Monday, October 13, 2008


In case you haven't heard, Paul Krugman, economist, columnist, and professor at Princeton, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. For the non-econ layperson, Krugman is probably best known for his twice-weekly New York Times column in which he discusses trade theory and has been a constant critic of the George W. Bush administration's foreign and domestic policies.

Undoubtedly, Bush would've been happier if the Swedes had awarded a postumous prize to Milton Friedman, patron saint of the neo-cons and grand guru of the movement for unfettered capitalism. Friedman, to whom even a state-run educational system reeked of socialism, died in 2006 and now resides in the ninth circle of hell where everyone pays handsomely for ice water.

Krugman, on the other hand, is a liberal and progressive, though not in any narrow sense. Knowing very little about economics, we will believe the Nobel Committee when they tell us the good professor has "integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography." As the economy continues its dizzying tailspin and people make uneasy jokes about living in a bleak, Cormac McCarthy future world foraging for food with sharp sticks, this is somehow reassuring.

Krugman on the Bill Maher Show, on the current crisis:

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