Friday, January 23, 2009

Krugman v. Obama: Fight Over in a Technical Knock-Out

I recently posted what I thought was a brilliant analysis of a Paul Krugman op-ed in the Times, and pointed out the implicit criticisms of Mr. Obama's economic thinking, in Krugman v. Obama (Jan. 19). There were no plans to revisit this topic, till the following screed from the good doctor in his piece today, "Stuck in the Muddle":

"Like anyone who pays attention to business and financial news, I am in a state of high economic anxiety. Like everyone of good will, I hoped that President Obama’s Inaugural Address would offer some reassurance, that it would suggest that the new administration has this thing covered.

But it was not to be. I ended Tuesday less confident about the direction of economic policy than I was in the morning."

It gets harsher. What could be a more stinging insult than the following?

"Also, one wishes that the speechwriters had come up with something more inspiring than a call for an “era of responsibility” — which, not to put too fine a point on it, was the same thing former President George W. Bush called for eight years ago."

Obama as Bush? And proving it with Bush's own words? This is not a fair fight. Think of Ali v. Liston in Lewiston, Maine. (And, as a fillip, note that Dr. Krugman dissed the idea that Mr. Obama wrote his own speech: carefully note his use of the term "the speechwriters".)

The Nobel and a TKO in only two columns over the highest-achieving lawyer in the US of A? The crowd's on its feet in admiration. What can Dr. K do for an encore? We watch with bated breath.

On the economy, Krugman's hot, Obama's not.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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