Paul Krugman Admits Being Poe, Quits JobNYT columnist says he’s not a real economist, but he plays one in the newspaper.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has stepped down from his 15-year position writing for the New York Times
, but not without revealing his biggest secret: he’s not really an economist.
Krugman, who coined the term “very serious people” to mock pundits who are considered respectable despite holding mistaken beliefs, penned his final column last week in which he confessed to being one of those “very serious people,” revealing that his position as an economist was merely a ruse,
In reality, he never received a Nobel Peace Prize in economics. He never taught economics at Princeton. He never even studied economics in college.
Instead, he had originally graduated Clown College with the intention of breaking out into the entertainment business, but felt that his comedic talents would be squandered working in traveling circuses and carnivals.
So upon graduation, Krugman decided to pull off what he considered to be the biggest prank of them all by passing himself off as a respectable economist while writing the most ludicrous statements.
“When I pitched this proposal to the editor, he told me it was the most asinine thing he had ever heard, and then he shoved the contract in my face and had me sign it,” Krugman said during an in-person interview.
Since making his debut in the NYT op-ed pages in 2000, Krugman has penned blatantly absurd opinions on economics and politics which managed to come across as legit commentary to the general public.
One of his most infamous bogus statements was made following the wake of the dot-com bubble, when he suggested that the government remedy the situation
by “create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”
“Here I was suggesting that we replace one financial bubble with another, and I was damn sure that I would be exposed for the fraud that I was, yet I managed to fool everyone hook, line, and sinker,” Krugman boasted. “Even Alan Greenspan himself was fooled into using my economic ‘advice’ to justify his reckless money printing, which inevitably led to the greatest recession since the Great Depression. That’s even more hilarious when you consider all of the jobs and houses that were lost because of it!"
Among his other nuggets of dubious economic wisdom, Krugman has claimed that Adolf Hitler
ended the Great Depression, the September 11 attacks
would help provide economic opportunity, an alien invasion
would stimulate the economy, and printing a trillion dollar coin
could pay off the national debt.
Perhaps his most damning, if not most ironic, prediction was that concerning the very technology with which he has garnered the most popularity. In 1998, he had written a column
predicting that the internet would become no more significant than the fax machine.
“And to think that my supporters read and share my columns on the very medium that I had dismissed over fifteen years ago!” Krugman exclaimed, slapping his knee as he desperately tried to hold back his bouts of laughter. “These idiots will believe anything that I write!”
When Krugman’s views aren’t being contradicted by reality, more often than not, they’re being contradicted by himself.
For example, while he has lauded minimum wage hikes
within his columns, arguing that increasing the minimum wage would also increase employment, in his own economics textbook
, he admitted that such wage increases would have the opposite effect of decreasing employment.
And though he has been an adamant supporter of immigration reform
, claiming that the economy would benefit from more immigrants, in a past column
, he admitted that saturating the market with low-skilled migrant workers would only decrease wages for domestic low-skilled workers.
Now that he has ended his career of pretending to be an economist, Krugman plans on living the rest of his days performing in traveling circuses and carnivals.
As to what will become of his loyal followers, Krugman expressed that those who once took his columns at face value will continue to do so even in the light of evidence to the contrary.
“If life experience has taught me anything, it’s that people, especially with economics, will choose to believe what they want to believe even when it doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “Even after L. Ron Hubbard admitted that Scientology was bunk, that hasn’t stopped the increase of ranks among Scientologists.”