Letters to the Editor

What’s happened to Paul Krugman?

Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times
Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times New York Times File

To keep up with liberal viewpoints, I read the columns of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman but often wonder why a once-serious guy would manipulate facts and use tortured reasoning to serve a political agenda.

In his Aug. 8, 2016, column, “Time to Borrow,” he said there is an overwhelming case for federal borrowing and that it is time to borrow much more, as if $10 trillion borrowed under Barack Obama’s administration wasn’t enough. He said if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, she may well face scorched-earth Republican opposition to further borrowing.

Five months later, in his Jan. 9, 2017, column, “Deficits Matter Again,” he said borrowing is no longer harmless and that Republicans are about to increase deficits at a time when they will do harm. Nothing material changed in between, except the election of Donald Trump.

In an April 2000 column, “How to be a Hack,” Krugman spoke about how landing a good job with a partisan organization can cause economists to become political hacks for the cause. That explains why his academic work was once serious and his columns make so little sense.

Bill Waddell, Pismo Beach