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Top 20 US Progressives: Paul Krugman


Some might say that Paul Krugman has it all - a columnist's perch at the New York Times, a professorship at Princeton University, a Nobel prize for economics and nearly 700,000 followers on Twitter. He is not just the world's best-known economist, but one of the most influential, having led the Keynesian fightback against austerity and particularly the Obama administration's 2011 compromise on public spending cuts. On his aptly named blog - the Conscience of a Liberal - the professor rails against the inequities of neoliberal economics, the "wilful ignorance" of the modern Republican Party, Barack Obama's "moderate conservatism" and the US media's destructive "cult of balance, of centrism". His writing is permeated with self-righteous anger; it is, as a profile in the New Yorker once has it, "belligerently, obsessively political". On 12 September 2011, Donald Rumsfeld said that he had cancelled his subscription to the New York Times after Krugman used his blog to describe the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as "an occasion for shame".

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This article first appeared in the 09 January 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Forget Obama