Monday, August 21, 2006

Fee Speech for Me, But not for Thee

Lapsed blogger Jim Glass weighs in on the econblog brouhaha created by Paul Krugman's recent column accusing high income earners of using political connections for ill gotten gains. Pointing out how Krugman defended his taking $50,000 for a couple days work with Enron:

We know exactly what Krugman would say:

"In 1998-1999 my normal fee for a one-hour business speech in Boston or New York was $20,000...

"I was a hot property, very much in demand as a speaker to business audiences: I was routinely offered as much as $50,000 to speak to investment banks and consulting firms. They thought I might tell them something useful....

"If it still seems implausible that my advice might be worth that much, think about how I have been warning about Argentina for the past year and a half; a company that had listened to me and reduced its exposure would be rather grateful, don't you think?....

"The point is that the money Enron offered wasn't out of line with what companies with no interest in influence-buying were offering me. You may think I was overpaid, but the market - not Enron - set those pay rates."

So evil Republican social policy didn't make him rich! The free market did. He's worth it.

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