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Bernie’s Movement (And Why Krugman & Co. Don't Get It)


Bernie’s Movement (And Why Krugman & Co. Don't Get It)

Robert Reich

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday warned Bernie supporters that change doesn’t happen with “transformative rhetoric” but with “political pragmatism” – “accepting half loaves as being better than none.” He writes that it’s dangerous to prefer “happy dreams (by which he means Bernie) to hard thinking about means and ends (meaning Hillary).”

Political “pragmatism” may require accepting “half loaves” – but the full loaf has to be large and bold enough in the first place to make the half loaf meaningful.


Krugman gets it, alright. His career and paycheck rely upon him making a case for Business As Usual.


Unfortunately, even getting the money out of politics won't do it. The US is ideologically divided. That is why transformation is not happening. Without recognizing the ideological divide or pretending it doesn't exist it is not possible to understand the lack of moment toward progressive goals.


Hello Robert Reich,

Your assessment of Paul Krugman is interesting. I also don’t see how he speaks much outside the crisscrossing of supplies and demands in computer modeled equilibrium.

On the other hand, as the Chancellor’s economist, you also have some explaining to do, now that you brought this topic of not getting it up for discussion.

Why has the University of California not yet completed an evolving dynamic economic accounting based on all costs? This should have been a completed public start-up decades ago. Why has Cal become a conservative bastion that paves paradise to put up a parking lot? Why is the University developing flat delta land facing sea level rise?

You have selected the best candidate as your preference. I appreciate you more for that. Even so. Don’t forget that economists like yourself preach the mantra of growth on a full planet. You job bait people when you know full well that if everyone on Earth had full-time jobs, we would be choking like they do in the great land of China.

Please let Senator Sanders discover real economics from real people. Distributed human intelligence can understand totally free health care and education are huge money makers for the nation.

Don’t be swayed, Bernie. Be patient. Soon most everyone will be voting. Voting is more than periodic political pomp. Focus distributed intelligence using democracy. Each brain has the memory power of the entire internet. Real democracy is a tool used by humanity to focus trillions of combinations to harvest distributed human intelligence in conversation with itself. You are being supported without billionaires. Academic economists from a university that is behaving strangely are dangerous to listen to. Ask economists how to prosper in slowly declining population and decreasing resource use per person.

Tell us how to prosper in a highly educated and numerically declining population that has been educated to minimize consumption to the best of one’s ability. That’s where we will find the cash to reach for the stars together. Pay as you go is far easier without austerity.


How can anybody seriously discuss "half loaves" for the 99% when the 99% has never had a half loaf and the closest we ever came to a half loaf was FDR's New Deal that has been crumbling since Ronny Raygun declared war on anything resembling a piece of a loaf with his white house successors reducing those pieces to crumbs ?


Krugman gets so many things right but he's wrong about Bernie. Bernie is not pie in the sky, he's the real deal. LBJ fought for and achieved Medicare and Medicaid but then he was a ruthless monster and he had Democratic majorities (he also gave us the monstrosity of Vietnam, one of our many perfectly avoidable and unnecessary wars). If Bernie wins the presidency, he will most likely have the popular support he needs for single payer and free higher education.


When Hillary gets through with the half loaf it most likely will end up a quarter loaf. Krugman's arguments are lame and tedious.


Sometimes no loaf is better than half loaf...especially if you have to give something up to the GOP to get that half loaf....No legislation is better than bad legislation.....The GOP wont compromise why should we...and every good bill that comes along and has some of the crazy shit hidden in from the GOP assbags then I say hell no to half a loaf....To tell the truth we dont even get half a loaf most of the time and yet Obama will cave in .....To me I would rather he scrap the whole thing and start over before knuckling to GOP tyrants.......I believe Bernie will take this road....Hillary will cave in to the GOP and then claim some sort of false victory......This sucks.


Krugman's moderation, namely, throwing the public option back into the ACA, was more reasonable when the bill was being debated six years ago. I don't believe Clinton has voiced any notions on the public option.

With a President Clinton, House Republicans on day one of the next Congress will certainly do two things: 1) attempt to repeal Obamacare, and 2) write articles to impeach the president. (I'm guessing at the first, but one Republican has promised the second.)