pageok
pageok
pageok
Lindsey on Krugman's "Partisanship":

Brink Lindsey laments Paul Krugman's "crude partisanship."

How can someone as intelligent and informed as Krugman concoct an interpretation of the post-World War II era that does such violence to the facts? How can someone so familiar with the intricate complexities of social processes convince himself that history is a simple matter of good guys versus bad guys? Because, for whatever reason, he has swapped disinterested analysis and scholarship for ideological partisanship. Here, in a revealing choice of phrase, he paraphrases Barry Goldwater's notorious line: "Partisanship in the defense of liberty is no vice."

To be a partisan is, by definition, to see the world partially rather than objectively: to identify wholeheartedly with the perspectives of one particular group and, at the extreme, to discount all rival perspectives as symptoms of intellectual or moral corruption. . . .

I understand the us-versus-them pleasures of ideological partisanship. In my younger days, I indulged in them with gusto. But at some point, ideology joined Santa Claus and the tooth fairy in my attic of discarded beliefs. Firm values, yes; definite points of view on contested empirical questions, to be sure — but to see a country as diverse, yet blessedly prosperous and stable, as this one as an ongoing war between angels and devils is to live in a fantasy world.

Commenterlein (mail):
That criticism would pack a lot more punch if it didn't come from Cato's VP of research. Cato lost any remaining credibility when they decided to pursue an all-out lie campaign about the solvency of social security. Krugman called them out on it, and now a Cato hack is complaining that Krugman is a partisan. Pretty rich.
11.1.2007 2:04pm
Mark Field (mail):
Brink Lindsey is accusing someone of excessive partisanship? Brink Lindsey? All the cliches about pots and kettles, living in glass houses, etc. seem inadequate.
11.1.2007 2:14pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
So neither of you have any substantive criticisms? (Since when is Brink Lindsey a partisan? Are you confusing him with Jonah Goldberg or something?)

As for Social Security, Krugman's response essentially was, "What do you mean insolvent? All we have to do is raise taxes dramatically higher than they've ever been in the history of the country, and we can continue to pay for it."
11.1.2007 2:24pm
frankcross (mail):
Well, I think his substantive point is a good one. However, when Lindsey complains of books bashing conservatives and partisan liberals, I wonder if he has written complaining of books bashing liberals and partisan conservatives. If the answer is no, his column is a silly self-indictment, proving that he is partisan, much as Krugman.
11.1.2007 2:38pm
Ubu Walker (mail):
Interesting, I never realized that Volokh was a Cato Institute and Federalist shill...guess I won't have to take his writings so seriously then.
11.1.2007 2:44pm
Unintended Consequences:
Insolvent? It is more than possible for Social Security to be solvent. Raising taxes is a solution as well as changing the eligibility requirements and/or the COLA increases. This would, I think, provide solvency until well past 2060, by which time the boomer generation that is straining our country's finances will have passed its peak. Unfortunately, dogmatists on both sides, including Brink Lindsey, don't want responsible change.
11.1.2007 2:46pm
srg:
Tu quoque arguments are worthless.
The fact is that Krugman has become increasingly shrill and unreliable.
11.1.2007 3:01pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
From a recent academic paper dismantling a Krugman article on Milton Friedman:
Paul Krugman is a respected trade theorist. But he does not speak authoritatively on subjects on which he has no expertise. Monetary economics is not his field of expertise. Krugman's research background does not qualify him as an authority on Milton Friedman's work. Krugman's scholarly publications rarely mentioned Friedman and, when they did, they acknowledged the contributions of Friedman and monetarism in a way that contradicts his (2007a) essay on Friedman. Friedman's reputation is intact despite Krugman's deplorable efforts to denigrate him and his contributions.
And yes, people who are accusing Brink Lindsey of partisanship -- that is, the guy who was most recently famous for his "liberal-tarian" article in The New Republic -- are quite ignorant. Biased too -- apparently their only metric for accusing someone else of partisanship is that he disagreed with Paul Krugman.
11.1.2007 3:25pm
Gil Milbauer (mail) (www):
Ubu Walker,

You have no obligation to take anybody seriously.

But, if you want intellectual integrity, you should take ideas seriously regardless of their sources.

Lindsay is spot on about Krugman, and I found Lindsay's The Age of Abundance to be full of great information and keen insights.

Ignore him if you like, but it won't help you undersand the world.
11.1.2007 3:26pm
DangerMouse:
but to see a country as diverse, yet blessedly prosperous and stable, as this one as an ongoing war between angels and devils is to live in a fantasy world.

Fantasy world? I wonder if that comment is an implicit attack on religion, particularly Christianity: "We wrestle not against flesh and blood or human enemies, but against principalities and powers, the rulers of darkness of this wicked world and all their followers." Ephesians 6:12.

Traditional interpretation of that passage from Ephesians means that while we love our enemies, we also struggle with them against Satanic-derived wickedness; the true fight of the faithful isn't against a single man or ideology, but against the evil of the Devil which tempts men.

Maybe Lindsey didn't mean to get theological. Maybe he just means that a country as prosperous as ours cannot have an ongoing war between "good" and "evil." I suppose it depends on your point of view. There have been over 40 million abortions since 1973, after all. Maybe he's just placated by prosperity.
11.1.2007 3:32pm
BGates:
frankcross, I think Lindsey adequately deals with that complaint in his second sentence: "Now don't get me wrong: conservativism deserves some fairly spirited bashing these days."

Kudos to Ubu for his satire of partisanship. You will dismiss Volokh because Adler quoted Lindsey?
11.1.2007 3:35pm
Jeff Leyser (mail):
Lindsey complains that the "the left" is being partisan when writing books bashing the right, while completely ignoring the works of Goldberg, Ponnuru, and Coulter.

So glad to see that his "ideology joined Santa Claus and the tooth fairy in [his] attic of discarded beliefs," since, apparently, his hypocrisy is alive and well.
11.1.2007 3:35pm
GatoRat:
Lindsey was writing specifically about Krugman. To say his criticisms are invalid because he didn't criticize Goldberg et. al. is a specious argument at best. And even if Lindsey is a hypocrite, what does that have to do with the argument that Krugman is just making stuff up?
11.1.2007 3:54pm
WHOI Jacket:
Jeff,

So you repudiate Al Franken, Maureen Dowd, Paul Leavy, Tom Ruphrect, Elizabeth Holtzman and Cynthia L. Cooper, Elaine Cassel, Chris Mooney, David Brock, etc?

Heck, just go to Amazon and enter "Bush" or "GOP" into the search bar.
11.1.2007 3:58pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Jeff,

Let me suggest that a difference might be that those you cite on the right are not trying to pass themselves off as economics experts in areas that they didn't work in. I don't know of the others, but last time I knew, Coulter did her graduate work in law and not economics.
11.1.2007 3:58pm
jim:
Lindsey and Krugman have both written recent books providing broad historical narratives explaining the larger points of the 20th century. Lindsey's is a narrative of the history of ideas, about wealth and markets, and about impersonal forces of societal change. Krugman's is a narrative in which a very very few powerful individuals loom larger than life and in which the size of government and marginal tax rates has massive impact on all aspects of society.

Lindsey's narrative is just so much more compelling than Krugman's in its view of history, even before we unmask the great actors of Krugman's history as the virtuous FDR who never made a bad-trade off and the evil Ronald Reagan who was bent on destroying the middle class. (I exaggerate for effect, but take a look at Krugman's bloggingheads.tv segment and you'll see what I mean)

So I think you all are missing the point of Lindsey's criticism. He's not saying that Krugman is a partisan, so therefore we should disregard what he is saying. He is saying that what Krugman is saying is wrong, and that part of the reason it is wrong is due to the emphasis on partisanship within its narrative.

For those calling Lindsey a partisan on the order of Krugman, I say just watch a bit of each of them on blogginheads. Seems clear to me that where Krugman is hard pressed to believe his intellectual opponents could be decdent people acting in good faith, Lindsey automatically assumes that to be the case. That has to count for something, right?
11.1.2007 4:23pm
Francis (mail):
From Lindsey's post: And the picture of Krugman that emerges is one of a man completely besotted with ideological enthusiasm

This from an interview, not a scholarly work.

I have firm values.
You are a partisan.
He is an ideologue.
11.1.2007 4:23pm
frankcross (mail):
No, BGates, one sentence criticizing conservatives in a long article on Krugman's partisanship does not show balance. Although Krugman is very partisan, I recall an occasional throway sentence of his criticizing liberals.
11.1.2007 4:50pm
Dave N (mail):
Lindsay rightly points to Krugman as an example of what now passes for public discource: My view is not only right, it is virtuous; those who oppose my view are not only wrong, they are evil.

That pretty well encapsulates Krugman's view of the world--and Ann Coulter's, too, for that matter. So we end up with vicious, ad hominem attacks in their works (as well as other writers of their ilk). After all, there is no reason to address the other side if their views can be denigrated instead of engaged.

As an aside, that is one reason I enjoy this particular blog more than others. The discussion is usually respectful even when challenging the views of another and seldom becomes the "Liar, liar pants on fire" shrillness that now so often passes for political debate.
11.1.2007 4:57pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
Indeed, I'm not sure what to make of the reading skills of anyone who could scroll down Brink Lindsey's blog and nonetheless think that he's a partisan Republican (see, e.g., Invasion of the Cheney Snatchers, or Conservatives for Racism, Sexism, and Prudery).
11.1.2007 5:02pm
Hoosier:
Well I for one repudiate Maureen Dowd. Why does writing the same column with the same, ahem, "methodology"--"We can always understand (fill in the issue) by pretending that it's just like the high school in "Mean Girls"--and reaching the same conclusion--"They aren't as clever as I am"--deserve space in the "paper of record"?

Krugman? Too tough to read due to his partisanship. I'd say the same about any mind-numbingly pro-GOP columnist for a major daily, but I don't know of any. Which doesn't mean that they are not out there. It just means that I read the "Times".
11.1.2007 5:08pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
However, when Lindsey complains of books bashing conservatives and partisan liberals, I wonder if he has written complaining of books bashing liberals and partisan conservatives. If the answer is no, his column is a silly self-indictment, proving that he is partisan, much as Krugman.

Frank Cross, can I suggest something? You say that you "wonder" whether Lindsey has ever criticized "books bashing liberals." How about going out and looking for yourself? You seem like a guy who, at least in some contexts, cares about collecting evidence before hurling accusations.
11.1.2007 5:09pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Lindsey complains that the "the left" is being partisan
That would be an example of a falsehood. Lindsey said no such thing. In fact, he didn't mention "the left" at all, except when he mentioned the New Left in the 1960s.
when writing books bashing the right, while completely ignoring the works of Goldberg, Ponnuru, and Coulter.
There were millions of works he "completely ignored," because none of those were the topic of his column.
11.1.2007 5:13pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
That pretty well encapsulates Krugman's view of the world--and Ann Coulter's, too, for that matter.
Yes, but the difference is that nobody -- I hope! -- takes Coulter seriously. She doesn't pretend to be anything other than a partisan operative. Krugman pretends to be an academic. (He is an academic, but not in this field -- but he attempts to leverage his academic stature to have his Coulteresqe arguments taken seriously.)

Krugman's problem is that he can't tell the difference between means and ends, or between mistakes and bad faith. You must agree with Krugman or you're stupid or evil. (That even applies to those on the same side of the aisle as him.)
11.1.2007 5:20pm
Anderson (mail):
How can someone so familiar with the intricate complexities of social processes convince himself that history is a simple matter of good guys versus bad guys?

Uh, because a lot of history *is* good guys vs. bad guys?

The few vs. the many, the rich vs. the poor -- these are not figments of the liberal imagination. They're recurring conflicts.

The "partisanship" comes when someone insists on imposing an ideological disguise on reality.

HISTORICALLY, governments have been used by the rich few as opportunities to fleece the many who are poor. Always have been; always will be, to some extent or other. (This blog's soi-disant libertarian readers should have no difficulty with that observation.)

Krugman is now a "partisan" because he notes that the U.S. government is no exception?
11.1.2007 5:21pm
Anderson (mail):
You must agree with Krugman or you're stupid or evil.

Btw, some quotes from Krugman supporting this point would be helpful.
11.1.2007 5:22pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
I just love some of the "facts" that Lindsey uses to support his contention that Krugman is just a partisan hack.

Like it was all the unions' fault that American industry became non-competitive.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.
11.1.2007 5:28pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Uh, because a lot of history *is* good guys vs. bad guys?
Yes. Abolitionists vs. slaveholders. Other MLB teams vs. Yankees. Jews vs. Inquisition. Americans vs. Nazis. Americans vs. communists. But not conservatives vs. liberals.


I just love some of the "facts" that Lindsey uses to support his contention that Krugman is just a partisan hack.
If anybody would know something about partisan hacks...
Like it was all the unions' fault that American industry became non-competitive.
Too bad Lindsey never said that.
11.1.2007 5:41pm
Jeff Leyser (mail):
Krugman is a partisan, and never claimed anything different. The title of the book is Conscience of a Liberal, for Pete's sake.

Lindsey is a partisan, and claims otherwise. In this very article, in fact.
11.1.2007 5:59pm
frankcross (mail):
Jackson, I didn't make an accusation. Rather than searching all that Brink Lindsey had ever written, I thought someone might enlighten me. I'm skeptical but not accusatory. I recognize that I may be wrong. But you can't prove a negative, so I was hoping somebody might prove a positive.
11.1.2007 6:44pm
GatoRat:
Is anyone going to defend Krugman on the merits of his claims? (Or is this just a mud flinging match which pretty much supports Lindsey's underlying thesis?)
11.1.2007 6:53pm
Drake (mail) (www):
What bullocks. One should be "partisan" about anything one substantially understands and about which one takes there to be a fact of the matter (as Lindsey himself is "partisan" about the nonexistence of Santa Claus). The issue isn't whether Krugman is partisan, but whether he gets his facts wrong. We have Lindsey's conclusions on this score, and for that I'm sure we're all grateful; but he hasn't shown his work.
11.1.2007 7:00pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
So, Frank Cross, if you write an article saying, "Charles Murray's handling of evidence is one-sided and partisan," then rather than defending Murray on the merits, I can just respond with this ad hominem: "I wonder if Frank Cross has ever questioned the handling of evidence by a liberal. If the answer is no, his accusation is a silly self-indictment, proving that he is partisan, much as Murray."

And then it's up to your supporters to dig around through LEXIS or Google to disprove your insinuation.
11.1.2007 7:04pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
But you can't prove a negative, so I was hoping somebody might prove a positive.

Frank, again, even the slightest perusal of Brink Lindsey's blog and writings reveals that he has plenty of harsh things to say about the conservative movement in general and conservative politicians in particular. He may or may not have written a specific article attacking Coulter -- I don't know -- but such an article would be entirely in keeping with his general dislike of partisan conservatives. You've provided absolutely no basis for your supposed skepticism.
11.1.2007 7:12pm
titus32:
Drake, what do steers have to do with it?

At any rate, he's saying that Krugman got the facts wrong because he's partisan. And he does show (at least some of) his work--just click on the handy link for 12 bullet points.
11.1.2007 7:17pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
The issue isn't whether Krugman is partisan, but whether he gets his facts wrong. We have Lindsey's conclusions on this score, and for that I'm sure we're all grateful; but he hasn't shown his work.

Drake -- Lindsey doesn't just assert that Krugman is partisan, and then leave it at that. He gives a very long bullet-point list of factors that Krugman tends to ignore when making his sweeping claims that the middle class is all due to the wonderful policies of Roosevelt while the "Second Gilded Age" is all the fault of Reagan/Bush. This bullet point list seems fairly plausible. Granted, Lindsey doesn't "prove" every item on this bullet point list, but to do so, he'd have to write a (very long) treatise.

Of course, it's a clever debating point to claim that some blog post or another is completely worthless because it didn't address something exhaustively (something that would take hundreds of pages). But by that standard, no one can ever discuss anything in blog posts besides the most trivial of facts.
11.1.2007 7:21pm
HappyConservative:
I hate rabid liberals.

But, one should note the following about Brink Lindsey. He is apparently not disagreeing with facts that Krugman has put on the table. He has merely chosen to note the things that Krugman has not said.

Well, maybe Krugman does not think the mistakes that happened in the New Deal were as significant as the accomplishments. So, he doesn't mention them. That does not strike me as rabidly partisan; that strikes me as judicious use of a limited number of words where you want to make a particular point.

See, nuance takes space. And it can distract from what you see as your bigger point. It seems to me that Brink Lindsey would be a much more effective critic if he pointed out any major factual or analytical errors, instead of bitching about Krugman's editorial choices.

Krugman is a whiny loser, but I am not all that impressed with Lindsey either.
11.1.2007 7:33pm
Anderson (mail):
That does not strike me as rabidly partisan; that strikes me as judicious use of a limited number of words where you want to make a particular point.

Well said.
11.1.2007 7:45pm
BGates:
Uh, because a lot of history *is* good guys vs. bad guys?
Anderson, you're 14 months early. After Hillary's inauguration that statement will be applauded as a model of moral clarity, but for the next 14 months please stay away from such simplistic and dangerous cowboy-talk.
11.1.2007 7:51pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
Wow... I gotta wonder if some of you folks even read the linked entry. Calling Lindsey a "hypocrite" because "he's a partisan too!" is a non-sensical argument, and has literally nothing to do with the subject of his post. So what if he is a "partisan"? How does that disqualify him from pointing out partisanship in others?

If I am a thief, does that mean that I can't point out that you too are a thief? Some of you are using that logic-challenged argument to simply dismiss Lindsey's argument. You would be a lot more persuasive if you actually addressed some of his points.

The fact is that Paul Krugman has become unreadable in recent years. He is excruciatingly predictable. I can tell you beforehand what every single one of his opinions is going to be. It's boring!!
11.1.2007 8:13pm
Jackson Benson (mail) (www):
Henri --

Quite right. What these folks are offering is the "tu quoque" fallacy. Also known as the "so's your mother" fallacy. It's a sign that someone is incapable of a meaningful response.
11.1.2007 8:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Lindsey is a partisan, and claims otherwise. In this very article, in fact.
You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Brink Lindsey is a libertarian; it might be fair to call him an ideologue (although that term has pejorative connotations). But he is clearly not "partisan," as even a cursory review of his writings would reveal to you.
11.1.2007 8:28pm
TCO:
I'm really sick of the sophistry and the bullshit on the internet. I used to think that conservatives were smart and intellectually honest. Now, I know that they are Hannity-scale intellects and hacks like Steve McIntyre. Pisses me off. Want to napalm them out and into the Democratic Party. Don't foul the right.
11.1.2007 8:30pm
HappyConservative:
TCO,

Oh, and what is your ideal Republican? A libertarian? The libertarians are going to tell the conservatives to leave the GOP?

You are amusing.

=)
11.1.2007 8:40pm
Jeff Leyser (mail):

You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Fine, David, he's an ideologue, not a partisan.

My point is, he's an ideologue who says, in the last paragraph of the very post we're all talking about: "But at some point, ideology joined Santa Claus and the tooth fairy in my attic of discarded beliefs."

And that, my friends, makes him a liar as well as an ideologue.
11.1.2007 10:57pm
TCO:
HC: The ideal has to do with intellectual honesty and curiousity. Of course, you are only interested in what side is favored, not what behavior. Because you are a cheese dick, who should be used as a speed bag.
11.1.2007 11:33pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
That Krugman chooses to title his book in homage to Barry Goldwater's classic apologia ought to be a tip that it is going to be long on politics and short on reality. How can this even be a point of contention? All because Brink Lindsey said so?
11.2.2007 12:08am
Mark Bahner (www):
That criticism would pack a lot more punch if it didn't come from Cato's VP of research. Cato lost any remaining credibility when they decided to pursue an all-out lie campaign about the solvency of social security. Krugman called them out on it,...


Paul Krugman "called them on it," how? By pretending that the "Trust Fund" really exists, and is not simply a shamelessly dishonest accounting trick?

The fact is that "special" bonds issued to the Social Security Administration are completely worthless. They are not negotiable securities that can be sold on the open market. If the U.S. government defaults on those "special" bonds, the only people who get hurt are those collecting Social Security. If the U.S. government defaults on REAL bonds, everyone who holds U.S. bonds is hurt.

The Social Security "Trust Fund" bonds are a blatantly dishonest accounting fiction. Any economist who speaks or writes about Social Security and does not clearly acknowledge that fact--e.g., Paul Krugman, Dean Baker, and Mark Weisbrot--should be regarded as being fundamentally dishonest on this issue.

P.S. The fact that the Social Security "Trust Fund" is a fraud does not necessarily mean Social Security is in deep trouble:

Implications of likely astounding economic growth in the 21st century
11.2.2007 12:12am
HappyConservative:

The ideal has to do with intellectual honesty and curiousity. Of course, you are only interested in what side is favored, not what behavior.


That is interesting, because if I recall, you were the one bitching about conservatives...


I used to think that conservatives were smart and intellectually honest. Now, I know that they are Hannity-scale intellects and hacks


You were the one that brought up sides. But you say I am the one that is only interested in what side is favored.


Because you are a cheese dick, who should be used as a speed bag.


I do believe the violating my free speech rights by using me as a speed bag due to your dislike of my point of view would violate libertarian "principles." But I suppose these are all expendable for you libertarian scum.

See, this is the problem with a class of people who run away from morality. They do not stick to their principles. Advocating violence when you disagree with someone who is your intellectual superior is not supposed to be a libertarian ideal. But that doesn't stop you, does it?

The bottom-line is that conservatives own the GOP. We tolerate you libertarians only as a tool to defeat our more serious adversaries. That is why I find it beyond amusing when you suggest that you "[w]ant to napalm them [conservatives] out and into the Democratic Party."

Conservatives own the GOP. Libertarians are a tiny minority that can safely be written off by either party. The only reason their is any political alliance at all is because conservatives believe in personal responsibility, so we tend to agree that people should not be bailed out of the messes they make for themselves. But we believe that for reasons of morality, whereas, libertarians fail to acknowledge the role their own sense of morality plays in their political positions.

If libertarians had any chance of having real power, I would probably be nearly as concerned as if leftists took control. But the fact is, you are a tiny minority that at most can influence pet issues in a way that is not repugnant to conservatives.

We own you. Get over it.
11.2.2007 2:40am
TCO:
You are a moron. I brought up sides to make a point on the importance of behaviour over sides. And you argue like a libertarian. What a cheese dick. Oh...and don't worry, I'm not going to assault you.
11.2.2007 7:00am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The bottom-line is that conservatives own the GOP. We tolerate you libertarians only as a tool to defeat our more serious adversaries. That is why I find it beyond amusing when you suggest that you "[w]ant to napalm them [conservatives] out and into the Democratic Party."

Conservatives own the GOP.
That's true; self-styled "morality" conservatives do own the GOP right now, which is approximately as valuable as owning the patent on the formula for Pepsi Clear. Perhaps your ownership of the GOP explains why Bush is polling at under 30% and Democrats are outfundraising Republicans at least 2-1 this election cycle.

While hard-core libertarians are only a small portion of the electorate, libertarian-leaning people are a much larger portion. And the GOP can't win elections without them. It's no coincidence that the leading presidential candidates in the GOP primary field are the less conservative ones, whereas the proudly conservative ones are going nowhere -- with Brownbacks and Tancredos already having dropped out, and Huckabee closer to Mike Gravel than to Ron Paul.
11.2.2007 8:26am
Anderson (mail):
Anderson, you're 14 months early.

Ah yes, Hillary, like 9/11, will change everything.

Interested persons should see Michael Tomasky's review of Krugman's book, titled "The Partisan."

Of course, being in the NY Review of Books, that is not meant as a bad thing:

From what I have read of his economic writings, they are not unlike his columns, or his attacks on Reagan and the National Review in his book, in the sense that persuasion of people with very different views is at best of secondary interest to him. What is of interest to him is describing things as he believes they are.

In Washington, this earns one the epithet - as Washington prefers to think of it - "partisan." But too many people who are also granted valuable journalistic space spent the early Bush years in denial about the evidence that was accumulating right before their eyes, whether about official lies, or executive overreach, or rampant class warfare waged on behalf of the richest one percent against the rest of us. Mildly deploring some of these excesses while accepting others is what is meant by bipartisanship today, and Krugman is right to have none of it. As a result he has left us a much more accurate record of the Bush years than, say, The Washington Post's David S. Broder, or some of his more celebrated New York Times colleagues.


Damn straight.
11.2.2007 10:34am
BobDoyle (mail):
Remember, the NY Times' (hardly a conservative bastion) own Public Editor Daniel Okrent, criticized Krugman for "the unfair use of statistics, the misleading representation of opposing positions, and the conscious withholding of contrary data."
11.2.2007 11:42am
Drake (mail) (www):
Titus32 and Jackson, I saw Lindsey's bullet points. They are what I was referring to when I mentioned Lindsey's failing to "show his work." Take the first one: That Krugman fails to take into account "the extent to which widespread prosperity was the result of impersonal market competition rather than benevolent politicians...." Thing is, "impersonal market competition" was a constant. What changed were institutions. Lindsey is just throwing out any old plausible third variables and saying Krugman's failure to address it means he isn't being sufficiently exhaustive (which, as Jackson pointed out, often merely serves as a rank debating trick). That's not "showing your work."

Much more could be said about Lindsey's post, and not just in the way of point-by-point rebuttal. Take, for instance, the fact that as a proxy for criticizing Krugman's book he cites Krugman's remarks in an interview. ("I expressed disdain for the current spate of conservative-bashing books by [among others] Paul Krugman.... I didn't get a chance there to flesh out my criticisms [of Krugman's book] in any detail, so I'd like to do a little bit of that here.... I've got an excellent jumping-off point: an interview of Paul Krugman.") But I'll leave it at that. Last words are yours, if you want them.
11.2.2007 12:09pm
titus32:
Anderson, and I would recommend David Kennedy's review in the NY Times, whose critique overlaps some with Lindsey's (Kennedy is a historian who takes issue with Krugman's crude version of history).

He concludes:

Like the rants of Rush Limbaugh or the films of Michael Moore, Krugman's shrill polemic may hearten the faithful, but it will do little to persuade the unconvinced or to advance the national discussion of the important issues it addresses. It may even deepen the very partisan divide he denounces. Where is the distinguished economist when we need him?
11.2.2007 12:30pm
Mark Bahner (www):
Conservatives own the GOP.


We own you. Get over it.


As I look to a probable future of President Hillary giving her first State of the Union speech to Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, that would tend to depress me.

But reading quotes like those makes me realize that Brink Lindsey was right. It isn't one side of angels and one of devils. Both "sides" are--in the immortal words of the Monty Python show--"utterly drab and awful."
11.2.2007 1:06pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
The rich who invested in the industrial revolution are the good guys in history. They made themselves and all of us richer.

After all what King in 1800 had automatically controlled central air? Or even a wall air conditioner?

What King in 1800 could travel 10,000 miles in a day?

What King in 1800 could see events live half a planet away?

What King in 1800 could take a photograph and send it anywhere in the world in seconds?

The rich have been good to us.
11.2.2007 3:09pm