It is disturbing to discover that our PAW has apparently abandoned its mission statement, and now openly competes with Vanity Fair magazine to “popularize” and thereby demean economists Paul Krugman and Alan Krueger.
Krueger’s front-page, full-face portrait in the May 14 issue is emboldened with white background and a screaming black headline: ECONOMICS FOR THE MASSES. This feature article is authored by PAW’s vice chair, Sandra Sobieraj Westfall ’89. The text is au courant, in-the-know, snappy, and, in short, dumbed-down journalism.
But the subject matter is the appalling state of our American economy, and Krueger’s personal involvement in and assessment of the crisis. The climax comes toward the end. Krueger is quoted as saying, “It’s hard not to be too pessimistic about our system, because you have expectations for Congress to do the people’s business and it’s not.” This does not parse. But his front-page garb and “granite countertop” hairdo are impeccably Princeton.
I’m left with two questions: Who are the unidentified masses referred to in the title of the piece, and what is PAW’s mission statement?