Paul Krugman pulled no punches in his Friday New York Times column, claiming that Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders embraces economic theories as voodooist in their naive projections as any being forwarded by those vying for a spot on the Republican ticket.
"[T]here's no way to justify this stuff," Krugman argued. "For wonks like me, it is, frankly, horrifying." Why is he horrified? Because "fuzzy math from the left would make it impossible to effectively criticize conservative voodoo," for one. In particular, Krugman isn't enamored of Sanders' logic behind expanding the social safety net, even though he agrees that in the end, such an expansion is "something I would like to see."
But "[b]eyond that, his controversy is an indication of a campaign, and perhaps a candidate, not ready for prime time." In short,
These claims for the Sanders program aren’t just implausible, they’re embarrassing to anyone remotely familiar with economic history (which says that raising long-run growth is very hard) and changing demography. They should have set alarm bells ringing, but obviously didn’t. And there’s an even larger issue here: Good ideas don’t have to be sold with fairy dust...