Can we have a reality check? It's an RSS reader. It was really good. Now it's shutting down. Nobody relies on it to get to work so they can feed their children. Building a replacement doesn't require digging tunnels, buying trains, hiring drivers. The economic argument is interesting, but I'm wondering if this wins for 'Most Hyperbolic Google Reader Shutdown Article'.
That isn't true but why it isn't true is not immediately obvious. Google reader drives a ton of traffic, what that means in real terms is that there are a huge body of people who don't have time to regularly visit a blog, but they do have time to look quickly at what 10 or 15 blogs have recently posted. Thus they discover where there is an interesting article on "your" blog and visit. That is how it drives traffics to otherwise poorly visited blogs. It is more effective than G+, Organic Search, and Facebook in that regard.
Those bloggers that benefit from this feed do feed themselves and possibly their family on income they get from their writing either in ad-clicks or affiliate links.
When Reader goes away, a number of those blogs will be hurt, and those people will be scrambling to find other ways to drive traffic to their sites.
Now this will also hurt Google because there is a crap ton of AdSense for Content advertising on those blogs, and I expect that what use there had been of Blogger will drop below the 'minimum sustainable point' and so Blogger too will get tossed into the spring cleaning trash bin. Now its probably not noticeable (much) the last time we (Blekko search engined) looked through the blog crawls in depth Google was the dominant ad network provider on those blogs, but they do something like 3.7B$ of revenue in 'Partner sites'  per quarter and 1% of that being tossed out the window is only 37M$ per quarter (or about 150M$ for the year) isn't a huge loss for them but its going to hit a number of their "partners" quite sharply.
Unlike sites which are bogus flick-n-click ad reapers these folks are actually trying to use the system in the way it is supposed to work, they write quality content and Google helps them monetize it.
The thing that few people "get" about Google isn't that they are a search monopoly (they aren't) it is that they are an advertising monopoly (which they are). They are synonymous with "internet advertising" and having dealt with a lot of advertising partners, they all seem to end up re-selling Google's ads in one way or another. Its like having three different pizza restaurants but only one kitchen.
I'm hopeful that this will create opportunities for actually new advertising networks to appear> We'll have to wait and see though.
I don't think anyone uses that as the criteria of what should be made public. People rely on car companies and grocery stores to get home and feed their children, but economists aren't fighting to make those public. And federal parks are hardly critical infrastructure but I don't know many people who complain that they are public.
The article is written from a purely theoretical economic perspective, it's not a real proposal, so it's worth addressing it from that perspective. Krugman's argument is basically that there are certain products that add global value but cannot exist without people being forced to pay for it. Many economists - not all - agree this is a good criteria of what should be made public (infrastructure and research would fall in this category). It's hard to imagine that web services could fall under this, but I suspect a lot of people forget that the internet is still in its infancy and companies like google have been able to subsidize loss-creators through insanely high profits. That won't last, google is already scaling back, and the result may be a global destruction in value.
(To be clear I don't want to see things like google reader made public for idealogical reasons, and I think you and most people are the same way, but I think that's out of the scope of addressing Krugman's point)
Basically it says following:
* some people I know are upset
* we know from economics, but often forget, that some products can be not viable even if people are willing to pay for them
* historical solution is to make them public service which also to Krugman seems hard to envison
Nowhere does he say anything about importance of Reader.
Most clients point to Reader as the central feed aggregator. Most publishers point to Feedburner as the central publisher.
Google seized the commanding heights with Feedburner and Google Reader and captured all the publishers and the clients, and now they're killing the ecosystem.
I don't see why they couldn't have integrated Reader into Plus without killing the ecosystem. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are moving into news aggregation, and Google is killing a successful news aggregation system.
I don't understand their strategy, but it's seems sort of like, we want everyone on G+ and we don't care how heavy-handed we look or how early adopters feel, and we don't want an open ecosystem that people can use to pipe content into Twitter and Facebook.
It's about economics, particularly as they apply to something with fixed-to-increasing costs but with users for whom the value has a fixed upper limit and is declining based on the intensity of their usage. There's a lot more here than complaining and pseudo-analysis. It's a Nobel Prize winning economist talking about pricing models as they apply to usage/cost/scale!
He does describe interesting models/theories, but I don't actually think they're relevant. It seems cheap and link-baity.
Right, that's the point. This is a common style in economic blogs. They often follow the form: assuming some set of data, what are the economic implications?
> He does describe interesting models/theories, but I don't actually think they're relevant.
Right, they may or may not be relevant to this specific case (Reader), but I still found it interesting to learn about.
> It seems cheap and link-baity.
Hmmm, here we have a distinguished economist, who could no doubt live easily from his university job, instead spends time trying to bring scientific economic analysis to popular topics. Not sure how that is cheap and link-baity.
He does have a knack for catchy titles, though. If you aren't familiar with his blog style, "evil google" probably sounds bad (and emotionally charged), but I really doubt it was meant to be taken literally.
Meh... you could make a pretty compelling argument that economics isn't a science, and a pretty compelling argument that Krugman is a radical ideologue who is good at marketing himself. In any case, whether he's distinguished or not, whether or not he has a Nobel Prize, how else he could theoretically support himself, don't really enter into it... evaluating this piece of content (as well as any other) should be done on it's merits (or lack thereof).
It's kinda disappointing in this case, because that actually is a really interesting article from an economic perspective. But when he mixes it in with his psuedo-socialist, big government, leftist ideology, it immediately turns a lot of people off. I almost didn't click through just because it was Krugman. But he sucked me in with the catchy title. :-)
What are you talking about? What part of the article made that impression on you and why?
So what’s the answer? As Avent says, historical examples with these characteristics — like urban transport networks — have been resolved through public provision. It seems hard at this point to envision search and related functions as public utilities, but that’s arguably where the logic will eventually lead us.
alludes to his ideology. But to be fair to Krugman, he is quoting somebody else, or referring to the works of others, for big chunks of this article, so I can't be too harsh on him.
I have to agree. Google is very efficient at profiting from casual users unwilling to pay, but clearly they just didn't exist.
Don't get riled up, this was a piece by Paul Krugman. He thinks government should own /control / regulate everything.
I like to use free services from Google, Twitter, and Facebook, but I certainly don't want to rely on them for business.
An analogy: my family likes to support small local businesses. For web services, hosting, etc., I prefer using companies that I pay fairly for services and who support me.
On March 13, Google announced it's killing Reader; that's 10 days a go. http://googleblog.blogspot.nl/2013/03/a-second-spring-of-cle...
I know I'll be complaining about this for quite some time to come.
Google isn't a monopolist in this situation either, but it is useful to understand pricing dynamics where there is no competitor. It sheds light on price discrimination with coupons, for example.
Krugman mischaracterizes the article, since it does not claim that Reader was crucial infrastructure, but he doesn't argue that it is crucial infrastructure himself either. They both talk about the dynamics of a product that has network effects and becomes a public good.
We generally know from cognitive sciences how we economize in situations like having a reliably knowledgeable colleague. This has served as a counterpoint to the silly arguments about how Google is making us stupid, but nevertheless says that the specialization in our expertise that it facilitates has Google search's continued availability as a vital component.
The original article talks about whether discontinuations will cause users to be more cautious about adopting services that create dependencies, and whether it will inhibit the success of new ones that involve network effects.
>Google wants us to use its services in ways that provide it with interesting and valuable information, and eyeballs. If a particular Google experiment isn't cutting it in that category, then Google may feel justified in axing it.
>But that makes it increasingly difficult for Google to have success with new services. Why commit to using and coming to rely on something new if it might be yanked away at some future date? This is especially problematic for "social" apps that rely on network effects. Even a crummy social service may thrive if it obtains a critical mass.
Anyway, the important issues aren't perfectly typified by Reader, but it is a situation people are familiar with at this moment. Personally, I think it is worth thinking about why more of the shuttered projects haven't been sold off or at least open sourced like Wave. Combine that with profitable businesses that are acquired for the talent, then neglected to death, and it sounds like a lot of effort is being needlessly trashed.
It is not difficult to imagine that if books.google.com were able to give even more liberal access to its library, that struggling municipalities would be even less willing to fund their libraries. This hypothetical would be unambiguously good for the world if it lead to more access to information, but one can also imagine that this hypothetical could also lead to a dependency that was itself vulnerable.
There are a lot of things that won't lead to the end of civilization, but they can still be nevertheless worse than an alternate outcome.
This perspective just boggles my mind. If anyone decides not to use a Google product because it could "disappear just like Reader" or something, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
First, any product (especially web sites), made by Google or otherwise, can disappear. If it's not a profitable product/market, it will go away, whether it's run by Google or some guy in a basement.
Secondly, even if you suspect a product will eventually disappear, why not chose to use a superior product while it's around? This is especially true for something as inconsequential and fungible as an RSS reader. I mean, in retrospect, do hard-core Reader users wish they could go back in time and chose a different product instead of Reader for all these years? What would be the benefit of that? Whatever choice you made could have also disappeared. And if your answer is that you would have still used Reader, than that's all the evidence you need to know you shouldn't hesitate to use a new Google product, if it's the best option.
Maybe you recall a chapter in Cannery Row where a gopher sets up in a perfect vacant lot full of everything it needs and without predators. (Or not, and I suppose the value of allusions rest on the network effects of a common canon) The gopher flourishes, but ultimately gives up because no female gophers ever appear, and it returns to a garden with gopher traps set out. The allegory is an accessible way to explain network effects, something that is often lost in the entrepreneurial rhetoric, where companies succeed or not regardless of the market environment or context of the community they foster or don't.
When choosing a large development platform, anyone reasonable doesn't only look at the tools and languages, but also considers the community and the market. Take for example Blackberry or the Windows Phone. I don't think developers believe that anyone owes them certain tools, or even a guarantee of a certain number of sales. However, these platforms will only get good talent if there is a credible marketability of anything they develop.
Hypothetically, lets assume that Visual Studio works really well for developing on Windows Phone and is better than any other set of tools for mobile development. Then let's assume that in 2015, Microsoft stops creating phone operating systems because the phones remain unpopular. A lot of developers have spent a couple years learning skills, much of which they can use elsewhere. If they'd been developing for Android or iOS, they would have even more skills that would be useful elsewhere. Now, someone shouts at you, "So you're saying that Microsoft shouldn't have released such a good set of tools?!" The question itself is silly.
The problem is not reducible to a set of tools, or evangelizing to developers, or confidence in the platform, or advertising to consumers. Assumptions about all of these together go into developers' decision making today, and it isn't even that deterministic, since there's an error component to how these perceptions that aren't based on accurate future-prediction, that will itself decide the future success of the platform.
The original Economist post didn't so much talk about Google owing anyone anything, but addressed the confidence problem. If people believe that a product won't be around very long, it won't get talented developers which won't attract users, which will lead to the product being canceled, or vice versa.
Let's say you want to put a small module on your webpage, and you are considering Google Gadgets. It might be more difficult to replicate the same functionality using HTML5. Are you worse off, because Google Gadgets is available? Google doesn't owe you any guarantee about the longevity of the system, but it would be more valuable right now if you could believe that Google Gadgets will still be around in a couple years, and your payoff matrix says that you would be worse off if you choose Google Gadgets over something else and it is later canceled.
Google Reader is being shutdown but I doubt that when they launched they said to themselves "We will run this service until 2013 and then shut it down". Without that plan I don't think it can be planned obsolescence.
No, both Krugman and Avent are talking about private goods with fixed costs to the producer.
Network effects might increase the consumer surplus, but that's all. They aren't that important to the analysis. The important part here is the inability of the producer to engage in price discrimination.
Both focus on the value of the community itself, the public good that emerges from the physical infrastructure that is privately built, that its value increases with size, that growth is influenced by size, and that early adopters are likely influenced by guesses about longevity.
The analysis could be wrong over the long term, but there is a growing consensus summed up in another front page post right now, that describes how Google has caused some damage to its brand. Some of which is likely being felt right now in the chilled enthusiasm around the release of Google Keep—a product that relies on network effects more than Google Reader does.
Google Reader had a massive user base when compared to other RSS readers, but it's hardly a monopoly. I'd understand the uproar if it was the ONLY RSS reader to ever exist, and ever to be possible. There are alternatives. The very definition of monopoly is that you do not have a choice. Remember the old Bell system? Now that was a monopoly. (It used to be illegal to plug in phones not bought from the phone company.)
Google was operating in a space with lots of players, they just happened to have large market share. They weren't doing anything anticompetitive, and there wasn't any barrier to entry beyond 'You have to do it better than Google, and get your name out there'.
Krugman should really do some research on what monopolists do, starting off with Standard Oil. The internet is a highly competitive environment.
"seems hard at this point to envision search and related functions as public utilities, but that’s arguably where the logic will eventually lead us."
That is the "logical conclusion" for people of his ilk.
And I'm not surprised by the first comment that I found on the article:
It is the height of capitalist folly to insist that a profit-seeking corporation is the right form of organization for operating facitilites that become essential global public utilities.
Why of course. This guy is just random article commenter, but you know your average, hardcore leftist thinks the same way. Facebook must come under UN or some other quasi-governmental control. It needs to be controlled. Well, duh...
This article is not calling Google evil, it's examining the economic and social incentives of maintaining a public utility as a for-profit company and as a society. I tend to think that putting scare quotes around words in headlines is really condescending behavior from headline writers, but threads like this remind me that I'm not an authority of headline writing.
And for the people arguing that Krugman is an ignorant big government fraud for claiming that Google Reader is a public utility - Mr. Johnson's water pump on the corner that half of the people on the block use is a public utility. It's economic analysis, not a communist grab for your guns, or a socialist power play to keep capitalists from doing whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it.
edit: hadn't refreshed in a while before replying. This comment is mischaracterizing the level of discourse in this thread now:)
Claiming that X's property is a "public utility" _is_ a power grab.
People who try to introduce contradictions into the language only do so because they are _motivated_ to do so, because they want to get something dishonestly.
Another good example, besides the one we are discussing, is the idea that people now call whatever they want a "human right." That's a contradiction, because it's not necessarily the case that it's even _possible_ to _produce_ enough of whatever that thing is.
Mangling the language is a crime against thought.
>>First, it’s a well-understood though not often mentioned point that even in a plain-vanilla market, a monopolist with high fixed costs and limited ability to price-discriminate may not be able to make a profit supplying a good even when the potential consumer gains from that good exceed the costs of production. Basically, if the monopolist tries to charge a price corresponding to the value intense users place on the good, it won’t attract enough low-intensity users to cover its fixed costs; if it charges a low price to bring in the low-intensity user, it fails to capture enough of the surplus of high-intensity users, and again can’t cover its fixed costs.<<
Sure, it's well understood that certain people want others to provide a service that certain people find very valuable, but aren't willing to pay for. That doesn't mean that service must be provided by the government when private parties refuse to provide it.
In 2003, I wanted an online store where I could purchase all of my pet-related supplies. This would make me, and society, far more productive because we would not have to spend time going to the pet store and purchasing those products. We could all then spend that extra time being productive. Potential consumer gains exceeded production costs.
Unfortunately, actual consumer gains did not exceed pets.com's production costs. So it died. And guess what? It turns out that when a company learned how to properly structure, supply, and support such a service at the right price, people were willing to pay for it, and thus actual consumer gains exceeded actual production costs.
The government didn't have to step in and supply this vital service to its citizens. Some of the smarter citizens figured out how to do it, at assuredly a fraction of the cost of whatever government program might have been implemented.
Note: before you claim that pets.com failed for some other reason, please stop. I picked it as an obviously frivolous example. You can substitute most other recent government programs if you’d like.
I think that Google Reader should not be government-run, but he raises a larger point. There could be some internet services that would be better run by the government, and we don't really have any today. I don't think we can dismiss that possibility. I can't think of any sites like that right now, though.
You can argue that this reasoning is flawed (people aren't rational!), but the results are hard to argue with. The market does a fabulous job of allocating resources. Individuals, no matter how smart, don't.
As an aside, I'll point out that this is essentially meaningless as a critique of free-market economics, since people's actual behaviors are the only viable external indicators of their underlying preferences that we have, so the only reasonable conclusion to draw from the observation of allegedly "irrational" behavior is that the hierarchy of values motivating that behavior isn't what we expected it to be.
In other words, since all human behavior is a product of underlying motivations, the behavior itself can't contradict the actual existing motivations, but can only contradict others' erroneous assumptions about what those motivations were; all economic activity is therefore rational by definition.
With this in mind, the whole debate regarding the rationality of economic actors becomes nonsensical; the critique is an attempt to falsify a tautology.
Google is not a monopoly and neither was Google Reader. Krugman is intentionally disingenuous here to further his argument.
Krugman knows Google isn't a monopoly. He doesn't care. He's always trying to push the same narrative with his blog: Big corp is evil so government should step in and save the day! For anyone familiar with his blog, his agenda is extremely transparent at this point.
Krugman doesn't state that Google is a monopoly and he certainly isn't disingenuous here. He's just using the Google Reader situation and an article by Ryan Avent as a hook to make an interesting economic argument about monopoly markets with a certain cost and consumer demand structure.
BTW, building a competitive search engine is arguably associated with relatively high fixed costs, and any social site is hugely affected by network effects. These are both traits that can lead to natural monopolies.
The title of the post is, "The Economics of Evil Google." It's not written as a question, but a statement. Nowhere in the article does he give any indication that it is sarcastic.
Krugman doesn't state that Google is a monopoly and he certainly isn't disingenuous here.
He doesn't state it, he implies it . Otherwise, what does being a monopoly have to do with Google? High fixed cost and limited ability to price discriminate are not characteristics exclusive to monopolies. I don't see the reason to refer to "a monopolist" unless he is implying that Google is a monopoly.
When I read the article, I concluded:
* Krugman believes Google had a monopoly on RSS. 
* Krugman believes that RSS is a crucial public infrastructure 
* Krugman thinks the solution is a government-provided RSS reader. 
Just curious, what did conclude from this article that is different?
 "First, it’s a well-understood though not often mentioned point that even in a plain-vanilla market, a monopolist with high fixed costs and limited ability to price-discriminate may not be able to make a profit supplying a good even when the potential consumer gains from that good exceed the costs of production."
 "It seems hard at this point to envision search and related functions as public utilities, but that’s arguably where the logic will eventually lead us."
 "So what’s the answer? As Avent says, historical examples with these characteristics — like urban transport networks — have been resolved through public provision."
Krugman proceeds assuming that were true, but it's not. There are plenty of free alternatives to Google Reader. All this proves that old saying; never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.
Unfortunately, he isn't either. He isn't an expert in internet protocols because he doesn't have a sufficient understanding of how the internet works. He isn't an expert in economics because there's no such thing as an expert in economics.
I mean this seriously: [macro]economics isn't an empirical science; no experimentation, no experience, therefore no expertise. Mastering untestable theoretical doctrine doesn't count as substantive expertise.
That said it also suffers from a similar pathology where academic investigation is systematically distorted, occasionally suppressed outright and researchers in the field are sometimes attacked ( literally ) for the views that are ascribed to them.
Google Apps could be critical for a lot of businesses, but they're charging for that now, and presumably making money.
Now, Internet ISPs, on the other hand, might fall under the category of "crucial public infrastructure" and could probably use some government oversight.
In the 1860s, we connected Americans to a transcontinental railroad that brought cattle from Cheyenne to the stockyards of Chicago. In the 1930s, we connected Americans to an electric grid that improved agriculture and brought industry to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and the Great Plains of Nebraska. In the 1950s, we connected Americans to an interstate highway system that fueled jobs on the line in Detroit and in the warehouse in L.A.
Infrastructure networks unite us as a country, bringing together parents and children, buyers and sellers, and citizens and government in ways once unimaginable. Ubiquitous access to infrastructure networks has continually driven American innovation, progress, prosperity and global leadership.
In communications, the government stimulated the construction of radio and television facilities across the country by offering huge tracts of the public’s airwaves free of charge. It did the same with telephony through a Universal Service Fund, fulfilling the vision of the Communications Act of 1934 'to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.'
Today, high-speed Internet is transforming the landscape of America more rapidly and more pervasively than earlier infrastructure networks. Like railroads and highways, broadband accelerates the velocity of commerce, reducing the costs of distance. Like electricity, it creates a platform for America’s creativity to lead in developing better ways to solve old problems. Like telephony and broadcasting, it expands our ability to communicate, inform and entertain.
Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century.
Maybe someone's already brought this up, but I just tried Google Drive's desktop application for the first time. It downloads what amounts to a shortcut that's a text document with a link to the file on Google Docs.
The benefit of syncing is lost--you don't have a copy of a usable file you can open in another program or save somewhere. Even Microsoft's SkyDrive downloads real documents made in the web version of Office.
The tradeoff between the two is that with Docs you get real-time editing and collaboration, but if you want a real local copy you'll need to target a specific export format. Whereas SkyDrive always keeps a local copy, but it requires you to explicitly save and resolve conflicts if you want to collaborate with another user.
Of course, if you want to you can just use Google Drive as a dumb file syncing mechanism without real-time collaboration or online editing. You just don't use Google Docs and tell Drive not to convert files to Docs on upload.
It won't even let me just open a .odt. It opens in some kind of previewer when I click the file. Opening it takes clicking in a menu to select "Open in Docs." Then it clones to that magic format that's ethereal until exported.
Accepting all that, I still don't understand the claim that the document isn't synced.
I get that the collaboration features need the native format. I don't need collaboration features most of the time.
so, open it, edit, and then download as -> .odt and name it the same as the original file?
I don't really understand. You want its internal representation to be in odt? What does it matter as long as it's not observable except by an icon and a filename extension?
I want Docs to work like its desktop predecessors work. Even Office's web applications do this. There's no reason Docs can't. I can make an edit in Word and instantly open to see the changes in LibreOffice, or run some kind of cross-cloud sync.
Maybe we're talking about different things? Here's the workflow I envision:
1: Create an outline for a book in Docs
2: Open it in LibreOffice from the GDrive folder
I can do this in 2/3 word processors.
It can be an option off in the periphery. The interface can politely warn me with a little pop-out at the edge that I can't use collaboration features if I enable the "works like all other office suites" function for a document. Call it compatibility mode. Word's web application does this if I edit an ODT in it. LibreOffice does this if I edit a .docx in it. I don't mind.
edit: I just noticed your bio. Maybe you can have someone from the Docs team come over and look at this? They might understand what I'm saying.
I'll stick to LibreOffice and Word.
"even in a plain-vanilla market, a monopolist with high fixed costs and limited ability to price-discriminate may not be able to make a profit supplying a good even when the potential consumer gains from that good exceed the costs of production"
The whole blog post is an analysis explaining why that's true. "Evil Google" may have set people off (but it's pretty clear from TFA that Krugman's not calling Google "Evil"), but "monopolist" is pretty central to the article.
If you want, you can take his post as a counterargument to the "why wouldn't Google charge for Reader" question: it's possible that they could not have charged a price that made it profitable. Without any data, who knows if it's true or not, he's just showing how the logic would fit together.
"in the long run that's a problem for Google. Because we tend not to entrust this sort of critical public infrastructure to the private sector. Network externalities are all fine and good to ignore so long as they mainly apply to the sharing of news and pics from a weekend trip with college friends. Once they concern large swathes of economic output and the cognitive activity of millions of people, it is difficult to keep the government out. Maybe that deterrent will be sufficient to keep Google providing its most heavily used products. But maybe not.
I find myself thinking again of the brave new world of the industrial city, when new patterns of interaction led to enormous changes in economic activity, in culture and personal behaviour, and in the way we think. We upgraded ourselves, in terms of education, hygiene, and social norms, to maximise the return to urban life. And the history of modern urbanisation is littered with examples of privately provided goods and services that became the domain of the government once everyone realised that this new life and new us couldn't work without them"
Oh I know. Search as a public utility.
Although I would just create an IP law that forces the corporation to put the source code and assets in public domain on the abandonment of a service when it gathers above some usage and traction. Someone will pick it up if the interest is enough.
P.S. I am ready for the downvoting that will ensure.
Step 1: Over a period of say three months, slowly increase the average response time of the product.
Step 2: Listen to people complain that load time is getting unbearably slow
Step 3: "Oh, we'd love to fix this problem but because of $random_infrastructure_issue, and because we've got most of our developers working on Android, we think it's time to shut the product down. After all, it was getting old and slow, right?"
Step 4: Feel justified about their decision
Necessity for sustenance or transportation does not drive the need for something to be a public utility. I think we are really talking about the tragedy of the commons. This has been a political and legal debate for centuries. The private market is not able to maximize the average utility of citizens in every market and AND earn profit.
Solution: Evil Google. Googling the title in news and clicking that gets you in without paywall limits.
If you're into economy at all you should know that disciples of Friedman did predict the precise situation the eurozone is in right now (including Spain unemployment, the Greek default, Italy and France struggling) before the first euro even circulated... Meanwhile Keynesians have never been able to predict anything more than two or three years before they happened.
Keynesians are ultra-short sighted but politicians loves them because they're basically telling them what they want to hear: more state intervention, create even more money (the $1 trillion coin was just ultra rubbish, really), etc.
His whole book "End this recession now" is a gigantic pile of shit.
The situation ain't good because of the Keynesian doctrine and yet these people want to do more of what does obviously not work: let's print more money.
I never had much sympathy for Keynesians but honestly since he wrote about that $1 trillion coin I've entirely lost interest.
He lost it.
I'm not sure what you're trying to get at with your Euro rant, bu Krugman has been calling the Euro a bad idea since at least 1998. http://www.pkarchive.org/global/tag.html