In some ways I’m an admirer of Paul Krugman. He somehow seems to manage to be a mainstream economist and a mensch at the same time.
On the other hand, there’s this idea that economic health and growth are the same thing. See yesterday’s column:
What we have now is a spending slump. It’s the consequence of easy credit that led to reckless spending in the past — but the problem now is how to sustain spending; trying to encourage austerity at this point will just make things even worse.
It’s reassuring to see a few people in the comments saying “huh?” Perhaps I’m not the only person who finds this whole approach baffling. Exactly why are we trying to sustain the spending level that was reckless in the past? Perhaps I’m stupid and so I will never understand economics, but I always appreciate when somebody tries to explain it to me. It always seems to me, though, that they are going round in circles. “Growth is good because if you don’t have growth you have a recession, which is bad because you don’t have growth.”
Update: I expanded on the above in comments to Krugman’s blog. See entry #85. No reply as yet.