February 25, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Krugman

The New Yorker has a long profile on economist Paul Krugman and his wife.

A reader writes:

Turns out his wife is one of those light skinned black people [blue-eyed and long-haired], not unlike Rev. Wright, who are very angry. In fact, it seems that it was she who pushed him over the edge into becoming the crazy ass conservative hater he now is. Kind of helps explain why he is so obsessed theory that the electoral success of American conservatives since the 70s has been entirely due to racism. (Ross Douthat has the best responses to all this.)

What also stands out from the profile is just how Aspergery the guy is. It's like he has _no_ idea how actual people work and just doesn't relate to them.

From Larissa MacFarquhar's "The Deflationist:"

These days she focusses on making him less dry, less abstract, angrier. Recently, he gave her a draft of an article he’d done for Rolling Stone. He had written, “As Obama tries to deal with the crisis, he will get no help from Republican leaders,” and after this she inserted the sentence “Worse yet, he’ll get obstruction and lies.” Where he had written that the stimulus bill would at best “mitigate the slump, not cure it,” she crossed out that phrase and substituted “somewhat soften the economic hardship that we face for the next few years.” Here and there, she suggested things for him to add. “This would be a good place to flesh out the vehement objections from the G.O.P. and bankers to nationalization,” she wrote on page 9. “Show us all their huffing and puffing before you dismiss it as nonsense in the following graf.”

On the rare occasion when they disagree about something, she will be the one urging him to be more outraged or recalcitrant.

As for Aspergery:

For the first twenty years of Krugman’s adult life, his world was divided not into left and right but into smart and stupid. “The great lesson was the low level of discussion,” he says of his time in Washington. “The then Secretary of the Treasury”—Donald Regan—“was not that bright, and you could have angry exchanges where neither side understood the policy.” Krugman was buoyed and protected in his youth by an intellectual snobbery so robust that distractions or snobberies of other sorts didn’t stand a chance. “When I was twenty-eight, I wouldn’t have had the time of day for some senator or other,” he says.

Krugman’s tribe was academic economists, and insofar as he paid any attention to people outside that tribe, his enemy was stupid pseudo-economists who didn’t understand what they were talking about but who, with attention-grabbing titles and simplistic ideas, persuaded lots of powerful people to listen to them. He called these types “policy entrepreneurs”—a term that, by differentiating them from the academic economists he respected, was meant to be horribly biting. He was driven mad by Lester Thurow and Robert Reich in particular, both of whom had written books touting a theory that he believed to be nonsense: that America was competing in a global marketplace with other countries in much the same way that corporations competed with one another. In fact, Krugman argued, in a series of contemptuous articles in Foreign Affairs and elsewhere, countries were not at all like corporations. While another country’s success might injure our pride, it would not likely injure our wallets. Quite the opposite ...

There are other considerations about why it's useful to have certain industries and not be wholly dependent upon trade, as Admiral Yamamoto pointed out to the Japanese Imperial Council in 1941 and Rhett Butler to the firebreathers at the barbecue in 1861:

Certainly until the Enron scandal, Krugman had no sense that there was any kind of problem in American corporate governance. (He consulted briefly for Enron before he went to the Times.) Occasionally, he received letters from people claiming that corporations were cooking the books, but he thought this sounded so implausible that he dismissed them. “I believed that the market was enforcing,” he says. “I believed in the S.E.C. I just never really thought about it. It seemed like a pretty sunny world in 1999, and, for all of my cynicism, I shared a lot of that. The extent of corporate fraud, the financial malfeasance, the sheer viciousness of the political scene—those are all things that, ten years ago, I didn’t see.”

That finally makes sense out of what turned into a bizarrely acrimonious email exchange I had with Krugman around 1999. He said he was working on the perennial conundrum of why ticket prices for rock concerts tend to be set so low that they immediately sell out and then are resold at a sizable profit for market-clearing prices by brokers. Why wouldn't the promoter take a larger profit? (By the way, I noticed in the New Yorker profile that 1960s-1970s rock music comes up a lot in his conversation, so this would be a natural topic for him to muse upon, and our experiences with rock concert tickets would come from similar periods. I don't know much about rock concert ticket prices in recent years -- it seems like the Ticketmaster monopoly now absorbs a big chunk of the profit.)

I pointed out to Krugman that maybe the insiders actually are reaping more profits than it might seem from the face value printed on the tickets. Why assume that all the tickets being resold for higher prices on the gray market were necessarily first sold to the public for face value?

Friends who had camped out outside the box office and been first in line for Springsteen tickets in LA in 1980 or 1981 had been shocked to discover that the first ten or so rows were already gone before sales to the public (i.e., them) began. (There was even an LA Times article at the time about how the skimming of low face value Springsteen tickets for resale to Hollywood bigshots had gotten out of hand.) They told me that their usual experience with hockey rink concerts was that insiders glommed on to the best seats before public sales began, and then resold them on the gray market for big profits.

So a substantial bit of the profit from being in the impresario and ticket sale business came from cheating the public on promises of first come-first serve sales. A lot of tickets "fell off the back of a truck" before any were offered to the poor schmoes who had been camped on the sidewalk. This provided a source of unreported tax-free compensation for insiders from promoters down to ticket clerks. It doesn't have to sound sinister at all -- you could let your ticket clerks know that they could buy up to X number of tickets at face value in the best seats in the house before accepting orders from the people in line. Of course, you could then pay them lower wages because of this perk, and lower payroll taxes, too. Everybody wins!

In contrast, if the promoter boosted the face value of the tickets to the market clearing prices, the band and the taxman would get most of the benefit. You could wheedle well-meaning musicians, such as Springsteen in 1980, into accepting the low face value prices as doing something for the average fan who can't afford high ticket prices.

Hence, the net behavior of the insiders was more profit-maximizing than it would seem on the surface.

Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong, but this seemed to me to at least be an idea worth considering. Krugman, however, angrily rejected my suggestion. He was offended by it.

I can see from this article that it just didn't fit into what he then considered proper economic theory. We have this beautiful theory of economic actors -- individuals, firms, governments -- and the notion that individuals within firms, whether concert promotion firms or Enron, might be playing a double game just complicates this beautiful picture too much.

So, Krugman's wife has merely channeled his inner anger toward Republicans and away from his old target--people with the temerity to think about economics without using equations. I can't say that's such a bad thing that she's done. Krugman's new hobby, denouncing Republicans, is better for society on the whole than Krugman's old hobby: denouncing thinkers outside the inner circle of mathematical economists.

(Granted, some of the non-math thinkers Krugman used to denounce, such as Stephen Jay Gould, deserved denouncing.)

Last August, Krugman decided that before he and Wells departed for a bicycle tour of Scotland he would take a couple of days to speak at the sixty-seventh world science-fiction convention, to be held in Montreal. (Krugman has been a science-fiction fan since he was a boy.)... Krugman explained that he’d become an economist because of science fiction. When he was a boy, he’d read Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” trilogy and become obsessed with the central character, Hari Seldon. Seldon was a “psychohistorian”—a scientist with such a precise understanding of the mechanics of society that he could predict the course of events thousands of years into the future and save mankind from centuries of barbarism. He couldn’t predict individual behavior—that was too hard—but it didn’t matter, because history was determined not by individuals but by laws and hidden forces.

With economists, it's usually Foundation or Atlas Shrugged, not Chekhov.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

107 comments:

David said...

Great post, Steve. One's picture of the world grows at least a little more accurate with every visit to your site.

bjdouble said...

All economists are the same personality type. Have you ever seen an economist with a nice sense of style wearing an elegant suit?

TGGP said...

I had heard his wife was black, but had never seen the picture. I referenced him once at n/a's regarding whether da JOOOOS ever engage in interracial marriage or just foist it on hapless white wimmin.

Russ Roberts interviewed a ticket scalper outside a ballpark here.

I greatly prefer old Krugman to new Krugman. Guess I'm just aspergery like that.

Peter A said...

Nice post. It's very interesting how many economists and political analysts refuse to grapple with corruption. It's almost as if the very acknowledgment that corruption and cheating exist taints the person acknowledging it. It is this attitude that makes it so hard for the US to really deal on a government to government level with countries like Russia, Mexico or Iraq, or even Italy for that matter.

Planet Grok said...

Did you mean to title this post "Mr. and Mrs. Wells"? The photo is as telling as her last name.

The article has all kinds of great excerpts.

"“Paul is very good at protecting his sense of who and what he is,” Wells says. "

Oh really? Is that what you tell him as you scribble over all of his work?

“The problem is finding things to say. Supply-siders never tire of proclaiming that taxes are the root of all evil, but reasonable people do get tired of explaining, over and over again, that they aren’t.”

HBDers can sympathize here, at least.

“How is it that most of the world remains so poor?” he says. “That was the old mystery. "

Was this mystery solved by another impassioned email converation with you, Steve?

Anonymous said...

What could possibly be more racist than choosing your wife because of the color of her skin?

Anonymous said...

I would have expected a sci-fi fan to have read Dune. Plans within plans and all that...

Anonymous said...

My wife knows the box office manager for the [name of major city deleted] Symphony Orchestra. We get comped all the time, even for sold out performances with superstar soloists. That Krugman didn't buy Steve's theory about concert ticket prices just means nobody likes him enough to give him free tickets.

RWF said...

Is the influence of his wife the reason why his public work has become so trashy since the 1990s?

Mercer said...

I don't know if you can blame Krugman's wife for his arrogance toward the right. Brad DeLong is very similar. At least Krugman is less long winded and does not have silly dialogues.

When the authors of Dow 36,000 are still treated as serious economists by the republican establishment can you blame Krugman and DeLong for showing contempt for the right?

Sarfaraz said...

When I first saw the picture of Paul Krugman's wife I concluded she was asian or eurasian.

Anonymous said...

Anybody that passes the intellectual threshold that Paul Krugman has typically isn't a normal or sociable person. It is very hard to form opinions without having been around a large segment of society and seeing how they live their daily lives. My guess is that Paul Krugman's transformation from left-wing, to extremely left-wing is based mostly on this. Reading this story only confirms it even more.

Dahinda said...

Krugman reminds me of the economics professor in Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School in the scene where the professor wants to start a new company and Rodney fills him in on all of the real world, shady, underhanded things that he left out.

Anonymous said...

That lady is black?

Whiskey said...

That is indeed the achilles heel of the intellect of Aspergery types -- the refusal to consider corruption and networks outside precise models.

Perhaps another is the refusal to understand how individuals affect history and indeed, moments.

It was dead certain SOME type of conflict would arise, bloody and destructive, from the end of the balance of power and the Machine Gun and Barbed Wire. But the Kaiser gave it shape, just Chamberlain and Stalin helped shape the response to the Third Reich.

The wave may be there but the way it is surfed is up to the rider.
---------------
Krugman's reflexive pro-Democratic politics unfortunately leaves little between multicultural socialism (Krugman's economics) and laissez faire capitalism.

Udolpho.com said...

The fact that Krugman's wife is a partisan--Party focused--isn't very surprising. Smart men tend to marry pseudo-intellectual women, a type prone to enthusiastic interest in politics but, alas, never at a very deep level. And of course he is the kind of man who would insist on getting his wife's approval in this sphere, worthless as it is.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

How could a guy too stupid to figure out how concert tickets get sold be smart enough to get a Nobel Prize?

That was a rhetorical question, by the way.

Anonymous said...

"Krugman’s tribe was...

Heh.

Anonymous said...

If you've ever seen him speak or interviewed you can sense the Aspergery manner and social awkwardness immediately.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is vaguely the reverse story of Robert A. Heinlein-- his views seem to have been sort of leftish before he married his second wife, after which he became, with her support and encouragement, much more conservative/ libertarian.

l said...

I work with a Jewish guy whose son married a black woman. The guy I work with and his son are both non-religious. They don't go to temple, wear yarmulkes or any of that stuff. The black daughter-in-law has insisted that the kids be brought up Jewish. They've been mitzvahed. They've even spent summer vacations in Israel. My co-worker says he was mystified at first by his daughter-in-law's being so hot for Judaism, considering that none of her in-laws were religious at all. He decided that she would rather the kids identify themselves as Jewish than black.

Anonymous said...

Instead of Foundation he should have read The Space Merchants by Fredrik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth.

Anonymous said...

Or even better, Gladiator At Law by Fredrik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth. Less well known but lots more insightful.

Greg said...

Re: Concert Tickets

Direct hit Steve!

I've purchased many rock concert tickets at below face value from people with the band: roadies & others. Free tickets (to sell for unreported income) seem to be part of their comp plan.


Who are roadies? Identify them by the "uniform": dark clothes (to blend into stage background), long sleeves even in summer, ID badge with lanyard (partially hidden), work gloves and boots.

Anonymous said...

The extent of corporate fraud, the financial malfeasance, the sheer viciousness of the political scene—those are all things that, ten years ago, I didn’t see.

Nice quote. At that point, the guy was already a star of his profession and influential in matters that affected entire country. And he didn't know what everyone in corporate world starting from mid-level managers knew. An ivory tower indeed.

David said...

> It's very interesting how many economists and political analysts refuse to grapple with corruption. It's almost as if the very acknowledgment that corruption and cheating exist taints the person acknowledging it. <

"Bad conscience" is the term for this phenomenon.

stari_momak said...

If I remember right, a character called 'the Mule' , a mutant with an ability to hypnotize the masses, came along and effed up the Foundation's program. Bin Laden? Obama?

Brings up another question -- are all these Craig Vetter, post-humanist bio-freakavoid types inspired by Jack Vance's The Last Castle?
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Castle-Jack-Vance/dp/0425084787

Anonymous said...

Superb post!

C. Van Carter said...

Compare Krugman 2010 with Krugman 2005. Amazing.

As a boy Kruggy was bright but socially malajusted. He therefore has a fragile psyche, allowing George Bush to literally drive him insane.

agnostic said...

On ticket prices, you were scooped by Alchian and Allen's famous 1972 textbook, which Krugman obviously never heard of. Alchian is big enough that economists routinely rank him among the top contenders for the next Nobel Prize. Here's how the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics describes their view on tickets:

"In their textbook, for example, Alchian and Allen ask why the organizers of the Rose Bowl refuse to sell tickets to the highest bidders and instead give up wealth by underpricing the tickets. Their answer is that the people who make the decision on ticket prices do not have property rights in the tickets, so the wealth that is given up by underpricing would not have accrued to them anyway. But the decision makers can give underpriced tickets to their friends and associates. Thomas Hazlett, former chief economist at the Federal Communications Commission, used this same line of reasoning to explain why Rep. John Dingell blocked the Federal Communication Commission’s early attempts to auction off the electromagnetic spectrum and instead favored giving it away."

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Alchian.html

Steve Sailer said...

Okay, I finally remember the details of the Springsteen story, I hope. Springsteen played four shows at the "Fabulous Forum" in Inglewood, CA in August 1980. According to a subsequent LA Times story, he had kept ticket prices low for the benefit of his blue collar fan base. But the Hollywood elite had gone crazy over Bruce and, hence, huge numbers of the best tickets were skimmed into resale, leaving the kind of fan whom Springsteen thought he was benefiting by keeping prices down largely out in the cold.

Springsteen came back to LA in August 1981 and played not four, but six shows at the crummier LA Sports Arena. The larger supply of tickets and the lessened demand (since he was so 1980 by that point in Hollywood) meant that a higher proportion of tickets were sold for face value in 1981 than in 1980.

Thursday said...

Smart men tend to marry pseudo-intellectual women, a type prone to enthusiastic interest in politics but, alas, never at a very deep level.

John Stuart Mill, Will Wilkinson etc. etc. etc.

Steve Sailer said...

Dear Agnostic:

Thanks.

In 1980-82, I was at UCLA where Alchian taught, so I perhaps picked up this insight from my professors at the UCLA B-School, who would have known Alchian personally. The Springsteen Tickets Scandal was a big story at the time in LA, so people at UCLA probably were talking about Alchian's idea.

Anonymous said...

Could his wife be considered an Octoroon and could she pass

Anonymous said...

"Anybody that passes the intellectual threshold that Paul Krugman has typically isn't a normal or sociable person. It is very hard to form opinions without having been around a large segment of society and seeing how they live their daily lives."

Oh, nonsense. This reminds me of the "smart girls aren't pretty" comments I heard on campus when I was at Harvard. Sure, lots of Cliffies were ugly, but they were no uglier on average than the general female population in any given urban area. On the other hand, most of my classmates -- many of whom were as smart as Krugman -- were intensely social and greatly enjoyed each others company. At college I knew Ron Unz, who is off-the-charts-smart, and he was a particularly agreeable and conversational guy, as I recall.

Smartness, extroversion, and physical attractiveness are orthogonal axes so far as I can tell. Krugman just happens to be a dweeb.

Anonymous said...

It's almost as if the very acknowledgment that corruption and cheating exist taints the person acknowledging it. It is this attitude that makes it so hard for the US to really deal on a government to government level with countries like Russia, Mexico or Iraq, or even Italy for that matter.

Amen, brother. The failure to acknowledge corruption is the tip of the liberal iceberg. To admit that humans are fatally flawed would render the utopian project hopeless.

And not just liberals. It's hard for Americans, in general, to get their heads around the fact that many countries are corrupt from top to bottom. All trading is insider trading.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the WN dogma that the hyper-ethnocentric Jews preach interracial marriage but don't practice it. Maybe that's not Krugman's real wife; he's sectretly married to a Jewish woman!

jack strocchi said...

Alchian was probably the best microeconomic text book I ever came accross. He and Milton Friedman were the most persuasive advocates of economic liberalism in general and property rights theory in particular.

A pity they have not turned their laser like intellects to the absurd rent-seeking and profit-skimming on Wall Street.

Tino said...

Krugman is extremely high intelligence and no wisdom. Steve has high intelligence and stratospheric wisdom.

Krugman in ca 2000 claimed the IT-driven growth during the 1990s was entirely because Clinton reduced deficits, which lowered interest rates, which caused growth.

Krugman 2010 claims there is no connection between 12% deficits as a share of GDP year after year and economic performance.
Both claims are idiotic, partisan hacks write, not a public intellectual.

Tino said...

Based on the gossip I have heard from Stockholm, left wing politics and the 2008 crisis had a lot with Krugman getting the Nobel.

I was without a doubt what made them give it to him now. I don't know if they would have eventually given it to him at some point in the future otherwise.

Here we are dealing with continuous variables: The Nobel in Economics is something, but not a 100% real Nobel, and economics is somewhat scientific, but not a real science. Krugman's gift for writing and self-promotion has a lot to do with his success.

Tino said...

Based on the gossip I have heard from Stockholm, left wing politics and the 2008 crisis had a lot with Krugman getting the Nobel.

I was without a doubt what made them give it to him now. I don't know if they would have eventually given it to him at some point in the future otherwise.

Here we are dealing with
continuous variables: The Nobel in Economics is something, but not a 100% real Nobel, and economics is somewhat scientific, but not a real science. Krugman's gift for writing and self-promotion has a lot to do with his success.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the picture of his wife, I suspect she has a lot of native American in her background- that's where the Eurasian look comes from. It's not that uncommon in the south- the whole "Trail of Tears" episode left a lot of native Americans in the South where they intermarried with blacks and whites. I know several people with similar backgrounds. I wonder what state her relatives come from? Alabama, Mississippi, or Oklahoma would be my guess...just a thought.

ricpic said...

Wheeling and dealing can't be made to fit some grand overarching economic theory. That's why Krugman was so pissed off by Sailer's suggestions re: scalpers.

TCO said...

I love how he tries to act all man of the people since their St Croix condo is in the less toney part. ;)

Tom Regan said...

Krugman is intelligent? He's a Keynesian. Contradiction in terms.
No thanks Steve for inducing me to read a New Yorker article. Turgid, over-written, hackneyed tripe tailored to reward the snobbery of its readers.
But the anecdote about him throwing effigies into a fire reveals a lot about the hatefulness that bubbles just below the surface in those people.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the WN dogma that the hyper-ethnocentric Jews preach interracial marriage but don't practice it. Maybe that's not Krugman's real wife; he's sectretly married to a Jewish woman!

He doesn't have kids.

DCThrowback said...

From the piece, quoted without comment:

“The econ department, the finance department, the Woodrow Wilson school,” Wells says. “They were all very nervous, so they were grateful we were having the party, because they didn’t want to be alone. We had two or three TVs set up and we had a little portable outside fire pit and we let people throw in an effigy or whatever they wanted to get rid of for the past eight years.”

“One of our Italian colleagues threw in an effigy of Berlusconi.”

“I put out some coloring paper and markers so that people could write stuff on it and throw it into the fire. People really felt like there was stuff they wanted to shed! I had little hats and party whistles.”

Ye gods.

SFG said...

Hmmm...who should smart men marry? This is an honest question.

"Krugman is extremely high intelligence and no wisdom. Steve has high intelligence and stratospheric wisdom."

Ah, but neither has a high charisma (though Steve's is probably average.)

Oh, and if Steve finds this confusing: Google the three words and try not to laugh.

Julian said...

Did you mean Asimov when you wrote Chekhov?

Black Sea said...

Krugman and wife have two cats, and no kids; their cats are named Albert Einstein and Doris Lessing . . . case closed.

Spyro said...

Just a thought, but could the KrugWoman be technically, literally African-American—by way of Egypt? How many people thought that Paula Abdul was biracial, when in fact she is "mixed" in the following way: her father is Mizrahi while her mother is Ashkenazi.
In any case, it looks like intermarried liberals sure like the "one-drop rule"!

dearieme said...

Krugman has the sort of personality that's common enough in Maths or Theoretical Physics. But I doubt that he's clever enough to win a (genuine) Nobel in Physics. Yet his personality defects pretty much exclude him from having economic insight. Ain't life a bitch?

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain said...

Now let's to the heart of the matter.Krugman is a lefty only in some vague general way..if he is one at all.

This all you need to know about Krugman:he openly supports high levels of nonwhite immgration with the intent of reducing the White majority population to a racial minority. He openly supports the export of the US manufacturing base out the US to other countries. He openly supports the enslaving of Central American teenage females in Central American sweatshops because as he states in his writings:the globalization of the US economy requires it. If you reject sweatshops,you reject globalism. Well,I reject economic globaloism.

I don't know about you guys,but by my moral code Krugman is an incredible evil guy. Both Krugman and his wife are worshippers of the corporations. People here are throwing the word leftist around in a way that evacuates the term of any usefull meaning. If Krugman's wife is a leftist, what exactly is Noam Chomsky,a Martian?

Peter A said...

"It's hard for Americans, in general, to get their heads around the fact that many countries are corrupt from top to bottom."

Including our own. This explains to me why Americans aren't as outraged by the Goldman Sachs bonus payouts as you would think. Most people assume that GS was playing by the rules and if anything the rules are at fault. It's not surprising to me that Matt Taibbi - a journalist who spent years living in Russia - tends to be a lot more clear sighted on these issues than go-along to get along types like Friedman and Krugman.

Victoria said...

When I first saw the picture of Paul Krugman's wife I concluded she was asian or eurasian.

Although I detect some Negroid in her features, I would put her in the Hispanic category, certainly not "black" as such.

What could possibly be more racist than choosing your wife because of the color of her skin?

This is the most sensible reason to be "racist." To choose one's spouse because she is one of your own, which means that your children will also be among your own, is the best reason to be "racist." This is the good form of racism. To choose someone outside your group, just because it's a kinky, in-you-face thing to do, is a bad form of racism.

David said...

When you find a man who suddenly changes his convictions, it's a good bet the reason is one of these two:

1. a hot piece of ass
2. more money than God has.

He was offered one or the other.

What some men allow women to do to them is appalling. Recall the old saw (recently discussed by a commenter on another thread, I think): a married man will do anything for money.

In the eyes of any honest and knowing reader, that New Yorker article has destroyed Krugman...while also winning him some pity.

It's too late for Chekhov. These bastards need P. Johnson's Intellectuals.

Anonymous said...

But the anecdote about him throwing effigies into a fire reveals a lot about the hatefulness that bubbles just below the surface in those people.

I've spent my whole life in university towns, and everyone I know has the same story to tell - about these ostensibly mild-mannered academics who are one perceived slight away from going all Columbine on you.

The nihilism of the modern academy rots out these peoples' souls, and they are left with great big empty black holes where their hearts ought to be.

There was nothing unique about Amy Bishop.

["THAT'S DOCTOR AMY BISHOP, YOU SIMPLETON!!!"]

Anonymous said...

Compare Krugman 2010 with Krugman 2005. Amazing.

Their nihilism also drives them insane [and I'm talking literally insane, not just metaphorically insane].

They are forced into believing [or pretending to believe, for purposes of party unity] so many different, competing, contradictory lies, that they simply can't think straight anymore.

Not that a nihilist would want to "think straight", but trying to reconcile all that nonsense really does render them functionally incapable of interacting with reality.

Paul Mendez said...

SFG asks, "Hmmmm. Who should smart men marry?"

According to Hitler biographer, Joachim C. Fest, Hitler once told Albert Speer that the best thing an intelligent man could do would be to take "a primitive and stupid woman" as his lover. He said this while Eva Braun sat devotedly at his side, uncomplaining.

Dutch Boy said...

It isn't called the Dismal Science for nothing. People who think the world works by formal rules and predictable equations need their collective heads examied.

Anonymous said...

"Krugman's gift for writing and self-promotion has a lot to do with his success."

Krugman has a rather club footed prose style in my opinion. Steve has a more engaging journalistic style, with an a clear and persuasive, connect-the-dots use of language. When you read Krugman, it sounds like a dopey policy paper. When you read Steve you think, "Wow! Of course. That's why I see so many day laborers parking their new SUVs with spinner rims in the Home Depot parking lot. They're using houses purchased with no-doc loans for auto loan collateral."

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, most of my classmates -- many of whom were as smart as Krugman -- were intensely social and greatly enjoyed each others company."

My experiences in high IQ societies that have a threshold of 150 confirm the public stereotypes on this issue. Highly social individuals are underrepresented in these societies in comparison with the general population. Nerds are overrepresented.

Yes, I realize that mentioning these societies makes me a jerk, but there's a useful point to be made here and I'm posting anonymously anyway. The point is that stereotypes don't lie. The above poster's generalization is wrong.

I've seen highly social people make this erroneous claim before, and some of them were even quite smart. I'm guessing that they simply feel threatened by the smart=nerd stereotype. They know they're smart, but they feel that their outgoling personalities, over which they have little control, are telling people that they're intellectual lightweights instead. They've noticed that their behavior is giving people the wrong signals. So, turning defensive, they go around telling everybody that the whole stereotype is wrong.

Like almost all stereotypes, it describes a trend, not an absolute rule of life. The smart nerd stereotype is right more often than it's not.

josh said...

Why would she marry him,if she has such rage at the white race? Tho I guess his status as white-hating jewish guy gives her clearance? She has a washed out look to her,not very attractive. I guess an AA lawyer would be too black for her,let alone an "afflete." Obama has a few of these "damn near white" black women around him. They dont seem too competent--tho I gues thats true for women in general in these circles. Cant imagine this marriage is ver "passionate" ! BTW:the "womens" hockey team celebrated their gold medal(Big Deal!!)with on-ice cigar smoking. LOL! As i stated before--we have mens hockey,and men with female genitals hockey!

Simon said...

In what sense is she black? She's whiter than most indigenous Europeans! I'm used to seeing 90% white people claiming to be black, but she looks whiter than my 4% black father-in-law - who is definitely 'white'.

I guess this is another sign I need to make my (blond) son put 'black' on the job application forms...

Anonymous said...

It's like he has _no_ idea how actual people work and just doesn't relate to them.

Matt Drudge's radio show was creepily entertaining for the very same reason (before it got canceled). It sounded like Drudge simply couldn't hear the people calling into the show in his earpiece. The disconnect between host and callers was that large.

Krugman's disconnect is the same.

dearieme said...

"If there is sadness in him at all, I think it is a tiny core of profound sadness of the kind that the Buddha understood...": priceless.

P.S. If he's not thinking profoundly about Economics any more, what is Princeton paying him for?

Anonymous said...

"My experiences in high IQ societies that have a threshold of 150 confirm the public stereotypes on this issue."

Financially and socially successful people don't join high IQ societies. I briefly attended Mensa meetings when I was a lonely stressed out graduate student, and what I saw were mostly middle age losers whose only claim to fame was that they had a high IQ. It was a real eye opener. After practicing my smile in the mirror for a couple of weeks I managed to get a girlfriend. Never went to another Mensa meeting.

SFG said...

"When you find a man who suddenly changes his convictions, it's a good bet the reason is one of these two:

1. a hot piece of ass
2. more money than God has.

He was offered one or the other.

What some men allow women to do to them is appalling."

Hmmm...so if I moved to the South and converted to evangelical Christianity to get myself a hot, loyal wife, would people find that appalling? I think quite a few guys short of Roissy would approve...

Honestly, your politics don't really matter that much in real life, at least if, like me, you lack the charisma to convince anyone of your point of view. I just happen to prefer the company of liberals to that of conservatives. I don't actually believe half of the ridiculous things they say. (Diversity? Uh-huuuh.)

Anonymous said...

Off-topic [unless maybe Mrs Krugman has a little Brazilian in her]:

The gun-toting boys from Brazil who rule Rio's 'Corner of Fear'
Dom Phillips in São Paulo
February 27, 2010
timesonline.co.uk

Anonymous said...

//P.S. If he's not thinking profoundly about Economics any more, what is Princeton paying him for?//

Using him as a status symbol to attract the best students, research grants and other big name academics to their economics department.

LA Galaxy bought David Beckham for the same reasons.

Anonymous said...

Both the facilities and the act would have choice seats written into their contracts, this is indisputable. You can read some of the contracts over on thesmokinggun.com. Once upon a time, you could have said the only free-market-positive thing you could say about Ticketmaster was that they strictly curtailed the number of seats an act could reserve.

Regarding why ticket aren't just sold to the highest bidder, why can't a NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMIST think this through? If it takes money to get tickets, then it will bias toward the rich and destroy your chances with people that can't afford to get in. Suddenly you've forced your hardcore fanbase "brand" into "rich people." Make getting tickets egalitarian or meritocratic (no matter how poor you are, you are the biggest fan and you waited in line for hours) and you can garner the broadest audience. Making tickets highest-bidder is anti-fan and explodes the myth that you're there for anything other than siphoning off their money. This would be unbelievably destructive to an brand that identifies with the "working man" like Springsteen's. Music is so much about identity and image that you can't afford to be ruthlessly capitalistic about ticket sales even if OTHER people are scalping them to the highest bidder.

Anonymous said...

"Hitler once told Albert Speer that the best thing an intelligent man could do would be to take "a primitive and stupid woman" as his lover."

That's a good pick-up line if I've ever heard one.

Anonymous said...

so not only is krugman annoying but he's not even man enough to come up with his own ideas?

Steve Sailer said...

Right. Springsteen's solution to the rampant ticket skimming in 1980 from his four LA shows was, characteristically, to work harder: come back to LA in 1981 and do six shows.

691 said...

I don't think people at Princeton like him. A friend told me that when he won the Nobel prize, they had to draw straws because no one in the econ department wanted to have to introduce him at the celebratory gathering that afternoon.

Anonymous said...

The top three columnists in America: Krugman, Tom Friedman, David Brooks.

Its amazing we can afford any liberals at all.

wren said...

I always thought Krugman's sudden turn had to do with him gunning for some political appointment.


If his wife is actually behind it this might be even more true.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of the WN dogma that the hyper-ethnocentric Jews preach interracial marriage but don't practice it. Maybe that's not Krugman's real wife; he's sectretly married to a Jewish woman!

By the statistics, Jews are hyper-ethnocentric (well, depending on how you want to define "hyper", I suppose).

Although Jews do have noticeable rates of out-marriage, they are much lower than that of other groups.

A single example does not invalidate the claim, which is based on the group as a whole.

Anonymous said...

That lady frightens me.

JoeShipman said...

The smart nerd stereotype may be true but (I say this as a professional statistician) there are some severe selection effects that make this hard to judge clearly. At MIT I was surrounded by very smart people and concluded that there is a positive correlation overall between smarts, looks, and social skill. However, there is a higher proportion of dweebs at MIT partly because dweebishness is less of a handicap there since cognitive ability is so disproportionately important. Similarly, chess grandmasters are more likely to be Aspergery *than people of prominence in other fields* because nonexistent social skills won't handicap someone.

The sample frame is critical -- if you are looking at people who have achieved some degree of fame (meaning you know of them but you don't know them personally) you will see lots of spurious negative correlations because they are likely to be famous because they are at the far left or right end of SOME trait. That's why "brains vs beauty" is such a cliche -- if people get famous EITHER for brains OR for beauty, then you are dropping everyone with neither from the sample, and since the people who are dropping from the sample have neither you are removing a subsample with a positive correlation and what remains will have a spurious negative correlation that overwhelms the true but smaller positive correlation.

If you instead think about people in your neighborhood or people you know personally you will observe that the true correlation of brains and beauty is positive.

High-IQ societies attract people with poor social skills and underachievers, which is why I ended my memberships in Mensa and Four Sigma very soon after joining them.

My son has Asperger's but his extreme intelligence has allowed him to compensate very well, so people who know him superficially have no idea how severe his deficits are. If he had not been so smart he would have probably been autistic instead. That's not to say that the traits on this spectrum are not genetically connected to intelligence, just that selection effects exaggerate the apparent strength of the connection.

corvinus said...

As for Jews' ethnocentrism, I think one big reason it appears that way is because they never converted to Christianity, which colors their outlook on life in many basic ways. But really, comparing a group of (non-practicing) Jews to a group of agnostic white European intellectuals... I really don't see much of a difference politically.

But if they were Christians, I'd imagine them to be very similar to Armenians in many respects!

Average Joe said...

I wonder if Mrs. K's radicalism has anything to do with racial guilt over marrying an Ashkenazi Jew instead of a black guy? I guess a Jewish guy with money is better than a black one without it. It is interesting that in marrying a black woman Krugman picked the whitest-looking one that he could get.

Truth said...

"My co-worker says he was mystified at first by his daughter-in-law's being so hot for Judaism...He decided that she would rather the kids identify themselves as Jewish than black.

"considering that none of her in-laws were religious at all."

Could be, or it could be that you, in your imminent genius, answered the man's question right here;

"considering that none of her in-laws were religious at all."

"Although Jews do have noticeable rates of out-marriage, they are much lower than that of other groups."

Only around 50% of Jews marry other Jews.

ATBOTL said...

Jews, in their own media and organizations, spend a great deal of time discussing how intermarriage is bad and how to lessen it.

Jews do not allow white people to do the same.

Anonymous said...

His darting eyes have always kind of bothered me. He reminds me of a ferret.

SF said...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/26/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence/index.html?hpt=C2

OT, here is another story on the thread that liberals think IQ is meaningless, but they have a higher IQ than other people.

Anonymous said...

'His darting eyes have always kind of bothered me. He reminds me of a ferret.'

That is a vicious, unprovoked insult to ferrets.

Anonymous said...

"Jews, in their own media and organizations, spend a great deal of time discussing how intermarriage is bad and how to lessen it."

Except among the orthodox, it is not a monolithic opinion among Jews that intermarriage is bad. The intermarriage critics are quite vehement (not surprising given that some believe that God supports their side), but the rank and file don't pay much attention. I haven't met many secular 20-35 year-old Jews who seek out the anti-intermarriage writings of Eliot Abrams (secular) or Esther Jungreis (orthodox).

josh said...

Well--cant believe I actually went back and read the whole article.Certainly on my death bed I will regret the x # of minutes wasted. Eyes glazed over at several points. It confirmed my initial belief that this couple is extremely creepy--and I could not imagine them having sex. I pray that theyre one of those couples that are happy that they found each other because they consider all "that" to be waste of time,rather messy,and not worth the effort. That is until,Roissy-like,she meets some musclebound drug kingpin... At one point where the article describes Paul manfully wading out into the sea,I kind of hoped for a sudden 'Jaws'moment: "The blood-crazed Great White savagely attacked Paul,ripping off a leg--the left one--as Pauls high pitched screams were drowned out by the laughter of the little brown children happily playing on the beach,oblivious to what was unfolding before them. Pauls wife stood motionless. 'This is,' she said at last,'disturbing.'" These guys are relentless in their glorification of "intelligence" and their innate superiority,but they are destroying the nation! How can you be so smart but ruin everything built by the lesser beings who are so inferior to you? he seemd especially stupid in explaining away his ignorance of the crack up of Enron--tho people were writing to him telling him waht was going on.

Truth said...

"I briefly attended Mensa meetings when I was a lonely stressed out graduate student, and what I saw were mostly middle age losers whose only claim to fame was that they had a high IQ."

As a member of this board for three years; well, let's just say you could be describing other things aside from Mensa.

"It is interesting that in marrying a black woman Krugman picked the whitest-looking one that he could get."

Or maybe he just married a woman he liked?


Naaaaah. what was I thinking?

headache said...

SF sed:
OT, here is another story on the thread that liberals think IQ is meaningless, but they have a higher IQ than other people.

In keeping with the true motivation of liberals as exposed by Steve u need to rephrase that statement:


"OT, here is another story on the thread that liberals think IQ is meaningless, as long as they have a higher IQ than other people."

JoeShipman said...

The smart nerd stereotype may be true but (I say this as a professional statistician) there are some severe selection effects that make this hard to judge clearly. At MIT I was surrounded by very smart people and concluded that there is a positive correlation overall between smarts, looks, and social skill. However, there is a higher proportion of dweebs at MIT partly because dweebishness is less of a handicap there since cognitive ability is so disproportionately important. Similarly, chess grandmasters are more likely to be Aspergery *than people of prominence in other fields* because nonexistent social skills won't handicap someone.

The sample frame is critical -- if you are looking at people who have achieved some degree of fame (meaning you know of them but you don't know them personally) you will see lots of spurious negative correlations because they are likely to be famous because they are at the far left or right end of SOME trait. That's why "brains vs beauty" is such a cliche -- if people get famous EITHER for brains OR for beauty, then you are dropping everyone with neither from the sample, and since the people who are dropping from the sample have neither you are removing a subsample with a positive correlation and what remains will have a spurious negative correlation that overwhelms the true but smaller positive correlation.

If you think about the people you know personally rather than the people you know of, you are likely to observe a positive rather than a negative brains-beauty correlation.

High-IQ societies attract people with poor social skills and underachievers, which is why I ended my memberships in Mensa and Four Sigma very soon after joining them.

My son has Asperger's but his extreme intelligence has allowed him to compensate very well, so people who know him superficially have no idea how severe his deficits are. If he had not been so smart he would have probably been autistic instead. That's not to say that the traits on this spectrum are not genetically connected to intelligence, just that selection effects exaggerate the apparent strength of the connection.

Anonymous said...

I haven't met many secular 20-35 year-old Jews who seek out the anti-intermarriage writings of Eliot Abrams (secular) or Esther Jungreis (orthodox).

But most of them still manage to end up married to other secular 20-35 year-old Jews.

David Davenport said...

High-IQ societies attract people with poor social skills ... which is why I ended my memberships in Mensa and Four Sigma very soon after joining them.... /i>


Yes, nothing wrong with your social skills.

rob said...

OT, here is another story on the thread that liberals think IQ is meaningless, but they have a higher IQ than other people.

The correlation between males' desire to be monogomous themselves and IQ is interesting. It strongly supports Rushton's r-K selection differential for causing racial variation in IQ.

Personality and personal preferences varying with IQ explains why smart people (esp. liberals) are surprised when policies have pretty predictable consequences. I'm sure most left-wingers who promoted Great Society welfare for bastard children expected the explosion in the number of bastard children. Feminists didn't imagine that a huge chunk of men raised and supported their kids only because of social pressure, the dudes would have been happier in strip clubs. They examined their feelings, looked at their fathers and the men they knew, and it never crossed crossed their minds how many men aspire to be cads.

Reg Cæsar said...

They examined their feelings, looked at their fathers and the men they knew, and it never crossed crossed their minds how many men aspire to be cads.

Huh? I thought feminists were mostly the daughters of cads. At least the hardcore, angry ones are.

But then, the "moderate" ones, in business, elective politics, etc.-- i.e., those known for something other than feminism-- are often too attached to their fathers, wanting to copy their careers rather than give them grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Just another useful fool.

Anonymous said...

Jews do not allow white people to do the same.

Sorry, but no. The only thing stopping you from such discussion is yourself and your delusions of persecution.

JoeShipman said...

To David Davenport:
I don't understand your comment, except that it was supposed to be snarky. I quickly noted that the people I encountered in high-IQ societies were markedly more unpleasant and less interesting than comparably high-IQ people I encountered academically and professionally (and with whom, unlike with Mensa and Four Sigma members, I enjoyed interacting). I wasn't deriving any enjoyment or benefit from my association with those societies, so I didn't renew my membership in either one of them. Non-renewal of a membership is socially offensive to nobody; what evidence do you have of my own social skills?

rob said...

Huh? I thought feminists were mostly the daughters of cads. At least the hardcore, angry ones are.

Those are sluts, God bless their empty, whorin' hearts. Second wave feminism ('70's) was largely a university(middle and upper middle class) and upper middle class housewife thing. Since cads don't raise their kids or stick around with the moms, their daughters weren't in college. Their babymammas had to work, and so weren't able to spend much time writing about how the suburban home was a prison.

Oh and I meant, "I'm sure most left-wingers who promoted Great Society welfare for bastard children never expected the explosion in the number of bastard children."

alonzo portfolio said...

@TGGP: Jews do occasionally intermarry. In San Francisco, there's a lawyer named Gilda Turitz who in her C.V. states that at age 15 she promised herself she'd marry a black man, and she followed through.

sj071 said...

Mmmm, why would certain influential circles in our society lend generous support to economists, given discipline's inbuilt resistance to reality*??

*Reality: Real World economic interactions, therefore not applicable to our sophisticated Economic models.

Money quote: “How is it that most of the world remains so poor?”

Isn't one of the main traits of Asperger's demonstrated lack of emphathy?

I'll get my coat...

Anonymous said...

these ostensibly mild-mannered academics who are one perceived slight away from going all Columbine on you.

The nihilism of the modern academy rots out these peoples' souls, and they are left with great big empty black holes where their hearts ought to be.

The blame belongs not with the post-secondary academia, but with public education. These people have been rotted by the erosive atmosphere of pre-secondary education with its pervasive boredom, bullying, and slander. By the time they reach college, their souls are already "black holes one step from columbine"

In the good old days, super-smart people bound for academia were either homeschooled or private-schooled, and they got the mentoring they needed. Public school may be good for average kiddies and moderately smart ones, but not for the academic elite.

Anonymous said...

What does Checkhov have to do with anything? I don't understand.

Are you trying to allude to science fiction in general?

Narwhal Pants said...

So when Krugman opposes the right he's an arrogant and angry man but when you do it you are a sensible bastion of reason?

TEF said...

An easy answer for Krugman's rock ticket quandry is that the rock stars have their OWN agents buying tickets at regular prices, then reselling them at double or triple price - whatever they sell it at, it's TAX FREE.

I can't believe what I've written is an original idea... It must have been suggested before - Why didn't the author of this article or Krugman think of it themselves?

Jan Rogozinski said...

The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness.[9]

Thus Wikipedia, for what's unsourced stories are worth.

Krugman has Poor communication skills???!!! That's like saying Obama is tongue-tied and makes lousy speeches.