Krugman for Treasury

I think Paul Krugman should be Obama’s Treasury Secretary. Perhaps that’s a bit over-the-top, because there are so many qualified candidates. I do like Paul’s ideas. Plus, he has a Nobel Prize in Economics (2008).

We need universal (single-payer) health care in the worst way. We very much need New Deal-type stimuli. Some of that public investment should be to finance development of green renewable energy.

Franklin Delano Obama?
Paul Krugman, NY Times, Nov. 10, 2008

the institutions F.D.R. built have proved both durable and essential. Indeed, those institutions remain the bedrock of our nation’s economic stability. Imagine how much worse the financial crisis would be if the New Deal hadn’t insured most bank deposits. Imagine how insecure older Americans would feel right now if Republicans had managed to dismantle Social Security.

Now, there’s a whole intellectual industry, mainly operating out of right-wing think tanks, devoted to propagating the idea that F.D.R. actually made the Depression worse. So it’s important to know that most of what you hear along those lines is based on deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. The New Deal brought real relief to most Americans.

My advice to the Obama people is to figure out how much help they think the economy needs, then add 50 percent. It’s much better, in a depressed economy, to err on the side of too much stimulus than on the side of too little.

In short, Mr. Obama’s chances of leading a new New Deal depend largely on whether his short-run economic plans are sufficiently bold. Progressives can only hope that he has the necessary audacity.

The article’s comments are interesting, too.

Related post:
Book Review: The Conscience of a Liberal

I’m sure whomever Obama chooses to fill his cabinet seats will be well-qualified and not just cronies. I have great hope in our future now that we have an intellectual in the White House.

Obama and the War on Brains
Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times, Nov. 9, 2008

We can’t solve our educational challenges when, according to polls, Americans are approximately as likely to believe in flying saucers as in evolution, and when one-fifth of Americans believe that the sun orbits the Earth.

Sad.

As for President Bush, he adopted anti-intellectualism as administration policy, repeatedly rejecting expertise (from Middle East experts, climate scientists and reproductive health specialists). Mr. Bush is smart in the sense of remembering facts and faces, yet I can’t think of anybody I’ve ever interviewed who appeared so uninterested in ideas.

January 20, 2009 cannot come soon enough!

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