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Paul Krugman wins Nobel price in Economics

 
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:22 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
And he has frequently been out of step with the opinions of other economists who eventually proved to be right.

Could you please name three specific examples so I know what we're talking about? Preferrably without copying and pasting.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:26 pm
@Ticomaya,
Ticomaya wrote:
When are you changing your gravatar, Thomas?

I'm comfortable with Douglas Adams, thank you. But I'll admit I'm proud to have had Krugman as my avatar back when Bush was still popular, and his opinions were considered shrill and unbalanced.

And, I have to ask, are you really taking Don Luskin seriously?
TilleyWink
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Krugman's statement to the press that he was completly surprised and giving credit to other economists tells the story. And then there is the part where he has been right about Busheconomics!
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 05:59 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
Have you learned nothing in the last 8 years? For the other half of the political spectrum, this only goes to show what a bunch of biased, anti-American hacks the Nobel Prize committee has become. I could write the RNC's press release in my sleep!



HA HA . It took barelyonly one half of the first page to elicit the RNC response.
I think you are "cyniclar "than I Thomas.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:14 pm
The notion that there cannot be controversy around Krugman's award is ridiculous.

Does anyone really believe that the Nobel Prize Committee is able to, year after year, select the most deserving candidate among a huge pool of worthy experts?

And if you believe the above then you surely do not believe that political ideology often factors in their selections.

Krugman won the award - congratulations to him.

He certainly isn't an absurd selection (Al Gore was), but the award doesn't mean that his theories are all on point, nor does it validate his non-economic political opinions.

He should feel honored and gratified and his fans should feel good.







cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:43 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn, It's easy to criticize anything humans do including our legal systems. At the very least, at least the Nobel Prize is a recognition of the recipients contributions to the different fields of endeavor.

You'll find perfection when you die.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:50 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Foxfyre wrote:
And he has frequently been out of step with the opinions of other economists who eventually proved to be right.

Could you please name three specific examples so I know what we're talking about? Preferrably without copying and pasting.


Okay, if you don't want a copy and paste, I presume you'll accept my examples or look them up yourself?

Without taking anything away from the stuff Krugman gets right and his occasional foray into brilliance, here's just some of the stuff from over the years:

Krugman warned that the dramatic drop in consumer price inflation from its double digit highs would not be sustainable under Reaganomics and would come back with a vengeance. He was wrong.

Krugman also wrote that inflation was due to the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, the price of commodities, and the price of oil. He was proved wrong and refused to acknowledge that even as other economists pointed out those are the effect of inflation, not the cause.

Krugman said that plans for “privatization,” of social security would send a large fraction of workers contributions to investment companies and leave many retirees in poverty. He used Chile’s system which was a tiny microcosm of what was being proposed as an example and fellow economists not only pointed out how he misrepresented what was proposed for us, but seriously misrepresented what was happening in Chile.

Not exactly an economics issue, but Krugman also said that the surge was cynical and delusional and would not work in Iraq. He was wrong.

Also not entirely an economics issue, but Krugman wrote in a column that George Bush thumbed his nose at the world in rejecting the Kyoto Accord. In fact it was Bill Clinton and also the U.S. Senate voting 97-0 who did that in 1997.

He accused the Bush administration of taking a hike on life saving pharmaceuticals for impoverished countries. He ignored, among other things, the $15 billion, that’s billion with a B, that was being sent for AIDS research and relief in Africa, among other things, all humanitarian effort that were proposed by President Bush and authorized by Congress.

Krugman has a long history of far left notions and errors in judgment and history and he rarely ever recants when he is caught. He can also be brilliant but nobody could be so perpetually angry, negative, and down right hateful unless he was a thoroughly unhappy human being.

And the fact is, he never would have made the short list for the Nobel prize, much less acquired it, unless he wasn't sufficiently a far left nut to be acceptable.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:54 pm
@Foxfyre,
foxfyre said;
Quote:
And the fact is, he never would have made the short list for the Nobel prize, much less acquired it, unless he wasn't sufficiently a far left nut to be acceptable.

nothing less than silliness.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:56 pm
Possibly. I'll admit that is purely a personal observation. But can you name a recent Nobel prize winner who hasn't been something of a far left nut?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:58 pm
@Foxfyre,
there are a vast number of Nobel winners.

surely we cannot assume that being a lefty is the key to winning a prize from the "king of explosives"...
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 08:00 pm
@Rockhead,
It probably is a stretch to assume that. But I sure can't think of any who weren't lefties lately. Can you?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 08:01 pm
@Foxfyre,
not worth my bandwidth...
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 08:59 pm
@Thomas,
Yes! I'm very happy that Krugman won the Nobel Prize and I'm also happy that you are happy.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:15 pm
@Foxfyre,
Krugman wrote:
Okay, if you don't want a copy and paste, I presume you'll accept my examples or look them up yourself?

Sure -- just give me a reference to where Krugman says what you claim he is saying. A link to the rebuttal would also be nice, but a direct reference to each of the fallacious Krugman quotes is good enough for me.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:20 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
He certainly isn't an absurd selection (Al Gore was), but the award doesn't mean that his theories are all on point, nor does it validate his non-economic political opinions.

Sure -- and nobody is claiming that they are, or that they do.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:20 pm
@Thomas,
I don't want to hunt them up again. You led me to believe you just wanted some examples. I gave you some. And every one is verifiable. Next time I'll copy and paste, okay?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:23 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
And every one is verifiable.

If you say so. <shrugs>
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 09:34 pm
@Foxfyre,
Quote:
He accused the Bush administration of taking a hike on life saving pharmaceuticals for impoverished countries.


And he was right, was he not?

Quote:
He ignored, among other things, the $15 billion, that’s billion with a B, that was being sent for AIDS research and relief in Africa, among other things, all humanitarian effort that were proposed by President Bush and authorized by Congress.


I suspect you suggest that this was generosity of Bush's part. Let's get a view from reality land instead of la-la land.

Quote:
How Bush's AIDS Program is Failing Africans

The president's much-lauded international AIDS initiative has succeeded in saving lives through treatment. But its abstinence-focused prevention programs have put many more lives in jeopardy.


Michelle Goldberg | July 10, 2007

NAIROBI, Kenya -- On July 5, Beatrice Were, the founder of Uganda's National Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS, stood before hundreds of other HIV-positive women in Nairobi's vaulted city hall and denounced the Bush administration's AIDS policies.

Like many in attendance, Were contracted HIV from her husband, a common occurrence in a region where women make up the majority of new infections and marriage is a primary risk factor. For those like her, the White House's AIDS prevention mantra -- which prescribes abstinence and marital fidelity, with condoms only for "high risk" groups like prostitutes and truck drivers -- is a sick joke.

"We are now seeing a shift in recent years to abstinence only," she said. "We are expected to abstain when we are young girls and to be faithful when we are married to men who rape us, who are not necessarily faithful to us, who batter us." The women in the audience, several waiting to share their own stories of marital rape, applauded.

Were exhorted her audience to "denounce programs that are not evidence-based, that view AIDS as a moral issue, that undermine the issues that affect us, women's rights. I want to be very clear -- the abstinence-only business, women must say no!" Again, there were hollers and applause.

There were lots of voices like Were's in Nairobi last week, where the YWCA sponsored a massive international conference on women and HIV. Yet they rarely seem to break through in the United States, where the conventional wisdom holds that the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a bright spot in an otherwise execrable presidency, one that only the ideologically blinkered refuse to credit. Nick Kristof seems to repeat this notion in The New York Times every other week, and Bono affirmed it when he insisted on putting Bush on one of the 20 different covers that graced Vanity Fair's special Africa issue. "USA TODAY's Susan Page just got off the telephone with Bono. She says President Bush can count the rock star as a fan today," the newspaper's blog reported in late May. "The Grammy winner was singing the praises of the American president for his announcement today that he would propose spending an additional $30 billion over five years to fight AIDS in Africa, doubling the U.S. commitment."

For many toiling in the trenches of the pandemic, though, opinions about PEPFAR are far more ambivalent. It's a moral conundrum: how do you weigh lives saved by treatment against lives lost through policies that sabotage prevention?

It's important to be clear: PEPFAR has done some good. Thanks in part to the program, upwards of 800,000 people are now getting anti-retrovirals that can turned AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic condition. There are remarkable stories of those once wasted and desiccated now restored to life. It may very well be true to say that PEPFAR is the best thing that George W. Bush has ever done. But that's not saying very much at all.

In late May, the White House made the announcement that so pleased Bono, promising to double spending on AIDS from $15 to $30 billion. Like most of the administration's financial figures, the numbers were misleading. The $30 billion was to continue funding PEPFAR for five more years essentially at current levels.

As Health GAP, a U.S.-based NGO, pointed out, "Given that the White House requested $5.4 billion on global AIDS this year (expected to be increased to fulfill U.S. obligations to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), the $6 billion annual request effectively represents flat funding into the next decade." What the administration is trying to spin as a staggering new burst of generosity is basically the maintenance of the status quo.

Nevertheless, $6 billion a year is a significant amount of money. It remains to be seen, though, how much of it will be spent in ways that worsen the epidemic instead of making it better. Under the current policy, one third of the money allocated to HIV prevention goes to abstinence-only campaigns, often run by evangelical allies of the administration.

But this figure is also deceptive, because the prevention budget includes things like fighting mother-to-child transmission. In fact, a full two-thirds of the money for the prevention of the sexual spread of HIV goes to abstinence. What's left is targeted to groups considered high-risk. HIV-activists have spent the last two decades trying to show that condoms aren't just for prostitutes and the promiscuous; Bush has undone much of their work.

Officially, the abstinence-only money was a Congressional earmark, but it was the White House's doing. "I found the argument about the earmark not coming from the administration to be disingenuous," says Scott Evertz, Bush's first AIDS czar. "The White House had a legislative office that was on the Hill pushing this! Sure, you can say it's [Sam] Brownback and [Dave] Weldon and the likely suspects, but they were up there on the Hill arguing for it." (Last month, senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the HIV Prevention Act of 2007, which would repeal the abstinence-only earmark. It remains to be seen whether it will pass, and if it does, whether Bush will veto it.)

Evertz was a Log Cabin Republican who trusted in the administration's good faith, and thus was quite shocked to see how HIV prevention funding turned into a patronage system for the religious right. "The ideologues in and around the administration are not scientists, and they're not even people in many cases who are concerned about data when it comes to proving the abstinence works," he says.

In her brilliant new book, The Invisible Cure: Africa, The West, And The Fight Against AIDS, Helen Epstein shows what some of the ideologues' policies have meant on the ground. Much of her reporting is from Uganda, a country whose history with the disease is hotly contested. In the 1990s, following a concerted campaign by both grassroots organizations and president Yoweri Museveni, Uganda became the first African country to see a significant drop in its infection rate. This wasn't the result of an abstinence campaign, but abstinence crusaders in the west claimed the country's success as their own, and it became a principal justification for Bush's PEPFAR policies.

Indeed, religious conservatives worldwide now tout Uganda's example. Last year in Nicaragua, I asked Monsignor Miguel Mantica, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Managua, why he thought abstinence education is appropriate in a country like his, where men rarely stick to one partner at a time. He replied that Uganda has proven that it works.

Epstein, who has a background in biology and public health, argues that people in East Africa, where the spread of AIDS has been especially catastrophic, don't have more partners over a lifetime than people in other regions, but they are more likely to have simultaneous long-term relationships. Citing the work of the sociologist and statistician Martina Morris, she writes that concurrent liaisons "are far more dangerous than serial monogamy, because they link people up in a giant web of sexual relationships that creates ideal conditions for the rapid spread of HIV."

Uganda's initial response to AIDS addressed this, and urged partner reduction, or "zero grazing," which was not the same as abstinence. Condoms played a role as well. "HIV infection rates fell most rapidly during the early 1990s, mainly because people had fewer casual sexual partners," Epstein writes. "However, since 1995, the proportion of men with multiple partners had increased, but condom use increased at the same time, and this must be why the HIV infection rate remained low."

Yet in a grotesque irony, PEPFAR funding has refashioned Uganda's anti-HIV campaign to fit the distorted notions of American conservatives (and their allies among Uganda's evangelical revivalists, who include First Lady Janet Museveni). "The policy is making people fearful to talk comprehensively about HIV, because they think if they do, they will miss funding," says Canon Gideon, an HIV-positive Anglican minister from Uganda who has been a leader in the clerical response to the epidemic. "Although they know the right things to say, they don't say them, because they fear that if you talk about condoms and other safe practices, you might not get access to this money."

Today, Uganda's infection rate is once again rising.

A few weeks before I came to Kenya, I spoke with Stephen Lewis, who until last year was the United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. I asked how he understood the balance between the harmful and the helpful aspects of Bush's AIDS initiative. "It really is difficult to quantify," he said. "The only thing one can categorically say is that the overemphasis on abstinence probably resulted in an unnecessary number of additional infections." That this policy is celebrated as Bush's greatest moral achievement shouldn't be understood as praise.


cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 10:17 pm
@JTT,
I remember Bush saying many years ago that he would fund the HIV/AIDS fund for Africa, but that one never made it. The latest one last year was announced by Bush, but have heard nothing on it after his "speech." I sort of took it for granted like the promise he made after Katrina when he spoke from Jackson Square in New Orleans. That one never happened; he said something about "the biggest reconstruction project our country has ever seen."
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 10:29 pm
@Thomas,
Here's a LINK to a Luskin article about the first example Foxy cited.

Krugman (with Larry Summers) is quoted as saying:

Quote:
We believe that it is reasonable to expect a significant reacceleration of inflation in the near future. Much of the apparent progress against inflation has resulted from the temporary side effects of tight money and high real interest rates. These side effects must be expected to reverse themselves as real interest rates decline and the economy expands. … Our very rough guess is that correction of … distorted relative prices will add at least 5 percentage points to future increases in consumer prices … This estimate is conservative
0 Replies
 
 

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