Top NYT Editor: ‘We Are Pro-Capitalism, the Times Is in Favor of Capitalism’

Yves here. I know a prominent journalist at the Times who was dressed down by an immediate superior for allegedly harboring left-wing, pro-Sanders views, as if that were a bad thing…when that isn’t even the case. The writer is question is an “obey the rules, damnit” sort, and is about as leftie as, say, Republican Shiela Bair. So the pressure at the Times to hew to an increasingly right wing line is overt.

And if the Times is in favor of capitalism, why don’t they love Trump? He’s a caricature of a capitalist on steroids (well, maybe Viagra….)

By Adam Johnson, a contributing analyst at FAIR and contributing writer for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJohnsonNYC. Originally published at FAIR

Media criticism is, more often than not, a practice of inference: seeing patterns and inferring from those patterns the political make-up of media. Occasionally, however, decision-makers from major media outlets come right out and openly declare their ideology. This is what New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet—likely the most influential gatekeeper in all of media—did when he told Times staffers in a closed-door meeting last December that the paper of record was “pro-capitalism.”

A recording of this meeting (originally called because of internal pushback on the right-wing shift in the Times‘ opinion section) was obtained by the Huffington Post’s Ashley Feinberg (2/27/18). In it, Bennet tells his nervous coworkers that the Times is, above all, a capitalist publication:

I think we are pro-capitalism. The New York Times is in favor of capitalism because it has been the greatest engine of, it’s been the greatest anti-poverty program and engine of progress that we’ve seen.

This is a massively controversial claim Bennet just tossed out there, because he believes it not to be one—but rather a self-evidently true axiom. Without even litigating the dubious idea capitalism is “the greatest anti-poverty program and engine of progress” the world has ever seen (what economic system, one may wonder, does Bennet think animated slavery and colonial exploitation?), the fact that one of the most influential people in media views it as an uncontroversial statement of fact is very telling.

The most pernicious ideology of our media class, as FAIR has noted time and again, is the belief they don’t have an ideology; the belief that the American ruling class and its media auxiliaries have reached the End of History, that capitalism is a non-negotiable good, and the job of media curators is to manage how best to implement this good. That there could be another way of looking at things, or that these assumptions should be challenged on a fundamental level, is tantamount to Flat-Eartherism or Holocaust denial.

An equally telling section of the transcript is when an unidentified New York Times staffer asks why the point of view of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran a strong second in the 2016 Democratic primaries and is one of the most popular active politicians in the country, didn’t have any representation in their opinion selection:

During the election, you had no strong advocate for Bernie Sanders, or any of those positions. And so I guess, in the more recent months, in your attempts to find those voices, where have you been looking, what types of people have you been looking for, and how are you trying to get a more diverse group of people regularly writing in the op-ed section?

What follows is a totally incoherent non-answer:

I think we need, and you know, I’m sorry if I’m going to talk in code a little bit here, but I’m not talking about ideology necessarily. I’m talking about identity, as well. What columnists do, you know, again, highly intellectually honest, highly entertaining, highly interesting writers who have a lot to say — hard to find those people from the get-go. What a columnist is is a trusted voice in your ear that helps you process, kind of, the world in real time, right? Through a particular lens. And there are a number of lenses we’re missing right now, I think. And a lot of those are, it’s gender and it’s identity, you know, as well as ideology.

So where am I looking? I’m asking, I’m asking you guys. You know, send me names, please. You know, if there are people that you’re reading that you think belong in the New York Times. You know, please. I always, when I was at The Atlantic, I always kept a list of Atlantic writers who didn’t work for The Atlantic, just who felt like — I was at The Atlantic magazine before I came back to the Times, and there was a particular kind of, not that dissimilar from the kind of people we’re looking for now, with voice. And I could see them on other platforms, and they just didn’t know that they were Atlantic people yet, but they were.

And I don’t have as good a list now as I did then. It might be my own failing. Earlier I blamed the environment for that. But I’m taking nominations. I’ve been…. If I could, this is what I would be spending 90 percent of my time on. Because hiring in general, and I’m sure you guys feel this, too, is the most important thing that we do. Like, that’s the most important editing we do, is picking the people. After that, you know, you ideally cut them loose to do their thing. In reality, I’m spending a small percentage of my time on this. So I would love help. So please send your nominations my way.

The thought of hiring a staff columnist sympathetic to Sanders had clearly never occurred to Bennet. Because—as his own comments indicate—the prima facie beauty and virtue of capitalism is an indisputable truth, one someone partial to Sanders’ brand of verbal class war would likely challenge

Instead, as FAIR (4/20/176/20/17) noted of the New York Times last year, the so-called liberal media drifts further and further right even as the Democratic Party base grows more and more progressive. On the dubious altar of “ideological diversity,” the Times seeks out right-wing provocateurs like Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss—those who have mastered the careerist trick of being offensive without ever being subversive—but Bennet mysteriously can’t find anyone further left than anti-Sanders partisan Paul Krugman.

“Ideological diversity” at the Times has time and again meant augmenting their pro-Israel, pro-capitalist, pro-bombing liberals with pro-Israel, pro-capitalism, pro-bombing conservatives. This is the scope of discourse at the paper of record, and one now openly acknowledged by its top opinion shaper.

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  1. Livius Drusus

    And yet my conservative relatives and friends think that the NYT is a “commie rag.” The saddest thing is that 40 years ago Sanders would not have been out of place in the Republican Party not to mention the Democratic Party! Imagine Richard Nixon running for president today. He would probably be considered a dangerous communist revolutionary.

    1. Darius

      This is what happens when 10 percenters, like Obama, bend over backward to demonstrate to the right they respect them and want to work with them. I thought ten years ago, after being smacked around by Bush and Rove, that the Democrats were over this but Obama stopped that trend in its tracks, consciously, I think. The last thing the 10 percent want is an effectual Democratic Party. The more Obama kissed the right’s rear, the more they despised him. Funny that.

    2. Olga

      Yes, I have such friends, too – wouldn’t dream of reading NYT ‘cuz it’s just way too commie… On the other hand, my good, lib’ral friends think anything published in the Times is a word of mr. god. (Somehow, a subs to NYT makes one a true and honest intellectual, a confirmation of their smartness and how far they’ve come along, a status symbol!) Oh, my…
      I do remember an interview with Bill Keller, not too long after he resigned from NYT (you know, that little problem w J. Miller and all). It was published in the Salon (back when it was still worth a read). In it, he very plainly said that the Times supports and follows the ‘national security’ line (whatever that means). He was not particularly shy about it. He did not explain (at least, I do not remember) what ‘national security’ means. The interview was quite unsettling… there was finally proof that NYT has an agenda, a lens through which it sees the world. It clarified a lot… and, wouldn’t you know, hard as I try, I’ve not been able to find it on Salon’s website. Maybe he said too much…

  2. Lambert Strether

    > I’m asking you guys. You know, send me names, please

    Thomas Frank of Listen, Liberal!, obviously. And I know he needs the work. Since Francis Rory Peregrine “Perry” Anderson might be a little rich for their blood (and has word count problems, I would bet). Just a thought…

    1. DJG

      LS: The great Perry Anderson is now 79, so he won’t be easily managed and he won’t do reviews of groovy new restaurants with interesting new fusion cuisines (Dutch-Bolivian?) for the Lifestyles sections.

    2. Webstir

      Yeah, pretty much anyone at the Baffler. But, it goes to show the Baffler is effectively carrying out it’s mission. The NYT is scared of them. I was so excited when Frank started it back up I peed myself a little.

      I wonder, do you think any self-respecting progressive journalist would work there even if asked?

        1. Webstir

          Me too. I think it’s the only magazine I’ve ever actually waited for with anticipation.

      1. pretzelattack

        hey how about glenn greenwald. that way every time the times publishes some bullshit about russia hacking the election, greenwald could helpfully point out the paucity of evidence. this would help them improve their product and compete better in the market and stuff.

    3. Merf56

      Richard D Wolff- an economist at The New School and formerly UMass. Big advocate of worker co-ops as an effective way to democratize the workplace. A Marxist – which I do not expect will scare off NC readers as they actually know what that means. Also Gar Alperovitz at the U of MD.

      1. Tricia

        I agree Richard Wolff. Also, pure fantasy I know, but Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report. Or Margaret Kimberly? Agree about Greenwald (mentioned by pretzelattack above)- his columns are good and generally airtight, which one can’t say about many (any?) NYT columnists. Also Jeremy Scahill, also over at the Intercept- his “editorials” on the weekly intercepted podcast are excellent. or Sonali Kolhatkar on KPFA and writing at Truthdig. There are many more…

  3. HideNwatch

    Overtly pro-capitalist
    Overtly pro-war
    Overtly anti-populist

    That’s the New York Times I know

    1. YankeeFrank

      Always was, always will be the capitalist paper of record. Honestly it amazes me that anyone expects left views on anything from the NYT. What’s changed is the old workers’ papers no longer exist. But that’s what we have NC, the Baffler, In These Times, Jacobin, Counterpunch, Truthdig, Alternet and so many other sites for. We are in a golden age of socialist/social democratic media we just don’t realize it yet.

      The tide is turning if the opinion editor for the Times is having to lecture employees on where their allegiance should lie. We are at that point where some of the waves are crashing a bit lower on the beach and some are still hitting us hard, where you almost aren’t sure the tide is turning… but of course it is.

    2. Ed Miller

      I have read from a well known investment blogger whose shop is in NYC that New York is like a company town. The “company” is the financial district, so everyone is supportive of Wall Street because of the money that it brings to NYC. Major Bloomberg actually objected, some time ago, to any prosecution of Jamie Dimon because he is so good for business in NYC. That sums it up for me.

      Go NYC! The rest of us in the US are just New York’s colonies, just like ROW.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    No surprises about Bennet. Why wouldn’t he think everythng is hunky-dory with our wonderful Capitalist system? This is his father’s background from Wikipedia:

    Douglas Bennet was appointed as a political official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, served as the president of National Public Radio from 1983 to 1992 and as the president of Wesleyan University from 1995 to 2007.

    The view from the top is beautiful. That’s all James Bennet has ever known.

    1. Eclair

      Ooohhhh! So he is the brother of Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. Amazing how the sticky webs of power work to support TINA.

  5. The Rev Kev

    I have been trying to parse what this guy is rabbiting on about and I think I have an outline sorted though other commentators may disagree. He wants to have a stable (yeah, I know what I just said) of Op-Ed columnists for the NY Times to take their place with Paul Krugman. It seems that he wants to adopt a democrat methodology by having this stable composed of Op-Eds who would each represent one part of society – the ‘lens’ he talks about. Maybe a black guy, a Hispanic guy, someone from the LBGT community, etc but each would share a common conservative viewpoint – Capitalism Rules! I think that Lambert referred to these as democrat silos once.
    However, the views would be so limited in what they could say that you could actually refer to it as a ‘sandbox’ as far as independent opinions are concerned. Furthermore, Bennet appears to be on a short leash when in the original transcript he mentioned getting a bit of stick from the Washington bureau for something he let go by. As this bureau is supposed to be a subsidiary bureau to the head quarters in New York, I can only conclude that the purpose of the Washington bureau is to have the Washington establishment have a deep control of what gets actually published. I think that he knows he is boxed in which is why he was asking his staff to bail him out by suggesting names of people. Hey, I wonder if Paul Krugman’s wife Robin Wells is free. They have worked together before.

  6. hemeantwell

    Wow. And wow again. Bravo to the whistleblower. Bennet’s response is just squid ink. The delegitimating power of this recording ranks right up there with some of the murdering cop vids. Another nail in the Times’ coffin.

  7. EoH

    The Times is so confidant in not being a backsliding converso that it has to remind staff about it in a pep talk? They would know the truth of it without being told.

    The Times is so self-evidently a high capitalism newspaper, especially under its heir apparent, it makes one wonder what the point of the speech was. To warn staff that for the duration of this failing presidency, it needs more access journalism and less investigative reporting, more Habermans and pleasant, affirming Brookses, and everyone else please shut up?

    1. Doug Hillman

      Some “pep talk”: incoherent babbling from the ivory Tower of Babel. “…a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” (Macbeth) Paul Craig Roberts term, presstitutes, is quite fitting.

  8. Ignacio

    Just the propagandist arm of the TINA crowd. Confessed.

    Think of britons recent comments on BBC, my own comments on El Pais. The same old story.

  9. Craig H.

    > This is a massively controversial claim Bennet just tossed out there, because he believes it not to be one—but rather a self-evidently true axiom.

    It is a Deirdre McCloskey line. It might be a verbatim quotation.

    There were but two interesting New York Times stories I can remember from the last month. One was meta–it was about the New York Times. It was the woman they hired to work on the editorial page and then fired six hours later because twitter went berserk because she was friends with a neo-Nazi. The other was the piece about the cryptocurrency guys who had their conference-after-party in a Miami strip club and they were writing a story purportedly about sexism but the thing that stood out to me was it was kind of clickbait–apparently (I am relying on friends for this because I know next to nothing about the cryptocurrency racket) the subjects of the story have a horrible reputation both for being jackasses (forgiveable) and MBA guys who cannot program (this is the ultimate term of derision in the Valley.) When I was in my 20’s I read the New York Times every single day and I loved it. I could spend 90 minutes with the Sunday version. People do not believe me when I tell them that Friedman was actually a pretty good writer when he was getting started.

    McCloskey’s books are readable by the way. I don’t like her politics much but she packs her books with unusual takes on all sorts of historical episodes and there is a sea of footnotes of like near every canon writer since Adam Smith.

    1. EoH

      The firing of Quinn Norton, or anyone within hours, is usually a sign that senior managers disagree about fundamentals. In this case, it would appear to be about how narrow the range of views the NYT will regularly publish.

      A twitter storm is an unlikely rationale. It would be none at all had the NYT made a disinterested inquiry into who Quinn Norton is. She is articulate, inclusive and surprisingly empathetic for a survivor of the kind of things the NYT usually buries on its back pages.

      The NYT chose to deny Norton its imprimatur and to avoid appealing to the people who might have found her views attractive. It chose not to annoy its readers with too much humanity, preferring to give them the soothing tones of David Brooks. Like a certain political party, the NYT seems to regard not upsetting the right as a diktat, while upsetting the left is expected of them.

  10. Steve Ruis

    I was so fed up up with the glaring incompetence and slanted editorial content that I canceled my subscription to the NY Times. Now i am reduced to following foreign news resource (The Guardian and Reuters) and blogs.

    1. pretzelattack

      the guardian is no treasure either, i just ignore all their stories about russia and syria.

  11. flora

    What’s next: NYT calling for war? Will NYT expand on the kind of capitalism it is supporting? There are many variants – Keynsian, laisse faire, e.g.

    From the the RealNewsNetwork (about Russiagate but applies to all MSM political “discourse” these days, imo) :

    You asked me if I’m astonished by this. I’m shocked, but I’m not astonished because I have thought and said for a number of years that there’s been a steady degradation of American political culture and discourse, generally. There was a time when I hoped or thought that it would be the Democratic Party that would push against that degradation.

    Now, however, though I’m kind of only nominally, a Democrat, now, however, it’s the Democratic Party that’s degrading our political culture and our discourse. ….

    I think all of us, maybe more your generation than mine, need to focus on what’s happened in this country when in the very mainstream, I mean at the highest, most influential levels of the political establishment, this kind of discourse is no longer considered an exception. It is the norm. We hear it daily from MSNBC and CNN, from the New York Times and the Washington Post, that people who doubt the narrative of what’s loosely called Russiagate are somehow acting on behalf of or under the spell of the Kremlin, that we aren’t Americans any longer.

    1. flora

      an aside: I wonder how much the MSM reporting suppressed Dem voter turnout in 2016 by insisting unequivocally that Trump had no chance of winning – well maybe 1- 15 % at the very best. Hillary had it in the bag. So no need to rush out and vote because it wasn’t a close contest and she was going to win…in a landslide. Did this enormous MSM failure cause any internal reassessment of methods and approach? Why no, no it did not.

    2. likbez

      NYT supports neoliberalism and wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led from Washington, DC. No questions about it.

      That’s why it is now so adamantly Neo-McCarthyist rag. That’s why it is fiercely supporting the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate). Despite all the betrayal of his election promises (some forced), Trump is still not acceptable to neocons and neoliberal globalization crowd,

  12. diptherio

    Looks like Bennet has been taking speaking lessons from Trump. Bonus points for anyone who can find one complete thought in that word salad.

    1. flora

      I think it boils down to:

      I’m talking about identity, as well….What a columnist is is a trusted voice in your ear that helps you process, kind of, the world in real time, right? Through a particular lens. And there are a number of lenses we’re missing right now, I think. And a lot of those are, it’s gender and it’s identity, you know, as well as ideology.

      A search for a more identity EEOC diverse staff who have same economic/ideological point of view as Bennet ?

      1. grayslady

        That was the quote that caught my attention as well–not ideology, but identity. Didn’t the Dems just prove in 2016 that identity politics is a losing proposition? If the NYT favors words beginning with the letter “i”, instead of ideology or identity, how about issues and investigatory journalism? If I want identity, I’ll read someone’s personal blog, not a newspaper.

    2. shinola

      Well, he did say he was “…going to talk in code”

      Perhaps it would make more sense if we had the code key.

  13. Summer

    I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with the NY Times definition for capitalism anymore than I agree with what they consider democracy.

  14. RickM

    Thanks for the reminder to cancel my Sunday NYT subscription. Inertia is a bad thing, sometimes.

  15. Alex Morfesis

    Wasnt bennet raised by a certain father who was the chief of staff for one certain momentary vp candidate named eagleton during the 72 election ?? Wasnt it the future nyt public editor clark Hoyt who was part of the search and destroy mission on eagleton ?? Wasnt the father of bennet also handed usaid ?

    A$ a prize or a thank you ?

    Thankfully, with the tariff kicking in, moi can no longer afford to be foilly and can move on to more productive activities…

    But as secret ancient alien technologists suggest…

    mighty thin air up there in the high towers of power…

  16. PKMKII

    And if the Times is in favor of capitalism, why don’t they love Trump? He’s a caricature of a capitalist on steroids (well, maybe Viagra….)

    The “sensible” liberals get fainting spells over Trump because he violates their notion of what a capitalist is supposed to be: a result of pure meritocracy, only having risen to the top because they’re the smartest, the hardest working, the most cultured, a nobility determined by the market instead of birthright (and the democratic political process, the same). And Trump violates all of that, uncouth, clearly unqualified, would not be a billionaire if he didn’t have his father’s money and connections, a career full of mistakes and bankruptcies yet still a one percenter. For them to accept Trump as a proper capitalist, would mean they would have to accept that the whole game is a sham.

    1. jrs

      they are in favor of capitalism but probably don’t identify with the owner class, but the top 10-20% professional class. Trump is more of an owner class type (and yea owners are sometimes boorish depending on background while professionals are oh so restrained).

      1. PKMKII

        I would argue that they identify with the owner class, but only a specific subset of it. The types that populate NYC/DC/LA/Silicon Valley, work in tech, finance, media, and have “proper” cultural groundings. Which is to say, the kind of owner class members that travel in the same circles as the elite professional class. So they take those as being the model of the owner class, and dismiss the Trumps and Adelsons and Waltons of the world as sideshows or relics of a bygone era. They’re supposed to stay in the shadows, not be the leaders of the free world.

  17. Kevin Mc

    I’d be glad to purchase (or even read) the NY Times daily when they hire Norman Finkelstein to pen op-eds regularly.

    1. Harold

      ++++ But they did fire A J Liebling, and probably anyone else who was a little too discerning and incisive. Only other journalists allowed to read those writers.

  18. JacobiteInTraining

    “…a columnist is is a trusted voice in your ear that helps you process, kind of, the world in real time, right…”

    Heh…I don’t always hear voices in my head, but when I do…they tell _me_ to Think Globally and Act Locally, Love My Earth Mother, and (sometimes) to Smash The State!

    I have quite enough voices in my ear/head, without the NYT ‘journalists’ trying to get a mean spirited word in edgewise… :)

  19. Petter

    Having read the links and comments on the working conditions at Whole Foods since the Amazon takeover here at NC, I was curious to see how and if working conditions would be covered or mentioned in The New York Times piece – Bit by Bit, Whole Foods Gets the Amazon Touch.

    Not at all.
    I have to admit I didn’t pay attention to all the changes in ordering, packing, delivering. pricing parts the piece mentioned as I was looking for working conditions et al, but from my skimming of named subjects it seems Prime membership now includes free ass wipes.

  20. Patricia

    Just to note, Adam Johnson also has an excellent podcast with Nima Shirazi named “Citations Needed”.

  21. Anarcissie

    Ha, ha, most of you are still reading the Times, whatever you say. I gave it up for good sometime in the early ’80s when they were complaining about the homeless hanging around Columbus Circle — they wanted Something To Be Done. The tone of entitlement was enough to make you throw up. Before that I knew they were lying, but pure evil — slagging the poor and defenseless — is beyond mere lying. Reading the Times is like reading Twitter or smoking — it’s pointlessly poisoning yourself. Unless you’re like a friend who for a while was a medium big at the Lynch; I went up to his office once and saw the Times on his desk. ‘What are you reading that for?’, I asked. ‘It’s like Pravda,’ he said, ‘I have to know what they expect me to think I have to think.’

    1. Octopii

      NYT is Pravda, Washington Post is Izvestia. Izvestia being more of a government policy and propaganda outlet.

  22. Raffler

    The New York Times appears to be trolling its readers and the media in general. With their recent emission I fully expect some scandal or contretemps to go relatively unnoticed. As Friday afternoon draws ever closer in Manhattan, what will they slip into the under-read news feeds, perhaps together with some weather story?

  23. John k

    Drifts further right as dem base moves progressive…
    A natural reaction. If base is neolib, times and elites can happily be in sync with corps.
    As base wakes up to Bernie’s alarm clock, times and elites panick, kick the left with greater gusto, distract with Russia, profess how capitalist they are, etc etc.
    Can’t win elections, no matter, but then only use is to keep progressives from power.
    You have just one job… don’t f**k this up.

  24. Paul Cardan

    “[Capitalism] has been the greatest engine of, it’s been the greatest anti-poverty program and engine of progress that we’ve seen.”

    I can almost smell the economics section of my local bookstore. Strange science, economics. Judging from the titles, much of it consists of cheerleading. Very different from history, anthropology, or sociology. I never see history titles like Bronze Age: Greatest Age EVAH! It’s surprising economists feel the need to engage in happy talk, considering that markets are supposed to be natural, just, and efficient. Like clergy preaching to a perpetually backsliding laity about the one true God, Whom only a fool would doubt. If God were so great, there’d be no need to harp on it. In any case, this goes some way toward accounting for Bennet’s statement. It takes a half-educated person to say something like that. First you get the ideas by way of a certain education, and then you don’t think about them, in part because the educators discourage that kind of thing.

  25. DavesNotHere

    Could have just as easily been said by Debbie Wasserman Schultz or whatever figurehead is running the DNC these days.

  26. Peter VE

    They used to call me up soliciting a subscription. The calls stopped after I told the poor slag that I was not interested in the House Organ of American Empire.

  27. Altandmain

    Maybe they should hire Dean Baker for economics writer. Maybe if they ran a show Jimmy Dore would be a good suggestion.

    The issue here is not that we don’t have a lot of good suggestions for potential writers. The issue here is that ideologically the purpose of the news is:

    1. Make money on advertising
    2. Impose the views of the owners on society

    The NYT is a upper class Establishment newspaper. It is effectively the Pravda magazine for Establishment Democrats. Not as rabidly right wing as perhaps the Rupert Murdoch empire under Fox, but still very neoliberal. They serve the upper and to some extent upper 10 percent of the population. They are socially very liberal and economically very conservative.

    They certainly will refuse to hire a Bernie Sanders supporter. Their ideology is against it. The ruling class is against it. Apart from the opposition to Sanders, there are tons of examples. For a supposedly liberal paper, they were awfully pro war when it came to invading Iraq for example. Another might be some of their most prolific writers, David Brooks and Thomas Friedman, both of whom are Establishment mouthpieces. I am sure we could find a number of different examples.

    They really are a plutocract owned media that pretends to be something independent. Keep in mind that above information, news is selling the idea of trust. The idea they are credible. That is one way that they maintain neoliberalism. There are cracks though. Read through some of the NYT comments and you can find readers who are deeply disappointed in the lack of support for Bernie Sanders.

    As far as the greatest engine against poverty, as flawed as it is, the East Asian model is vastly superior to neoliberalism.

  28. RBHoughton

    Isn’t everyone in favor of capitalism? Greed is a part of who we are. We may not be proud of it but we can hardly ignore it and in fact it is our greed-driven curiosity that underlies our spectacular success on this planet.

    No-one should have any problem with capitalism provided its not the form based on ‘master / servant’ distinctions and contract law that together create the schisms in our society and a torrent of perplexing legislation.

    To prevent the capitalist from extending his grasp on humanity to the diminishment of natural rights, we demand basic law that publicly enshrines those rights and requires an immense majority for their amendment.

    I think the true use of capitalism is in bringing investment to speculative ventures. It has no place in the provision of necessaries like food, clothing or housing. It should be focused on prospecting for minerals, space and medical research, above the atmosphere and below the sea – stuff like that – where we can mop-up the vast excess of paper that’s swilling around the planet.

  29. 4jkb4ia

    Krugman doesn’t represent the opinions of the whole paper. But certainly he preferred Bernie Sanders to any Republican in terms of his being informed on the important issues. Krugman is pro-wonk and anti-ignorance. If someone is ignorant and dishonest they shouldn’t have a position of leadership no matter what economic system they are for.

    The issue with the NYT and Trump is that the staff may honestly think they are informing people about the world and the experts that they listen to and quote do not agree with Trump. All these people may be for capitalism but they may disagree about how it works. Certainly many flavors of American political ideology think that you need a government that is disinterested and provides certainty in order for capitalism to work. If something will bring greater glory to Donald Trump that day he does not really care if it’s self-interested or contradicts what he said the day before.

  30. 4jkb4ia

    My husband has been duly informed about the Uber post. At least in our part of the world some of the Uber drivers also have real jobs.

  31. 4jkb4ia

    The NYT reporters have been taught to speak with horror of something called “populism” whether it comes from the left or the right (and it appears with Five Star that left wing populism can morph into/ally with right wing populism). Do the reporters know what populism means? Who knows. But socialism has decisively been defeated in NYT world so it must appear on the stage as something else.

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