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.