’t revel in the misery of others. And gosh, that some of us think we can be doing better too. And gosh, isn’t this sentiment just so … heartwarming?
Well, it is disturbing that such a clip made it into the video. Isn’t it the assumption that the good majority of us are hoping for a better world? It’s the height of arrogance and megalomania to portray yourself as someone above the fray and the rest of us unwashed simply are hateful or stupid or both. Come on.

So, Paul, what motivates you to work so tirelessly in the pursuit of truth and to write column after column after column? You just said it was because you want a better world, right? Here’s his words:

“George Bush was lying and paid no price for it ”

Now of course, it is certainly plausible that George Bush was leading us to a place that made America worse off. But why was that not what he said? I guess his audience is smart enough to put 2 and 2 together. But seriously, is Krugman motivated by truth seeking (as he tells us) … or revenge? And some of the things Krugman needed to take revenge on?

“Bush lied when he said majority of tax cuts go to bottom end … and … Krugman “demolished” the case for privatizing social security…” Well, the first half of this is empirically verifiable – I encourage readers to see what Bush said (and perhaps do your own inferring about what he meant) in that regard. As for demolishing the case for privatizing social security – does that mean Bush lied about it? In future posts we’ll dig up some of those demolishing arguments and let you see exactly what they amount to. It’s the EPI’s assessment, not Paul’s of course.

The second winner of this prestigious award is quoted toward the end of the film, “… it takes a certain kind of bravery to blow the whistle, and Paul has it, and we are all thankful.”

Again, an amazing commitment to dispassionate truth seeking! It does, indeed take bravery to blowing the whistle. While we are talking in sports analogies, referees are not exactly famous for blowing the whistle fairly or effectively are they?

UPDATE: Good quality analysis and evidence by the awarding agency.

4 Responses to “Hey, Don’t I Work for a Living”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    Celebrity? Yes
    Economist: Once was
    Celebrity of the Left: Yes
    Leftist/Statist Shill?: Most definitely

  2. Harry says:

    I read an article the other day about CALPERS, the huge pension fund for California state employees. Evidently they have a big problem meeting future obligations and this article focused on the possibility of reducing their promises.

    But what if AFSCME, et cetera tried its best to promote profit growth in publicly traded businesses, which comprise a large part of CALPERS’ pension portfolio? What if earnings grew just ten percent per year? Would they not have enough money to pay out what they promised?

  3. Harry says:

    That last comment was abbreviated in haste. To continue, not just Paul Krugman but many others shot down the idea that a portion of one’s social security taxes be devoted to an IRA-like account where one could invest for the long term in stocks and bonds where the returns would be better. I know that it is a bit complicated to set up to avoid excessive risk, but at least one might have a shot at getting a better pension than social security provides. This idea has been ridiculed as the same thing as going to the casino or trying to bet on PowerBall, which we all know in the long run is a losing game. To many, investing means buying and selling, buying and selling short, on margin, in the hope somebody else is not as sharp as you are.

    To me, investing has never been a zero-sum game, and there are others far more successful than I who think that way (Peter Lynch and John Bogle come to mind). It is the same thought process as any business person has in mind: put your money into an enterprise that has a good chance to earn money.

    All bets are off, however, if the state conspires to plunder successful enterprise into bankruptcy. If your objective is, say, to get rid of the ethical drug industry, or the oil business, or whatever, then the idea of investing in Merck and Exxon becomes a lousy idea if you succeed, and by extension investing in the economy you seek to supplant with something fairer also becomes a crapshoot. Who wants to invest when it depends partly on whether Harry Reid got up on the wrong side of the bed that day, and whether he had a conversation with Paul Krugman?

  4. I was disappointed to learn that Joseph Stiglitz lacks the courage to tell the truth. Perhaps Stiglitz was only being humble; he did want to say “Only Paul Krugman and I have the courage to blow the whistle…” Amartya Sen, James M. Buchanan, … Thomas Sargent… how are we to now relate to such cowards? And of whom are they afraid? What truths are they hiding?

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