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Sunday, October 11, 2009

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When I ran the Boston Marathon back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth it was 40 degrees and lightly drizzling at first. We wore cheap layers and discarded them as we warmed up. I had these elcheapo silver metallic knit gloves that cost 3 dollars that saved me. But 2 hrs 5 mins--WOW! My best time was 24 mins between miles 2 and 6.

On the swine flu, I am a tad nervous about the kids (my spouse's uncle died at 17 in the 1918 epidemic so the family worries), but I never bother with any flu shots myself.

On the meds, I think nobody should take em unless they feel so appalling that they are unable to bear being in their own skin. Family members who should have taken meds who refuse. And others who might have managed without but who took em and were made worse. I believe in the one third rule: one third are made worse, one third are helped a little, and one third are REALLY helped. My other theory (unpopular) is that the main reason to take meds is not for oneself, but for the sake of one's loved ones. Many times the patient doesn't feel better, but actually behaves better and functions better. Obviously, when mania is reined in, some patients miss it, but their families are relieved. But many people who are depressed can be quite savage, and antidepressants may lessen their irritability and rage with loved ones even when they don't make the sufferer feel any happier. You know that I tend to believe that we are not our own. We belong to our families and those we love, so we don't pursue health for solely selfish ends, but also to improve ourselves. Sorry to express clumsily...

So the next time someone tells you that no one saw the crash coming, tell them that Krugman saw it coming and wrote about it in the biased New York Times, but his warnings were ridiculed as liberal Bush hate.


Saw it coming? He demanded it, offering it as the cure to the recession following the collapse of the tech bubble in 2001.

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.
- Paul Krugman, writing in August of 2002

Krugman is in absolutely no position to critique anyone's predictions. Donald Luskin, and a few others, made a hobby of debunking his commentary forcing him into a number of retractions which the editors of the Times allowed him to post on his website instead of the pages of the "paper of record".

One of my favorite Krugman clips is THIS ONE in which he asks Canadians present in the audience about their health care system.

Art,

re Krugman 2002: He wasn't advocating for a housing bubble. He said that Greenspan hoped to replace the stock market bubble with a housing bubble to forestall a recession. Krugman called it a "bubble"-- hardly an endorsement and he is hardly a monetarist. In fact, the housing bubble did forestall the recession, but being a bubble it did start to leak in 2005. Krugman called it and he was ridiculed by conservatives for calling it what it was--a bubble.

As for the video clip, an informal survey of 7 Canadians in an audience, proves what exactly? That Krugman doesn't know anything about economics? That's nonsense and it has nothing to do with his competence as an economist. If I had presented an informal audience survey with 7 respondents, most of whom said that American health care is awful, you would have rightly dismissed that as nonsense. This video is one of those dumb gotcha moments that everyone in the public eye falls prey to now and then, either by being set up or by self-infliction. It doesn't remotely compare to the monumentally bad WSJ calls Krugman identified.

All day Paul Krugman has been involved in a brouhaha over a 2002 column which seemed to be advocating a housing bubble to get us out of the recession. He says he wasn't calling for a bubble, just that he was just explaining Alan Greenspan was trying to do.

Mark Thornton has gone through Krugman's entire archives and undermined this defense. Many of Krugman's own quotes from that era suggest that he was an aggressive advocate of low-low interest in order to bring the housing market to a broil, thus bringing us out of the recession.

Actually, Krugman Was A Huge Advocate Of The Housing Boom


Krugman is a political hack. I don't deny his contribution to the field of economics, but it has little bearing on the political positions he takes.

Saying that "Krugman called it" is meaningless since, as Ruth Marcus' piece in the WaPo Krugman vs. Krugman pionts out, he's usually all over the board on any given issue, whether it's Social Security, the deficit or housing.

Here's an example:

Krugman in 2003 [deficit at 3% of GDP, 10-year deficit projection $1.8 trillion]: "I'm terrified ... we're looking at a fiscal crisis that will drive interest rates sky-high ... the conclusion is inescapable ... the task is simply impossible ... the fiscal train wreck, is already under way." New York Times

Krugman in 2009 [deficit at 11% of GDP, 10-year deficit projection $9 trillion]: Don't worry, we'll grow out of it. Just stabilize the debt in terms of GDP and be happy! New York Times

The difference? Well, just look at who was in office at the time.

Like I said, he has been caught making false statements time and time again. He's a hack.


... an informal survey of 7 Canadians in an audience, proves what exactly?

I guess you would have to ask Paul Krugman that since he conducted it. It apparently meant something to him.

Hey, thanks for the link Dr X! I feel strongly that many doctors have not had the information needed to inform their patients regarding certain medications. I base this on fact from my daughter's psychiatrist who was told by pharma reps that Zyprexa using patients needed to "just stop drinking soda and take a walk". (when as she did, complained of 100lb weight gain at age 13)

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