Parlez-Vous Economist?

Economist Greg Mankiw of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers is apparently turning his troubles with politically-sensitive econo-speak into a laugh line.

Recall that Mankiw got himself in political trouble last month when he said, “Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade. More things are tradable than were tradable in the past, and that’s a good thing.”

While that is common sense to economists, it is fuel for political fire in an election year. Mankiw was pilloried for his comment, and he has now apparently been trying out two new lines that poke fun at his problem.

He recently told one appreciative audience that if there were an award for “the most politically inept phrasing of Adam Smith”, he would win. He told another audience, “‘Economists have a fundamentally different language from average people. The problem is we both use the same words.”