Election 2016

Krugman's Attack on Sanders Was Based on an Economic Study Produced by ... a Clinton Supporter

The Times columnist's favorite strawman turns out to not even back Sanders.

Photo Credit: Collage by Adam Johnson

Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, Nobel laureate and defensive linebacker for Team Hillary, is accusing the Sanders campaign of voodoo economics. He attacks an independent economic analysis of the Sanders agenda produced by economist Gerald Friedman. That questionable study shows incredibly high gains in jobs, employment and income.

Krugman fails to mention that Friedman is a declared Clinton supporter!

That's is either bad faith or bad journalism or both.

Good journalism and good economics requires an open debate about the key issue driving the Sanders revolt: Runaway Inequality

In 1970 a top 100 CEO earned $45 for every dollar earned by the average worker. That means if a worker could afford one car, a top 100 CEO could afford 45 cars.

Today the pay gap is an obscene $844 to $1.

The American people believe this is grossly unfair and many are flocking to the Sanders campaign because of it.

So instead of arguing about bogus studies put out by Team Hillary economists, let's debate the real issues:

  • Should higher education be free at public colleges and universities?
  • Should we enact a financial transaction tax on Wall Street speculation?
  • Should healthcare be a right for all and delivered through a single-payer system?
  • Should we rebuild the infrastructure so that there will be no more Flint poisonings of our kids?
  • Should we reduce the prison population so that we no longer lead the entire world in the number of prisoners?
  • Should we enact a $15 an hour minimum wage so that no longer lead the developed world in childhood poverty?
  • Should we tax the $21 trillion of wealth that is hidden off shore by the super-rich and large corporations?
  • Should we break up the big banks and create public state banks like the Bank of North Dakota?

We are the richest country in the history of the world. We have the resources to eliminate poverty, rebuild our infrastructure, provide decent paying jobs for all willing and able to work. But we can do so only if we take on our financial and corporate elites.

If Krugman wants to do battle with a credible economist who support the Sanders approach, he should have a go at Thomas Piketty who recently wrote:

"Sanders' success today shows that much of America is tired of rising inequality and these so-called political changes, and intends to revive both a progressive agenda and the American tradition of egalitarianism. Hillary Clinton, who fought to the left of Barack Obama in 2008 on topics such as health insurance, appears today as if she is defending the status quo, just another heiress of the Reagan-Clinton-Obama political regime.

Sanders makes clear he wants to restore progressive taxation and a higher minimum wage ($15 an hour). To this he adds free healthcare and higher education in a country where inequality in access to education has reached unprecedented heights, highlighting a gulf standing between the lives of most Americans, and the soothing meritocratic speeches pronounced by the winners of the system."

Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute, is currently working with unions and community organizations to build the educational infrastructure for a new anti-Wall Street movement. His new book Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice serves as a text for this campaign. All proceeds go to support these educational efforts.

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