Don't mess with Krgthulu™
Oh, this was obviously a very bad move:
In response to Erick Erickson's latest us-versus-them screed against the Acela-corridor...
The rest of America is nervous about where their next meal and paycheck are coming from, how they are going to afford to bail their kids out of crumbling schools, and the price of a gallon of milk and loaf of bread that keep going up though Ben Bernanke tells them there is no inflation.
Paul Krugman drops some Bureau of Labor Statistics data to show that the price of milk and bread haven't actually gone up at all. And asks:
So, how does Erickson know that the prices of bread and milk are soaring? Has he been carefully keeping track? Or is it just fake populism, an attempt to sound like Everyman while actually just whining?
UPDATE (9:43 a.m.): Erickson emails POLITICO:
Paul uses a chart to try to disprove the reality that Americans with small kids actually experience at the grocery store. His problem is he thinks I'm attacking the Democrats and wants to defend them, when the criticism is broader and bipartisan. And if he hung around moms and dads with kids more often he'd hear a lot more real world complaining about bread, milk, and other grocery item prices going up while paychecks are staying the same. Not everything is academic or chartable and sometimes the accuracy of the chart isn't as real to people as the perception they have that their grocery store bills are getting more expensive though their shopping habits haven't changed.
And later adds...
Seriously, Paul's point is correct, but it is an issue of perception of people versus the reality of his chart. He can certainly go tell people milk prices haven't gone up, but good luck getting them to believe him.
UPDATE (12:59 p.m.): Krugman responds on his blog: "Ok, this is awesome":...
Erickson’s response is, hey, it isn’t true, but people feel that it’s true... Notice, by the way, the implication that I don’t appreciate the problems real people (who don’t eat quiche or ride the Acela) are facing; actually, I do, but those problems are lack of jobs and stagnant wages, not rising prices. And if you want to solve problems, getting the nature of those problems right matters.
But then, only elitists want to solve problems; true men of the people just vent, and what matters is perception, not truth.
I needed that. It's been a long week...