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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paul Krugman, "Failure Is Good": A Potshot at Thomas Friedman?

Paul Krugman has been ornery of late, seeking to rake fellow New York Times columnist, David Brooks, over the coals for daring to promote the virtues of America's oil shale reserves (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.com/2011/11/krugman-here-comes-sun-krugman-wages.html).

Today, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Failure Is Good" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/opinion/krugman-failure-is-good.html?_r=1&hp), Krugman appears to have found a new object of derision. Observing that the economy will likely remain sour until at least 2014, Krugman declares for the umpteenth time:

"Slashing spending while the economy is depressed destroys jobs, and it’s probably even counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction, since it leads to lower revenue both now and in the future."

(Sorry, that was me yawning in the background as you perused Krugman's bull, as in papal).

More interesting, however, than Krugman's tired spending screed is his attack on "centrists":

"Oh, and let me give a special shout-out to 'centrist' pundits who won’t admit that President Obama has already given them what they want. The dialogue seems to go like this. Pundit: 'Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?' Mr. Obama: 'I support a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes.' Pundit: 'Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?'"

In case you missed it, in his Times opinion piece on Tuesday entitled "Who's the Decider?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/opinion/whos-the-decider.html?_r=1&hp), Thomas Friedman declared:

"Here we are in America again on the eve of a major budgetary decision by yet another bipartisan 'supercommittee,' and does anyone know what President Obama’s preferred outcome is? Exactly which taxes does he want raised, and which spending does he want cut? The president’s politics on this issue seems to be a bowl of poll-tested mush."

You're such a naughty boy, Tom. Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Krugman!

What's gotten into Paul? Recently visiting the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York and seemingly experiencing something akin to an orgasm, he declared (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/clay-waters/2011/10/14/nyts-paul-krugman-occupy-wall-street-protest-wonderful-thing):

"But I think the explosion of this movement really suggests that there were an awful lot of people who were just waiting for somebody to say it, and here we are, and it’s a wonderful thing."

Personally, I don't consider rape, drugs, violence, anti-Semitism and defecation on police cars to be "wonderful," and I would suggest to Krugman that it is a little early to be getting into bed with this lot, where failure is never good.

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