On the book jacket/inside flap of Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, Nobel Laureate (too) and New York Times opinion leader Paul Krugman calls Stiglitz an “insanely brilliant economist”.
On the other end of the praise spectrum, Krugman, in a stinging rebuke of President Obama’s policies and leadership, states that Obama is not “the one” we have been waiting for.
At his New York Times blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, Krugman writes:
Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man [Barack Obama] who was offering hope and change, is this:
I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.
Krugman finishes on a powerful, foreboding note:
I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.
My sense is that most of the major pillars of progressive work in the US — on the foreign policy and domestic fronts are really distressed by President Obama’s policy and personnel choices.
I’m getting close to where Krugman is and think it may be nearing the time to “bust Obama’s brand” as one liberal Hollywood actor friend of mind recently said.
If Obama sees his “brand” in real trouble, he may correct things just in time by dumping Rahm Emanuel, Lawrence Summers and some others, confessing his decisionmaking sins to those who supported him, and inspire some confidence in the actions of changing course.
— Steve Clemons