(or Caring is Creepy)
Megan McArdle writes
So the idea that Krugman has somehow won one for the team by predicting something that libertarian/conservative/free-market commentators didn't see coming is either misinformed, or lunatic.Paul Krugman of course recently won the Nobel Prize in Economics.
McArdle was responding to Brian Beutler who wrote:
Time passed, and eventually conservative and libertarian writers--who either didn't understand what was happening, or didn't think all that highly of Krugman's liberalism, or both--began to mock him for getting his economic forecast wrong. Now, lo and behold, he wasn't wrong at all.I've disagreed with Krugman over some things over the years, like Obama versus Hillary Clinton, but Beutler is absolutely correct here.
I've learned a ton from reading Krugman - among others of course - who wrote well in real time about Japan's "lost decade" of the Nineties, the failure of Long Term Capital Management, the Asian Financial Crisis of the Nineties, Enron and accounting fraud, etc., etc., etc.
Those of us, like Beutler, who studied Krugman are much better prepared to understand what's happening now with the global economy, and were much less surprised by the crisis. Also it was conservative and libertarian policy prescriptions which lead to the crisis in the first place, but that's a different argument.
In commenting on this Beutler makes an excellent point:
For literally years, Paul Krugman warned that we'd be in for some serious economic hard times when the housing bubble burst. This wasn't something he did as a game, but rather in the hope that rightly positioned people would address the problem. They didn't.People of a social democratic persuasion who criticize free market ideology don't do so because they're somehow overly negative or fundamentally cynical, it's because they care.