Krugman’s Lament

posted at 10:30 am on May 1, 2011 by Ed Driscoll

Ever since the president championed so aggressively by the New York Times took office in early 2009, Paul Krugman has frequently seemed strangely nostalgic, whether it’s for the Big Government of FDR, or even the Big Government of Richard Nixon (no, really). At the Corner, Jim Manzi spots everyone’s favorite economist-turned-far-left-bomb thrower rediscovering his inner child, via a profile of Krugman in New York Magazine:

Back in 2006, when he was writing The Conscience of a Liberal, Krugman found himself searching for a way to describe his own political Eden, his vision of America before the Fall. He knew the moment that he wanted to describe: the fifties and early sixties, when prosperity was not only broad but broadly shared. Wells, looking over a draft, thought his account was too numerical, too cold. She suggested that he describe his own childhood, in the ­middle-class suburb of Merrick, Long Island. And so Krugman began writing with an almost choking nostalgia, the sort of feeling that he usually despises: “The political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost, an exceptional moment in our nation’s history …”

Krugman remembers Merrick in these terms, as a place that provoked in him “amazingly little alienation.” “All the mothers waiting to pick up the fathers at the train station in the evening,” he says, remembering. “You were in an area where there were a lot of quiet streets, and it was possible to take bike rides all over Long Island. We used to ride up to Sagamore Hill, the old Teddy Roosevelt estate.” The Krugmans lived in a less lush part of Merrick, full of small ranch ­houses each containing the promise of social ascent. “I remember there was often a typical conversational thing about how well the plumbers—basically the unionized blue-collar occupations—were doing, as opposed to white-collar middle managers like my father.”

A week and a half ago, when John Cleese was feeling nostalgic for the London of his salad days, long after Monty Python relentlessly mocked it into the dust, I wrote that his lament was reminiscent of those interviews that Woody Allen gives whenever he shoots a film that’s set in New York in the first half of the 20th century. The Woodman just can’t seem to understand how Manhattan went off the rails beginning in the mid-1960s. (As opposed to TV’s Mad Men, which is nothing if not a self-conscious victory lap for the societal rapaciousness of the boomers of the late 1960s and ’70s.)

Manzi’s post is well worth a read; he and I both got to experience the last vestiges of traditional small town America in the early to mid-’70s. As Manzi writes:

I’m somewhat younger than Krugman, but as they say, the future arrives unevenly. I grew up in a small town with an experience not unlike this. I’m very sympathetic to Krugman’s choking nostalgia. It’s difficult to convey the almost unbearable sweetness of this kind of American childhood to anybody who didn’t live it.

But Yuval Levin turns a follow-up post linking to Manzi into a longer-than-average blog post well worth your time as well. “Nostalgia is the reigning sentiment of the left in America, and the project of the left is fundamentally reactionary,” Levin writes. He’s not the first to note this of course, but he does have some intriguing insights into what makes the left so nostalgic these days:

At first glance, it might seem odd to find the left so nostalgic. We tend to expect conservatives to be the backward looking bunch. But it isn’t all that peculiar, really. The modern left began as a project to recapture a lost innocence corrupted by greed and power. That’s how Rousseau understood the human story. It’s how the French revolutionaries understood what they were doing. And many subsequent projects of the radical left (from Maoist agrarianism to the anti-globalization riots of the 1990s) have been fundamentally anti-progressive, and so have been in some tension with both the more nihilistic elements and the more technocratic elements of the left. (The right, of course, has its own share of similar tensions, especially between libertarians and traditionalists.) The American left, like every other movement in American politics, has always been less radical than its foreign counterparts, so its nostalgic streaks have been less nuts, but they have been no less prominent—from Jefferson’s agrarianism right through contemporary environmentalism, with its naïve yearning for a simpler time.

This helps to explain the left’s attitude toward the increasingly obvious fiscal implosion of the welfare state. Liberals have so far responded almost exclusively with reactionary denial and with a doubling down on the very ways of thinking that created the problem. They yearn for the glorious energy of the Great Society era, unwilling to see that its consequences are the very source of our troubles. They really seem to believe that leaving Medicare just as we have it is essential to guarding the American dream. And to oppose conservative attempts at reforms of various programs, they appeal to an almost blind fear of change, and to the segments of our population most inclined to such fear—ignoring the plain fact that the status quo is unsustainable and the question is only what kind of change will come.

To understand how we got here, check out David Frum’s book of the same title on the 1970s. The magisterial first volume of Steve Hayward’s Age of Reagan series also documents just how tumultuous the two decades leading up to President Reagan’s landmark election in 1980 truly were. James Piereson’s Camelot and the Cultural Revolution places into context the moment when nostalgia began creeping into an ideology that had once called itself “Progressive.” And this long City Journal essay by Fred Siegel explores another landmark period that caused a similar mix of eschatology and nostalgie de la boue to blend. Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism also places all of this into a century’s worth of context. I might modestly suggest a couple of videos on the same topic as well.

Incidentally, at the conclusion of the passage quoted above, Levin wrote:

Of course, a defensive and wistful left is better than an assertive revolutionary left, out to dismantle the family, the market, and the other instruments of bourgeois oppression. Things could be worse, and they have been.

Considering the events of the last two years, I’d hate to see firsthand what “worse” looks like, as my parents did. But still, as I said, don’t miss both Levin and Manzi’s posts.

Oh and speaking of Krugman and nostalgia for a simpler past, to end a post full of melancholia on a more upbeat note, let’s flashback to this 2009 Daily Show skit hosted by the New York Times’ latest successor to Morrow. Sample question: “Why is aged news better than real news?” Of course, that begs a question of its own: Define “real.”


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Most liberals understand that their long-ago childhood, in middle-class America, was a precious gift. They just don’t understand why it existed in the first place.

RBMN on May 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

The beauty of the childhood of those of the Left is that they did not control it.

OldEnglish on May 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Got a one sentence summary of that epic post?
Whew…it had so many criss-crosses and re-references I think I got lost somewhere half way down and gave up.
:-)

albill on May 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM

They make medication for what ails Krugman, just ask Charlie Sheen who refuses to take it ;)

Dr Evil on May 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM

The loss of moral surefootedness (the ability to know that, well, stealing from Walmart really is wrong whether they exist in your neighborhood or not), the rise of teen pregnancies, welfare mothers, gangs, crime, unemployment, the lessening of American power in the world, the destruction of the two-parent family, the secularization of society by marginalizing Christianity in particular and all the other social, economical and moral woes we are experiencing can pretty much all be traced back to liberal and leftist ideas. If the left wants the America of its youth, they should step out of the way and let the conservatives take control and give it back to them.

But no, that would mean some of their personal pet perversions would once more be considered perversions, and we can’t have that. So onward, Leftist Socialists! Strip the world of everything you once loved about it, and live with the consequences like the rest of us. You made this cesspool of a bed; you gotta live in it, too. Welcome to your Amerika.

theotherone on May 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

it’s too bad that in those halcyon days out on Lawn Guyland, Krugman never read the story whose moral was you shouldn’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Every one of his columns is another whack at that poor animal’s near-lifeless carcass.

Kafir on May 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Bedwetter

jake-the-goose on May 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM

when he was writing The Conscience of a Liberal

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

N. O'Brain on May 1, 2011 at 11:02 AM

The past is never is good as we remember it.

thebrokenrattle on May 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Of course, a defensive and wistful left is better than an assertive revolutionary left, out to dismantle the family, the market, and the other instruments of bourgeois oppression. Things could be worse, and they have been.

The progressive’s moment in the sun and all it’s glory has come and gone. I wish the first wave of baby boomers “the 60s generation” would just retire and get the he11 out of the way. It’s time for clean up duty, and they have left a mess behind them that apparently they have no inclination of cleaning up. Sentimental about what? Burying their kids and grand kids under mountains of debt, not to mention ours? And we have nothing to show for that debt – look at our GDP it’s 1.89 and our real unemployment? Tom Hanks who is a pretty superficial fellow, waxed pseudo intellectual on the topic of the baby boomer’s legacy, well we are living with their progressive wing, short sighted decisions, we all know how it feels.

Thanks for the reading and viewing list Ed. but I lived through it, I don’t need the cliff notes. I am waiting for the time in American history when we finally get to leave the 70s behind us, disco music, crappy fashion trends, and dumbed down politics for the masses.

Dr Evil on May 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Driscoll’s column is a series of links to other peoples’ columns, with no actual opinion or really any comment, other than how great these other peoples’ columns are. Swell.

But the very concept of leftists crying over the lost paradise of the 50s and 60s is priceless, after decades of listening to leftists accuse conservatives of yearning for the America of the 50s and early 60s — with all of our racial discrimation and oppression of women and gays, blah, blah, blah.

So the radical fringe spent 40 years doing their best to destroy the America of 1962, and now they cry for … 1962? Heh.

Why does Paul Krugman hate blacks, Latinos, women and gays?

Jaibones on May 1, 2011 at 11:07 AM

He knew the moment that he wanted to describe: the fifties and early sixties, when prosperity was not only broad but broadly shared.

Does Pauly realize there was a REPUBLICAN president during the 50′s?

And LBJ’s bloodsucking “Great Society” did not yet exist?

GarandFan on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I’m not sure the gauzy view we have of the ’50s is shared by the black community with respect to the lifestyle many were forced to live under segregation, but even then, I suspect that the black family was more cohesive than it is today, the children better educated simply because it was seen as a way out. Even in the squalor of the shacks and tenements, the lack of gunfire and the threat of gangs, the relative absence of drug dealing, more fathers sticking around, yielded a more stable life than what we see now. The shacks and tenements are still there, but the landlord is now the state, handing out a subsistence existence in exchange for one-parent households and commiseration over the unfairness of it all.

tpitman on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

So Krugman liked it better 50 years ago, before LBJ’s Great Society, before the courts gave more rights to criminals than to their victims, and when J. Edgar Hoover was running the country?

Me, too!

Really Right on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Am I the only one creeped out by the pic for this thread?

MeatHeadinCA on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

^It’s like seeing AP at a “convention”

MeatHeadinCA on May 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Pretty good post, theotherone.

It all comes down to the fact that the liberals erased boundaries. Good vs bad is now all fuzzy and gray. Instead of being raised to be a good contributing member of society, our society is now raising callous narcissists that only worry about “what’s in it for me”. It is almost like Kennedy’s inauguration take away line of “ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country” has been completely shifted backwards.

This is all planned by the far left progressives. That is what community agitators have to do. They have to break the system from inside out, then from top to bottom. And by having them takeover the education system, we have lost almost 2 generations of youth who have no idea what the real America is all about, what our founders believed, what made us as a country. We are no longer a melting pot, either. All the new immigrant communities have their little ethnic areas and they don’t even need to learn english anymore. We don’t have assimilation.

Unless we act with decisive measures, we are losing America and rapidly losing the time frame where we can pull it back.

karenhasfreedom on May 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Dems always want to go back to the time before a Communist killed JFK don’t they?

txmomof6 on May 1, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Sure, there were problems back then too. Everyone remembers their childhood with nostalgia. The left tho refuses to see that it’s their hatred of conventional America that causes the problems of today.

PattyJ on May 1, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Krugman sounds like the kid lamenting the loss of his parents years after he was the one who murdered them.

csdeven on May 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Just as a note..I was raised in Merrick..I never knew Krugman came from Merrick.He graduated from the same high school as me. I can’t stand this man..I’ll never forgive him for saying during W’s tenure that the deficits were going to destroy the country. The highest during Bush’s 8 years was 459B and this because we had just entered into a recession and we were fighting 2 wars. Cut to Obama’s administration and trillion plus deficits and suddenly they’re ok..no need to worry. What a disgrace to Merrick this man is.

galtg on May 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I wish Krugman and progressive writers would just get over it. Get off the couch and go do something really constructive, we’re tires of being your shrink. You’re nuts! Now beat it!

cartooner on May 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Doesn’t just about everyone look at their childhood with nostalgia? It’s the childhood, not the time and place.

misterpeasea on May 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Before govt created all the have nots. His words sound almost racist.

Kissmygrits on May 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

The past is never is good as we remember it.

thebrokenrattle on May 1, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Exactly right, the good old days really weren’t. One may have had a few fun moments but on the whole things were tougher.

darwin-t on May 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Am I the only one creeped out by the pic for this thread?

MeatHeadinCA on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

No. Him and his pussy cat creep me out as well.

VegasRick on May 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

The Nassau County of Krugman’s youth was there in large part as a reaction to the growing New Deal-big government-high tax liberalism of the post-Tamminy reformers in New York City’s Democratic Party. But just like California and its inward migration over the past 60 years, once enough liberals moved to Long Island (or New Jersey) to escape the policies they or their liberal parents had voted for, those areas fell victim to the same social and economic decay.

Paul longs for a time in a suburban land of his youth, not recognizing that the land of his youth was created as a reaction to the earlier versions of liberal policies he now champions in the nearby big city. And the scary part is there are a lot more little Krugmans out there, ready to move into Red States or Red areas of Blue States and work the same sort of magic as migrating liberals of the past 50 years did on Long Island.

jon1979 on May 1, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Dr Evil on May 1, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Let’s be a little less hasty on blaming everything on the boomers. We haven’t retired yet but have born the brunt of paying for this social welfare fraud during our working lives. As a tail ender of the BB generation I am all for ending “entitlements as we know them” even if it means I end up working until I drop in the saddle. I suspect a lot of tail enders will do the same.

chemman on May 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

theotherone on May 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Ironic isn’t it that they would lament that wich they are 100% liable for. Now, let us see how many liberals admit to having a conservative streak. Better yet if Mr. Krugman is truly lamenting let him and his ilk help us restore America and bring Her back to prosperity by renouncing their failed ideologies.

fourdeucer on May 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Krugman just hasn’t been the same since the day
Ernest J. Keebler kicked him out of The Hollow Tree Factory.

mrt721 on May 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Just as a note. I was raised in Merrick. I never knew Krugman came from Merrick. He graduated from the same high school as me. I can’t stand this man. … What a disgrace to Merrick this man is.

galtg on May 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Ditto.

Blackacre on May 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Krugman is a hack with a shiny piece of metal.

What is untold in his bucolic portrayal of Long Island is that we lived in a time where there was no peer. We were economically still in the shadow of the ruins of WWII even as late as 1965, one of the few economies untouched by battle. The world was our oyster and we reaped the benefits, still in the grip of the social framework of the 19th century yet science marching us into the 21st. It was Horatius Alger writ large for Everyman. That opportunity will not be repeated again.

Then roaring out of California of the early 60′s came the `do your own thing` movement. An innocuous kind of thing when its just a few, but disaster when its the whole community. The Libs of the period, who are still with us today, made the primary mistake of changing `do your own thing` to `do your own thing with other people’s money`. As a consequence we have gone from a creditor nation to a debtor nation in a generation.

Seen it all, first person, as I am the same age bracket as Krugman.

Dr. Dog on May 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM

chemman,

Ditto. Fact I am willing to have the govt give me back the money they got and I will forego SS. The govt would actually get the better of the deal. Somewhere around year 5-6 I would receive more benefits than I paid in.

Dr. Dog on May 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

chemman on May 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I’m with you.

Cindy Munford on May 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

If there is anything to be nostalgic about the ’60s it is the civil rights movement and the fact the movemement’s cause was just and right. Brave people risked their lives to combat segregationists. At the same time, there’s nothing to be nostalgic about Bull Connor, George Wallace and the Democratic party. Then there’s the Cold War, and the Bay of Pigs.
Maybe Krugman’s true nostalgia has its origin in this:

Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large Federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that, no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget – just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.

John F. Kennedy, Speech to the Economic Club of New York, Dec. 14, 1962

An Objectivist on May 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The daily show also did an excellent piece on the sort of political nostalgia for one’s childhood Krugman is displaying.

ernesto on May 1, 2011 at 11:57 AM

We haven’t retired yet but have born the brunt of paying for this social welfare fraud during our working lives.

chemman on May 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Um…what?! I am a fellow tail-ender, and fully aware that our older brothers and cousins created this idiotic disaster, and haven’t paid for sh!t. We used $14 trillion in printed money and new Federal debt.

How on earth do you (and Cindy) figure we have paid for anything? Our generation is a complete and total economic disaster and a blight on our children and grandchildren.

Jaibones on May 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Am I the only one creeped out by the pic for this thread?

MeatHeadinCA on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

No. Him and his pussy cat creep me out as well.

VegasRick on May 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Isn’t that a Photoshop in the style of Bond villain Ernst Blofeld?

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

They want the world back that they helped undermine, mock and destroy.

SM4RT P0W3R!

profitsbeard on May 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Wait, they’re viewing the innocence of childhood as the way it should be?

Well, welcome to the real world. It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative, liberal or any other political designation.

Nearly everyone views their childhood with nostalgia and wishes things could be like that again.

It has very little to do the actual economic mess and a whole lot to do with the fact we had no responsibilities as children. We didn’t worry about how we were going to put food on the table. Those thoughts were for the adults.

Our thoughts were preoccupied with getting to our friend’s house, waiting for the bell to ring for recess and trying to find out a way to get to stay up an extra 30 minutes past bedtime.

Now, if we want to discuss which political side wishes there were still someone to take care of them and they had nothing to worry about other than getting the latest apps for their iPhone, checking the mailbox for the government freebies inside and not worrying about the future then I think it’s pretty clear which side that describes.

ButterflyDragon on May 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Take note cat lovers, use of the p-word appears to kick you to moderation.

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Somewhere around year 5-6 I would receive more benefits than I paid in.

Dr. Dog on May 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Read a story once about how the very first SS check recipient paid in $2 and got out $20k.

It’s not even a kinda-sorta Ponzi scheme. It’s a flat-out Ponzi scheme.

So I blame the boomers for a lot of things (Great Society), believe me, but not SS. That was the Greatest Generation. Back when the question was not “are you a fascist?” but “how much of a fascist are you?”

No, I’m not coming down on the GG, much. Even the Jews fleeing Germany had no problem with the fascism – like Hayek said in The Road to Serfdom. It was the Hitler.

If “fascist” offends you, try “socialist.” Or “collectivist.”

misterpeasea on May 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Am I the only one creeped out by the pic for this thread?

MeatHeadinCA on May 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

No. Him and his pussy cat creep me out as well.

VegasRick on May 1, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I had no idea ferrets and cats got along so well.

forest on May 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Krugman is a hack with a shiny piece of metal.

Dr. Dog on May 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Don’t forget, he also went to the Correct Schools. Heck, he even graduated from John F. Kennedy High School!

Most of former Enron advisor Krugman’s adoring kneepads don’t know that he actually worked in the Reagan White House for a spell. Or that his original ideas on economics are based not on facts, but on science fiction.

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I don’t think we’re going to start changing things around too much until about thirty years from now. I “came of age” if you will, right at the time of the housing collapse. The economic correction that started in fall of 08 was really the first time I began to pay attention to politics – I was in 11th grade. There was also the Ron Paul campaign right before that which was hugely influential on people my age.

As a result there is kind of a huge divide between kids who began paying attention to politics before and after the 08 race. Pretty much everyone older than me is much more liberal than kids a year or two younger than me. The divide is probably being born in late 91, early 92. When the people born in the 90′s start entering politics in 20 years or so, you’re going to see a dramatic shift between them and those born in the 80′s. For the better.

Nelsen on May 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The thing that irritates me so much about all this 50s/60s nostalgia on the Left is that they refuse to acknowledge the fact that America had a great middle-class boom because every other industrial nation in the world was in ruins after World War II. Why do leftists celebrate and idealize America’s success during this era, much less believe it can be recreated?

rockmom on May 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Most liberals understand that their long-ago childhood, in middle-class America, was a precious gift. They just don’t understand why it existed in the first place as they proceeded to destroy it.

RBMN on May 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Finished IFY.

and you’re exactly right.

98ZJUSMC on May 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM

I also had an idyllic, small-town childhood – until the day in 1967 when my oldest brother got his draft notice while on his honeymoon. I then had to sweat the lottery for two more brothers, watch my local university literally burning and the National Guard called out, and watch my father walk out of Temple because our liberal rabbi was railing from the pulpit against the war and Richard Nixon, before that war was over. It f***ed up everything.

rockmom on May 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Krugman got to grow up in an idyllic time.

I’m one of the Tweeners: too late for the Boomers and too early for Gen-X. I grew up seeing fomented unrest in the streets, cops beating down hippies, a war going on that did not see us cohere as a Nation (as had happened during that ever so splendiferous FDR), watching old black neighborhoods get condemned and tenements rise because of ‘nice government’ that was creating a new segregation, I got to see a man walk on the moon and then the very government that did that cut back that for welfare programs. Two oil crises and a dipstick President who would not go after our enemies bespoke to me of a ruling elite that had no contact with the working family…

The funny thing is I knew that was not the normal course of American affairs. Learning just after high school that everyone in government was clueless about SSA put the hard check against seeing government as ‘good’ for anything, beyond a very few basic functions. Back then this was described as ‘unsustainable’ and the Boomers were hoping it would collapse just after they ‘got theirs’… I could see the trends and knew this was not the case. Perhaps Krugman missed that bit? The direct lies by government to the American people?

You don’t need an economics degree to see how the trends were going. Nor be a rocket scientist. Mind you the Left doesn’t want to teach basic math so that you can READ and UNDERSTAND basic graphs… and that is the destruction of our civilization at its root. Perhaps the ever so knowledgeable economist missed that in the rise of the Progressive Nannystate?

It is interesting to contrast one’s own upbringing with that of a coddled, protected, bubble-encased, left-leaning dipstick. He seems to think that the America he grew up in disappeared on its own… not due to those around him who gave it a big shove.

The Boomers are getting a shock to find these never-lasting social programs won’t be there for them.

Tweeners did not have the luxury of those rose colored glasses, we were told about the disaster being designed and that the Nannystate wouldn’t make it to our old age. It isn’t, BTW, in case anyone has missed it.

The Left and Progressives see what they have destroyed and wonder just how that ever happened.

Sorry, I see the fingerprints at the crime scene.

I saw who did it.

And I know who to blame.

The way through Hell takes you to its center, then all ways lead out, just pick one and go straight. Sorry for the mess these dipsticks got us into… time to start thinking what is the best way out as the gates have now slammed shut and yet the fence can be broken down if we have the will to leave Hell. I’m not staying… but then I was warned.

Weren’t you, Mr. Krugman?

ajacksonian on May 1, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Libs lamenting the end of the era of personal responsibility. Who knew?!

mpk on May 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Congratulations Mr. Driscoll. This is such a great post, smothered in nostalgia, while topped off by a smashing modern day video that makes a mockery of today’s dinosaur newsprint.

I would bet liberals truly miss the days when 90% control of the narrative was pure “progressive liberalism” at its finest. Between the “dailys” and the evening news (on only three networks), there was hardly any challenge to the liberal screed of “so shall it be written/spoken, so shall it be done” in the unchallenged reality of the sixties. I remember those days (in the 60’s) growing up in Sacramento, when the Sacramento Union, (a conservative newspaper), began to rise in circulation challenging/providing a different prospective of the still liberal Bee. People on the left said, “how dare they print stories that reeks of reality” as opposed to the glamorization of the utopian Camelot.

Little did they know then that Reagan was waiting in the wings to shake down their entitlement minded world, checking Pat Brown’s runaway spending, (in the model of LBJ), with fiscal restraints. For those who don’t remember, Reagan was despised and vehemently hated by the liberal left during his tenure as Governor of the Golden State. The student population hated Reagan as much as they hated receiving a notice from the selective service board. Reagan took on the school boards and the “higher education” monarchs slashing their burgeoning budgets. And even as a former union Guild president, he told the unions that they too would have to balance their checkbooks. The results were astonishing fiscally for the state. Too bad no Governor since has been able to provide an inkling of power to take on this perpetual system of electing the liberal progressives driving the state into utter ruin. But that’s another story.

Rovin on May 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Good post and lots of good comments.

One thing to remember whenever a Leftist pines for the good old days of the 50′s (etc), high tax rates & all, remind them that at that time, the US was pretty much the only game in town. It was before the rise of Japan, China, Brazil, and Europe was still rebuilding. The dollar was worth a lot more, etc. There is a lot more I wish I could write, but no time… gah

visions on May 1, 2011 at 2:25 PM

His cat isn’t as nice as Miss Precious Perfect.

BDavis on May 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I’d rather read a column written by his cat than Krugman.

Machiavelli Hobbes on May 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Everyone has nostalgia for their childhood. I was born in 1971, so I had the entire decade of the 70s to live through and still remember that time fondly, despite having 3 terrible presidents, gas crisises, high interest rates and stagflation. My grandparents grew up in the depression and lived in houses without indoor plumbing, but still reminisce about those times.

So, there is little difference between Ds and Rs when it comes to nostalgia. The difference comes because the democrats want an eternal childhood where they have someone to take care of them and little responsibility. Most conservatives are realists and know that you can never go back to your childhood. The only thing we can do is ensure our children and grandchildren have a financially solvent country so they too can grow up with few worries and the knowledge that they live in a country that you can grow up to do just about anything you set your mind to.

ReaganWasRight on May 1, 2011 at 4:40 PM

rockmom on May 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Just in case I have never told you–I really enjoy your posts. I may not always agree with you, but your wisdom and experience are always quite evident in your comments.

Kataklysmic on May 1, 2011 at 4:49 PM

I’d rather read a column written by his cat than Krugman.

Machiavelli Hobbes on May 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Wonder what his cat’s name is?

Frank, as in Rich?

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Having spent the first 14 years of my life growing up in a rapidly decaying ghetto slum (Camden NJ), and during that time having wittnessed the differences between the many families on welfare (perhaps half) and those like my own where we would do without rather than ask for a government check (God love my mother who worked full-time and raised 4 kids solo in that environmet)… I’ll tell you all now that this looking back at the time in question with such

choking nostalgia

is sheer poppy-cock… and he had very good fortune having been born to a good family in a decent neighborhood.
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I know what the 60s welfare household looked like. Many (if not most) of my friends were on welfare. Without being too graphic… I saw the neglect, rape and abandonment that handing a check to an irresponcible ‘parent’ can aid and abet.
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At about 12 yrs old I was shot close range in the back with a blank shotgun shell by the older brother of a friend who’s mother raised her 5 kids on welfare… Not long after that he (the older brother) started a small race-riot when he was shot in the lung by another of own guns, by his own friend as they were goofing around.
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How did he start the riot? He told the police that a “Port Rican” shot him. They rounded up the suspects and by the time they realized the truth they had harassed too many young men for it to go away easy… The riot was the reaction to his lies… The lies were ingrained by his upbringing.
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Trust me… There are dozens of stories of a similar extreme nature which I know for a fact to be true… because I was there. I do not candy coat the truth about my youth. Sure there were fun times, and my family was great… But I’ve seen the messiness of the social engineering of the 60s & 70s… up close and all around me. It was not pretty.
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Some people I know today never knew such times… That is their experience. I’ll tell you without blinking… good for you if your childhood was idyllic… but many do not get to have that…
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RalphyBoy on May 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Liberal “nostalgia”. It’s like the tears and wailing of a drunk, except these are the gnashing and scene-chewing of the frustrated Utopian.

Krugman and his ilk have had simple gratitude “educated” out of them.

RushBaby on May 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I’m sorry but… Krugman’s nostalgia for the 1950s and early 1960s… before civil rights? Imediately preceding the Kennedy assasinations, King assasination, acid trips, heroin jumpers and Veit Nam protests?

How good could it have been when it erupted in chaos a few short years later?

Just because he missed the roiling society underlying his childhood memories doesn’t mean it was really a childlike time!!! Krugman was a child, society was adult society with all the complications of adulthood.

If Conservatives lament the loss of the very same time era, Liberals are quick to convict them of loving a time that was built on the oppression of black America! How does Krugman escape being labeled a racist for his nostalgia?????

I was a child in the years marked by the chaos of the late 1960s to the early 1970s, and let me tell you they were not a safe and sane time! My parents were terribly niave… I had few rules and saw lots of lifestyles they probably never did.

I feel blessed to have made it through relatively unscathed! My peers were dealing with Veit Nam damaged fathers who wet the bed and had their kids buy them drugs. It was too early for anyone to really understand the stress those men endured coming home treated as villians instead of the heros they truly were.

The problem for the kids of my time was that the adults really had no answers… they couldn’t even tell kids why they shouldn’t take drugs. They showed us films they thought would scare us, that only intrigued us further.

I was blessed to live in my Mormon bubble… but I had very good friends in the neighborhood who had no adults who could explain anything. The sands of right and wrong shifted nearly everyday.

petunia on May 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

So Paul probably asked some girl out when he was fourteen and she stiffed him. We get to live the rest of his payback. Silly man.

JAW on May 2, 2011 at 7:52 AM