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UNICORNY


                                                       November 17, 2016
                                                       February 16, 2016

                                                  KRUGMAN_BERNIE_WARS

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
punted on):

  Robert Reich
  Joseph Stiglitz
  Thomas Piketty
  Dean Baker

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.


Krugman continues:

  "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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