I’m Not Getting the Joke

Someone explain:

New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman — who I’ve noticed some econ bloggers refer to as “Dr. Krugman” with no hint of sarcasm — says now’s the time to up our daily allowance of stimulis.

He got his Ph.D. in 1977, so I don’t understand why people are supposed to be sarcastic if they call him Dr. Krugman. What context am I missing here that would explain this?






230 replies
  1. 1
    clone12 says:

    Because for reason.com, the only person deserving of a “Dr” honorfic is “Dr” Ron Paul, because his medical degree makes him the most qualified person on things ranging from income taxes to national defense to the economy.

  2. 2
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Is the blogger one of the ones violently opposed to education in all its forms? They tend not to understand the subtleties of post-secondary school and all its fancy Latin awards and such. Like that a doctorate entitles the holder to the title “Doctor”, even if they don’t carry a stethoscope around.

  3. 3
    Trollhattan says:

    He’s evidently never diagnosed a comatose patient via Utube and thus, unworthy of the moniker.

  4. 4
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Maybe because his Ph.D is in liberal bias and elitism? Or that you don’t need a fancy-pants degree to know that every economic situation in the world requires more tax cuts?

    I dunno…if you want a serious answer, I got nuthin’ here.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    Conservative humor! Zing!

  6. 6
    cleek says:

    i’ll put on my wingnut hat and take a guess:

    <wingnuthat>

    no real doctor would want to kill the patient !

    <rim shot/>

    </wingnuthat>

  7. 7
    Jackie says:

    Because Dr. is a term of respect and they don’t like him, so anyone who uses a title that he earned is a toady. Acknowledging the credentials of someone who disagrees with you might mean you could be wrong. That idea must never be allowed.

  8. 8
    anonevent says:

    Remember how nuts they went over Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, being called Doctor, where they tried to say that only physicians deserved that title? His “daily allowance of stimulus” seems to indicate he’s implying the same thing.

  9. 9
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    But seriously, I’m guessing they were just unaware of Krugman’s Ph.D. and couldn’t be arsed finding out that he had one, since that would take entire seconds of effort and risk their prejudicial idea that he didn’t have one.

    (ETA: what is “stimulis” anyway? Is this the new spelling for “porkulus”?)

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    “What context am I missing here that would explain this?”

    That the author of the article in question isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is?

  11. 11
    Jennifer says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Ding ding ding!

    We have a winnah.

  12. 12
    gocart mozart says:

    Because in wingnut-opposite land, you must lack a sense of humor in order to get the joke .

  13. 13
    PattyP says:

    The context is that the “writer” of the article is a petty jealous man-child who has wet dreams about tax cuts. As far as we know anyway.

  14. 14
    Seanly says:

    My first guess would be that the author of the quote is an idiot. Having a PhD entitles one to the honorific of “Doctor”. I know my mother prefers to be formally introduced as “Doctor” – it’s a PhD in English, but it’s just as valid as any other doctorate.

  15. 15

    Given that he immediately decides to defend Shlaes position in attacking Krugman, I have to assume he believes anyone who doesn’t subscribe to extreme free-market ideology isn’t qualified as an economist.

    The reflexive “capitalism can only be failed” ideology over at Reason makes it near unreadable for me.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    The “Reason” argument seems to be that stimulus doesn’t work. Most of this argument is laid at the feet of Amity Shlaes’ feet – Shlaes apparently being a better economic theorist than Krugman as determined by some metric we are not informed of. And Krugman’s economic belief is also casually compared to Caliph Omar’s literary preference, which, I mean, totally makes sense. Also, inflation super-bad-very-scary-oh-no!

    So the long and the short of it is that Tim Cavanaugh appears to have an opinion, but doesn’t appear to have a point. And sense of humor doesn’t even enter in to it.

  17. 17
    Bill Belichick says:

    You know that old saw: Economics is the only field in which two people can get a Nobel Prize for saying exactly the opposite thing.

    Wait, there’s more!

    A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

    The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What do two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”

    Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”

    Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says “What do you want it to equal?”

    And let’s not exclude Sarah Palin’s favorite Late Night Host:

    TOP 10 REASONS TO STUDY ECONOMICS

    1. Economists are armed and dangerous: “Watch out for our invisible hands.”
    2. Economists can supply it on demand.
    3. You can talk about money without every having to make any.
    4. You get to say “trickle down” with a straight face.
    5. Mick Jagger and Arnold Schwarzenegger both studied economics and look how they turned out.
    6. When you are in the unemployment line, at least you will know why you are there.
    7. If you rearrange the letters in “ECONOMICS”, you get “COMIC NOSE”.
    8. Although ethics teaches that virtue is its own reward, in economics we get taught that reward is its own virtue.
    9. When you get drunk, you can tell everyone that you are just researching the law of diminishing marginal utility.
    10. When you call 1-900-LUV-ECON and get Kandi Keynes, you will have something to talk about.

  18. 18
    MacsenMifune says:

    Sorry Double Post.

  19. 19
    MacsenMifune says:

    It’s just another moron making the case that depression would’ve ended sooner had the instead of help people, we just cut those taxes more, the Paul Krugman bashing is icing on the wingnut cake.

  20. 20
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Paging Dr. Krugman, paging Dr. Krugman, you are required in surgery..

    Teehee.

  21. 21
    truculentandunreliable says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: It’s the plural of stimuli. Duh.

    This column is crap, btw, aside from the snarky mean girls shit. Basically, he’s all like, “No, this Nobel Prize laureate is TOTES wrong because my friends say he is!” That’s it. That’s the argument.

  22. 22
    TR says:

    The best part is that he says Krugman should brush up on the facts of the matter by reading Amity Shlaes’ revisionist piece of shit.

    Yes, Krugman — you know, the guy with the Ph.D. in economics, 30 years of teaching economics, tenure at Princeton in the economics department and a Nobel Prize in economics — needs lessons on economics from Amity Shlaes, who has an impressive undergraduate degree in English.

    What a fucking moron.

  23. 23
    KG says:

    Actually, until this post and a quick check of wikipedia, I had no idea that Krugman had a PhD. And folks, Reason is a libertarian magazine/blog. We libertarians are a different kind of crazy than the wingnuts, thankyouverymuch.

  24. 24
    pablo says:

    I just spent a lifetime over there, for the last 10 minutes, reading the comments.
    I’m calling my agent and telling him to buy “Reason”, and then rename it “Stupid”!

  25. 25
    SenyorDave says:

    It’s Occam’s Razor – sometimes you just have to go with the simplest answer. The blogger in question is an asshole.

  26. 26
    The Other Steve says:

    As anonevent pointed out… they whigged out when Jill Biden referred to herself as Doctor.

    This despite her PhD.

  27. 27

    Because the proper honorific for a male lieburul elitist is “Miss.”

  28. 28
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I don’t know what Cavanaugh’s econ background is, but he hasn’t won a Nobel Prize in economics, the last time I checked, so I will give Krugman’s opinion on economics more credence than some one who refers to Shlaes and her revisionist book on the Great Depression. If he doesn’t like calling Krugman, doctor, may be he should try Professor.

  29. 29
    theturtlemoves says:

    @Seanly: Yeah, but does she prefer to be introduced as Doctor outside of academic settings? Because I do kind of think insisting on the Doctor thing outside of the context in which it applies can come off a wee bit pretentious. I’m all for it in a classroom or a faculty meeting, but if I’m at a party and someone corrects me when introducing John Smith, PhD in political science simply as John, I may smack them. Maybe that’s just me…

  30. 30
    Ralph Dosser says:

    He’s not a real Doctor like Dr. Laura, who has a Ph.D. in Physiology.

  31. 31
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Come on, John. You should know this, since you used to be on the Dark Side. Only Republican Ph.D.s like Condi Rice are allowed to use the honorific of “Dr.”

  32. 32
    Chunk says:

    I think the point is to stop reading anything on reason.com.

  33. 33
    freelancer says:

    It’s the inadvertant condescencion toward race and intelligence that doubles as a mobius strip of wingnut non-humor. See also Yesterday’s Think Progress post about NC State GOP staffer who sent the wrong racist email to the wrong person. Somebody here highlighted it yesterday, but I can’t remember who.

    But Wow. Just Wow. What year is this again?

  34. 34
    jrg says:

    If it has to be explained to you, you’re too smart to get it, you arugula-munching francophile.

  35. 35
    Dave S. says:

    @TR: All of those attributes of Krugman are strikes against him. He would at least start to balance that out by agreeing with Shlaes.

  36. 36
    feebog says:

    Reading the entire screed, and then most of the comments was painful to the max. Bottom line, the stimulus package is a failure. After less than four months after passage, it is a massive fail. Because of course, although it took Bushco eight years to get us into the worst recession since 1929, Obama is expected to clean it up in a couple of weeks.

  37. 37

    @Chunk:

    Then I’d say it’s an unqualified success!

  38. 38
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Because his entire argument seems to consist of “Amity Shlaes thinks Krugman is wrong” and she’s got a Bachelors degree.

    Er, wait no that’s not it. Who knows, with these people.

    OT, I may have invented a definition for Wingnut that I actually haven’t heard before.

  39. 39
    Adrienne says:

    Actually, until this post and a quick check of wikipedia,

    And that’s all he had to do. If he noticed that Krugman was being referred to as Dr. and he didn’t think that it was appropriate, all he had to do was a “quick check of Wikipedia”. In this day and age, it’s just unacceptable to be so damn ignorant – especially since he WORKS ON THE SAME MEDIA USED TO FIND THE FUCKING ANSWER. Take two seconds, create a new tab and look it the fuck up. If he can’t be bothered to do, you know, at least minimal research then he should just STFU. Stat.

    //rant over.

    ** rant is NOT directed toward KG.

  40. 40

    Well, considering that the term doctor comes from the Latin to teach and that the doctorate precedes the medical doctor thing (yes, I got it from Wiki, but I also heard it on MPR), it’s pretty rich to scoff someone with a PhD as being pretentious for using doctor in his or her line of business.

    @theturtlemoves: I am with you on this. In informal settings, no titles are necessary.

  41. 41
    RSA says:

    “No, this Nobel Prize laureate is TOTES wrong because my friends say he is!”

    A little while ago I was in an argument with someone about some basic economics issue. In the middle of the discussion, I said that it didn’t seem that the person I was arguing with understood the points that someone like Krugman, a Nobel laureate, was making. The multi-pronged response was interesting: “You’re just arguing from authority!” and “Yeah, and Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat got Nobel Prizes too.” and “Even professional economists can be wrong.” High wingnuttery. I gave up.

  42. 42
    dr. luba says:

    You misunderstand. Mere Nobel laureate economists don’t warrant being called “Dr.”

    Now, if he’d been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine……..

  43. 43
    Joshua says:

    Linking this Cracked article may not help answer the question, but I think it will at least be illustrative: http://www.cracked.com/blog/i-.....regret-it/

    In particular, I’m referring to the following comment.

    It was pretty clear almost instantly that I wasn’t Beck’s target audience for this tour. The words “New York,” “East Coast” and “California” are thrown around with a wink, as if the words themselves were punchlines, even though the jokes are never quite explained.

    Wingnutese is a strange dialect that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike English.

  44. 44
    cleek says:

    speaking of being wrong about the housing bubble, check out this steaming pile of FAIL on PowerLine, 2005.

  45. 45
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @KG:

    Actually, until this post and a quick check of wikipedia, I had no idea that Krugman had a PhD.

    That’s not, I repeat not, an advertisement for your magazine in case you thought it was.

    Princeton professor, Nobel Laureate in economics, and you had no idea he had a PhD?

    Just saying. I do appreciate your honesty however.

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Next up, wingnuts argue, that the planets revolve around earth. Only godless heathens believe otherwise. If the earth is moving, why don’t I feel it.

  47. 47
    Zifnab says:

    @Joshua: Yeah, the phrase “Glenn Beck Comedy Tour” really did make my head explode. How on god’s green earth do these people stay in business?

  48. 48
    cleek says:

    yes, let’s listen to the wisdom of Amity Shales.

    “reason” is supposed to be an ironic name, right?

  49. 49
    Napoleon says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Like that a doctorate entitles the holder to the title “Doctor”, even if they don’t carry a stethoscope around.

    When I first started practicing law back in 86 you would occasionally see old timer attorneys who would use Dr. instead of Mr.

  50. 50
    KG says:

    @45: I knew about the Nobel Laureate, didn’t know he was teaching too, though. Honestly, other than the couple of books I’ve seen at Borders or the occasional link to his Times column, I don’t pay much attention to Paul Krugman.

    Also, not meant to be a defense of the magazine. Other than their blog, which I check maybe once or twice a week, I don’t pay much attention to them either.

    Really, I just don’t care enough to pay the kind of attention to politics that I use to.

  51. 51
    Llelldorin says:

    @theturtlemoves:

    It can be, but referring to Paul Krugman as “Dr. Krugman” when he’s actually talking about economics doesn’t strike me as much of a stretch.

    I get the impression that this confuses people outside academia dreadfully. We tend to use “Professor X” for professors and “Dr. X” for people with doctorates who aren’t ladder faculty in formal communications and with undergraduates, but otherwise drop the honorifics. (Even senior graduate students typically refer to their advisors by first name after awhile). It really would seem strange to throw the “Dr.” before my name if I were, say, dealing with my bank or making a restaurant reservation.

    For one thing, there’s this horrible chance that someone would begin telling me all about their gastrointestinal issues, which knowing a lot of mathematics can’t really help with.

  52. 52
    jenniebee says:

    Well, after referring to that publication as “reason” everybody’s rda of sarcasm had already been reached.

    Too much of a good thing is still too much.

  53. 53

    You need a new tag: What Happened to Reason?

    I see Ms. Shlaes has been rightly chastised on this thread so I shall leave it at that. But what did happen to Reason? Man … they are following down a narrow path to stupid. I guess I can’t quite get over citing Amity Shlaes. (OK I lied I will pile on!) What next? Using the fact that a Creationist Museum exists to say that evolution is ONLY and that prove that it can’t be settled science? Oy. It really is time to go drink some good tequila.

  54. 54
    kth says:

    They have a point: the honorific is bestowed arbitrarily, most notoriously for war criminal “Dr” Henry Kissinger. Silly for them to only pipe up when someone they don’t like gets the treatment, though.

  55. 55
    jenniebee says:

    @KG: Jesus wept, the link to his bio is embedded in the article quoted in the “Reason” piece:

    Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed Page and continues as professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.
    Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.
    Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the “new trade theory,” a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to “that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge.” Mr. Krugman’s current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises.
    At the same time, Mr. Krugman has written extensively for a broader public audience. Some of his recent articles on economic issues, originally published in Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American and other journals, are reprinted in Pop Internationalism and The Accidental Theorist.
    On October 13, 2008, it was announced that Mr. Krugman would receive the Nobel Prize in Economics.

    But your preferred source is wiki? Gaahhhh, this explains so much about libertarians…

  56. 56
    rec says:

    @pablo: Wow. Quite the comment section. I especially liked this comment by the author:

    I don’t want tax cuts because I think they’ll help the economy. We want them because taxation is theft.

    All you need to know.

    Frankly, I think Oliver Wendell Holmes put it better.

  57. 57
    cleek says:

    Too much of a good thing is still too much.

    Enough is too much!

    i love that one..

  58. 58
    Tony J says:

    Easy to explain, just walk this way.

    1) Krugman has a PhD and a Nobel Prize in Economics.

    2) Which makes him an ivy-tower Liberal elitist.

    3) But Liberals are always whining that they’re not elitists.

    4) Therefore Krugman must really – hate- being called ‘Doctor’.

    5) Or else he’s a hypocrite.

    6) So calling him ‘Doctor’ – must -snarkily piss him off either way.

    7) …Win!

  59. 59
    smiley says:

    @theturtlemoves: I think she wants to be called doctor an all contexts. White house photos are captioned “Dr. Jill Biden”. And I believe she has an E.Ed. not a Ph.D., but I’m not positive of that.

    BTW, I agree with you concerning the title. I expect my colleagues and students to call me Dr. but I long ago stopped caring in other contexts. In fact, when I first got my PhD, I had my checks changed to say Dr. smiley. I pretty quickly began to feel foolish about that and haven’t had it on my checks, or much of anything else, for nearly 17 years now.

    Added: BTW, FWIW, I don’t thing the NYT refers to anyothe other tahn medical doctors as doctor.

  60. 60
    lutton says:

    Maybe they should ask Dr. Kissinger about it?

  61. 61
  62. 62
    John S. says:

    And folks, Reason is a libertarian magazine/blog. We libertarians are a different kind of crazy than the wingnuts, thankyouverymuch.

    You’re merely flip sides of the same crazy coin. But whether heads or tails, the coin itself is still 100% fucking insane.

  63. 63
    KG says:

    @55: not a preferred source, just a source. Again, didn’t bother reading the column, or even clicking through the link.

  64. 64

    Of course after reading the comments in the thread it became apparent that they don’t like Krugman so it was a bit of snark, but Jesus this is what you are dealing with:

    This pretty much proves what I have said before; that macro-economics and climatology are akin to alchemy. They may eventually become a real science, as alchemy become chemistry, but right now they are nothing more than religious superstitions.

    I picked the wrong science when I made my comment about evolution. The evil science according to this commenter is climatology. But everyone knows that global warming is just a meme to keep Al Gore employed after all those years of playing second fiddle to the Clenis. Right? Right? I guess they expect Al to rest on his laurels after inventing the internets.

    Oy.

    OT: Hey John the BBC went green. Can we get another one of those posts mocking people for showing solidarity with the Iranians being beaten and shot in the streets?

  65. 65
    Mona says:

    As a Reason subscriber since like forever, allow me to defend it. Simply put, Tim Cavanaugh is not one of its leading lights, past or present. Jacob Sullum, Jesse Walker, Virginia Postrel, Nick Gillespie — these are what have made Reason worthwhile. (And Ron Bailey, though I know many will hate him since he came late to accept human contributions to global warming.)

    And, during the Schiavo derangement, Cathy Young wrote one of the absolutely best, blistering attacks on the right-wing loons, and did so at Reasons‘s blog.

    Also, of those Reason staff who announced how they were voting in ’08, most went Democratic out of disgust with the GOP.

  66. 66
    Amy Alkon's Testicles says:

    Actually, Llelldorin, if people insist on sharing their gastrointestinal issues with you because you hold the title “Doctor,” you can then tell them that you’d be happy to work it out with a slide rule.

  67. 67
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @KG: Fair enough. As someone else pointed out, at least you just Googled it which is all the author of that article had to do.

    Personally I think he’s trying to ridicule simply the idea of using the “Dr” for anyone who’s not an MD, in some extremely lame attempt to claim that it’s pompous or eltist or god knows what. So Googling wouldn’t have helped in his case.

  68. 68
    P-Dog says:

    Someone help me here.

    A lot of the Krugman bashers have cited Krugman’s 2002 op-ed on a possible Bush double-dip recession.

    Forgive me, because English isn’t my first language, but I’ve read this op-ed carefully now like three times. My take on it is that Krugman was warning of a possible double dip recession because he saw no incentive to start spending again, unless there was an artificial stimulus (aka the housing bubble) created. However, I did not see that as an endorsement of the housing bubble as the libertarians see it, but rather perhaps a prescient sign of what was to come in order to fight off a double-dip.

    Corroborated by Joseph Stiglitz, isn’t this exactly what did happen — a housing bubble emerged to create an influx of credit for consumers to continue spending and prop up the economy?

    The Paul fans there are taking the 2002 op ed it as if Krugman was a proponent of the housing bubble. I don’t see it that way, I saw it more as a telling omen of things to come.

    Am I the only one?

  69. 69
    Anna Granfors says:

    It’s wingnut jealousy, pure and simple; a way for them to call him an “elite” who is “narcissistic” (my favorite Tammy Bruce-ism).

    They were the stupid kids in school, and always will be. And they hate us for being smarter than them.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smiley:

    In fact, when I first got my PhD, I had my checks changed to say Dr. smiley. I pretty quickly began to feel foolish about that and haven’t had it on my checks, or much of anything else, for nearly 17 years now.

    According to Wikipedia, Jill Biden got her E.Ed. in 2007, so I suspect she’s still in the enthusiastic stage where she wants everyone to know.

  71. 71
    Stefan says:

    Well, considering that the term doctor comes from the Latin to teach and that the doctorate precedes the medical doctor thing (yes, I got it from Wiki, but I also heard it on MPR), it’s pretty rich to scoff someone with a PhD as being pretentious for using doctor in his or her line of business.

    In fact, it was originally PhDs who were addressed as “Doctor”, while physicians used Mister. Then, in a bid for increased respectability, physicians annexed the title.

    Interesting fact: in Britain in the past, physicians were known as Doctor, but surgeons reverted to the title of Mister (if male). See H.L. Mencken’s “The English Language” from 1921:

    “In America every practitioner of any branch of the healing art, even a chiropodist or an osteopath, is a doctor ipso facto, but in England a good many surgeons lack the title and it is not common in the lesser ranks. Even physicians may not have it, but here there is a yielding of a usual meticulous exactness, and it is customary to address a physician in the second person as Doctor, though his card may show that he is only Medicinœ Baccalaureus, a degree quite unknown in America. Thus an Englishman, when he is ill, always sends for the doctor, as we do. But a surgeon is usually plain Mr., and prefers to be so called, even when he is an M. D. An English veterinarian or dentist or druggist or masseur is never Dr.”

  72. 72
    The Raven says:

    KG, how can you hope to evaluate the knowledge of a person outside your own field if you don’t know anything about qualifications? For academics, that means knowing, for instance, that most senior academics have doctorates. And it means knowing that most doctorates are granted for doing significant original research and writing a substantial book (which is called a thesis) about it.

    Hominids. Can’t even learn their own social hierarchies. Croak.

  73. 73
    Face says:

    I await the day Drs. Who, Dre, and Krugman take out my spleen. Until then, no dice on the doc dictation.

  74. 74
    tammanycall says:

    Some believe that only medical doctors should be called “doctor” while PhDs should be called “Professor”. Seems a little silly to get worked up over it, though.

  75. 75
    Mark says:

    From the Reason comments:

    “Krugman didn’t spend six years in Evil Economist School to be called “Mister”, thank you very much.”

    The other commenters found this very clever.

  76. 76
    Ken says:

    KG wrote: We libertarians are a different kind of crazy than the wingnuts, thankyouverymuch.

    How does the maxim go… “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas,” I think. I’ve also heard “Lie down with pigs, get up smelling like sh*t.”

  77. 77
    Mona says:

    It’s wingnut jealousy, pure and simple; a way for them to call him an “elite” who is “narcissistic” (my favorite Tammy Bruce-ism).

    Except that, Reason is not constituted of wing-nuts. That publication and all its staff — as well as its blog — ought not be judged by a Tim Cavanaugh post — especially just one of them. And the majority of them are anti-neocon and anti-war.

  78. 78
    jrg says:

    Linking this Cracked article may not help answer the question, but I think it will at least be illustrative: [link]

    Awesome. I think cracked might be on it’s way to putting Sadly, No! and the Onion out of business.

  79. 79
    Paul L. says:

    @Anna Granfors:

    They were the stupid kids in school, and always will be. And they hate us for being smarter than them.

    I don’t hate you for being smart. I just despise you for being a control freak who thinks they know everything and wants to tell me how to run my life.

  80. 80
    mvr says:

    FWIW, I’ll bet he goes by ‘Paul’ around the office.

    I have no inside knowledge so I could be wrong. In my field (philosophy) the norm seems to be first names at least with grad students and other professors and very often with undergraduates and everyone else as well. I don’t know if Econ is much different. I also think I’ve noticed that the more prestigious places are even more likely to have informal norms of address, but my evidence is anecdotal.

    That said, he’s still a doctor and it is not inappropriate to refer to him as such.

  81. 81
    smiley says:

    @Mnemosyne: Interesting. Maybe so. Also, I got the initials of her degree wrong. I believe it should be Ed.D.

  82. 82
    Stoic says:

    It used to be that Doctors of Philosophy were more respected and honored than those mere physicians and surgeons. Check out: Wikipedia on the Trivium.

  83. 83
    ppcli says:

    Economics is the only field in which two people can get a Nobel Prize for saying exactly the opposite thing.

    I’m not sure about that. The Nobel Peace prize for (Dr.) Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho comes to mind.

  84. 84
    Svensker says:

    @Mona:

    Except that, Reason is not constituted of wing-nuts. That publication and all its staff—as well as its blog—ought not be judged by a Tim Cavanaugh post—especially just one of them. And the majority of them are anti-neocon and anti-war.

    Mona, Reason had so much pro-war crap during the Iraq invasion that I gave up reading them completely. A few of them may have been antiwar. But since you weren’t antiwar yourself at the time, maybe you didn’t notice the apeshit statist “bomb the bastards” idiocy over there.

  85. 85
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @mvr:

    In my field (philosophy) the norm seems to be first names at least with grad students and other professors and very often with undergraduates and everyone else as well.

    That’s my experience as well from the time I’ve spent in chemistry, biology, and engineering departments. The physical location of the academic institution seems to matter a lot more for determining if honorifics/first names are used for Ph.Ds than the actual field of study (liberal arts schools seem much more likely to use the honorific than research universities). It’s to the point that it’s mentally grating to me when a new grad student refers to my advisor (even in the third person) as “Dr. Shokat”, and we usually quickly correct them on the proper address. There’s also usually a dramatic change in how comfortable the students are in approaching faculty, once they learn to call them by their first names.

    There’s a certain irrational egotism in using an honorific shared by a high percentage of the people around you that is unique to physicians in stodgy old hospitals.

  86. 86
    John Cole says:

    OT: Hey John the BBC went green. Can we get another one of those posts mocking people for showing solidarity with the Iranians being beaten and shot in the streets?

    No, but you can get a post of me mocking you for being as gullible as Sullivan. Would you like it now or later on?

    Here is a learning opportunity for you. If we can’t get even basic facts about whether or not the BBC went green in solidarity with the protestors right, why exactly am I supposed to believe every damned unsourced tweet that allegedly out of Iran.

    How long before we get the demands that the US has to do something. I give it three-four more days.

  87. 87
    anonevent says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It’s a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D. or D.Ed.) which, according to Wikipedia is equivalent in recognition to a Ph.D, along with the Sc.D (Doctor of Science), and the D.A. (Doctor of Arts).

    As far as wanting to use the title, I can understand. I’m working on my doctorate, while, like she was, working and raising children. When I get it, I don’t want people calling me Dr. anonevent every day, but if someone wants to use my name in a formal setting, especially if they want to call me Mr., Dr. would sound better, I think. I’m still debating that.

  88. 88
    DougMN says:

    Jesus John, you’re a better man than I am. I looked at the comments section for 30 seconds and was amazed, as I often am, as to how fucking stupid people are.

  89. 89
    AnotherBruce says:

    Am I the only one?

    P-Dog, I saw it the same way as you did. If anything, Krugman was criticizing the Bush tax cuts enacted during that recession as being irresponsible. It’s ridiculous for the blogger and commenters to say that Krugman was saying that we should replace one bubble with another.

  90. 90

    Except that, Reason is not constituted of wing-nuts. That publication and all its staff—as well as its blog—ought not be judged by a Tim Cavanaugh post—especially just one of them. And the majority of them are anti-neocon and anti-war.

    I’m sorry, Mona, but Reason has gone full wingnut since Obama’s inauguration.

  91. 91
    Bullsmith says:

    In the comments over there someone points out that on matters economic, they’ll defer to the economist with the Phd and the nobel prize over a Bloomsburg columnist with an English degree.

    To which another commenter promptly responds “Plus he’s a doctor. You forgot to say he’s a doctor” [I’m paraphrasing all this.]

    Seriously, it’s like they don’t know what a Phd is. You say well we call him Dr. Krugman because he earned a doctorate in economics and they go “WTF does that have to do with anything?” Reason, indeed.

  92. 92
    DougMN says:

    The comments at the web site in question (Reason?), not this one, just to clarify….

  93. 93

    I like the way Tim generously offers to postulate that there really was rapid growth between 1933 and 1937, as if he’s doing a favor to people holding a controversial position, as opposed to simply being stubborn about acknowledging something anyone capable of reading a line graph can confirm in ten seconds.

  94. 94
    LD50 says:

    Not like I’ve been really paying attention, but it looks like Reason’s transition from a libertarian blog to a wingnut “I call myself a libertarian ‘cuz it sounds cool” blog is complete.

    Not that there’s much difference between wingnuts and most libertarians anyway.

  95. 95
    anonevent says:

    @Paul L.: From my personal experience, having dealt with a bully who was in the gifted program with me, I can state that he hated me because I was smarter than him, and I did it while being poor, and it just pissed him off to no end that I didn’t know my place.

  96. 96
    gnomedad says:

    Cole gets the Straight Line of the Month Award for this post.

  97. 97
    Betsy says:

    @mvr:
    In my department (history), it’s idiosyncratic – some profs invite you to call them by their first names, others leave it ambiguous, others you know through the grapevine insist on being called Prof. Imadick (or other last name, as the case may be). In general, I think I will never insist on going by Dr. Lastname, but I reserve the right to insist that everyone, including my mother and my cat, call me that for the week following my graduation. Should that blessed event ever occur. Sigh.

  98. 98
    LD50 says:

    they whigged out when Jill Biden referred to herself as Doctor.

    Is this a very clever pun?

  99. 99
    gbear says:

    @P-Dog:

    Am I the only one?

    No, P-Dog, there are LOTs of people who don’t speak english as their first language.

    /Airplane!

  100. 100
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Bullsmith:

    I saw this and laughed, I was tempted to log in just to call the commenter a moron, but my better angels decided against it.

    Damn better angels!

  101. 101
    Robert Sneddon says:

    The BBC cycles its colour scheme regularly — maybe even daily. It will be in the widgets CSS file somewhere.

  102. 102
    CalD says:

    You may be making a huge assumption that Cavanaugh is in fact aware that:

    a) Krugman holds a Ph.D., and/or;

    b) that the “D” in “Ph.D.” stands for “Doctor.”

    (Well-informed conservatives are most commonly referred to as “liberals.”) ;-)

  103. 103
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    @John Cole:

    How long before we get the demands that the US has to do something. I give it three-four more days.

    I’m imagining a television show (working title The Iran Crisis: Freedom Held Hostage, Day xxx) that could count the days down until the Iranian people are free, truly free, gloriously free, ya know except from the Ayatollah and religious leaders who run the country.

  104. 104

    John Cole,

    I know, perhaps better than anyone, how hard it can be to give up on Reason.

    Still, it’s time. You know it, I know it. It’s time to move Hit & Run down to “Blogs We Monitor and Mock As Needed.”

    Think hard: when was the last time you linked to them for a reason other than mocking them? 2007?

  105. 105
    CT says:

    I have a PhD, and the only person/entity that calls me “Dr.” is my alumni association in their appeal letters. My field (biology) is pretty casual-its first name basis all around except in certain formal written communication (ie when the NIH study section slaps down your grant proposal).

  106. 106
    LD50 says:

    The “Reason” argument seems to be that stimulus doesn’t work. Most of this argument is laid at the feet of Amity Shlaes’ feet – Shlaes apparently being a better economic theorist than Krugman as determined by some metric we are not informed of.

    Silly! The metric is that Shlaes says what they want to hear and Krugman does not. Therefore, Krugman is an inferior economist. If what Shlaes says is regarded as nonsense by economists, that just proves that economics is all bullshit and not a ‘real science’.

    Hang around at Creationist/ID sites for a while, this kind of reasoning will become VERY familiar.

  107. 107

    John,

    How long before we get the demands that the US has to do something. I give it three-four more days.

    And when that day comes, it might prove useful if some of the people denouncing those calls could actually point to evidence of sympathy towards the protesters, instead of allowing the people who are just using them as an excuse to monopolize the pro-democracy, pro-reform position.

  108. 108
    ibid says:

    It’s probably because his “doctorate” came from notorious diploma mill MIT. What does economics have to do with technology anyway?

  109. 109
    LD50 says:

    @Paul L.:

    Wow, Paul L sounds just like a petulant adolescent who’s pissed at parents all the time ‘cuz he knows so much more than they do.

  110. 110
    Shygetz says:

    As a Ph.D., I have a rule of thumb regarding who must refer to me as “Dr. Shygetz”:

    1.) Anyone trying to sell me something
    2.) Students during formal occasions (thesis committees, oral examinations, etc.)
    3.) Anyone introducing themselves as “Dr. So-and-So”

  111. 111
    mark says:

    I used to really like reason. And joe you were great there! But hit and run is so bad now, I check in once a week if I remember to. Balko has his own blog so you can read him without having to scroll past Cavanaugh, Maoynihan, Root and Mangu-Ward.

  112. 112
    Max says:

    Great article in Salon “It’s Summer 2009 and McCain is President”… http://tinyurl.com/lts28z

    My fave part… “No difference!” would be the answer of those alienated populists and leftists for whom Republicans and Democrats are merely different tentacles of the same Bilderberger or Trilateral Commission octopus.

  113. 113
    smiley says:

    @anonevent:

    When I get it, I don’t want people calling me Dr. anonevent every day, but if someone wants to use my name in a formal setting, especially if they want to call me Mr., Dr. would sound better, I think. I’m still debating that.

    I think that’s how most non MD/DDS doctors see it. I know I do. And BTW, no need to debate being called Dr. in the proper context. You will have earned it.

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    (liberal arts schools seem much more likely to use the honorific than research universities).

    That’s not been my experience at all. I’ve worked at both and everyone was/is on a first-name basis (except undergraduate students). When I said earlier that I expected colleagues to call me Dr., I meant when referring to me to students, introducing me, or, in some contexts, when we first meet.

  114. 114
    JM says:

    I don’t hate you for being smart. I just despise you for being a control freak who thinks they know everything and wants to tell me how to run my life.

    I do know everything.

    Oh, and stop touching yourself.

  115. 115
    CalD says:

    I loved this quote from the “Reason” piece:

    For now, I’ll just point out that Krugman’s case for additional stimulus uses the same logic as Caliph Omar’s decision about the good and bad books in Alexandria. If we don’t stimulate and the economy tanks, it’s because we’re not stimulating; if we stimulate and the economy tanks, it’s because we’re not stimulating enough. There’s no way to refute premises stacked in this way.

    Try substituting “tax cuts for the rich” or “cutting rich people’s taxes” for “stimulus” (depending on whether it’s used as a noun or verb) and tell me if it reminds you of anything.

  116. 116
    Shygetz says:

    @Paul L.: So Keynesian economics = tyranny, huh? Good to know.

    Propertarians give Libertarians a bad name. “Give me a 5% lower top marginal tax rate, or give me death!”

  117. 117
    Peter J says:

    Economics is the only field in which two people can get a Nobel Prize for saying exactly the opposite thing.

    Not true. There’s no Nobel Prize in Economics much like there’s no Nobel Prize in Journalism. There’s The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel though.

  118. 118
    amocz says:

    From the Reason site Contributors description of Tim Cavanaugh:

    Prior to coming to work for Reason, Cavanaugh edited the late, lamented Suck, which was arguably the first, and was indisputably the most hated, daily content site on the web.
    [snip]
    His own site, The Simpleton, gets updated once every blue moon.

    Sterling qualifications, you will surely agree, for one to become the arbiter of all things right and true in the field of economics, easily outclassing those of the panty-sniffers in Stockholm that give out all those lame-ass “prizes” each year!

    Edit: Hey, what happened to my underlines on the faux-links to his websites? It works in the preview!

  119. 119
    GregB says:

    Does anyone know what college Dr. Johnny Fever got his degree from?

    -G

  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ibid: It (MIT) isn’t even a university. Institutes ain’t shit. Also.

    Fun fact: Lawyers who hold a JD are generally discouraged from using the title Doctor to avoid giving the impression that they possess an MD. On the other hand, if they are in a teaching/administrative position at a university that requires a PhD or equivalent, it is considered acceptable to use the title. In the meantime, lawyers grabbed on to the Esq. suffix and don’t want others to use it. Good times.

  121. 121
    Marmot says:

    Government bad! Krugman say government spending increase overall economic activity, eventually loosen credit! Krugman bad! We not say good-thing Krugman!

  122. 122

    Thanks, mark.

    I hung in there for years, but I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Clicking the link on this post was the first time I’ve been there in weeks and weeks.

    Once Dave Weigel left and took his gourmet appreciation of wingnut hilarity with him – he used to provide updates about Birfers and other Obama conspiracy nuts – there was nothing worth reading there.

  123. 123

    @John Cole: I knew I’d get you to bite. And you can mock me anytime you feel it appropriate. I’ve got a pretty thick hide as I have, on more than once said or done something worthy of mockery. Besides I pretty sure I didn’t say I agree with the “greening” of the blogs, images, etc.

    Has anyone said that every unsourced tweet coming out of Iran should be believed? Even Sullivan has noted more than once that this is raw data and has to be looked at with a critical eye.

    Besides its just plain fun seeing if “The Heater” can be engage with a little prodding. That was my motivation. I just like fucking with you, because I can.

  124. 124
    Barry says:

    KG

    “Actually, until this post and a quick check of wikipedia, I had no idea that Krugman had a PhD. And folks, Reason is a libertarian magazine/blog. We libertarians are a different kind of crazy than the wingnuts, thankyouverymuch.”

    I won’t deal with the first sentence, ’cause that horse is dead. However, for an allegedly libertarian magazine, Reason is chock fulla right-wing WATB’s. A more accurate theory is that Reason is full of the sort of ‘libertarians’ who find a Democratic president infinitely less tolerable than they found a Republican president. Odd, that.

    Not that I’d *ever* suggest that they are actually Republicans under a false flag, or anything like that.

  125. 125
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    It’s to the point that it’s mentally grating to me when a new grad student refers to my advisor (even in the third person) as “Dr. Shokat”, and we usually quickly correct them on the proper address.

    What I’ve noticed is that there’s a distinction between when I’m talking to an insider vs. an outsider. I’ll always use the first name when talking to insiders but frequently use the title when talking to outsiders. I think that’s because the title is part of establishing a hierarchy. Insiders know the system and see the use of titles as an overbearing attempt to show who’s the boss and who isn’t. Outsiders may not know the system, so the use of titles gives them a clue about who’s who without needing to draw an org chart.

    There’s a certain irrational egotism in using an honorific shared by a high percentage of the people around you that is unique to physicians in stodgy old hospitals.

    But it isn’t shared by a high percentage of the people, or at least it isn’t to the same extent as you’ll see in a research lab. A physician in a hospital is surrounded by nurses, physician’s assistants, nurses’ aides, various other functionaries, and, of course, patients. And I get the definite impression that many nurses don’t really believe that there’s a big difference between a nurse and a doctor and want to muscle in on the doctors’ territory. Using the title helps to send the message that the doctors are in charge.

  126. 126
    Rosali says:

    Do they refer to Howard Dean as Doctor?

  127. 127
    Geeno says:

    To be honest, I don’t Krugman refers to himself as doctor. A lot of bloggers do, but I’ve never seen him do it himself. I’ve always just assumed he had a PhD since he was a professor.

  128. 128
    John Cole says:

    Mona- I swear the point of this thread was not to trash Reason. Again. I honestly thought I was missing something and his comment about Dr. and sarcasm had an answer that went beyond “wingnut being a dick.”

    And while I think much of what is on Hit and Run these days is little more than GOP talking points, I was legitmately embarrassed by the way Jesse Walker and Radley Balko were treated in the comments here.

  129. 129
    JL says:

    @John Cole: Since I bought green paint today, maybe that counts. I have BBC bookmarked and all I see is burgundy and black.. Same as always. (news.bbc.co.uk/)
    Wouldn’t it be fun to watch Krugman and Shales debate.

  130. 130

    You gotta understand that the economic wing of the libertarian party basically went insane when the financial crisis started. They were simultaneously confronted with the fact that was a catastrophic failure of their precious free markets and that to be true to their principles of Capitalism Uber Alles, they would have to advocate for a global economic collapse of epic proportions. With such a serious blow to their ideology, instead of a embarking on a period of self-reflection, they decided to unmoor themselves from even the most conservative economists of the Chicago school and venture into Full Metal Wingnuttery.

    …and thus we get posts like the linked.

    Also: Ph.D. = philosophiæ doctor. It’s right there in the name!

  131. 131

    @The Grand Panjandrum: For the record, as bad as things appear in Iran, I do not support the US meddling in Iran’s internal affairs. As tragic as some of the video coming out of Iran is the President is setting the proper tone for the official response.

  132. 132
    mark says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yeah, and Weigel is now available at TWI. Forgot about his stint at reason, and he always took abuse there, but at least he and Sanchez are both still online and interesting.

  133. 133
    Shygetz says:

    @Roger Moore: Then explain to me why Ph.D academics don’t require title usage to remind their students and technicians who is in charge? We somehow seem to get along just fine somehow.

    The only plausible reason I have heard for MD insistence on title usage is that the title helps instill confidence in the patient, which helps improve clinical outcomes. Still doesn’t explain MDs requiring title usage in social situations. Then again, some people are just dicks.

  134. 134
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Tim Cavanaugh’s comments in the thread over there are better than the article:

    As George H.W. Bush said when he heard one of his staffers refer to Dr. Henry Kissinger: “The fucker doesn’t make house calls or do surgery, does he?” That’s good enough for me!

    Amazing.

  135. 135
    thomas says:

    had a friend with a Ph.D. in civil engineering. The only time he used the honorific was when making resturant reservations. Never got a bad seat.

  136. 136
    Robert Sneddon says:

    Professionals use “Dr.” (if they have a Ph. D.) when they write or publish work in their particular field. Most of Krugman’s writings for newspapers and magazines correctly byline him as Dr. Paul Krugman when he’s writing about economics and the economy, as they should.

    Just thank your lucky stars he’s not a European technical subjects academic — an acquaintance of mine was properly titled Professor Doctor Ingineur Count [elided] when he was attending scientific conferences in Europe. (He was genuinely a Count, from Translyvania). He only just missed out on the leading Herr for the full trainwreck.

  137. 137
    b-psycho says:

    Lemme test something here:

    I’m a libertarian, even a radical one. IMO, what’s wrong with the “stimulus” is that it glosses over the real problem: our economy, for decades, has made no long-term structural sense. Responding to a deliberate, calculated erosion (via inflation & the neutering of organized labor) in the spending power of most of the population, combined with embrace of debt as if it were a good thing (so as to paper over said erosion & keep conspicuous consumption going, damn the consequences), by attempting an inherently temporary goosing of spending completely misses the point.

    Is the above opinion “wingnutty”?

  138. 138
    smiley says:

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason:

    There’s a certain irrational egotism in using an honorific shared by a high percentage of the people around you that is unique to physicians in stodgy old hospitals.

    Dress codes are interesting too. I once knew a PhD who worked in a research lab at a medical school/hospital complex. Most days he would come to work dressed like everyone else, casual but appropriate. Some days he would show up all dressed up wearing a tie and a starched white lab coat. Just like the doctors! at the hospital. Everyone would ask him why he was dressed up. He would reply, “Because some days I just feel like it.” Turns out he dressed like that anytime a family member came to the hospital for an appointment or treatment. After all, as far as his family knew, he was a doctor! at the medical school. What a phony – but he had the dress codes down.

  139. 139
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Napoleon: When I first started practicing law back in 86 you would occasionally see old timer attorneys who would use Dr. instead of Mr.

    Oh yes – that’s another one of those confusing academic wrinkles, that (these days) people who have earned the Juris Doctor don’t usually go by “Dr.”. I wouldn’t, but I’d insist on the “Esquire”.

  140. 140
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @b-psycho: That’s why changing the two-tiered society that we’ve allowed to develop back into what we had earlier is as neccesary as the stimulus, despite the fact that the right thinks any moves in that direction whatsoever are “Socialism” or worse.

    Does that sound loony lefty?

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    @Stefan:

    Interesting fact: in Britain in the past, physicians were known as Doctor, but surgeons reverted to the title of Mister (if male). See H.L. Mencken’s “The English Language” from 1921:

    And part of the craziness in the UK was related to the social positions of doctors and surgeons. Doctors were socially superior because they used their brains to interpret symptoms and did not get their hands dirty doing repairs on the body, as was the case with surgeons. Thus, a doctor was a higher class of gentleman, and Doctor, a more respectable title.

    Similarly, a clergyman who was a “Doctor” was also highly regarded, and being a physician or a minister was one of the few occupations available to an upper class male, especially those who weren’t the first born.

    Not like I’ve been really paying attention, but it looks like Reason’s transition from a libertarian blog to a wingnut “I call myself a libertarian ‘cuz it sounds cool” blog is complete.

    What’s weird is that the folks at Reason don’t seem to realize that they have been kicked to the curb by the wingnut evangelical branch of the GOP, and their deity Supply Side Jesus.

  142. 142
    jenniebee says:

    @Shygetz: Does anybody here really think that the reason Cavanaugh thinks that “Dr.” should only be applied to Krugman sarcastically is that every time Cavanaugh has met Krugman socially, it’s always been just “Tim” and “Paul”?

  143. 143
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @b-psycho:

    (Moderation escape repeat post, sorry for anyone later who sees this twice)

    That’s why changing the two-tiered society that we’ve allowed to develop back into what we had earlier is as neccesary as the stimulus, despite the fact that the right thinks any moves in that direction whatsoever are “So ci al ism” or worse.

    Does that sound loony lefty?

  144. 144
    David says:

    The Nobel prize winner is a librul, with Ph.D., so listen to Amity Shlaes, who has no degree in economics at all and wrote the stupidest revisionist history book about the Depression yet.

    Cuz she’s a conservative, and she won’t tax you.

    Can you help me get this tea bag unstuck from my forehead?

  145. 145
    A Mom Anon says:

    @John Cole:

    Thank You. I’ve heard 50 different things about Iran since yesterday. First Mousavi is under house arrest. Hours later, there’s footage of him out on the street rallying people. It’s been like this since the whole thing started over the weekend.

  146. 146
    b-psycho says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Nope. Hell, considering w/r/t labor mainstream liberals are arguing over card check when I practically want to release the Wobblies, technically I’m closer to loony lefty than you…

  147. 147
    Trollhattan says:

    @ Cleek #44.

    My god, what a spectacular bit of Hindrocket you found there, and somehow it’s familiar….

    It must be depressing to be Paul Krugman. No matter how well the economy performs, Krugman’s bitter vendetta against the Bush administration requires him to hunt for the black lining in a sky full of silvery clouds. With the economy now booming, what can Krugman possibly have to complain about? In today’s column, titled That Hissing Sound, Krugman says there is a housing bubble, and it’s about to burst:
    versus:
    It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

    Can a one-trick pony degrade to a no-trick pony? Ladies and germs, today’s Hindrocket!

  148. 148
    smiley says:

    I didn’t know this (from Wiki):

    The social standing of Doctors in Spain is evidenced by the fact that only Ph.D. holders, Grandees and Dukes can take a seat and cover their heads in the presence of the King[29].

    I know a Spanish PhD. I’ll have to ask him if he sits in the presence of the king.

  149. 149
    different church-lady says:

    Bevis and Butthead spent a lot of time laughing at things only they found funny too.

  150. 150
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ibid: It (MIT) isn’t even a university. Institutes ain’t shit.

    At Harvard, I heard MIT called ‘the Voke’

  151. 151
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @John Cole:
    Vernor Vinge’s classic SF novel “A Fire Upon The Deep” has a galaxy-wide communications system that’s a mixture of blogs, Twitters, Facebook, BBSes, IRC and Usenet. It is fed by thousands of different entities using all sorts of communication channels, good and bad, with automatic translation of languages. Everybody has an agenda. Sound familiar?

    It is called “The Net of a Million Lies”.

  152. 152
    Andy K says:

    @tammanycall:

    Some believe that only medical doctors should be called “doctor” while PhDs should be called “Professor”.

    Except that a person can have a PhD and not actually be a professor.

  153. 153
    Barry says:

    John Cole

    “Mona- I swear the point of this thread was not to trash Reason. Again. I honestly thought I was missing something and his comment about Dr. and sarcasm had an answer that went beyond “wingnut being a dick.””

    Frankly, with almost all of the commenters and many of the columnists, ‘wingnut being a dick’ is a pretty good assumption.

    “And while I think much of what is on Hit and Run these days is little more than GOP talking points, I was legitmately embarrassed by the way Jesse Walker and Radley Balko were treated in the comments here.””

    I would not like to see Radley treated badly; the man has more anti-oppression cred than all but a few people.

    However, one problem is only going to get worse – too many Reason people act like their definition of ‘libertarian’ is ‘right-winger who disagrees with the GOP in a few areas, but really, really hates liberals’. It’s pretty much a flashback to the 90’s there.

    This pollutes the name, and those who write there are going to find that they suffer (justly, unjustly, a little or a lot).

    IMHO, not only do the Republicans have to figure out just what they are over the next several years, but the libertarians do as well.

  154. 154
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Most of the population seems to have things just exactly backwards. The conception that only an M.D. is a “real doctor” is just flat-out insane.

    To get a real doctorate (a Ph.D., Sc.D., Ll.D., hell, even a D.D.) you have to absorb everything that is known in your field (however narrowly defined) and in your dissertation, contribute something original to it.

    These fucking medicos are under no such obligation. Their degree is nothing but a trade-school diploma. My Modest Proposal™ is that people with real doctorates be referred to as “Dr.” and people with M.D.s be called…what? That term “Medico” actually sounds pretty good.

  155. 155
    Don says:

    @theturtlemoves: I think she wants to be called doctor an all contexts. White house photos are captioned “Dr. Jill Biden”. And I believe she has an E.Ed. not a Ph.D., but I’m not positive of that.

    It’s not a matter of what she wants, it’s standard etiquette rules. Personally I don’t care for it – it looks snooty when you get a wedding invitation and the inviting parents are identified as Dr Joe Blow and Dr Jane Blow. But I’m willing to bet that you’ll find that’s consistently applied on the White House photos – not just for Dr Biden.

  156. 156
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    We’ve never seen Krugman’s birth certificate, so how do we know he even exists?

  157. 157
    Shygetz says:

    @jenniebee: No, I think Cavanagh’s just an ignorant douche.

    @b-psycho: I don’t think that opinion is wingnutty at all, just not very libertarian. The idea that the economy should make structural sense implies a positive view of a properly structured economy, which is anathema to most libertarian views. Also, the idea that labor organization should be protected is also anathema to most US libertarians, who think that businesses should compete for labor without labor organization “distorting” the labor market.

  158. 158
    SammyB says:

    You gotta check out the fox news website right now. They are calling for boycotts of CBS & ABC. Freakin’ awesome.

  159. 159
    gnomedad says:

    On paper, libertarians have ideas that deserve a voice, but in practice, they will vote for Republican sex wars, drug wars, culture wars, and war wars as long as tax cuts are part of the mix.

  160. 160
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @b-psycho:

    technically I’m closer to loony lefty than you…

    Ah, but you don’t even know me.”Technically” is a particuarly interesting word given that fact.

    Technically I actually live in a country that would be officially classified as a Soc ia list Worker State were it transplanted into the US. If people used the criteria they used to call things Soc ia list these days…

    Yeesh. Look, we’re simply going to need a new word for this, I mean it does come up. “Thingy”, or “Lunch Box”, say.

    Okay, whenever I say “Lunch Box” you think of the S word instead, okay?

    So anyway no, I doubt any Libertarian is more Lunch Box than I am. But I don’t know you or where you live either, so there’s that.

  161. 161
    Mike says:

    Wingnuts call Alan Keyes “doctor”, so maybe it’s funny to use that title for someone who’s not batshit.

  162. 162
    RSA says:

    I’m a Ph.D. but have rarely if ever found myself in a situation where it made sense to call myself (or be introduced as) “Doctor”. It’s always just FirstName LastName. In an academic environment, of course, the undergrads (and foreign grad students) all call me Dr. LastName or Professor LastName, but it’s not something I insist on or even care about.

    If I did, I’d have gotten over it during the time my wife was in the hospital. There I wasn’t Dr. LastName or Professor LastName–I was Mr. Wife’sLastName. Whatever.

  163. 163
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: There are academic doctorates (PhD, DSc, etc.) and there are professional doctorates (MD, JD, EdD, DDS, etc.). They are different animals, but, if you ask a university, they are all doctorates.

    I tend to think it is pretentious for a person to to demand the title in most informal situations. On the other hand, in a formal situation, it is rude not to address a person by a title that s/he has earned, be it Doctor, Colonel, or Reverend.

  164. 164
    Barry says:

    Mona

    “As a Reason subscriber since like forever, allow me to defend it. Simply put, Tim Cavanaugh is not one of its leading lights, past or present. Jacob Sullum, Jesse Walker, Virginia Postrel, Nick Gillespie—these are what have made Reason worthwhile. (And Ron Bailey, though I know many will hate him since he came late to accept human contributions to global warming.)”

    Mona, a few things – first, Reason should sack Tim. If he’s dragging the publication’s reputation down, then he should be, ah, ‘freed to seek career opportunities elsewhere’.

    Second, IIRC, Ron was working on anti-global warming propaganda with a ‘think tank’ as part of a paid propaganda campaign. It wasn’t personal belief; it was a paid campaign to undermine science; like the Tobacco Institute, but on a smaller scale. This is a rather serious thing. It’s not just a matter of personal opinion. Also, he was involved in such ‘analyses’ before, using the scientific power :) of his MBA. This is a record which a lot of people who like science have good reason to object to.

    “And, during the Schiavo derangement, Cathy Young wrote one of the absolutely best, blistering attacks on the right-wing loons, and did so at Reasons’s blog.”

    True (see comments at the end).

    “Also, of those Reason staff who announced how they were voting in ‘08, most went Democratic out of disgust with the GOP.”

    At this point, as I said above, the libertarians at Reason have to decide what they are. They seem to be favoring a trip back to the 1990’s, where libertarians are people who hate Democrats and liberals, but deny being Republicans (I once phrased the dominant strain of libertarianism as ‘deniable Republicanism’ for that reason). In a sense, they can bash liberals and Dems, while waiting for time to erode the bad reputation of the Republican party after Bush II.

    In addition, we saw a massive economic collapse, hopefully averted through a rapid $1 trillion and counting intervention. If the Reason definition of ‘libertarian’ is somebody who doesn’t believe in the possibility of a Great Depression II, and who believes Schlaes’ revisionist bullsh*t, then that’s a workable definition, but don’t ask us to have any respect for it, by now.

  165. 165
    Comrade Dread says:

    “Even professional economists can be wrong.”

    Well, that point is quite true, and I’m sure the good doctor is probably stunningly wrong as well.

    He is, God bless him, an economist after all.

    On paper, libertarians have ideas that deserve a voice, but in practice, they will vote for Republican sex wars, drug wars, culture wars, and war wars as long as tax cuts are part of the mix.

    I’ll never vote Republican again. I’m undecided as to the Democratic party. Obama is definitely saner than McCain, but thus far, his record is mixed for me with regards to executive power and civil liberties.

    And those are things I care far more about than taxes.

  166. 166
    Gus says:

    the Paul fans there are taking the 2002 op ed it as if Krugman was a proponent of the housing bubble. I don’t see it that way, I saw it more as a telling omen of things to come.

    P-Dog, you read it right. The author of the post says “bullshit” when someone tried to correct him, and he quoted Krugman’s piece at greater length. And still failed to realize what Krugman was saying. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for libertarians, I don’t often agree, but I can see where they’re coming from. That post, though was absolutely chock full of stupid.

  167. 167
    Barry says:

    In addition, the WSJ model that a rising stock market + rising house values would provide for good retirements and negate the effects of stagnant wages, and hopefully (from their evil viewpoint) enable the destruction of Social Security is now dead. A lot of people have watched their wages stagnate, their pensions taken, their stock investments yield no more than a money market account, and their houses as likely as not to be negative investments. While the top 1% gain a larger and larger share of the pie.

    At this point, don’t be surprised if Obama as FDR II sounds *real* good to most Americans. The Chicago School/WSJ is dead, and the sooner we can physically bury it, the better.

    And if you and your libertarian friends want to avoid that, they have two options – (a) support the GOP, and hope that the right can trash liberalism (leading to a sh*tty country for all but the top quarter or less of the population), or (b) come up with something else, something which is achievable and which will deliver the goods.

  168. 168
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @smiley:

    That’s not been my experience at all. I’ve worked at both and everyone was/is on a first-name basis (except undergraduate students)

    I should have clarified. I meant undergraduate students at liberal arts colleges vs research universities. I went to a fairly serious research university for undergrad, and it always used to freak out my friends at more liberal arts schools that a lot of my professors preferred people to call them by their first name, if they ever got the chance to explain that to students. On balance, undergrads still opt toward “Dr”, but I’ve noticed a difference in the number at each type of place.

  169. 169
    MikeJ says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for libertarians,

    They have a soft spot in their heads to match.

  170. 170
    b-psycho says:

    @Shygetz: Your libertarians aren’t my libertarians

  171. 171
    Punchy says:

    OT:

    Wow, do I smell fail w/r/t this:

    Even as Republicans delved into Sotomayor’s background, a key GOP senator was planning a series of speeches that will criticize Obama and Democrats for their approach to choosing judges, arguing their approach threatens the court system and the rule of law.

    Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Judiciary Republican, was expected as early as Tuesday afternoon to begin making that case, with a speech about what the founding fathers considered an ideal justice. He planned to contrast that vision with a growing movement that he says wants judges to be able to impose their politics and personal feelings through their rulings and change the meaning of the Constitution.

    Hyperbole much?

    So, by getting judges who insist on following law and precedent, we’ll break the rule of law. But by appointing those that dont give a shit about current precedent and law (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Thomas), no harm no foul, eh?

  172. 172

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: Tee hee. My dad would certainly agree with you. He said something very similar the last time he visited.

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I like it. Lunch box for the s word. Now, how about koala for the other s word (s h o e s)?

    Jill Biden got her doctorate because many of the men in her field insisted on calling her by her first name (well, part of the reason). She is fully entitled to use Doctor at work, and I heartily approve.

    As for Cavanaugh, I didn’t even ponder the possibility that he might not know that Ph.D. includes doctorate in the name, but it’s possible.

  173. 173
    b-psycho says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I must’ve got you mixed up with someone else then. I thought you were in the U.S.

  174. 174
    Mona says:

    svensker sez: Mona, Reason had so much pro-war crap during the Iraq invasion that I gave up reading them completely.

    And I quit reading them, and became a notorious joke there, because I kept threatening to cancel my subscription because they were so critical of Bush and the war — at a time when, as you refer to, I was not these things.

  175. 175
    jibeaux says:

    @KG:

    Am I missing something, or do Ivy League schools routinely hire economics professors who lack Ph.D.s?

    My personal feelings mirror Dave Barry’s, e.g., “I find people who insist on being called “Dr.” simply because they have Ph.D.s, which are about as rare as air molecules, self-important assholes”, but Krugman certainly isn’t insisting on it and a Ph.D. indisputably can be called Doctor.

    Chiropractors, on the other hand, I never call those guys Doctor. And I deal with both chiro’s and MDs, and the chiro’s are by far more likely the ones to introduce themselves on the phone as “Dr. So and So”. I ain’t feedin’ their inferiority complex. When you can write a prescription, I’ll call you Dr.

  176. 176
    Rosali says:

    The answer is that Kavanaugh refers to Dr. Dean as simply Howard Dean. But, honestly, I really don’t care what they think. They lost credibility on titles when they referred to alleged war criminal Gonzo as “Judge Gonzales”.

  177. 177
    Barry says:

    joe from Lowell

    “I like the way Tim generously offers to postulate that there really was rapid growth between 1933 and 1937, as if he’s doing a favor to people holding a controversial position, as opposed to simply being stubborn about acknowledging something anyone capable of reading a line graph can confirm in ten seconds.”

    And the joke is that looking at a graph of economic growth/deline in the 1930’s and knowing anything blows Schlaes out of the water. Three straight years of strong decline, followed by a radical turnaround as FDR implements his policies (which, yes, involved tinkering and trying to figure out what worked best).

    Then, FDR does a partial pull-back of the New Deal in 1937, and we see an immediate effect – negative. So he goes back on his reversal, and growth takes off again.

    I’m wondering how often one sees such strong evidence in favor of a set of policies.

  178. 178
    Mona says:

    @ joe from lowell: Well, I will concede that I read Hit ‘n Run much less frequently in the last year or so, and find the comments section quality to have deteriorated. But Radley Balko is no neocon! Or wing-nut!

  179. 179
    Punchy says:

    Wow….blockquote fail above…

    /shakes head, puts hands in pockets, kicks rocks

  180. 180
    jibeaux says:

    @John S.:

    And, oh yes, did I mention, WIN, also too.

  181. 181
    Brachiator says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    To get a real doctorate (a Ph.D., Sc.D., Ll.D., hell, even a D.D.) you have to absorb everything that is known in your field (however narrowly defined) and in your dissertation, contribute something original to it.

    My favorite doctor is Dr. Feelgood.

  182. 182
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I like it. Lunch box for the s word. Now, how about koala for the other s word (s h o e s)?

    You’re on.

    Now as I was saying, if you could just stand in the koala of the people who actually live in lunch box countries…

    Hmm. I’m not sure this is going to work.

  183. 183
    Rosali says:

    A sure sign of a quack is someone who presents himself as Dr. Joe Blow, M.D. Use one or the other, not both.

  184. 184
    Svensker says:

    @Trollhattan:

    It must be depressing to be Paul Krugman. No matter how well the economy performs, Krugman’s bitter vendetta against the Bush administration requires him to hunt for the black lining in a sky full of silvery clouds. With the economy now booming, what can Krugman possibly have to complain about? In today’s column, titled That Hissing Sound, Krugman says there is a housing bubble, and it’s about to burst:

    Oh, that’s a good one. Poor old Hindrocket.

  185. 185
    The Moar You Know says:

    I just despise you for being a control freak who thinks they know everything and wants to tell me how to run my life.

    @Paul L.: God, reading this whole thread was so worth it to catch this bit of histrionics from you. What a crybaby you are – worse than a fifteen-year old being told he has to be back home by 10pm.

    What context am I missing here that would explain this?

    Oh, John. Krugman loved FDR and FDR was a socshulist and Krugman said mean things about Bush and is therefore a pansified girl-man where the only honorific appropriate for such a person would be “faggot” or “libtard” shut up that’s why.

  186. 186
    Shygetz says:

    @b-psycho: b-psycho, you are just as welcome to call yourself “libertarian” as Andrew Sullivan is welcome to call any non-revolutionary a “conservative”. But it is my opinion that in America, when you use the word “libertarian”, more people envision my version than yours.

  187. 187
    anonevent says:

    @b-psycho:

    IMO, what’s wrong with the “stimulus” is that it glosses over the real problem: our economy, for decades, has made no long-term structural sense.

    Totally agree

    Responding to a deliberate, calculated erosion (via inflation & the neutering of organized labor) in the spending power of most of the population, combined with embrace of debt as if it were a good thing (so as to paper over said erosion & keep conspicuous consumption going, damn the consequences),

    Totally agree this was the approach by the Republicans over the last 30 years, especially when they were in power.

    by attempting an inherently temporary goosing of spending completely misses the point.

    That’s why your hearing Obama talk about balancing spending now. But, as someone involved in emergency response in my community, the stimulus reminds me really of firefighting in a drought: you have to dump water on the fire to put it out, even if it’s going to hurt until the drought is over, because in the short run, the fire is worse because it could spread. Yes, our financial structure is shit, but looking at the job graph we saw the other day, we either spend money now, or it will take another world war to recover.

  188. 188
    smiley says:

    @jibeaux:

    Chiropractors, on the other hand, I never call those guys Doctor.

    And optometrists.

  189. 189
    slag says:

    @CalD: Maybe I’m mismembering history here (I’m no Amity Shlaes, afterall) but wasn’t Krugman extremely concerned when the stimulus was rolled out that it wasn’t big enough? And didn’t he run around to every venue that would have him to make that very point? So, in this case, Krugman’s response to the problem is exactly the same as his response was four months ago to the exact same problem. Consequently, Mr. Cavanaugh (if that IS his real name) is ridiculing Krugman for thinking he was right the first time?

    This is not a case of recommending stimulus for every problem. It’s a case of recommending stimulus for the same problem for which stimulus was already recommended.

  190. 190
    Comrade Stuck says:

    They will never fill the shoes of Dr. Johnny Fever. Never!

  191. 191
    TenguPhule says:

    He planned to contrast that vision with a growing movement that he says wants judges to be able to impose their politics and personal feelings through their rulings and change the meaning of the Constitution.
    HyperboleHypocrisy much?

    Fixed.

    Scalito, Roberts, Thomas & El Shithole. Four reasons why Republicans should never be allowed to put judges on the bench.

  192. 192
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Do they refer to Howard Dean as Doctor?

    I have seen him referred to that way, when talking about health care, or a medical issue.

  193. 193
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Barry:

    At this point, don’t be surprised if Obama as FDR II sounds real good to most Americans.

    I’ve rode this horse before, but here I go again. I wish liberals were as passionate about FDR as conservatives seem to be about Reagan. It’s amazing to me how much good stuff FDR did that is still having an effect 60-70 years later. Where would we be now without the FDIC? without social security? Hell, where would we be if we delayed entering or refused to enter WWII? I could go on, but I believe that the era of strong government intervention in and regulation of the economy that FDR ushered in really led to the post WWII boom where we emerged as the most powerful nation in the world. I think that conservatives have only been partially successful in tarnishing FDRs reputation. Reagan was successful in what he did, but I think that FDR towers over Reagan as a political figure, for all the right reasons.

  194. 194
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @SammyB: You gotta check out the fox news website right now. They are calling for boycotts of CBS & ABC. Freakin’ awesome.

    In other news, Pepsi is urging a boycott of Coke and Red Bull.

  195. 195
    Stefan says:

    3.) Anyone introducing themselves as “Dr. So-and-So”

    When I’m in a doctor’s office and the doctor uses my first name, I always immediately respond using his, i.e. “well, Bob, I’ve been having periodic blackouts etc……” They always look a little shocked that I call them by their first name after they’ve used mine, as if they’re supposed to get the honorific and I’m not. Seriously, if they want me to call them Doctor, they can address me as Mr. _________.

  196. 196
    slag says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    I wish liberals were as passionate about FDR as conservatives seem to be about Reagan.

    Are liberals as passionate about anyone as conservatives seem to be? One of the appealing aspects of liberalism, from my perspective, is that we don’t sanctify our leaders. FDR did great things and deserves much credit. But he wouldn’t have done them without the collective will of the people behind him.

  197. 197
    kuvasz says:

    Wah? You think Dr. Kissinger was some sort of a gynocologist?

    You know, maybe he was.

  198. 198
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Yeah, you two are gonna confuse the shit outta me. Just use diacritical vowels, or whatever…

  199. 199
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    Caliph Omar’s decision about the good and bad books in Alexandria.

    Haven’t read the article — but Cavanaugh is aware, isn’t he, that “Omar burned the Library of Alexandria” is a fiction, dreamed up in the 12th century?

  200. 200
    AhabTRuler says:

    You think Dr. Kissinger was some sort of a gynocologist?

    Actually, I always thought he was a proctologist. No, wait, I mixed that up, I though he was an asshole.

  201. 201
    Xanthippas says:

    Are liberals as passionate about anyone as conservatives seem to be? One of the appealing aspects of liberalism, from my perspective, is that we don’t sanctify our leaders. FDR did great things and deserves much credit. But he wouldn’t have done them without the collective will of the people behind him.

    Also, FDR died before most of us were born.

  202. 202
    slag says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Also, FDR died before most of us were born.

    True. But I can’t go a day without wanting to bitch slap Obama for one reason or another. And he’s still alive. Unlike Ronnie Sr.

  203. 203
    geg6 says:

    Well, I work at one those gigantic research universities and I don’t know anyone, student or not, who doesn’t use the title for PhDs in a professional setting. And I also know of no one who insists on it. When it is peers who know each other interacting or informal settings, first names are used. But in the classroom, when we refer to the person when talking to students or outsiders, or are within earshot of students, the title is used. People work hard to earn that title and it isn’t as easy or as common as idiots who know no better seem to think. Hell, I won’t even consider pursuing one myself because I found the writing of a master’s thesis onerous enough. I don’t even want to contemplate a doctoral thesis. I consider that I am honoring that hard work when I use the title and don’t find it pretentious at all in its proper professional context. MDs are no better or more deserving of the title than PhDs and based on most of my interactions with them, much less deserving of my respect.

  204. 204
    John says:

    Actually, until this post and a quick check of wikipedia, I had no idea that Krugman had a PhD.

    Err…he’s a professor of economics at Princeton. What would you think his academic background would consist of?

  205. 205
    gex says:

    @asiangrrlMN: +1.

    Today the GF went in to see a doctor due to a skin irritation. Got an actual M.D. (instead of the P.A. you usually get to see). The first thing the M.D. did was look it up on the Internet.

    WTF? We pay HOW MUCH for the “best healthcare system in the world ™” only to get worse outcomes than other countries? I think I know why. Hell, I can Google things too. Absolutely pathetic.

  206. 206
    Llelldorin says:

    I think liberals are much more accustomed to living within a coalition than conservatives are. We all know that we aren’t going to agree with every other Democrat, because we recognize that the Democratic party is a centrist coalition, not a progressive or a center-right party.

    We thus don’t expect our leaders (the Clintons, Obama, or whoever else) to actually be firebrands for our specific interests and causes. We instead expect them to be clever, diplomatic technocrats who are deft enough to hold together the Democratic coalition. The result is we almost never venerate Democratic leaders. At best we extend them grudging respect. (By contrast, we DO tend to venerate lower-ranking figures who lead specific coaltion members. Compare the way Dems speak of Obama or Clinton with the way they speak of, say, Paul Wellstone or Barbara Jordan. Neither would ever have led the Democratic Party as a whole.)

    Conservatives don’t see things that way at all. They almost uniformly seem to see the Republican party as themselves writ large. Bush was seen as “a guy you could have a beer with” by the surburban antitaxers and as a fundie by the fundies. Reagan was seen as an avuncular throwback to fictional “better times” by both wings of the Republican party.

  207. 207
    Tax Analyst says:

    Reagan was seen as an avuncular throwback to fictional “better times” by both wings of the Republican party and the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Fixt. And…

    Yes, and apparently the man was singularly responsible for the removal of the Berlin Wall, wise beyond, well “wise”, incredibly witty (yes, nothing rings the wittiness bell better than endless references to phony Republican mythologies, such as all of RR’s “Welfare Queen” anecdotes), protector of the taxpayer (never mind the tax increases and deficit spending he ACTUALLY put into motion), and everything else Noble and Good in America. My God, I am SO tired of the constant deification of this man. He had some positive attributes, but basically he shepherded our economy onto the dead-end track we find ourselves stuck on today with his successful embrace of “Voodoo Economics”. I’d have an easier time letting it go if only we could get the Republicans from trying to put a fucking statue of this guy on every vacant space of government property in Washington DC. Christ, they even bumped off the statue of a California pioneer in order to pay more tribute to the graven image of the Amazing Ronzoni Reagantonimoroni.

    I realize “giving it a rest” is not their strong point, but just when is “enough” really and truly “enough”?

    Somehow I have screwed up the blockquotes here, but instead of trying to fix it I’ll just state the the “rant” portion of this comment are from me.

  208. 208
    Seanly says:

    @theturtlemoves:

    I was a bit unclear. For instance, when my mother was introduced to my future in-laws a few days before my wedding, I asked her how she would like to be introduced. Since it was a formal setting, she wanted to be introduced as Dr. Susan such&such. Once I introduced her, she then said, “Please call me Susan.”

    If she was visiting and some friends of mine came over, I would introduce her as my mom, Susan. She’s also in her early 60’s so approaches it from a more formal time.

    I’ll avoid getting into a discussion of her thoughts on the ED…

  209. 209
    gex says:

    The joke is: Libruls are dumm! Ha!

    It really is never anything more than some sort of reaction to anything liberal.

  210. 210
    Jim-Bob says:

    Wow, tough question, John! Where’s Julius Erving when we need him?

  211. 211
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m a liitle annoyed at Krugman because the research for which he won the Nobel renedered most of what I learned in International Econ as an undergrad obsolete. Other than that … How can you not love someone who so completely smacks down George Will at every opportunity?

  212. 212
    chuck says:

    @gex:

    Perhaps he looked it up on an online searchable PDR and not oprah.com. I can turn a wrench too, doesn’t make me a plumber.

  213. 213
    Mona says:

    Are liberals as passionate about anyone as conservatives seem to be? One of the appealing aspects of liberalism, from my perspective, is that we don’t sanctify our leaders.

    Oh please. Here are two Greenwald posts taking Obama to task for not living up to my primary reasons for having voted for the man! Some liberals are having none of Obama’s excuses, but as Greenwald has linked to before, the excuse-making worshipful can be found abundantly all over the Intertubes, including many threads and diaries at Kos. (And to some degree in Greenwald’s comments section.)

    Reason’s Ron Bailey may not have been good on global warming, but like many libertarians — myself included — in ’08 he voted straight Dem, for reasons of civil liberties, war and related noxious positions that have taken over the GOP — and too many Democrats. We don’t just vote “about taxes.” And Obama is letting us down big time.

  214. 214
    NYCMD says:

    John:

    The punchline to the “Dr. Krugman” joke can be found at the following link:

    http://www.google.com/search?h.....&aqi=

  215. 215
    jerry 101 says:

    ummm…anybody care to explain what the fuck an amity shales is?

    Because it sounds like a really nasty disease.

    “well, I went to the doctor (medical doctor, not Dr. Krugman) today to have this thing looked at…”

    “what did she say?”

    “She said that they need to run a few tests to know for sure…but…it appears to be amity shales”

    “OH MY GOD!!!”

    “Yeah….if it is amity shales, well…if we caught it early…I might recover.”

    “If not?”

    “Let’s not think about that…let’s hope it’s just strep throat.”

  216. 216

    I had to go over to Reason and point out that since having a PhD and winning a Nobel Prize in Economics means you’re totally full of shit that this obviously means that Milton Friedman, F.A. von Hayek, James M. Buchanan and the entire Department of Economics at the University of Chicago, members of which have won, or shared in winning 8 of the 40 Nobel Prizes in Economics are also full of shit.

    Based upon Cavanaugh’s comments and the comments thread in the post that John linked to, and to some other comments threads I’ve read over at Reason I think that the description of Libertarians as “Republicans who smoke dope” needs to be changed to “Wingnuts who smoke dope”.
    <p.

  217. 217
    mvr says:

    @geg6:
    I work at a relatively large research university too, but my experience is different than yours. I’m kind of uncomfortable if students call me ‘Doctor’ or even ‘Professor’ whether grad or undergrad. I’m also uncomfortable overtly correcting them. (The point is to make people comfortable enough to hear what I’m saying, not to worry about relative status. So correction doesn’t really help.) I just refer to myself by my first name, figure most of my TAs do, and hope the undergrads catch on eventually.

    I may like the lack of formality more than average, but not by all that much more than average in my home department. Maybe these norms are discipline relative (again I’m in philosophy) and possibly also place relative. I can say that the norms were similar where I went to grad school even with very distinguished people, at least so far as grad students went.

    In any case, this in no way explains why someone would object to calling someone with a Ph.D. a doctor in a setting where that credential is relevant to their expertise in making a certain kind of prediction or venturing a view within their area of expertise. In the comment that sort of started this side-thread was just making the point that Krugman seems like a modest enough guy when you hear him and that his everyday work life was probably one in which people called him “Paul”. In my experience the more secure the person the more comfortable they are with that sort of thing.

  218. 218
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    FWIW, medical doctors in most parts of the world don’t have doctorates.

    Interesting fact: in Britain in the past, physicians were known as Doctor, but surgeons reverted to the title of Mister (if male).

    Still the case. As others have said, a lot of it is historical tradition and the old guild distinction, but the joke that surgeons are just butchers in scrubs still persists.

    Anyway, Crooked Timber (a vaguely academic blog) took on the subject a while back, noting the more annoying phenomena of academic (or professional non-medical doctor) women not getting called by the titles they’ve earned, even in professional context.

    (I sorta like the German Herr Doktor Professor thing. And the only institution that uses my title is indeed my alma mater when it’s on the scrounge.)

  219. 219
    iluvsummr says:

    @gex: I think the best doctors are the ones who actually bother to look things up on the net. Trust me, s/he isn’t looking it up in wikipedia.

  220. 220
    Barry says:

    Mona

    “@ joe from lowell: Well, I will concede that I read Hit ‘n Run much less frequently in the last year or so, and find the comments section quality to have deteriorated. But Radley Balko is no neocon! Or wing-nut!”

    Mona, when you walk by a house, and somebody is sh*tting on the front porch, it tends to give that whole house a bad rep. Similarly with Reason; in addition (a) they *tolerate* it, and (b) as I said above, it’s important for libertarianism to figure out what it’s gonna try to be in the 21st century, or it’ll fade into just another late-20th century political oddities.

  221. 221
    Persia says:

    @Rosali: Of course not! That’d be treating him with respect. Respect is the opposite of what they’re trying to do here.

  222. 222
    Jason says:

    @Barry &c. in response to Mona:

    I have to admit I’m a little surprised seeing Cathy Young’s name come up in Mona’s defense of Reason, since her appearance on Hit’nRun pimping the ACTA report on leftist professors (remember that? When Republicans had enough time to tour Pennsylvania looking for College Republicans to complain about their professors?) seemed to be pretty consonant with Repub. talking points. It’s almost like she was asked to push it! Couldn’t possibly be the case, tho. Because Dr. Obama wasn’t in office back then.

    More generally: isn’t the real problem here not the way people use “Dr.” as an honorific but the Times’ refusal to drop “Mr.” as the standard? My guess is that Reason doesn’t recognize any conventions of authority outside of journalism-land. If the Times says he’s Mister, then he’s Mister, dammit.

  223. 223
    Persia says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Me neither. Can we stick to English with spaces? If we start talking in code we’ll start sounding like the damn wingnuts.

  224. 224
    cmohrnc says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I tend to think it is pretentious for a person to to demand the title in most informal situations. On the other hand, in a formal situation, it is rude not to address a person by a title that s/he has earned, be it Doctor, Colonel, or Reverend.

    What do you do with people who have earned multiple professional status titles? For example, a physician who (as a military physician) also rose to the rank of colonel, and happens to have also become an ordained minister somewhere along the way?

    Would you call them “Colonel Reverend Dr. Smith”? or “Dr. Colonel Reverend Smith”?

  225. 225
    Llelldorin says:

    @cmohrnc:

    In German, you’d list them all out, according to highly formal rules that I’ve never understood.

    In English, you usually choose the one that’s most relevant to the communication at hand. She’d be Col. Smith when talking to the Army, Dr. Smith when discussing her hospital privileges, Rev. Smith at an ecumenical council, and Ms. Smith when getting a tax audit.

  226. 226
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “The best part is that he says Krugman should brush up on the facts of the matter by reading Amity Shlaes’ revisionist piece of shit.”

    I picked up Schlaes’ book this weekend, and looked in the index for “GDP”, or “Gross Domestic Product”, or “Domestic Product”. No mention. Flicked through it, no mention of GDP.

    Now, GDP growth under FDR from 1933-1941 *averaged* over 8%. Which is better than any GOP president has done in *any single year*, at least as far back as the BEA GDP statistics go (1930). Including St. Ronnie’s Springtime in America in 1984, which was only 7% real GDP growth

    So I can understand why Schlaes’ doesn’t have any tables on GDP in her book. But an economic history that doesn’t have a quantitative discussion of GDP in the period concerned is pretty fucking useless.

    BTW, another liberatarian critique of FDR, “FDR’s Folly” has the same omission.

    People loved FDR because the economy grew extremely strongly during his tenure, albeit not fast enough to completely counteract the effect GOP screwups under Hoover had on employment, although unemployment halved during that time (GOPer’s are also fond of excluding those employed under the WPA from employment figures.)

  227. 227
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “It’s a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D. or D.Ed.) which, according to Wikipedia is equivalent in recognition to a Ph.D, along with the Sc.D (Doctor of Science), and the D.A. (Doctor of Arts).”

    Sc.D and D.A, IIRC, are higher doctorates, and rank above mere Ph.Ds.

  228. 228
    slippytoad says:

    @pablo: Wow. Quite the comment section. I especially liked this comment by the author:

    I don’t want tax cuts because I think they’ll help the economy. We want them because taxation is theft.

    All you need to know.

    Frankly, I think Oliver Wendell Holmes put it better.

    I wonder if mentioning getting his sorry ass off the public roads, not using the fire department or police services, dispensing with the courts, and giving the dumbass a pistol and letting him defend himself against the world would really get him to understand what he pays those taxes for. Or if he’s just the kind of shit-for-brains who thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips and don’t need no damn social infrastructure to educate, feed, and protect him.

    I hate libertarians. I used to think I agreed with them because they believed in getting government out of two very important aspects of my personal life, but I’ve decided that they are all dumbasses who have made sociopathy into a political movement.

  229. 229
    Llelldorin says:

    @Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan:

    Sc.D. is a higher doctorate. D.A. is sort of halfway between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D.–it’s subject-based, but replaces the in-subject research with curriculum design and learning theory.

    You can think of it as a subject-focused Ed.D. In the US, you can’t get an Ed.D. in a specific field–it’s a professional doctorate like an MD or a JD. You can, for example, get a D.A. in Mathematics or in English.

  230. 230
    Stu says:

    The more pissant the university, the more likely those professors with doctorates will insist on being called “doctor.”

    The more pissant the university that conferred the doctorate, the more likely the honoree will insist on being called “doctor.”

    Among big-leaguers who are not German, being called “Doctor” is embarrassing more than anything else.

    I can’t back this up, but a professor at your basic diploma-mill U.S. state university who calls himself “Doctor” is far more likely than the other faculty to want to get into the undergraduates’ pants.

    Big leaguers lacking doctorates are pretty cool; figure, they’ve made it despite lacking the “Ph.D” on the resume, and lacking the job-placement machine from which Ph.Ds benefit.

    The last big name academic I can name who lacked a doctorate was the physicist Freeman Dyson. More power to him.

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