There are other teenage aspects to the eminent economist’s work. He employs a strangely forced idiom of adolescent casualness that clashes like polka dots with zebra stripes against the polysyllabic jargon of his trade. He has written, ”Stuff is happening…the European Commission is sorta kinda relaxing its demands for austerity.” He has said he was “jet lagged up the wazoo” (You won’t find many wazoo references in Robert Samuelson’s work), remarked that, “It’s news to me that demand curves turn vertical at low prices, but whatever” and noted that “Joe Stiglitz is an insanely great economist.” Well, which is it: Is Stiglitz insane or is he great? Is he kinda sorta both? Whatever! Oh my God!
Krugman also deals out a lot of high-school sarcasm. On Britain opting out of the Euro: “the decision was made on the basis of — gasp! — actual analysis.” On what he sees as a flawed take on inflation by conservative blogger Erick Erickson: “OK, this is awesome.” And as a generalized slap at all opponents of President Obama, any failure on whose part must be purely imaginary, “It is after, all what should be happening with atheist Islamic socialists in power, so it must be happening.”
Much of Krugman’s energy is directed at devising cute nicknames for the various kinds of fools he despises. Just in the past few weeks, he has lashed out at: “Dead enders,” “Derpistan,” “farbissen” thinkers (they’re the ones who want others to be unhappy) the “always wrong club,” “fanatical minorities,” “hard money men,” and “Macroeconomic hippie-punching.”