Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin: Unprincipled analysis by Paul Krugman

I have just sent off a letter-to-the-editor at the New York Times about Paul Krugman's piece in today's issue claiming that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposed legislation removing many privileges from the labor unions representing govenment employees is an attack on democracy. The article can be read here.

Here is my letter:

To the editor:

Paul Krugman, commenting on December 20, 2009 on the health care legislation:

“It was, however, a close-run thing. And the fact that it was such a close thing shows that the Senate — and, therefore, the U.S. government as a whole — has become ominously dysfunctional.

“After all, Democrats won big last year, running on a platform that put health reform front and center. In any other advanced democracy this would have given them the mandate and the ability to make major changes. But the need for 60 votes to cut off Senate debate and end a filibuster . . . turned what should have been a straightforward piece of legislating into a nail-biter.”

Paul Krugman, commenting on February 21, 2011 on the situation in Wisconsin:

“So will the attack on unions succeed? I don’t know. But anyone who cares about retaining government of the people by the people should hope that it doesn’t.”

Mr. Krugman, meet Mr. Krugman! Republicans “won big” in Wisconsin last November. But Krugman now turns 180 degrees and says this has not “given them the mandate and the ability to make major changes.”

Unprincipled invoking of principles is not uncommon in politics. But Krugman is supposed to be an analyst, not a spin-doctor. He should be ashamed of himself.

Paul F. deLespinasse, Ph.D.

Corvallis, Oregon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are e-mailed to me. I will post excerpts from those I think will most interest readers.