Moraesesque

Paul KrugmanBen Bernanke spoke before the Senate yesterday. And as much as anyone can tell, given that only people who work at the place can fully comprehend “Fed Speak,” he seemed to be saying that we shouldn’t worry about the deficit right now and that we could use some stimulus. And you know who that sounds like? Well the man himself knew what it sounded like. This afternoon, Paul Krugman wrote, “Ben Bernanke’s testimony today was highly Krugmanesque.”

I could, of course, could note that this is a good thing. It doesn’t matter to a wacko Republicans who want to abolish the Federal Reserve because… Well, just because. (Fiat money! Inflation! And don’t forget: Greece!) But it ought to matter quite a lot to supposedly liberal thinking Democrats. That didn’t stop democrat Joe Manchin spending all of his allotted time trying to get Bernanke to admit that the debt really was the biggest threat to our nation. Bernanke wasn’t buying it and so I hope more and more people will see that we have much bigger fish to fry. Like jobs!

But I’m not here to talk of the need to fix the US economy. I’ve done that many times before. I’m here to talk about “Krugmanesque”! The man coined a term for himself! And really: there is definitely something very distinct about what Krugman says, but not how he says it. And to be fair, that’s all he was saying. But if Krugman can coin his own term for himself, then so can I.

My question is: what does Moraesesque mean? Given that I am a ranter and not a Nobel Prize winning economist, the term must apply to my style. And I can think of no better example of Moraesesque than when I talk about Avik Roy:

You fucking conservative lackey. I want to rip off your scrotum and suffocate you with it. Cock sucking plutocrat bastard!

Yep. This is the one I’ll be remembered for! Just like Ed Wood and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Moraesesque

  1. Krugman is seeming rather perpetually annoyed, lately, that his sensible ideas aren’t being adopted. Can’t say I blame him. I’m frustrated that sensible ideas aren’t being adopted, and advocating them isn’t my life’s work. It’s got to feel, at times, like putting time and energy building one of those elaborate domino strings, only to have some jerk come over and knock them down, screaming "ha-ha! I totally can and totally did!"

    Years ago (like 20) I was watching cable with a friend, and we came across a travel special hosted by Hemingway’s brother. The show featured some isolated island where natural hot springs contained huge amounts of lithium. Hemingway’s brother seemed like a pretty tortured soul, and the lithium springs apparently worked well for his mental state.

    We came up with the concept of whisking away public figures to the Lithium Island. When someone whose writing or music you appreciate begins to display signs of cracking, an elite team of kidnappers could swoop in and transport them to the Lithium Island before they get dangerously depressed. Krugman isn’t that far gone. But maybe we should have the elite kidnappers on speed dial.

    (Incidentally Ashland, OR, has naturally-occurring levels of lithium in its civic water supply. It smells like rotten eggs, tastes nearly as bad, and makes people reasonably content to live in Ashland, OR.)

    As far as "Moraesesque" goes, scrotum-suffocating is good. (That’s one distended scrotum!) I think the line from the Shaw piece today is a good summation, too: "The one thing we all share is regret about everything." Like William Burroughs’s line that the human condition is to be "caged in dreams until death." Not the sort of thing that makes one want to go out and buy property in the Maldives, and not the entirety of human experience. But a vividly expressed observation about a significant part of the human experience; the stone bummer part. Which those who try to deny bore me stupid.

  2. @JMF – That sounds like a good idea: crack lithium immersion squad.

    You are referring to Leicester Hemingway. You are right about him! He killed himself later.

    As for Krugman, I have a different theory. I think Krugman is having a gas. He is The Man. What’s more, he [i]knows[/i] he is right. He knows when the dust settles, everyone will look back on him as a kind of oracle.

    On the other hand, I worry a little about Dean Baker. Now he was been far more right than Krugman. In fact, he has got to wonder if he isn’t Cassandra. He called the dotcom bubble. He called the real estate bubble many years before. And this is just the start. He has an amazing ability to get to the heart of things. But no one listens. By the way, he is giving away his newest book in electronic form, [i]The End of Loser Liberalism[/i]. It is a great short book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/books/the-end-of-loser-liberalism

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