Americans in a state of economic ignorance

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 12:48 a.m.

Paul Krugman, the Princeton economist, criticizes President Bush's response to the nation's difficulties.

" ... faced with a real problem - terrorism, the economy, nukes in North Korea - the Bush administration's response has nothing to do with solving the problem. Instead it exploits the issue to advance its political agenda ... Boosting a stumbling economy ... isn't rocket science. All a sensible plan must do is focus on the present, not on the distant future; on those who are suffering, not on those doing well ... instead of helping the needy, the Bush plan is almost ludicrously tilted toward the very, very well off."

The reason President Bush can get away with his economic hocus-pocus is that the average American does not have even the most basic knowledge of governmental economics.

Even most seniors in my college classes could not answer a fairly easy question such as "Who is Alan Greenspan, and what is the function of the institution he heads?" And this is true even though the American press has given him more ink than Madonna.

As long as the American public remains in a state of economic ignorance, so long will Bush's fuzzy math continue to bedazzle the public.

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