Saturday, February 27, 2010

Is Krugman's wife making him angrier???

And I mean that in the most absolute, literal, literary way...

Now, I likes me some Krugman. He tends to piss me off now and again, as I wrote back in January:

I've said it before. Krugman is a typical professor (y'know, aside from the New York Times column, New York Times blog, regular appearances on MSNBC, know, the whole...Nobel Laureate thing) in that he's got a universe of knowledge in his head, and sometimes doesn't react well when people don't understand what the hell he's talking about. (Bondad clearly does). This frustration tends to show up in his writing. He also has a tendency, when really, really mad, to ignore political realities and go into "just get it DONE" mode (which Dr. Krugman is kinda in now).

Wow, have I quoted me before? I don't remember.

It looks like I was wrong. Maybe, at least according to the recent New Yorker profile on him. It looks like it was really his wife making him, well, angrier...

If he is writing his column, he will start it on the morning of the day it’s due, and, if the spirit is with him, he will be done soon after lunch. When he has a draft, he gives it to Wells to edit. Early on, she edited a lot—she had, they felt, a better sense than he did of how to communicate economics to the layperson. (She is also an economist—they met when she was a postdoc at M.I.T. and he was teaching there.) But he’s much better at that now, and these days she focusses on making him less dry, less abstract, angrier.

Recently, he gave her a draft of an article he’d done for Rolling Stone. He had written, “As Obama tries to deal with the crisis, he will get no help from Republican leaders,” and after this she inserted the sentence “Worse yet, he’ll get obstruction and lies.” Where he had written that the stimulus bill would at best “mitigate the slump, not cure it,” she crossed out that phrase and substituted “somewhat soften the economic hardship that we face for the next few years.” Here and there, she suggested things for him to add. “This would be a good place to flesh out the vehement objections from the G.O.P. and bankers to nationalization,” she wrote on page 9. “Show us all their huffing and puffing before you dismiss it as nonsense in the following graf.”