I wish I were as sure of anything as Paul Krugman is of everything. But it's his unfounded moral superiority that really goads.
In his July 2nd NY Times column, "Myths of Austerity," Krugman writes, "When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people took positions based on careful considerations of the options. Now I know better. Much of what Serious People believe rests on prejudice, not analysis."
I agree with this last sentence, but I'd substitute "Paul Krugman" for "Serious People."
What I and other economists expected, when Krugman was chosen to write for the Times, was impartial, fact-based analysis, showcasing economics' ability to shed real light on critical issues of the day. We also expected him to act like a professional economist and represent fairly alternative policy positions before drawing his conclusion.
Instead, we've been served a highly political, pretentious rant, of which this column is a fine example. I share Krugman's social concerns, but his ratio of politics and frequent personal attacks to economics is appallingly high.
In his column, Krugman derides those who are rightfully alarmed by America's demonstrable fiscal insolvency and pushing for immediate policy adjustments as "policy elites" trafficking in "figments of imagination," and engaged in "sheer speculation," with no basis "on either evidence or careful analysis."
The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) 75-year fiscal forecast (called the Alternative Fiscal Scenario) is no figment of imagination. This year's forecast, appeared two days before Krugman's piece and shows that the U.S. is in terrible fiscal shape - worse than Greece. Perhaps Krugman missed it.