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Feb 18, 2005



"partisan hack": That's pretty funny coming from Krugman--who has been prostituting his intellect in a vain attempt to position himself as Chomsky's successor.


John Wilkins

Chomsky's successor? Have you ever read anything by Krugman or Chomsky? I suggest Pop Internationalism [Krugman's critique] or any of Chomsky's interviews. Chomsky's an Anarchist. Krugman's a Keynesian. Big difference.


Yes I have.

They both made seminal contributions to their respective fields, and of course they have different political philosopies. I meant successor in that Krugman is rapidly becoming the Left's favorite academic, and they both have intellects that are only exceeded by their vain egos, leading them to comment, often foolishly, about subjects in which they have no expertise.

John Wilkins

I have no comment upon their "vain egos." What I think is remarkable is how conservatives can see that Krugman and Chomsky as part of the same social or political movement, when the only two things they share in common is a dislike of George Bush. Krugman, for example, did work for Reagan and has a page on the NYT, two things that Chomsky would never do: he has always been rejected by the establishment [he still can't get an article in the NYRB].

What I like about Krugman is that he hasn't been bought out by either the Republicans or the Democrats. If he seems partisan, its because he rejects the relativistic idea that the truth is somewhere "in the middle."

Still, I'm perplexed by the insinuation that Krugman has no expertise on economics, or on evaluating evidence. To be sure, you're not the only person who's made that argument.

To be sure, Krugman is the only liberal thinker of any credibility who seems to make conservatives angry, in part because he has good numbers and rejects the identity politics and moral relativism of the left.


That’s a shame, because their vain egos constitute the point. I understand that there are differences between Krugman and Chomsky. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans have bought him out as far as I know; he has been bought out by the NYT and the lure of popular appeal (not the majority who voted for Bush, the other folks, those to the Left). I did not question his economic expertise. He is a seminal thinker—as I said. I know because I spent a lot of time studying his economic research. And, finally, why would a rejection of identity politics and moral relativism alienate conservatives?

John Wilkins

To my mind, vanity is a character flaw, not crucial to getting a story right. My point about Krugman is that his credibility hasn't been tainted by the the inconsistencies and the illogic of some leftists - thus making him a bit harder for conservatives to peg.

I also don't have any problem with the NYT giving him a salary. And I don't have the expertise to judge if his accessibility has corrupted his economic thinking. I do know that he is an excellent writer, and a convincing one at that. Still, I don't think he is particularly partisan, especially since he had a pretty damning critique of Clinton early on.

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