An Ode to Paul Krugman

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Things I would never think to write a song about: tax software programs, White House cabinet members, Paul Krugman. Now, I might write a song about Maureen Dowd (tentative title: "I Wish You Would Disappear"), but Krugman? Yes, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist has a gift for breaking down complicated economic situations into easily digestible concepts, but he rarely inspires within me a sense of passion. Apparently songwriter Jonathan Mann disagrees.

If Johnathan Mann were Sting, "Hey Paul Krugman" would be his "Roxanne." His "Layla." His "Hey Jude." Sure, Mann writes a new song every day — on everything from the decline of print media to Battlestar Galactica — but those tunes are just fluff. "Paul Krugman" is his Pet Sounds

When he sings, "Why aren't you in the administration?/ Is there some kind of politicking that I don't understand?/I mean, Timothy Geithner is like some little weasel," his voice practically drips with despair — not unlike the despair Krugman recently felt about Tim Geithner's financial plan, come to think of it.

Mann is torn up about the economy and wants a Treasury Secretary he can trust. I know how he feels — things are really tough right now, you know? — but sometimes life isn't that simple. Sure, Paul Krugman looks like the guy every recession-weary gal dreams of, but it takes more than Princeton professor duds and a neatly trimmed beard to fix the economy. Geithner's nice enough, right? There's nothing wrong with him, right? And even though he seems unsure of himself and half the time I have no idea what he's talking about, Obama likes him, which has to count for something, right?

Wait, maybe we do need Paul Krugman.

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