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Paul Krugmans Why Inequality Matters - Essay Example

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Paul Krugman’s December 15, 2013 opinion editorial in The New York Times, entitled “Why Inequality Matters,” helps to provide the reader with something of a recap of the way in which inequality has been represented throughout the American experience and the manner through which it has come to a renewed level of focus within the electorate and public discussion in the United States…
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Paul Krugmans Why Inequality Matters
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Download file to see previous pages As a function of this, Krugman specifically focuses upon the gap between the rich and the poor, and the fact that this gap has been widening in the past several decades. In such a manner, the following analysis will seek to encapsulate the main arguments that are presented within the piece, discuss the relevance to the current form of governance that is being represented throughout the United States, and reference the impacts that this may likely have on international relations in the future. Through such a discussion and analysis, it is the hope of this particular author that the reader will be able to come to a more informed level of understanding and appreciation for the way in which such a seemingly unrelated piece can have a profound impact upon the way in which the United States could potentially interact with the world in the near future. The primary argument that Krugman represents is that the increased focus upon inequality is not the result of a top-down engagement of politics from a more socially minded government; rather, the focus upon inequality in the differential between “the rich and the rest” is the result of the fact that individual stakeholders within society have become more aware that runaway greed, inequality, and a reckless level of oligarchy have defined the way and the manner in which capitalism is represented within the United States (Krugman 1). As a means of delineating this new approach, Krugman draws upon the recent mayoral race in New York itself. Such gabber and unapologetic socialist being able to defeat all other candidates in an election can only be described as somewhat surprising in the face of what is currently known about American politics. Moreover, Krugman calls to the reader’s mind the understanding that a definitive shift to the left is taking place in the way in which President Obama is administering the nation, referencing the Affordable Health Care Act, the proposed expansion of Social Security, and a litany of other instances as proof of this. Whereas it may not immediately be seen, the salience that all of this has to international relations has to do with the fact that the United States will likely not continue to lag behind the rest of the world with regard to the overall importance that social spending has within any given budget. For years, the United States has spent a far smaller portion of its annual budget on social programs as compared to many other highly developed and wealthy nations throughout the globe. Yet, as Krugman notes, a shift is currently taking place that will likely see this trend reversed. Although this may not clearly point to a change in international relations, it must be noted that a further level of focus upon social programs and social spending domestically will inherently decrease the amount of money that is available for intervention and military engagement with the remainder of the world, thereby making the United States potentially more docile and less aggressive as regards direct levels of hard power that it would be willing and able to project throughout the world. From the information that has been presented, the only level of criticism that can be levied against Krugman’s interpretation is the lack of bipartisanship that he retains. Whereas discussing this issue from purely an economic or societal standpoint would have been effective, Krugman instead seeks to utilize his particular point of view as a talking point in support of President Obama. Although this is certainly allowable in terms of an opinion editorial piece, a far more effective level of engagement would have been to approach the issue of inequality from an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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