Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman won the Nobel economics prize on Monday for his analysis of how economies of scale can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity.
Good thing he didn’t win it on the merits of his assessment of the French helthcare system.
The Nobel Prize is never posthumous — it is only awarded to living persons. So some great minds such as John Maynard Keynes and Fischer Black never received the prize in Economics. All that has changed. With today’s award to Paul Krugman, the Nobel as gone to an economist who died a decade ago. The person alive to receive the award is merely a public intellectual, a person operating in the same domain as Oprah Winfrey. And even as a public intellectual, the prize is inappropriate, because never before has a scientist operating in the capacity of a public intellectual so abused and debased the science he purports to represent. Krugman’s New York Times column drawing on economics is the equivalent of 2006’s Nobelists in Physics, astromers Mather and Smoot, doing a column on astrology — and then, in that column, telling lies about astronomy.
But what’s done is done. The only question now is whether Krugman will pay taxes on the prize at the low rates enabled by the Bush tax cuts he has done so much to discredit, or if he will volunteer to pay taxes at higher rates he considers more fair.
$5 says, the Bush rates.
The Krugman Tax for Undeserved Prizes, since Nobel proceeds are tax-exempt.