Friday, October 28, 2005

Odd standard for qualifications

In his latest editorial, which Don Luskin addresses, Paul Krugman attacks Bush by praising his fed nomination. I know that sounds odd, but if you read it, it makes sense in a typically Krugman way. One thing I noticed though, was a gratutious attack on John Snow, in which he says:

And even before the revelations surfaced about cronyism at FEMA and elsewhere, there was widespread concern that Mr. Bush would try to select a John Snow type - a businessman whose only qualification is loyalty - to run monetary policy.

OK, now even if you make the dubious assumption that being a businessman is somehow a disqualification from a role in government, and even if you concede that Snow would not have been the most qualified man for the job, how is that his "only" qualification? Let's look at his biography from the Department of Treasury website.

John Snow was born in Toledo , Ohio , on August 2, 1939 , and graduated in 1962 from the University of Toledo . He later earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia where he studied under two Nobel Prize winners. Snow graduated with a law degree from the George Washington University in 1967 and then taught economics at the University of Maryland , University of Virginia , as well as law at George Washington. He also served as a Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in 1977 and a Distinguished Fellow at the Yale School of Management from 1978 until 1980

At least now we have Paul Krugman on record that being an economics professor (not to mention a law professor and secretary of the treasury) is not a qualification for running monetary policy.