Paul Krugman on Wimpy Liberals and Republican Tough Guys. Paul Krugman makes the controversial statement that "the Bush administration saw torturing people as a plus, not a cost." Acknowledging that this is a bold accusation, he clarifies that it's not because the Bush administration were sadists, but rather because torture was part of their self-image. "From day one of the War on Terror (TM), it was clear that the Bush people reveled in the notion that they were tough guys, willing to Do What Needs to be Done. They were all wannabe Kiefer Sutherlands." Now, according to Krugman, Republicans have to face the fact that a "wimpy liberal" like President Obama, "someone who isn’t a tough guy by their standards seems to be doing a better job of getting the terrorists than they did."
Jason L. Riley on Race, Politics, and the Minimum Wage. Riley is the latest to take up the argument that minimum wage proponents have it wrong, and that high labor costs actually reduce employment, particularly for young black men. Riley cites a recent study released by the Employment Policies Institute, which has new data to add to the mix. "The Even and Macpherson study finds that among whites males ages 16-24, each 10% increase in a federal or state minimum wage has decreased employment by 2.5%. For Hispanic males, the figure is 1.2%. 'But among black males in this group, each 10% increase in the minimum wage has decreased employment by 6.5%.'" So how does Riley account for the fact that minimum wage laws remain popular in the face of this clear evidence to the contrary? The fault is owed to "liberals enamored of wealth redistribution schemes."