Paul Krugman Explained?

How much of Paul Krugman does this explain?


  1. I’d agree that this explains a lot. He is an egomaniac. He contradicts himself at points when he begins mentioning complex systems, which Austrian econ goes much further in explaining when it comes to economics than his preferred brand.

    His snide little remarks at Rand’s expense are funny. First of all, Rand intended her fiction to be romantic and grandiose. She did not intend it to be realistic, although I think Atlas Shrugged is realistic in portraying what might one day happen if the productive classes tell their leeches to bugger off. Secondly, his own vision is far closer to fantasy, given the calculation and knowledge problems in economics. The man is sick in the head. He is a narcissistic sociopath.

  2. ” Think of weather forecasting: no matter how good the models get, we’re never going to be able to predict that a particular storm will hit Philadelphia in a particular week 20 years from now. ”

    I’m actually rather surprised at this. Such humility seems unlike Krugman or his ilk. Here he almost sounds like he is in fact in possession of Sowell’s “constrained vision” of humanity, though in practice his reckless and destructive policy recommendations belie such a notion.

  3. “If there eventually is a true, integrated social science, it will still be a science of complex, nonlinear systems – systems that are chaotic in the technical sense, and hence not susceptible to detailed long-run forecasts.”

    If only any Austrians had ever thought to write about systems that emerge from unplanned chaos, then maybe Krugman would actually bother reading them.

  4. “Well, on good days I do feel as if we’re making progress in that direction. And as an economist I’ve been having a fair number of such good days lately.”

    Maybe he just bought a new mirror?

    “Economists who took that model seriously back in, say, early 2009 were ridiculed and lambasted for making such counterintuitive assertions. But their predictions came true.”

    And those who predicted we would not get hurt by jumping out of a 20-story building are STILL correct as we pass floor 13… floor 12… floor 11. Yes, all is well, their predictions came true!

    “economics is, after all, largely about greed, while other social sciences have to deal with more complex emotions”

    Yes, the mathematical modeling of greed is quite straightforward.

  5. Rather sickening, really, that he views himself as a hero manipulating the ignorant masses for their own good.

    It’s somewhat telling that Asimov had a major “reabsorptionist” streak not unlike that of the Marxists, which Rothbard traces back to nutjob religious movements in the Middle Ages. The basics of the story remain remarkably constant throughout all of them: mind over matter, humans somehow ceasing to be individuals and becoming collectively a great force that has the power of altering the universe by acts of will.

    You know, I think this delusion of being able to change the world by wishing it done is at the heart of an incredible amount of ill that’s been unleashed by the human mind throughout the ages. It’s a comforting idea – that if only the “hidden potential of the human mind” could be “unlocked”, our physical bodies, and the cruel world, could be left behind to rot.

    But because it’s embarrassingly obvious that no crackpot mind trick seems to grant omnipotence or transcendence on the individual level, the frustrated would-be god turns to the next best thing. After all, society produces all sorts of goodies in a seemingly magical manner. If only the “hidden potential of society” could be “unlocked” (by the proletarian revolution… or government deficits, take your pick), humanity could leave scarcity behind and become as gods!

    If some people still believe in the former, I’m afraid it might be a long time before the latter is seen for the absurdity that it is.

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