My Debate With Ron Paul Was Totally Useless

Paul Krugman

Photo: Frontline

A bit of meta on my “debate” with Ron Paul; I think it’s a perfect illustration of a point I’ve thought about a lot, the uselessness of face-to-face debates.Think about it: you approach what is, in the end, a somewhat technical subject in a format in which no data can be presented, in which there’s no opportunity to check facts (everything Paul said about growth after World War II was wrong, but who will ever call him on it?). So people react based on their prejudices. If Ron Paul got on TV and said “Gah gah goo goo debasement! theft!” — which is a rough summary of what he actually did say — his supporters would say that he won the debate hands down; I don’t think my supporters are quite the same, but opinions may differ.

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