Be nice to frauds

The whole “Krugman isn’t nice to male (because no one cared about insults lobbed at Christy Romer that precipitated the entire discussion) economists” reeks of the sort of rot you see on the nobility in any sector.

Lots of people in the top of any field are afraid of being exposed as complete frauds, because they often are, and part of what keeps that from happening is the gentlemanly agreement to never let the plebes know who is genuinely good at what they do and who isn’t, but got their position through some sort of patronage (their parents, a willingness to fellate the right rich person, fame and contacts, etc.).

That’s why when one fraud is attacked, anyone who ever worried about being a fraud (whether they are or not) crawls out of the woodwork to remind everyone else that civility is the most important value of all.

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