I’ve never understood the “why does he have to be so mean” stuff about Krugman. All of my friends and family regularly say to me “you’re being an idiot, this is why you’re wrong…” and I say the same things to them. In fact, if a friend patiently and kindly explains to me why I’m wrong, it always seems condescending. Granted, I’m a bad-tempered, Tebow-hating commie, but don’t lots of real Murkins argue not-completley-politely with each other?
So, fuck you, Jacob Weisberg, you war-loving pansy ass.
c u n d gulag
Which, Jacob, would make you what – a quarter-wit?
Or, is that more credit than you deserve?
Yeah, probably WAAAAAAAAAAY too much.
c u n d gulag
And you’ve got to love this feckin’ idjit’s tone!
Like HE’S EVER been right?
Fuck you DougJ!
I can’t believe this image doesn’t accompany this post.
ETA: WTF is Jacob Weisberg?
I always try to determine the strengths and weaknesses of arguments not based upon the quality of evidence and the worth of the logic tying them together but upon my assessment of the arguer’s mood.
People say mean stuff I don’t like, I say meaner stuff right back. That’s the Chicago Way.
The Lords of Slate’s entire raison d’etre is to be smarter than everyone, be the only one that’s smarter than everyone, and be the only on that’s even allowed to act like they’re smarter than everyone.
So, of course, Krugthulu is an existential threat and must be shrillized.
If there is anything that is going to turn the economy around and end the misery in so many people’s lives, it’s an improved tone.
Saint Broder of the Status Quo showed us the way and the light.
@General Stuck: Actually, Rahm is trying to make it illegal to be nice to people.
Krugman does not suffer fools. Unfortunately, there are many fools among the pundits in the Village, and so, much suffering.
OT reminder: Supermoon tonight.
Time to crank up, “I see a bad moon rising…”
He wants to criticize Krugman, but can’t substantively go toe-to-toe with him, so he settles for ‘tone’. Profile in courage.
When you can’t criticize on the merits, criticize on style.
Quaker in a Basement
When shown to be in error, one may always evade surrender by complaining that those who are right are being too sanctimonious about their rightness.
Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs!
This Golden Oldie offers an excellent retrospective of Jacob Weisberg’s journamalistic career:
Can we have a Derby/Cinco/Saturday open thread?
if i had to demonstrate over and over that 2 + 2 = 4, my tone might be a bit exasperated too. kthug: right for all the wrong reasons–and he hurt my alleged feelings!
Driftglass says if they complain about your tone or that you say things like fuck, it means you are winning. Cuz they got nothin’ else. I think this was in relation to the zombie-eyed-granny-starver complaining that Obama was mean to him about his budget suggestions.
As the saying goes: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. Arguments about style make it easier to take the focus of an argument off of a substantive truths.
“Let’s talk about why you’re an asshole and not why I’m wrong.”
Talk about blaming the victim. It’s not Kthug’s fault that anyone who disagrees with him is a halfwit. If you’re going to complain about something, wouldn’t it make more sense to complain about the halfwits?
@General Stuck: When I was growin up putting em in a trunk at O Hare was da Chicago Way.
There’s a South Asian-ancestry jockey this year. Rajiv something.
Weisberg leaned well at the knee of his master, Marty Peretz.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
The problem here is that when you try and let someone down gently and they don’t respond to what you’re saying, the blunt approach is all that’s left. And that’s what we’re at here: we’re at a point where failure literally means trying exactly what you were doing before and hoping this time you’re purer and luckier that it works this time, and all the gentle tones won’t do a fuck.
Sometimes, people are thick enough, whether intentionally so or unintentionally so, that you need to bludgeon them with a clue-by-four until the stupid starts seeping out of their ear. Krugman recognizes this, and swings that clue-by-four in every column he can.
The next open thread could use this trailer for the original Avengers movie, if y’all FPers were so inclined.
Of course the new remake will improve a lot of stuff, but there can be only one Loki in my heart of hearts.
The horses and their connections are walking the paddock …
always love that phrase.
You could apply it to politicos too.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
The apology Michael Kinsley owes the country for Weisberg and Saletan is like the one McCain owes us for Palin, but on a much smaller scale. Say, Seattle compared to New York City.
@BGinCHI: So _that’s_ what all those cameras are really for. Huh. Makes sense, I suppose.
Are the austerians going to let up if Krugman stops being shrill? No.
Shrill on, Paul.
vlad on the tracks
What paragons of civility is Weisberg reading, to get the conclusion that Krugman is noticeably less polite than average? Nice to know he “agrees with most of what Krugman writes,” though. That’s a load off.
Jacob Weisberg seems to ignore the possibility that anyone who disagrees with a Nobel Prize winner in the latter’s area of expertise really is a half-wit, relatively speaking. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, but it’s worth considering.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
But they’ll be politely austere, so it’s better, don’t you know?
@Elizabelle: Rajiv Maragh (born July 9, 1985, in Jamaica) is a jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing. An Indo-Jamaican, he is the son of a jockey who rode in Jamaica before relocating to Florida where he began a career as a horse trainer.
Rajiv Maragh rode his first winner at Tampa Bay Downs on February 1, 2004. He got his big break in 2008 when he was 14th in the national earnings list. Rapidly developing into a top jockey since moving north to compete at NYRA tracks, in 2009 he has been a winner of several Grade 1 races.
Over the last four years, Krugman’s predictions about the economy have been mostly correct. If he wants to be arrogant, that’s fine. It’s not bragging if you can back it up.
It’s really really unfair to point out that the boys on the bus are, errr wrong, and, umm kinda stupid.
But it’s the wrong thing that’s the issue. Krugman gets shrill because the newspapers print as news, or as fodder for “opinion,” shit that is absolutely without a question false.
And he writes a column or a blog post, saying “Hey, this is false.” And it doesn’t fucking matter that it’s false. In fact, Jake thinks it kinda mean-spirited and condescending to say “Well, you know, you just said something that’s provably false. Oh, and here’s the evidence.”
It’s no fucking fair to use data, or facts. It disempowers ignoramuses and columnists.
I think Weisberg doesn’t understand the difference between condescension and exasperation.
Also, he’s apparently chief dumbass of the Slate Contrarian Brigade which gave us gems such as Creed is Good.
@Raven: Thank you! Knew nothing about him.
He sounds about five years old: “Okay, I did tell lies, but when Paulie said I had lied he said it in a mean way. Waaaaah!”
The other thing to note is that Krugman has said, explicitly, that he sounds angry because he is angry, because this stuff matters. Economics may be a parlor game to Weisberg and Cowen and McAddled and far too many others, but to someone who’s unemployed stimulus instead of austerity might mean the difference between keeping a house or sleeping in a car.
I’ll Have Another surprises the frontrunners.
Yeah, it’s not just an intellectual exercise for Dr. Krugman, or an ideology. He sees how this plays out for average people. And the opportunities lost.
Elizabeth Warren rubs some people the wrong way too.
Not smart people, mind you …
GO Reds! beat them Peerats/
@Elizabelle: Jockey’s Haz Sad/
The second and third place riders get five percent of their owner’s take ($400,000 and $200,000, respectively). The second place jockey with a check of $20,000 and the third place jockey of $10,000. By the time fees are paid off, it’s closer to $14,000 and $7,000.
As for anything out of the money, jockey agent Ron Anderson told me the ride for the 17 other jockeys is worth “a couple hundred dollars apiece.”
At least, the jockeys don’t have to pay for parking like they did up until about seven years ago.
Condescending to correct you requires patience, sweetie.
the fugitive uterus
OT, i can’t believe i have been on the twitter machine, but Newt needs to change his twitter profile, it still says he’s running for president.
I’ve had a few students like Weisberg. They insist that they’re happy to admit that they screwed up (plagiarized, blew off an assignment, whatever) — but they would appreciate it very much if I would not act as if I were the authority on, e.g., what plagiarism is or when the deadline was. Their opinions about such matters are just as valid as mine, after all.
Calling people who disagree with your policies traitors, a-ok. Telling people their justification for their harmful policies is false *and I can prove it*, and you should be ignored because your “tone” , is improper.
You know, I’d be less upset about stupid comments like this if I actually believed that Weisberg agrees with Krugman and is willing to get on his soapbox in support of Krugman-approved policies. But he won’t. He’ll just tweet things like this in an attempt to shore up the lefty portion of his desired “I take the best ideas from both sides” image. Anyone who actually agrees with Krugman is far more concerned about the country being royally screwed and the maniacs doing the screwing than Krugmans’s tone.
He won’t correct the hysterical column he did about Medicare means testing that Obama wanted to inflict on innocents. Medicare is already means tested & he won’t admit that. Other than that, I have no problem with him.
Villago Delenda Est
One Villager never, ever, criticizes another Villager. It simply is not done.
Just recently Krugman was on a This Week panel with Carly Fiorina and others. Fiorina said some stuff about corporate tax rates. Krugman replied, “Nothing you said about business taxes is actually true.”
Is that impolite? I dunno. I’m guessing Fiorina wasn’t thrilled about it(*). But what’s the polite or non-shrill way to say that?
I mean, she just used national network airtime to say stuff that’s simply not true. Why should he say he “respectfully disagrees” or whatever? That would suggest that it’s an area of legitimate debate when it is not.
When one side is lying and the other is “shrill”, why the fuck would we waste time complaining about the “shrill” one? The liar is right there! Complain about the liar!
(*)Her response was, “This isn’t an academic discussion.” Which is pretty hilarious.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
And sadly apt: fact has no place in politics these days, since it’s rarely as effective and emotionally manipulative as pure bullshit is.
The classic portrayal of this being the “Point-Counterpoint” polite discussions on SNL between Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin, such as this one
If the world’s at all just then tone trolls will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.
The truth hurts, Jacob. Deal. He’s right and it’s not personal unless you take it that way. Which is your problem and not his.
Villago Delenda Est
“Jane you ignorant slut…”
I remember the glory days of Usenet. Krugman is a wilting flower by comparison.
I fucking love Sonic Youth.
Death Valley ’69 playing now.
@TG Chicago: How mean! Directly pointing out that someone’s argument is just not true. Why didn’t he just nail Carly Fiorina to a cross and set her out in the California sun while he was at it? Cruelty thy name is Kthug!
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they complain about your tone, then you win.
Well, Jacob Weisberg is a halfwit. So fuck him.
@Joseph Nobles: OMG! That might just be the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile…lol.
Villago Delenda Est
Krugman: “Well, what you just said isn’t true.”
Fiorina: “This isn’t an academic discussion.”
Krugman: “Neither was the French Revolution.”
Did y’all see what Weisberg tweeted just after the anti – Krugman bit?
“Relieved Boris Johnson was reelected. He has more fun than anyone in politics.”
Jesus H. Christ. I, for one, don’t think the whole “Let’s support a politician because he parties hard” routine has served us well in recent years.
I feel a blood vessel getting ready to pop in my head as I type this, but Larry effing Summers is now agreeing with Krugman about economic policy and producing good analysis to back up his conclusions.
Summers recently wrote a paper with his frenemy Brad DeLong that actually made a stronger case, out to the ‘left’ (in scare quotes because saying ‘right’ or ‘left’ has become an infantile political CW game) of Krugman.
Namely, that fiscal austerity after a balance sheet recession and in this weak recovery is self defeating, and actually worsens the medium and long run term budget deficit.
Summers had to goof up himself (unfortunately during his time in the administration) before he decided to run and catch up with the rest of the macroeconomists with good records at analysis and forecasting.
So, Krugman is not the most abrasive and not the most arrogant economist out their saying Krugman type things.
Shit, if there’s ANY horse I should have bet because of this here blog, “I’ll Have Another” would only be bested by some name involving Tunch.
Kathy in St. Louis
We’ve lost the ability to discuss anything in this country. On a website that I frequent someone mentioned that a friend with a serious illness had been “capped out” by her insurance company and now had huge medical bills and debt. Another person chimed in and said that this is because of “socialized medicine” and she and a friend in a southern state who really hates Obama discussed it allthe time. It’s all about Obamacare. I mentioned that Obamacare doesn’t phase in completely until 2014, so that couldn’t really be the reason, and some guy I’ve never met chimed in to jump all over me for offering that information. These folks is crazy, uninformed and wanting to stay that way. So much for offering basic information in this country.
@Villago Delenda Est:
‘ Krugman: “Well, what you just said isn’t true.”
Fiorina: “This isn’t an academic discussion.” ‘
Fiorina is just emitting buzzwords that mean nothing but do push emotional buttons, or she is being intentionally misleading, or she does not know what she is talking about.
Given her record at non academic business running, the last option is real possibility.
The question of whether there are enough loopholes in the corporate tax structure to make the effective rates far lower than the statutory rates is not academic. And the effect on the tax burden of corporations is not academic.
I have known some economists who worked in tax arbitrage and loophole analysis, and funny, non of them worked in academic settings. They worked for corporations and consulting firms. Some of them made a ton more money than academic economists, and the better ones who were thoughtful (IMHO) made enough so they could afford to jump corporate ship and go back the teaching and research after they made their piles.
@Kathy in St. Louis: Or they are ruthless and very strategic in deciding what kind of information is appropriate to allow into public discussion.
@Villago Delenda Est: The irony there is that, if by “academic discussion” she means a superficial, uncomplicated view of the world, then she is the one who was engaging in an academic discussion. Kthug was pointing out that just citing percentages does not equal telling the truth in this situation.
It’s oddly similar to the Castellanos-Maddow contretemps, only in this case Fiorina’s facts were actually wrong, and instead of Kthug condescendingly and smarmily lauding her “passion”, he flatly stated Fiorina’s facts were wrong and explained why. This, of course, is what makes him shrill and Castellanos reasonable.
ETA Here is Maddow retroactively body slamming Castellanos for that statement: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rachel-maddow-reaffirms-pay-gap-argument-following-feud-with-alex-castellanos/
@the fugitive uterus: Technically, he is, so he can keep taking donations and use them to pay off campaign debts.
Then again, he was never running in the first place, but was just upping his grift game.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
I’m so stealing this!
Short list off the top of my head of economists to read if Kthug is too indelicate for one’s dainty tastes and right minded demand for utmost sensitivity and decorum in not disagreeing with you in a way that might however so subtly suggest that you might possibly ever by wrong or make a mistake.
Robert H. Frank
Paul ‘Kthug’ Krugman
Barkley Rosser Jr.
Larry Summers (almost stroked out again typing that)
The list is a motley crew of Nobel prize winners, grad students with blogs, journalists, math maniacs and economists who have made good money at being practical people of business affairs (one lady is both, BTW). We also have a suave Frenchman, and good old fahsioned plain spoken blunt and bluff Englishman. We even have, I think, two Republican conservatives here. One of which, Hall, gives good analysis, though his policy advice has been consistently more conservative than Krugman’s.
I left off a few supposed ‘liberals’ like Roubini and ‘conservatives’ like Feldstein, since they let a variety of hobby horses get in the way of reliable analysis.
If Kthug offends you, read one some one else. They are saying basically the same thing.
Well, when Krugman has to deal with people leaving him voicemails calling him (as rendered by voice-recognition software) a “falcon liar” and “fall issue yet”, and saying he should lose his “parking job”, I think he’s allowed to be as dismissive of fools (and really, I’ve never actually seen him be dismissive — flabbergasted at someone’s idiocy, perhaps, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him be outright rude like a lot of other talking heads). And I’m thrilled to have a few more terms to get beyond falcon comment censors.
@jl: BTW, some on the list are not celebrity economists, and not even primarily macroeconomists. But I saw or read things by them where they called things and predicted things accurately in real time from early 2007 through mid 2008, like Stiglitz did, and I think that counts for something. And they were giving good policy advice for how to solve mortgage mess, and why the CW policies adopted would not work. So that accounts for obscure people like Chichilnisky on the list.
Weisberg has the kind of attitude that says “Of course, I’m right…but I don’t care enough about the issues I’m right about to actually defend my viewpoint with any vigor if it’ll hurt someone’s feelings.”
Oh, so civilized! As our society circles the drain faster while trying to keep its collective tongue on the feet of the billionaires…
Why do we need to read economists, when the current president is one of the biggest keynesians around? And supports the entire theory, not just certain parts, when in this or that mood. Though the prez has the unfortunate circumstance of operating in the sausage factory, Where the obstacles toward putting into practice keynesian theory, are a tad more daunting than the editors at the NYT’s
I was shocked that Krugman wasn’t rude toward Ron Paul during that debate on Bloomberg. He had every right to be, given that Paul was just lying through his teeth.
@jl: I thought Summers’ role in the stimulus discussion was not to champion a smaller stimulus because it would be better or more effective, but to give a sense of the politics that would make the bigger, better, more effective hypothetical stimulus impossible to steer through Congress. I.e., to say things like–I’m not quoting here, just imagining–“let’s not waste time talking about the benefits of things we’ll never get.”
@General Stuck: If you think you can figure out macroeconomics from what Obama does and says, then go ahead to attend to him, fine with me.
But, for example, read Krugman’s very intuitive explanation today (on his NYT blog) of why intuitions about reducing budget deficits that are valid for individual households and business are not valid for countries, currency areas, or the world.
If Obama, or the WH, has given a speech that lays that out, let me know.
But if you think you can get all that from Obama, I got no problem. I disagree with you that you can get all that, so we will have to agree to disagree, I think.
Also, I don’t find Krugman to be particularly condescending in tone or delivery. I think he gets a bit prickly when he’s asked to explain a term like “Keynesian,” but I had the impression that was because he knows he has limited time and doesn’t want to squander it on basics.
Heh…explaining pretty much anything to the majority of Americans requires remedial instruction anymore…
ETA: And that’s mostly because there’s an entire political movement whose ancillary media arm is busy 24/7 poisoning wells, so that “keynesian” comes to mean “socialist” through repetition.
@FlipYrWhig: I’ve read that too. Summers did think that he was wise about the politics of it, but in retrospect he was not.
I don’t have link now, but before he was appointed to WH position, Summers did lay out some principles for the stimulus which were consistent with a smaller and shorter program than history, and the economic numbers that we now know were as bad as pessimists feared at the time, indicate was needed.
From the policy principles Summers laid down for the 2007 recession, he was pretty sure that the private sector could snap back quickly by itself.
Funny, that a guy who makes a big deal of how he spent time working in derivatives, he had less insight into the mechanisms and what was actually happening than some others on my list, particularly Stiglitz. And less understanding about what financial reforms and mortgage industry remedies would work than Chichilnisky.
Anyway, he is free of the shackles of politics, and is willing to change his mind given new information that shows that some of his ideas were wrong.
I haven’t seen a clip or read any popular stuff by him recently, but probably he will do that in an abrasive way that makes Krugman look like little Miss Manners.
@jl: I don’t think there’s any way you’re ever going to get people to stop making the analogy between a national budget and a household budget. My issue is that the analogy can actually be used for much better purposes than it is, for instance, practically every household has debt for things like the mortgage or sending the kids to college, so we should stop acting like household budgets are matters of basic cash-on-the-barrelhead transactions. As households, we take on debt when we want to use things before we can afford to pay for them 100%; we shouldn’t be cavalier about taking on debt, but we don’t need to panic, either, as long as we can afford the payments and have a plan to pay back what we borrowed over time.
Krugman on a talk show is like Isaac Newton at a billiards match. He knows exactly how things move and why. But everyone else just wants to keep score.
Well, now that I think about it, Stuck might have a point there. I have seen clips of speeches of both Obama and Biden making the point that a household or business in fact does not do what the GOP and austerian economists advise when they face a sudden budget shortfall.
Examples, like. If you need to drive to work and your car breaks down or needs maintenance, you borrow money to get the car fixed so you can keep generating a good income. You don’t say ‘oh my’ and let the car go, and risk losing your job by not getting there on time.
Or, if you have an unexpected shortfall an little Jr. about to graduate from medical school or engineering and ready to get high paying job, you don’t cut little Jr. off, your borrow money to get him or her through graduation.
So, no talk about feedbacks there, but I think they try to explain why the bad GOP and austerian advice is nonsense.
Edit: I think those examples are from a clip I saw of Crazy ol’ Joe. I remember Obama talking about a business that hits a rough spot does not immediately lay off its R and D, or marketing people. So, I think people can understand those issues.
However, those analogies forget about the feedback effects for fiscal and monetary stimulus in a national, regional or world macroeconomy that do not have any analogies with the average household or business. So, even if Stuck has a point, I think you still need to read a good economists to get the whole picture.
As an academic exercise, then seeking out experts is a valid endeavor. But for the basics run through the political meat grinder to make law , I don’t hear Obama going against any of those basics, in action.
What he says as pol thrust and parry doesn’t bother me, it is just theater for the most part, and strategy to expose the republicans for what they are. I can find no use for high profile economists, outside of directing their expertise and ire at the republicans blocking what Obama tries to do to satisfy Keynesian theory. And that is to squeeze as much extra stimulus as possible into about every spending bill that comes across his desk. That is rarely, if ever, considered as such by pundit economists. Austerity is not acknowledging the long term goal of reducing our debt.
edit – and I maintain that those piecemeal nuggets of extra stimulus Obama has tacked onto a number of other bills not labeled as The Stimulus, has met, if not exceeded the amounts initially recommended by Mr Krugman.
lbut he won a prize like 0 so it must be good right? Not so much
@General Stuck: Last I looked into it I had doubts Obama saw macroeconomics that way a Keynesian macroeconomist did. But he may have evolved (edit: or better, learned from bitter experience). I have not played close attention lately, other than looking at random clips that pop on front page of yahoo news.
So, for the campaign, I hope you are right: that Obama has adopted good macroeconomic thinking, and he communicates it to voters.
From radio clips today, Obama sounded fired up and ready to go. I think the GOP will have to toss their ‘inadequate and ineffectual’ and ‘lazy’ black man plans into the round file.
Did we just have a small but respectful debate? Why yes, Virginia, I thinks we did. :-)
@General Stuck: Oh jeez. I forgot, this is Balloon Juice.
Stuck, you miserable bastard offspring of a molten Vulcan warthog and a radioactive Romulan garflookle. You faccid bull’s pizzle, you stopped up three tier jakes of a dozen flatulent bean eaters! I revile, repudiate, refudiate, reject and renounce you.
That’s about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. sniffle, dabs eye,
Krugman almost certainly wouldn’t have that “tone” if there was any evidence whatsoever that the people driving economic policy had extracted their heads from their asses and stopped pursuing policies that deliberately prevent recovery and sabotage what little recovery there has been.
As he points out every 15 minutes or so, we were faced with a pretty classic “government is the spender of last resort” situation in 2008. Econ 101 tells you what you do in that situation. And other than a somewhat effective but too-small stimulus here, nearly all the leading economic minds in the western world (who presumably took an intro to macroeconomics course at some point), and politicians, did the exact fucking opposite of what the situation called for.
In my view, being Cassandra the last several years gives Krugman the right to call idiots idiots as much as he pleases. So what if some beltway wankers are offended.
Krugman doesn’t get the practicalities of the politics, but on the economic issues, he’s on point.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I recall that when Krugman was a panelist on the ABC Sunday show, Cokie Roberts and George Will got increasingly upset because Krugman would correct them, and not allow either of them to be shallow or lie about the facts or economic history.
Finally, Cokie Roberts had had enough, and getting firmly settled on her insider high horse, declared that politicians on the Hill really didn’t care about economics and would do whatever they wanted with respect to tax and economic policy.
This told me everything I ever wanted to know about pundits and the Village.
Well, there you go. If Cokie Roberts declares it, it must be so.
Actually most of the people who disagree with Krugman are halfwits, so if Weisberg gets his knickers in a knot because Paul Krugman calls a spade a fucking shovel I’d say it’s one of those Villager personality quirks. As in, an amiable halfwit Villager is infinitely preferable to someone of genuine talent and accomplishment who doesn’t suffer fools.
@jl: I would add some (or maybe some more) non-neo-classical economists to this list like Steve Keen, whose book Debunking Economics is quite good, Michael Hudson, Phil Mirkowski, Michael Perelman and the blog Unlearning Economics. Some other more mainstream economists you could have named include Dean Baker, Mike Rorty, James Galbraith.
If you’re looking for one book explaining why the neo-classical/neo-liberal consensus is poor, try The Economics Anti-Textbook by Rod Hill and Tony Myatt
The problem for Weisberg and other self-proclaimed “centrists” is that Krugman won’t play along with their little game of
“the middle is always right.” It’s disconcerting for them since their political philosophy (sic) is based more on maximizing the number of people they agree with than on any analysis of the underlying arguments.
And I’m sorry, Mr. Weisberg, but anybody who still thinks austerity is the way to fix the world’s economic problems, after years of counter-evidence, is a half-wit. Intelligent debate isn’t tennis. It’s not the case that both sides of the argument are equally well-matched. The usual way that these things work out is that one line of argument wins out.
Sorry [dude/lady], this is campaign season: the more Obama does, the more the GOP will keep shrilling away about what a “failure” he is: and/or stress
“uppity” “arrogant” over “lazy” as need be.
The big “if” here will be how the national media will deal with it: if namecalling and scaremongering is all the Republicans can muster, eventually, even the Village Idiocracy will eventually notice the Emperor’s bare ass hanging out of the tattered bunting, and change their tone (if not their tune) just enough not to look too much like the fools and hacks they are. Maybe
Villago Delenda Est
Hawaii is “exotic”. Obama should vacation at a “normal” place, like Myrtle Beach.
There will be no redemption for Roberts. Her tumbrel reservation is indelible.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Right. Like Cokie Roberts would rub elbows with the proles at Myrtle Beach her own self…Villager, thy name is hypocrisy. May she be sentenced to spending all eternity locked in a room with Rush Limbaugh.
Contrarian pussies like Weisberg hate Krugman for a very simple reason. Krugman demonstrates on a near daily basis how a self-respecting lefty who knows what he is talking about SHOULD talk.
Krugman is a standing reminder to pussies like Weisberg that they are in fact sold out little self-hating pussies who have capitulated to their wingnut opponents and their Village Overlords both of whom cause them massive status anxiety that they can only relieve by throwing stones at lefties who, unlike themselves, have balls — like Krugman.
They take one look at Krugman and they feel like weak, stupid, cowards. That is because they weak and stupid and cowardly.
“Krugman is teh stoopid on teh politicisms of our era but he is teh awesum correct on teh economies of the things he economizeses about.”
“Krugman is teh stoopid on teh politicisms of our era but he is teh awesum correct on teh economies of the things he economizeses about.”
@Villago Delenda Est:
Roberts secured her place in the tumbrel in my opinion after the Palin – Biden debate when she opined that (quoting from memory, probably not fully exact) “Well, we also see the unfairness of it – if Sarah Palin had said “Bosniaks” people would savage her for it.” Radiating the most unshakeable smugness. I feel my fist tightening when I think of that pure self-satisfaction radiating out of my TV.
What was the issue? Well, Biden had, speaking of the Bosnian conflict, spoken of the “Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks”. Now Biden had been involved in negotiating a peace agreement among these groups. Roberts knew absolutely fuckall about the conflict. But she was sure Biden had made a gaffe because what he said sounded funny to her. How embarrassing for Biden.
Biden was, of course right (the term “Bosniak” is used for those who are part of the ethnic group in Bosnia that is mostly Muslim. But “Bosnian Muslim” is a religious category, where the parallel groups are “Orthodox Christians” and “Catholics”. If you are speaking of “Serbs and Croatians”, it is proper to count the ethnic category “Bosniak” as the third. A straightforward point, Biden was aware of it, Roberts was not, but the mere fact that she had no idea what she was talking about didn’t get in the way of her villager scorn at not playing the game properly.
@jl: There are now more private sector jobs than when Obama took office, despite losing 4.2 million in ’09. That is a powerful talking point, which should be used.
The real drag on the economy is the state/local public sector layoffs(-620,000/70% of that number from Republican controlled states) since Obama took office. Obama needs to explain that, and compare it to the public sector job numbers in the first 3+ years of the 5 previous presidents. I guarantee public sector jobs increased in every one of their terms, which helped the economy recover.
If those 620,000 people were rehired, the UE rate would be around 7%, and growth numbers would likely be much better. Obama should hammer that point repeatedly.
Austerity is self-defeating in a recession.
@Hill Dweller: And it just so happens that Wisconsin is Exhibit A. Fancy that!
I love what the interwebs have done for the tone argument.
It is absolute passive aggressive asshattery that passive aggressive asshats have gotten away with for years. Now, thanks to interweb trolls nearly everyone recognizes it for what it is.
Krugman is shrill and hurtful and therefore knows nothing about economics.
feh, wrong thread
Let’s see it’s been, “If your weren’t cursing so much I might listen, but…”, and what else, “Oh no, you see I’m using a completely different set of definitions whenever I want to”, and now, “Nope, too condescending! sniffle so hurtful!”
That is very clever of you. Did you come up with on your own or was is it the latest Koch sponsored action alert?
This is an easy one. Weisberg is right. Krugman has the bedside manner of Don Rickles.
Honestly, I do kinda get “tone” arguments. But I’ve also learned to think more carefully about them. I mean, women and minorities get them all the time. And – Krugman may have mentioned this sometime in the recent past – Krugman has an interesting road to travel. On the one hand, he’s trying to explain why. It’s hard to explain that without risking condescension. And he has to call out bullshit, and not just from the bullshitters themselves, but from the people who are repeating the bullshit. A person who sincerely believes bullshit isn’t a bullshitter, but is still just as damaging (possibly even more so) than the original bullshitter.
What we need is better journalism… but it’s hard, because if you’re good enough to separate the bullshit, you’re good enough to work in the field. A climate scientist can explain why global warming is real, but doesn’t have time to become a journalist (and might be a terrible writer, to boot).
Krugman, within the economics profession and alleged “experts” doing policy, finds himself in many instances dealing with the equivalent of climate change deniers. I’m sure Krugman, who comes off – frankly – as a very polite, moderate man, doesn’t treat his students this way. But in his current position as “chief explainer” for Keynesian economics, he really is dealing with a bunch of disingenuous and ideologically-driven characters in many cases and it’s imperative he point out the difference between differing interpretations of empirical data and ignoring empirical data. The latter is the province of idiots – of which there are more than a few.
Honestly I don’t understand the notion that Krugman is somehow on the “far left” of any discussions, or that he’s an ideologue. He’s always been a pragmatic, moderate, technocratically-inclined economist – a very good one – who found himself in the position of watching at least half of the “policy” world go completely crazy and show their hand as partisan extremists who didn’t give a shit about truth, justice or the American Way. “Reality changed” more than Krugman. The fact that he’s never been a radical but now finds himself banging on the gates of power preaching reason as though he were some latter-day Thomas Paine must pain a guy like Krugman, who mostly just wanted to do academic work and found himself a lightening rod for controversy in his midle years because he has low tolerance for bullshit. A lot of his “tone” is justifiable exasperation.
Good analogy, and it brings up an interesting thought question.
If your doctor had the bedside manner of Don Rickles would it make you less inclined to take his diagnoses and cures seriously?
I think ‘no’ should be the answer there, because expertise is expertise no matter how it impacts your personal feelings.
“Krugman has the bedside manner of Don Rickles.”
You’ve confused Krugman with Larry Summers. Anyone who thinks Krugman is impolite probably doesn’t like certain of what he has to say. Krugman is polite, but there are moments when he decides not to mince words. This is not the usual for policy wonks and academics – or the Beltway punditry when there is a “club” dynamic based on nothing more than communal self-regard.
Krugman isn’t a politician, an administration insider or a professional campaign advisor, so he has the freedom to speak his mind honestly. Anything less would be malpractice, given the platform he has at the Times. He’s a breath of fresh air. He’s not “cute” as a columnist, not terribly concerned what people think of him nor prone to slinging opinions that aren’t derived from a reading of actual evidence.
Doesn’t mean he’s always got the answer – especially if one tries to make the leap from his prescriptive stuff to the Beltway politics – but he’s the only “indispensable” voice who currently appears in print and on my TeeVee as a public pundit out there.
Just as a gut check for liberal self-loathing (Krugman is right most of the time but I don’t like his “tone”), is it conceivable that folks on the Right would hold this opinion of George Will, who truly is a condescending asshole? No – actually I have liberal friends who tell me how much they enjoy Will’s arrogant, unhinged musings because he’s such a brilliant thinker. That’s what “smart” sounds like to them. The motherfucker quotes Churchill relentessly – and we’re supposed to be impressed. But Krugman consistently points out shit based on evidence, dismisses co-professionals who ignore or twist data, and he’s “mean.”
Liberals who rag on Krugman need their fucking heads examined.
I wasn’t agreeing that Krugman has a bad ‘bedside manner’, just conveniently using the doctor reference. There’s nothing wrong with being blunt and frank about a technical subject. If it doesn’t come off as being friendly conversation it’s because it doesn’t need to.
General Stuck @ 76 fulfills my worst suspicions about him. Beyond stupid.
I hear ya dude, that Stuck is dumb as peat moss.
Just a reminder that most people are whiny-assed nimrods.
You are correct: Cokie’s beach house is 30 miles south of the Redneck Riviera on Pawleys Island, the oldest beach resort on the East Coast.
Just up the street from Ollie North’s place, incidentally.
It’s ironic that JW would tweet something like this now, considering Krugman has been shrill since at least 2000. Maybe Krugman’s tone is not soft because people are being dishonest. Whether the shifting justifications for Bush tax cuts, or the mushroom cloud potential of Iraq, privatizing social security, housing bubble, hyperinflation. Do you think the hyperinflationistas would be so loud if McCain’s response to the crisis were to eliminate capital gains taxes and reduce all other tax rates by half?
A large majority of Krugman’s ideological opponents have flat out lied. Calling them liars and intellecutally dishonest is not the same as calling them half-wits. Having your economic analysis driven by your political agenda is not honest analysis.
Any back-story to this from when Krugman was at Slate?
wHEN I was still young and wet behind the ears, it was ‘my Grandfathers facts and my opinions’ or was it my facts and his opinions. In the heat of the argument it got hard to tell the difference. Once the light went off that we both were doing it, I’ve tried to be more tolerant of other peoples point of view
What’s not to love about Krugman now just mocking the villagers with Muppets video clips? http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/feelings/
(also, is this the first time BJ has had a link from the NYT?)
Speaking from Ground Zero of the Amendment One debate, I’m here to tell you that when people are trying to take away other people’s basic human rights, civility is WAAAAYYYYY overrated.
@NancyDarling: Another Step-Head! Let’s hear it again for li’l Eddie Munster: “I won;t go out, I won’t.”
Krugman was so civil for so many years. Never even called Junior Bush a “liar” when any rational person could see Junior was pissin’ down our backs and tellin’ us it was raining.
After a while, he just quit being polite.