He is one of the world’s leading economists, but perhaps Paul Krugman (now 68) is best known in modern times as an op-ed syndicated columnist for the New York Times, writing on all manner of …
He is one of the world’s leading economists, but perhaps Paul Krugman (now 68) is best known in modern times as an op-ed syndicated columnist for the New York Times, writing on all manner of political matters.
People truly interested in individuals gifted in the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge should turn their attention to the likes of Krugman, who is all over the Internet. A good place to start might be his biography on Wikipedia. His major awards in brief form alone fill a couple of pages — references to his books and other writings fill many more.
The Seattle Times chose to use him on the editorial page Aug. 4 (“‘Freedom,’ Florida and the delta-variant disaster”) and Aug. 7 (“How COVID-19 became a red-state crisis”). I commented briefly (see remarks following the foregoing blog here) on his comparison to COVID-19 and drunk driving.
His observations on inconveniences to the well-to-do noted in his Aug. 4 column also included “Why are conservatives so insistent on the right of businesses to make their own decisions — but quick to stop them from denying service to customers who refuse to wear masks or show vaccination? Why is the autonomy of local school districts a fundamental principle — unless they want to require to wear masks or teach racial history?,”
A few days later President Joe Biden was telling “red states” such as Florida and Texas and their followers to “help or get out of the way.” Krugman was pointing out “COVID is now a crisis for the unvaccinated . . . is now a crisis largely for red states.”
In The Seattle Times Aug. 7, Krugman again wrote at considerable length about the political lack of logic involved from a conservative standpoint in dealing with the COVID pandemic, the overwhelming of hospital facilities, etc. And again I suggest reading the entire column on line to get the true gist of his comments.
For instance, as Krugman reiterated: “Do we think people should be free to drive drunk? No, not just because in so doing they endanger themselves but even more because they endanger others. The same was true for refusing to wear masks last year — and for refusing to get vaccinated now . . .
"There are regions in America where large numbers of people have refused vaccination. Those regions appear to be approaching the point we feared in the early stages of the pandemic, with hospitalizations overwhelming the health care system. And the divide between places that are in crisis and those that aren’t is starkly political . . . “
Krugman was quoted Aug. 8 in the Palm Beach Post: “Florida is in the grip of a COVID surge worse than it experienced before the vaccines. More than 10,000 Floridians are hospitalized, around 10 times the number in New York, which has about as many residents; an average of 58 Florida residents are dying each day, compared with six in New York. And the Florida hospital system is under extreme stress.” Google “Krugman: ‘Freedom,’ Florida and the delta variant disaster” for the long version.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently barred business from requiring that their patrons show proof of vaccination.
“So will COVID's resurgence stop America’s much-awaited return to normalcy? In much of the country, no.”
COVID deaths in the U.S. since about the beginning of spring in 2020 have added up to more than 615,000. Florida alone added 134,500 cases of coronavirus and 660 deaths in just the past week. As cases rise, so does the death toll from the disease that has taken nearly 39,700 lives in the single state of Florida. Another 232 people died from COVID-19 there in the last two days, it was reported Monday.
Krugman cited as another example Missouri, which is experiencing one of the worst COVID outbreaks. The St. Louis County Council last week voted to end a mask mandate introduced by the county executive.
The government told me to put my body in possible harm’s way back in 1950 when our country became involved in a “police action” in Korea. Just sayin’. However, the military “draft” was much more extensive in the cost of human life during World War II and the Vietnam conflict.