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Be Careful Where You Step

Kevin Drum covers some of the backstory in Bitter Confrontation of Paul Krugman’s unease with Barack Obama over comity in Washington. Krugman doesn’t think Obama understands the true situation, the real environment in Washington, and Obama’s strategy to bring all parties together to achieve a consensus will not work because of the very polarized environment.

Kevin notes that Jon Alter has written in Obama’s defense and cited earlier examples of compromises, but Kevin remembers what conditions were like, and doesn’t accept Alter’s underlying premise.

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December 20, 2007   16 Comments

Stuff No One Needs

I found these supposedly geek gift ideas on Krugman’s sidebar. I’m a geek, but I can’t imagine buying these things for anyone I know. This is what happens when businesses transfer most of their R&D budget to marketing – you get the same stuff re-packaged, but nothing really new and useful. This is another way of milking a cash cow by changing the container and saying it’s “new and improved”.

Someone in blogtopia made the point that the US is in trouble because we no longer make the things that people need, but try to convince people that they need what we make. This affects and distorts the market, because consumers don’t have a real choice if all of their buying decisions are based on determining which is the least bad product.

December 20, 2007   8 Comments