Krugman: Obama Gets Real

Paul Krugman in the NY Times:

Much of the media commentary on President Obama’s big inequality speech was cynical. You know the drill: it’s yet another “reboot” that will go nowhere; none of it will have any effect on policy, and so on. But before we talk about the speech’s possible political impact or lack thereof, shouldn’t we look at the substance? Was what the president said true? Was it new? If the answer to these questions is yes — and it is — then what he said deserves a serious hearing.

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Much of our political and pundit class remains devoted to the notion that rising inequality, to the extent that it’s an issue at all, is all about workers lacking the right skills and education. But the president now seems to accept progressive arguments that education is at best one of a number of concerns, that America’s growing class inequality largely reflects political choices, like the failure to raise the minimum wage along with inflation and productivity.

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Says Obama: “A relentlessly growing deficit of opportunity is a bigger threat to our future than our rapidly shrinking fiscal deficit.”

I hope Krugman’s  right, that Obama has turned a corner.  He’s got himself into such a maze of compromise delusion that he’s got many corners to turn to get clear of it.

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