Democrats & Liberals Archives

Principle 2: Politics Is Only A Means To An End.

One of the things that has saddened me over the last few years is the degree to which once sacred principles of bipartisan agreement, and even Republican Principle have broken down. The needless controversy over the ratification of the new START treaty is one. This shouldn’t be difficult, being one of Reagan’s positive legacies.

To my mind, there's a point where politics has to end, even at the risk of political damage or inconsistency. The job of the politicians in charge is not to maintain their philosophical consistency. It's not to fulfill every campaign promise, or avoid violating some platform that they ran on.

This is what they promise to do, when they are sworn in:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

That is the oath that every congressperson makes. They are not swearing to corporations, they are not swearing to a church, they are not swearing their loyalty to a party. They are swearing to us, and they are swearing to uphold and protect their country according to its laws. They are swearing that they mean it. They are swearing that they'll do it well.

That job comes first. You can stretch and warp and weave the definition, insert qualifications that all you're doing for party and for your ideology IS for the good of the country, and counts towards fulfilling that oath, but in the end, how this country ends up is very much material towards the truth of whether they've fulfilled their oath.

With our industries battered and much reduced, our nation highly endebted, involved in two unpaid-for wars that continue to linger on interminably, our economy in the dumps, and unemployment high, there's both a great deal of evidence that some haven't properly fulfilled their oaths (both Democrats and Republicans) and a great deal of evidence that there is much facing us that demands that the current officeholders should step up and take proper responsibility.

If it's a matter of disagreement on how to best do things, that doesn't obviate the necessity that something gets done, and done right.

Sometimes, politics becomes the master when it should be the servant. We start shaping our arguments, shaping our beliefs and our reactions around what the other guy is saying or doing, rather than recognizing that government in practice must be different from government in rhetoric. When George H.W. Bush promised no new taxes, he set himself on a politically destructive course, because he was facing what was then a huge deficit (I guess we should still consider it huge now, but we're talking relative terms here).

The economy wasn't doing what it was promised to do, in the wake of the tax cuts, anymore than it had done for Reagan's tax cuts. The simple fact was, arithmetic dominated calculus in this instance, and removal of so much income from revenue meant that the government wasn't paying for the appropriations it was spending for. The economy wasn't growing enough and never did grow enough to make up for the shortfall in revenues.

The second Bush President made a third attempt at this, but the principle again did not pan out. Job Growth, in fact, became its most anemic since WWII, in spite of that tax cut being a full trillion dollar tax cut.

You could not fault the Republicans for not trying their idea. However, one can fault them for continuing to try it despite the evidence to the contrary of the claim that it works. Fact of the matter is, while the idea of Tax cuts freeing up capital is a beautiful one, with birds chirping their songs of freedom, the hard truth is, previous tax rates were better suited to maintaining the fiscal balance. The only problem now is that in a deflationary economy, there's not enough slack in people's paychecks to take up the cost of raising taxes on the Middle Class.

While many Republicans are set to blame the Democrats for the lapsing of the tax cuts, should the vote fail, the hard truth is, the Republicans passed their tax cut with Reconciliation rules, which made it necessary for them to cut those tax cuts short. If our taxes are raised, there are clear culprits. If the Republicans are pointing their finger at Democrats, three fingers are pointing back at them. It certainly wasn't their intention to do things this way, I imagine, but none the less, they literally only have themselves to blame. They wanted the tax cuts so bad that they used reconciliation to bypass the threat of a filibuster. Now they use the threat of a filibuster to block any renewal short of a full one.

At the same time, though, they complain that Democrats are the cause of more deficit spending, even though their proposal is greater than theirs by several hundred billion dollars in just the lost revenue alone, not to mention the interests on top of it.

The Republicans have good rhetoric, but the reality of what they're doing, and what they have done should be more important to people in judging what they say.

My education has featured a lot of excursions into the territory of the cognitive sciences, and one thing I've run into is the recursiveness of human thought, the ability to redefine rules, the ability to take one meaning and transform it completely. We can call it the "Four Legs Good" problem. I think folks should read Animal Farm to get a good sense of how political principles can be altered beyond recognition, when corruption is allowed to set in, and people reduce themselves to merely repeating platitudes given to them by others.

It's not that Democrats are any better sometimes, or that I should claim them any better right now. Who's better, is irrelevant to the question of what's better.

See, for all you can manipulate the language, manipulate the facts and all, the realities behind them remain the same, and follow different, firmer rules. Many folks have used the trope of socialism to bash laws intended to reform our capitalist system, but let me suggest something radical here: any economy that is built in such a way as to try and ignore the problem of scarcity, as to try and create wealth, or its appearance, from nothing, is doomed to fail, sooner or later. Whether it's collectivists of communist regimes trying to ideologically wrestle a socialist utopia from limited resources and rigid ideas and failing, or whether it's Capitalists trying to make themselves wealthier and wealthier ignoring the real market forces by way of a chaotic, black-box market of derivatives, it's the same error under a different name.

The direction you lean is irrelevant. There are just some things you can't make real, simply by saying so, some realities you can't ignore. Rhetoric will always be more malleable than the reality that puts that rhetoric to the test. All parties can and will learn this lesson, or suffer the consequences.

We have the best of intentions, though our natural tribal competitiveness leads us to envision the other guy as some sort of enemy, whose wrong we must counter. But good intentions pave the road to hell for a reason. People normally don't do something stupid, foolish, unsustainable or whatever else merely to punish themselves. Self-destructiveness is often an accidental habit to fall into.

But when politics itself takes the drivers seat, its inevitable. When we choose to deal with the problems of political success, rather than those of practical import, when we fail to take care of matters that are of national significance, because we're set on taking out our political opposition first and foremost, or because we're being so defensive we don't have the courage to stand up to face the matter at hand, then we are genuinely on the road to hell, or at least great national suffering and deprivation.

In my view, the goal of each and every one of us should be to navigate the conflicts of the political world as deftly as possible in order to see problems solved, the real issues of this country dealt with. America's political world is not some late-night college bull-session. It's a realm where political ideology is apt to collide rather unforgivingly with practical reality, where you can talk yourself out of a controversy, or out of losing your seat, but not out of trouble.

If I have seemed more angry these past few years than I have in times before, it's for the simple reason that I find this adversarial, politically-purposed behavior that I see appalling. I believe that each side should have the opportunity to at least get most of what they want when they have the majority, and that includes times when we are in a state of emergency, and good solutions cannot and should not be waiting for one party to get its way.

The truth is, Democrats may very well have been wrong in their approaches these past two years, but they should have been allowed their shot at doing things their way, as the Republicans were allowed theirs. If they failed, it would be on their heads, but at least then, at least some help could have come people's way, and make this terrible situation easier.

The Republicans have been given a chance to redeem themselves. Honestly, despite my political differences with them, despite my doubts about their capacity to perform, I do hope they have the courage, the wisdom, and the integrity in them to use their majority to improve the country's fortunes, to help resolve its difficulties. I hope that they do not treat this government, it's duties, and America's needs with contempt.

Just as I would hope for my own people. I've seen far too many Democrats cave into special interests, far too many of them take a politically expedient term, rather than stand up for solving the problems this country is in. I think my party's leadership needs people who are more in touch with the sentiments of voters in that regard, less concerned with what names Republicans might call them, or what bit of political theatre they might have to endure.

As a person who has participated in an ongoing experiment in political discussion for the last six years, I am very much a believer in the notion that having somebody attack you politically is not the worst thing that could happen. For me, the worst thing is watching situations that endanger the average American's quality of life and standard of living, which do violence to our nation's capability to fight our necessary wars, and to our nation's reputation as a beacon of freedom, human rights and democracy, be rendered acceptable by incompetent politicians trying to cover their asses. That's not what they're there to do, that's not what they promise to do when they get into office.

The nation comes first. I believed that when people were suggesting radical tactics to oppose the Bush Administration, and I balked, and I believe that as I balk against similar such behavior from the Republicans. If I have real enemies in politics, it's not those who merely call me names and allege I'm trying to destroy the country. My worst enemies are those who ignore the practical necessities of governing a democratic republic like ours, in favor of furthering their politics. Politics, like I said in the title, is only a means to an end, and the end should not be the realization of some political vision, nor setting the laws of the land the way you want them to be. That may be good for some, but if it comes at the expense of policy that does not make sense, if it results in huge errors in how we handle our economy, our defense, and our relations with each other and the rest of the world, then those who further it have no business remaining in charge. This government is not their plaything, it's our necessary means of organizing our own society, of leading it in response to the challenges its faces.

We cannot afford to wait for the political parties to end their power struggles to stand up to take on this burden of responsibility. We cannot wait for some distant utopian time for one party or another, to begin considering once more the needs and fortunes of the nation itself, and compromising to at least get something done to make our lives better. Some people don't want to see their politics put to some test it could fail, for fear that they may be discredited. Unfortunately for them, the world will test our politics anyways, and people will make the comparisons, fair or unfair, between what we promise, and what we deliver. You cannot float above the consequences or walk between the raindrops forever, because government is in charge of practical decisions where there may not always be one right answer, but there sure can be plenty of wrong ones.. The rubber will meet the road, whether you like it or not. There will be a reckoning.

It's better, in my view, to get policy right and be wrong in the politics, than to get politics right and screw up the policy. TARP was terrible politics all around, but the alternative was worse still. The Auto Bailout wasn't the best politics, but it was far better than the alternative. The Stimulus, the first and only Stimulus following the terrible financial disaster we had, has been demonized politically, but objective, nonpartisan analysis has pronounced it a success, and the alternative, of course, was worse. The result of some of the Surge's policies were better than letting the alternative occur, and may just lead to a happier ending, though the politics doesn't work well.

We don't just hire these people to slavishly play to our political biases, we hire them to a job, and that job takes priority over getting you to keep them in that job by playing political games. I think we as Americans should think less of whether somebody or something fits in some political box, and more about the problems themselves, and how to solve them.

Ultimately, history will look more kindly on the folks who won power and then did something good with that power than those who wrested that power from everybody else and then botched the job.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2010 12:34 PM
Comments
Comment #314018

Stephen

You see the world in a binary fashion. The Republicans had their shot and now the Democrats should have theirs. In fact, all of life is some kind of compromise.

You are also suffering from a kind of illusion of personification. There is no such thing as “republican” or “democrat” in the way you use them. Both parties are amalgamations of various interests, constantly changing. The Republicans of 2002 are gone; so are Democrats of those times.

So we don’t just take turns. The party in power has … the power as defined by law and custom. That is what the Republican had from 2002-2006 and then mixed with Democratic power after that. The Democrats had a part of power from 2006-8 and then the most complete power of any party for a long time 2006-10. Now Democrats will have the kind of power, a little more, that Republicans had 2006-8.

The Republicans would say that they didn’t have their “shot”. President Bush tried to reform SS. He was stopped by concerted Democratic opposition and some Republican defections, sort of like what almost happened to health care. You would say they had their chance, just like some Republicans would say re Democrats.

The bottom line is that politics in indeed only part of the whole. Politicians tend to overemphasize their power when they are promising. After that, they claim to be victims of others. Politicians cannot fix the economy. They can only create conditions by which we - the people - can create prosperity.

Posted by: C&J at November 25, 2010 4:27 PM
Comment #314020

C&J-

You see the world in a binary fashion. The Republicans had their shot and now the Democrats should have theirs. In fact, all of life is some kind of compromise.

Well, I can be sort of black and white, but in this case it’s more of a matter of the compromise being we let the side we’re not favorable to legislate, instead of trying to burn their agenda down, and in return, the others try to do the same.

I’m not talking about absolute deference, but rather deference to the majority rules system. It’s alright in my mind to seek or force compromise as the minority party, but you got to let the other side govern, when they’re on top. Otherwise, if things carry on to their logical conclusion, nobody will be able to govern. American can’t afford the paralysis of our policy-making system right now, and they’ve sent clear signals they don’t want that.

As far as Social Security goes, that got obstructed, but for all that, what else of Bush’s really got the door slammed on it? He was able to get much of what he wanted. One effort being blocked is not tantamount to what the Republicans are doing right now. The numbers themselves tell the story, with huge increases in filibusters threatened, filed, and voted on. You say we had pure power, but that’s not true in any practical sense, thanks to the incredible increase in obstructionism.

And that’s had a cost. See, if you won’t make deals, if you won’t say yes no matter what, who’s going to have the poor sense to negotiate with you, after a while? What constituency is going to tolerate that, after a while?

You cannot simply deny Obama everything, without denying your party power, as well. As a matter of fact, you’ve put yourself in a position where your power only matters in any real policy sense if you make the deals with the Democrats and the President necessary to actually make policy.

Otherwise, the best you can do is obstructionism, and I don’t think most people will want more of that, much less the need to wait longer to see anything down. There’s going to come a chance when your opportunities to make positive contributions are gone, and history passes your party by, and all you have to show for it is all the political contention and heartache drummed up to raise your party’s chances.

We talk of our economy suffering because of the lack of manufacturing here in the US- we don’t make anything, is the line. A similar crisis faces the Republicans. What else do they do besides deficit exploding tax cuts, and corporate friendly government?

The problem is, the moment Republicans have something that people can agree on them with, the Democrats can triangulate on that. So to defuse that, the Republicans have tried to force things further and further every time, with the expectation that Democrats must follow to be good.

Ultimately, though, their constituents are going to want them to follow their wishes, not yours. Ultimately, they’re not going to just let the Democrats give away the shop.

So, really, Republicans have to start meeting people halfway. We’ve done quite a great deal of that already, and its time for the Republicans to start making their deals, if their constituents will let them. Bad thing about insisting on political purity, when you’re a minority party. You have to totally win to deliver to your constituents. Otherwise, you can only be the people who say no, or disappointing sell-outs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2010 6:15 PM
Comment #314021

C&J said: “President Bush tried to reform SS.”

FALSE! He was stopped by public opinion polls on his reform. The public was wise. IF SS had been privatized, people’s benefits would have to fluctuate with the markets, and given the path Bush set us on for bankrupting national debt, the markets are going to be increasingly volatile. Never mind the fact, that our markets are likely to collapse over the next 10 to 20 years as our national debt reaches 20 trillion and our interest payments on that debt reach 1 trillion per year, half or more going to overseas economies.

Bush copped out. SS is not the threat. Medicare/Medicaid is the threat to our economy and Bush wouldn’t go near in terms of controlling its costs, Bush instead increased its costs, massively with the Rx Drug plan for Medicare. Bush, et.al, were disastrous for our economy. 3 recessions during the Bush presidency, the first one having nothing to do with Bush, this last one had his and other’s fingerprints all over it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 25, 2010 7:04 PM
Comment #314022

My bad, C&J, your complete quote which I responded to, had “He was stopped by concerted Democratic opposition and some Republican defections, ” included.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 25, 2010 7:06 PM
Comment #314023

Can’t seem to complete a reply in one shot here.

P.S. C&J, one has to look at proximate causes. Democrats and Republican representatives prevented Bush’s reforms in response to the polls I referred to above. Not because of any ideological opposition to reforming S.S.

Anyway, its Medicare and Medicaid and health care cost inflation which must be addressed to salvage our nation’s economy. S.S. needs to be tweaked to extend benefits at obligated levels through to 2075. This is now well established and the tweaks are rather simple. They only require bi-partisanship cooperation to implement - which no longer exists thanks to Republicans, save for Snowe, Collins, Lugar, and perhaps Graham, and now an even more divided Senate of partisan idiots refusing to put America first.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 25, 2010 7:13 PM
Comment #314024

Stephen

Social Security reform would have been the biggest reform of the Bush times. It would have been something like health care reform, only better. Democrats blocked that more effectively. Republicans were unable to block health care.

I bet that if Republicans had pushed through SS reform, Democrats would have been talking about repealing or modifying it when they won in 2006.

I don’t think the Democrats can triangulate today. The moderated Democrats were the ones displaced in the last election. The ones that are left are unable to see past their ideology.

Nancy Pelosi is still in charge and she thinks Democrats did everything right and were tossed out by an ungrateful and ignorant American voters.

Re Republicans meeting people half way - it appears it is the Democrats who need to move toward the middle. The people have spoken.

David

See above re SS - the polls also showed the Democrat’s health care proposal was unpopular. That is why they got their asses kicked in the last election.

You are right re medicare etc, which was also to be addressed by the reform. ObamaCare spread health care but didn’t make it any cheaper. It is unsustainable.

I don’t think Republicans can or will “repeal” health care. They will have to modify it because the original hasty and inside deal system won’t work. I hope some Democrats come around and I think they will.

Posted by: C&J at November 25, 2010 9:49 PM
Comment #314025

Medicare could have been salvaged too. With a token of cooperation we could have had the public option. With that all medical costs could have been corralled to inflation rate increases. That in turn would have relieved most of Medicare worries, because the current problem with Medicare, other than fraud, which we are addressing now, is that prices for insurance, medical supplies/drugs, and treatment costs increase so many times faster than inflation at large.

The two things Conservatives bitch about most could have both been repaired with just a modicum of compromise. They have all the answers for economical growth and stabilization except the ones that work.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 25, 2010 9:51 PM
Comment #314026

Yesterday someone accused me of reductionism for reducing every subject to American guilt. That of course is incorrect…I just point out that our arrows are a bit dull and ineffective if we cannot be at least a little honest in our international dealings. Other nations no longer feel obligated to believe our lies, so our best course is to become honest. That flows more like pragmatism than reductionism.

Today the same poster accuses Stephen of having binary sight. I have to believe that is meant to convey Stephen has one dimensional thought. Which of course he is not guilty of.

Does anyone else see a pattern building here?

From the lofty heights of the mountain top, everyone else is a flatlander…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 25, 2010 10:44 PM
Comment #314027

Marysdude

I think it is a two dimensional point of view. Binary.

Re your reductionism, it is simply that you reduced the subject to American guilt, which was not the subject at hand.

You seem to believe that only he who is w/o sin can criticize others, at least in the case of the U.S. We disagree. If we had to be perfect ourselves before we could judge others, nobody could talk here.

I just ask you the “compared to what?” question. During the 1960s and 1970s, as many as 50 million Chinese died as a result of the policies of the communist government during the cultural revolution and the great leap forward. It is difficult to believe that the U.S. inflicted anything like what the Chinese did to themselves.

Beyond that, the simple statement we were talking about it that China is the biggest emitter of CO2 today and by 2020 will emit more than the whole world did in 1990, so that no matter how much we feel guilty & reduce our emissions, it won’t count for a bucket of pee in the Ocean if the problems of China, India etc, are not addressed.

Posted by: C&J at November 25, 2010 11:19 PM
Comment #314028

C&J said: “I bet that if Republicans had pushed through SS reform, Democrats would have been talking about repealing or modifying it when they won in 2006. “

Probably, but not for ideological or partisan political reasons, but, because the majority of Americans don’t want S.S. privatized and made dependent upon Wall St, which they don’t trust a fingernail’s length. And who can blame them given the events of the last several years. The people didn’t want privatized SS when Bush was Pres. and they don’t now, with a Republican House majority elect.

The polling data is quite clear on this. So, which party is going to represent the will of the majority of the American people. So, far, no one can tell by the actions of either party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 25, 2010 11:24 PM
Comment #314033

I think it is a two dimensional point of view. Binary

Posted by: The Capital Post at November 26, 2010 5:33 AM
Comment #314034

C&J,

The number fifty million is not an honest figure. Please compare by population percentages in each of the places we’ve had a hand in death and destruction. I’m sure you’ll find the numbers are a great deal closer. AS far as the reach on the ‘perfect’ America. What a silly thought. As long as we accept our own imperfections we can negotiate all we desire. But if we don’t accept our own, there is never a reason to improve. If we don’t improve, how in hell can we ask or expect others to? You want to live in a real world where everyone does and gets all they can lie for and steal. I prefer one where we earn and gain by more honorable means. In your world morality and actions get forever worse, and in mine things get steadily more moral and better. Now, there’s some reductionism, and perhaps binary thought as well. Sometimes flatlanders have a point the mountaintop dwellers can’t see because there is fog obstructing the view.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 6:44 AM
Comment #314035

>I think it is a two dimensional point of view. Binary
Posted by: The Capital Post at November 26, 2010 05:33 AM

Okay.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 6:45 AM
Comment #314036

Stephen,

I think that thinking you have binary vision is reductionism…what do you think?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 6:49 AM
Comment #314040

Stephen,
Politics is a mwans to an end, but which end are we talking about? For though you say “In my view, the goal of each and every one of us should be to navigate the conflicts of the political world as deftly as possible in order to see problems solved.” And while I agree to the answer, the fact that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of the 20th Century views are different is a matter of record.

In fact, as you know the Republicans under President Regan still believe the government s the problem and should be as small as possible. However, let me start to build products designed to take away their profits and see how fast they run to the government for protection.

No, the Conservative might believe the election gave them the right to govern from the right; however, let them keep their promises of not raising the debt limit, not extending unemployment, and cutting social programs than see who is being voted out of office in 2012.

For though I can’t speak for all Independents I do believe the Members of Congress would do themselves a favor if their first act in the new Congress was to freeze their pay and lower the number of staff paid for by the Taxpayer. However, can you name one Republican in the House who would have the courage to bring it to the floor? So what about Democratic Leadership offering the same deal, is it even possible?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 26, 2010 8:44 AM
Comment #314041

Marysdude-
It’s not reductionism. Reductionism would be a different kind of error altogether. His problem is that he misreads the thought I have behind my belief that the majority has a right to rule. He thinks I’m simply switching on/off, that I’m just wanting everything to be simple and plain, and that’s the end of it.

Others have quoted, though, from the times in which I advocated against the Nuclear Option. Was my advocacy of majority rule so simple that I didn’t think my people should be able to filibuster? No.

Neither would I have thought that the filibuster should be banned now, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s become such a target of abuse. Now that people know they can do this to the opposition, it’s only a matter of time until it is done by the Democrats.

It’s become a way to cheat voters of their ability to give a mandate to one side or another, to disillusion them about a majority without the majority self-inflicting the damage on itself. The government becomes unable to function. Any minority, whether institutional or just for that vote, can force a sixty vote threshold on even popular legislation, and sink it if it has less than sixty.

Is this the proper way to run a Democracy? I believe the mutual disarmament of the filibuster would be the best course at this point- remove the temptation forever. America needs its Democracy more than the Republicans need a way to dictate policy, even when the rest of the country takes their majority from them. I believe they exploited American anger, and denied voters the chance to get what they wanted out of the people they elected. They can claim that the voters didn’t want it, but they began this obstruction long before relentless campaigns of divisive rhetoric pushed the polls in that direction. They began it almost the minute that the new Congress stepped in the door.

I’m not of two minds about it. I hate it. I don’t want the filibuster to continue with this power, even if it disadvantages my party, because I don’t think Americans should have to wait to see results from their Congress until one party gets enough of a majority in the Senate to overcome it on a regular base. That goes especially for a time in which the American people need decisive action from our government to keep this nation from being ruined and marginalized for the long term.

Yes, I know the Democrats had sixty votes, but that mean every Democrat would have to vote yes for cloture in the Senate, and now that the numbers are less, they can’t even win without Republican defecting. Republicans defecting get treated like Arlen Specter.

I want Congress to do its job. This state of affairs is keeping it from doing its job, deliberately, for cynical political effect.

C&J-
Social Security Reform was going to be a two trillion dollar package of corporate welfare that wasn’t going to do anything, by Bush’s admission, to actually resolve Social Security’s projected shortfall.

And, it was not part of a pervasive, obstructive agenda on my party’s part. Your folks simply have not let the Democrats legislate, as they were elected to do. The voters acted out of frustration, and the polls bear this out. They don’t actually think that your people will do much better. It could very well be your party’s turn to get booted out in the next election.

And really, can anybody say what your party is really going to do? What it’s policy imperatives are, other than completely opposing anything the Democrats do? Where are the fresh ideas, the new approachs? Your people relentlessly blocked legislation to no better an end than a short-term political victory.

You’ve taken this mentality to such extremes that your party no longer even considers what it’s doing as a whole by its policies. That’s how you get a anti-government party that nonetheless does more than its oppositon to grow government and extend its powers. That’s how you get a fiscally conservative party that causes the deficits to skyrocket.

As for moving to the middle? To do that, we’d need to move further left. People want unemployment benefits renewed, by a healthy margin. They wanted the Public Option. They wanted Medicare Buy-in. They want jobs programs, even a new stimulus package. Democrats are still moving two wars that the Public no longer wants us in.

2008 wasn’t a fluke. The Public really has become more liberal. It’s just waiting for us to catch up to it. If Republicans in Washington didn’t realize this, then why the Obstruction? Why did they need to step in on the voter’s behalf?

With poll numbers like I’ve seen, my theory is, the Republicans didn’t want Americans enjoying the benefits of they voted for, for fear that they would like it, and not want to go back. Thus, the desperation, the sense that they had to stop it now. You folks weren’t so concerned because you thought people would react negatively. Then you’d likely win on the rebound. No, you had to stop the Obama agenda before it ever saw the light of day, so you could discourage the newly liberalized voters from returning to the polls, and so you electrify and rally your voters to get them to show up.

Well, have fun. You’re going to spend the next two years telling voters that they don’t need help during one of the worst economic periods in recent American history. Preach to them the gospel of “Who Moved my Cheese”, while six jobseekers are competing for the second job. Tell yourself this is a naturaly, cyclical downturn, despite the fact that we’re running 900 Billion dollars worth of slack every year, without having a natural supply and demand problem of any kind. Keep those derivatives pumping and inflating bubbles. I’m sure Americans are going to thank you for it.

And I’m sure you’re going to have a real winner in Sarah Palin, a woman who just recently told Glenn Beck, before she was corrected, that we should stand by our North Korean allies.

I can’t help but think that Republicans are trying to prove that nominating Bush to become president wasn’t a mistake by hiring somebody just as incurious and impulsive to do the job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2010 8:57 AM
Comment #314042

Why are there riots in Europe? Can anyone say broke (as in no money)?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 26, 2010 9:08 AM
Comment #314043

Conservativethinker-
The austerity is hitting some of those people where it hurts. And you know what? It hasn’t helped. Greece, despite all its cuts, all its restructuring, will still not be able to repay its debts. Making people poorer is unsurprisingly a terrible way to improve an economy.

Austerity works against inflation, when you’re cooling down an overheated economy. But our current situation is not inflationary. Pressures aren’t pushing things higher. They’re pushing things lower. Austerity helps increase that. Maybe it profits a few Wall Street Firms, who get paid back for their derivatives, but everybody else suffers, and so does the economy long term.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2010 9:21 AM
Comment #314045

In my foolish reductionist thinking, I think that conservatism and liberalism are two parts of the same engine. The engine is useless without both parts. Conservatives drive the engine for the betterment of the few, and liberals make that drive worthwhile for the most. Without liberal help, conservatives would drive the engine into the dirt (and have), and without conservatives, liberals would guide the engine to nowhere (and have). I think that is the reason our politics have soured in America. The conservative engine part has forgotten how important it is to have a reason to ride in the first place. By being obstructionists, the engine goes no place, and conservatives are depriving America of the more meaningful part of the ride.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 10:19 AM
Comment #314046

Conservativethinker,

No part of the world has not been shaken by the meltdown created right here in River City. The world is going broke, because there is not enough money to feed the cancer caused by valueless trading in the rarefied air of the derivatives market. It was the meltdown heard (and felt) around the globe. We should all be proud that our influences has caused so much pain.

Yes, C&J, some more reductionism…

Europe, against President Obama’s suggestions about feeding consumerism, has opted to starve it instead. That would work only if the world was in an inflationary period. That is hardly the case, so Europe will likely take even longer than it should to shake this thing off. The longer it takes the more people it will hurt, hence the violent outbreaks. They will likely increase, at least in the short term, and probably in the long term as well.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 10:28 AM
Comment #314051

SD said: “Austerity works against inflation, when you’re cooling down an overheated economy. But our current situation is not inflationary.”

Granted, the housing market is down, simply because we had a real-estate bubble; caused by democrats forcing banks to loan money to those who could not afford houses and then allowing Freddie and Fannie to buy up these loans, so their administrators could take home big bonuses.

But, has the price of fuel increased? Yes. Has the price of home heating and utilities gone up? Yes. Has the price of shipping goods gone up? Yes. Has the price of food gone up? Yes. Has the price of insurance gone up? Yes. Add to that, the printing of money by the Fed, which devalues the dollar. That, my friend is called inflation.

Marysdude said, “By being obstructionists, the engine goes no place, and conservatives are depriving America of the more meaningful part of the ride.”

The part of America that sent the democrats packing would not only like to see obstuctionism, but would like to see the congress go home and not even meet. They would do less damage to the country if they just stayed at home.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 26, 2010 2:03 PM
Comment #314057

Joe Klein, the conservative columnist for Time, says it best.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2032304_2032745_2032834,00.html?xid=huffpo-direct

This is an excerpt:

I supported George W. Bush’s idea of partially privatizing Social Security, which he tried to enact after he was re-elected in 2004. This was a close call for me at the time; it seems positively idiotic now that we’ve experienced the Great Recession — and the idea of private investment has finally regained proper perspective. Investment is about risk; Social Security is about certainty. A fair amount of certainty is crucial when it comes to retirement. Why, you might ask, was I blind to this simple proposition at the time?
Social Security is one of those liberal visions that makes the conservative driven engine human. Without the social side if the engine, it goes fast, but gets nowhere important.

>The part of America that sent the democrats packing would not only like to see obstructionism, but would like to see the congress go home and not even meet. They would do less damage to the country if they just stayed at home.
Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 26, 2010 02:03 PM

Conservativethinker,

The American voter is fickle. It was your turn this time, but it had NOTHING to do with Congress staying at home, and EVERYTHING to do with Congress doing something right. If your side insists on leaving the other side out, you’ll see pretty quickly how fast those same voters can and will turn against you. But assuming you are right, and Congress learns to stay home, what kind of world would you be living in? Be careful what you wish for…getting it may be painful.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 4:17 PM
Comment #314058

>But, has the price of fuel increased? Yes. Has the price of home heating and utilities gone up? Yes. Has the price of shipping goods gone up? Yes. Has the price of food gone up? Yes. Has the price of insurance gone up? Yes. Add to that, the printing of money by the Fed, which devalues the dollar. That, my friend is called inflation.

My wife and I live on a fixed income. We have not noticed a significant rise in our cost of living. Gasoline is mostly down, and we are actually paying less for groceries because stores are not tacking on the fuel surcharge. My rent has gone up less than 2% for three years in a row. My utilities are price stable, and the only cause for concern is Georgia Power is talking about adding a fee so they can build a new Nuke plant. I don’t think you can actually show me inflation except in the medical spectrum.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 4:22 PM
Comment #314063

Marysdude, I can show you inflation outside health care. GOLD! Try buying a gold necklace for your significant other, today. Up about 400% from a decade ago.

And here’s a scary thought. The wealthiest folks, who can hire accountants and investment managers, have been increasing gold as part of their portfolios and holdings in recent years, as a hedge against American economic and currency failure. The best financial advisers money can buy are recommending increase gold holdings. Think about what that means for the middle and poor classes in America when gold rises 400% in a decade, in economic theoretical terms.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 26, 2010 5:02 PM
Comment #314067

conservativethinker-
1) The housing market isn’t merely down, it’s depressed, down by more than ten percent.

2) The majority of the legislation takes place within the time frame of the Republican domination of the government. The housing market begins to burst its bubble in 2005 and 2006, making your scapegoats rather late to the trouble they’re supposed to cause.

3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s market share for the secondary mortgage market actually declined as the bubble inflated, making them rather poor suspects for the gathering of those toxic assets. Republicans pick them to put the stink of government intervention on the crisis, or rather a stink that wouldn’t cling to them.

4) The CPI, which is the standard measure of inflation, is nowhere near going up that fast. Core inflation itself is actually dropping. We’re talking about .09% inflation for the year over year rate. That of course excludes food and fuel prices, but then food and fuel prices are rather volatile. They go up and down. Fuel is especially volatile nowadays, since it depends on crude oil prices, and any indication that the economy’s going to improve is going to send the fuel prices higher on account of greater anticipated consumption.

Food prices? Simply put, weather, and low inventories. Watch this video from the Financial Times about what’s causing the higher food prices. What does the guy say about what’s making the difference in food costs? Weather. A 2% decline in grain production, rather than a 2% increase in it.

I can’t probably say for sure that this owes itself to climate change, but I would point this out as something you might want to consider when thinking about what the risks climate change might be.

Of course, if you want to believe that monetary inflation is behind it all, fine. But that’s not what the experts are saying.

As for what Americans want of Congress. They want them to meet, work out their differences, and do something for the problems that are making their life difficult. At least, that’s what people tell folks when asked.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2010 6:57 PM
Comment #314069

David R. Remer-
I’d be careful about Gold, if I were you.

The author of the linked article says this about Gold:

But empirically, the above arguments are flimsy. Let’s begin with the pernicious claim that gold is a “safe” asset. Nothing could be further from the truth under any conventional measure of safety. During the free-floating gold era (1970 onwards) gold has been about 20 per cent more volatile than equity markets, and far, far more volatile than investments in bonds or cash..

.

Furthermore, the gold price distribution has even larger “fat tails” than equity markets. The stock market crashes that investors dread are actually more likely to occur in the gold market. The historic data bears this out - the single-worst month for gold saw a 23 per cent fall (in March 1980), versus a 21 per cent fall in the S&P500 (in October 1987)..

.

Despite popular perception, gold has no special properties in times of crisis. In general, there is no relationship between equity markets and gold. Whether markets are crashing or rallying has little implication for the yellow metal, in contrast to things like government bonds that tend to rally in market crashes..

.

Forecasters who believe that financial Armageddon is around the corner would be better off avoiding gold in favour of bonds, or simply shorting equity markets.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2010 7:05 PM
Comment #314070

The basic food commodities; meat, dairy, cereal, oils and fats, and sugar have risen since last May. The USDA projections are for food prices to continue to rise thru 2011.

http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/foodpricesindex/en/
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/usda-food-inflation-to-rise-into-2011-2010-10-25

The price of crude oil has climbed since mid-2010:

http://www.oil-price.net/

Property rent remains stable because property values are down.

The price of utilities depends on the prices of fuel and the price of power. Power co-ops are able to keep prices down because they can buy power from the least expensive source. On the other hand power companies cannot raise prices unless given the authority to do so, but this does not mean they haven’t applied for rate hikes.

The price for healthcare and healthcare insurance has gone and it is ironic that we were promised if obamacare passed, healthcare costs would not raise.

Inflation cannot be based on one’s personal cost, because that can be affected by amount of use (utilities), coupons (food), or just staying home instead of traveling. Inflation is based on cost and costs have been going up, hence inflation.

Gold is a hedge against inflation.

“Primarily, gold is what you want when all heck breaks loose. You want gold to serve as your passport, currency and protection. State (fiat) money will not do this in extreme times. This explains gold’s popularity in times of crisis and panic.

Alan Greenspan himself, in testimony delivered to Congress in 1999, states that

“…gold still represents the ultimate form of payment in the world. It’s interesting that Germany could buy materials during the war only with gold. In extremis fiat money is accepted by nobody and gold is always accepted and is the ultimate means of payment.”

http://theinvestingpig.blogspot.com/2008/01/is-gold-adequate-hedge-against.html

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 26, 2010 7:18 PM
Comment #314071

My previous post was in answer to Marysdude…

Posted by: Coservativethinker at November 26, 2010 7:22 PM
Comment #314072

Stephen, the price of food and oil (commodities) has a direct effect on all inflation.

Posted by: Conservativethiker at November 26, 2010 7:30 PM
Comment #314077

David R,

Mr. Krauthammer summed up exactly what I was tring to convey regarding the ‘importance’ of the START Treaty vis-a-vis ‘other’ more pressing matters.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/25/AR2010112502232.html

Besides, this Start-treaty-at-all-costs mantra is nothing more than the ubiquitous Argument Ad Metum fallacy of ‘us versus them,’ with special attention made to appealing to one’s fears, insecurity and paranoia.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 26, 2010 8:27 PM
Comment #314078

Conservativethinker-
If your statement is that inflation in food and fuel markets has an direct effect on all inflation, why is core inflation edging downwards? Where’s the effect?

It’s just like when conservatives talk about the effects of the tax cuts. Well, if you push a trillion dollar tax cuts, and job growth is worse than at any time since they started keeping records, and that’s without the massive recession on your watch, well then the positive effect is highly debateable.

You can insist on your point of view here, but price increases in the face of rising economic fortunes explains fuel, and simple weather and failure to meet demand sufficiently explain price increases on the other side.

Kevin L. Lagola-
I think Krauthammer has his mind made up on the value of Arms Control:

Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list. From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at best to major harm at worst, with general uselessness being the norm.

The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That’s why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.

In Soviet days, arms control at least could be justified as giving us something to talk about when there was nothing else to talk about, symbolically relieving tensions between mortal enemies.

Krauthammer’s approach to diplomacy, as the last ten years have shown, has been what’s failed dramatically to serve America’s interests. His people rode America’s military and diplomatic prestige into the ground. Anything that would be an improvement on his preferred state of affairs would probably draw his criticism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 26, 2010 9:43 PM
Comment #314083

DRR,

Gold is traded on the precious metals/futures market. That’s not as high in the sky as the pie in the sky derivatives trade, but it is certainly more volatile than can be measured in inflationary rates. Trading in gold might be a sign of the times, and a good market reader might make a buck on it, but you can’t eat it wear it or drive it around the block. I’m pretty sure the inflation that is important to the average American or to our economic future does not ride the cross winds of gold trading.

The value of gold can be measured in dollars, but if the dollar fails, gold is just another heavy weight you have to haul around.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 10:45 PM
Comment #314084

If you are reduced to eating roots, berries and vermin, and someone offers you a bit of gold for the next rat you catch, are you gonna take it? If you do, are you gonna turn it into a nice necklace for your mistress?

The first form of trade in a failed economy will be barter. A piece of my deer hide for a bushel of your corn. Some form of monetary exchange will follow that, but if most of the gold is in just a few hands, it’s just as likely that another form will become the norm.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 10:54 PM
Comment #314087

The reason the HC Reform program is not saving as much as had been promised is clear. President Obama bowed to Republicans on the public option. Clinton bowed to Republicans on GLB, and sent us into the spiral which culminated in our ‘08 meltdown. Obama caved on the public option which keeps us from saving observable dollars in health care. I have no idea when Democrat Presidents are going to stop bending to Republican pressures, but I hope it is soon. Conservatives can only cause misery in our land if left unchecked. They have no concept as to what makes an economy run. All they can seem to do is hoodwink the public into believing they know best, then use the same old trite methods/policies that have proven valueless for a century.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2010 11:06 PM
Comment #314094

So we are back to 20% of the voters (liberals) knowing what is best for the other 80% (conservatives and moderates). Some things never change. The democrats cave because they knew the voters do not like socialism and the republicans block liberals because they know that is what their constituents want. Keep your eyes open my friend, in the next 2 years you are going to see a lot of democrats align themselves with republicans and against Obama, because there is another election coming.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 27, 2010 1:05 AM
Comment #314097

>Keep your eyes open my friend, in the next 2 years you are going to see a lot of democrats align themselves with republicans and against Obama, because there is another election coming.
Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 27, 2010 01:05 AM


Conservativethinker,

What matters it if you win the battle, but lose the war? Getting your way, if indeed you are correct, will then mean your folks must govern. That, to me, is a lose-lose situation. Conservatives have proven time and time again that they cannot govern.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 27, 2010 7:37 AM
Comment #314098

Conservativethinker,

The two times in history that progress was actually made under conservative leadership:

1. Lincoln freed the slaves

2. Ike biult the federal highway system

Both of those were social programs. And both grew government. And both cost huge amounts of federal dollars.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 27, 2010 7:41 AM
Comment #314127

Politics has become the poorest means to any ends, save for the personal power ends of those seeking elected office or high compensation roles within the Parties.

The Parties have co-opted politics for power and wealth purposes, and filled it with lies, misinformation, and fear with which to manipulate the uninformed public into supporting the Parties and their foot soldiers. The Parties no longer stand for good governance, or the elevation of awareness and knowledge of the electorate, which used to choose the course for public policy.

The Parties now stand for nothing more than the naked all out political warfare over control of billions of dollars now permeating every election cycle.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 27, 2010 4:56 PM
Comment #314145

S.D. said: “I’d be careful about Gold, if I were you.”

I’m allergic to it. Won’t go near it. The ultimate hedge against future economic failure are intelligence, education, physical survival skills, and communication ability. I have spent a lifetime developing these in earnest, and am passing them on (much cheaper than I acquired them) to my daughter.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 28, 2010 2:22 AM
Comment #314146

Marysdude, gold is a currency, precisely because it is both rare and malleable, capable of being turned into a myriad of useful tools with little more than a mold, firewood, and some form of bellows. In ancient times it was used to make tools and weaponry, before metallurgy advanced very far. It makes safe eating utinsils and water vessels, and all manner of artistic forms integral to social standing and recognition. Gold, even in the most dire of economic tragedies, will remain a viable currency. As will silver, iron, lead, copper, brass, mercury, and a host of other metals required to fashion the tools of survival and industry.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 28, 2010 2:29 AM
Comment #314151

DRR,

Gold is now, was then, and always will be too soft to made into good weaponry or tools (or even bad weaponry or tools). It is rare, but not the rarest, and some rarer metals are better suited to weapons and tools. It is good for goo-gaws and bling, but hard times is not the best time to bring out that particular blessing. Gold’s value is in the fantasy world of investment, much like those toxic derivative bundles, and is building a similar toxic bundle as we speak. As soon as intelligent people think they’ve wrung all the fear buying out of the market, they’ll dump theirs and leave the saps hanging.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2010 6:49 AM
Comment #314152

Marysdude, I am glad you qualified your first sentence with the word “good”, because I guarantee you, an arrow head or spear head made of gold will kill you just easily and quickly as one made of copper or bronze. It will of course, misshape after one use, which, you are no doubt alluding to, in using the word “good”, meaning you can’t pull it out of someone’s chest and use it many more times, without reshaping it.

But, that was not my point. My point was, that gold is an all purpose metal with a host of uses, not the least of which, is as currency. May I remind you that entire towns in America will built up using gold as currency. Read up on the gold mining towns in our history.

And I was talking about a context where paper money loses its value as a currency - like confederacy dollars after the Civil War. Great fire starter, though, and I saw it used that way when I was a child in Detroit, for our coal burning stove in the 1950’s.

That is one of many reasons gold takes on greater value as a hedge against inflation. The cheaper a paper currency gets, the more valuable gold becomes as a potential currency. There is no place on Earth where humans do not value gold, regardless of their income status.

A 400% rise in the value of gold cannot be explained in full by speculation and supply and demand, absent gold’s value as a potential currency. Read your Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations. Smith does a great and exhaustive job of exploring the many variables affecting the value of gold. Most are still applicable today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 28, 2010 8:32 AM
Comment #314164

DRR,

Just because many have the same fantasy, does not make it not a fantasy. I know the value folks place on gold, and am aware of its many uses. I know it’s been used as money and to back money. I am aware of what Ft Knox and other vaults hold, and the fast rising market in gold during hard economic times. I also know that as long as people believe it has the value it sells for it has that value. BUT, I also know that the current value is inflated beyond any normalcy. What happened to real estate in 2007? People found out their properties were not worth what they had been led to believe (the bubble). Finance houses had been selling mortgages for much more than they would ever get out of them, and all it took to bring the house (sic) down was one too many defaults. Such will likely be the way of gold. No matter how desperate times get, there is a limit as to how much gold you can own and expect to realize a like amount out of it plus what you’d like as profit. Gold is not as utile today as it was in yesteryear, so its only real value is as spendable currency. If the owner of all that gold can make sure we go back on the Gold Standard, he may make out, but if another metal or mineral is chosen, he’s totally out of luck…hence, when the balloon bursts in the metals market…voile!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2010 8:43 PM
Comment #314197

PS:

If the economy (re: Dollar) crashes…the only real reason for owning gold…how will gold buyers take possession of their bars? Where will those reserves be being held, and by whom? If I get into the precious metals market and buy a ton of gold, how will I receive that ton when the bottom falls out? If the dollar goes, so goes the nation. Who can then be held accountable? How will they be held accountable if they want to renege on your last deal? Will the Constitution still be the law of the land? If gold is the currency, how will you pay for the law suit to get your bullion back? So many questions…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 29, 2010 12:41 PM
Comment #314206

Marysdude said: “BUT, I also know that the current value is inflated beyond any normalcy.”

True enough. Gold has created an investment bubble for its investors, and like the mortgage market, that bubble will burst, eventually unless a protracted period of slow selling of gold takes place, which is highly unlikely. But, that point is not in contention.

Your P.S. comment, however, demonstrates you have not read your Adam Smith. If the economy or the dollar crashes, gold will be the primary medium for rectifying debt obligations between nations, and debtor governments like ours, will value it very highly indeed, which will be a boon for U.S. citizens owning gold and selling it to the government during such times.

If you read Wealth of Nations, you would realize that the current inflated price of gold might well become the real currency price of gold in the event of an economic or currency crash in the U.S, even though we are no longer on a gold standard for valuing currency, and indeed, neither is the world. But, global currency collapses will bring the gold standard back for settling debts and obligations of governments, along with other mediums of exchange, depending upon the demand and supply resources of any two nations having debts to resolve.

There is a structural but dynamic floor pinning the value of gold in any set of circumstances, short of the extinction of human civilization. Then there is the investment value of gold which, may, or may not, adhere to its structural value. One has to distinguish between the two, and in so doing, one recognizes that over inflated pricing of gold before an economic or currency collapse may well be under priced compared to a post economic or currency collapse depending upon the specifics of circumstances. Depending on those circumstances, the reverse may also be true.

Adam Smith’s analysis of the wealth of nations covered the topic of a global economy a couple hundred years before the term came into public media parlance.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 29, 2010 5:56 PM
Comment #314298

Sorry, but the Wealth of Nations is no more the end all than the Bible. Both are useful, as are thousands of other tomes, but the written word falls in the face of crisis of the magnitude we speak of here. Gold is a metal…not as rare as it once was (and we don’t have any idea how much China has on hand and in the ground), and if any nation has a surprise surplus, its value diminishes exponentially.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 30, 2010 9:45 PM
Comment #314310

Marysdude, your reply’s debate strategy is common among conservatives. First, don’t assume the responsibility to verify the source, then, Second, rebuke the source one hasn’t read.

You obviously haven’t read it, and are too lazy to even research its editorials for its outlines on gold. A metal, to work as currency, has to be plentiful enough to permit its usage fairly widely as a currency, but, rare enough to insure its base rate of value without supply fluctuations. There are rarer more valuable metals, but insufficient in supply or familiarity, to work as a currency. The human race the world over has a common sense of the value of gold as a currency built up by centuries of civilization and history - which is why it is still coined, today, the world round.

I am not knocking you for not reading W of N, it is a damned lengthy and arduous read. But, to knock the source, without having read it, is sophistry.

There has never been a more comprehensive review, nor more completely explained, treatise on the systems of trade between nations, and constructs of markets. The magnificence of Smith as a writer, is that he assumes nothing from the reader, and lays out his arguments in the plainest and most detailed fashion, rendering the logic applied, impeccable. He makes few assumptions, and those he does, he labors with extensive and familiar examples any reader would recognize.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 1, 2010 12:32 AM
Comment #314344

DRR,

I’m sorry, but you are mistaken. I did not ‘rebuke’ the source. Whether I have read Wealth of Nations or not, I stand by my statement, “Sorry, but the Wealth of Nations is no more the end all than the Bible. Both are useful, as are thousands of other tomes”.

I care not how revered Adam Smith might be among economists, any more than I care how much Jesus is revered by Christians or Muhammad by Muslims.

Smith was a very wise man, who put together one hell of an economic theory, but you know by now that there are several break-out sects on his original thoughts as there are break-out sects in Christianity. Right now you can likely list more of those sects than I can because you have an affinity for economics that I do not. But…and I reiterate, I have no fuss with your Idol at all…he was wise, and he wrote a book(s). He could think it, and he could write it, but he could NOT control it.

Socrates, Plato, Aristophanes, Voltaire, Franklin…there has been an uncountable number of very wise men, and a hundred who will disagree with each, and deliver several provable dictum on how they were wrong.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 1, 2010 7:43 PM
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