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Monday, August 31, 2015

Paul Krugman, "A Heckuva Job": Evenhanded? Yeah, Right!

Is Krugman biased against Republicans? Heck no . . . if you ask Paul.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Heckuva Job," Paul Krugman sets out to deprecate Republican presidential hopefuls Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Donald Trump, while ignoring any and all Democratic foibles. Krugman explains in his own defense:

"I know, now I’m supposed to be evenhanded, and point out equivalent figures on the Democratic side. But there really aren’t any; in modern America, cults of personality built around undeserving politicians seem to be a Republican thing.

True, some liberals were starry-eyed about Mr. Obama way back when, but the glitter faded fast, and what was left was a competent leader with some big achievements under his belt – most notably, an unprecedented drop in the number of Americans without health insurance. And Hillary Clinton is the subject of a sort of anti-cult of personality, whose most ordinary actions are portrayed as nefarious. (No, the email thing doesn’t rise to the level of a 'scandal.')"

"An unprecedented drop in the number of Americans without health insurance"? Wonderful! And the cost? Krugman forgets to mention that Obamacare will add more than a quarter of a trillion dollars of insurance overhead through 2022 and that insurance costs are soon expected to rise dramatically, but why should that matter to someone who believes "Debt Is Good"?

Hillary's "email thing doesn’t rise to the level of a 'scandal'"? You see, the FBI routinely investigates the non-scandalous transfer of classified government data via a private server, probably breached by foreign security services and subsequently wiped clean. And as acknowledged even by the New Yorker article which Krugman references above, "it is conceivable that more striking evidence of deception or serious neglect may eventually surface."

This is almost on a par with Krugman's 2011 claim that "Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point." Give it a rest, Paul!


  1. Many of your points are arguable, but look only at PK's "wrong" prediction that OWS wasn't important. You could truthfully say that Bernie Sanders' candidacy is an outgrowth of that movement, and there is considerable overlap between his supporters and the Occupy protesters. Now if Sanders should be elected president -- however you judge his chances, a non-zero possibility -- what will you say then about the "wrongness" of PK's prediction?

    1. President Sanders? I suggest praying to St. Jude.

  2. 100 years before OWS, the Democrats had populist demagogue Huey Long, albeit a 'deserving' politician-personality:

    and, then there was Long's longer lived contemporary: Henry Wallace who ran as a Progressive against Harry S. Truman in 1948:

    Ok, just read Krugman's column. He is writing about
    "...political poseurs with nothing much to offer besides bluster can nonetheless fool many people into believing that they’re strong leaders. ..." which is a bit different from his "...cults of personality built around undeserving politicians..."

    All in Krugman's effort to belittle Republican governors (except for Ohio's John Kasich) now running for the nomination by tarring them as same as Bush#43, and, Donald Trump. Henry Ford, Senior almost ran for president in 1924, a Protocols-demagogue who had created a paradign-shifting auto company - how populist is paying a daily wage so that your workers can buy the cars?

    Krugman still believes that access to health INSURANCE means access to health CARE?
    That is what discredits everything he writes. surreal.

    Memo to Paul: After NAFTA, ONE MILLION manufacturing jobs migrated to Canada where health insurance is de-linked from employment, thus reducing unit labor cost in Canada. In 2008, John McCain's solution to health insurance was to make it portable, requiring a change in regulation of insurance companies to erase the state borders. Instead, we got the unworkable ACA driving too many doctors into retirement while the rest spend most of their time figuring out the thousands of new diagnosis codes...and traumatizing patients with complex health problems by practicing placebo medicine.

    Truman won in 1948 in a four-way contest by spending time on his train in southwest Ohio...and Coolidge won his four-way contest in 1924 by winning the African-American vote.

    Explaining Trump is now an industry growing GDP...


  3. George Packer's bi-partisan assessment of populists:

    And, to clarify: OWS was organized by Brooklyn's Working Families Party, now in control of NYC City Hall, with Scott Stringer the sole Democrat.

    [disclosure: in 2002, attended Manhattan Harvard Club panel: Krugman (thanks for the autograph Paul!), Elizabeth Warren, and Dan Cantor of the WFP. They all made sense in 2002...]


  4. JG: finally, the linkage between NY Medicaid costs, New York politics, and the birth of the Working Families Party. Comes with free headache:

    "The Union That Rules New York

    Powerful and well funded, 1199SEIU has unprecedented reach into city and state government. ..."


  5. Gotta add that Clinton's personal assistant and wife of Anthony Weiner should be addendum to scandal probability. Trump recently made known that Weiner now works for a public relations firm and fully expects that Abedin will spill the beans. But what difference does it make?