Opinion

NY Times economist Paul Krugman, a fact-fudging incompetent

A thought for all those New York Times readers who genuflect at any article appearing in the Times: There’s no doubt it has skilled writers, but what separates The Times from journalistic greatness is a political bias it denies exists. Exhibit A: the newspaper’s prolific “economics” columnist, Paul Krugman.

Paul Krugman 2
Photo credit: Dailyagenda.org

Not long ago, a friend of mine asked why people don’t trust newspapers much anymore. “Because of writers like Paul Krugman,” I responded.

At some point, failed economists like Krugman must get called into the street for a showdown over their predictions and claims. It’s OK to be wrong occasionally, but the American public is entitled to know when a professional economist’s work turns into something worthless. And Krugman has not only abandoned serious economics for the life of a political entertainer, his columns repeatedly and brazenly are misleading.

Need some examples of his incompetence? Krugman hotly hates the free market. Several years ago, championing the socialist states of Western Europe, Krugman said, “Europe is an economic success, and that success shows that social democracy works.”  How’s that working out for you, Paul? Last year, he was busted for deceiving his readers about Obamacare when he misrepresented data contained in a report he quoted. Worse, Krugman has earned a reputation as someone who fabricates when accusing someone else of fabricating.

In 1998, Krugman predicted that the Internet would have little effect on the economy and commerce, stating it would have no greater impact than the fax machine. “The growth of the Internet will slow drastically,” he wrote. Then in 2003, he called for Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to create a housing bubble (which happened in spades, of course).

Earlier this year, Krugman made two recommendations: that the Cyprus government solve its fiscal problems by seizing “as much private property as it can,” and that the United States solve its multi-trillion-dollar deficits with “death panels and sales taxes.” And this is the guy who wrote in January that the U.S. government needs to use an “accounting trick” and mint a single $1 trillion-dollar coin, deposit it in a Federal Reserve account and let “the government write checks against that account.” He thinks that will solve our debt problem. Then, he says, government should proceed to allocate available capital.

In 2003, in a classic case of intellectual laziness, Krugman wrote that California’s taxes are “now probably below average,” when in fact California taxes were ranked eighth-highest among the 50 states.

In 2004, Krugman misled his readers by misrepresenting economic data about Ronald Reagan’s record on the economy and taxes. A year later, he erroneously accused then-Gov. Jeb Bush of sending “law enforcement agents to seize Terri Schiavo.”

An embarrassed New York Times was forced to issue a correction in 2010, when it came to light that Krugman falsified a quote by Newt Gingrich. A pundit suggested that The Times needed a Krugman Truth Squad. I could go on. And on.

Nobel prize
Photo credit: Wikipedia.org

Now here’s an interesting fact: Krugman was named a Nobel laureate in 2008. How can this be, you ask? How can an economist with a history of failed predictions earn such an award? The answer lies not with Krugman but in the award itself. As Alfred Nobel spins in his grave, I suspect a political answer will suggest itself to you when I mention other highly questionable Nobel laureates, including Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, the European Union and the International Labour Organization. I rest my case.

Krugman is a fact-fudging incompetent who alleges seriously that deniers of human-induced global warming are guilty of “treason against the planet.”  He makes stuff up, puts words in people’s mouths that were never spoken and has become a partisan hack and a Keynesian political shill. No longer a credible economist, Krugman is just another leftist spouting off about how wealth can be created by government spending. He actually believes that the reckless printing of money won’t beget inflation down the road. He’s not the last of the muddle-headed utopian socialists, only one of the more comical.

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John R. Smith
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