That Liberal Krugman
When the Democrats win the White House in '04, I think a lot of us lefties will be surprised at Krugman's columns. I'm in the middle of reading Pop Internationalism
by Krugman, which is a collection of essays originally published elsewhere, debunking popular economic theory. The book was published in the mid-nineties, and attacks the economic theory (but not necessarily the policies) of the Clinton administration.
I've only just started, but the first few essays deal with the notion that nations are in competition with each other (like big corporations). Krugman offers data to show why that theory is wrong, and shows that domestic policies are more responsible for a nation's economy. This flies right in the face of the NAFTA detractors on the left and specifically the policies proposed by Kucinich, Gephardt and to some extent Dean. I'd really like to see one of the campaigns pick up Krugman as an advisor -- especially when it comes to talking about NAFTA effectively. The big problem is that to bring along the unions, you have to back extremely bad policy with regard to free trade -- perhaps Krugman has some ideas.
The one consistent message from Krugman then and now, is that he hates bad math, misleading statistics, and bad economic theory, whether it comes from the right or left. Sometimes, this combination actually leads to the right policy -- which he points out might only have come about from this type of disingenuous "sell", but it's dangerous nonetheless, because there are certainly bad policies that follow from those beliefs as well.