by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
There is too much information here for a blog post to do justice and remain a blog post (as opposed to a booklet), so please read this entry in Forbes on the subject.
The catalyst for Krugman’s disgrace would be economic historian Niall Ferguson’s public indictment and surgical dismantling of the egomaniac who calls himself (really) “Krugtron the Invincible.” It was published in three parts (one, two, and three) in the Huffington Post and given a coda in Project Syndicate under the title “Civilizing the Marketplace of Ideas.” In the third entry, Ferguson explains his motivation:
I have three motives. The first is to illuminate the way the world really works, as opposed to the way Krugman and his beloved New Keynesian macroeconomic models say it works. The second is to assert the importance of humility and civility in public as well as academic discourse. And the third, frankly, is to teach him the meaning of the old Scottish regimental motto: nemo me impune lacessit (“No one attacks me with impunity”).
On that last point, Ferguson recounts a number of personal attacks visited upon him by Krugman, as well as (and this should not surprise Locker Room readers) Krugman’s repeated sanctimonious declarations of opposition to personal attacks.
Also not a surprise to Locker Room readers is Ferguson’s demonstration that, “In short, if Paul Krugman truly has won ‘a stunning victory’ in ‘an epic intellectual debate’ – as he recently claimed – it appears to have been over … Paul Krugman.” We have seen the same thing in North Carolina with the debate of Krugtron vs. Krugman on generous unemployment benefits.
Where I come from, however, we do not fear bullies. We despise them. And we do so because we understand that what motivates their bullying is a deep sense of insecurity. Unfortunately for Krugtron the Invincible, his ultimate nightmare has just become a reality. By applying the methods of the historian – by quoting and contextualizing his own published words – I believe I have now made him what he richly deserves to be: a figure of fun, whose predictions (and proscriptions) no one should ever again take seriously.