In an awkward moment during the Take Back the American Dream conference, liberal activists applauded when MSNBC’s Chris Hayes raised a thought experiment in which New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was dictator with the ability to impose his preferred economic policies.

In an afternoon panel on Krugman’s new book End this Depression Now!, Hayes asked what economic policies Krugman would recommend to help the economy.

“What are the things we should be doing if we waved a magic wand, made Paul Krugman dictator for a period of time?” Hayes asked.

Enough of the crowd responded with shouts and applause that a clearly uncomfortable Hayes had to calm them by clarifying, “Dictatorship meant as a thought experiment, it’s not something to cheer.”

Krugman responded, “Right.”

Audio below.