In his Clark Kent mode, Paul Krugman is a Princeton econ professor who specializes in international trade and finance and has written scads of scholarly books and papers. Out of Clark Kent mode, Krugman is—okay, the comparison is deeply flawed—a reporter, most notably a twice-weekly liberal columnist for the New York Times. Krugman's NYT column, which began in '99, really came into its own in 2001, and has gotten bolder and better as the Bush administration's gotten bolder and worse, as evidenced by The Great Unraveling, a 2003 omnibus expanded and improved in the 2004 paperback edition. Krugman has been especially compelling on the Bush tax cuts and precisely how those cuts have enriched the have-mores and jeopardized entitlement programs. That latter result, he argues, was the plan all along. "The people now running this country," he wrote in '03, "aren't conservatives: They're radicals who want to do away with the social and economic system we have, and the fiscal crisis they are concocting may give them the excuse they need." Krugman will read from his new book, The Conscience of a Liberal, which looks at 80 years of American history and analyzes how in the past few decades, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, wealth disparity has drifted back toward Gilded Age standards.
Tue., Nov. 6, 7 p.m., 2007
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