Political Ideologies Paul Krugman, The Research Proposal

Length: 4 pages Subject: Government Type: Research Proposal Paper: #81096153 Related Topics: Political Issues, Democratic Party, New Deal, Labor Unions
Excerpt from Research Proposal :

However, he steers relatively clear of muscular economic writing in Conscience of a Liberal, preferring the position the book as something of a call to arms for the liberal movement. While this approach allows him to cover a wide range of ground and be fairly convincing in doing so, it also hampers his arguments by removing what should be the key to his credibility. His economic arguments strike more as a recitation of facts and figures rather than the heavy lifting he of which he is obviously capable. As his credibility stems from his work as a prize-winning economist, and this book lacks that to some extent, it seems as though the book is a long-form blog or other such opinion piece.

There is an element of urgency in his work, however, best evidenced in the chapter about health care. Krugman ties the demise of conservatism to universal health care access, something he views as the centerpiece of an egalitarian America. The conservative agenda is viewed by Krugman as not being congruent with the beliefs of everyday Americans, but rather with a small elite. He views modern conservatism as effectively on the way out, a belief backed by a contention that racism is declining and the lack of affordable health care will be the issue that galvanizes Americans into realizing how little conservatism has given them. Krugman spends little time on the "hot button" issues such as abortion and gay rights that have long driven political disparity, a choice that supports his view that these issues are mere distractions to the true discussions about the state of the economy, environment and the health of the American


Many of the topics discussed in this book remain highly potent today, from the importance of health care reform to the divisiveness of Republican politics. His arguments may not have the depth that they should, given his credentials, but at the same time they are strong enough to help clarify the Democratic mission, something that is represented in the Obama adminstration's actions thus far in their term.

The key tenets of the liberalism are easier to identify Conscience of a Liberal than are the key tenets of conservativism. The latter is often painted with a fairly simplistic brush, and given a heaping helping of blame for America's ills. The book is not, however, intended to engage Americans in discourse, but to help provide framework and definition for the liberal movement. As such, its simplistic whitewashing of conservatives should be taken with a grain of salt.

All told, Conscience of a Liberal does an adequate job of explaining what the liberal movement of today is about, and where its roots lie. The book could use more punch, such as Krugman showing how economic arguments have led him to his political views, but such commentary is largely limited to discussions about income disparity. Moreover, explanations on the ways in which Krugman's prescriptions for America would improve the wealth of the middle class are perhaps too short on specifics. The argument is therefore more compelling in its text that in the underlying subtext. While this improves clarity, it also renders the argument less convincing. Nonetheless, Krugman's work here provides a fairly strong understanding of not only the policies of the current administration but their historical antecedents as well.

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