The Corner

Paul Krugman’s Column Today

If you’re having trouble getting your blood flowing this Monday morning, take a look at Paul Krugman’s column in today’s New York Times. His thesis is that the reason America is more conservative than most countries-specifically, the reason it favors smaller government-is that it is bigoted. I’m not kidding.

Now, where does one begin with a response to such vitriol? How does one respond to a line like, “George W. Bush-who, like Mr. Reagan, isn’t personally a racist but relies on the support of racists,” except with “Paul Krugman-who isn’t a moron but whose column is enjoyed by morons”? Except that this response gives Krugman too much credit.

Arghh. Let me just point out that it is not true that America is more bigoted than, say, the enlightened French. One of my favorite tables in Stephan and Abigail Thernstroms’ indispensable America in Black and White shows that the percentage of Americans who say they dislike African Americans is lower than the percentage of those in European countries who say they dislike their principal domestic minority group. In the U.S., that is, 13 percent say they dislike blacks; in France, 42 percent say they dislike North Africans.

There are plenty of other responses, too, I know, starting with the point that those of us who favor smaller government believe that it is better in the long run for everyone, not just well-to-do white people like Paul Krugman. But it’s Monday morning and I have other fish to fry.

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