To paraphrase Neal Stevenson, everybody has at least once in their life wondered if they were the biggest asshole in all creation. Even if only for a moment, or for longer, because of something they did, or said, or forgot to do, or did but didn’t mean to do, or did because they meant to, but didn’t realize — you know. If this bothered you, and still in a way comes back as a twinge of some kind, or if you are currently suffering from this perception — relax. You’re safe. You are not, and could not be, the biggest asshole in all creation. After Paul Krugman’s self-nomination for Secretary of the Treasury today, that position is filled. Permanently.
Krugman wrote in his NY Times blog today:
“Yes, I’ve heard about the notion that I should be nominated as Treasury Secretary. I’m flattered, but it really is a bad idea,” writes Krugman.
“I am the world’s worst administrator.”
It is a bad idea the same way the Macarena is a bad national anthem. But whose idea was it? Krugman is coy; he’s “heard about the notion.” One wonders if it was a still, small voice that seemed to emanate from deep within, because, as outlandish as this “notion” may seem, Krugman then exceeds himself, achieving a kind of delusional dimensionality seldom encountered outside crackhouses. If offered the job, he would demur:
Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write? By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.”
Okay, I’ll say it. Yes, I doubt the White House reads what he writes, because he has written the same column for several years now. Stimulate. The government can’t go broke because it prints its own money. People who worry about inflation are stupid; our currency is too important to be governed by market forces. But more important — does Krugman really expect us to swallow this balder-than-a-baby’s bottom codswallop? The president offers him the most powerful post in all finance — and he demurs? He’d rather be a columnist for a newspaper?
The only person laughing harder than I am right now is most likely Obama.