Krugman vs CNBC

Paul Krugman appeared on CNBC overnight and the results were fascinating as his Keynsian views went head-to-head with an ideological distaste for government. Great viewing.

Houses and Holes
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  1. I believe the ideological distaste of the gubbermint in this video is just the class war in disguise. There is no other plausible explanation. This discussion left the arena of economics long time ago, now it is mostly about morality.

  2. The disturbing thing is that the guy leaning back in his chair with his sarcasm, not letting Krugman get his answers in, looks like he wants a slot on FOX news.

  3. Good interview – pity about the interference from Joe Kernan. Perhaps one day the Kernan and Santelli set will learn something.

  4. Frankly, rude and ignorant smart-arses. How anyone can watch those finance talking head shows is beyond me. Krugman at the end, looking like a deer caught in headlights, astonished at what he had just witnessed and regretfully participated in.

    But kinda scary too, is this polarisation the future of American political and economic discussion – stymieing hopes for intelligent policy.

    We ARE the lucky country!

    • +1 Thanks a lot for the link. The marching stupidity and ignorance is the disease of our century, unfortunately.

      • I support intelligent economic policy. Policy that supports a social welfare safety net that is sustainable on a generational basis; discouragement of ‘entitlement’ handouts; prudent regulation, not regulation for regulation’s sake; a fair taxation system not disproportionately penalising any one sector or group of individuals; limits to the size of government bureaucracy; am supportive of environmental initiatives to ensure clean waterways, prevention of arable land degradation where appropriate and limit hazardous airborne chemical particulates – not wealth redistribution schemes disguised as environmental policy, nor schemes that ensure over time prohibitive electricity costs; you get the general idea. Prudent, sensible, economic policy.

        You see it as ‘ironic’, I see it as desirable.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      But kinda scary too, is this polarisation the future of American political and economic discussion – stymieing hopes for intelligent policy.

      The Australian Right has been watching its US brethren closely and is marching us towards the same fate as quickly as it can.

      • Funny that you blame the right for the polarisation. The left are completely innocent I guess right?

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Funny that you blame the right for the polarisation. The left are completely innocent I guess right?

          Not innocent, but the vast, vast majority of polarising attack politics and broken economics policy has come from the Right.

          • The political spectrum all over western democracy has shifted left, and the right is “to blame” for sticking up for itself?

            I recall that the libertarian Sean Gabb gave a speech to the UK’s “Young Conservatives” (Google it, the transcript is online), and he was BOOED and HISSED by the “Young Conservatives” for his dreadful hard-heartedness.

            What he said in response was something like this. “The existence of my views really MATTERS to YOU people’s political credibility, because if MY views are not allowed to exist, the left wing will portray YOU as the new “extreme” on the Right”.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            The political spectrum all over western democracy has shifted left, and the right is “to blame” for sticking up for itself?

            I can only assume this is parody, because the political spectrum all over the western world has been shifting right (at an accelerating rate) for the better part of forty years.

  5. The arrogance of the interviewing men were appalling. Their ignorance shows how far the Americans have gone in their ideology and narrow vision about the world and the economy. They don’t know history, don’t now what the other countries are doing, they don’t know economics, they even don’t know basis ethics. It is very sad, because some of them are younger than Krugman and they are the American future. Their lack of arguments and aggressiveness left me with bitter taste and disgust.

        • The Patrician

          You’re right 3d, that was an inappropriate comparison.
          A more accurate statement is “Fox News is like The Australian on TV”.

      • Prince, by making statements of excess like that you are participating in the spiral down game of polarisation witnessed in the interview.

        You are smart enough to know that.

        • 3d1k by making replies like that, you show that you also believe “Nuance” is a village in southern France. I didn’t say The Cupboard = CNBC

          Before you check your premises, check your grammar checker…your software needs an urgent upgrade (but I’m afraid the firmware is rooted)

          For the record – even though they publish my articles, Dog love them – by not liking The Oz does not mean I’m a fan of Fairfax.

          I disdain both sides of MSM -just like both polarised sides of politics. Neither has my vote nor respect.

          • Ouch. ‘Nuance a village in southern France’ – are you McCrann? I’m not CJ.

            Grammar not concern – recall a whole thread a way back when a whole bunch (incl. HnH) confessed lack of interest (due of lack of having been taught) in grammar and grammar nazis. Firmly rooted in perfection, trust me. 🙂

            Just don’t get MBs distaste for the The Oz, repeated ad infinitum. You get a call from Mitchell, Mathieson, Kelly or Elliot to reprint an article of yours – gonna do it or is the said distaste too embedded.

            Perpetuation of polarisation?

          • Grammar not concern

            LOL. That wouldn’t look out of place in a Rupert Murdoch tweet.

            I get it now. Nothing is wrong with your grammar – just that your developer has progammed Murdochian grammar instead of Queen’s grammar into your script engine.

          • A rather odd comment Prince, considering there are grammar mistakes in the vast majority of articles I read on this site.

      • The problem is most people who have even slightest idea and interest in economics and in the economy maybe listening those cube-heads. They are brain washing those who are not well educated and start repeating their stupid and empty ideas (I feel I am insulting the word “idea”, but my English isn’t much sophisticated, sorry).

    • And yet someone like Peter Fraser writes this :”Good interview”.

      You are write Lori, it was profoundly disturbing, a disgusting interaction. Ignorance masquerading as arrogance and belligerence.

      Really, really, sad.

      • I meant that Krugman was worth listening to. The conduct of the CNBC crew was deplorable, had you actually read my words that would have been evident.

        • Lots of nuance getting by people this morning – I understood what Peter meant. It was a good interview, in that it showed what ideologies are at play here.

          It was not a good interview in the style of “hey, let’s inform the viewer and make him a more rounded person intellectually”….

          • Disagree – It was a bad interview.

            He is frequently interviewed by intelligent people and there is light shed on the matter.

            IT was an appalling interview, just because Krugman has good ideas – does not make it a good interview. He did not get one point across, was being railroaded into how much governments can spend, railroaded into death panels and health rationing, railroaded into small government limited taxation – which part was good ?

            Nothing was good.

            I read Peters Words, Peter, and you miss almost every nuance ever given you, I unlike you ALWAYS read the words.

            Seriously – it was a bad interview. Revealed nothing absolutely nothing we do not already know, discussed nothing, offered nothing.

            All it did was confirm how depressing things are in the US paradigm – like we needed that.

          • Aristo.. I will have to side with PF on this.

            I doubt you can infer sooo much of PF’s thinking out of so little that he has actually said (“Good interview”).

          • Thank you TP and Mav – I’m not used to support around here.

            Aristo you wrote “You are write Lori”

            Normally I would never be pedantic and bother with typing errors, but for you I will make an exception.

            You are so incredibly pedantic on everyone yet so forgiving of yourself.

    • You’d be better off watching his interviews on The Daily Shot and Colbert Report if you want an informative interview.

      Those Cnbc talking heads are disgraceful

      • I think it is fair enough if Krugman gets a hard time from someone on TV once in a while; it has been a norm for years for economists and politicians with free market views to get demonised on mainstream TV. I do not understand why Krugman gets such respect, he is utterly partisan and biased. He was hammering George W Bush over excessively high deficits just a few years ago. Now he thinks deficits twenty times a high are a good thing?
        Follow Daniel J Mitchell for a while to get some good “fisking” of Krugman.

  6. It was a toned down version of what you get on the “fair and balanced” Fox.

    I think Krugman handled himself well and with respect for others views rather than what was tossed at him.

    BTW I much prefer the health care in EU to the US any day having experienced both.

  7. Krugs needs to harden up and stop playing victim. He knows the difference between a cable news panel and a university debate, yet he bemoans they took to him with banality. I bet there wouldn’t have been a problem if that banality had continued about his Nobel. How many thousands of spots like this has he done before, are they all big thinking and do they all go down the path of talking exclusively about whatever piece of memorabilia he’s flogging?

    And he hardly stands above them when he scurries back to the NYT and takes a cheap shot amongst the safety of his people, stating the obvious about the terrible investment advice you’ll get by watching cable business news. Just so he can be bombarded with messages of support from his fans like “Don’t worry, Paul, I stopped watching CNBC years ago.”

  8. Any conservative or libertarian posters please link to your economic heroes with insights and solutions….

    nb. I’m already familiar with Judith Sloan’s views.

      • Well that certainly didn’t work, so let’s try it again…..

        After the Austrians excommunicated Greenspan, it was only a matter of time before they would get around to Friedman. This sleight-of-hand allows them to start out with a clean slate, as if they had nothing at all to do with the policies that got us into our current situation. There certainly didn’t seem to be too much difference between these two Chicago Boys back in 1975 when they traispsed down to Chile to throw their unbridled support behind the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. As Hayek told a Chilean interviewer the time: “My personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism.”

        And as the Mexican write Carlos Fuentes observed in The Buried Mirror:


        “In a savage action, Allende partisans were rounded up, gathered in a stadium, and murdered en masse. Others were sent to concentration camps, and still others were exiled and sometimes murdered abroad. Pinochet did all this in the name of democracy and anticommunism.”

        **end quote**

        I’ve always admired the erudition with which Hannah Arendt took down the pathological ideologies peddled by schools of “thought” like the Austrian School:


        “[I]n our own century this country has shown a deplorable inclination to succumb to and to magnify almost every fad and humbug which the disintegration not of the West but of the European political and social fabric after the First World War has brought into intellectual prominence. The strange magnification and, sometimes, distortion of a host of pseudo-scientific nonsense—-particularly in the social and psychological sciences—-may be due to the fact that these theories, once they had crossed the Atlantic, lost their basis of reality and with it all limitations through common sense. But the reason America has shown such ready receptivity to far-fetched ideas and grotesque notions may simply be that the human mind stands in need of concepts if it is to function at all; hence it will accept almost anything whenever its foremost task, the comprehensive understanding of reality and the coming to terms with it, is in danger of being compromised.

        Hannah Arendt, On Revolution

        **end quote**

  9. This debate, just like professional wrestling, is great entertainment, but one should not mistake it for a true contest. For the simple fact is that both Krugman and his supposed CNBC adversaries are on the same team, the creditor-class team, and in both of their ideologies debt is placed on a pedestal and deemed sacrosanct.

    To characterize someone like Krugman—-a neoclassicist masquerading in Keynesian drag—-as a “Keynesian” requires quite a leap into fantasyland. Krugman hails from the Rubinomics wing of the Democratic Party, that is the wing of the party controlled by the financiers and bankers. (For a great discussion on how characteropaths take benign ideologies and corrupt them for their own disordered purposes there’s the book by the Polish psychologist Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology.) In fact, Krugman does such an outrageous impersonation of a Keynesian that he reminds me of People Magazine’s “The Drag Queen of the Century,” Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine, who can be seen in action here:

    • good luck there glen. whoa. some time back i linked to a Brit Sitcom featuring the lumpenproletariat. Was rapidly deleted! (was brilliant though).

  10. That look on Krugman’s face of WTF?!? at the end kind of sums up contemporary economic debate not only in America, but in this country too… GOLD!