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Paul Krugman on the ‘Conscience of a Liberal’

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Posted on Nov 6, 2007
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AP photo / Katsumi Kasahara

By James Harris

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman brings his liberal conscience and economic expertise to bear on the housing crisis and sheds light on the dirty secret behind many political victories by conservatives: “The consistent source of [Republican] success has been race.”

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, November 10, 2007 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

It is encouraging to see that there remain people of intelligence and good will who still have access to what is generally termed the «mainstream media» (a more accurate term would be «corporate media» in the United States. But my impression from my European vantage point is that they are few and dwindling and mainly play the role of «token liberal» for more sophisticated media products, and that they have no influence whatever on US policy. Ms Clinton is not going to pick Professor Krugman as Secretary of the Treasury, nor will she pay attention to his words of warning against launching a war on Iran (in the event that George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney don’t get there first)....


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By Shenonymous, November 10, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Listened again to the interview and found I had not listened well the first time and my apologies.  I guess the talk just went too fast for my slow and hurried ears.  Points and questions I now discern:  1) Who besides Krugman, then, is criticizing Greenspan and his idle sitting on the looming problems of the current mortgage crises that he may not have seen coming (then as Fed chair, was incompetent) or if he did (had some unexplained motive for not taking preventive action)? Can we surmise that Greenspan vacated his almost permanent position because he sensed the impending catastrophe? 2) Who else besides Krugman is calling the Feds out for still going too slow in coordinating a solution?  3) What is being done to help (bail out) those who are losing their homes as Krugman recommends?  4) What can be done to prevent lenders from being lucratively complicit in the mortgage crises, i.e., the Countrywide scandal that systematically guided unsophisticated mortgage borrowers into loans they could not afford?  5) How can the neocons be made to end and absolutely stop using race as political economic leverage to decimate the middle class?  6) If there is no deep recession forecasted by Krugman, then what ought home owners/buyers/sellers or just the common folks, in otherwords, everyone will be direly affected except the upper wealthy classes, to do to mediate the tough economic couple of years he does predict of which they are now victims?  Guess I will buy the book!

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By John Howard, November 9, 2007 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh… what’s wrong with selling books?  The interview was short but good.  I find it interesting the comments that Krugman is now making about race and economy.  This is a topic that needs to get much more attention.  We say there’s a race problem, but I think there’s more of a cash flow problem.  From what Krugman says—and now today backed by Bernacke—it’s only going to get worse.

So how do liberal values relate to economics?  Just see how fast cash disappears when neocons cannibalize the government’s resources and outsource every major area of production.  Krugman made a big statement and we won’t be able to ignore it much longer.

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By Shenonymous, November 8, 2007 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

If anyone heard that anything substantive in what was said in the interview between James Harris and Paul Krugman then you must have supersensitive hearing or a hearing aid deluxe.  If this interview was just a way to open a forum for discussion on the current state of economic affairs then so be it.  Something should have been said if that was the case.  But Krugman did not say anything significant about the content of his book. But it was a great advertisement to sell the book, I guess.  The title implies some insight into liberalism, but the interview was a fluffy discussion at best.  A sound bite criticism of Greenspan (which ought to have been greatly expanded if it is true he is responsible for the impending recession, and I personally think with his almost limitless influence during his tenure he did and still does have pontification status and opinionated weight on the pathways of the American economy); Krugman offhanded doubts any serious recession, then makes shorter than laconic statements about the mortgage bog that makes me wonder why he even bothered to be interviewed???  Can anyone say anything really serious about liberalism and the economy?

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By vietnam Era Vet, November 7, 2007 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now I understand why I absolutely cannot reason or discuss things with Bush supporters. I have tried repeatedly to talk with them but I have never been able to get anything other than nasty remarks and hateful jokes in return. You can see their hateful remarks on any right wing website.. Never facts or reasoned arguments just this strange loyalty to Bush while they were so morally outraged over Clintons sexcapades. For a long time I have wonderer why.. Now this explains it.. Its racism plain and simple..and that is why they cant be engaged in discussion..

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By Bill Blackolive, November 6, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paul, you recently lose dynamism, or say your truer inspiration, in as you dodge the 9/ll coverup.  I have observed this.

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By Rodney, November 6, 2007 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Race fear hate and bigotry has kept the Republicans in power for many years. Now you can add gay bashing and terrorism.

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By Hammo, November 6, 2007 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Democrats and independents, and even Republicans, Libertarians, Greens and others who want change might benefit from some common sense and intelligence.

Right now, it seems that the Dems might again shoot themselves in the foot in the upcoming presidential primaries and general election.

Food for thought in the article ...

“Democrats risk self-sabotage in presidential race ... again”
November 5, 2007

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By Outraged, November 6, 2007 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

It all has to do with the empire building strategies of the neocon cabal.  As we go wade through the next years it’ll be an enormous effort to restore what the neocons have attempted to destroy.  If all goes well we will see many more cases of fraud and other illegalities.  It’s an uphill battle.  We will need to consistently and methodically regain balance.

All those involved should be taken to task for their part in it. If you have one of the richest and the most powerful nations in your grip, you CAN rule the world.  They chipped away at what made America strong
and made a bundle doing it.  For the crooks, short and long term benefits appeared good.  They’re like the child molesters who dangle candy up front in order to lure the unsuspecting innocent into their gory deeds.

This all comes as part of the bigger picture of “owning” everything.  If you control everything, you “own” it.  You don’t need your name on it because you can just take it if you want to, what can someone who has NO control do?  Look at what’s happening to the Palestinians.  Our government is backing that situation, why?

For years, our CIA at least a portion of it, has been involved in the destruction of foreign governments.  They’ve overthrown, instigated, supplied arms and “created situations” to disrupt emerging societies.  Most of them emerging social democracies, to bring supposed “order and fairness” to these nation states.  Read “Rogue State” by William Blum.  In almost every case exactly the opposite happened.  Why?

These issues do interconnect and criss-cross each other.  They use fear like it’s going out of style.  Be afraid….be very afraid.  If you listen to them, their words will be true.  Instead, be brave… very brave, or you’ll be afraid for the rest of your life.

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By thomas billis, November 6, 2007 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I guess for many people it is news that the Republican party is the second home for bigotry.The first home of course being the mega church.This years crop of Presidential front runners on the Republican side skipped both the Hispanic debate and the black debate but they could not wait to put their lips squarely on the wallet of the NRA and that gathering of religious fanatics in New York.They tell you who they are and when convention time comes around they put on that minstrel show that could make you vomit and I guess it sells.

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By ocjim, November 6, 2007 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

The contrast of Krugman’s intelligent musings to the propaganda of a Bush, a Rudy, or any other neocon talking head is astounding. Paul Krugman and Tucker Carlson on Bill Maher was a good example of intelligence vs the loud and meaningless chatter of Carlson.

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By anonymous, November 6, 2007 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

much better! thanks!

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By anonymous, November 6, 2007 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


be back later to see if there’s more than a couple minutes of the interview

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