April 29, 2011 3:46 PM Subscribe
What’s Left of the Left - Paul Krugman's Lonely Crusade for Liberalism.
posted by VikingSword (100 comments total)
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After President Obama met with a group of prominent economists in December of 2010, among them Alan Blinder
, the latter remarked, somewhat bleakly and apologetically: "In the United States, there is no left left". Paul Krugman
is a lonely man.
The White House meeting this past December, viewed in retrospect, seemed to mark the end of the expansive first part of Obama’s administration and the beginning of an austere second phase. "Krugman, departing the same meeting with the president, December 2010, found himself left in the position that every purist fears, holding blueprints for impossible buildings.
“I think what people like Paul Ryan
are trying to do
is set us on a glide path to a much harsher society,” Krugman now says. “A country in which, step by step, more and more people are cast out into a situation of not having health insurance and poverty, and so we slide back to a Victorian notion that life is full of evils and that’s too bad but that’s the way that God made the world. That large numbers of the poor, large numbers of the elderly just live in dire poverty and don’t have health care because life is tough.” For two years, Krugman has been arguing that this trajectory might have been averted if only Obama had been a little less deferential, a little more demanding, a little more alarmed. And so Krugman has given the debate on the left its shape: whether the president could have mounted a more effective defense of the welfare state, and whether liberalism’s tragic flaw is Obama’s instinct for conciliation or his leading critic’s naïveté."