My esteemable colleague streiff once wrote in 2017 that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is a “shameless shill,” and I am here to say that in my view those words are still as true today as they were back then.
Dunking on Krugman on some level, which many of us have done often here, has become sort of like shooting fish in a barrel; it’s easy enough to do.
But unlike the poor helpless fish, Krugman deserves it because he’s been flat-out wrong on so many things, as I’m sure RedState readers will agree (if they didn’t already) once they see what Krugman, who has long been an inflation denier, had to say about inflation during a recent CNN interview.
On Tuesday, Krugman, who once cheered the stealth changes made by the Biden administration to how inflation was being measured, sat down to talk with left-wing anchor Christiane Amanpour to inform her how, despite the economic woes many Americans are experiencing, the supposed reality is that things are really going well, something he emphasized in his latest column.
Incredibly, at one point Krugman declared that he was in awe of “how painless the inflation has come down.” Here’s how their exchange went down for context (bolded emphasis added, transcript typos corrected):
Amanpour: “Now, here in the United States, worries about inflation, fears of recession, polls show the majority of Americans are feeling down in the dumps about the economy. But my next guest says that’s a mistake. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says the real data is much sunnier than what people are feeling. GDP is growing. Wages are rising. Inflation and unemployment are both below 4 percent. So, let’s ask him now. Paul Krugman, welcome back to the program.”
Krugman: “Hi. Good to be on again.”
Amanpour: “Yes. So, let me ask you because this is now becoming sort of blanket wave and rolling waves in the media and in the public narrative, that somehow — and I think you have put it absolutely — you know, yourself, in your piece, I’m OK. But, you know, things look terrible. I’m paraphrasing. Why is this happening?”
Krugman: “Yes. Well, we don’t fully understand. I mean, the striking thing, if you look at it, it’s not just, you know, the economic data have been surreally good. I mean, even optimists are just stunned by how quickly and how painless the inflation has come down. That we’re — you know, no hint of a recession, at least so far, we never know, but know so far inflation not too far from, you know, the target of 2 percent and under 3 percent by most measures. And all of that just achieved painlessly.“
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 13, 2023
Well, the reason purported “economic experts” like Paul Krugman “don’t fully understand” why people aren’t rushing to praise Joe Biden is that these so-called experts live in this elite bubble where the things that are happening to Average Joes and Janes in the real world simply do not compute.
For example, back during the 2020 Antifa/BLM-led riots and the uptick in crime in Dem-run cities that came with it, Krugman alleged that what he described as “urban anarchy” was a “nonexistent crisis.” The reason why? He could go jogging in his posh NYC neighborhood and not get accosted by “black-clad anarchists.”
No, I’m serious. He actually said that:
The political question of the day is whether Trump can win politically by hammering on a nonexistent crisis of order in America’s cities. You would think not, but I’m not 100% confident 2/
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 2, 2020
Several months later, he was back for more gaslighting on that same front, suggesting in so many words that it was a fake right-wing narrative and not true that Americans were seeing riots and looting in their cities.
“In reality, given that GOP supporters believe that rampaging mobs burned and looted major cities — somehow without the people actually living in those cities noticing — getting them to see facts about something as abstract as the deficit is a hopeless cause,” Krugman tweeted at the time.
Considering Krugman’s penchant for denying reality, after his “painless” comments on CNN, people who have actually experienced economic hardships under Joe Biden let Krugman have it.
“Painless? My electric bill has been over $500 for months, I need a new car that I cannot afford, grocery prices are astronomical, I have lost over 20K in my retirement since 2021,” wrote one.
Another talked about how “Gas in my area just went up almost 20% in 10 days. PAINLESS!!!”
There were also these inconvenient truths:
— A Simple Fool ❤️🔥 (@asimplefoolblog) September 13, 2023
It is surreal when you’re paying your bills these days pic.twitter.com/motvLEpSR5
— APBIOonly (@APBIOonly) September 13, 2023
“No, it’s called psychological brainwashing,” someone else observed. “The gas/food prices have been so high for so long, that $700 more per month out of your budget is now ‘just the way it is.’ Programming acceptance through media propaganda.”
As I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter how rosy a picture elected officials and their eager enablers in the media paint of the economy; if Americans aren’t feeling it and aren’t seeing it personally, then they are going to conclude you are trying to sell them a bill of goods and will respond accordingly at the ballot box (or should).
As for Paul Krugman, while it has often been said that even a broken clock is right twice a day, I’m sure he’s one of the few people in this world whose broken clocks absolutely would be an exception to that rule because this guy just can’t get much of anything of significance right.
While that clearly doesn’t matter to the Christiane Amanpours of this world, it should matter to the rest of us, which is why under no circumstances should anything Paul Krugman says or writes be taken without a grain of salt.
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