Monday, August 2, 2010

The Truth Dawns, At Least A Little

Yesterday, Paul Krugman demonstrated that he now comprehends the obvious:

Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

Defining Prosperity Down

Yes, that's exactly what's happening. It's been painfully obvious for some time. In fact, it's worse, the rich are profiting from this.

Unfortunately, Krugman is still blaming all this on Republicans and conservative Democrats. While it is clear that these folks share some of the blame, it's equally clear that the Obama Administration likes things as they are. This is something that Prof. Krugman has yet to comprehend, if this quote from a previous column is any indication:

What explains Mr. Obama’s consistent snubbing of those who made him what he is? Does he fear that his enemies would use any support for progressive people or ideas as an excuse to denounce him as a left-wing extremist? Well, as you may have noticed, they don’t need such excuses: He’s been portrayed as a socialist because he enacted Mitt Romney’s health-care plan, as a virulent foe of business because he’s been known to mention that corporations sometimes behave badly.

The point is that Mr. Obama’s attempts to avoid confrontation have been counterproductive. His opponents remain filled with a passionate intensity, while his supporters, having received no respect, lack all conviction. And in a midterm election, where turnout is crucial, the “enthusiasm gap” between Republicans and Democrats could spell catastrophe for the Obama agenda.

Curbing Your Enthusiasm

We'll see how long it is before Krugman understands that the President's policies are Obama's choice, not some desire on his part to get along with the press or the right wing.

I'm betting it won't be until after the election, at the earliest.

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