Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Paul Krugman's Critique of Bernie Sanders

I want to pass on a couple of Paul Krugman’s recent blog posts.  They are critical of Bernie Sanders.  Paul Krugman is a notorious liberal economist who won a Nobel Prize.  He is an influential voice on the Left.

Weakened at Bernie’s

Health Reform Is Hard

I am not sharing these blog posts because I agree with them entirely, but I do think that they raise valid considerations.  I appreciate Krugman’s honesty in these posts.  Some of what Krugman says also overlaps with why I have a difficult time deciding between Hillary and Bernie.  If I had to judge, I would say that Bernie is better in terms of character.  But Hillary seems to me to be better at realistically assessing the political scene to determine what can get passed, and also at developing policy proposals that have nuance and substance.  Sanders often seems to me to be spouting cliches.  I have no doubt that he sincerely believes those cliches, and even that there is merit in them.  But what Hillary says sounds more substantive to me.
On the other hand, allow me to share a positive statement about Bernie by Robert Reich (see the January 17, 2016 status on Reich’s Facebook page):

“Hillary presented herself as an experienced politician who is prepared to assume the presidency, while Bernie presented himself as the leader of a political revolution. Both characterizations seem fair. If you assume Washington is not changeable and that the vicious cycle of wealth and power dominating our politics and economics is unalterable, Hillary’s experience is relevant; she will make a first-class president for the system we now have. But if you believe Washington must be changed, and that system can be altered for the benefit of the many and not the few, Bernie’s leadership is more relevant; he is heading up a political movement.”

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