>> Carter won, Gore won, and Barry earned one preemptively <<
You’re confusing the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded by the Norwegian parliament, with the Nobel Economics Prize, which is awarded by the Central Bank of Sweden.
The Economics Prize has been handed out almost always on the basis of solid scientific work (Arthur Lewis was the only glaring exception I can remember), and has been received by a slew of free market economists like Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Theodore Schultz, Gary Becker, James Buchanan and Friedrich Hayek. When leftwingers like Krugman and Gunnar Myrdal have received the Economics Prize, they’ve generally been recognized on the basis of scholarly work that’s respected across the political spectrum.
On the other hand, the “Peace” Prize has been awarded to a decidely mixed bag of (a) worthy and (b)markedly disgraceful recipients.
Among the worthy recipients of the peace prize have been Norman Borlaug, Aung San Suu-Kyi, Gen. George Marshall, Albert Schweitzer, Andrei Sakharov, Lech Walesa, Mother Teresa and Liu Xiao-Bo. A finer group of humanitarians would be hard to name.
But then, there have been a bunch of absolutely disgraceful selections like Jimmy Carter, Baraq Øbama, Al Gore, Rigoberta Menchu, Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan and Mohammed el-Baradei.
When it comes to the “Peace” Prize, the bad selections pretty much cancel out the good.
“The Economics Prize has been handed out almost always on the basis of solid scientific work (Arthur Lewis was the only glaring exception I can remember)”
Although Arthur Lewis was a Social Democrat, he did very solid work in economic development for which he was rightly awarded the Nobel Prize (IMO).