media mainstream

Krugman, Putin and the New York Times, by Edward S. Herman

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Paul Krugman is an outstanding scholar-journalist, arguably the most enlightening among the New York Times’s regulars. He has grown in his years with the Times, possibly to the dismay of the top brass of the paper. When he was taken on as a regular in 2000 Krugman was a free trade enthusiast, and in his very first regular column (January 2, 2000) he admonished the protesters at the World Trade Organization gathering in Seattle (12/99) for portraying globalization as “an ideology of and for a rootless cosmopolitan elite that is out of touch with ordinary people.” He claimed then that the protesters’ oppositional cause is “denying opportunity to Third World workers.” The big problem for the next century, as Krugman then saw it, was whether the recent beneficial globalization revolution could build a mass constituency. Krugman had earlier been a strong supporter of NAFTA, a believer in the policy-constraining effects of the “natural rate of unemployment,” which he took as a given, as well as accepting that the concern over poverty had “exhausted the patience of the general public” and dealing with it was “politically out of bounds.” He also claimed that Western nations had “grown out of the sabre-rattling nationalism that led to catastrophic warfare in 1914.” (This was just after the U.S. war on Yugoslavia and the early moves of Clinton in expanding NATO toward the Russian border.) Krugman was in tune with the NYT editors. Lire la suite »