06 Jun 2018

Krugman Unwittingly Compliments Conservatives

Economics, Energy, Krugman 3 Comments

I really think this is a case where Krugman’s argument blew up in his face. The Trump Administration came back to the idea of subsidizing nuclear and coal-fired power plants, and so Krugman naturally screamed hypocrisy. Yet the link Krugman gave to the news story showed why conservatives were being consistent on this; I spell it all out in this IER post.

Even worse for Krugman, since his column came out there have been lots of free-market groups condemning the proposal. E.g. here’s the WSJ editorial board comparing Trump to Obama on this score, and here’s a CNBC article explaining all the conservative and libertarian groups publicly condemning the plan. From that article, there’s a quote from Cato’s Peter van Doren saying, “If you can find anyone who’s market-oriented or says they’re conservative and supports this, they should turn in their badge.” (I quibble only with the grammar…)

HONEST QUESTION: For my progressive-ish friends reading this, can you point me to an analogous episode under the Obama Administration? I.e. where the Obama Administration did something that was blatantly a violation of standard “progressive Democrat” principles and then Obama’s own appointees, as well as ThinkProgress and Paul Krugman for that matter, criticized the proposal?

3 Responses to “Krugman Unwittingly Compliments Conservatives”

  1. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, I’ll readily admit that there wasn’t internal administration chaos in the Obama administration of the kind that we see in the Trump administration. But there were numerous occasions where Krugman, ThinkProgress, etc. criticized Obama and his administration for being insufficiently liberal. There was criticism of the Stimulus being too small, Obamacare being too conservative in its approach, the 2010 extension of the Bush tax cuts, the shutdown and debt ceiling deals of 2011, the NSA scandal, the detention of Chelsea Manning, drone strikes, nuclear power plant approvals, excessive numbers of deportations, etc.

  2. Andrew says:

    Haven’t you heard Bob? ‘They’ is the new gender-neutral singular person pronoun.

    I agree that it’s very annoying to read but, unfortunately, I expect to see this usage of ‘they’ increase moving forward.

    If this usage by Peter van Doren was intentional for political correctness purposes and not a mistake, then he should be the one turning in his conservative badge and gun. On the other hand, if it was a mistake, then he needs to turn in his writer’s badge for a two weeks suspension and submit a written apology prior to returning to duty.

  3. Ryan Murphy says:


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