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Well, it could have been Krugman

Well, it could have been Krugman

Someone created a faux Paul Krugman Google+ account and posted the following:

People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.

The message sent out on Twitter (now removed) was picked up by Tim Carney (retweet now removed) and skeptically by Allahpundit.  There is an extensive Memeorandum thread as well.

I don’t approve of creating fake accounts to deceive people, but the thing is, it could have been Krugman:

… I will share this gem from Paul Krugman’s recent blog post in which he claims that the tragedy and recovery in Japan likely will be “expansionary.” Yes, we see yet another “economist” become a caricature of the people who
claimed that the hoodlum who broke the baker’s window described in Henry Hazlitt’s classic Economics in One Lesson.

As Hazlitt explains in the first chapter, the “Broken Window Fallacy” is the central fallacy that we see in one form or another, and from what I see, Krugman is the biggest advocate of this fallacy. Hey, I know. We’re in a “liquidity trap,” so the world is turned upside down. Right?

More on the Broken Window Parable from Kathleen’s post last March.

While it wasn’t Krugman, it could have been.  And that’s the priceless part of it.  Life imitating parody, or vice versa.


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In hindsight it should have been obvious this wasn’t genuine Krugman. It wasn’t nearly as loony as most of his recent statements.

[…] So here’s two off the idiot wingers that perpetually refuse to fact check, because facts are so damned inconvenient: The American Thinker , The National Review. I put the link up top to Hot Air that at least updated and corrected the story.   Of course, the right wing story is some take on what I printed from the person committing the identity theft.  Well, it sounded like something he’d say! […]

Captain Obvious | August 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Krugman’s response to the debacle:

“So if you see me quoted as saying something really smart or insightful, and it came from the Times or some other verifiable site, you should probably assume it was a fake.”

Well, it could have been Krugman.

It’s been said before, and will be said again…

Fake but accurate.

    Captain Obvious in reply to malclave. | August 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    What you’re missing here is the chronology. The quote implied that the quake would lead to greater growth than if there had not been a quake. I.E. buildings having structural failures is more productive than not having failed at all. Crazyness. No Tea Partier claims the economy is better off for the banks having failed… they claim that GOING FORWARD it is more productive to rebuild than to leave damaged rubble cluttering up growth.

    Growth without failure > Growth after adjusting to failure > Growth in futile denial of failure

    Make sense now?

Is such a statement much different than tea partier’s claims that allowing the banks to fail would allow for greater economic growth? Or is it only crazy if a liberal makes a claim that devastation can lead to new opportunities for growth?

    malclave in reply to luckbfern. | August 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I think there’s a difference. How many deaths is a bank failure likely to directly cause?

    WarEagle82 in reply to luckbfern. | August 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    The problem is, many of the banks HAVE ALREADY FAILED and are in fact bankrupt. But the government finds it inconvenient to allow them to fail at a particular point in time for lots of political reasons that have nothing to do with economic reality.

    Now, I don’t ever recall hearing anyone from the TEA party make such a statement but propping up a dead horse does not make it run faster. If it is dead you should leave it be…

Maybe Krugman didn’t tweet it … but I’ll bet you he thought it!

I’m waiting for Herr Professor Krugman to claim he was misqouted out of context, or something, on the alien invasion remark, because even he is acute enough to realize he’ll never live it down, and even the rest of the Progressive econmists are going to be laughing at him behind his back for the foreseeable future.


[…] Apparently it was not Krugman, but a hoaxer. However, as William Jacobson says at Legalinsurrection, it sure as heck could have […]