Paul Krugman …

by on January 23, 2008

To the Editor:

Really! We have a laughingstock president, various lost wars we learn about daily, economic upheavals, violations of privacy rights, a broken justice system, another nutcase GOP candidate denying evolution but not America as a Christian theocracy, and on and on – and all dear Paul Hogarth finds to rail about is one progressive economist who borrows someone else’s book title?

A little perspective, please: Paul Krugman is one of the few good guys willing to take on the dinosaurs, without partisan preferences. And in the celebrated NY Times. I support the idea and reality of beyondchron but is this becoming beyondNYTimes, too? Maybe he made an honest mistake vs. Dubya Dimwit’s.

I’d cheer weekly books titled “The Conscience of a Liberal” both to redeem the word “liberal” and shame wimpy Democrats into developing a conscience, say in ending a fully discredited, endless war.

After all, if you can’t borrow book titles (for good reason not open to copyright), how can thousands of us write our biography called “Hamlet”— about a noble youth ambushed by a hustler-usurper-tyrant who invokes divine right to violate countless rights (not just liberty, but life itself) only to be caught out in the end by his own machinations — and disgraced.

Now that’s a narrative worth a rant or two – damn the title. In short, let us remind ourselves who is the enemy and who are the remaining good guys.

Robert Becker
Mendocino CA

To the Editor:

I always find BeyondChron fair and informative, and enjoy Paul Hogarth’s commentaries, but I think accusing Paul Krugman of a rip-off is far too strong given that Wellstone’s book is not that well known–I sure didn’t remember it, although I had great admiration for Wellstone–and Krugman was not that liberal or that activist until fairly recently.

He’s basically been an academic with little reason to read anything outside of economics. It shows in how little sociology he draws on in the liberal conscience book. I think the title is a contrast with the ghost written book attributed to Goldwater, and I take Krugman’s word for its origin because there is no benefit in stealing it or denying it. The commentary is too testy about anyone slightly to the right of BeyondChron.

Bill Domhoff
Santa Cruz

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