"OK, just one last slogan: macroeconomics is about PEOPLE, not GDP!"
It started over on Bob Murphy's blog and he was so tickled by it he proclaimed it on his own.
Bah! - meaningless propagandizing for sentimentalism! The statement on its face is completely absurd of course. If you had to boil macroeconomics down you could even say soemthing like "the study of the determinants and the nature of national income", or if you prefer a more cosmopolitan rendering, "of aggregate income" it's about nothing if it's not about GDP. You may not like it, but that's the reality of it.
Of course, if the only way to stick it to Krugman is to insist we're all talking about parts of aggregates and their existence over several time periods, then you might be inclined to say it's about people.
And there's a reason for this, too. It's a science of aggregate income (and other relevant aggregates, of course) - that's what it's "about". But why do we care about it? Two reasons at least, I propose: (1.) scientific curiosity (in which case, "people" be damned), and (2.) the recognition that both a stable GDP and a growing GDP are extremely important for human flourishing because most humans (in the developed world) rely on income from employment for sustenance and employment depends crucially on the production and sale of new goods and services. We also experience life in snippets of time, so it seems to me the state of things in a given period matters. So you can care about macroeconomics because you care about people, but let's not fool ourselves: it's about GDP.
Don't worry people - while I believe every word I just wrote, this is in jest w.r.t. Nick. I am not outraged or anything.