Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Debate Continues At TPM Café

For those of you who have been following my debate with Dean Baker, he's answered again, and again, and I've answered him again, and again, in this string that plays out at TPM Café. Be sure to look through the "Comments" section. Our differences sharpen there.

By the way, some readers of this blog have concluded that I am opposed, in some way, to government action in creating employment. Actually, I wrote in Strategy and Business 13 years ago that the government will have to create work for the chronically unemployable during the long period of transition portended by an economy in which, if you are nothing but a digit, digital technology will replace you. More Boston "big digs," I say; more new universities, more bullet trains. But this is not like "digging holes" in the sense Baker means it--not an economy in which hiked consumption causes business formation in the way it did a generation ago.


Mitchell J. Freedman said...

Wow. That was lively, and I appreciate, Bernard, you are on board with a larger stimulus for a policy.

What I don't get is why I or anyone without power should have Obama's back when he does not articulate what you or Dean Baker articulate. You have his back, and he turns his back on you--and completely ignores folks like me (I obviously don't expect him to read my blog-MF Blog-or talk to me...:-)).

He is the one who said there were no shovel ready projects, while NJ Gov Doug "Karl Rove Henchman" Christie showed him on right in the heart of NYC and NJ.

Your argument about the stimulus not being very effective, or that there are not enough jobs created on the assembly and component making for the Volt are okay as far as they go, but not enough for even you to say "Don't do it."

Oh well. We've done enough on this argument. Let's just pray for a miracle on Tuesday, but please don't blame me or my economic left cohorts. We are voting for the Dems up and down the line. Blanche Lincoln has only herself to blame, as does Obama. They are the ones who refused to act with leadership when the had the chance. They lost the low information voter who never hears people like me anyway...

Potter said...

I have been following this discussion on TPM Cafe.

Thank you very much for provoking this exchange. And thanks to Dean Baker for his responses in his area of expertise. The discussion fleshes out my more general understanding but does not change my feelings.

I particularly appreciated the comments of DanK who in the end articulates well exactly how I and I think many others feel.

Not discussed in this exchange are other issues that are also sources of deep disappointment and disillusion. The criticism overall is basically similar; lack of leadership (courage, fortitude)- or as Maureen Dowd puts it, Obama needs to put more audacity in his audacity. Most important Obama has not communicated his vision or explained well enough the challenges he faces and so is therefore missing a connection to an electorate who might have more sympathy for him, if not enthusiasm. In that vacuum others who are not so well meaning as even his harshest critics have had their narratives prevail.


There is an AP poll out- (AP knowledge networks/Yahoo News) 47% of Democrats say Obama should be challenged for 2012 nomination (51% say he should not be challenged).

Potter said...

We just came back from voting, nice turnout. The phone has been ringing these last days with robocalls which we will be very glad are gone.

Paul Krugman says it for us:


We did what we could.

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