Paul Krugman Plays Doctor . . .

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 6, 2009

And John Stossel upbraids him for malpractice.

One of the more heartening things I have seen in punditry discourse is that people are not afraid to take Krugman on, despite his Nobel and despite his perch at the Times. I suppose that one could say that Krugman’s Nobel and perch naturally make him a target in any argument, and to a large extent, this is true. But it is important to note that many of the issues that Krugman opines about are issues in which he claims no particular expertise. To be sure, he is a very smart guy, and a very good debater, but Krugman’s Nobel is for the work he did on trade patterns, not for work he did on the economics of stimulus packages, or the economics of health care, or the economics of why–according to Paul Krugman–Republicans are bad people.

I don’t necessarily blame Krugman for using the fact that he won a Nobel Prize–a well-deserved win, as I have written before–in order to place himself in a position of authority on a whole host of arguments of the day. That’s the kind of thing that professional pundits do, and if Krugman didn’t do it, the New York Times would be very angry with him. But I would blame the world of punditry–or individual members of it–if they didn’t call Krugman on this kind of behavior. Fortunately, Stossel isn’t afraid to take Krugman on. May others learn from his example.

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