Permalink to President of Estonia versus Paul Krugman

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.”

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Members have made 26 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Barkha Herman Member

    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.

    • #1
    • June 7, 2012 at 9:43 am
  2. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    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.

    • #2
    • June 7, 2012 at 9:47 am
  3. Profile photo of billy Member

    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…

    • #3
    • June 7, 2012 at 9:53 am
  4. Profile photo of Diane Ellis Contributor
    Diane Ellis Post author
    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”

    • #4
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:01 am
  5. Profile photo of BrentB67 Inactive

    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.

    • #5
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:04 am
  6. Profile photo of tabula rasa Member

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

    What a smug jerk.

    • #6
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:07 am
  7. Profile photo of Kirsten Weiss Inactive

    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.

    • #7
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:16 am
  8. Profile photo of Don Tillman Member

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

    • #8
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:21 am
  9. Profile photo of Barkha Herman Member
    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.

    • #9
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:32 am
  10. Profile photo of Patrickb63 Member

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

    • #10
    • June 7, 2012 at 10:50 am
  11. Profile photo of Valiuth Member
    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? 

    • #11
    • June 7, 2012 at 11:16 am
  12. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    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 .

    • #12
    • June 7, 2012 at 11:19 am
  13. Profile photo of River Inactive

    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.

    • #13
    • June 7, 2012 at 11:21 am
  14. Profile photo of Sisyphus Member

    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.

    • #14
    • June 7, 2012 at 11:34 am
  15. Profile photo of Noesis Noeseos Inactive

    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.

    • #15
    • June 7, 2012 at 11:50 am
  16. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member

    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).

    • #16
    • June 8, 2012 at 1:16 am
  17. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    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.

    • #17
    • June 8, 2012 at 1:44 am
  18. Profile photo of Redneck Desi Inactive

    We are all Estonians now!

    • #18
    • June 8, 2012 at 2:31 am
  19. Profile photo of Paul J. Croeber Member

    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.

    • #19
    • June 8, 2012 at 4:48 am
  20. Profile photo of Man With the Axe Member

    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.

    • #20
    • June 8, 2012 at 5:25 am
  21. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member
    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. · 1 hour ago

    He also ignores geopolitics, and its effects on fiscal policy around the world. If the Chinese are quietly telling us behind the scenes that they won’t fund a new massive stimulus (which I suspect they are), it won’t happen. That’s what it means to have an economy dependent on debt: all the quick fixes require more debt and willing creditors.

    • #21
    • June 8, 2012 at 6:02 am
  22. Profile photo of Indaba Member

    The president of Estonia tweeting his version of economic reality demonstrates the braveness if this leader. The article he wrote shocked me with its sheer honesty and should be put up as a main feed post for all to read. What he writes is the essence of capitalism and conservatism. He also gives controlled voice to the rage at silly, spoilt Ivey educated pontificators who casually hang posters of Che or Marx or Mao on their dorm wall with no comprehension of human lives changed by grand theories forced on others. Ilves gives voice to many unsayables. His line it must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing is just dripping with exquisite irony.

    • #22
    • June 8, 2012 at 8:25 am
  23. Profile photo of ctruppi Inactive

    And where is the media in all this? 

    Let me get this straight: if Estonia tomorrow fell to an Islamic regime which vowed to destroy Israel and the West and had known jihadists planning the murder of innocent civilians, the NYT and MSNBC would call you a racist, Islamophobe for pointing this out. But, if Estonia pulls out of a recession by using frugal, austerity measures and limiting the size of their government they open themselves up to ridicule and the NYT and MSNBC don’t care?

    The more I think about the Left and their logic (or lack thereof), the more I believe that they are some crazy convergence of backwards math and philosophy in the 5th circle of Dante’s Inferno!

    • #23
    • June 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm
  24. Profile photo of Busy System Admin Member

    For a while we had an Estonian contractor who helped us with this website. Smart, enterprising fellow.

    We also use a German contractor from time to time. They are excellent. There is still hope for Europe if the government would unleash their people.

    • #24
    • June 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm
  25. Profile photo of Daniel Sattelberger Inactive
    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” · 3 hours ago

    An excellent article. Can I suggest an appearance on Uncommon Knowledge or the podcast?

    • #25
    • June 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm
  26. Profile photo of gnarlydad Member

    Either that or you’re standing on your head and don’t realize it. Wait, that might explain some of those charts Krugman puts together. He’s not an imbecile, he’s just hopelessly directionally challenged.

    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 hours ago
    • #26
    • June 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm