States Visited

Friday, August 7, 2009

Paul Krugman, Demagogue

Yesterday Paul Krugman wrote a piece for the New York Times in which he recounts the events at a recent town hall meeting on government health care.

"There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands."

"Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing... But they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is..."

"Does this sound familiar? It should: it’s a strategy that has played a central role in American politics ever since Richard Nixon realized that he could advance Republican fortunes by appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites. Many people hoped that last year’s election would mark the end of the “angry white voter” era in America."

So, according to Mr. Krugman, these people are clearly ignorant and racist. Apparently it never occurs to Mr. Krugman that these "people who don't know that Medicare is a government program" may be smart enough to realize when something isn't working and that he is, pardon my French, full of shit.

Medicare IS NOT OPTIONAL. These people participated in Medicare because the government put a gun to their head and forced them to do it. Granted, a few may have bought the lies and thought it a great idea at the time but it seems they have changed their minds and the rest had no choice. Perhaps it is the fact that Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of around $40 trillion that will be paid by the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc., of the folks in that meeting that indicate it isn't what was promised and adding to it is a bad idea. Perhaps those people realize that the government is full of liars and theives and they want no part of any more such programs. Perhaps these people realize that the only possible hope of getting back any of the tens of thousands of dollars that were taken from them is to participate in the current program.

Is it possible that some of the people to whom he refers are racist and would oppose anything Obama offered? Sadly, yes, it is. Is it irresponsible of an intellectual to resort to this sort of rhetoric. Certainly. What is beyond question is that Mr. Krugman either lacks the mental capacity to analyze the situation beyond his own preconceived notions or he is a race-baiting demagogue with an agenda. Given that he is a Keynes-loving economics professor at Princeton with a Nobel prize, I'm guessing its the latter.

1 comment:

Steven Rodgers

I was thinking about my labeling Krugman's analysis as illogical and realized I've made a fundamental mistake - one that should have been easy to avoid. His position and analysis are not illogical at all - when examined from his Keynesian perspective that the world will function at its best when the rest of us will shut up and follow the commands of the annointed. Because the masses are guided only by "animal spirits" it is for those with the gift of thought to guide the rest of us. It is not for the great unwashed to question the decisions of such great men. If we disagree with him it is because we are ignorant or racist, etc. This certainly may be true for some but is clearly not true for all, yet, Krugman & Co., refuse to acknowledge any other possible explanation for people disagreeing with them. As Hayek noted, even if Keynes was right that most people need to be told what to do, it doesn't follow that it is for one group (gov't) to make all such decisions.