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I see no reason to claim that Krugman is oblivious of the neoliberal criticism of the EU. I don't think that he is under any obligation to be a cheerleader to make you feel better. Krugman is not infallible and there are ample points on which to take issue with his analysis. However, if you have been reading his writing, it seems that it would have been difficult to miss the many places where he finds reason to praise the achievements of European social policy.

I disagree with your assessment of the present economic crisis. It is the nearest thing to an economic earthquake that the world has seen since the 1930s and it is not over yet.  

Pointing out the ways in which he thinks that a monetary system is dysfunctional does not constitute providing aid and comfort to your enemies.

by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2010 at 04:50:46 PM EST
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I'm not asking him to be a cheerleader to make me feel better ;), just that I may differ from his view without being pilloried for the crime of lèse-Krugman.

Richard Lyon:

your assessment of the present economic crisis. It is the nearest thing to an economic earthquake

In importance and effect, yes, but my point is that it is not a natural disaster or "act of God". It's the result of human decisions and policies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2010 at 05:11:43 PM EST
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I certainly don't think that Krugman has claimed that god had anything to do with it. Just where did you come up with that "issue"?

Regardless from whence the evil wind arose, the shock is great enough to expose all the structural weaknesses that weren't so apparent during more stable times.

by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Tue Feb 16th, 2010 at 05:21:22 PM EST
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"my point is that it is not a natural disaster or "act of God". It's the result of human decisions and policies. "

Well, that increases the strength of my point.
If you were to KNOW that there would be an earthquake, because it would be the result of policies, you'd be even keener to take it into account.
So, that the shock was human based does in no way lessen the pertinence of pointing it out if you think that a structure would not withstand it.

I am not even saying anything about whether it could withstand the shock. But if you think it can't, saying it only makes you intellectually honest, not someone trying to get Europe dismantled.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Feb 17th, 2010 at 06:35:26 AM EST
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Cyrille:
not someone trying to get Europe dismantled

For goodness' sake, where did I say Krugman was trying to get Europe dismantled?

Enough of this discussion for me.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2010 at 07:29:13 AM EST
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You did not, of course.
It may have been clumsy on my part to have written this and if I annoyed you in doing so, please accept my apologies.

I was reacting to this: "But there is no doubt in my mind that Europe is under propaganda attack by those who would be happy to see it crumble and cease to be a rival, even potential, in the "free" world. Krugman isn't one of these, but he seems frustratingly oblivious of this aspect of things. "

and of course I exagerated your point.
My view is that Krugman is not oblivious to this, however he puts himself out of such political considerations: he calls things the way he sees them, without trying to guess what effect it will have on the general discourse.

Which we may find frustrating when we fear it will play against what we like. But since I reckon that it's precisely because he will always call things the way he sees them that his writings are valuable, I am not ready to want him to do any differently when doing it might threaten what I like.

Which I probably tried to convey in too few words. Again, I never meant to offend you and I regret having done so.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Feb 17th, 2010 at 02:05:46 PM EST
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A similar reaction is happening with loyal US Democrats to Krugman's criticisms of Obama's economic policies. When he was criticizing Bush he was a hero. Now he has become an enemy.
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2010 at 02:19:51 PM EST
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Cyrille, no offence taken at all.

Just that I don't seem able, even choosing my words carefully, to be understood other than as a Krugman-basher.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 17th, 2010 at 04:20:22 PM EST
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If I may--
I do not see your remarks in that light, nor do I think others do. Please don't be offended- this is a worthwhile discussion.
I think that while it is possible to admire his work deeply, there is a fully justified disappointment in Krugman's Amerocentric point of view. It blinds him to important aspects of the problem. But I see his point of view as more of an "econometric" point of view. Economics as a discipline has a component that is forever trying to catch up to, and effectively describe, within a measurement regime, things deeper. Like a man's willingness to defend passionately a world in which the need for bread with a proper crunch to the crust is properly valued--and a million other things that matter in ways that the economic perspective can not comprehend.
After all-- they eat "Wonder Bread".

 Have you ever seen a loaf of "Wonder Bread"?
It's incredible. Foam pillow guts.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Feb 18th, 2010 at 12:08:07 AM EST
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LOL, in Britain it's called "Wonder Loaf" and is precisely presliced foam pillow with special added Stick.To.Your.Teeth™.

Thanks for your words, geez. I'm truly not offended, just don't see what I can add now that isn't going to be misunderstood.

Yes, I do find Krugman Amerocentric - more so than Stiglitz, for example. And he's certainly looking at this through his econometric glasses. Speculative attacks may seize on some measurable imbalance, but they come armed with battalions of "information" and "commentary" aimed at pumping the perception of the imbalance up to crisis level. Media pronouncements make the market. Krugman's a major media pronouncer. It's a pity he's not taking that into account and broadening the perspective of his remarks. There, that's polite.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2010 at 03:02:08 AM EST
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I'm an American who bakes his own. :)
by Richard Lyon (rllyon@gmail.com) on Thu Feb 18th, 2010 at 10:17:00 AM EST
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I don't think you are.

I just (rightly or wrongly) perceived a non-sequitur, and I know they make me snap. I guess I'm a non-sequitur basher.

Do I produce them myself? Why, most probably. Such are the infuriating contradictions of being human...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Feb 18th, 2010 at 04:59:24 AM EST
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