Must-Read Op-Eds for Friday, May 25, 2012

Updated
 

EGOS AND IMMORALITY
BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

Think about where we are right now, in the fifth year of a slump brought on by irresponsible bankers. The bankers themselves have been bailed out, but the rest of the nation continues to suffer terribly, with long-term unemployment still at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with a whole cohort of young Americans graduating into an abysmal job market. And in the midst of this national nightmare, all too many members of the economic elite seem mainly concerned with the way the president apparently hurt their feelings. That isn’t funny. It’s shameful.

WHO WILL BUILD CONFIDENCE?
BY ROBERT SAMUELSON
WASHINGTON POST

The Great Jobs Argument has followed a familiar script. Both Obama and Romney promise sweeping gains and slam each other. The missing ingredient is a logic that gets us from here to there. Can the president defend why his antagonism toward business isn’t weakening the recovery? Can Romney explain how his pro-business attitudes won’t simply result in abusive behavior or windfalls to companies? These are good questions without, as yet, good answers.

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KERREY’S CASE FOR ENTITLEMENT REFORM
BY MICHAEL GERSON
WASHINGTON POST

The current market for vivid ideological idiosyncrasy is weak. … Elements of the left seem no more enthusiastic. “Bob Kerrey equals Joe Lieberman in our minds,” snarks one progressive activist. It is a sign of political sickness when the name Lieberman - which stands for independence, integrity and civility - is employed as an epithet. Our system is incapable of significant action when every representative is ideologically typical and predictably partisan. Which is the strongest argument for Bob Kerrey.

MITT ROMNEY’S MOMENT
BY PEGGY NOONAN
WALL STREET JOURNAL

“It’s 2012.” [Romney] laughs. History sometimes repeats “its lessons,” but “history does not repeat itself identically. This is a different time than any other time before it.” … “I think America is going to decide whether we will put ourself on a path toward Europe-whether we will become another nation dominated by government, where citizens are dependent on government for the things they want in life, where opportunity is sacrificed, where military strength is depleted to pay for government promises, where unemployment is chronically high and wage growth chronically low. That, in my view, is the course the president has put us upon.” If Barack Obama is re-elected, “it will be very difficult to get off that path. If I’m elected, I will usher in a period of economic vitality,” that will leave the world “surprised.”

WHY THEY SERVE - ‘IF NOT ME, THEN WHO?’
BY TOM MANION
WALL STREET JOURNAL

“The friendship between First Lt. Travis Manion and Lt. Brendan Looney reflects the meaning of Memorial Day: brotherhood, sacrifice, love of country,” President Obama said at Arlington on Memorial Day 2011. … But the essence of our country, which makes me even prouder than the president’s speech, is the way our nation’s military families continue to serve. Even after more than a decade of war, these remarkable men and women are still stepping forward. As the father of a fallen Marine, I hope Americans will treat this Memorial Day as more than a time for pools to open, for barbecues or for a holiday from work. It should be a solemn day to remember heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and also a stark reminder that our country is still at war.

FACEBOOK FLUCTUATES
EDITORIAL
WALL STREET JOURNAL

Facebook’s debut as a publicly traded company should have been a moment to cheer America’s residual capitalist spirit and to remind Americans of Wall Street’s contribution to U.S. prosperity. Instead, the financial barons managed to turn the IPO into more ammunition for their political and populist critics. … While Morgan Stanley has earned its black eye, the job of regulators is not to guarantee that stock prices go up after IPOs. … [Traders] should know the risks of buying an IPO priced at about 85 times projected earnings. The ultimate lesson is the eternal one uttered by legendary Bear Stearns chief Ace Greenberg amid the 1987 stock-market plunge: “Stocks fluctuate.”

270 TO WIN
BY JOE SCARBOROUGH
POLITICO

If Mitt Romney is able to steal Florida, Ohio and North Carolina from Team Obama, the two key swing states this November will turn out to be the unlikely pair of Virginia and Colorado. … This could, of course, all change if it is a Romney surrogate who goes on a Sunday morning show and veers wildly off message by calling everyone who ever worked for Bain Capital “a bunch of greedy bastards.” But don’t expect that to happen. But do expect a campaign that may focus less on Florida and Ohio than states like Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and Nevada. These states that were second-tier swing states not so long ago now seem poised to help decide who sits in the Oval Office over the next four years.

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Must-Read Op-Eds for Friday, May 25, 2012

Updated