Way way way back on July 3, Krugman wrote a post with the sarcastic title “Nobody Pays Any Attention to What I Say.” Here’s the gist of it:
Or that’s what people keep telling me. Actually, one of the odd but revealing things about modern conservatives is the way they alternate between paranoia about the vast left-wing conspiracy and insistence that people who disagree with them are part of a tiny fringe with no real following…
So, on the general principle that if I am not for myself, who will be for me: that left-wing rag the Wall Street Journal has a new assessment, based on some supposedly objective criteria (but not including Twitter followers) of the most influential business thinkers. They see a big change since the last time they did this, five years ago…This time, the top thinkers are:
2. Joseph Stiglitz
3. Bill Gates
4. Michael Porter
5. Thomas Friedman
6. Eric Schmidt
7. Richard Branson
8. Malcolm Gladwell
9. Robert Reich
10. Jack Welch
11. Muhammad Yunus
12. Niall Ferguson
13. Michael Dell
14. Howard Gardner
15. Jimmy Wales
Something else…is that the list isn’t just heavy on economists; it’s heavy on liberal economists. I don’t think that’s an accident, and I don’t think it’s purely political. The fact is that in an era of markets gone massively bad, conservative economists don’t have much to offer except excuses.
At the time, I thought this was an odd post. Perhaps the single person on Earth most responsible for the idea that nobody listens to Paul Krugman is…Paul Krugman himself. Think of how he always laments about the Very Serious People listening to the allegedly discredited R&R, John Taylor, Allan Meltzer, even though they’ve “been totally wrong about everything” since the crisis began, etc.
I was going to go find some of these recent posts, to give an example of what I mean, but fortunately today (July 5, a full 48 hours after the above), Krugman writes:
We had what felt like an epic intellectual debate over austerity economics, which ended, insofar as such debates ever end, with a stunning victory for the anti-austerity side — and hardly anything changed in the real world. Meanwhile, the pain caucus has found a new target, inventing dubious reasons for monetary tightening. And mass unemployment goes on.
So how does this end? Here’s a depressing thought: maybe it doesn’t.
OK great. When the depression fails to end, according to the July 3 post, I am going to blame it on the highly influential liberal economists like Krugman, Stiglitz, and Reich. If Krugman then comes back and says, “No no no, nobody listens to what I say, that’s why we are mired in depression,” we can then point out his odd and revealing alternation between smug pride over his influence, and paranoia about people ignoring him.