But.. er.. he was right
I was doing some research on Variable Rate Annuities last night, specifically hoping to find some advice / analysis by Krugman or DeLong. I wasn't looking for the raw numbers.. that's not my strength. But Krugman especially has proven time and again to be trustworthy on issues and holds himself to a very high standard.
What amazed me was the volume of online material related to the privatization debate by people who were disagreeing with Krugman, most of it circa 2003. Some of it was by hacks some was by economists.
What was interesting was that they all had a history of disagreeing with Krugman. You could go back, and see were they tried to pick apart his numbers historically.
I can't comment on the math used. But here's what I noticed. In each instance they would say "blah blah, krugman's wrong, employment will grow by 2004" or some such.
And sitting in Fall of 2005.. well wherever they disagreed with Krugman he was right. He may have been off by a few degrees, but the general point of his prediction was correct. Yet, becuase he was off a little, but on the right side of negative or positive growth they'd declare themslves correct
Krugman predicts -3% growth and we get -2% growth? You predicted +7%? Well, you were right cause growth wasn't 3% or worse.
I'll listen to the guy who was only off by 1/2%