Yesterday, I wrote about the attacks of liberal mainstream economists on Bernie Sanders and one of his economic advisers, Gerald Friedman.
Today, Neil Irwin tries to explain why the “liberal wonkosphere has a problem with Bernie Sanders.”
there may be something broader going on here beyond the specific disagreements about growth assumptions, or cost savings from a single-payer health system, or how to regulate the financial system.
Behind closed doors, among the left-of-center policy types who populate the congressional offices, executive agencies and think tanks of Washington, I’ve seen enough eye rolls when Mr. Sanders’s name comes up to suspect something more tribal is going on.
The wonkosphere vs. Bernie clash is not just a story of center-left versus left-left. It is also a clash between those who have been in the trenches of trying to make public policy for the last seven years versus those who can exist in a kind of theoretical world of imagining what public policy ought to be.
That’s pretty much what I argued yesterday: “The liberal mainstream economists who are now attacking Sanders and Friedman seem to be taking it personally, as if their monopoly on analysis and policy has been challenged.”
Irwin concludes by asserting that Sanders needs to mend “fences with left-of-center policy wonks.”
Alternatively, liberal mainstream economists might want to put aside their delicate sensibilities and, to invoke a saying from a time when a similar standoff between liberals and radicals took place, stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.