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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:01 PM

Bruce Bartlett "evolution from comfortably ... conservative ... to ... somewhere on the center-left"

A thoughtful and honest assessment of the right

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/revenge-of-the-reality-based-community/

Being a Keynesian from a practical perspective (although ideologically a Marxists), I particularly liked this:

"After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion. It didnít affect the argument in my book, which was only about the rise and fall of ideas. The fact that Keynesian ideas were correct as well as popular simply made my thesis stronger.

I finished the book just as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008. This created another intellectual crisis for me. Having just finished a careful study of the 1930s, it was immediately obvious to me that the economy was suffering from the very same problem, a lack of aggregate demand. We needed Keynesian policies again, which completely ruined my nice rise-and-fall thesis. Keynesian ideas had arisen from the intellectual grave.

<snip>

On the plus side, I think I had a very clear understanding of the economic crisis from day one. I even wrote another op-ed for the New York Times in December 2008 advocating a Keynesian cure that holds up very well in light of history. Annoyingly, however, I found myself joined at the hip to Paul Krugman, whose analysis was identical to my own. I had previously viewed Krugman as an intellectual enemy and attacked him rather colorfully in an old column that he still remembers.

For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economyís problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades."

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