Poor Paul Krugman. He’s been reduced to using zombie metaphors to illustrate his disdain for certain “centrist” Democratic presidential candidates.
Krugman wrote Feb. 17 that “sometimes zombie ideas also manage to eat centrists’ brains,” in an op-ed headlined “Have Zombies Eaten Bloomberg’s and Buttigieg’s Brains?” This appears to be an obvious play on his recently released book “Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.” To be clear, Krugman assured his readers that the “most important zombie ideas are on the right, kept undead by big money from billionaires who have a financial interest in getting people to believe things that aren’t true.” [Emphasis added.]
Still, he’s worried that “some of the most destructive zombies of the past dozen years” have made it into the “Democratic primary fight, where a couple of centrists are repeating ideas that were thoroughly debunked years ago.” [Emphasis added.]
Krugman warned Democrats against nominating the wrong “centrist”:
“[Y]ou can make a good case for the proposition that Democrats should, in the end, nominate a centrist. But a centrist whose brain has been eaten by zombie ideas? Not so much” [emphasis added].
Did he know that The Washington Post Editorial Board concluded Feb. 9, that there were “no ‘centrists’” in the 2020 race?
Krugman accused Michael Bloomberg of adopting a right-wing “zombie idea” that “liberals somehow caused the [2008 financial] crisis by forcing poor innocent bankers to lend money to people of color.” [Emphasis added.]
He then clarified that ridiculous assertion in a parenthesized sentence afterward:
“([T]hey weren’t usually that explicit, but that was the clear message)” [emphasis added].
But Krugman also went after Mayor Pete Buttigieg for another zombie idea: “the obsession with government debt.” [Emphasis added.] Is that all the $23.29 trillion-plus national debt is to Krugman?
Krugman chose to link out to research by liberal economist Olivier Blanchard to prove his point that the “obsession with government debt” has been disproven with “economic research and experience.” Interestingly, this is the same Blanchard that Paul Krugman ridiculed in 2009 for suggesting in 2008 that the “state of macro” was good just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Krugman’s 2009 article is actually headlined: “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”
MRC Business looks forward to reading his latest book, which is promoted on Amazon this way:
“There is no better guide than Paul Krugman to basic economics, the ideas that animate much of our public policy. Likewise, there is no stronger foe of zombie economics, the misunderstandings that just won’t die,” [emphasis added].