Sunday, December 6, 2009

Krugman as a Hayekian Higher Order Second Hand Dealer of Ideas

The average guy on the street doesn't know who Paul Krugman is.

Based on a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, most voters (55%) don't know enough about Krugman to venture even a soft opinion about him. Those with an opinion are fairly evenly divided-22% favorable and 22% unfavorable. Just one-in-10 voters has a strong opinion about Krugman, with four percent (4%) voicing a Very Favorable opinion and six percent (6%) a Very Unfavorable view.

This suggests to me that he is simply reaching the average NYT reader, and not much beyond. These readers really don't have a hard grounding in economics and are not strongly impressed by his views. It explains how he can get away with some of his more outlandish statements, and suggests hope, in that all sound economists have to do is get in front of these people who pass on their views. Presented with logical argument, they'll understand Krugman's errors.

He's a Hayekian higher order disseminator of economic beliefs, but it doesn't appear that there are many willing to lie down on the tracks defending what they read by Krugman that morning in NYT while munching on a bagel and downing a coffee.

In other words, he has not in any way influenced a following so strongly with his arguments that they can in any way be deemed religious about what he writes.

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