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Links 10/7/11

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Dwarfs Better Off Tossed Than Jobless, Florida Republican Says Bloomberg

World’s Largest Shark Sanctuary Declared in Central Pacific Pew Charitable Trusts (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

U.S. Panel Says No to Prostate Screening for Healthy Men New York Times

Faster-than-light neutrinos face time trial Nature News (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

More Drugs Mean More Disease as China Fails to Control Use of Antibiotics Bloomberg (hat tip reader wunsacon)

Merrill Lynch: China bust upon us MacroBusiness

China labour costs push jobs back to US Financial Times

Guest post: China’s disappearing bank deposits Victor Shih, Financial Times

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights.

Europe’s crisis is all about the north-south split Alan Greenspan, Financial Times. Prejudice masquerading as analysis. Real studies, which are something Greenspan appears to eschew, have argued that a lot of the periphery countries, particularly Greece, have what amounts to a national strategy issue: they aren’t specializing in goods in which they can hope to be competitive (even with cheaper labor costs). A serious currency devaluation might still do the trick (as in a Euro exit), but an internal devaluation is not likely to be able to be steep enough.

Portfolio: Dexia Bank’s Collapse and the European Financial Crisis Stratfor (hat tip reader Cap’n Magic). Stratfor’s commentary on economics and finance is usually a mixed bag, but this is a good overview.

Whitehall fears new bail-out for RBS Financial Times

“Ideas For Sale”: How Dime Store Minigarch Art Pope Became The Koch Kingpin Of North Carolina Mark Ames, eXiled

Why Did Liberals Embrace ‘Occupy Wall Street’? (Hint: They’re Obsessed With the Tea Party.) Mark Schmitt, New Republic (hat tip reader Harold J). Nothing like a twofer drive by shooting of progressives and OccupyWallStreet. For instance, this isn’t just a caricature, it’s false:

The Tea Party, too, started in incoherence and blind rage, disconnected from other conservative activism, and featuring an unappealing, self-indulgent cast of characters who, like the young activists on Wall Street, represented only a tiny faction of the people they claimed to speak for.

Unsavvy People Paul Krugman. I was encouraged by his endorsement, but then his op-ed goes for the “leave this to the elites”:

A better critique of the protests is the absence of specific policy demands. It would probably be helpful if protesters could agree on at least a few main policy changes they would like to see enacted. But we shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.

Aargh. What about “The elites in America are corrupt” don’t you understand?

Marines Heading to Wall Street to Protect Protesters Salem-News (hat tip Lisa Epstein)

America’s Lost Decade Andy Kroll, TomDispatch

The Public-Private Partnership Behind Zuccotti Park LittleSis

Antidote du jour:

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104 comments

  1. Richard Kline

    That article on serving Marines heading off to Occupy New York is a *wow*. It is so easy to forget, given the atrocious policies which those in the armed forces are sent to pursue, that many of them really, really love their country. More than most of the rest of us do. That patriotism can be so easily exploited, but in itself is no bad thing. Love to see the media deliver images of you guys in your blues. That may bring down some grief from the chain of command, but if so you know what you’re doing. Best foot forward . . . .

    1. Rowlf

      What could be more patriotic than opposing copies of the Bank of England and the East India Company?

      1. Fïréan

        These stories give a date of saturday oct 03., as the day when the Marines posted to FaceBook ( unless i read it wrong) and yet I remember reading of this much earlier last week on the REDDIT website, even though it may have been reposted from FaceBook, at least wednesday sept. 30th.

        See the thread here :
        http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/kwtjl/calling_all_military_veterans_of_reddit_we_took/

        There seems some miss information in the media versions of this story.

      1. dcblogger

        I simply cannot believe that US Marines plan to go to Occupy Wall Street for the purpose of getting into it with the NYPD. No member of the US armed forces is supposed to involve himself in politics other than voting. Any confrontation between members of the armed forces and the NYPD would be HIGHLY improper.

        I am sure that many active duty service members are supporting the demonstration in their heart. They might even go in their civilian clothes and take part in the
        protest like any other demonstrator. But not for one minute do I believe that they would “protect demonstrators from the police.”

        That would inevitably to violent clashes between active duty members of the armed forces and the NYPD. It would be a catastrophe and I think even Marines would understand that.

        When the armed forces intervene in politics, it never works to the advantage of ordinary people. The most that we can ask of them is to disobey illegal orders. To be like their Russian and Egyptian brothers and sisters. When the order toshoot on civilians is given, they must have the courage to disobey. More than
        that we cannot ask.

        1. sglover

          I’m glad somebody’s still got a sense of perspective.

          If nothing else, everybody who’s encouraged by the antics of a few Marines who happen to be on “our” side ought to consider some simple arithmetic: By temperment, the majority of Marines are not. The overwhelming majority of the officer corps is EMPHATICALLY not. Do you **really** want them acting on their sympathies instead of their sense of duty? I’m pretty sure you don’t.

        2. ThankGodImNotAmerican

          If the NYPD begin acting to protect the interests of a particular segment of society rather than applying the law impartially – and particularly if they act to protect those interests using illegal means such as entrapment or unjustified violence – who else but the armed forces is there to protect the citizenry?

          If it does come to clashes between police and marines on the streets of New York perhaps most Americans will at last wake up to the fact there is something seriously wrong with their society.

          1. dcblogger

            the proper response is exactly what the demonstrators have been doing, surround the offending officer and shout Shame! Shame! Shame! or alternatively The Whole World Is Watching! Or make a video of the incident and upload it to YouTube, so no one can deny that it took place and what happened.

            Carry a video phone and be prepared to use it.

        3. Mark P.

          ‘From Tahrir Square to Wall Street: What can “Occupy Wall Street” learn from the activists who took down Hosni Mubarak?’

          FOREIGN POLICY magaine speaks to “a veteran of the Tahrir Square uprising that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to get his thoughts on what lessons Occupy Wall Street can take from the Arab Spring.”

          http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/10/05/from_tahrir_square_to_wall_street

          http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/10/05/from_tahrir_square_to_wall_street?page=full

  2. policey intellectual

    It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.

    Worth repeating Roseanne Barr’s comment:

    “I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine, and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty,” … “I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million.”

    1. Glenn Condell

      Remuneration needs legal limits, but a simple boundary of whatever amount is not the best approach. Rather, the idea that any corporation which has received or is receiving public funds must not pay it’s highest paid employee (or consultant, or board member) any more than 25 times the remuneration of it’s lowest paid employee.

      Add to this the stipulation that a stake in investment vehicles recommended and marketed by such corporations must form a certain percentage of the remuneration package of all their senior officeholders and board members, and we are cooking with gas.

      Could control fraud occur if such rules were rigorously applied and policed?

  3. BDBlue

    Paul Krugman is a member of the elite and so naturally believes they properly rule our world, even as he occasionally acknowledges they’re screwing us. While I don’t want to minimize his positive aspects, he’s still the guy who supported Bernanke, who once wrote an article praising low wages, and who supported a lot of the free trade agreements that have hurt workers (while denying they hurt workers). He may be better than most in the elite, but that’s actually a very low bar.

    It’s pretty clear, I think, that the elite are the problem and not the solution and so the issue becomes how to make them actually do anything. In that regard, Ian Welsh has a new post up <a href="http://www.ianwelsh.net/revolution-basics-1-who-cares-what-you-think/"Revolution Basics #1: Who Cares What You Think?" I also recommend his extended comment about why we’re facing a different elite now than was faced in the past.

    1. Richard Kline

      Krugman grew up in an era when significant portions of the American elite cared about American society as a whole. Or at least engaged with the idea that there _was_ a society of the whole. He doesn’t grasp how much that has changed in the last 25-30 years.

      And that’s not a real surprise because the divergence of interest between the moneyed and institutionally powered elite and the rest is truly shocking against the context of American history; not just recent American history but _all_ of American history. Yes, there have always been the super rich, or blue bloods who felt themselves above the common mob. But even those elites were closely engaged with local, i.e. state, power structures to which they had deep attachement. Local structures were part of the identity of many, and that may have been a brake upon abandoning the rest of their local societies. Virginia or Massachusetts or Ohio really would founder if the 90% had nothing, were impoverished, endebted, and demoralized. —But that’s largely gone now. The elite and the rich have withdrawn into their institutions and compounds and really abandoned any engagement with the rest of American society.

      I sincerely doubt Krugman feels he has to explain his professional decisions to anyone outside his profession. He is a teacher, yes, and good at it; that much is clear. But as far as justifying the consequences of his decisions to a wider society, no, I doubt it’s in him. And he’s more fair-minded (and far less rich) than most. The 1%, they don’t have to justify what they do to anyone but their very few peers and professional rivals, and it shows. It is truly shocking to watch, as this crisis has unfolded, the extent to which the 1$ have, with very few exceptions, seceded from the society around them, taking the government, the banking system, and control of the military with them. Maybe the only reason we haven’t seen death squads and political imprisonments on a large scale is that these were entirely unnecessary to the sececession of the elite, though too much of institutional governance in the the US, layered as it is, remains outside the direct control of the 1%.

      We are in a new era of American society, and that in no good way. I firmly believe that the elite will either re-integrate to the larger society or be substantially destroyed, but the route to either of those ends is opaque, rocky—and potentially explosive. But it won’t be us who start throwing bombs. We’re many; they’re few, and unpopular at that. It’ll be them that open fire, methinks, if it comes to that. Let’s hope they choose otherwise.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Krugman’s problem is that he has been successful. Once you achieve success, you go on repeating what works. Failure, on the other hand, forces one to continually reinvent himself. (Or slink away forever.) Fail enough and you will eventually trust no one but yourself, nothing except what you have in your hand. An old saying of Buddha comes to mind, but I will spare you that. Failure is the best thing in life, though it does make one bitter.

        1. toxymoron

          You may agree with Krugman, or not. But I see his almost daily rants against the ongoing stupidity in the US and Europe, and he is getting so depressed he needs his own ‘antidote du jour’. That’s not a definition of ‘successful’.

        2. psychohistorian

          I agree with Krugman in a way but still challenge him on coming all the way over to being part of the solution rather than trying to front run and waylay this emergent movement.

          I agree that the “message” of any movement is nebulous to a degree and refined by the emergent leadership and circumstances.

          IMO, I hope the message that emerges is two-fold.

          First needs to deal with the rule-of-law imbalance as in the looting by Wall Street was LEGAL and none should be prosecuted. Along with this is a reassertion of the social definition of moral turpitude in our current world.

          Second needs to be a TOTAL rejection of the current socio-economic systems here and around the world that are competitive to the point of being anti-humanistic. New rules about private ownership of everything (or not) need to be hammered out along with dynamics of exchange (including money and credit).

          It is time to open the box folks, look and talk about all the parts and create a new social contract and fabric that is less damaging to the participants and this spaceship we all move forward on.

          1. aletheia33

            thanks psycho.

            may i add that the 1%, who love the system they have created and its ritual perpetuation, will not be capable of participating in creating such a new social contract, even when the box lies open and empty with all its moving parts littered across the ground.

            the 1% are blind. they literally cannot see the magnitude of the harm they have done or the corresponding size of the retribution (and i don’t mean the guillotine type) they have invited. they can only see through the lens they have made, in which the whole wide world is greatly improved by the system they have invented. they “know” that they are benign gods.

            in europe now they are not able to see that their box is being opened and its parts shaken out before their very eyes.

    2. Markel

      This is grossly unfair to Krugman. He has clarified what he meant to say on his blog.

      His point is correct: It is not the job of protesters to draft the precise language of a Tobin tax bill or a stimulus package or a new top tax bracket. That is, like it or not, a job for people with the technical skills to do it. Except, in Krugman’s view, the people with the skills should perform that job in service to the protestors and the people they speak for, not the other way around.

      No one has been more critical of so-called experts in the major media than Krugman. No one.

          1. JTFaraday

            Well, it is true that I am not one of the people around here who have traced Krugman’s career going all the way back to his free trade and low wage promoting phase in the 1990s.

            And it is true that I stopped reading Krugman *dead flat* when he demonized the uninsured as “free riders” in order to promote the federal mandate to purchase healthcare financing products in the same unaffordable private market that people couldn’t afford to be in before, which induced them to ask the policy experts in Washington for healthcare reform–just like Krugman is telling them to do now…

            So, it is true that I have a limited tolerance for Krugman and his ilk.

            I take it your reading of Krugman must be even MORE “cursory” than mine.

          1. JTFaraday

            I’m glad Krugman’s regularly repeating patterns of subterfuge put over on the public through ritualistic partisan baiting and self righteous moralism makes you feel good, but I’ll have to pass.

            He’s also one of the laziest partisans propagandists anyone could waste their time one. He’s certainly not being paid for his policy chops

      1. Jesse

        I agree with Markel completely.

        Yves is looking for anything possibly negative here and blowing it out of proportion to what the man really said in two places.

        He was excusing the protestors for not having all the details worked out. He was NOT saying that it is better left to the elites.

        When one is disappointed and being a good critic, it is all to easy to find fault with all the other critics and reformers lack of traction in a tough fight, and lack of ideological purity. I find myself pulling back many times from potential critiques of much more serious breaches.

        1. krugman-fan

          I also agree with other Krugman fans. The policy decision should be left to Krugman, Summers and Bernanke, who have lot of experience with all the intricacies of this situation. Larry Summers, for example, is one of the most brilliant economists in the world. I would prefer him to lead America than those jobless protesters sneered by Ann Coulter. Krugman has a Nobel prize after all. Therefore, his opinion always has more value than ‘Yves Smith’. The same is true about Obama, who is Nobel laureate in peace, and therefore anything he does is to promote world peace. On the other hand, these peaceful protesters are very violent. Fox news told me so.

          God bless America. Fox news told me so.

          1. David in NYC

            You’ve obviously never read anything by Krugman, or you would already know that he would have no truck with Bernanke and/or Summers devising anything.

            But why know anything, when it’s so much easier to be a know-it-all.

          2. Jim Haygood

            David in NYC wouldn’t recognize a parody if it bit him in the ass.

            Man, we need some emoticons around here!

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            Dave,

            I see you managed to miss multiple defenses by Krugman of Bernanke in the NYT op ed pages. I commented on some pretty mild criticism as a big departure for Krugman.

            And he’s also defended positions taken by Summers even if not mentioning him by name (read some of Summers’ op eds at the FT v. what Krugman has written in the same time frame). Now it might well be a case of parallel gestation, but still…..

        2. LongHairedWeirdo

          First, I find your cynicism to be a good thing.

          Second, I agree that Krugman is probably out of touch. *I* am out of touch, and I don’t make nearly as much as I assume he makes.

          But – that said, I agree with his addendum today. You can’t expect protestors to come up with policy proposals that will resolve the issues.

          Let me put this another way.

          You can’t expect a patient to tell a doctor “I’m having symptoms of severe appendicitis.”

          You expect a patient to say “Doc, I’m puking, and my gut *hurts*, and I’m burning up with fever.” The doctor has to make the call about what causes those specific complaints, and figure out what will actually alleviate them.

          I can’t say whether Krugman is the right expert or not, but I think his idea is sound… “listen to what people are angry about, and then have the experts figure out what will actually give them what they want.”

          This is a far cry from the usual, where people figure out what *they* want, and then figure out how to package it to the people so it *sounds* like what the people want.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “listen to what people are angry about, and then have the experts figure out what will actually give them what they want.”

            ————-

            I wonder what happens if, after listening to what people are angry about, it is discovered that what they actually want is not to have experts figure out what they supposedly want, only to label that as what they actually want.

          2. JTFaraday

            Krugman’s purpose today is not to say “you know, people, eventually James Madison will draft the Constitution,” which would be alarming enough–or comforting enough, depending on your perspective.

            Krugman’s purpose today is to tell the rabble to shut up and go home. He’s got his investment portfolio to worry about.

            This is just like the run up in healthcare stocks with the passing of the health insurance mandate in Obamacare. Krugman is talking his book.

            These people are not that hard to figure out.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I beg to differ. I am on threads NOW where people in the media are trying to draft “demands” for OWS. It’s appalling.

        And I did read his entire post. His stance, even if he says it is not “leave this to the elites” prescription, still puts any solution back in the hands (among others) of neoclassical economists who dominate the economics profession. His position, even if it sounds benign, ultimately isn’t.

        1. Joseph Brenner

          “His position, even if it sounds benign, ultimately isn’t.”

          It’s funny, because it seems like your an intelligent, well meaning, person, but this is just completely insane. Who exactly is going to draft new financial legislation except for a technical expert like Krugman (or you, for that matter)? Yeah, you can’t just “trust the experts”, but you can’t live without the experts either, and yeah, there’s a problem there, but it really shouldn’t be an unfamiliar conundrum to you at this point.

          In any case, Krugman’s point was that the OWS protestors shouldn’t be hassled for not having a detailed set of demands… because in broad outline, the demands are pretty damn obvious.

          (Are you *sure* you’re not just trying to defend your territory from an admitted late-comer?)

  4. Daniel de Paris

    “What I sincerely hope is that Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party — which, if they are not best described as actually centrist, are motivated by fundamentally centrist concerns — learn to put their differences aside and work for solutions to the core problems they largely agree on.”

    Aaron Krowne

    So true!

    1. Richard Kline

      These two aggregates have nothing in common, socially or politically. Yes, individuals surely have and will pass back and forth. I’m not going to defent that assertion with a detailed analysis here, Daniel, but if you’ve spent any time engaging with the occupiers, or their process, this is patently obvious. That wouldn’t preclude, in principle, some kind of tactical convergence or parallelism, but I find that so unlikely, given the evident process and goals of the ‘Tea Party,’ or more accurately the small slivers of it that aren’t funded and forwarded by a billionarie cabal, as to be completely implausible.

      1. noe

        You make the Tea Party to be tools of MR. Koch or Dick Armey.

        That is patently false. It’s just how liberals defame a grass roots movement on the right.

        The TP and OWS have identical economic concerns.

        I have been thumping about this on the internet left and right.

        Nobody wants to hear it. I have been banned from several sites… left and right… because when I identify the reasons for the rift.. both sides are furious.

        The TP and OWS are twins separated at birth. One is gay, has tattoos and loves Mexican food.

        The other is homophobic, xenophobic, and loves Chicken Fried Steak and beer.

        BOTH HATE JAMIE DIMON AND LLOYD BLANKFEIN.

        Both hate Wall St.. .love Main St.

        Both hate multi national corporations and do not think Corporations are people.

        Both want illegals deported.. YES, the democrat wants the jobs… the republican hates Mexicans.

        Both think the Fed should be abolished.

        Both hate China, but for different reasons.

        But neither twin will acknowledge their long lost sibling – because they hate each other for cultural reasons.

        Lefties… put your gays back in the closet and stop the Doo Dah sodomy on the streets… and perhaps, there could be a conversation.

        Righties… look past the brown eyes and tattoos, and you’ll find another underemployed victim of market manipulation and wholesale theft.

        Both sides agree… tax trades. Outlaw short selling. Tax imports of multi nationals creating wealth overseas.

        AND – America wants a Hanging Judge. Put some suits in prison.

        That candidate will win as Napoleonic Emperor for Life

        1. Patricia

          I would like to agree, noe. But immediately you suggest that “righties” give over their biases against certain citizens and that “lefties” adopt a bias against certain citizens. NOT throwing ANY group of humans under the bus is fundamental to OWS. Unless all 99% are fully accepted, working together remains impossible.

          A further difficulty I’ve found in discussions with conservatives is that they view government as the big bad guy and corps/finan/insurance as merely unruly children. Yet they generally want the military to remain largely as is. This internal inconsistency and difference of emphasis makes it difficult to work together except on smaller issues that may be held in common.

          But on single issues, yeah, go for it. I suspect you lean more to the conservative side, so it’d be up to you to come to OWS with proposals. They’re out there and they’re willing to listen.

        2. LucyLulu

          You didn’t mention a really big difference between the TP and OWS. The TP believes in small government (“keep government out of your life”), as evidenced by minimal taxes, minimal spending, deregulation, disregard for environmental concerns, and a reduction on the social safety net. While the OWS has not stated a list of specific policies most protestors and backers support typically liberal policies such as government stepping in to provide jobs for the unemployed, tax reform so that the wealthy pay a larger share, a social safety net for the weak and vulnerable, and an active government that plays a protective role by implementing fair trade policies, social programs, enforcing law and justice equally for all citizens, and providing effective regulation of businesses and the environment. I identify with OWS but have a couple of very good friends who are TP and find that the difference in how we view the role of government, passive vs. active, to be a fundamental difference that we can’t seem to overcome, as it is too critical to our basic politics. It also reflects the extent to which we believe a laissez-faire free market is possible (I don’t), and that what is good for the wealthy is good for everyone (I don’t buy it). Opposing the and corruption on Wall Street is only a small part of the picture and isn’t nearly enough to prevent very heated arguments.

          And while the original TP had some laudable motives, including preserving our liberties, the current TP HAS been co-opted by big money interests like Koch Bros and Dick Armey. Their message has changed since, for the worse. They moved away from Wall Street and corruption and liberty to guns, gays, and God (the latter two, IMO, being promoted in direct opposition to individual liberties, e.g. Christianity is promoted as country’s national religion and Muslims are persecuted in violation of 1st Amendment).

    2. M.InTheCity

      “Centrist concerns”? What does that actually mean? After living through the nonsense of Clinton’s Third Way in the US (and then moving to the UK to experience Blair’s centrist Third Way crap), I can only say that the “center” seems to mean not rocking the boat too much and leaving the elite to get on with the looting. Now, whilst it would be great if the non-bought off Tea Partiers and OWS people got together – let’s not pretend that this is about some woolly-minded “centrist concern” rubbish. This is about changing things on a fundamental level – because the elites won’t give in or give up.

  5. optimader

    thank goodness the NYC police are dooing their part to roll up the idiotic meme of the “heroic” civil servant that was cultivated after 9/11.

  6. T

    Beware the wrath of the great Krugthulu!

    But seriously, your criticism of Paul is unfair and premised on a misreading of his commentary. Krugman is clearly defending the protesters and offering a ‘critique of the critique’. He is arguing that dismissing the protesters for a lack of specific policy ideas, is itself a dismissible objection.

    This quote makes it clear that he’s on-side with OWS:

    “we shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want”.

    When he goes on to say “it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.” He’s making an appeal to professional responsibility, not to elite authority. Krugman’s argument boils down to an assertion that criticizing the OWS protesters for not having a detailed 15 point plan for reforming our financial system is a bit like criticizing people marching for a cure for cancer by claiming they should be doing their own medical research.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m not saying he’s not on the side of OWS. This is a misreading of my comment.

      I’m saying his “let the elites handle what matters” is really off base.

  7. ciaran

    i do think that’s a little unfair on krugman. i mean some people do have more knowledge of some subjects than an ordinary person could be expected to have. And havent alot of people gotten alot of their ideas from the likes of krugman. So it wouldnt be extraordianry to suggest that left/liberal intellectuals can provide extra heft to the protestors agenda.

  8. Eclectic Observer

    I think you miss the point. While it’s fair to criticize those that don’t see the widespread frustration behind these protests, that is not enough. Change requires policy prescriptions enacted into legislation and regulatory agency behavior. That is not a bumper sticker but hard work and requires details thought out so as not to have unintended consequences.

    I appreciate your sentiments but knee jerk responses don’t help you make your case.

    1. Joseph Brenner

      Quoth Krugman: “…it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.”

      Quoth thou: “Aargh. What about ‘The elites in America are corrupt’ don’t you understand?”

      How *do* you expect the details to get filled in without the at least the assistance of the professionals? Rejecting The Elites, *any* sort of elite, doesn’t make you democratic, it makes you effectively anti-intellectual (How about those crazy anti-science conservatives that refuse to listen to climate scientists, eh?).

      What a democratic-republic is *supposed* to have is a system for roughly selecting the best and brightest, or at least screening out the dullest and most evil, and giving them some (temporary, restricted) authority. The fact that this system has been seriously broken for decades is the real trouble, but denying that we do need a system of some like this isn’t going to help.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Kurgman: We shouldn’t make too much of the lack of specifics. It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details.’

      ‘Policy intellectuals and politicians’ [said with a sneer, spewing spit on the P's] — AH HA HA HA! And the estimable Kurgman would modestly include himself in the former group, of course.

      Kurgman is an antediluvian apparition from a bygone era, when it was the MSM’s mission to dumb down ideas to a bland, easily-digestible applesauce consistency and spoon-feed the mushy pap to a grateful populace of docile consumer-depositors.

      Ten thousand flowers have bloomed in the blogosphere, but in Rip van Kurgman’s retro Ike ‘n Mamie fugue state, the Times-Titanic, the WaPo and the three TV networks still paternalistically serve the lumpenproletariat their insipid intellectual swill. Noblesse oblige, don’t ya know?

      It takes a lifetime of concentration to develop such a rarified degree of irony-proof cluelessness entwined with a complacent, grandiose sense of limitless entitlement. Occupy the Times-Titanic! Cornered in his office by protesters, Kurgman will react like Elena Ceaușescu in her last moments: ‘But you can’t lay a hand on me! I’M A FAMOUS POLICY INTELLECTUAL!’

      Yo, policy intellectual, suck on this!

      1. kabosh

        Wow, you must not read Krugman often, or choose to ignore what he actually writes. You can certainly argue that, because he does operate within an avowedly Keynesian framework, his policy prescriptions are not very valuable to anyone who wants capitalism gone en masse. But he has been fighting the long losing fight against the stupidity and avarice of the so-called elites (Krugman’s “Very Serious People” or VSPs) for years, through both Bush and Obama administrations. His frame is clear (saltwater macro, modern Keynes), he doesn’t hide it– but his predictions and analyses have been pretty right on, in the face of overwhelming objection from the conventional wisdom, and he has been a really clear and strong voice, almost alone in the wilderness when it comes to the economics that the policymakers are relying on, in speaking *for* much of what OWS is also calling for. Also, he’s fair-minded, openly admits his errors, remains open to new ideas, and is pretty transparent and public in acknowledging his struggles to adequately assimilate and work through what he sees going on in the economy, and in our politics. He’s a pretty good model of a public intellectual– not on the french model, but one of the best we’ve got in the U.S.; and btw, he condescends basically to no one, even some patently dishonest economists who manifestly deserve only condescension. No, he’s not radical enough for me in a lot of ways, but he deserves serious respect.

        1. Joseph Brenner

          You forgot another detail: Krugman is actually capable of looking at what’s going on and learning from it. He got pushed hard left by the Bush Jr. regime, and it’s pretty clear that the New York Times establishment would really love to get rid of him — when they hired him I think he was supposed to stick to talking about how those crazy kids in Seattle just don’t understand Free Trade.

          Trying to attack Krugman by spinning him as an Insider is a flagrant distortion of reality… and more proof that he’s making the right people nervous.

      2. sidelarge

        Jim, it’s okay to be “boring” sometimes. You are bestowed with so much imagination that you spend most of your time simply, you know, imagining things.

    1. PQS

      Yes. When a friend asked me yesterday who I would like to vote for, I answered immediately:
      “Occupy Wall Street.”

      1. wunsacon

        Speaking of which, I just sent back a SASE envelope to the DNC with the message “My check went to OWS.” and a short rant explaining why.

  9. JTFaraday

    Well, interestingly, most of the readers of Krugman’s original article at the NY Times don’t agree with you apparently avid fans of the “Great Krugthulu’s” blog.

    They believe the elites have failed and are in favor of building the popular movement.

    1. Joseph Brenner

      “Well, interestingly, most of the readers of Krugman’s original article at the NY Times don’t agree”

      No, actually what’s interesting is that some people are doing their best to spin Krugman’s clear call for tighter financial regulations and statement of sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement into some sort of privileged elitist snobbery.

      Why, you would almost think that there are some provocateurs at work deliberately spreading misunderstanding.

      1. David in NYC

        Well, that, and the same know-nothing, “anyone who knows anything is an ‘elite’” philosophy that gave us the Sarah Palin and the Teabaggers.

        1. JTFaraday

          You clearly haven’t been following the Duopoly Party “policy making” in Washington if you think the thing to tell dissenters is that they should go back for still more of the same garbage.

          Occupy Wall Street’s own website states that it’s an “NYC Protest for American Revolution.”

          You’re clearly DEEPLY uncomfortable with their decision to ignore the likes of Krugman and get themselves arrested in the United Police States of America instead–my goodness these are Really Serious People!– or you wouldn’t spend half the day arguing about it with a dummy like me.

          It’s Friday. I think you need a drink.

  10. Mike

    I work for the Senate. It literally is my job to translate the desires of the electorate into legislation. That is, as long as my boss tells me to do it. Legislating (and policymaking) is a skill, and it takes a long time to figure out how to do it right. Nobody should expect the protestors to do it. The point (and I think this is Mr. Krugman’s as well) is that the job of the OWS crowd is to bring enough pressure on people like my boss that they turn to people like me and say “let’s solve this problem.”

    In truth, that conversation has already happened a bunch of times, and there are a lot of proposals, but there simply aren’t enough politicians who fear that they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t act. It’s dumb to criticize the people trying to bring that pressure simply because they haven’t collectively settled on the specific proposals from the menu of options that they want. A big chunk of the political class thinks they can get away with doing nothing. They’ve been right so far.

      1. Mike

        OWS seems on the right track to me. They’re getting increasing attention and they’ll surely refine their messaging as we go. Highlight what the elites are doing wrong (my favorite is the sign “F**K Opportunistic Disinflation”) and get them to begin to believe there are real electoral consequences. For a while there, it really looked like the WI protests were going to change the narrative, but then it got all caught up in the typical back and forth of individual elections and parties trying to recall each other and the energy dissipated.

        They need to show evidence that they can sustain their energy. The next election is unfortunately far off.

    1. pebird

      “… but there simply aren’t enough politicians who fear that they’ll lose their jobs if they don’t act…They’ve been right so far.”

      Didn’t the Democrats lose a few seats in the last mid-term?

      Maybe they all belong to the same political party, but don’t know it?

      1. Jesse

        Throw the bums out and bring in something worse and far more dedicated to the status quo of corporatism.

        Yeah, that works.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Most would settle for something slightly better.

          The hope, though, is for something much better.

      2. LucyLulu

        Maybe they all belong to the same political party, but don’t know it?
        They technically belong to different parties, but they ARE all one and the same. Have you not noticed that policies one party is promoting they will vote against two years later, because now the other party is promoting it? Is anything really different when Democrats are in power than when Republicans are in power? Which president did the most deregulating of the financial industry? (Hint: 1990′s). Which president has been the strongest advocate to cut SS and Medicare? Which president gave us additional Medicare benefits? Small government Reagan really ramped up the spending. There ain’t no difference.

  11. barrisj

    Re: PSA test for prostate cancer. As one who has directly benefited from yearly PSA tests, I simply can’t get my head round such a sweeping conclusion by the task Force to just omit PSA testing for “healthy men” over 50yoa. Well, I had considered myself in rude health, and the only overt sign of any prostate issues was an annoying BPH condition which actually gives an elevated – but by no means an alarming – PSA level. However, one year the level really spiked, and aa consulting urologist suggested a biopsy, which revealed cancer-cell presence with Gleason grade of 3, indicating a moderately aggressive staging of the tumour. You bet I went for the treatment after that, and post-op histology/cytology did indeed confirm a wide pattern of dissemination of the cancer. Fortunately it was contained within the capsule, and multi-year followup indicates a cancer-free status. So, the point is that there will always be a cohort of men for whom the PSA test is a life-saver; the problem was and remains the false-positives for a majority of middle-age males who would never develop life-threatening prostate tumours. But, as Catch-22 would have it, one doesn’t know the state of a tumour until and unless one submits to a biopsy. A few years before, my younger brother had his first ever PSA test during a routine yearly physical, and his doctor suggested that as the level was a bit high, with no other symptomolgy evident (BPH, for example), he undergo a biopsy. Short story: cancer present and radiation therapy cured him. There had been no known prostate cancer history in either maternal- or paternal-side male antecedents, so there certainly wasn’t any heritable red flags. But, when one has a multi-year history of PSA testing – as in my case – and suddenly there is a dramatic year-on-year rise, odds are quite good that an active tumour is present, and treatment is indicated after a supporting biopsy.
    Men don’t die from prostate cancer per se, they die from the tumour breaking out of the capsule, and cells metathesising to other organs, thence aggressive tumour growth elsewhere. “Watchful waiting” may be a conservative, even prudent course in most men, but for a sizeable minority, folks, it don’t work!

    1. Jesse

      Eliminating the PSA test because the results might be misused is just dumb, and I struggle hard to understand why they would eliminate it in lieu of something more effective, when no such thing exists. Although since the PSA is cheap and effective, perhaps that is at the root of it.

      And I do not understand what this really means. Does that mean if one asks for it they will not get it?

      They discredit themselves.

  12. Peter K.

    “Aargh. What about “The elites in America are corrupt” don’t you understand?”

    Did you skip over the paragraph where Krugman wrote:

    “Bear in mind, too, that experience has made it painfully clear that men in suits not only don’t have any monopoly on wisdom, they have very little wisdom to offer. When talking heads on, say, CNBC mock the protesters as unserious, remember how many serious people assured us that there was no housing bubble, that Alan Greenspan was an oracle and that budget deficits would send interest rates soaring.”

    1. Jesse

      It takes judgement. When one has their dander up, it is easy to start lashing out at any imperfections, real or otherwise.

      I found no fault with what he said, and I have been seriously critical of him in the past.

      It is a remarkable thing for people on the same side to start infighting and picking easy, if inappropriate targets, out of frustration.

      I have a policy of being slow to criticize those on the side of reform, keeping in sight the shared task and much greater relative wrongs of the things we oppose together.

      1. Joseph Brenner

        “It is a remarkable thing for people on the same side to start infighting and picking easy, if inappropriate targets, out of frustration.”

        It isn’t remarkable at all when there are well-funded operations at work intent on creating divisions and keeping the opposition marginalized.

        Have you heard that Krugman was on the board of directors of Enron? Have you heard that he’s a heartless bastard who wants another war to stimulate the economy? Have you heard that he’s isolated himself, and is out-of-touch with the mainstream of economics?

        A lot of people have, though none of it is true.

        1. David in NYC

          Hey, he really said that a war with space aliens would stimulate the economy. LOL

          The same people who “heard that” stuff about Krugman are the same people who think Jonathan Swift used to eat babies — and, depressingly, the same ones who are criticizing him here.

    2. Ellen Lyle

      To say “The elites in America are corrupt” is to indulge in stereotyping, condemning all, oblivious to their individual differences. To see elitism as automatically bad is to fail to recognize that some problems are just too technical and complicated to be solved without deep expertise in a subject. I don’t do brain surgery and I am grateful for Paul Krugman. He takes a huge amount of abuse from the right wing for supporting the cause of economic justice. You all who condemn him without reading him ought to give his columns in the “NY Times” a try. I think you’ll discover a very good friend.

  13. Hugh

    I’m with Yves on this. Krugman is an Establishment liberal. That is he is an honored member of the same elites who are looting us. His function is to suggest modest reforms that will never be enacted or change anything, point fingers at those crazy other guys, and generally act as a distraction to keep any real progressive opposition to our kleptocratic system from forming or as here defusing it, by cycling it back through our elites, if it should arise.

    It’s an important point to realize that we have been indoctrinated into thinking that only our elites have the knowledge and expertise to run things. First, this simply isn’t true. There are many people who have the knowledge and expertise to solve the problems confronting us who yet do not really belong to the system of privilege, power, and wealth that define our elites. Second, it is precisely our elites who have so royally looted us and f*cked things up. So how much sense does it make to look to them for solutions and their implementation?

    What this comes down to is whether you accept the idea of more and better elites. I think the history of the last 35 years argues against this.

    Krugman is, as usual, trying to have it both ways. In his reply to Yves, he writes “That doesn’t mean taking the public out of the loop; it means putting whatever expertise you have to work on the public’s behalf..” That is exactly right, but such expertise is a poisoned chalice from people like Krugman as long as he continues to belong to the very forces that are oppressing us.

    1. Joseph Brenner

      “Krugman is, as usual, trying to have it both ways. In his reply to Yves, he writes ‘That doesn’t mean taking the public out of the loop; it means putting whatever expertise you have to work on the public’s behalf..’ That is exactly right, but such expertise is a poisoned chalice from people like Krugman as long as he continues to belong to the very forces that are oppressing us.”

      I submit that you and your friends are jamming, you’re trying the old “oh, they’re all like that gambit”. There’s no point in doing anything as boringly moderate as going out and voting for democrats, eh? Why don’t you all just stay home? That’ll show those “elites” what you think of them.

      Meanwhile, back at the issues, I submit that the Glass–Steagall Act was a good idea. You want a litmus test of intellectual honesty? Ask if they want Glass-Steagall reinstated:

      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Glass_Steagal_Act

      1. Hugh

        You are correct. I am not a Democratic tribalist. I will not vote for a Democratic corporatist kleptocrat simply so that an equally destructive Republican corporatist kleptocrat isn’t elected. I don’t think anyone should. As I say so many times, your vote is yours. You don’t owe your vote to anyone, least of all to people and parties that don’t represent your views. If a candidate can’t give you substantial positive reasons to vote for them, if their only real reason is negative, because the other guy is even scarier, just say no. Go fishing, vote a third party, do a write in. Lesser evilism is what produced the kleptocracy and the lack of real choices we have now.

        I can only think you are being unintentionally hilarious invoking Glass-Steagall, repealed under a Democratic President, Clinton, the repeal engineered by his then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, later Obama’s chief economics advisor for the first two years of his Administration.

        1. Joseph Brenner

          “I can only think you are being unintentionally hilarious invoking Glass-Steagall, repealed under a Democratic President, Clinton [...] ”

          Hilarious? I’d go with “grimly amusing”.

          So, you’re in favor of Glass-Steagall? Good, glad you agree with me. That crazy elitest Krugman likes it too.

          If you could convince me that voting for Romney was more likely to bring back Glass-Steagall than Obama I would go with Romney, but I think Obama will be easier to talk over. ‘Tis true, there’s less difference between Brand D and Brand R than there should be, but it does not follow that there is *no* difference.

          And I repeat: anyone who continual asserts that there’s zero difference is suspect, because promoting electoral apathy is a win for the Bad Guys.

  14. ScottS

    Re: Dwarfs Better Off Tossed Than Jobless, Florida Republican Says

    Are Onion writers free-lancing for Bloomberg now?

    1. barrisj

      Dude, that’s the sort of informed comment I really take on-board, just going right to the heart of the matter.
      If the comments section actually had a PREVIEW option, prolly these lapses in HTML tagging wouldn’t occur, waddya reckon, mate?

  15. spit

    I was troubled by Krugman a bit, too, but appreciated his clarification today. At the core, I think a lot of his argument is based in something I agree with wholeheartedly — it is not currently the responsibility of the protesters to form detailed demands, and the media trying to present this as a major flaw is propaganda. They’re demanding to not be ignored, and they’re demanding that the dire economic concerns of the bulk of the populace be taken seriously. They’re spreading the message that almost all of us are being screwed, no matter our other disagreements or divisions, and they’re sending a basic message of solidarity that just might manage to unify the economically struggling, whether they’re lawyers who are underwater on their houses and can’t keep up with the cost of health care, or whether they’re folks working at 7-11 and barely making rent or eating. That’s big enough, and any more specific demands would miss the point. The most powerful points to be made in these protests aren’t about specific demands at all.

    But somebody will have to begin trying to address their frustrations — all of our frustrations — in ways that translate into our screwy economic policy language.

    I think that more than most of them, Krugman does appreciate the power and the privilege of his soapbox, and is willing to understand that there is some responsibility to use it well. I don’t always agree with him — I’ve found his support for many Clintonian policies both quaint and misguided — but I think he aims to find solutions with the people most in need of them, not within some sort of “leave it to the smarter, better people” argument. In fact, he’s been astoundingly and refreshingly critical, Dog bless him, of the loss of critical thinking among the econ elite, and their lack of understanding of the realities implied for real people on the ground in their models and lofty philosophies.

    To me, one major facet of intelligence is the ability to understand the connections between the abstract and the real life details that it necessarily presents as symbols. And in that regard, I think Krugman is more on it than not, and also think that many of the people out in the streets are rocket scientists whether they have fancy titles or no.

    I do agree that you can’t replace one faulty elite with another and expect to get anywhere, but we all have roles to play, and his role here could be very good. That doesn’t mean anybody has to agree with his ideas. I have no shmancy letters at the end of my name, nor do I have much of a soapbox, but I will happily take his support without shrugging off my own responsibility to inform myself and think critically. I suspect he will live up to my expectation — that his role in forming ideas that will address income inequality and the loss of the safety net will be helpful — and simultaneously I don’t think we need or would benefit from having a single “hero” with power to define us.

    1. spit

      Also, replying to myself, what I would love to see is every demand that the protests list their demands be met with this link:

      http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

      Because it is exactly the point. And not because every post is one I find perfectly agreeable or well informed — some are, some aren’t — but because of the vast numbers of painful and desperate concerns held in common and left completely unaddressed.

      That’s how you unite the laid-off factory worker and the graphic design graduate who can’t find a job either. And it’s the whole damned point.

  16. Claudio Colbert

    I am the last guy to defend Greenspan, but it is a fact that Greece, Spain, Ireland and Southern Italy have, on balance, lower education levels and higher corruption than Germany, Scandinavia et al.

    Since those things strongly predict productivity growth, and since they have strong cultural momentum, it is not prejudiced for him to say so. If it makes you feel better about it, we can acknowledge that, on these measures, the US currently looks more like Greece than Germany.

  17. Jesse M

    The left is built on inclusive populism. It is also built on well-informed, introspective, university-educated citizenship. Any leftist movement — even one that seeks the ultimate reconfiguration of the whole status quo — has to allow those two things to compliment each other.

    The idea that we can separate the “us” of a discontented, disenfranchised general public off from a “them” of intellectual and financial elites — it’s a poisonous idea. It creates a false Other in “the elite,” some of whom are willing and supportive allies (and I would count Krugman, Greenwald, etc. in this group); worse, though, it creates an illusory “us,” as if the whole amorphous, heterogeneous mass of people and interests that constitute the left can be encapsulated and mobilized as a single coherent entity. Both of those things will narrow the movement and cause it to self-destruct.

    Or, to put it another way: time to separate the intellectual “elite” from the corporatist “elite.” They are not the same. The only way for a socially-conscious, humanitarian, forward-looking party to prosper will be to drive a wedge into that gap, and enlist the help of sympathetic intellectuals… the critical theorists, the Bauhaus avant-garde, all the people who are ready to help invent the new world we’re working toward. Realistic, left-leaning economists and journalists are a necessary part of that emergent system.

    1. spit

      I largely agree, though I frame it differently in my own head.

      To me, allowing “elites” to guide everything for the unwashed masses is an inherently dangerous idea — the masses are made of a huge diversity of people, some of whom have every bit the brilliance and expertise of anybody. The word “elite” implies something I don’t think can be worked around. People are not stupid, and educational attainment is one path to knowledge — but only one, it can be squandered, and it is never a guarantee of being heard.

      Simultaneously, I think it’s very, very important that we don’t slip into an anti-intellectual frame, either. Specialized education isn’t a mark of greater intellect, but it is a mark, in theory, of having spent a lot of time reading and working to understand specific details in a particular set of knowledge, and it is extremely useful so long as it is not mistaken for “always better.”

      My dad — a physicist — used to say that if you understand an idea really well, you probably should be able to explain the core ideas in it to an average 10 year old. Because the 10 year old isn’t stupid, and the core ideas can be said without jargon. I agree. Simultaneously, you can’t expect every 10 year old (or adult) to have the time to delve into the details of quantum mechanics — that’s why we have physicists.

      We all have roles to play, and they should all be taken seriously.

  18. JTFaraday

    I’m glad Krugman’s regularly repeating patterns of subterfuge put over on the public through ritualistic partisan baiting and self righteous moralism makes you feel good, but I’ll have to pass.

    He’s also one of the laziest partisans propagandists anyone could waste their time one. He’s certainly not being paid for his policy chops.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hey, Walt, why don’t you go listen to what the Beaver has to say?

    He can’t say it himself.

    You figure out what he wants.

    You’re so much smarter.

  20. spit

    Last thing I’ll add. As this is all more than an hour old, it is, of course, becoming long-ago history to the internets.

    Reading the comments here and the comments to Krugman’s clarification — this is all part of the problem, honestly. Here, he’s a sell-out elitist who can have no role in improvement. There, you’re just some dirty-hippie-Sachs-sellout who won’t ever be happy with anything.

    I aim this more as general disappointment in the comments both places than at either you or Krugman.

    It’s not that I think we should be led thoughtlessly by Krugman or anybody like him. It’s not that I think we should shrug off his every opinion as stuff coming from those “elites” who created this mess, either.

    So long as we all understand that nobody has The One All True Answer, we have zero to gain in just bopping each other’s cred from the same basic side all the damned time without actually _doing_ anything. No, I don’t mean (D) and (R) sides. I mean “side of the bulk of people, for whom our current form of capitalism is failing” vs. “side of the people who are dandy with it failing and figure it’s our own fault if we’re not rich.”

    I’m a socialist. I have a strong education in conservation. I think capitalism is pretty damned screwed, especially if you add climate change into the picture. But I don’t mistake anybody who sees the flaws in where we’re at for an _enemy_, even if I don’t agree with their opinion that this system can be saved. We’re striving for something more fair for everyone.

    I read here. I read Krugman. I think you both hit things dead-on, much of the time. I’m not stupid enough to think either of you has the whole answer, and I’m not very interested these days in the many comments in both places that just seem to perpetually one-up each other on “witty” points and cherry-picked citations about which person is dirtiest or why we should all be cynical and cold, or why “those people” are just lame-os. Sick of it.

    I’m much more interested in finding ways to make sure the folks who are suffering are having our concerns heard than I am in proving how righteous I am all over the internet. If that discussion happens here, great. If that happens through Krugman, great. If that happens through some dude camping out in a park in friggin’ Denver, of all places, and risking arrest, great, and I fucking salute his courage and understand his desperation.

    That’s the point. I don’t care who’s more righteous anymore. If y’all want to show how much more righteous you are than somebody else, my city (Sacramento) can’t (apparently) afford to help fund homeless shelters this winter, and it isn’t alone. Donate a goddamned tent somewhere, buy up some blankets someplace and take them to the damned thousands of people who are cold and hungry.

    I apologize for the rant, but I’m really goddamned tired.

    1. Hugh

      If you don’t understand the problem, you are not going to come up with any real, workable solution. Whether you call it kleptocracy, oligarchy, or just what went wrong, this is a process that has been going on for 35 years. Nearly everything we learned and thought we knew about this period is wrong. Some of us have sought to reconstruct what really happened and who did what to whom, how we arrived at a political system that is completely corrupt and unresponsive to the 99% and how the extreme wealth inequality we now see came to be.

      The top 1% own 50.9% of US stock, bond, and mutual funds. The bottom 50% own 0.5%. The top 10% own 90.3% of them.

      Overall, the top 1% own 33.8% of the country’s wealth. The bottom 50% own 2.5% of it. And the top 10% own 71.5%.

      There are 50 million Americans without health insurance. 43 million live in poverty. The housing bubble bust wiped out African American and Hispanic wealth. White median wealth is now 20 times that of African Americans. Disemployment (un- and under employment plus the BLS undercount) the broadest measure of the jobs crisis hit 30 million in September. We rank 41st in newborn mortality rates. We have millions of homeowners either in foreclosure or facing it. Homeownership levels are back to those in the 30s and 40s. Wages have been flat for 35 years. The Fed audit showed that in its special post-meltdown programs alone there was $28 trillion of activity.

      I’m sorry you’re tired but people are dying out here. The lives of tens of millions are being destroyed and hundreds of millions are being damaged. You want to make nice with a Very Serious Establishment type like Krugman, a guy who still hasn’t seen through the Democrats, still believes in the elites of which he part, still hasn’t put it together about wealth inequality, political corruption, and financial instability and applied that to his economics, a guy who still can only criticize Bernanke in the most oblique ways because Bernanke made his career by hiring him on at Princeton?

      Things are not all nice and fluffy. It is not why can’t we all just get along. There are real lines here, real criminality, and real criminals. If Krugman can’t bring himself to talk about them, and he hasn’t, to hell with him.

      1. Hugh

        Correction: Homeownership experienced a 1.1% decline 2000-2010. This was the largest decline since 1930-1940.

      2. Joseph Brenner

        To anyone who enjoyed this elegant rhetoric, I suggest actually reading some Paul Krugman. He also writes well, and additionally the things he says have some grounding in reality.

        “Permanently High Unemployment”:
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/permanently-high-unemployment/

        “Bernanke wimps out”:
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/bernanke-wimps-out/

        “The Cult That is Destroying America”
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/the-cult-that-is-destroying-america/

  21. Sundog

    Long and a bit geeky, via TheBrowser.com so I assume most have seen mention of it, this piece by John Kay on economics as discipline should be worth a look by some NC readers.

    The distinguishing characteristic of Henry Ford or Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett or George Soros, is that their behaviour cannot be predicted from any prespecified model. If the behaviour of these individuals could be predicted in this way, they would not have been either innovative or rich. But the consequences are plainly not ‘too small to matter’.

    “The Map is Not the Territory: An Essay on the State of Economics”
    http://www.johnkay.com/2011/10/04/the-map-is-not-the-territory-an-essay-on-the-state-of-economics

        1. barrisj

          Oi, readers, the all-italics-all-the-time problem seemed to occur after my comment re: “PSA Test” was posted, minus the “close italics” HTML tag…why this affected ALL subsequent posts only the webmaster on this site can explain.
          But, seriously, as they say, why not a PREVIEW button/option so contributors can correct spelling/HTML errors before one hits the SUBMIT OOMMENTS button?

  22. Susan

    Hey Yves and all the Naked Capitalism bloggers and readers:
    Whether you’re in NY or in one of the many other places where Occupy is happening, may I suggest you come, talk to people who are there, see what’s happening, and be part of Occupy. Witness a General Assembly (word has it that it will be in Washington Square Park this afternoon from 3 pm -9pm.)
    I had a lot of opinions as I began to participate from day one. By listening and learning, I’m seeing that this movement or grouping or whatever you want to call it is not
    going to adhere to other people’s notions of what they should do. As someone who has been involved in many movements since the sixties, OccupyWallSt feels like what many of us have been waiting for.It’s got the energy I remember as various movements got going. And the same criticisms like not having demands as the early women’s movement had.
    As Naomi Klein says that people she knows abroad are looking at what’s happening here and saying, “What took you so long.”

  23. Ellen Lyle

    To say “The elites in America are corrupt” is to indulge in stereotyping, condemning all, oblivious to their individual differences. To see elitism as automatically bad is to fail to recognize that some problems are just too technical and complicated to be solved without deep expertise in a subject. I don’t do brain surgery and I am grateful for Paul Krugman. He takes a huge amount of abuse from the right wing for supporting the cause of economic justice. You all who condemn him without reading him ought to give his columns in the “NY Times” a try. I think you’ll discover a very good friend.

Comments are closed.