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    Yesterday's diary about Paul Krugman's profile on PBS NewsHour certainly got a lot of deserved attention. (For Dr. K I mean, not me of course.) While a number of commenters took issue with the way PBS framed it and others took issue with me for characterizing interviewer Paul Solman as 'horrified' - I for one am grateful that any kind of legitimate American media outlet is giving Krugman and his views so much attention at this time. PBS seems to have taken note - the end of tonight's broadcast made mention of all the comments they'd received at their website, noted that they were having further installments at Making Sen$e, and the profile itself got prominent placement on the NewsHour web page earlier today for a time.

       The first installment was up yesterday, Germany's Whips & Scourges.

In our first installment, Krugman discusses European austerity, and makes the point that no country that has its own currency is experiencing the problems the eurozone now faces. Below, a [print] rebuttal of sorts from Jacob Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
     It's only about 4 minutes; watch it and make up your own mind about Krugman's discussion of the difference between Europe and the U.S. economic situation. We have more options because we still control our own currency; rising interest rates and inflation fears aren't quite the same risk for us.

        I confess that Kirkegaard lost me with his counterarguments the moment he started talking about moral hazard. That seems in my experience to be a code phrase for making the innocents in all this suffer lest they come to think they deserve to be bailed out like bankers.

      Today's installment On Europe Doing the Unthinkable has three minutes of Krugman essentially saying Europe has no good choices, with emphasis on Spain, Germany, and inflation as one possible consequence or the breakup of the Euro as the other.

   A print response on the web page comes from another economist:

Our critical response comes from Terence Burnham, my (Solman) microeconomics teacher at Harvard's Kennedy School in the '90s. He is co-author of "Mean Genes" and sole author of "Mean Markets and Lizard Brains." He has run a biotechnology firm, been a money manager in Boston, and taught evolutionary biology at Harvard and negotiation at the Harvard Business School. He has now resettled in his native California with his family and teaches finance at Chapman University.
       This actually goes a bit better than yesterday's response because they're now including a transcript of Krugman's remarks so you can compare the two more easily. I wonder about someone who can dismiss Spanish unemployment at the levels it is reaching as a "lifestyle choice"....

         I have a larger problem with this format: a clip of Krugman, followed by a critique by someone who has time to parse Krugman's points at leisure before writing a response. Obviously Krugman does not get to respond, making him a sitting duck so to speak.  Still, the video clips are worth watching. It beats watching him in the usual format where there are 3-4 other people around the table, all united against him.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    Stay Tuned - there will be more Krugman to come!

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 06:17:07 PM PDT

  •  I'd been thinking "Krug-o-rama", myself. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  I considered "KrugMania" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I feared that would lead to charges of "irrational exuberance."

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:45:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Take shots at the guy who's been right all along.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Diana in NoVa, salmo

    This is just wonderful.

    Our Craven Corporate Media™- and that absolutely includes PBS, which has to grovel for corporate sponsors- provide megaphones to corporate billionaires, the Banksters, and their Republican boot-licks. The Very Serious People™ prattle on forever about the need for more suffering from the little people, the need to eviscerate Social Security.

    But the people who have been dead-on right from the very beginning, like Krugman and Roubini, are marginalized, ridiculed, ignored....or made to sit on the ducking chair while a panel of right wingers throw baseballs at the target.

  •  I liked your diary yesterday and appreciate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, salmo

    this one.  Thank you.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 03:57:45 AM PDT

    •  You're welcome (0+ / 0-)

      it was something worth writing up and I just happened to get to it ahead of anyone else.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:20:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The point was to give Krugman enough rope (1+ / 0-)
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    Yes, it is good that Krugman's ideas are gaining some attention.  The manner in which PBS has done that should not surprise anyone who has been paying attention to PBS's performance over the past decade or so.  It should also be a source of shame to PBS in that it is transparently a set up.  Worse, the right wing's lead off hitter is a Peterson guy, who tells us about moral hazards, so it's a forum for weak plutocratic sycophants.  There is so much wrong with PBS.

    •  We have to use the tools we have (1+ / 0-)
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      and work to make them better. The Right has been eroding every public institution they can get their hands on for decades.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 05:47:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PBS needs an intervention (0+ / 0-)

        The PBS structure means that we have to go through our state stations to affect the way shows like the News Hour select and frame their stories, or we have to create something like the right wing echo chamber to thunder at it.  Neither is a practical response.  The result is very effective insulation, which was probably intentional and generally a positive when it was set up.  But, now that PBS has decided its future lies with Villagers and pro-corporate culture, that same structure makes it very hard for the vast majority of its viewers who occupy a more liberal political space to find purchase in a pushback.  What tools do we have to create that intervention?  

        •  I am not arguing here, I really would like to know (1+ / 0-)
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          I should have made it clearer that I agree with your point, xaxnar.  I am not arguing.  

          •  Local level is one place to start. (1+ / 0-)
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            WAMC is a local station/network in our area that has just wrapped up a million dollar fund drive. They engage the listeners, provide real value - and occasionally push back against NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  They have a history going all the way back to their founding of refusing to let their voice be dictated by money and power. They ain't perfect, but they're a real breath of fresh air.

            Getting involved with a local station is one way to make a difference.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 06:44:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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