In recent weeks, we’ve been repulsed by some of Kristof’s work... Increasingly, Kristof’s work seems sloppy and strange. Maybe he’s simply over-extended. Do you believe he recently learned that corporate tycoons can be greedy?Too many people cheered when Nick Kristof, the NY Times house liberal, semi-reversed his opinion that unions in this country are more of a threat than ISIS. Nice to see my pal at Raging Horse blog take this shot in his must-read piece on the Kristof column.
... The Daily Howler
How nice of Nicholas Kristof to arrive at that conclusion that unions should not be “eviscerated.” But note well, my fellow public school teachers, Kristof’s stipulating that the non-evisceration be limited “to the private sector ” which, in the all out war against all public institutions, should strikes us as particularly weasel-like and ominous.Former teacher Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler takes an even harsher tone by eviscerating Kristof himself:
Such words, in an article that ostensibly defends unions, could only bring comfort to the likes of Obama, Cuomo, Walker, Rainer and all their patrons who know that the first step to a “Right To Work” or union free nation is the evisceration of public unions. Nicholas Kristof is not our friend.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2015
Like Brian Williams, a brand: Once again, we find ourselves puzzled by Nicholas Kristof’s latest column. It appears in this morning’s New York Times. The column starts like this:
KRISTOF (2/19/15): Like many Americans, I’ve been wary of labor unions.All through the column, Kristof says he’s been wrong, oh so wrong, about unions—at least about private sector unions.
Full-time union stagehands at Carnegie Hall earning more than $400,000 a year? A union hailing its defense of a New York teacher who smelled of alcohol and passed out in class, with even the principal unable to rouse her? A police union in New York City that has a tantrum and goes on virtual strike?
More broadly, I disdained unions as bringing corruption, nepotism and rigid work rules to the labor market, impeding the economic growth that ultimately makes a country strong.
I was wrong.
What a guy! Here’s how the column ends:
KRISTOF: Lawrence F. Katz, a Harvard labor economist, raises concerns about some aspects of public-sector unions, but he says that in the private sector (where only 7 percent of workers are now unionized): “I think we’ve gone too far in de-unionization.”In comments, the usual suspects rushed to praise his honesty and his courage. We had a different reaction to the puzzling fellow’s latest puzzling column.
He’s right. This isn’t something you often hear a columnist say, but I’ll say it again: I was wrong. At least in the private sector, we should strengthen unions, not try to eviscerate them.
Kristof is 55 years old. He went to Harvard, then to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. For all those reasons, we think this part of his column is rather hard to believe: