Dr. Leonid Fuku is an official delegate of the USSA
Bureau of Healthcare Reform, and future commander
of the United Health Care System of the Americas.

"Clearly, the future is with United Global Front for
Healthcare, administered through a centralized
offshore office. It will solve all medical issues
for all the world's citizens. I, Health Kommissar
Leonid Fuku, am willing to address all things medical.
Ask your questions, but clearly state your Party
standing and location, or answers will not be

~ Doctor Fuku[/floatleft-nb]

Kommissar of Health answers:

Seymore Vidal
Applied for Party membership June 2005

Dear Leonid,

I have been diagnosed with "unstable angina" by my doctors. I was told I need an octuple bypass or I will suffer crippling heart problems. I called my HMO and they told me that I was eligible for surgery with only one Doctor in my area, and he is on vacation. What should I do?

Comrade Vidal,

Congratulations on your application for party membership. You are about to embark on a new and exciting phase in your life. Please feel free to write again once your party membership is approved! Again, congratulations!

Dr. Fuku

Theresa H.
San Francisco regional Party leader since 1974

Dear Comrade,

I have been suffering from a recurrent ingrown toenail for several years. I have been unable to suitably correct the problem, and my regional health official is at a loss. What should I do?

Dear comrade in good standing,

How you have suffered! How could they NOT provide you with a long-lasting solution? I will PERSONALLY fill out form Z-334 on your behalf and contact your regional healthcare coordinator. I will expect an immediate response and a solution to your grave issue forthwith! Please give my regards to Senator Boxer when you have a chance.

Dr. Fuku

User avatar

Dear Comrades,

Summer is upon us! Have you signed your children up for the Special Purpose Camp of your choice? Remember, physical exams are mandatory, available and free to all children already assigned to a camp. Otherwise, we are unable to provide physical exams without a 6 month delay. Remember, SIGN YOUR CHILDREN UP TODAY OR RISK MISSING OUT!

Jihad E.
Dear C.H. Fuku,

I'm one of Dr. P's graduate assistants (in good standing), residing in the progressive, campus town of Boulder, Co. It's way too close to South Park for my tastes, but that's another story.

Here's my health issue: Ever since Dr. P left for France to attend to his precious vineyards, I've been unable to lay down the mad, dope science like I used to. The "D" seems to have been excised from "Def" and the "F" expropriated from "Fly". I no longer feel like "a straight-up 'G' hustler." I think I'm suffering from that unmentionable condition known as writer's bloc (and yes, I left out the "k" on purpose in deference to the former Soviet Bloc). What can I do?

When I was drinkin' Dr. P's "Propaganda" wine, I could "kick it" like there was no tomorrow. No joke, homey. But now, I'm all out of "Propaganda". That shit is freakin' addictive.

Well, Dr. P is expecting a finished "album", as people of his age like to say, by the time he returns to Boulder for the Fall Semester. PLEASE HELP ME FIND THE RHYME AGAIN!

Word to the Muthaland...

Comrade Jihad,

You must learn to use the force of the collective. Look around you and feel the collective as it runs in all things. Propaganda flows from within like a natural fluid stream. Although you believe Palimpsest was the source of your stream, he was really only streaming upon you. While you certainly enjoyed bathing in his stream (who wouldn't), your own fine work was not a perquisite of his mental fluid. That was all Jihad E!

Palimpsest has left you for a reason. <b>You are ready to achieve greatness</b>. If my suggestion does not work, I have some delectable injectibles to boost your output. After all, we can't have one of our most productive young comrades missing a quota!

Comrade Fuku

User avatar


Do not underestimate the damaging psychological effects of hiding secrets! We all have them, and it is best to "get them off our chests." Anyone reporting secrets of value will be awarded psychological health points which will decrease the likelihood of requiring re-education or commitment to an asylum.

Send your reports to the "United Global Front for Healthcare." No further address or postage required.

User avatar
Dear Mr. Fuku,

Do you have any advice on how to undo the effects of using an entire box of Viagra in half an hour?


Impotence is an illusion created by Masters and Johnson (see below). Your precious "viagra" is nothing more than harmless talc compressed into pill form.

Jihad E
Thank you, Dr. Fuku. I've now found inspiration in Jimmy Carter's poetry!

The rhymes are comin' to me like ships through the Panama Canal.

Word to the Mullahland.

Comrade Onanymsky
Respected Kommissar,

I'm deeply disturbed by some medical commercials we see on TV. As my wife and I enjoy an occasional quiet evening meal with caviar and vodka, or share a bowl of vareniki with an occasional comrade, what do we see and hear on American television? Fungi toenails, herpes, Preparation Che for hemorrhoids, rinse for bad breath, and cream for smelly vaginas. Why didn't we have such medical commercials back in the Soviet Union? Because our socialist medicine effectively cured everything! Nobody in the Soviet Union had herpes, fungi toenails, bad breath, and smelly vaginas. Nobody had allergies! All sickly appendages were being promptly amputated, and old people didn't stay around long enough to burden the People's State with costly maintenance. We were a young, happy nation of healthy soldiers and portly nurses!

Not only the Yankee capitalists did us in - they're now adding insult to injury by ruining our remaining days by instilling in our brains mental images of Preparation Che and Monistat applications. I have lost sleep and appetite! I see only three ways out of this -

(a) outlaw all medical commercials;
(b) confine all scoundrels with above conditions to mandatory treatment at guarded medical facilities, and
(c) send me some good capitalist medicine that will help me stop visualizing fungi toenails and smelly vaginas.

Comrade Onanymsky,
Former Chief of Propaganda Directorate
Politburo Member since 1948
proud recipient of Medicaid, Medicare,
SSI, Section 8, and food stamps

Comrade Onanymsky,

You have poked your nose into quite a smelly and dangerous Pandora's box (so to speak)! Indeed, your intellect has helped you define the problem, but not the cause. Of course, you did not have the benefit of taking my course, "Dollars for Dialysis: Capitalism and the End of Healthcare." Let us begin:

William Masters (of Masters and Johnson) wanted to conduct research that would lead to the downfall of proper morals, and result in capitalistic gain for himself. In 1957, he hired a young prostitute, Virgina Johnson, as a research assistant. He created the concept of male impotence, as well as female “orgasmic inadequacy,” and in addition invented several new “female problems” which centered on olfaction of private parts.

Simultaneously, Robert Wood Johnson, of Johnson and Johnson infamy, who was whelped by the same mother as Virginia Johnson (a secret few know but I) was developing a line of “feminine hygiene products” to sell to the gullible masses. While these products would seem to improve “private part aesthetics and olfactory emissions,” Johnson knew better. These products would alter the natural environment of the private area, requiring application of further foul potions, and a lifetime dependence on all variety of liquids, creams and appliances! More money for the perverted enemies of the State and all things immoral! Of course, penile enhancing creams, salves, potions and pills soon followed, as did magical fungicides and the like.

So, dear comrade, you are correct. These illnesses were invented by capitalists for monetary gain. These curatives are nothing more than placebos for the masses, gobbled down willingly. That you are offended by these events is only natural! You must have been quite beloved at the Propaganda Directorate!

Comrade Fuku

Dear Comrade Fuku, Maximum MD:

What programs do you have to address the FACT that only People of Color (and lesbians, who in fact are also People of Color) get ill? Our oppressors (the White Christians, Republicans, and Zionist Dogs) lead long lives, while The People, still in shackles, suffer. Please share your vision, your answer, with us.

I live in New York City, in Brooklyn, and have only recently joined The Party.

Smash the fascist state!!


I will rephrase your question. Rather than asking why the oppressed are ill, one must ask, <b>"why are the oppressors so abnormally healthy?</b>"

The answer lies in the capitalist enclaves known as "Private Medical Offices." While the innocent among us work for the common good and obtain our healthcare at State sanctioned facilities, the wealthy "jump the line" to partake of all things health related TO EXCESS! They subscribe to a debased "cult of health" at the expense of all properly-minded members of the collective! As soon as the HINT of an infection occurs, they run to their PRIVATE FACILITIES for a quick fix of antibiotics! They have not the decency to wait to see if their own bodies can cure the infection! How vain and despicable to waste the peoples resources on medicine that might NOT have been necessary!

The Canadian example here suits us well. PRIVATE HEALTHCARE IS RIGHTFULLY BANNED! Therein lies the obvious solution to the problem!


Your defender,


Comrade Katchakakoff
Greetings. I am Dr. Katchakakoff of the Peoples Republic of California--known fondly in Los Angeles Commissariat #8 as Yakoff "Swift Bris" Katchakakoff. I volunteer my services for use in the equitable distribution of party-approved circumcisions for all. I await your orders.

Dear Doctor,

As you know, there MUST BE A SEPARATION OF RELIGION AND MEDICINE as originally decreed in the motherland. Anything less is an affront to the State. You have used the word "Bris" which is clearly a violation of the Peoples' Health Care code. Please make life easy and report to the camp of your choice. You will be treated fairly and in proportion to your crimes. Of course, an investigation of your actions will be necessary, so please bring all medical records with you.

To learn more about the nature of your offense, follow <a href="https://www.russianjewry.org/about/media/ap.php" target="_blank">this link</a>


Dr. Fuku

Paul Martin
Hello Dr. Fuku:

Here in Canada, we are very proud that you wish to adopt a health-care policy that is modelled on our fair, equitable, universal, and free system.

As you know, in today's United States, many people are uninsured -- and even the insured can barely afford decent care. Our response was to make health care free. And our astounding results have made us wonder if we should make other things free, such as cars, food, clothing, etc.

But onto my question: Will you allow Canadians (or at least the Martin family) to come to your country for medical care now and then? I'm not sure why we would do so, but, you know, circumstances come up.

Thank you.

Comrade Martin,

It is good to hear from you! Indeed, I have had many discussions with your Health Minister, The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh. Perhaps you might wish to help us in our efforts.

While the gluttonous American pharmaceutical companies hold the USSA's people hostage for medications which are created with cheap powders and weeds, innocent workers are suffering. In your fine socialist state, medicine is quite reasonably priced. Obviously, the answer is for you to buy the drugs from the USSA at a discount, and sell them back to us. Clearly this is the most logical course of action.

Incidentally, we are also working on a General Motors "buyback initiative." Did you know that a car is much cheaper if purchased in China? Well, obviously we should be buying our General Motors vehicles from China then! It's so simple that it obviates the need for analysis!

Regardless, of course you are welcome to experience the horrors of our medical system. Many of your colleagues have expressed solidarity with us by experiencing first-hand the sub-par care associated with our system! Only with your support can we build a consensus for the Global Health Initiative (GHI for short).


Jihad E.
What up?

Here's a little shout out to my man, Dr. Fuku. It goes a little somethin' like this:

Yo, step up proles;
'Cause it's time to be enthralled.
Yeah, Fuku's got the cure
For whatever ails y'all.

He's coordinatin' healthcare
All over the planet.
Disrespect my man
And you'll wind up under granite.

That's right, suckas,
Jihad E is kickin' it again.
I don't need no Tech 9,
Just a mic and a pen.

As per doctor's orders,
It's about time for me
To sip on a cup
Of that "kind" herbal tea.
(For those in the know,
I'm sure that you get me!)

Yeah, so now you know,
The Doc has got your prescription,
His treatments are so dope
That they defy all description.

The panacea for the world
Is the socialist way.
It's time for Uncle Sam
To take off his toupee!

Keep it real, Dr. Fuku!

Word to the Muthaland.

Please set this to music and it shall become my official theme song, bridging the chasm between your constituency and mine, dear friend. I could not be prouder of your achievement!

Dr. Fuku

Komrade Fuku,

I am in desperate straights. I suffer from a condition known as "Womattritis". It is brought upon by my progressive demeanor, and irrestiable looks and charm. The condition is characterized by Progressive women finding me irrestiable. Like any good Komissar, I have no problem helping these women fufill their duties... However, the problem lies in that the evil Capitalist women find me repugant, and idiotic. While some of them have been sent to re-education for thier thoughtcrimes, I cannot help but to feel a need to show these women the light of the bright red sun. Upon doing so, they will be like the other progressive women...

Thats where you come in. I expect the mind control pills to be ready within the month. I am sending some of my finest Vanguard to help. They will ensure your saftey in arriving here. Speak with Gen. Kaprakov, he is one my best advisors, and he will know where to get whatever supplies you may need.

If you do this task, you can be assured that the party will recognize your accomplishments.

-Komrade Koz

Dear Comrade,

While I am always willing to supply potent potables and delectable injectables, might I suggest a method old and true?

A man in your position must clearly run across decadent capitalist women with a need for detention, no? In the old days, we would disorient them in the punishment cell for a while, then de-louse them in a very public way. Following these manoevers, most women will rightfully swoon at the chance to spend time with a Comrade such as yourself! If this is not satisfactory, I will dispatch one of my finest to induce the proper response from the subject of your choice.


Dr. Fuku:

While searching the Internet for flattery, I came upon your intriguing manifesto. You strike me as being far more principled than our Republican leadership, and a man who will implement the sort of highly complex economic theories that can only be developed and understood by people such as myself. But one does not need a mind as sharp as mine in order implement sound ideas. (Although you would need to be considerably brighter than the collective IQ of the Bush Administration!)

May I quote from my 4/11/05 New York Times Op-Ed?

"The fact is that in health care, the private sector is often bloated and bureaucratic, while some government agencies - notably the Veterans Administration system - are lean and efficient."

And now, to my question! Do you have a plan that can actually produce efficiencies that exceed the astounding record of The Veterans Administration? Is there anything we can learn from the VA?

I look forward to your response, and I look forward to your obtaining ideas from my columns.

My Dear Paul,

Your statement and question brought me to tears! The Veterans Bureau of Health and Wellbeing is almost NEVER given the credit it deserves. Our system is lean and mean, built by government workers for government workers! All care is equal, no one jumps the line. All our inmates walk out of their own volition, whether they could when they entered or not! Our initiatives have produced a system of care unparalleled in the world, and soon, medical innovation is bound to follow! (After all, the system is still young, and medical advances so few!)

Our latest initiatives are geared toward efficient utilization of care. Previously, we have centralized our MRI machines to one facility per state. Now, we are centralizing all medical equipment to our central offshore facility! All patients will travel by boat (is anything more relaxing and healthful than the beauty and fresh air of the sea?) to get MRI and CT scan tests with NO WAITING! What private hospital can claim that? And the rent at sea is SO LOW! Once the heavier machinery is moved, we will begin transferring the ultrasound systems and interventional cardiology suites. Imagine, a veteran is having a heart attack in central New York. A high speed Veterans ambulance picks him up and whisks him to the shoreline. A Veterans Administration Seafaring Ambulance then whisks him to the central offshore facility for his state of the art angioplasty!

One of our brightest initiatives is almost never mentioned! Many of our veterans have participated in efforts contrary to the good of a People's State. The most glaring example is our effort in Vietnam. Sure, apologists will say, “well, we lost on purpose, so in the end we helped our collectivist brothers!” Well, I say that is not enough! All our PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) Vietnam veterans need a chance to apologize for their efforts against the people of Vietnam. Therefore, we try to have Vietnamese psychiatrists treat these individuals (especially the POW's, who quite often are nostalgic for their time spent in a true collective). If we do not have a Vietnamese psychiatrist, we always give the Veteran a Health Official trained in a foreign land, as this broadens their myopic self-indulgent world-view and unforgivable self-pity. Currently, we are busy recruiting the finest Medical Officials the Middle East can supply.

No doubt, Comrade Krugman, you get your healthcare through the VA system, and look at the glow of your beard! You must drink ten raw eggs a day to be so incredibly healthy.

Your friend,

Dr. Fuku

User avatar


We at the USSA Bureau of Health understand your desire to keep your medical records confidential. We assure you that only members of the USSA Bureau of Health and its affiliates within the People's Government, the Centralized Offshore Office, and the Bureau for Analysis of Economic Expenditures have access to your records! Your immediate neighbor will not have access unless he or she works for one of these agencies (a mere 38% chance). So rest easy, comrades, your records are safe in our hands!

User avatar
Dr. Fuku:

Your concurrence with my assessment of the Veterans Administation (a lean, mean, health-care machine, indeed) has inspired me to devote my today's column http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/08/opini ... gman.html? to further explorations of how free markets are antithetical to proper health care.

Specifically, I have focused my laser-sharp mind on the problem...no, the epidemic, of obesity.

Or, in my own words:

"It is more important, however, to emphasize that there are situations in which "free to choose" is all wrong - and that this is one of them."

Of course, "free to choose" is almost always wrong -- from both utility and moral perspectives, as I am sure you will agree. But in this case, consider the issues:

A) People get fat through no fault of their own, and...

B) Being fat is very unhealthy, and...

C) Taxes are not high enough.

And now, I will unleash my brilliance:

D) Tax everyone so that the government can provide for fat people!

It's all in my column, except for the details of how exactly the government will actually use these tax dollars to help fat people. For that, I turn to you, Dr. Fuku. Remember, I am an economist, not a physician.

But I must emphasize (to quote my today's column again) that "the history of government interventions is one of consistent, life-enhancing success."

Dizzy with success!!


Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D

Dear Paul,

I am one step ahead of you! The following points from your article are not lost on me:

#1. One answer is to focus on the financial costs of obesity, and the fact that many of these costs fall on taxpayers and on the general insurance-buying public, rather than on the obese individuals themselves.

#2. It is more important, however, to emphasize that there are situations in which "free to choose" is all wrong - and that this is one of them.

#3. And even if children weren't a big part of the problem, only a blind ideologue or an economist could argue with a straight face that Americans were rationally deciding to become obese.

I have clarified your points in the same order. Clearly, you are saying that:

#1. The Government owns fat people since we, the People, plan to complete and fund the Global Front for Healthcare, from which the fat people will siphon funds.

#2. Therefore, these fatties, who have decided to reject the collective and become massive orbs of individualism, should <i>not be allowed to choose</i> to eat more than their share.

#3. These fatties are all irrational and need their decisions to be made for them by the Global Front for Healthcare.

As you know in your heart, this leads us to a conclusion that we have come to before, my comrade!

We are developing Special Use Fat Camps for all individuals with Body Mass Indices which are beyond the Peoples' normative values. These camps will be voluntary in that fatties will not be forcibly removed from their dwellings as long as they voluntarily report to a camp of their choice.

Once at the camps, they will be given limited bread and water rations which will inevitably lead to a healthier physique. In addition, they will learn new trades, and will take part in evaluation sessions which will correct the mental aberrancies which led to their disgusting habitudes in the first place.

My dear Paul,

You can count on us!



A question for Krugman
Dear Paul,

Can you apply your laser-like mind to the AIDS problem? Could you re-write the same opinion piece with "AIDS" in place of "obesity?" It would look sort of like this:

#1. One answer is to focus on the financial costs of AIDS, and the fact that many of these costs fall on taxpayers and on the general insurance-buying public, rather than on the AIDS individuals themselves.

#2. It is more important, however, to emphasize that there are situations in which "free to choose" is all wrong - and that this [getting AIDS] is one of them.

#3. And even if children weren't a big part of the problem, only a blind ideologue or an economist could argue with a straight face that Americans were rationally deciding to get AIDS.

What do you think, Paul? Do you agree with this?

User avatar
Leonid -

Little did I realize that you have expertise in such a vast realm of science: Medicine and economics. (And moral wisdom!) Very few people can boast of such accomplishments, save some polymathic women such as the late Elena Ceausescu.

Incidentally, in order to maintain a healthy (and lean!) economy, I would recommend that the fattie-camps be funded with what is now paying for the Guantanamo Bay facility. Or perhaps, the fatties can be moved to Guantanamo Bay; we might be able to share resources with nearby governments.


Paul, Ph.D

I love your thinking! Keep up the good work Paul!

Thank You Paul
Dear Paul,

I think I speak for the collective when I stand up and shout "three cheers for Krugman!" It's about time someone stood up for the heathy man! All day long we hear sob stories about fat people, AIDS ridden people, cancer ridden people, and we are supposed to shed a collective tear (pun intended) and pony up with the People's Credit Card! Nobody ever thinks about how these irrational, irresponsible sickies are bleeding the collective dry! Well no more!

I think your article is a shot across the bow to all the tired, sick and fat, telling them that we are NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! The weak willed fat AIDS patients, the pathetic cancer patients, the disgusting genetically disadvantaged are all dragging us down!

No more pandering to the selfish individualistic needs of the pathetically ill!


User avatar
A question for Krugman wrote:Dear Paul,

Can you apply your laser-like mind to the AIDS problem? Could you re-write the same opinion piece with "AIDS" in place of "obesity?" It would look sort of like this:

#1. One answer is to focus on the financial costs of AIDS, and the fact that many of these costs fall on taxpayers and on the general insurance-buying public, rather than on the AIDS individuals themselves.

#2. It is more important, however, to emphasize that there are situations in which "free to choose" is all wrong - and that this [getting AIDS] is one of them.

#3. And even if children weren't a big part of the problem, only a blind ideologue or an economist could argue with a straight face that Americans were rationally deciding to get AIDS.

What do you think, Paul? Do you agree with this?

As we know, AIDS is an excellent example of market failure -- but only under Republican administrations. When the ostensible leadership of the nation panders to a primitive constituency comprised free-market zealots and right-wing theocrats, don't be surprised when AIDS fatalities increase.

Judging by the vastly reduced frequency of AIDS stories in the media under Democratic leadership, and applying my rotated multilogit quadratic extraction matrices to the pertininent data, we can only conclude that Republicans and AIDS form a cause-and-effect relationship. Does this mean that Republicans are homosexual? Possibly, as their hostility towards gay rights might be an attempt to mask their own repressed leanings. But then, I am not a psychologist. I am only a (very talented) economist.

You are quite correct to state that the costs of AIDS falls on taxpayers. (And although I am not a physician, it is my understanding that AIDS can also have health consequences for taxpayers who are not yet infected.) And, of course, no one chooses to get AIDS.

And we can say the same thing about many other things. Though it is somewhat beneath me, let me provide you with a non-technical analogy.

The other day, I was driving on the New Jersey Turnpike to Princeton, which is where I work. Out of nowhere, my car broke down, and I came to a dead halt in the left lane. Now, I am not a car mechanic; I am only a (legendary) economist. And so, I sat in the left lane, listening to traffic reports of congestion to the George Washington Bridge, and thinking about how I was (somehow) losing money by waiting for assistance. And that's when I realized that:

A) My car's failure is imposing costs on everyone else.

B) "Free to choose" is all wrong here.

C) No one could say that anyone rationally wanted to be in this situation.

And so, I am suing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority for one hour of my very valuable time.

In other words, almost everything we do has some externalities, and we are often the victims of unintended circumstances. Therefore, it is axiomatic that the government should provide a universal "safety net" for everyone for every misfortune.

I will need to submit this as a future column.


Dr. Paul Krugman, Ph.D (and many other honors)

My dear Paul,

I know when I am in the presence of an intellectual giant! I DEMAND that the collective grant you your own column to counter the subversive $$ Halliburton!

Your biggest fan,


A question for Paul
Dear Paul,

I read your Op-Ed today titled, "Un-Spin the Budget." In it you state:

. . .<b>the administration is poised</b> to do the same thing on the budget that it has done again and again in Iraq: claim that a modest, probably temporary lull in the flow of bad news shows that victory is around the corner and that its policies have been vindicated.So <b>let me do some pre-emptive de-spinning and debunking</b>.

You then proceed to razzle dazzle with classic effluvian serpentian algorithms, all of which result in the following conclusion:

In other words, <b>we're still deep in the fiscal quagmire</b>, with federal revenues far below what's needed to pay for federal programs. And we won't get out of that quagmire until a future president admits that <b>the Bush tax cuts were a mistake, and must be reversed</b>.

Now, I am not a famous economist, but I seem to see a few trends in your writing:

#1. There are lots of quagmires and ticking time bombs

#2. You are able to predict not only the fiscal future, but what people with opposite viewpoints are thinking and how they are planning to subvert the truth.

#3. Taxes are always useful, and cutting taxes is dangerous.

I, too, see the danger all around us. It is not hard to be afraid when confronted with as many ticking quagmires as we are. I, too, see the danger associated with a profound lack of taxation which leaves us vulnerable. I guess I just want to know why you don't just beat the system and use your powers to foretell the stock echange. Alll your gains could then be used to thwart the impending crisis when the tax revenue pillow is not soft enough to cushion the buttocks of society.

User avatar
First, I feel compelled to thank Dr. Fuku for patiently allowing me to use his medical forum to explain economic issues. I will reciprocate by persuading Mr. Sulzberger to hire Dr. Fuku as the editor of "Science Times". Or at least spotlight him in the "Public Lives" column.

Now, to address Mr. "A Question for Paul".

First, you recognize that you are not my equal; this is both admirable and expected. In any society, there is a segment of the population that has profound academic wisdom -- and it is their responsibility to convince (or dare I say "compel"?) everyone else to apply it to their personal lives. Remember, there are many situations where "free to choose" is all wrong.

I will address your points now.

#1. There are lots of quagmires and ticking time bombs

Give the devil his due; ticking time bombs and quagmires are, hook, line, and sinker in the same boat; the writing on the wall is that the winds of change will leave no stone unturned until the bitter end -- by leaps and bounds! This is one of the first things that I used to teach my students, until I became too important, too essential, to teach.

#2. You are able to predict not only the fiscal future, but what people with opposite viewpoints are thinking and how they are planning to subvert the truth.

This is correct, and it why The Times has requested that I write columns. That said, I think that anyone with an IQ at least 80% of mine knows that deficits are out of control. And we all know that deficits are evil and they need to end immediately.

Let me give you an example of why borrowing money is poor fiscal policy. Almost every company borrows money to cover their start-up costs; that is, they run deficits -- sometimes for many years! And it is a known fact that 80% of all new businesses fail. (My intern researched that for me on the Internet; she knows some sort of secret method for quickly finding answers.) So, if 80% of business fail, isn't that sufficient evidence that deficits are harmful?

That Republicans have created enormous deficits (against the prudent cautions from Democrats since time immemorial), isn't that another way of Republicans killing businesses? In fact, how about 80% of those businesses? Which, leaves the 20% that are successful; the few, the rich, and the corporate that Republicans support at the expense of everyone else.

And may I add that private pensions are placed in the hands of mutual funds that are borrowing your money. Does that make you feel safe? We now have an iron-clad Social Security lockbox that the Republicans want to replace with irresponsible borrowing and deficits.

Which brings me to your final point:

#3. Taxes are always useful, and cutting taxes is dangerous.

Correct. The salient point in my column is that taxes belong to the government, and that cutting taxes is therefore a government expense. This much is obvious. Just as workers own company profits, and community stakeholders own the right to make corporate decisions, the government owns your taxes.

And when we have vital programs that must be nourished, like lightbulb filament subsidies and grants to study the effects of tortoise breath on under-water aridness, then the government must keep its taxes. Or raise them. When the Department of Energy comes calling with a one-billion dollar annual budget, what possible alternative is there to raising taxes? I, for one, cannot think of any alternatives -- and I am a very distinguished economist.

Prof. Krugman

OK, now I (think I)get it
So Paul,

I am slow, but I am starting to see the outlines of a pattern of thought as though "seen through a glass, darkly." I don't want to feign your degree of prescience, but see if you agree with my vision. I will use the Sophistocratic method that you have made famous:

#1 Taxation is vital

#2. Things are too complicated nowadays for people to know what to do.

#3. Threfore people need economists to tell them what to do with money.

This being resolved, I then wonder if the winds are not only not but also clearly not blowing our American ship toward an inevitable confluence of economic certitudes resulting in the following:

All money needs to be funnelled through the hands of a prominent economist first, and he will then decide how much of a refund check we need. Really, it is no different from a simple flat tax that the libertarians have been clamoring for, and it would solve the complicated tax code problem. All individuals would merely need to cede all income, after which they simply would direct an email petition to their local economist requesting money for items of need. It sure would make life alot easier, and we would never have to worry that we might run out of taxes in the middle of the night and have a crisis. Please be kind, I am trying to understand this all at once, and it is hard.

A Scared Housewife
Dear Paul,

I just got a $1,000 dollar bonus at work for working late every night and coming in early every morning. I was going to spend the money on a dress for my daughter, a grill for my husband and then keep a little bit for a rainy day, but now I am confused. From what you say, the econonomy is in a quagmire (what does that mean -- it sounds bad), and the rich stopped paying taxes. Does that mean I should give my money to the government? I don't want to end up with those big deficits that end up making our economy worse (what comes after quagmire -- I am afraid to ask). Also, if I am doing ok, how does the quagmire affect me? Does it sneak up like a cancer or is it there and I just can't see it? I never went to college, so I have a hard time with this.

Sally Croquemonsieur
Baton Rouge, LA

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Ha ha, Sir, if I may be so glib! You are a very earnest pupil, and I would easily curve your grade to at least 100% were it not for a few errors in thought:

A) Economists have purity of thought. We are scientists and cannot be influenced by petitions and other expressions of popular opinion. True, majority opinions signify moral rectitude (which is why the Republicans needed to cheat to win the last two elections), and the people should therefore petition the government, and not the economists. At that time, the government will consult with the most gifted economists, who will provide expert guidance to the government. Of course, in an ideal situation, the most gifted economists would be government employees anyway -- in order to maximize efficiencies.

B) Of course this is hard for you to understand. My prose, though exquisite, does not even begin to reveal the complex ideas, abstractions, and most of all, formulas, that can intimidate any challenger. My mastery of jargon, my accumulation of degrees and awards, my implicit endorsement by The Economist ("By Invitation"...they invited me to speak!) gives even my slightest utterances a degree of credibiity that almost defies comprehension.

C) You are very perceptive; things are far too difficult for anyone to understand. For example, did you know that the cyclical aggregate substitution of surplus floating cost can be approximated by a non-stationary hyperbolic gamma-curve? This is why people outside the field should only be concerned with simpler things, such as selecting the correct brand of detergent, choosing a color for their next car (although efficiencies dictate that only one optimal color be available to all), paying their taxes, voting for Democratic candidates, and reading my columns.

Prof. Dr. Paul Krugman

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Ms. Croquemonsieur:

I never communicated with anyone who did not attend college, so I hope that you will understand me. If you are illiterate, perhaps someone can read this response to you. I will struggle to use easy words.

Remember when you were a little itty bitty baby? And remember how mommy would feed you and dress you and take care of you? Remember how happy you were, and how easy it all was?

Good! You have a good memory! You are smart!

Now, remember when you were scared of monsters and bad people under your bed? And remember how mommy would make it all better?

Well, that big bad monster was only in the imagination of Little Sally. But quagmires and deficits are not in your imagination; they are real, and they are deadly. They are like the Bad Monster, but only much much worse.

Who will rescue you now, Sally, with mommy in the grave? Are you scared? Sad? Upset? Angry? You should be!!

It turns out that there's someone better than mommy. It is your government, and very very very very smart and compassionate people like me. Do you know what "compassionate" means? It means that we want to help you.

So, Sally...just as you gave your toys to mommy when you were a little baby, you need to give your money to the government. Just as those toys really belonged to mommy, that money really belongs to the government.

When you were little, mommy knew better than you. Isn't that enough proof that, today, your government knows better? Listen to us, vote for Democrats (or even Socialists, if the alternative is a right-wing Republican), and all will be better.

Do it for your chidren!


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Click <a href="https://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?qu ... v=quagmire" target="_blank">THIS LINK</a> for an urgent audio message

Click <a href="https://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?qu ... v=quagmire" target="_blank">HERE</a> for an alternate message</b>

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Dear Colleague Fuku,

As you probably know, I'm in France right now tending to the interests of my winery, Château Babeuf.

As a cutting-edge progressive, however, I've been expanding my horizons in my spare time by taking "drag" lessons from France's world-renowned diva, Madame Papillon. My stage name, if you're curious, is Shea Butter. The experience has far exceeded my expectations--I've even amassed a loyal following, thanks to my sultry rendition of Rosemary Clooney classics.

Everything was going exceedingly well until last week, when my feet started hurting so intensely that I was unable to finish a performance. Imagine my mortification! It seems that squeezing my size 11 feet into those restrictive stilleto heels has caused me to develop bunions. Ouch!

Any suggestions on how to cure them? My fans anxiously await my return.

Yours in cross dressing,
Dr. P

User avatar

I am glad to see you are keeping busy. Do not feel badly, as several prominent members of the party have suffered from your problem. In fact, although patient confidentiality forbids divulging his full name, a living former U.S. president and party member (initials J.C.) suffers from severe high-heel related forefoot issues. As I told him, one must not allow one's vanity to dictate shoe selection! But he just <i>has</i> to wear his Jimmy Choo's whenever he travels to South America! I have forbade him travelling to the Far east, as he is unable to resist dressing as a Geisha and binding his feet! His boyfriend Ramsey is no help, always buying him size 9's!

As for your issue, there are several options. Although large feet do damage the illusion of femininity so desired by the drag queen, a proper fit will maintain comfort with only a 12% decrease in sexiness. And don't forget, open toed shoes CAN BE SEXY if properly selected!

Another option is to have an assistant break in the shoes for you. Perhaps a young Algerian or Moroccan? After all, while in Paris, do as the average French male would do! You might also want to consider a good spotlight which cuts off at the ankle. If you persist in wearing ill-fitting heels, you will invariably require a bunionectomy, which is both painful and bloody!


Dr. F.

Dear Doc,

I took your advice and not only outfitted myself with larger, more comfortable shoes, but I also arranged for a less revealing use of the spotlight. These remedies worked to perfection, and, as you predicted, I only suffered a 12% loss in sexual appeal! Thank you, comrade! Rosemary Clooney is back in business. *snaps*

--Dr. P

Dems for Defense
Dear Paul,

I read your column today ("Karl Rove's America") and was stunned by the truthfulness of your statements! Here are some of my favorites:

. . .we're living in a country in which there is no longer such a thing as nonpolitical truth. In particular, <b>there are now few, if any, limits to what conservative politicians can get away with</b>. . .

I first realized that we were living in Karl Rove's America during the 2000 presidential campaign, when <b>George W. Bush began saying things about Social Security privatization and tax cuts that were simply false</b>. At first, I thought the Bush campaign was making a big mistake - that these blatant falsehoods would be condemned by prominent Republican politicians and Republican economists, especially those who had spent years building reputations as advocates of fiscal responsibility. In fact, with hardly any exceptions they lined up to praise Mr. Bush's proposals.

Every time I read a lament for the post-9/11 era of national unity, I wonder what people are talking about. On the issues I was watching, the Republicans' exploitation of the atrocity began while ground zero was still smoldering. . .<b>A less insightful political strategist might have hesitated right after 9/11 before using it to cast the Democrats as weak on national security. After all, there were no facts to support that accusation.</b>

Paul, I agree that the Democrats are purveyors of economic and political truth! After all, the noble efforts of men like Teddy Kennedy and Chuck Schumer speak for themselves! I also agree that social security is endangered by attempting to cede governmental control to the people. What do the people know about money? How could the republicans try to convince the people that they should be in charge of their own money? HOW INSANE!! And TAX CUTS!! NEED I SAY MORE??

But what really gets my goat is the categorization of Democrats as weak on defense! How could anyone say that Democrats are weak on Defense? Can you expound on these issues?

Great Question -- Professor Krugman has moved to his own unique spot on the People's Cube -- have a look!

Dr. F

Chairman Meow
Dear Dr. F,

I have developed a very strange ailment over these past few days. Lately I have been spending most of my time writing press releases for various controlled media networks - you know the basics - denouncing Republicans and the like. Well, doing all these activities and spending a large part of my time in the dark sub-levels of the Party beaucracies has turned parts of my skin into reptile-like scales. Now, this condition does not at all concern me too much; I know plenty of people in my department who have the same condition. However, I am not sure if my Party-approved class-B female life partner would approve. What can be done to cure my symptoms???

A very concerned Party Apparatchik,
Chairman Meow-Say-Pun

The Party takes care of its own. Cure is not possible. However, there are several other options:

#1. We can make your female companion believe that scales are just wonderful. All it will take is a syringe or two of special sauce and a few mind-improvement sessions on her part. Our success rate is one-hundred percent

#2. We can give the same scales to her and you can both enjoy their smoothness

#3. We can blind your friend and make her beholden to you for support

#4. Any combination of the above and more!

Just give us a call!


Dr. Leonid F.

Doktor Fuku,

I don't know if you remember me, but many years ago we both served at the same maximum security orphanage / re-education centre? You will recall my calling for medicine was less than my calling for an efficient and willful re-education of the disease that hides amongst the masses, and I regret we drifted apart as was necessary for our duties - but I am pleased to see all those hours in unnecessary and unanaethatised surgery have bode you well in serving the continued struggle against the great evil.

Tell me, what have you been doing all these years?