Krugman: White House Excluding "Progressive-Economist Wing"


Newsweek's Michael Hirsch profiled Joseph Stiglitz for next week's magazine, asking why a world-renowned economist who predicted the financial crisis has been left out of the administration.

[W]hile he may be a Nobel laureate, in Washington he's seen as just another economic critic--and not always a welcome one. Few Americans recognize his name, and fewer still would recognize the man, who is short and stocky and bears a faint resemblance to Mel Brooks. Yet Stiglitz's work is cited by more economists than anyone else's in the world, according to data compiled by the University of Connecticut. And when he goes abroad--to Europe, Asia, and Latin America--he is received like a superstar, a modern-day oracle. [...]

While he had no great desire to go back into government, friends say he was deeply disappointed when an offer didn't come from Obama last fall. Not surprisingly, Stiglitz believes his old rival was behind it, though Summers denies this.

In a blog post Sunday morning, Paul Krugman said Hirsch "somewhat misses the point." It's not that Stiglitz is being excluded because of his criticism and his tendentious relationship with some Obama officials, Krugman says. Rather, an entire economic perspective is lacking in the White House.

[T]he larger story is the absence of a progressive-economist wing. A lot of people supported Obama over Clinton in the primaries because they thought Clinton would bring back the Rubin team; and what Obama has done is ... bring back the Rubin team. [...]

I think the real story is more about excluded points of view than excluded people.

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