Krugman criticizes Obama


Paul Krugman “Clinging to a Stereotype”


Start with the economics. Mr. Obama: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration.”

There are, indeed, towns where the mill closed during the 1980s and nothing has replaced it. But the suggestion that the American heartland suffered equally during the Clinton and Bush years is deeply misleading.

In fact, the Clinton years were very good for working Americans in the Midwest, where real median household income soared before crashing after 2000. (You can see the numbers at my blog,

We can argue about how much credit Bill Clinton deserves for that boom. But if I were a Democratic Party elder, I’d urge Mr. Obama to stop blurring the distinction between Clinton-era prosperity and Bush-era economic distress.

社会学篇はというと、”Does economic hardship drive people to seek solace in firearms, God and xenophobia?”という問題に関して。曰く、

It’s true that people in poor states are more likely to attend church regularly than residents of rich states. This might seem to indicate that faith is indeed a response to economic adversity.

But this result largely reflects the fact that southern states are both church-going and poor; some poor states outside the South, like Maine and Montana, are actually less religious than Connecticut. Furthermore, within poor states, people with low incomes are actually less likely to attend church than those with high incomes. (The correlation runs the opposite way in rich states.)

Over all, none of this suggests that people turn to God out of economic frustration.

政治学に関する批判は、”Mr. Obama, in later clarifying remarks, declared that the people he’s talking about “don’t vote on economic issues,” and are motivated instead by things like guns and gay marriage.”ということの是非に関わる。また、それはThomas Frankという政治学者の”“values” issues lead working-class Americans to act against their own interests by voting Republican.”というテーゼの是非の問題でもある。オバマはこのテーゼを労働者階級がヒラリー・クリントンを支持していることの根拠に結び付けようとする。クルーグマンプリンストン政治学者Larry Bartelsを援用する。Bartelsによると、”small-town, working-class Americans are actually less likely than affluent metropolitan residents to vote on the basis of religion and social values.”では何故共和党が勝ち続けているのか。Bartelsはその原因を、富裕層のホワイトカラーにばかり目を向け、かつて共和党から自らを差異化していた「階級言語(class language)」を忘れた民主党に帰する。
結びの言葉は、”And one more thing: let’s hope that once Mr. Obama is no longer running against someone named Clinton, he’ll stop denigrating the very good economic record of the only Democratic administration most Americans remember.”


JANET MASLIN “Heroines in the Footlights, From All Sides Now”
ジョニ・ミッチェルキャロル・キングカーリー・サイモンを一まとめにした伝記、Sheila Weller Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon ・and the Journey of a Generation の書評。

PAUL DEVLIN “Black Star”
ラスタファリズムの教祖であるマーカス・ガーヴェイの伝記、Colin Grant Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garveyの書評。