ET EXTRA: Do Economists Use Engineering Thinking? Not Nobel Prize-Winner Paul Krugman

23 Jun

From prior Engineering Thinking posts we’ve learned that opinions should not be accepted at face value. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to fact-check everything we read, so we tend to allow our opinions to be swayed by the writings of well-known columnists for the major newspapers. We are even more swayed if the columnist holds major credentials, such as being the recipient of a Nobel prize.

Consider Nobel prize-winner Paul Krugman, who is also a columnist on economic matters for the New York Times, and a major advocate of the Obama administration’s policy of massive “stimulus” spending. If you were to follow Mr. Krugman’s more recent writings, you might be swayed to think that massive government spending is good and necessary.

One of the traits of those who employ engineering thinking is consistency. Therefore, a trait to be wary of is inconsistency. Mr. Krugman is not consistent. For numerous examples please check “Paul Krugman, the Self-Contradicting Economist” by Arvind Kumar, 23 June 2010 American Thinker.

The bottom line: Based on his record of contradictory statements, Mr. Krugman is not a reliable source, and therefore his writings can be safely ignored.

-Ed Walker


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