Can We Find a Taxi Driver to Bring Thomas Friedman to Planet Earth?

July 30th 2019

 
Thomas Friedman ( Charles Haynes )

Thomas Friedman (Charles Haynes)

By Dean Baker

Center for Economic and Policy Research

I can't say I know anyone who reads Thomas Friedman, but I suppose such people must exist since the NYT keeps running his column. Anyhow, while the guy probably hasn't had a real insight for at least two decades, his column this week really paves new ground in absurdity.

The piece boldly tells readers in the headline, "the answers to our problems aren't as simple as left or right," this followed with the subhead, "the old binary choices no longer work." 

The piece is then filled with small-bore ideas that completely ignore the debates that actually are taking place on the issues he is addressing. More importantly, he completely ignores the fact that the right has soared into unreality land and shows no interest in returning.

To be specific, the right insists that climate change is not happening because, because, well, just because they don't feel like doing anything about it. Is there someone who could tell Friedman this fact?

The right also has no interest in economic policy other than giving more money to rich people. So great ideas for improving the plight of poor children or the position of women in the workforce or anything else that the rest of us might think of as positive are simply off the agenda.

The fact that the right is quite explicitly uninterested in any positive policy changes is obvious to anyone who reads papers like the New York Times. Fortunately for Thomas Friedman, you don't have to read the New York Times to have a column in it. You can just spew nonsense that is totally divorced from reality and collect your paycheck.

Good work, if you can get it.