How to Be Heard

from Krugman:

I realized that I also wanted to say something in response to the concern trolling, the “if you were more moderate you’d have more influence” stuff. Again, this amounts to wishing that we lived in a different world. First, there is no such thing in modern America as a pundit respected by both sides. Second, there are people writing about economic issues who are a lot less confrontational than I am; how often do you hear about them? This is not a game, and it is also not a dinner party; you have to be clear and forceful to get heard at all.

If I were Tyler Cowen (to whom Krugman is sorta responding), I’d ask: ok, but at what margin does confrontation detract from your message? Surely there is a limit.

Krugman is very confrontational. Pundits, as they are normally called, are supposed to be confrontational because that is what moves newspapers and attracts eyeballs. That is NOT necessarily what moves policy, though they are no doubt related.

Krugman has been listening to the whispers of his NYT editors (who would much rather Krugman attract eyeballs than policy clout).

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