Today’s Paul Krugman column makes some valid points that shouldn’t be dismissed because he’s a crazed leftist political hack.
Paul Krugman describes the phenomenon of the shrinking middle class, which I think is a real phenomenon. Globalization is reducing the value of labor because people in third world countries are willing to work for a fraction of what Americans get paid.
Paul Krugman also writes about the inflation of CEO salaries. I don’t think there’s any justification for high CEO salaries. “It’s the free market,” say defenders of CEOs. But I own stock in many corporations and no one ever asked me for my opinion on what the CEO should be paid. It seems to me like high CEO salaries rip off the shareholders.
However, instead of proposing any real solutions to these problems, Krugman uses this as an excuse for why we need to increase our commitment to Social Security. I don’t see how it benefits the young worker who is in the shrinking segment of the middle class if old people get fatter Social Security checks.
Paul Krugman cites a Business Week article which tells us that “67% of Americans think it's a good idea to guarantee health care for all U.S. citizens.”
Although one suspects that the poll which produced that figure may be somewhat biased, I have no doubt that a large percentage of Americans like the idea of government transfer payment programs, if for no reason other than society (including the liberal media and liberal educational institutions) telling us over and over how good these programs are.
Joe public isn’t always the brightest person, so while his response to polls helps guide politicians seeking to win elections, it doesn’t tell us what policies are best for the nation.