[PREV - GERALD_FRIEDMAN] [TOP]
November 17, 2016
February 16, 2016
For me, in the Krugman contra Bernie attacks,
the absolute lowest was the blog post [ref]
"My Unicorn Problem", February 16, 2016.
I find the title pretty funny,
"A significant number of because I remember when Joe
progressives are very, very Scarborough (on MSNBC) called
excited by the unexpected Krugman a "unicorn" because
support for Bernie Sanders, and he's a Keynesian in a world
are shocked and horrified to when all Real Economists are
find many-- I think most-- obviously fresh water.
liberal policy wonks rather
skeptical." And here Krugman
himself plays the
Here Krugman is invoking the support of a made-up consensus game.
completely unspecified clique of "liberal
policy wonks" that appears to be entirely
fictional. Those of who read things besides
Paul Krugman knew that there were a lot of
liberal/left economists who were actually
pro-Bernie. To name a few (something Krugman
These are hardly obscure figures, in fact these are people
Krugman himself tended to cite with approval back before 2016.
And here's Krugman's slightly biased memory of 2008
when the primary battle going on was Hillary vs. Obama:
"And then as now a fair number of enthusiasts took
no time at all to declare that I was a corrupt Myself, I find
villain, a tool of the oligarchs, desperate for a Krugman's motives
job with Hillary etc.." puzzling also,
but I don't much
Back then, there were also people like me saying care what they
"Foreign policy is important too." If you're were-- what bothers
interested in rotten cherry-picking, you can find me is the lengths
some pretty stupid stuff said by advocates of any he was willing to
faction. go to, not why.
The core of Krugman's argument
here is Bernie-so-idealistic:
"First of all, to say what should be but sometimes
apparently isn't obvious, what you would ideally want
and what you think can be achieved ..."
See, dreaming of Sweden and Denmark in the
United States is a very bad thing, because it's
not realistic (and Canada and the UK are too
unrealistic to mention).
Krugman quotes Matt O'Brien at the [ref]
dreaded WaPo on the subject, accusing
both Democratic candidates of promising (The anti-Bernie bias at WaPo that
"unicorns", with Bernie's being the season is pretty well documented...)
even more unlikely magical ones.
So the argument is that making more moderate
demands is a good negotiating tactic that's
more likely to get somewhere; but this is precisely
the opposite of what Krugman was saying for many
years about Obama, who he accused of "bargaining
with himself in advance", making moderate proposals
that then got negotiated down to next-to-nothing.
"But nothing like that is going to happen in America any
time soon. If we're going to have any kind of radical
change in the next few years and probably the next couple
of decades, it will come from the right, not the left."
Certainly not if every attempt on the left is
portrayed as a magical unicorn.
And this is a pretty impressive
feat of mind-reading, I must say:
"Now, Clinton will probably get the
nomination -- in part because
African-American voters, much more
than young whites, know all too well
how hard it is to achieve change."
Krugman is so well in touch with the minds
of black voters, there's no point in asking
them what they think.
And you know...
By the way, as it turns
"She's not going to be able to out most black people are
promise magic without being okay with Bernie:
obviously false. Sanders, on the
other hand, probably believes BERNIE_HAS_NO_BLACK_PROBLEM
what he's saying; the rude
awakening still lies ahead."
It could be that Bernie Sanders
knows something about pragmatic
compromise with circumstances having
spent much of his career as "the
amendment King" in the Senate.
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