Paul Krugman went to the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park on Thursday night. He also appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" and spoke about his visit.
Krugman, who has been a strong supporter of the protests, recently responded to readers' requests to speak to and join the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Krugman wrote that he would not participate in the protests or address the demonstrators as it crosses the line between advocate and activist, a line he did not want to cross.
He told Maddow on her show Thursday night that he did go down to the protests and described the protesters as "good-natured, mild-mannered group of demonstrators." He added, "these were your neighbors basically down in Zuccotti Park."
Krugman also told Maddow that Occupy Wall Street had successfully changed public discourse to the topics of job creation and economic growth. "The conversation has changed a lot just in the last month or so...just six weeks ago it was all deficits, deficits, deficits, which is the wrong subject." He said this shift in discourse could be attributed to President Obama's jobs bill but also to Occupy Wall Street. "...it's really amazing," Krugman said.
UPDATE: Krugman wrote a blog post on Friday about his trip to Occupy Wall Street.
"Michael Moore gave a short speech, transmitted by the human microphone," he wrote. "I gather that right-wingers are claiming that OWS is anti-Semitic; someone forgot to tell the excellent Klezmer band." He said the people he saw were hardly the sort "that one would expect to shake up the whole national debate. Yet it has — which can only mean one thing: the emperor was naked, and all it took was one honest voice to point it out."