“Progressive Economists,” Paul Krugman??

On This Week, the usually very precise Paul Krugman fell down the huge bottomless linguistic pit created by Bill Clinton and the DLC.

Krugman bemoaned the lack of any progressive economists in the Obama administration while being lectured by the like of Peggy Noonan on antediluvian economics.

Progressives have most distinguished themselves from the usual run of coastal liberals by being isolationist, insular, often tainted with more or less aggressive chauvinism.  

The last clear progressive “economist” I ever read was the fire-breathing The Nation columnist, Alexander Cockburn.

Cockburn styled himself a socialist while directing much of his fire at his fellow alternating lead The Nation columnist, Christopher Hitchens, who was a liberal and/or socialist.  Cockburn’s somewhat bizarre economics, rarely on display, was oddly reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson’s isolationist economics and even had a hint of Jefferson’s rabid racism.

Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower were both regular contributors to The Progressive.  The Progressive is a Madison, Wi, publication that traces its beginnings to Bob LaFollete and hews closely to LaFollete’s ideas without some of the ugliness.  Progressivism began with Teddy Roosevelt and his Bull Moose Party and has a history of wild warriors against conservatives of any breed.

Most notable in my view was Huey Long.  

“If you can’t take their money, drink their liquor, eat their food, screw their women and then look them in the eye and tell them you are against them, you’re not man enough to be in the Senate,” declared the Kingfish.  

No doubt Huey was first in line with his “Share Our Wealth” organization but he beat FDR bloody when FDR made draconian cuts to the pensions of veterans and their families.  FDR never forgot nor forgave, his hatred for Republicans was mild by comparison.

No way in hell was Krugman talking about the like of Huey Long.  Not terribly likely the two would ever see eye to eye.  Certainly Krugman would have known enough not to debate Huey Long while standing alongside Huey at a urinal.  A fellow senator did that in the Senate restroom and Huey simply turned sideways without saying a thing.  

Best,  Terry

1 comment

  1. terryhallinan

    only antediluvian economists are allowed in the door.

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