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Paul Krugman Is Eagerly Awaiting Your Friend Request

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The latest issue of New York contains a lengthy profile of Paul Kruman entitled "What's Left of the Left: Paul Krugman's Lonely crusade." Writer Benjamin Wallace-Wells examines the Nobel Prize-winning economist's position as "the leading exponent of a kind of liberal purism" (played out in his column for the Times and his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal); few peers or policymakers wholly agree with Krugman's stance, making him a very "lonely" man (save for his commenters). And it's not just in his professional life that Krugs lacks pals, Wallace-Wells tells us, but, heartbreakingly, in his personal life as well.

Paul Krugman is a lonely man. That he is comfortable in his solitude, that he emphasizes its virtues, that his intelligence gives it a poetic gloss, none of this diminishes the poignancy of his isolation. Krugman grew up an only child and is deeply self-conscious. He will list his shortcomings as though he’d been preparing for the chance: “Loner. Ordinarily shy. Shy with individuals.” He is married but has no children nor—rare for a Nobelist—many protégés. When I asked him if there were any friends of his I could talk to in order to understand him better, he hesitated, then said, “That’s going to be hard.”

Regardless of how you feel about P.Krugs' politics, you cannot be a human and not want to give Kruggles a hug as well as a hand. We need to find him some friends and fast. Before you start coming up with ideas, make sure none of them are the following, who we've already deemed out:

- Andrew Sorkin, on account of last year's awkward tiff around the office

- Robert Reich, who is probably not taking PK's calls (Krugman wrote: “talented writer, too bad he never gets anything right.” )

- Projectors (Krugman had prepared slides, but after a sustained five-minute assault on the projection technology, he gave up. “Never mind,” he said, abandoning the projection screen. “I can just sketch it on the board myself.”)

- Larry Summers, who's sick of his negativity (“Paul hasn’t liked any president or any Treasury secretary,” Summers continues. “He always gravitates to opposition and dramatic policy because it’s much more interesting than agreement when you’re involved in commenting on rather than making policy. He savaged the early Clinton administration from the right, blistering Laura Tyson and Bob Reich, and then moved to savage the more liberal Obama administration from the left. He liked the Bush administration least of all. The only politician I remember him praising in the last sixteen years is John Edwards.”)

- Art Laffer

- Anyone from the University of Chicago, as he hates "freshwater" economists

- The governor of Wisconsin (you know why)

- Dogs (man's best friend Paul Krugman's ass)

- Kate Middleton, who knows what she did (No one else on the planet should ever be allowed to wear Diana's ring.)

Excluding the above, let's hear what you got.


Paul Krugman Forces Obama Back To The Drawing Board

Sayeth Kruggles: "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. Part of the reason is that I am indeed the World’s Worst Administrator — and that does matter. Someone else can do the paperwork — but an administrative job requires making hiring and firing decisions, it means keeping track of many things, and that, to say the least, is not my forte...officials inside the administration can of course have even more influence — but only if they’re good at a very different kind of game, that of persuading the president and his inner circle in behind-closed-doors discussion. And everything I know about myself says that I’m not very good at that game. 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." [NYT]