Ryan Cooper: Why are big-shot liberal economists hippie-punching Bernie Sanders?
Gerald Friedman, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, produced an analysis of Bernie Sanders’ economic plan predicting eye-popping benefits from the candidate’s program: 4.5 percent real GDP growth between 2016 and 2026, at which time median income would be $82,151 — about $23,000 above the Congressional Budget Office baseline.
Reaction from the economics establishment was swift and vicious. Democratic Party heavy hitters — Alan Krueger of Princeton, Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago, plus Christina Romer and Laura D’Andrea Tyson of Berkeley, all four former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers — put out an ex cathedra declaration that Friedman’s paper was utterly beyond the pale of serious analysis.
Paul Krugman joined the dogpile, writing three consecutive posts (“Worried Wonks,” “What Has the Wonks Worried,” “Wonkery Has a Well-Known Liberal Bias,” — noticing a theme?) on how Friedman’s paper was utterly preposterous, and demanding Sanders immediately denounce it. Brad DeLong was kinder, but still insisted that Friedman was enabling right-wing economic derp.