Patterico's Pontifications


Income Inequality Organization Fights Income Inequality By Giving Scads of Money to Economist for Doing Almost No Work

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 pm

Paul Krugman, December 2013, speaking about income inequality:

[T]he discussion has shifted enough to produce a backlash from pundits arguing that inequality isn’t that big a deal.

They’re wrong.

. . . .

Inequality is, indeed, the defining challenge of our time. Will we do anything to meet that challenge?

Yes, we will! We will give Paul Krugman $225,000 a year for doing almost nothing!

According to a formal offer letter obtained under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, CUNY intends to pay Krugman $225,000, or $25,000 per month (over two semesters), to “play a modest role in our public events” and “contribute to the build-up” of a new “inequality initiative.” It is not clear, and neither CUNY nor Krugman was able to explain, what “contribute to the build-up” entails…

CUNY, which is publicly funded, pays adjunct professors approximately $3,000 per course. The annual salaries of tenured (but undistinguished) professors, meanwhile, top out at $116,364, according to the most recent salary schedule negotiated by the university system’s faculty union. And those professors are expected to teach and publish. Even David Petraeus, whom CUNY initially offered $150,000, conducted a weekly 3-hour seminar…

$225,000 is more than quadruple New York City’s median household income.

It’s performance art, right? If you’re upset by income inequality, because you feel like rich people get paid too much, check out how much we’re paying this shmuck for doing nothing! Like I say: performance art.

38 Responses to “Income Inequality Organization Fights Income Inequality By Giving Scads of Money to Economist for Doing Almost No Work”

  1. You spelled “Crappy Economist” wrong.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. The Onion will be closing their doors. Reality trumps their genius.

    JD (5c1832)

  3. I’m sure Krugman’s well worth it, JD. As I recall he has a Nobel Prize. Not just any Tom Dick and Barry can earn one of those. Oh wait.

    elissa (4bccfc)

  4. Incredibly generous windfall for a ferret.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  5. he’s a whore like Mark Zandi

    you pay him

    you own him

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. Reading the commenters on the Gawker piece who are trying to say that this is no big deal and that Krugman is worth that kind of money. Is there nothing that leftists won’t try to justify where one of their own is concerned?

    JVW (9946b6)

  7. Just a thought: Maybe it’s time to stop paying attention to Paul Krugman and the few people who know how he earns a living.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  8. Here’s the real nexus of this too: Krugman makes $225k for 9 months of work in academia “studying” income inequality. He’ll continue to write his — what is it, two? — weekly columns for the New York Times. Let’s say he makes and additional $50k for that (maybe it’s even more). Won’t his “research” provide lots of fodder for his NYT column? And then there are his appearances on television news programs. He gets paid for that, doesn’t he? And of course his “studies” will be the reason for these appearances. And finally, he will no doubt be writing a book about all of this and some publisher will give him a $1 million advance and if he makes and average of $5 royalty per book and the book is purchased by 400,000 deluded liberals then he is going to do very nicely.

    The point is that this $225k faculty position can be parlayed into some really, really big bucks without Krugman having to do anything outside the normal scope of his job. Nice work if you can get it.

    Interestingly enough, Reihan Salam is defending Krugman. Not sure I completely agree with him, but it’s interesting reading. One of his points is that Krugman believes that upper-income earners like himself should be paying a higher marginal tax rate. My response would be that Krugman and other liberals is welcome to overpay his taxes if he wants to; what he is really after is that everyone else in his bracket pay higher taxes.

    JVW (9946b6)

  9. Paul Krugman’s pop culture existence depends on one undying “truth” according to the former Enron adviser:

    Government can influence the market in ways that benefit the poor as well as the rich.

    It has been tried before. It didn’t work out too well.

    Far be it from me, though, to invoke Godwin’s law.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  10. I think Mr. Krugman could use some of Mr. Feets’ granny cheese soup is what I think he could use.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. I can make another batch but probably not til May cause of you have to practice moderation with respect to the cheese soup consumption

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  12. plus I don’t get no more government cheese til the end of the month

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  13. There’s definitely income inequality.
    Cause on the one hand, there’s people who earn their income, and on the other hand, there’s people who don’t earn their income.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  14. Let’s face it conservatives, you just don’t like Paul Krugman because he’s black. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  15. “You don’t want to go there, buddy.”

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  16. This is simply a payoff for his column, from some very grateful political types. I guess he didn’t want to take it under the table like the other reporters.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  17. I have the add-on “Dictionary of Numbers” installed on my browser.

    It chose an interesting example to connect to the Krugman figure:

    CUNY intends to pay Krugman $225,000 [≈ Initial seat price on Virgin Galactic suborbital flight]

    I’d say that was a TRUE bargain, really, if we could make sure he did not come back….

    I’ll pony up a couple bucks. Who’s with me?

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  18. he’s a whore like Mark Zandi

    you pay him

    you own him

    Actually, he’s more like a politician:
    you pay him, you rent him.

    Clearly, we need to outbid the Dems.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  19. Income equality is where we the people earn the money, and then they the government takes it.

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  20. Income equality is where we the people earn the money, and then they the government takes it.

    Mostly true, ES, but remember that the top-notch progressive wants there to be plenty of ways for him to shield as much of his income as possible from taxation, while denying the same opportunity for people for people who don’t quite share his values. For example, if I as a good progressive fly to Australia for a four-day conference in Sydney on the impact of climate change before meeting with some prominent scientists in Melbourne and Canberra for a few days, then bop over the New Zealand to give a lecture in Aukland on reducing emissions and sit on a panel in Christchurch, then I want that trip to be fully 100% tax deductible even if I somehow manage to spend 90% of it sightseeing, golfing, and snorkeling off the coast. On the other hand, if you as an awful right wing Koch-addicted businessman dealing in fossil fuels go to Houston for a meeting with the executive board of your company and you happen to attend an Astros baseball game and have a steak dinner while you are there, I want to make sure the tax code doesn’t allow you to deduct one cent for that entire trip. Because Halliburton or something.

    JVW (9946b6)

  21. JVW,

    Good stuff as always.
    Of course, with the lefties, it’s always, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    Al Gore bought a gas-guzzling Maserati for his daughter. She drove it to pick up her brother from Orange County jail, as well as from his ensuing stint in rehab.
    It’s sort of bizarre behavior by people who are always freaking out that your Toyota Highlander is killing the planet.
    I guess that’s the point—your SUV is killing the planet.
    But there’s isn’t.

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  22. Respected Elephant Stone – you are *such* a homophonophile !


    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  23. Oh, yeah, thanks Alastor…you’re right, I kinda screwed that one up. It’s kind of late. Was half asleep.

    #20 should say, “But their’s isn’t.”

    Elephant Stone (8a7f08)

  24. With world income becoming more equal our days are numbered.

    The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have made significant progress in setting up structures that would serve as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are dominated by the U.S. and the EU. A currency reserve pool, as a replacement for the IMF, and a BRICS development bank, as a replacement for the World Bank, will begin operating as soon as in 2015, Russian Ambassador at Large Vadim Lukov has said.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  25. How is this good stewardship of the NY taxpayers dollars?

    JD (3845bd)

  26. they might as well burn money in a huge furnace, you get better use of it.

    narciso (3fec35)

  27. It’s called commensalism, possibly inquilism. Not exactly symbiosis or parasitism. Sort of a like a remora eating what falls out of a shark’s mouth or a dung beetle what falls out of an elephant’s …. That’s pretty much how these pseudo-scientist/demi-academics live.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Not to mention, he will continue to pull down his salary as Professor of Economics at Princeton during this time.

    Terry (bfce07)

  29. Sweetheart deals usually involve sweethearts of some sort; there is probably more to this than we know.

    The snarky Dana (3e4784)

  30. We will give Paul Krugman $225,000 a year for doing almost nothing!

    The very essence, epitome, heart and soul of the “limousine liberal.”

    They give us their false tears and hollow compassion while we get the shaft.

    Mark (59e5be)

  31. 29. Comment by The snarky Dana (3e4784) — 4/17/2014 @ 7:00 am

    Sweetheart deals usually involve sweethearts of some sort; there is probably more to this than we know.

    The best guess is that this could have the effect of raising salaries of top administrators at CCNY, but I wouldn’t be sure exactly why, except that raising the “prestige” of CCNY is probably part of it.

    You could also claim some sort of “business reason” but CCNY isn’t supposed to be a business anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  32. I think he got the same deal while “working” with Enron.

    phaedruscj (dc2574)

  33. Oil making a big move over $104 as the dollar falls sharply and Treasury yields head lower.

    The BRICS have had enough of the Fed Reserve.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  34. They hate us for our freedoms, gary.

    nk (dbc370)

  35. So the taxpayers in NY are funding a blatantly political initiative at CUNY? Bet they are really happy about the new official role of the public university: Progressive Shill

    in_awe (7c859a)

  36. I think a possible “business” reason would be that Krugman’s name might bring in some money for that institute.

    Sammy Finkelman (caf2ab)

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