Sunday, May 26, 2013

Why I Like Paul Krugman

I've never met Paul Krugman, but I've always read his New York Times column.  I admire him and his column for several reasons.

First, I admire his research. Krugman was a great researcher. When he focused on economics research, he did great economics research.

Second, I admire his versatility. Krugman successfully transformed himself from a great economics researcher into an equally great political commentator. That's really hard.

Third, I admire his sparkling prose, which suits his new political mission perfectly.  He writes very, very well. The left has never had a better voice.

Fourth, I admire his perseverance in meeting strict deadlines, week after week. I fear that I couldn't do that. Indeed I fear that just producing another five-paragraph installment of this blog might take, say, a year.

But the most important reason why I like Krugman, by far, is that his column has tremendous practical value. To paraphrase Milton Friedman's long-ago remark about John Kenneth Galbraith, I like Krugman because to take the correct stand on any issue I need only learn Krugman's, and take the opposite.