Monday, August 24, 2009


Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves the Back Door Open

Earlier I was happy that Paul Krugman had "definitively" (you'll understand the quotation marks in a sec) said we were in a recovery, since I am predicting that the economy is going to be in the toilet for years. Just to refresh our memories, here's how Krugman opened his August 21 blog post: "Barara Kiviat asks, is this a recovery or isn’t it? The answer is yes."

OK, that seems pretty definitive, right? For most people it would be, but not with our Nobel laureate. The very next day he wrote:
Reading comments, I see that some readers think that by saying that we may be in a recovery by the usual definition, even though jobs are still being lost, I’m either (a) shilling for Obama (b) radically changing my views.

Um, no.
And just to reinforce his claim now that we may be in a recovery, Krugman says today (August 24):
Judging from comments I’ve received, there’s still a lot of confusion about how it’s possible to be in economic purgatory, aka a jobless recession. Also, a lot of readers seem to think that by saying that the recession is probably over I’m somehow changing my position from a few weeks ago — when actually something like this is what I’ve been expecting all along.
No Dr. Krugman, I don't think you're changing your position from a few weeks ago. I think you changed your position from the previous day.


I'll show you how he managed to weasel out of this one since you seemed to have missed it:

You and I walk across an animal in the jungle. We notice it has orange and white fur with black lacerated stripes. It has four paws, claws and a tail. It growls and looks cat-like. Puzzled, you turn to me and ask,

"Now, is this a tiger or is it not?"

In reply I say, "The answer is yes."

Now, what did I just say? Did I say "Yes this is a tiger" or did I say "Yes, this is not a tiger"?

Obviously, I said absolutely nothing. You can't respond to an either/or question with a yes/no response.

As they say in the biz, 'that's how he gets you." Amateur stuff, Bob, and you got taken like every other sucker out there.

So the question remains: "Are you smarter than a Paul Krugman, or are you not?"

and as Krugman himself would say in response, the answer is "Um, no."
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