Paul Krugman, mean girl

Kyle Smith of Forbes notes Paul Krugman’s unusual style:

Reading Paul Krugman isn’t like reading most other economists. In a field whose notoriously poor track record in predicting the future (or even quantifying what has already happened) tends to generate a becoming modesty, he is utterly certain about everything. Breaking with the fraternal nature of the academic community, he is extraordinarily combative. Ever-snarky but never witty, his writing emits a sour smell of contempt.

Another way he stands out among academics: He repeatedly cites the authority of the mob as support for his positions.

This is an odd tactic for someone who would impress upon you the empirical rigor of his thinking. Like a Mean Girl given to saying, “Everyone is wearing wedges this summer” or “the in-crowd knows that animal prints are super-hot right now,” he is an alpha who is constantly looking over his shoulder to reassure himself that a pack is following closely behind. At times reading “The Conscience of a Liberal” is like a dip into the psychodrama of Teen Vogue or “Glee.”

There is an important secret to Krugman’s success.  It is essentially that of EL James, JK Rowling, or Britney Spears. He tells people what they want to hear and he does so in a manner that is sufficiently dumbed-down that even the simplest reader can follow it.  It is a talent, but as anyone who has read Krugman critically will know, it is not indicative of being right about anything.  All that matters to most of his fans is that he takes a firm position and shouts in a confident manner.

I mean, one really has to read his attempt to take down Austrian economics to believe it, as it is readily apparent that Krugman has no idea what it is.