David R. Henderson  

Finally Some Good News from Paul Krugman

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Peter Robinson Interviews Kell... The Confusion about Inequality...
Both his [Trump's] pick as budget director and his choice to head Health and Human Services want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare. His choice as labor secretary is a fast-food tycoon who has been a vociferous opponent both of Obamacare and of minimum wage hikes. And House Republicans have already submitted plans for drastic cuts in Social Security, including a sharp rise in the retirement age. ...
This is an excerpt from Paul Krugman, "Populism, Real and Phony," New York Times. It's quoted in Mark Thoma's post.

This reminds me of the old joke that David Frum tells in his book Dead Right. I'll tell it as best I can. Two Jews are talking about what they read. One castigates the other for reading vile, anti-semitic newspapers. The one who is castigated defends himself: "Why read what you read? In your pro-Jewish newspapers, we learn that we are always under attack. People hate us.The world looks grim. In the newspapers I read, I learn that we control everything. We control the banks. Politicians cater to our every whim. We run Hollywood. I like good news."

I have no idea whether Krugman is predicting accurately. My guess is that, unfortunately, he's not. Even the win on the minimum wage, though, would be a big win.


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COMMENTS (5 to date)
VS writes:

[Comment removed. Please consult our comment policies and check your email for explanation.--Econlib Ed.]

Brad writes:

Which part of the ACA would they dismantle? It is so many things. And, its tentacles reach far into every facet of healthcare and business now that undoing it will be hard. The closest thing to eternal life is a government program.

David R. Henderson writes:

@Brad,
Which part of the ACA would they dismantle?
Good question. Hard to know. I’m just glad that they’re thinking about it.

David Friedman writes:

Along similar lines, someone on Facebook posted a graph showing connections between many of Trump's appointees and the Koch brothers, obviously with the implication that it demonstrated Koch influence over the new administration and was a bad thing.

My response was that, if true, that was very good news. The Koch brothers, after all, are in favor of free trade, open borders, a non-interventionist foreign policy, drug legalization, ... .

But it probably isn't true. People who are politically active have connections with lots of organizations, organizations usually have multiple funders, so the fact that someone Trump wants to appoint to a position has some connection with at least one organization that has some connection to the Koch brothers doesn't tell us very much.

David R. Henderson writes:

@David Friedman,
Well put.

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