Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Krugman's Surprising Wit

Given his penchant nowadays for turning out lugubrious jeremiads, it's rather surprising to learn that Krugman still has a sharp sense of humor. Too bad he does such a terrible job of letting it shine through in his NYT columns.

KRUGMAN: The United States is the lowest taxed advanced country, by far ...

O'REILLY: Yeah, because they're not a socialist country. [O'Reilly asserts that Ronald Reagan's tax policy stimulated the economic growth of the 90s.]

KRUGMAN (sarcastically): I love this!

O'REILLY: ... I don't care whether you believe it or not. You're a quasi-socialist. ...

KRUGMAN: ... You take a look at anything I've written about economics and I'm not a socialist. You know, that's a slander.

O'REILLY (serenely and smugly): I said quasi.

KRUGMAN: Well, that's a wonderful out. Then you're a quasi-murderer!
Now that was a damn good rejoinder, one has to admit, whether or not one likes Krugman's work, and in this case it's hard to think of a more deserving recipient.