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Appeal to the Working Class? Don’t Bother, Says Krugman


Appeal to the Working Class? Don’t Bother, Says Krugman

Jim Naureckas

In the wake of a disastrous Election Day, does the Democratic Party need to present economic policies that have more to offer the majority of voters? Don’t bother, argues New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (11/25/16).


Saying that all those coal mining and high-paying manufacturing jobs are coming back is not a "very attractive cop out." The underground coal mining jobs are gone. High-paying manufacturing jobs will disappear to robotics or to another nation. Some are stupid enough to think that Trump will get their good ol' job back. Most first world nations have seen incomes go up over the past few decades no matter their income. The exception is the US. 90% of the reason for this is because of republicans. People are too stupid to understand much. Our corporate media is of zero help. Fake news is what a large number believe. Optimism is more elusive than Bigfoot.


I detest Krugman. I used to read his blog pretty regularly but as soon as the non-stop Bernie bashing began i dialed it in on that jerk.

It's not just Bernie bashing, it's also his stupid economics arguments. Especially to just give up on the working class. Not for anything but what a pompous ass. And this is a guy who calls himself a liberal.

He's been dead wrong on free trade for decades now and has only made the most modest of excuses that perhaps he got some of it wrong. He got it all wrong. He said free trade was a win / win for everybody. What effin world is he living in.

I'm lucky to have survived in manufacturing with a decent job since 1991, but i've seen more people lose their jobs due to outsourcing than anything else. First Mexico then China. Families devastated, all to enrich the corporate whores who are the ceos and corporate lawyers and executives.

And to say those jobs can't come back is bullsh#t. Change the goddamn rules and the jobs would come back. Both parties sold out the working class. Economics is not a science. Its a set of rules set up by people. At this time and throughout most of history the rich set the rules.

This is good article about the good professor getting it all wrong: https://www.thenation.com/article/why-was-paul-krugman-so-wrong/


Krugman, like Huffington Post and MSNBC has degenerated beyond recognition. Once again, I point out that all analysis of the election is irrelevant and a waste of time, breath and energy. And why?

The Election Was Stolen!

"Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives."


Why are all these assholes trying to figure out who did and didn't vote for whoever and why??? According to Cook Political Report (I know nothing about this site), as of now, Sunday Nov. 27 at 3:07 PM EST, 2,228,114 more people voted for Hillary than voted for Trump. That's over 2 and a quarter million votes people!! Democrats: You WON, assholes, why are you trying to figure out why you lost!!??

As to the outcome in practical terms:

"Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives."


This is a very good article. The so-called New Clinton Coalition of big money and people of color worked to win the 1992 and 1996 elections. President Bill Clinton paid off his big money backers with deregulation, and gave people of color a few crumbs and promises. Twenty years later it's clear that the Clinton and Obama administrations were a paradise for Wall St., big banks, and multi-national corporations, but traditional Democrats got no more than they would have received from Bush Sr., Dole, McCain and Romney. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be Obama's payback to traditional Dems but he never fought for a comprehensive single-payer program. The people who really need the insurance have a hard time paying for it. In other words, the New Clinton Coalition relies on traditional Dems to vote Dem out of habit, despite getting nothing in return, and that ain't gonna happen. If the Dems don't veer hard left they will go the way of the Whigs.


The lack of emphasis on economics by Clinton has to be put in context. Had this been the usual election between two establishment type of politicians Clinton would have emphasized economics but she was running against someone who clearly was not fit to be president by an reasonable standards in a democracy. Clinton's mistake is that she really did not believe that a large number of Americans would be stupid enough to elect Donald Trump. She thought that they had some minimal criteria for casting their vote when it turned out they they actually had no criteria at all, they did not measure the Trump against American values, rather they simply ignored American values as if they didn't exist. The Clinton campaign thought that by exposing the unfitness of Trump with ads using his own words that people would reject him but even though the ads clearly showed he was a fascist, racist, xenophobic, a pathological liar, a misogynist, scan artist, etc it did not do the trick as the bar was set so low by many voters that virtually any human being who was not a convicted felon could pass the test. Basically the only qualification appeared to be a loud-mouthed white man who was Christian. That is all Trump needed running against a woman who pledged to continue the agenda of an African American president.


The white portion of the American working class is this era's version of the Confederate Army rank-and-file, who fought, bled, and died for the economic interests of those most responsible for their impoverishment. This was accomplished via culture then and now. Paul Krugman has a telling point, the level of delusion manufactured by the Conservative Infotainment Complex with this crew is so profound that the best that can be done is to try to limit the damage they can be manipulated to do.


Krugman long advocated for more infrastructure spending after the Great Recession and long after that. He argued that the stimulus was half what was needed and that the tax cut portion was of much less value than the actual jobs program. It would be nice if you knew something about Krugman's proposals before criticizing.


The low skill, low education jobs are not coming back in either sufficient numbers or pay to return to the days of yesteryear. Does working class always have to mean no education beyond high school? There are lots of jobs that require nothing more than two years of specific job education beyond high school waiting to be filled. Yes, there is a place for the unskilled, high school educated to find work but the jobs will be fewer and they will pay less because of the over supply of labor clamoring for them. Move into the future rather then trying to bring back the past because one works and the other is a proven failure. Anyone still digging ditches with a shovel instead of a backhoe? Learn to run a backhoe.


I read part of the Greider article that you link to. I'm only a farmer, but some of Greider's economic ideas make no sense to me. The biggest issue I have is that Greider only looks at the wage stagnation in the US in his arguments. Virtually all other first world, western nations have seen incomes increase for all classes over the past few decades. The US is the sorry-ass outlier. The reason for that is because of non-trade issues, and look to the republicans for their never ending class war against the poorest 80 or 90%.


It sure is convenient how you blame democrats instead of putting the vast majority of the blame where it belongs.


I am forever gobsmacked that Americans are so stupid that more than 1% voted for Trump. Just over 1/3 of voters in my rural area voted for Clinton. I live on a century farm. So many of what I thought were "good" neighbors now seem like scum. My life will never be the same. Perhaps I'm the stupid one, I don't know, but I'm certainly not quite as smart as I once thought. Perhaps we're all gullible idiots in at least one way or another.


I couldn't agree with you more about the republicans. They are villainous and this might be the most destructive administration in history.

And the gains of "FREE TRADE", that people like Krugman will argue brought millions, maybe billions of people out of poverty in third world nations. Well that was accomplished on the back of the American middle class which nobody at this point can assert is not in rapid decline.

The rich got all the gains of this economic boondoggle and the middle class and the poor got the shaft.

This was by design. Both capitalist parties were in on this swindle.

I can only tell what i have witnessed first hand. And that I've seen more people fired and laid off from manufacturing companies than i've seen hired by about 500 to 1.

And for people who argue that those jobs can't be brought back I disagree. Change the rules.

Drump says he'll throw a 45% tariff on chines goods made by us companies and re-imported for sale here. I'd love to see him do that.


Sounds like someone has a double dose of affluenza.


Two election cycles ago the working class were the Democrats base. Now suddenly they are racist idiots. I think this has more to do with the elites detachment from anyone outside of the major cities ( particularly the east and west coast) than it does any change in the rural and small city electorate.


What I see is the election was stolen.
"Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives."


Good point. We cannot ignore the damage done by Republican Radio and other Right Wing Media. People have had their brains pickled in it for years now.


Krugman's weakness is that he is too comfortable. He cannot believe that people are not voting their wallets. He has forgotten, or maybe never knew what it is like to be poor and afraid, or working for peanuts and treading water.


That article by Krugman was a far more eloquent example of why Clinton lost than anything I have read to date.

The snide dismissal of people's real issues and anxieties, the casual way he called 50% of voters racist and low-life scum, the straw-men he set up and shot down, the assumption that the country is doing great if you stop believing your lying eyes, The hubris.

I felt like I was reading an op-ed from Marie Antoinette asking "why can't they just eat cake?"

Why did Clinton lose?

Its so simple. Clinton lost because she had nothing to offer people other than not being Donald Trump. Trump was offering "I am not Clinton" and some powerful snake-oil (i'll bring your jobs back). He read the mood of the electorate demanding change. She was selling more of the same.

Neo-liberals needs to get over themselves, stop thinking of everything in terms of identity politics, and go away. Let the new-deal democrats take over again and drive populist policies.