Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yeah, Krugman, the Koch Brothers killed Trayvon Martin

[Update]: In his screed that is the subject of this post, Krugman claims that corporations are the main reason for the rise in prison population. Notice that he conveniently leaves out the role of public employee unions, both police and especially prison guards.

The most powerful prison guard union is in California, and the union has been successful both in adding new laws that increase the prison population AND successfully fighting any initiatives to reduce the number of prisoners and to make drug laws less draconian.

While I agree that there is a moral hazard with private prisons, nonetheless I also believe that government employees are in the category of "interest groups," and that we should not be surprised when a powerful union of prison guards seeks what it best for its members -- at the expense of greater society and also the law itself. Krugman ignores that in large part, I believe, because he is so ideologically tied to labor unions that any criticism of any union to him is anathema. [End update]

Our democracy is under siege, according to Paul Krugman. Why? Because corporations have lobbied for bills in which people are permitted to shoot whomever they want because they allegedly feared for their lives. Yes, the same people who push for more prisons somehow also don't want people who shoot other people to be arrested.

Given that cops shoot unarmed people to death all the time and rarely face any sanctions for it, somehow I doubt that "stand your ground" legislation represents any kind of a threat at all, and in the Martin case, the law did not even apply. (Not that accuracy matters. After all, we ARE dealing with the New York Times, which managed to produce some of the most inaccurate and dishonest copy I ever have seen in its "coverage" of the Duke Lacrosse Case.) No, I never have seen Krugman complain about police killing other people, nor have I ever read anything by him in which he complained of prosecutorial misconduct. Hardcore statists are not going to be upset when the state brutalizes innocent people because, after all, what we need is stronger government.

(In this column, Krugman effectively says that people who are being attacked should not be able to defend themselves, and if they do defend themselves, they should be prosecuted. Canada and Great Britain both have laws which prohibit self-defense, which means that anyone who is attacked and tries do defend himself or herself with what the government deems an "offensive weapon" will be arrested.)

Now, unlike Paul Krugman and others on the NYT editorial page, I really don't know what happened in the Martin case. From what I have read, the picture of George Zimmerman being something akin to a Klansman has not matched reality, but, again, the last thing the NYT wants is a dose of reality. It is clear that Zimmerman, who actually would be listed as Hispanic in American racial data, is not the person the NYT wants him to be, so Krugman and the others will have to use their imaginations, just as the NYT did during the Duke case.

The Krugman column, however, is not just about the Martin killing. No, Krugman wants us to believe that Crony Capitalism is just about people whose politics differs from his. He writes:
What this tells us, in turn, is that ALEC’s(American Legislative Exchange Council) claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.
Now, this is the same Krugman who says that government should be spending hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up failing solar energy firms, not to mention the United Auto Workers and GM. Yes, that was Crony Capitalism in action, but since the cronyism involved people in Krugman's political corner, that was OK.

As this article demonstrates, environmentalism also is a lobby, a huge lobby with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend. For that matter, Krugman constantly complains about the Kochs "subverting democracy," but he is silent on George Soros, who spends more money in a year on hard-left causes than the Koch Brothers have spend in their lifetimes on their pet causes. But, then, Krugman approves of Soros, so even though Soros is doing exactly what others are doing, that is OK, something the ancients once called hypocrisy.

What I also find interesting is that Krugman and his friends at the NYT are quite selective in their complaints about "subversion of democracy." When the Komen Foundation recently said it no longer was going to give money to Planned Parenthood, the PP lobby went into action.

Now, here is an organization which receives both tax money and charitable dollars, but somehow it is OK for it to launch a huge and destructive lobbying campaign to smash another charitable organization, one that has done much more good than Planned Parenthood -- the nation's leading abortion provider -- has ever done. Think about it; the Komen foundation is pretty much ruined because of the hate campaign that Planned Parenthood and its allies at the NYT launched against it.

If that does not subvert everything decent in our society, then I don't know what does. Yet, that kind of destruction is OK because, after all, nothing but nothing can ever get in the way of abortion on demand. To do so, I guess, would "subvert our democracy."

But Krugman is not done. Here he writes:
Yet that’s not all; you have to think about the interests of the penal-industrial complex — prison operators, bail-bond companies and more. (The American Bail Coalition has publicly described ALEC as its “life preserver.”) This complex has a financial stake in anything that sends more people into the courts and the prisons, whether it’s exaggerated fear of racial minorities or Arizona’s draconian immigration law, a law that followed an ALEC template almost verbatim.

Think about that: we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population.
Now, anyone who reads my other blog knows what I think of the Prison-Industrial Complex. Furthermore, I think that at one level here Krugman is right. However, it is not corporations that are filling our prisons; no, it is the Drug War, and never, not once, have I seen Paul Krugman write one word against the madness that is the War on Drugs.

Furthermore, as John Stossel recently noted in one of his specials, criminal law is metastasizing, and especially federal criminal law. Much of my other blog deals with the outcomes of certain federal laws that have resulted in massive numbers of false accusations and imprisonment of the innocent.

Yet, Krugman is silent on this scourge, and it does not surprise me. Paul Krugman is a huge supporter of the vast expansion of federal power, and when the feds pass legislation like the Mondale Act and the Violence Against Women Act, both of which have fueled the false accusation industry, I am sure that Krugman heartily approves. After all, one needs to "break eggs" in order to make an omelet, and if the innocent are mowed down in order to create a better world, then so be it.

In the Martin case, the NYT, not to mention President Barack Obama, have helped to create a lynch mob atmosphere against George Zimmerman. Given the president's rhetoric, the Department of Justice MUST return indictments and it MUST gain a conviction, no matter if Zimmerman actually is guilty of murder or not. A political constituency that has been riled needs to be mollified, and Zimmerman's head on a platter is what the president is going to deliver.

No, people like Krugman won't speak out about such things because I am sure that Krugman doesn't care. Hey, he has his narrative, the NYT has its narrative, and if the world doesn't fit the narrative, who cares? The narrative must win because the state must grow in power, and if people are abused along the way, that is just the eggs being broken so that government can create a delicious omelet.

13 comments:

Dune said...

"Given that cops shoot unarmed people to death all the time and rarely face any sanctions for it, somehow I doubt that "stand your ground" legislation represents any kind of a threat at all, and in the Martin case, the law did not even apply."

Just to critique this point...there has been a threefold increase in homicides based on self-defense since this legislation was passed in FL. In very few of these cases did the individuals who died possess a firearm themselves. The reason this case made news in the first place is because Zimmerman was not even arrested at the scene for questioning...This is the very essence of local bullying by armed aggressors (which is often racially motivated) on the weak that libertarianism ignores when discussing its unidimensional idea of freedom.

Nice of you to brush the facts of the case aside so easily while criticizing Krugman of the same.

Mike M said...

Krugman starts his column with "Florida's now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest ..."

Right out of the box he purposely misrepresents the law. In addition we have no idea this incident even has a proper Stand Your Ground element. That aspect has been all media spin and conjecture.

Neither you or I and certainly not Krugman know all the pertinent facts of the case. But that doesn't stop Krugman or other charlatans from grafting themselves onto it to advance a political agenda and getting attention for themselves. A tragedy occurred in some fasion. For some however, demagoging is a sport and facts and truth development is a waste of time.

The facts of this case should dictate the consequential actions that flow from it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Krugman stated "In short, ALEC isn't so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism" Maybe, maybe not. I don't know enough about the ALEC to opine. What I DO know form Krugman's writings is he is NOT about promoting free markets with his progressive Marxist ideology.

Mr Krugman is a hack, masquerading as an economist and intellectual.

Major_Freedom said...

As much as Krugman's morality and economics are very much depraved and fallacious, this quote:

"What this tells us, in turn, is that ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism."

shows that, at least on the surface, he accepts that there is a difference between free markets and crony capitalism. Whether he himself advocates for crony capitalism is besides this particular point (even though one would be justified in calling him a hypocrite), but this is in some way a positive, because so many other liberals don't get this, and Krugman saying it, even in passing, will at least promote some basic understanding of markets to his rather dimwitted readers.

One has to start with what one has to deal with, after all.

Major_Freedom said...

"Think about that: we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population."

Krugman never got his own memo that the entire "private" prison complex is financed by government spending, i.e. "stimulus."

That increases aggregate demand and boosts employment, especially in what he currently considers the economy to be: a depression.

Yet there he is, calling government spending "wasteful", totally ignoring the fact that government spending is a net positvie when there are idle resources and unemployment! LOL

"Now, ALEC isn’t single-handedly responsible for the corporatization of our political life"

Krugman is observing the politicization of our business lives, and believes he sees the corporatization of political life.

Progressives like Krugman unleashed the "intellectual" state upon society, and now they have to deal with the unintended consequences of it.

macroman said...

Krugman Florida's now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest ...

Anderson Canada and Great Britain both have laws which prohibit self-defense, which means that anyone who is attacked and tries do defend himself or herself with what the government deems an "offensive weapon" will be arrested.

Without looking into it, I find both these statements bizarre, unlikely to be true. Is there no mention of reasonableness and sincerity of the belief in the Florida law? Is there no mention of similar things in the British law? And notice how Prof Anderson says one thing, namely that self-defense is prohibited in Britain and Canada which would beoutrageous and unbelievable, then says he means the use of certain weapons is illegal.

Tel said...

"Zimmerman was not even arrested at the scene for questioning."

Actually, if you read the police report, the police held Zimmerman at gunpoint, he surrendered and was handcuffed at the scene, and the police took his gun as evidence.

Zimmerman was then transported by police to the interview room at Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by a police investigator.

Sworn statements from various witnesses at the scene were also obtained by police at the time.

Dune said...

"Zimmerman was then transported by police to the interview room at Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by a police investigator.

Sworn statements from various witnesses at the scene were also obtained by police at the time."

Even if this is true, it certainly insufficient treatment of a case where an unarmed civilian was shot and killed. Are you as accepting when a police officer does the same and gets off the hook?

Libertarians accuse others of having double standards when their own biases are just as evident.

Mike Cheel said...

I don't think anyone knows the facts about this case and I am not going to pretend that I do either.

This is the law:

“A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” - Florida Statute 776.013

It seems pretty clear.

Mike Cheel said...

@Dune

"Libertarians accuse others of having double standards when their own biases are just as evident."

I think you are confusing libertarian with liberal. Not the same thing.

And if you are meaning libertarian then I haven't seen it. How about some examples of what you are talking about.

American Patriot said...

Dune:

educate yourself with the facts of the case before making an a$$ of yourself.

This is still America. We do not arrest people without cause. He was questioned and then released. Based on witnesses, he was taking a beating on the ground. Whether Trayvon had a weapon or not relevant as you can kill someone with your fists. Also, he apparently tried to get Zimm.s gun away but we will never know that.

While all this false outrage is going on, one has to wonder why extremely occasional white on black crime gets such play but abundance of black on white crime is never reported on? How about the 13 y.o. who was doused with gasoline and lit up by blacks because he dared to try to answer a black history month question in class? How about the two Brits who got murdered by a brother in Fla. who begged for their lives before being shot to death?

You progressives make me sick!

Anonymous said...

re: those skeptical that the British outlaw self defense, here is an overview of the issue:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v26n2/cpr-26n2-1.pdf

describing the aftermath of "the 1953 act that
removed the right to carry anything for protection, on the promise that society would protect
everyone... "

It is interesting that in the Zimmerman case the law tends to guard against people like him going to jail.. yet somehow Krugman ties it into the prison industry which should want *more* people going to jail.

JG said...

Anderson,

I've noticed that when right-leaning apologists (like yourself) are confronted with examples of corruption or other offenses the typical response is not to refute or deny but to counter-attack with something along the lines of "oh yeah, well your guys do it too, so we're even". As if somehow that makes it okay.

Krugman points out the open corruption of Koch funded PACs and your first instinct is to say "oh yeah, what about Soros". Krugman points out how ALEC is using corporate donated cash to influence lawmaking and you immediately bring up prison guard unions, as if somehow those two groups had equal influence (they don't). Maybe instead of playing tit-for-tat you could pry yourself away from your Krugman-hating for 5 seconds and actually address the content of his critique.

And for the record, Soros was outspent by the Koch boys on lobbying expenses and PACs by about about 5 to 1 over the past 10 years, which contradicts your statement about how he outspends them.

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