25 Years of EPI Speaking Up For The 99% By: Steven PearlsteinOne of EPI?s earliest critics was economist Paul Krugman. Before he became a newspaper columnist and won the Nobel prize in economics, Krugman wrote a book, ?Pop Internationalism,? in which he belittled those ?policy entrepreneurs? at ?Economic Whatever? institutes who, in the name of competitiveness and income equality, wanted to restrict trade and institute a government-led industrial policy. Among his explicit targets was the EPI crew, including Faux, Thurow (then his colleague in the MIT economics department) and Reich (then secretary of labor in the Clinton administration).
Krugman chided the group for peddling ?economic nonsense? and analysis that was ?crude and uninformed.? He called Thurow?s handling of numbers ?eerily inept? while dismissing Reich as a ?brilliant coiner of one-liners but not a serious thinker.? He portrayed himself as ?playing the role of defender of civilized economics against the intellectual barbarians.?
Obviously a lot has happened in the past 20 years, in politics as well as