Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 30, 2008 / 23 Shevat 5768

Confession

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A curious reader of our editorial page here at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wants to know if we publish every Paul Krugman column we get from the New York Times Syndicate or just the gloomy ones.


It is wholly a pleasure to satisfy Curious Reader's curiosity:


Sir, they are all gloomy, and have been since my memory runneth not to the contrary.


But, no, we don't publish every Paul Krugman column we get.


For that matter, we don't — and couldn't — publish all the work of any single syndicated columnist, there's so much out there in the not so brave new world of electronic cyberspace, where anybody can be his own pundit, even anonymously.


I think, Descartes declared, therefore I am. Today it's: I blog, therefore I am.


But before I start sniffing at these mere amateurs, allow me to be candid on that subject, too: The proliferation of blogs may be much closer than oh-so-respectable journalism to the freedom of the press envisioned by the authors of the First Amendment. They lived in a world of pamphleteers in which the readers were the judge of quality, not some distant authority cloaked in a Ph.D. with a magisterial column in the New York Almighty Times.


Respectability may be a far greater enemy of freedom of thought than the wildest array of opinions on the net. In the Golden Age of television, which was really more like brass, the whole country tuned in to Walter Cronkite on CBS every evening to see the proper way to react to the news. (The really adventurous might try NBC's Huntley-Brinkley on occasion.) Those were the days when the gamut of American opinion ran from A to B. Give me the wild, wild net any time.


Which brings me to the respectable if not dowdy Dr. Krugman. His mantra not only of the day but of the Bush Years has been that we stand on the edge of worldwide economic collapse, another Great Depression, widespread panic, and maybe an asteroid shower to top off Global Warming. A collection of his columns would beat any disaster movie ever made, including Al Gore's. After reading Dr. Krugman first thing in the morning, it's a wonder Times readers have the strength to finish their breakfast. What's the point?


The only thing funny about the professor's oeuvre is his prose, as in his philippic against the Bush tax cuts years ago, a tax cut that launched one of the great growth spurts of the American economy: "And when the chickens that didn't hatch come home to roost, we will rue the day when, misled by sloppy accounting and rosy scenarios, we gave away the national nest egg."


Just try to picture all those unhatched chickens coming home to roost only to find the nest egg gone. That's good for a smile on even the cloudiest day.


This does not mean that Professor Krugman's lamentations are without their uses. While not printing them all, we do save the most depressing for those times when the economy seems to need a real boost. What with all the talk of recession in the air, the stock market skidding, the Fed cutting its interest rate like mad, the president and Congress hurrying to do something even if it's wrong, the time had come to roll out the ultimate weapon: a Paul Krugman column. Maybe two in succession. Desperate times required desperate measures.


Sure enough, the Dow promptly proceeded to rise more than 600 points from its morning nadir Wednesday to close some 300 points higher for the day, or up 2.5 percent. It was the biggest swing in a single day's trading since 2002. Once again the professor had worked his magic.


Who knows if it'll take? Or should? There may be worse things than an overdue recession of short duration — like cures that only inflate the dollar instead of strengthening the economy, and could lead to a return of Carter Era stagflation.


But there's little doubt that Paul Krugman's voodoo still works, if not in the way intended. This guy may be the greatest prophet since Balaam. Every curse he utters has a way of turning into a blessing.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles