The Nobel Committee reaches (or ties) a low
One might have thought the Nobel Committee had hit its all-time low of liberal political correctness when it awarded prizes to Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat. And one might have thought that they surely couldn’t get worse than giving a prize to Al Gore for a slide show about a hoax.
But on Monday, the Nobel organization arguably reached a new low, giving the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences to Princeton economist, New York Times columnist, and screaming hater of all conservatives and Republicans, Paul Krugman. Some of the Nobel committee’s bias was shown by committee member tore Ellingsen who said “Krugman is not only a scientist but also an opinion maker.” The Nobel committee’s purpose was probably to help Krugman get an even louder megaphone for his attacks on Republicans, limited government, low taxes, liberty, and economic common sense which appears to have abandoned Krugman during his tenure at the New York Times.
Krugman has done some interesting work, winning the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal (awarded to an American economist under the age of 40) in 1991 for his studies of economic geography and trade policy.
But since he moved into the public eye, he seems to have decided that his role is to be the purveyor of all things liberal.
In a 2003 article in the Economist magazine, the editors offered some of their thoughts on Krugman:
• “People are asking whether Mr Krugman's success as a journalist is now coming at the expense of, rather than as the result of, his economics.”
• “A website that tracks partisanship among American political columnists, rates Mr Krugman second in the overall partisan slant of his columns, behind only Ann Coulter.”
• “A glance through his past columns reveals a growing tendency to attribute all the world's ills to George Bush.”
• “Even his economics is sometimes stretched. A recent piece accused conservatives of embracing the “lump of labour fallacy”, the mistaken claim that there is a fixed quantity of work which governments must strive to allocate equitably. In fact, the paper he cited did not commit the lump of labour fallacy.”
• “Now that he is a journalist, it is perhaps not surprising that Mr Krugman seems to have embraced the concept of the free lunch—even though as an economist he should know better.”
And this prescient comment: “Many of Mr Krugman's fellow economists, jealous of his celebrity, comfort themselves with the thought that his angry rants have hurt his reputation enough to ensure he will not now win a Nobel prize. They may be kidding themselves. The Nobel committee has not been averse in the past to giving the prize to economists who have achieved popular notoriety, as its awards to Mr Friedman and, more recently, Joseph Stiglitz show. Mr Krugman is probably still in the running.”
In his May, 2005 farewell article called “13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did”, NY Times Ombudsman Daniel Okrent suggests that “Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults…. Some of Krugman's enemies are every bit as ideological (and consequently unfair) as he is. But that doesn't mean that (his) boss, publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., shouldn't hold his columnists to higher standards.”
In 2003, Krugman blamed anti-Semitic remarks by Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, on the Bush Administration.
His political writing has become increasingly mindless and increasingly posing as facts things he believes rather than things he knows. For example, on October 10th of this year, he wrote that “as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage.” By all accounts?
In discussing whether government will address economic issues, Krugman suggested that “the slower-motion issues, realistically, won’t be effectively addressed for a while, probably until whatshisname moves out of the White House.” What writer for the New York Times should think it’s OK to refer to the president that way, even if he or she doesn’t respect the man?
The current economic turmoil has given Krugman an opportunity to write about economics again, rather than purely politics. His writing hasn’t been that bad, since it’s distracted him from the effects of his Bush Derangement Syndrome. But even during these times, he often can’t help himself:
On CNN a couple of weeks ago, discussing the proposed bailout, Krugman said “My wife said we’re now a banana republic with nukes.”
Of course, Krugman and his wife are wrong, but if he and his liberal friends get their way in steering our economy toward socialism, he may eventually be proven right, much to the shame and detriment of our nation.
To be fair to the Nobel Committee, this probably isn’t a new low for them. It probably just ties their pathetic and transparently political prize for Algore last year.
Over at HumanEvents.com, Mark Skousen has a good article about the vacuous, partisan Paul Krugman.
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