Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reading: Krugman and the migration of corporate money

(Updated below.)

Paul Krugman, once more available to the masses beyond the now-defunct TimeSelect barrier ("Mr. Sulzberger, tear this wall down!"), returns to a topic that should make all progressives uncomfortable:
The sudden burst of corporate affection for Democrats is good news for the party’s campaign committees, but not necessarily good news for progressives. […]

All of this greatly increases the odds that the Republicans, far from establishing a permanent majority, will be out of power for quite a while. But it also raises the question of what Democratic rule will really mean.

Right now all the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination are running on strongly progressive platforms — especially on health care. But there remain real concerns about what they would actually do in office.

Here’s an example of the sort of thing that makes you wonder: yesterday ABC News reported on its Web site that the Clinton campaign is holding a “Rural Americans for Hillary” lunch and campaign briefing — at the offices of the Troutman Sanders Public Affairs Group, which lobbies for the agribusiness and biotech giant Monsanto. You don’t have to be a Naderite to feel uncomfortable about the implied closeness.

It's not really news that corporate America has begun investing in Democratic candidates again--the trend became apparent, if not flagrant, once it was clear which way the 2006 election was likely headed.

And as long as corporations pay for our election campaigns, there's very little reason to expect them to behave otherwise.

There's an Oregon angle to this story, by the way: Krugman will be in Portland on tour promoting his latest book, Conscience of a Liberal, on Saturday, November 3rd. It's a paid event. Details are here. Krugman also discussed his book with readers yesterday at FDL.

Krugman's article is going on the Readings list in the sidebar.

(Update: The NYTimes review of Krugman's book is here. As a bonus, the NYT review of Robert Reich's Supercapitalism is here, and Chapter 1 is here. The Times didn't reprint Chapter 1 of Krugman's book. Go figure.)

(Update 2: For those who follow the game at that level, Andrew Leonard at Salon summarizes the debate about Krugman's book, starting with rebuttals to the shots taken at it in the NYTimes review, linked above.)

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