An Nobel prize for economics, and attendant Obamations
Here is a old article appearing on Slate today, in honour of its writer, Paul Krugman.
Above all, the story of the co-op tells you that economic slumps are not punishments for our sins, pains that we are fated to suffer. The Capitol Hill co-op did not get into trouble because its members were bad, inefficient baby sitters; its troubles did not reveal the fundamental flaws of "Capitol Hill values" or "crony baby-sittingism." It had a technical problem—too many people chasing too little scrip—which could be, and was, solved with a little clear thinking. And so, as I said, the co-op's story helps me to resist the pull of fatalism and pessimism.
Paul Krugman was named the sole winner of the Nobel prize for economics today:
The prize committee lauded Mr. Krugman for “having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity
... Mr. Krugman’s models have been praised for their simplicity and practicality — features economists are often criticized for ignoring.
I know nothing about economics, I read the NYT only when some blogger links to it, so I know next to nothing about Krugman's worth as a journalist. He seems to have an intuitive understanding for Israel's plight, so that makes him a morally-astute man in my eyes. He also supports Barack Obama*. But who doesn't these days, for one reason or another? Obama has become the favoured candidate by default.
* Update: My reader NWO makes a valid point by drawing my attention to a post by Michelle Malkin in which she quotes Krugman:
"Paul Krugman is trembling: “Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage…What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.”
And then goes on to demonstrate scenes of insane rage from the Obama camp. Which makes you want to pause and reflect: how can a person who can write with such lucidity and simplicity about the economic crisis, or show that he understands about Israel's dilemma in 2006 war, become so blinkered, biased and clearly, dare I say it, stupid, when it comes to political issues and Barack Obama??
By the way, has any of you ever lost a friend because of political disagreement? I have. When I first began to watch Obama and reflect upon his scary adulators, I was taken to task by a friend who I had considered a genuine friend. She was unable to stand my sacrilegious scepticism and sent me an ugly letter. I had had the pleasure of being of some service to her and her family during the course of our friendship, but all memory of conviviality and good will was erased, as she was gripped by this "insane rage" that Krugman identifies as coming from the McCain camp (not a mention of the parallel derangement's on his side).
The Breath of the Beast might have provided the best explanation, to date, for this kind of hysterical response to difference of opinion:
The enticement of the “change” he offers, begins with the image of a black man who behaves like a white man ascending to the presidency “proving” that we are not a racist country and that we put equality before reason and self-reliance and ends with a bland and rational-sounding but nebulous approach to bringing about a socialist “change” in America. He leads many to believe that racism will just disappear from people’s heart and minds and seems to imply that his policies are less socialist than they are benevolent- that they will take away all the “inequalities” and suffering of normal life.
A world without racism, inequality and suffering is called Utopia.
Must have my dream. Can't risk anyone doubting my delusion. Woe to him who comes between me and my longed-for Utopia.
As I've been saying, tentatively, Obama appears to be an honourable and talented man who commands respect and may even turn out to be a good enough CEO for the USA. It's some of his crazy supporters that make you wonder: what do they know that I don't?
If I understand Yaacov Ben Moshe (The Breath of the Beast blogger), then
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."