The Conscience of a Liberal

I'd naively assumed that Paul Krugman's book must not be available yet, since I haven't even gotten a free copy yet. Instead, it seems that his publisher arrogantly assumes that sales will do well even if I just ignore it. Or, perhaps, that I won't ignore it even if they don't send me a free copy. Indeed, following this fairly positive review from the ideologically unsympathetic Tyler Cowen, I think I may need to buy a copy for myself. Meantime, Cowen ends with a question:

Is Paul Krugman willing to come out and simply pronounce: "Margaret Thatcher turned the UK around and for the better"? If so, how does this square with his broader narrative? And if not, why not?

With the proviso that I don't know much about UK economic history, it's clearly the case that despite the personal and ideological linkages between Thatcher and Reagan they were operating from very different baselines. It can easily both be the case that the UK in the late 1970s was too far left on the main issues being debated at that time and that the United States in the late 2000s is too far right on the main issues being debated at the moment. After all, even after Thatcher Britain has a health care system that's so statist virtually nobody on the American left will defend it.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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