4 July 2022 12:21:34 by Jers
It’s time to dump NYT columnist Paul Krugman. He writes reasonably well, but he is so predictable, so partisan, so slyly dishonest.
Everything that Donald Trump did is either wrong, or, if right, right by mistake or from a bad motive. Mr. K also omits relevant facts and makes stuff up — and context? What is that?
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His 2020 book, Arguing with Zombies, is exemplary. Krugman “summarizes” the “Trump administration/right-wing media” position: Coronavirus is “a hoax”? (Only if you are a dishonest Democratic PAC . Mr. T never said so.) Besides, “doing anything about it would destroy the economy.” Well, Trump did something is and the economy is being hurt. So?
And, “it’s China’s fault, which is why we [says Trump] should call it the ‘Chinese virus’.” Er, how about Spanish flu, Lyme disease — Wuhan virus? Mr. T is a counterpuncher; he was reacting to the Krugmans of the world who criticize him for absolutely anything he does. He’s slammed for naming the virus for its place of origin, so he doubles down. Not very presidential, but neither racist nor risking lives—and way better than Biden’s slamming SCOTUS as “outrageous”.
Apparently, uncritical acceptance of anthropogenic climate change (AGW) is the new dogma; and “denialism” — “the Trump/right-wing line [some stereotyping here?] on climate change” — is the new heresy. The late, great Freeman Dyson, not either an idiot or a right-wing flack, was skeptical. And he is not the only one. Many of my friends, engineers and physicists, none in thrall to “big energy”, are skeptics. Mr K’s “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” call-outs to the likeminded are lazy and dishonest.
“[C]limate scientists … have faced constant harassment for decades” claims Mr. K. Really? I recently co-wrote an article (expanded to two chapters in a book) trying to explain to myself and other non-experts the evidence for AGW. I sent it to a climate-science colleague asking for comments. Instead of comments, I got a diatribe, amounting to “stay in your lane, non-climate-scientist!” (Other climate scientists I asked were much more polite, but my colleague’s reaction is all too common.)
Writer Mark Steyn, the National Review and others were sued by climate scientist Michael Mann because they published or re-published something disagreeable someone said about Mann’s work. The Washington Post, neither a haven for conservatives nor an AGW denier, commented: “If the comments at issue in this case are potentially actionable defamation, then so too are all manner of hyperbolic charges hurled against climate skeptics by environmentalist activists, including accusations that skeptics are corporate shills or paid for their positions. Indeed, Mann himself has made comments over the years that might themselves be actionable.” Critics have taken much more of a beating than AGW proponents (“How dare you….you are failing us…we will not let you get away with this” rants young Ms. Thunberg to the UN). To imply that AGW believers are the only victims, as Krugman does, is downright dishonest.
According to Mr. K, the right, especially if religious, doesn’t believe or even actively hates science. And the evidence? A NYT article that begins with a 19th century “proslavery theologian” as somehow typical of 21st century believers. Perhaps any criticism of the “consensus view” (i.e., what PK and his bien pensant friends believe) is sufficient proof of science hatred?
For Krugman, only he and his friends are sincere. For the rest, cui bono explains all: “The force that usually keeps zombie ideas shambling along is naked financial self-interest.”
Mr. Krugman’s Nobel Prize doesn’t justify his editorial perch. Most people are skeptical of the Peace Nobel, because the odd list of awardees: Yasser Arafat? Barack Obama? Al Gore? Not to mention the European Union (Ukraine anyone?). But at least all these folks professed a commitment to peace. The Economics Nobel lacks even that much consistency. In 2013, for example, not long after the 2008 crash, the prize was awarded to two people with diametrically opposed views on efficient market theory— one or both of them must be wrong, so why the Nobel (perhaps it’s just a citation count)?
Mr. K should recover his expertise and take a look at the Shiller-Fama Nobel debate? Perhaps he can shed some light on it instead of promoting partisanship as predictable as Trump’s hairstyle. No, better to write a potential best-seller on zombie ideas.
More “naked financial self-interest” in that?