Wednesday, June 3, 2009


. Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The piece, by Brink Lindsey, could just as well be called "Why Paul Krugman Is Wrong About Everything". The conclusion sums it up:

Paul Krugman may long for the return of selfdenying corporate workers who declined to seek better opportunities out of organizational loyalty, and thus kept wages artificially suppressed, but these are creatures of a bygone ethos—an ethos that also included uncritical acceptance of racist and sexist traditions and often brutish intolerance of deviations from mainstream lifestyles and sensibilities.

The rise in income inequality does raise issues of legitimate public concern. And reasonable people disagree hotly about what ought to be done to ensure that our prosperity is widely shared. But the caricature of postwar history put forward by Krugman and other purveyors of nostalgianomics won’t lead us anywhere. Reactionary fantasies never do.

The whole thing is worth reading if only to understand where the debate is located and what the policy choices are. I do not agree with every conclusion that Lindsey makes, but the broad lesson -- that arguments based on fond remembrances of bygone eras are usually over-romantic -- is sound.


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