I have complained a lot here about the Nobel for Paul Krugman, both that others did not share it with him, and that he seemed not to mention those others (especially Avinash Dixit and Masahisa Fujita) in the Nobel address that he gave in Stockholm. However, the published version of the address has just appeared in the June issue of the AER. He does properly cite the relevant, key work by both of those individuals, so I note here that has done right in this case.
The man, Krugman, is sometimes a wealth of interesting, if over looked, information. If you missed his appearance on Charlie Rose last evening then find the transcript. They're talking mostly about the health insurance legislation. Krugman is trying to point out some of the political realities, but he is seemingly trying at the same time not to point a damning finger in directions that are deserving of same. But he slips, to our advantage and edification in understanding the real problems. The very brief reference to Sen. Grassley should be read.
"PAUL KRUGMAN: So we look at Chuck Grassley, and he’s in favor of
competition and free markets. Look at the state of Iowa. Competition --
actually one insurer, Wellmark, has 71 percent of the insurance market.
CHARLIE ROSE: You say this is a monopoly. (inaudible).
PAUL KRUGMAN: Wait, then look at -- Chuck Grassley, everybody tells
me is an upstanding guy, but look at his campaign contributors. And the
top four industry categories are hospitals, and basically the top four were
all medical-industrial complex. Now...
CHARLIE ROSE: You’re not suggesting it has clouded his judgment?
PAUL KRUGMAN: Well, that’s -- the thing is, look at every one of the
swing senators in this. You know...
Krugman is nailing it real, real well. Oh how I wish someone credible (that lets me off the hook) would do a presentation of this correlation between the nay sayers of reform and the funding of these same nay sayers. I also wish to see the correlation between number of years/months before facing the electorate and the tendency to buck single payer.
I think you would find a very high correlation between those who are against a public option and those that have a long time before having to face the voters. And a strong correlation to campaign donations from the usual suspects.
Both the House and the Senate function in a far too collegial manner. Bernie Sanders has just made a strong and seemingly provocative challenge to his Democrat colleagues in demanding that they join together and forestall any fillibuster by the Repubs. His stance would be far more edifying to the electorate if he would point out, as Krugman did in one case, those individual Senators who are beholding to the business interests rather than their constituents on the issue of health care legislation and reform.
There's a 500 lb gorilla sitting in the room, but no one in the Congress or the White House is willing to point to those individuals who have literally sold their representation to their financial supporters in the corporate sector.
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