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President of Estonia versus Paul Krugman

I relished this.

The president of Estonia chewed out Paul Krugman on Wednesday, using Twitter to call the Nobel Prize-winning economist “smug, overbearing & patronizing,” in response to a short post on Estonia’s economic recovery.

Krugman’s 67-word entry, entitled “Estonian Rhapsody,” questioned the merits of using Estonia as a “poster child for austerity defenders.” He included a chart that, in his words, showed “significant but still incomplete recovery” after a deep economic slump.

paul-krugman.jpgPresident Toomas Hendrik Ilves responded to Krugman in a series of outraged tweets, taking offense to Krugman’s tone and writing that Krugman didn’t know what he was talking about.

“We’re just dumb & silly East Europeans. Unenlightened. Someday we too will understand,” he tweeted. “Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a “wasteland”. Must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing.”

  1. Barkha Herman

    Armchair intellectuals vs. Reality.  I read  Toomas Hendrik Ilves’s Hoover article – it’s brilliant, I recommend it to everyone.  Also – I recommend that Krugman play Civilization – the video game – to get back in touch with reality.

  2. KC Mulville

    Krugman is trying to bully his way through with attitude, as usual. Just because you look down on people doesn’t mean you’re above them; you might only be looking at your own shoes.

  3. billy

    As a young conservative in the 80′s, it seemed  plausible that by 2012 we’d all have our own jetpack. But that I would esteem the economic sensibilities of the President of Estonia over the President of the United States…

  4. Diane Ellis
    C
    Barkha Herman: Armchair intellectuals vs. Reality.  I read  Toomas Hendrik Ilves’s Hoover article – it’s brilliant, I recommend it to everyone.  Also – I recommend that Krugman play Civilization – the video game – to get back in touch with reality. · 9 minutes ago

    I’m always thrilled to see that you’ve commented on a post, Barkha.  Your humor is delightful.

    For all interested, here’s Ilves’s Hoover article:

    “I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday”

  5. BrentB67

    Does Estonia have a sports team or something we can cheer? Anybody that turns a light on Krugman and his nonsensical raving is a somebody worth supporting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. tabula rasa

    Krugman ought to sit down with Ilves and Vaclav Klaus (Czech Republic). They could teach him some economics.

    What a smug jerk.

  7. Kirsten Weiss

    I love it!  I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Estonia, though the Peace Corps didn’t stay long (not because of me).  Estonia didn’t need us.  They had eagerly embraced capitalism and liberty and in spite of a lack of natural resources, quickly made tremendous economic strides.  It’s a great little country.

    And yes, Krugman is a jerk.

  8. Don Tillman

    Recently I’ve been saying, “What Paul Krugman does is not Economics, it’s Performance Art.”

  9. Barkha Herman
    Don Tillman: Recently I’ve been saying, “What Paul Krugman does is not Economics, it’s Performance Art.” · 0 minutes ago

    What Krugman does is not the science of economics, but the art of reverence, of faith.  It has a innocent beauty within it – only someone with the amount of unwavering belief in the gods of  Communism can  express it.  And he is willing to sacrifice nations, no, worlds to his appease his gods.

    But then again, he could just be bat [expletive] crazy.

  10. Patrickb63

    I vote crazy.    Pure, unadulterated, barking at the moon, Che-worshiping crazy. 

  11. Valiuth
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    Barkha Herman: Armchair intellectuals vs. Reality.  I read  Toomas Hendrik Ilves’s Hoover article – it’s brilliant, I recommend it to everyone.  Also – I recommend that Krugman play Civilization – the video game – to get back in touch with reality. · 9 minutes ago

    I’m always thrilled to see that you’ve commented on a post, Barkha.  Your humor is delightful.

    For all interested, here’s Ilves’s Hoover article:

    “I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday” · 17 minutes ago

    Thanks for the article suggestion and link. It was an astounding article. I have a soft spot for the tiny Eastern European Nations because of my own Romanian birth…It has always seemed outrageous how poorly the East is treated by the Western Europeans, having finally escaped Soviet domination they find themselves second class citizens all over again.  

    To think that Estonia, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia are all actually cutting their budgets just to keep Greece, Italy, and Spain afloat is maddening to hear….I mean is it better to be Russian surfs or Spanish surfs? 

  12. flownover

    Good thing Krugman didn’t condemn their 21% flat tax , which is a great success. 

    Or make any jokes about their pulchritudinous distaff.

    In the Old Estonia, Krugman would have been a “useful idiot” , now he is a “useless idiot” at the buttend of a twitter-dis .

  13. River

    Krugman is living proof that the Peter Principle is alive and well.  This is the concept that “people tend to rise to their level of incompetence.”

    In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated thus: People tend to be given more and more authority until they cannot continue to work competently.

    If the media weren’t utterly dedicated to Liberalism, he would have vanished a decade ago.

  14. Sisyphus

    Fresh from his brilliant work at Enron, the Krugman latched on to the Obamanable Debt Bomb where, instead of destroying thousands of lives, he can destroy millions egging on corruptocrats. Saw the kerfuffle on twitter and immediately followed Ilves.

  15. Noesis Noeseos

    Krugman and the Progressive crew are flailing.  Relying on cliche instead of argument, they sound remarkably like the rear-guard company of segregationists in the early 1960′s.  (“Racist” and “Social Darwinist” have replaced “outside agitator.”)

    The dialectic has joined battle against these latter reactionaries, and all they can do is to rant against their enemies.

  16. Joseph Eagar

    Krugman is partially correct on his views of fiscal policy.  The problem is which nations he thinks should run bigger deficits.  The U.S. does not lack for domestic demand; China, Germany, and Japan are the big drags on global consumption, and fiscal expansions in those countries would help the U.S. economy. 

    Of course, it would be even better if those nations would stop using the power of government to limit private consumption, which is perfectly capable of rising of its own accord to eliminate trade imbalances.  That would be more sustainable, especially for Germany and Japan, who do not have the scope of public investment projects China does (or had, anyway).

    (By the way, I’m not saying German or Chinese deficit spending would benefit Germans or Chinese citizens, I’m simply saying it would benefit us.  Obviously the conservative policy would be to implement market reforms in those countries that would lead to natural, market-driven rises in private demand, not unsustainable government-created booms).

  17. Douglas

    Krugman was born too late. He missed his calling as a Soviet central planner. Krugman has said that he became an economist after reading Asimov’s books with “psychohistorians” that could predict trends, and thus, plan the future and shape the world. He saw economists of the Keynesian school as the nearest equivalent in real life, so that’s what he became. Krugman’s deepest impulse is that of the domineering central planner, playing god and moving all the chess pieces in a dance to produce the world that he wants, and if the rest of us don’t agree with this anti-liberty impulse, well, too bad. He’s smarter than us, and we will obey. Because if we dont, then… well, he’ll call us names in the New York Times.

  18. Redneck Desi

    We are all Estonians now!

  19. Paul J. Croeber

    Krugman is to me the epitome of those that insist disagreement with their positions is prima facie evidence of one’s ignorance and unsophistication.  He substitutes ego for argument. I would take exception with Ilves tone were I unaware of what an intellectual fraud Krugman is.  

  20. Man With the Axe

    I forget who said this, but it’s (unfortunately) true: “Most people don’t read any economists. Those who do only read one, and that one is Paul Krugman.” No wonder there is so much confusion in the world.

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