You Can’t Peddle Prosperity

Ilya Somin makes a great point on the Detroit bankruptcy:

Detroit’s sixty year decline, culminating in its recent bankruptcy, has many causes. But one that should not be ignored is the city’s extensive use of eminent domain to transfer property to politically influential private interests. For many years, Detroit aggressively used eminent domain to promote “economic development” and “urban renewal.” The most notorious example was the 1981 Poletown case, in which some 4000 people lost their homes, and numerous businesses were forced to move in order to make way for a General Motors factory. As I explained in this article, the Poletown takings – like many other similar condemnations – ended up destroying far more development than they ever created. In his prescient dissent in Poletown, Michigan Supreme Court Justice James Ryan warned that there was no real reason to expect that the project would produce the growth promised by GM and noted that Detroit and the court had “subordinated a constitutional right to private corporate interests.”

Eminent domain abuse certainly wasn’t the only cause of Detroit’s troubles. But the city’s record is a strong argument against oft-heard claims that the use of eminent domain to transfer property to private economic interests is the key to revitalizing economically troubled cities. In addition to the immediate destruction and dislocation caused by such takings, they also tend to deter investment by undermining confidence in the security of property rights. One of the main findings of recent scholarship in development economics is that secure property rights are an important factor in promoting long-term economic growth. As economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson put it in their much-praised recent book Why Nations Fail, “secure private property rights are central [to development], since only those with such rights will be willing to invest and increase productivity” (pg. 75). Detroit is an abject example of what happens when policymakers ignore this reality.

Always remember: the lot that the Supreme Court let New London boot Suzette Kelo out of ended up vacant. And the specialized tax breaks New London gave Pfizer left Pfizer packing the second they expired. These “big deals” to bring in businesses never work because if locating a business there was such a hot idea, the businesses wouldn’t need eminent domain, special tax breaks and subsidies.

But pay close attention to Somin’s second paragraph about how eminent domain and other attempts to “promote” businesses undermine the very basis of the economic system. In that respect, this is just another form of crony capitalism. Connor Friersorf today discussed this in a different context. He references an NYT article about how Goldman moves around giant piles of aluminum to take advantage of government regulations on the price. It nets Goldman billions while harming the economy by making aluminum artificially more expensive. There are innumerable ways in which this is happening — private industries using government loopholes and regulations to become rich without actually doing anything.

Preventing this sort of thing ought to be a high priority for anyone who wants to see free-market capitalism succeed in America. So long as our economic system resembles what Adam Smith described — the profit motive benefiting everyone, as if by an invisible hand — much of the American public can be counted on to support politicians who campaign as unapologetic capitalists, even if people are rewarded unequally, based on the value their labor is producing.

But if “capitalism” starts to be associated in the public mind with Wall Street profiting by deliberately slowing down industrial productivity (or with Mitt Romney making millions by buying companies and gaming the tax implications of shuttering them), Americans are not going to support capitalism. They’re going to regard it as a rigged system that only profits wealthy insiders.

In the short term, Republicans and Democrats alike benefit by allying themselves with the wealthy insiders. Like the GOP, President Obama has benefited from Wall Street money. But in the longer term, enough stories like this New York Times scoop will destroy Republicans, because rhetorically, they’re the ones insisting that the market is beneficial and more or less fair, even as a transparently corrupt financial sector consumes a larger percentage of the overall economy.

Crony capitalism is the antithesis of free-market capitalism. It is similar to what Adam Smith was writing against.

But, as Detroit shows, it doesn’t even have an economic benefit. Detroit, like New London, ended up with nothing for all their seizures, subsidies and graft. Is that the model we want for America? Because it’s certainly the model we’re pushing.

Post Scriptum: Now if you want to see someone get it totally wrong on Detroit, enjoy.

Comments are closed.

  1. Mississippi Yankee

    Ilya Somin makes a great point on the Detroit bankruptcy:

    Let me see if I have this right. Mr. Somin, and apparently you, believe “eminent domain”, capitalism and Mitt Romney are the cause of Detroit’s bankruptcy and NOT un-funded public sector pension plans and outright corruption for the past 60+ years?
    Shall we free Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick … and his mother too?

    Just a suggestion, Valium or Xanax may may help you when these Publish or Perish panic attacks seize you Hal.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    MY, stop trolling. Somin didn’t mention Mitt Romney. Friersdorf made that point in the more general context of crony capitalism. Nor did he (or I) say eminent domain caused Detroit’s collapse. He said they contributed by destroying neighborhoods and extant business in favor of politically connected ones and undermining property rights.

    You’re might want to seek out some medical advice yourself for that twitch you get any time someone says anything other than, “Obama sux!”

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  3. Ed Kline

    Jesus Christ MY, can you not read?!

    Detroit’s sixty year decline, culminating in its recent bankruptcy, has many causes. But one that should not be ignored is the city’s extensive use of eminent domain to transfer property to politically influential private interests.

    “Has many causes” …. eminent domain abuse was just ‘one that should not be ignored…’ The quote never indicates exclusivity of cause. In fact ‘many causes’ means exactly the opposite of that.
    How the fuck does that translate to

    Let me see if I have this right. Mr. Somin, and apparently you, believe “eminent domain”, capitalism and Mitt Romney are the cause of Detroit’s bankruptcy and NOT un-funded public sector pension plans and outright corruption for the past 60+ years?

    I’ts actually astounding. I dont see where Hal claims that un-funded public sector plans were ‘NOT’ also part of the problem, and ( this is the best part) one might actually be able to make the case that eminent domain abuse is actually part of the ‘outright corruption’ you think Hal and Somin are studiously ignoring.
    English dude, seriously.
    If you don’t want to be called a fucking troll, well you know, don’t be one.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    No one is denying that the unions have played their role. I have specifically mentioned it, oh, in my previous post on Detroit.

    But there are many problems in Detroit, one of the biggest of which is the population and businesses fleeing the city. Krugman’s column claims its just one of those things that happened. Schultz blamed it on Republicans. Somin’s point is that it was crony capitalism on the part of the Democrats who controlled the city, using eminent domain abuse (among other things) to curry favor with certain businesses and destroy the respect for property rights within the city. The bad business environment of Detroit didn’t just happen; it was made.

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  5. AlexInCT

    He said they contributed by destroying neighborhoods and extant business in favor of politically connected ones and undermining property rights.

    What needs to be stressed that Detroit, being a one political party town, had one political party doing all the bad things. Yes, there was massive “imminent domain to confiscate property and give it to connected people in Detroit” abuse, but this was not done by any capitalists or crony capitalists, as the powers that be want us to believe. This abuse was totally the purveyance of the collectivists and their utopian ideals/vision in Detroit. In short, it was done by democrats, and democrats only. Detroit was a cesspool. One where a single party destroyed the city from within, and that party is now doing more of the same at the national level. That’s what needs to be stressed repeatedly.

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  6. Seattle Outcast

    They’re going to regard it as a rigged system that only profits wealthy insiders.

    Only because that is precisely what is happening in many cases. People aren’t stupid in that regard.

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    After reading Krugman’s piece I can only conclude that he is willfully ignorant, disingenuous, a fraud, and a complete liar.

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  8. richtaylor365

    I find this whole eminent domain thing a bit of a red herring. A common tactic used to deflect the real cause of the bankruptcy (and to mitigate blame directed at a certain progressive lifestyle) is to muddy the water with accusations that “there were many causes”. I value property rights as much as the next guy but come on, businesses did not flee the city because they were worried that their land was going to be absconded by the city.

    one of the biggest of which is the population and businesses fleeing the city.

    And why do you think that is? Businesses left because of the business environment (sky high taxes, punitively administered ) was not business friendly. People left for the same reason, and the simple fact that the city was unsafe, dilapidated, and turning into one big ghetto, infrastructure falling apart, city services diminished.

    Interestingly, before the democrats started their rule and their steady march to destruction, Detroit had the highest per capita income of any big city in America.

    The MSM is going to throw out many theories (eminent domain, just one of them) in an attempt to redirect the conga line away from the real culprit, out of control spending and a fealty to the public sector unions to the detriment of the host organism, the health of the city.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    I certainly think that is the primary cause – the eminent domain corruption is a symptom that larger issue. Once you’ve decided to hand over your government to special interests and let them instruct you on taxes and spending, misusing other powers of government to further those causes is to be expected.

    Detroit is a perfect example of giving in to socialist inspired visions of utopia operating on the assumption that the populace will just sit there and do nothing except pay up on demand. It’s the primary flaw in Progessive/Keynesian theories – that people will play along and the money will magically appear if they just raise taxes.

    Calling it “white flight” is missing the point – it wasn’t “white people” that were moving, it was the people that had something to lose by staying put: their money.

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  10. Dave D

    Just a side note: I have heard that Detroit has had MORE government dollars dumped into it from the Great Society onwards than ANY other city in the US. My google-fu is poor, but I have heard this from many sources. Sorry for the lack of a link.

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  11. Hal_10000 *

    And why do you think that is? Businesses left because of the business environment (sky high taxes, punitively administered ) was not business friendly. People left for the same reason, and the simple fact that the city was unsafe, dilapidated, and turning into one big ghetto, infrastructure falling apart, city services diminished.

    Agreed. But that’s a part, as is eminent domain, of a larger and failed philosophy: that you build a city’s business investment by handouts, but special favors, by influence peddling, by eminent domain, by specialized tax breaks, by subsidies, by building stadiums for sports teams, etc. The fact is that our cities have, for a long time, been running in an economic model that is completely bogus:

    1) Expand city services.
    2) coax businesses in with subsidies, special tax breaks or eminent domain.
    3) Profit!

    This is all part of the same failed philosophy. Detroit’s approach to business is writ even larger in Obama’s stimulus and green energy efforts.

    What I’m saying is that we are only looking at half the equation — big city services and taxes. The other half is creating a business environment that is entirely dependent on cronyism and patronage.

    Somin is in no way MSM or liberal, by the way.

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  12. Hal_10000 *

    More from Reason:

    In fat times and lean, the city’s pols and power-brokers chose to focus their energy, and the residents’ tax dollars on gigantic, big-ticket development scams while ignoring the basics that let cities thrive – or at least survive.

    Detroit’s leaders poured money into a never-ending assembly line of sad-sack projects such as the Renaissance Center, the Fox Theater, Comerica Park, Poletown, the People Mover, and Ford Field.

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  13. AlexInCT

    I certainly think that is the primary cause – the eminent domain corruption is a symptom that larger issue.

    ^^^THIS.

    And the larger issue is that leftists think they can bend the laws of economics and human nature, for other people, mind you, because they sure as hell do not work for free or feel obligated to follow any of the laws they foist on the rest of us, to their wishful thinking and corrupt practices. Reality has caught up with Detroit, and the fact is that they ran out of other people’s money to piss away and steal. That’s why I cringe every time I hear a liberal say that some scarce and expensive commodity is a right, and more so, that government is the guarantor of that right and provider of the benefits of said right. People that think they are entitled to what others have, always because they pretend the others stole it or got it in a manner that makes their possession of said item the progressives want, by the sole virtue that they exist, are fucked up.

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  14. AlexInCT

    But that’s a part, as is eminent domain, of a larger and failed philosophy: that you build a city’s business investment by handouts, but special favors, by influence peddling, by eminent domain, by specialized tax breaks, by subsidies, by building stadiums for sports teams, etc.

    So you are pointing out that the problem Detroit and other shitholes like it got done in by is the “connected people”, those in government since they write the laws to favor their agenda, picking the winners and losers?

    Now where have I heard someone constantly pointing out that the biggest threat to our prosperity, freedoms, and lives comes from the constant abuse of power by those that ascribe to this philosophy and their belief that they know what is best because they claim to care, while anyone that dares disagree with them is motivated by one or more of the deadly sins (greed, racism, sexism, homphobia, hates children, hates government, and of course, isn’t a democrat)?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm….

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  15. Seattle Outcast

    while anyone that dares disagree with them is motivated by one or more of the deadly sins (greed, racism, sexism, homphobia, hates children, hates government, and of course, isn’t a democrat)?

    Since when is hating children a sin? Little monsters need to be banned from adult society until they learn manners…..

    Get a dog – they are far superior in nearly every aspect.

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  16. AlexInCT

    Get a dog – they are far superior in nearly every aspect.

    A dog won’t mow my lawn, and the damn things get fleas. And unless I plan to eat it, I won’t feed it. I feed the kid cause he does work I feel is worth the vast amounts of food damned teenagers like him consume.

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  17. Seattle Outcast

    So, you’re advocating that teenagers be enslaved to perform menial work?

    Not sure about that, they tend to not work hard, eat way too much, and you’re not allowed to beat them when they mouth off. Also, the medical costs involved are extreme – all those vaccinations aren’t cheap.

    Finally, fleas or not, the average dog tends to be cleaner than the average teenager.

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  18. Iconoclast

    People that think they are entitled to what others have…

    Far worse, and far more insidious, is this utterly God-forsaken notion that people have a “right” to what others do

    This seems to be a fundamental tenet of progressivism/liberalism, this utterly appalling idea that people have a “right” to the fruits of someone else’s labor, whether that labor comes in the form of teaching, or providing medical care, or what have you. Whenever someone says, “Education is a Right” or “Medical Care is a Right”, they are essentially advocating a form of slavery, where those with the skill/ability are somehow beholden to those without it, and that strikes me as progressivism/liberalism in a nutshell. Nobody has a “right” to someone else’s labor. Period.

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  19. Mississippi Yankee

    I’ts actually astounding. I dont see where Hal claims that un-funded public sector plans were ‘NOT’ also part of the problem, and ( this is the best part) one might actually be able to make the case that eminent domain abuse is actually part of the ‘outright corruption’ you think Hal and Somin are studiously ignoring.
    English dude, seriously.
    If you don’t want to be called a fucking troll, well you know, don’t be one.

    Sorry there Big Ed but this post is precisely like the type of posts that WVR was infamous for, yanno “it could be this but it might be that” so just “look at me”.

    But I do apologize for for not assigning the blame to Connor Friersorf concerning his “eminent domain”, capitalism and Mitt Romney are the cause of Detroit’s bankruptcy verbal diarrhea.

    My point was that Hal quoted him and appeared to agree, at least in part, with his assumption.

    I’ve spent some time there and even married a girl from then and I absolutely agree with richtaylor365 about “eminent domain” being a red herring. One that’s been left in the sun for several days. And this is just the tip of the excuse iceberg.

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  20. Hal_10000 *

    But I do apologize for for not assigning the blame to Connor Friersorf concerning his “eminent domain”, capitalism and Mitt Romney are the cause of Detroit’s bankruptcy verbal diarrhea.

    Friersdorf wasn’t talking about Detroit, MY. Again, why you don’t you try reading things before you respond to them. The thing about Romney was a throwaway line in a much longer and more detailed argument that Conner was making about the dangers of crony capitalism on a national level and specifically the financial sector. *I* connected that to the crony capitalism (which had nothing to do with Romney) that helped destroy Detroit’s business sector as an example of what crony capitalism does.

    But I guess anything other than unrelenting criticism of the Democrats and only the Democrats is like a dog whistle.

    I do not think this is a red herring. We are moving closer and closer to a society in which the winners and losers in the market are determined in Washington, in state capitals and in the offices of big city mayors; where fortunes are made by playing with tax loopholes and regulations and, yes, eminent domain abuses instead of actually making things and doing things.

    This is not a trivial concern. Most of the country doesn’t have Detroit’s astounding labor problems and many of those that do — like Wisconsin — are moving to address them. But we do have Detroit’s other problem — crony capitalism — everywhere. This crony capitalism was a Democrat creation in Detroit but nationwide it has the support of both parties. And in many places, it’s even worse.

    If we don’t put a stop to this, the whole country is going to look like Detroit, with no functional businesses at all no matter what we do about labor unions. You can’t look at the labor union problem — which is a huge part of Detroit’s collapse — at the expense of ignoring the thousands of other policies that doomed Detroit and will soon doom the rest of us.

    This isn’t “making excuses”. This is acknowledging that Detroit is a far bigger clusterfuck than just unions.

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  21. Hal_10000 *

    To give you an example of what I’m talking about, just up the road we have a looming bankruptcy in Harrisburg. But Harrisburg doesn’t have much of a union problem. So how can they be bankrupt?

    Because their government was ridiculously corrupt, spending billions on crony capitalist projects. They are now $300 million in debt over a Goddam incinerator.

    I was talking about this a year ago. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

    http://right-thinking.com/2011/10/17/the-worst-is-yet-to-come/

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/02/16/is-harrisburgs-nightmare-americas-future

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  22. richtaylor365

    I’ll see your Harrisburg and I’ll raise you a Vallejo or a Stockton.

    Clearly Harrisburg is unique in their ability to discover new and unusual ways to flush money down the toilet. But the main reason most cities go bankrupt is because they pay an enormous percentage of their budget into funding pensions and benefits for their public sector employees. The tipping point is about 60%, most cities can survive at this level, when it gets higher then that, problems ensue.

    I wrote a post of Detroit last year exactly on this topic:

    But the root problem that those Detroit coppers face, the single battle between public safety workers and the cities that pay their salaries is their benefit packages. No city can sustain itself when a majority of it’s budget goes towards salaries and benefits for it’s public safety workers. Vallejo, the city next to where I live and the city that made history a few years back for the being the largest in California to file for bankruptcy protection, was paying almost 80% of it’s budget. Stockton was paying 78%, hence their bankruptcy move. I don’t know what concessions the Detroit police union made but my guess is that it was not enough.

    No, the unfunded pension liability mess that Detroit found itself in is not the only cause of the bankruptcy, but isn’t it interesting that the states that balance their budgets year in and year out (those with Republican governors of course) are the ones that present a business friendly environment for perspective incoming job creators, and they fund their pensions, either on the backs of the public employees themselves (as it should be) or in tax revenue that is sufficient to meet each year’s expenditures.

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  23. Hal_10000 *

    Actually, some Democrats have been getting a clue — Cuomo the younger, for example. But there’s an important point here:

    The tipping point is about 60%, most cities can survive at this level, when it gets higher then that, problems ensue.

    There’s a numerator and denominator there. There are numerous ways to get past that 60%. A splurge of hiring and benefits. A failure to shrink government as a city shrinks. And creating such a horrid business environment that there’s no tax base. Detroit did all three.

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  24. Mississippi Yankee

    To give you an example of what I’m talking about, just up the road we have a looming bankruptcy in Harrisburg. But Harrisburg doesn’t have much of a union problem. So how can they be bankrupt?

    Isn’t Harrisburg the capital of Pennsylvania? And isn’t Pennsylvania a ‘forced union state’, as in not a right to work state? If the corruption is as bad as you said, and I don’t doubt it is, it might be interesting to see how much of their budget actually goes toward salaries and funding retirement plans.

    Population: 49,673 (2011)
    Unemployment rate: 9.3% (Apr 2013)

    For a small city they do have some high paying jobs:

    “Councilman Brad Koplinski asked council to remove the post that pays $70,000 annually, but he was outvoted 6-1.

    Philbin’s position was removed from this year’s budget, but he continued working for the mayor without pay this year”

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  25. stogy

    In short, it was done by democrats, and democrats only.

    Can’t really comment on Detroit, never been there. And it’s unlikely that I will.

    But any party that has been in power for decades is going to be corrupt and nepotistic. That’s the nature of politics. Republicans are no more immune to it than any other party. Just as it’s disgusting to see so-called “for the people” socialists with the snout in the trough, so it goes with “family values” Christians rorting the system for their own ends.

    And Hal’s main point is spot on – no-one in their right mind will support market capitalism if it is only crony capitalism that they end up with.

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  26. AlexInCT

    But any party that has been in power for decades is going to be corrupt and nepotistic. That’s the nature of politics. Republicans are no more immune to it than any other party. Just as it’s disgusting to see so-called “for the people” socialists with the snout in the trough, so it goes with “family values” Christians rorting the system for their own ends.

    The problem with your assertion and attempt to create a false equivalence Stogy is that what the socialists do tends to “for real” destroy economies and economic prosperity. The proof is fucking everywhere the left has touched and owned, not just here in the US, mind you, but globally, but let’s just focus on the US for now, the leavers of power. We have dozens of cities and entire states going belly up because of the corrupt incompetence of those that blindly adhere to the failed blue model. Like Detroit, these democrat bastions of power are all lining up to suck the government’s teat now that they have destroyed their local economies to the point they are running out of other people’s money. If you need a list, I can provide it, but the information is easy to obtain on your own unless you don’t really want to see it in the first place. A list will not make much of a difference to you then anyway. Even more blatant and damning is the direction that the US has taken since these people took power after that dunce Boosh. There is no denying the socialist, once entrenched, destroy economies, steal any chance of prosperity, and in general fuck over everyone, with those most devout to the progressive religion practically always taking the brunt of the royal screwing. Period.

    I would like you to provide me with even one example of those “family value” Christian types that you claim rot the system running the economy and prosperity of any community into the ground, because of their “family value” policies. Even if it is a small town. Fictional ones don’t count BTW.

    As I recall, there have been many a study that point out that the key to avoiding poverty and setting people on the road to prosperity involve many of the very things the family value types push. Get a decent education (not to be confused with the indoctrination of leftist stupidity that passes for education in too many places these days, BTW). Work hard (to produce something of value I should add in case that escapes people). Don’t father children outside of marriage. Rely on the support of a strong family union. Resist instant gratification and understand there are consequences to bad choices. And several other such teachings you seem to object to, have historically served communities and societies well to stave off poverty and usher in economic prosperity. In fact, these values you seem to despise or want to pretend lead to economic ruination and nothing but pain, unlike the shit the progressive/socialist ideology peddles, were once the corner stone of this great nation and served to make it the greatest one to grace the face of this planet.

    Socialism/Progressivism is a mental disorder, and the mountain of proof that it leads to economic ruination and poverty is undeniable. If all you have to condemn the “family value” types is stuff the idiotic links CM posted (links that conveniently ignre the fact that nobody forces these people to buy anything and those doing the buying can easily afford the expense so they are not losing out at all), then I am going to just make fun of you.

    False equivalences suck, don’t they?

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  27. stogy

    I would like you to provide me with even one example of those “family value” Christian types that you claim rot the system

    Hmm… difficult. There are so many to choose from (you shifted the goal posts on this, btw). I thought of David Duke straight away. He’s dangerous enough – particularly with the racist and anti-semitist stuff. But let’s go with Tom DeLay and his buddy, Jack Abramoff – money laundering, bribery, influence peddling, vote buying, and born again to boot.

    And even though corporate political donations and lobbying may be technically legal, it is still crony capitalism in most people’s books. I notice you haven’t picked up on the fact that the keystone environmental study and legal work was actually done by firms and individuals with extensive interests in the oil industry. This actually is an Obama scandal worth investigating.

    Also, I wasn’t arguing for some false notion of equivalency between thieves and scoundrels on the left and right, but that almost every human being is susceptible to behaving corruptly given the right opportunity. This should be obvious to everyone with a deep suspicion of politicians of any political stripe. It’s our job to deprive them of that opportunity. How is it that you think conservatives are somehow unable to engage in any kind of behavior that is less than saintly .

    links that conveniently ignre the fact that nobody forces these people to buy anything and those doing the buying can easily afford the expense so they are not losing out at all

    You didn’t actually read all of the article, did you? The bit where you get “nice” conservative folks fleecing the party faithful for their own ends, and voting against requirements on more open disclosure of their activities, is rather revealing? Kind of proves my point really: nice docile audience gets screwed by the very family values guys that are claiming they need the money to save America from the Liberals.

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  28. AlexInCT

    (you shifted the goal posts on this, btw)

    Really? How? By asking you to show me any place where the “family value” policies you want to pretend are just as bad as the collectivist’s stupidity when it comes to the laws of human nature and economics, being forced to declare bankruptcy, I shifted the goal posts? I did not make the ludicrous case the two are just as economically destructive: you did. Fuck me for not being smart enough to figure out how that’s shifting the goal posts.

    I thought of David Duke straight away. He’s dangerous enough – particularly with the racist and anti-semitist stuff.

    Erm what entity did David Duke or his policies cause economic ruination to, Stogy?

    But let’s go with Tom DeLay and his buddy, Jack Abramoff – money laundering, bribery, influence peddling, vote buying, and born again to boot.

    I ask the same about these bozos. I won’t even bother pointing out that nobody beats democrats when it comes to money laundering, bribery, influence peddling, vote buying, and stealing from people. I could randomly pick any democrat politician and all these things would apply to them in spades. But I will remind you of former NJ governor John Corzine, whom makes any and all republicans look life fucking pikers, and any products of the Chicago machine, including black Jesus, to wind that hand handily. Note I didn’t even have to resort to using people running Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., or California to name a few hot houses.

    The premise you espoused (I can copy & paste it for you if you can’t scroll up and read it), is that the family value types and their policies have caused just as much economic distress, hardship, and failure as the idiotic collectivist wealth redistribution ideology has. This post is about the left’s beliefs not being able to overwrite the reality of economics and human behavior.

    And even though corporate political donations and lobbying may be technically legal, it is still crony capitalism in most people’s books.

    And again, I point out that nobody, bar none, beats democrats at these games. Period. That’s the reason these liberal utopias all crash and burn. Do I have to rehash all the stories about the billions in tax payer dollars that team blue funneled, as payment for services rendered, to the many friends, lobbyists, donors, and special interests since team blue took power? Let me just regale you with four examples that far exceed the scope of any and all corporate donations. The first is the trillion dollar tax payer funded stimulus pay-off. The second is the TARP payouts, which were doubled by Pelosi’s house, over and above objections from that dumbass Boosh. Thirdly I would point out the hundreds of billions spent on green initiatives that then practically, without fault, all went belly up. Lastly, I point to the government nationalization of GM & Chrysler to pay off their union buddies. But the list of abuses is far longer than these.

    People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw fucking rocks Stogy.

    Also, I wasn’t arguing for some false notion of equivalency between thieves and scoundrels on the left and right, but that almost every human being is susceptible to behaving corruptly given the right opportunity.

    Ah, now I see the goal post movements you inferred, but the one moving anything is you. Pray tell how your new argument makes the fact that collectivism is a huge fucking failure, less valid or bad, because, given the opportunity, everyone can behave in a corrupt manner. I mean if this new argument is valid, you should have no problem giving me an example of some entity that had to declare bankruptcy because conservatives, and especially the family value types you seem to conflate as equally dastardly as the corrupt marxists that destroyed Detroit, in full control drove the place into the ground, right?

    Crony corporate capitalism don’t count. As I pointed out, democrats do far better at that than republicans, despite the campaign to pretend otherwise, and they piss away tax payer money on a level that’s staggering. But you can keep pretending there is an equivalence.

    It’s our job to deprive them of that opportunity. How is it that you think conservatives are somehow unable to engage in any kind of behavior that is less than saintly .

    See, if I had made that point, you would have a case. But I did no such thing. I am perfectly aware that “so called” conservatives can and have been just as stupid as collectivists. But the fact remains that no conservative, or ‘so called conservative” has ever done anything as horrible as those on the left. I can name a half a dozen cities right off the top of my head, do the same for states, and nobody would dispute that single party rule by democrats drove , or are driving, these shitholes into the ground. You however can’t name me one such entity on the right. That’s because even if they are corrupt non-democrats understand that once you ignore the laws of economics and human nature you kill the thing you are fucking over.

    You didn’t actually read all of the article, did you?

    I didn’t bother once I realize it was just liberal drivel and fantasy, and am not worried about admitting that. I didn’t bother to read “The protocols of Zion” in its entirety once I realized it was bullshit either, but that doesn’t detract from the fact it is pure drivel, now does it?

    The bit where you get “nice” conservative folks fleecing the party faithful for their own ends, and voting against requirements on more open disclosure of their activities, is rather revealing?

    Revealing how? Did the conservatives you want to impugn put a gun to these people’s heads – something progressives always do, be it metaphorically or for real – to make them fork over cash? Or is your problem with the fact that the faithful aren’t as smart as you think you are and need people like you to tell them they shouldn’t use their money how they want to? I somehow doubt that you would see anything telling in progressives fleecing the flock like Gore has done, just to name an example.

    Seriously dude, you are tilting at windmills here and it shows.

    Thumb up 4

  29. CM

    The problem with your assertion and attempt to create a false equivalence Stogy is that what the socialists do tends to “for real” destroy economies and economic prosperity.

    Except that doesn’t the historical record show that the US economy has always done better while a Democrat is President? I’m sure you’ll say that the destruction takes time and only shows up later, right?

    Socialism/Progressivism is a mental disorder

    I would say that inherently considering anyone who disagrees with you as being at some extreme end of the spectrum, and convincing yourself that they therefore have a mental disorder, is itself a mental disorder.

    If all you have to condemn the “family value” types is stuff the idiotic links CM posted (links that conveniently ignre the fact that nobody forces these people to buy anything and those doing the buying can easily afford the expense so they are not losing out at all), then I am going to just make fun of you.

    They can easily afford it? Where do you get that from? Ah, that’s right, you didn’t read it.
    That people aren’t ‘forced’ is not the point of it at all.

    that doesn’t detract from the fact it is pure drivel, now does it?

    It detracts from your ability to make that determination, obviously..

    I somehow doubt that you would see anything telling in progressives fleecing the flock like Gore has done, just to name an example.

    Gore has held guns to people’s heads? How so?

    You must have a great collection of bridges Alex.

    Thumb up 1

  30. AlexInCT

    Except that doesn’t the historical record show that the US economy has always done better while a Democrat is President?

    Citation please? I find this claim dubious at best. Because the fact of the matter is that I remember no such thing. In fact, the largest economic growth I remember, at least in my life time, was the Reagan years. Oh sure, the LSM tried hard to pretend the Clinton years were a boon, but that boon was because republicans, at that time real fiscal conservatives, controlled congress and spending, and they dragged Clinton kicking & screaming into abandoning most of the shit Obama has done.

    I’m sure you’ll say that the destruction takes time and only shows up later, right?

    Why would I say that? The destruction of the country is happening now. Lucky for us it is happening, and being accelerated by, a democrat president. Are you referring to the fact that it took some 50 years of the socialist experiment to collapse the country? If you are saying that, then the answer is yes, it took time, but the guy now in charge put everything into hyperdrive.

    I would say that inherently considering anyone who disagrees with you as being at some extreme end of the spectrum, and convincing yourself that they therefore have a mental disorder, is itself a mental disorder.

    It’s not a mental disorder because these people disagree with me CM. It is a mental disorder because these people disagree with reality, and when the shit hits the fan, blame everyone and everything else. Case in point Detroit.

    They can easily afford it?

    I don’t know about you, but I buy nothing I can not afford. Maybe I am the rare conservative that does that? I assume that if they really were being fleeced the that the scumbags currently in charge would have used it to bring down every conservative they could. It’s not like they don’t have an enemies list and have targeted people on it. The guy in the image certainly would be one of their top targets.

    Where do you get that from? Ah, that’s right, you didn’t read it.

    Actually I read the beginning, saw the stupid and obvious straw man argument, and stopped. There is a distinction there as I pointed out. I could have finished the article and it wouldn’t have changed my opinion at all, because I could tell it was bullshit. I get no choice however when leftist government confiscated more and more of my money to do their criminal wealth redistribution schemes (which always involves money moving to their connected friends with some money going to buy votes).

    That people aren’t ‘forced’ is not the point of it at all.

    Why not? Because that doesn’t fit with your narrative? Or because if it is obvious people made the choice the stupid straw man argument in your dumb article falls apart?

    It detracts from your ability to make that determination, obviously..

    What determination would that be? That some leftists set up a straw man and then knocked it down? Shit, that’s never hard to do.

    Gore has held guns to people’s heads? How so?

    Actually, unlike in the dumb article you posted a link to where there is nothing like that, I can effectively make the case that Gore got others – the UN and every collectivist leftard government that went along with the AGW scam to grow their power over people and their wallets – to hold the gun for him. You may want to pretend that the church of AGW was voluntary, but there was none of that in that cult. Those that objected got demonized and destroyed.

    You must have a great collection of bridges Alex.

    You looking to buy some aren’t you?

    Thumb up 5

  31. CM

    Citation please? I find this claim dubious at best. Because the fact of the matter is that I remember no such thing. In fact, the largest economic growth I remember, at least in my life time, was the Reagan years. Oh sure, the LSM tried hard to pretend the Clinton years were a boon, but that boon was because republicans, at that time real fiscal conservatives, controlled congress and spending, and they dragged Clinton kicking & screaming into abandoning most of the shit Obama has done.

    There are various graphs and charts showing various different economic measures. I certainly cannot attest to their accuracy. They’ve been floating around for a while though and I’ve not yet seen any attempt to show why/how they’re wrong.

    http://www.bizinformer.com/wp-content/uploads/privatejobgrowth.jpg
    http://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/14opchart-full.jpg
    http://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/employment1.gif
    http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/IncomeGrowthRates1948-2005-1024×768.png
    http://waynedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/graph.jpg
    http://www.salon.com/2012/11/02/want_a_strong_economy_vote_democrat/

    As I’ve said previously, perhaps Dems only get voted in when the economy is on an upswing, and Republicans get voted in when times looks like they might be getting tough. However Obama’s election would certainly be the reverse of that.

    It’s not a mental disorder because these people disagree with me CM.

    That’s strange because anything that you find that you don’t agree with you write at length about how it’s symptomatic of the mental illness that is liberalism. Your posts are always about the same thing, you just try to use different examples to ‘prove’ it. It suggests (very strongly) a clear inability to see anything between the two extremes (because you’re constantly attempting to make everything fit your narrative).

    I don’t know about you, but I buy nothing I can not afford. Maybe I am the rare conservative that does that?

    Again, it’s not a case of two extremes. Most conservatives, like most liberals, are regular joes. The links I posted provide an insight into the extremely lucrative business of scaring regular joes into parting with their money. Modern day snake-oil salesmen are now viewed by many as legitimate political heroes. They get people on-board and then shaft them. And no, ‘it’s a free market’ isn’t the easy response, because there is clearly deception involved.

    I assume that if they really were being fleeced the that the scumbags currently in charge would have used it to bring down every conservative they could.

    Why?

    It’s not like they don’t have an enemies list and have targeted people on it. The guy in the image certainly would be one of their top targets.

    Funny you should talk about lists. The linked pieces talk about them too. No doubt you’re on a few, as are others here.

    Actually I read the beginning, saw the stupid and obvious straw man argument, and stopped. There is a distinction there as I pointed out.

    Deception is involved, which you would have known if you’d read it. But no, if something doesn’t immediately fit with your narrative, you’ll discard it so you don’t need to go through a process of accommodating or critiquing/debunking it.

    Why not? Because that doesn’t fit with your narrative?

    Um, no, because it wasn’t the point of the example. Stogy said:

    Just as it’s disgusting to see so-called “for the people” socialists with the snout in the trough, so it goes with “family values” Christians rorting the system for their own ends.

    Compulsion isn’t why those two examples were provided.
    So the straw-man you’re talking about is all yours.

    What determination would that be?

    Any sort of determination about the material at the links I gave.

    That some leftists set up a straw man and then knocked it down? Shit, that’s never hard to do.

    Except they didn’t. But you wouldn’t know. Because you didn’t read it.
    Just to pre-empt you though, I’m not suggesting it’s compulsory to read it.

    Actually, unlike in the dumb article you posted a link to where there is nothing like that,

    How do you know if you didn’t read them?
    The second link (the much longer and detailed piece) describes a few people here down to the ground (and a former member who has gone AWOL to an absolutely tee).

    I can effectively make the case that Gore got others – the UN and every collectivist leftard government that went along with the AGW scam to grow their power over people and their wallets – to hold the gun for him. You may want to pretend that the church of AGW was voluntary, but there was none of that in that cult. Those that objected got demonized and destroyed.

    Go on, make the case then. I accept your offer. You’d need to ignore the fact that Gore is one person, and not even a scientist. You’d need to demonstrate that anything would be different if Gore didn’t exist. Good luck. You’ll need more than just your standard weaponry of accusation, insinuation, and allegation.

    You looking to buy some aren’t you?

    Nah I’m good. You can hang on to your vast collection.

    Thumb up 2

  32. stogy

    By asking you to show me any place where the “family value” policies you want to pretend are just as bad as the collectivist’s stupidity when it comes to the laws of human nature and economics, being forced to declare bankruptcy, I shifted the goal posts?

    Yeah. I just made the claim that corruption stinks, no matter who is doing it – and the stink is even worse when it goes against the values espoused by the politician concerned. I didn’t claim that it wrecks economies – it may have that effect (see below), but that wasn’t my claim. So er yeah. You shifted the goal posts.

    But the fact remains that no conservative, or ‘so called conservative” has ever done anything as horrible as those on the left.

    Again, I am not trying to argue who is better or worse. My point is that regular changes of power are necessary to prevent corruption, because all political parties, regardless of their political leanings, are likely to be corrupted by power. Jeez, are you fucking thick? It’s you that is turning this into an issue of equivalency.

    OK. Let’s take an easy example:

    Drug companies buy politicians with campaign donations, who then go on to pay these back by extending patents for 5 or more years on blockbuster drugs. They bent the rules. Who is hurt? Patients. The drag on the economy. Other drug companies. Innovation and research. People who can’t afford to buy better quality medicines. The political process (“hey, if they’re all doing it, why can’t I?), the FDA and other administrative bodies…

    Weapons manufacturers, Wall Street, fossil fuels, media companies, farmers lobbies – all buying and selling influence to advance their business interests by undermining what should be a level playing field. Corporate donations and lobby groups are the exact opposite of a market economy. These donations go overwhelmingly to Republicans. However, with corporations actually moving money to both sides of the house, it cannot be seen as anything other than influence peddling. Crony capitalism.

    Corruption undermines public and corporate trust in state institutions, reduces tax collection, damages trade, affects the criminal justice system, reduces economic growth, hurts small business, wastes taxpayer money. I would go on, but other people have already been there.

    This is consistent with your political economy 101 point that you constantly harp on, Alex – that government interference in markets screws things up. And that politicians should be more afraid of the voters than voters are of politicians. To a large extent, I even agree with you on this. To see you arguing against your core thesis like this is kind of sad.

    You didn’t actually read all of the article, did you?

    I didn’t bother once I realize it was just liberal drivel and fantasy, and am not worried about admitting that.

    I can only assume that this is some kind of bizarre delusional self-parody. Or you are becoming one. Come Alex. You criticized something you didn’t even bother to read. And then your critique bears no relation to the content of the article. At all. If you aren’t going to read something properly, just don’t comment. Otherwise you come off looking really pathetic. Simple.

    Thumb up 1

  33. stogy

    Go on, make the case then. I accept your offer. You’d need to ignore the fact that Gore is one person, and not even a scientist. You’d need to demonstrate that anything would be different if Gore didn’t exist. Good luck. You’ll need more than just your standard weaponry of accusation, insinuation, and allegation.

    That’s going to be doubly hard seeing that Alex doesn’t even understand the basic science. And hasn’t read any of it either.

    Not a good day for the Chuck Norris of links.

    Thumb up 1

  34. Mook

    Drug companies buy politicians with campaign donations, who then go on to pay these back by extending patents for 5 or more years on blockbuster drugs

    Can you cite when this has happened? If so, links to political payoffs? I seriously doubt it’s anything like what you claim. Let’s examine from where you made this claim, because it’s basic. Also, can you acknowledge that the European approach to drug patents has devastated drug research in Europe? Many of their top pharmaceutical researchers had to flock to the US for work as a result and innovation in Europe was stifled.

    Again, I am not trying to argue who is better or worse

    Yet we do not live in utopia, so understanding who and what is “better” or “worse” is important to know, would you not agree?

    Thumb up 4

  35. CM

    That’s going to be doubly hard seeing that Alex doesn’t even understand the basic science. And hasn’t read any of it either.

    Well yes I knew full well I was wasting time and effort even accepting his offer, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see him fail to follow through yet again.

    Thumb up 1

  36. stogy

    Can you cite when this has happened? If so, links to political payoffs?

    Sure: On changing laws limiting the ability of generic manufacturers to produce cheaper drugs, and on covering up their own lack of transparency:

    Patent Law Battle a Boon to Lobbyists

    Big Pharma, Generics Fund Lobbying War Over Patents

    There is also this one on the industry and Obamacare:

    There are few industries with as much power in Washington as the pharmaceutical sector. Drug companies have spent $2.3 billion on lobbying and $183 million on campaign contributions since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also maintains a war chest for advertising and grassroots lobbying aimed at altering public opinion. The ready money serves as a strong deterrent against any legislative proposal that would lower costs for consumers and profits for the drug makers.

    Fearing the drug industry would use its money and lobbyists to torpedo the entire reform package, the Obama White House made a deal to kill at least two major provisions that would have saved consumers money when they filled prescriptions. In exchange, the industry unleashed a $20 million-plus ad campaign to support the bill. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a top recipient of campaign contributions from the health care industry, was put in charge of shepherding the bill to passage.

    And the result? Inevitable, really:

    PhRMA’s political power has set the stage for industry-wide business strategies. Political connections have helped drug companies to battle price restraints, stretch patent guidelines, and avoid litigation. PhRMA’s actions have not been without consequence. A 2003 poll conducted by Advanstar Communications found that only “13% of people regularly believe a pharmaceutical company statement,” and 57% feel that pharmaceutical companies should be subject to more government regulation.

    Fancy people not believing the drug companies?

    Dr Ben Goldacre’s fab new tome, Bad Pharma is less about the corruption in congress and all about the corruption in the industry – fake trials, fake data, lies and lots and lots of marketing.

    *I don’t blame any other drug company for doing what they are doing. They are not evil – they are doing what they should do, which is to make money. However, I deplore that the systems that we have (and don’t have) that allow giant pharmaceuticals to exist in a competition free vacuum. and allow the industry to corrupt politics, and society, while spending a little on research and whole lot on marketing and they can perpetuate this through a neverending cycle of lobbying.

    Thumb up 1

  37. stogy

    Also, can you acknowledge that the European approach to drug patents has devastated drug research in Europe? Many of their top pharmaceutical researchers had to flock to the US for work as a result and innovation in Europe was stifled.

    I haven’t seen much data on this, but I would be interested to see some links if you’ve got them. I did a quick Google, and came across this – not sure how much store I put in it, but it seems to show that research productivity is still significantly higher in Europe:

    PhRMA wants to claim that this terrible European climate stifles research, compared to the open, Wild West of America where the companies can charge whatever they darn well please. Anything that suggests that the Europeans are actually doing OK, and maybe the U.S. could do better at lower cost if we emulated some of those European policies, is anathema to PhRMA.

    So just how did Light get PhRMA demanding his scalp? He followed all the methods in Garbowski and Wang’s original paper, except for one thing. He reasoned that if the drug companies spend twice as much for research in one place as in another, they should ideally see twice as much results in the first location. So he corrected the Grabowski and Wang calculations for how much the companies spent in U.S. vs. Europe. Basically he asked not about total research output but research productivity–how much bang for the buck.

    Even before he did his correction, Light noticed that Grabowski and Wang did not paint quite the picture that PhRMA likes to claim. Their research output data showed the U.S. coming up and Europe going down, but Europe did not go down by much, and in several output categories, Europe was still ahead of the U.S.

    But the results certainly changed when Light added in the correction for total amount spent. In just about every measure of research productivity, comparing the decades 1982-92 with 1993-2003, Europe improved while the U.S. fell off.

    There’s more on the page, including PhRMA’s response to Light (which sounds a bit weak, personally). However, I’m not convinced about the merits of only comparing productivity. It’s also pre GFC. I haven’t looked at the original reports, nor do I have time now, so I can’t really say whether the claims are true or not from just this one linked post.

    Thumb up 0

  38. stogy

    Very timely to our discussion, we find an article titled Sex, money and lies: ‘Culture of Corruption’ boomerangs on Democrats as scandals blossom nationwide which shows exactly what I point out and you tools try so hard to ignore.

    Thanks Alex. Good link. It makes my point for me very nicely. Particularly this bit:

    Longtime political analyst John Pitney Jr. said the Democrats’ woes can be viewed as examples of history repeating itself and how the enticements of Washington’s political culture can trip up the party in power.

    “This culture of corruption has more to do with the culture of Washington,” said Mr. Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. “It’s a matter of people being in power, and power plus money equals temptation.

    It was eight years ago that Nancy Pelosi, then the leader of the House Democratic minority, made headlines with her attack on what she called the Republican Party’s “culture of corruption,” but now that moniker is coming back to haunt Democrats.

    It’s reminiscent of the outcry over the influence-peddling scandal that dogged the Republican Party in 2005, helping put the GOP on the defensive heading into the November 2006 midterm elections.

    In 2005, the poster boy for power run amok was Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist and influence-broker who pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion. Mrs. Pelosi coined the term “Republican culture of corruption” and wielded it to attack the GOP on issues such as the Medicare prescription drug bill and the Iraq War.

    I even made it all the way to the bottom. Not that hard really to read all of something before you comment. Love the last quote, btw. Pelosi is completely delusional.

    “They make so much of these issues because this president is such a great president,”

    Thumb up 3

  39. AlexInCT

    There are various graphs and charts showing various different economic measures. I certainly cannot attest to their accuracy. They’ve been floating around for a while though and I’ve not yet seen any attempt to show why/how they’re wrong.

    You will pardon me for dismissing every single one of those graphs you linked without a real source or any context of the statistical methodology employed, especially since what they show is so arbitrary. The whole thing about lies, damned, lies, and statistics. Maybe people didn’t bother with them, because they were idiotic and not worth the effort. Or maybe the issue is – and looking at the sources you will grant me that we are dealing with entities that at a minimum are pro-democrats, and more likely than not, just propaganda outlets for them – the source that these graphs seem to be originating from, not bothering to point out anyone that refutes their claims. When you live in your echo chamber it is hard to find evidence that the straw men you erect are just that.

    As I’ve said previously, perhaps Dems only get voted in when the economy is on an upswing, and Republicans get voted in when times looks like they might be getting tough. However Obama’s election would certainly be the reverse of that.

    Shit, STOP THE PRESSES! We agree on something. I am going to need a drink. 

    Again, it’s not a case of two extremes. Most conservatives, like most liberals, are regular joes.

    Oversimplification there, but OK. Let’s go with that.

    The links I posted provide an insight into the extremely lucrative business of scaring regular joes into parting with their money.

    Not sure what this has to do with corrupt government and how democrats seem to dominate that mountain, but I will play along.

    Modern day snake-oil salesmen are now viewed by many as legitimate political heroes.

    Seriously? That’s your point? CM, I guess now that I see the idiotic argument that you are trying to make it becomes clear to me why the left has spent so much effort and time trying to convince people on the right that entertainers like Beck and Limbaugh are political entities. Here is a revelation for you: they are not. And no serious conservative or libertarian would think them to be anything but that. Some see them as patriots or as opponents of an evil machine, but I think the only ones that are desperate to see them as political heroes are people on the left.

    They get people on-board and then shaft them. And no, ‘it’s a free market’ isn’t the easy response, because there is clearly deception involved.

    I guess it is much better to get people “on-board” and then shafted through idiotic collectivist schemes backed by the full force of government entities and a willingness to use that force to destroy anyone that doesn’t bow down. Talk about stretching yourself to make a false equivalence.

    I stand by my point that you & Stogy are desperate to create a moral equivalence because you know how fucked up the shit the left has done is, but you just can’t admit it and live with the fact you bought into this shit.

    Go on, make the case then. I accept your offer.

    I need to make a case? Is the proof too hard for you to actually figure out on your own, or are the blinders on so tight that you just refuse to see it, CM?

    You’d need to ignore the fact that Gore is one person, and not even a scientist.

    Shit, based on the furor people like you caused when Gore put out that nonsense fictional movie of his that all of you pretended was a scientific documentary, I would beg the question why nobody made that case back then. Don’t bother: the question was me being facetious. I know the answer.

    You’d need to demonstrate that anything would be different if Gore didn’t exist.

    Heh. Methinks you didn’t grasp a word of what I said. Let me requote myself so I can make sure you get another try at it.

    I can effectively make the case that Gore got others – the UN and every collectivist leftard government that went along with the AGW scam to grow their power over people and their wallets – to hold the gun for him. You may want to pretend that the church of AGW was voluntary, but there was none of that in that cult. Those that objected got demonized and destroyed.

    Let me use small words and short sentences to parse what I said there, and maybe this time you will get it. Gore is worth over a billion dollars because of the AGW scam. He rode the many lies, schemes, and scams pushed by this idiotic movement to a high, and that made him stinking rich. He even sold his TV company to an oil sheik of all people, for big profit, and to avoid a big tax hike team Obama put in place. Gore is the prototypical profiteer your side would despise if he did not had an (D) next to his name. He is even such a big scumbag that he tried to force some masseuse to give him a happy ending, and then tried to destroy her when she tried to go to the authorities. Instead the guy’s ass is kissed. The man is a scumbag.

    But, to address your requirement that I need to prove that if Gore didn’t exist no other leftist scumbag would step up to fleece the stupid, let me say that anyone that denies that some other leftist scumbag would have stepped up to fill in that vacuum, is being delusional. They are a dime a dozen.

    Good luck. You’ll need more than just your standard weaponry of accusation, insinuation, and allegation.

    LOL! From you that’s priceless. And I need no luck. It’s so obvious and easy that it takes no effort to point out that some other leftard scumbag would have stepped up to profiteer from the schemes and scams. The facts about what Gore has done are well documented. I don’t need to do anything but point you in that direction. if you refuse to see it, then the issue is with you.

    Seacrest OUT!

    Thumb up 3

  40. AlexInCT

    That’s going to be doubly hard seeing that Alex doesn’t even understand the basic science. And hasn’t read any of it either.

    Fuck stogy, this gave me one heck of a laugh dude. I guarantee you I have forgotten more about science – the real shit, not the consensus shit or biased and bogus collectivist fantasies you think passes for science – than you think you know.

    Thanks Alex. Good link. It makes my point for me very nicely. Particularly this bit:

    Seriously Stogy, are you really this dense? Let me type slowly: I agree with you that corruption and criminal activity is not the purveyance of just one party, but the democrats, based on their lack of morality of any kind and their fact that the ideology and beliefs fly in the face of the rules of economics and reality, are the masters of that game. Yes, Washington corrupts. But you must really be desperate to pretend that if you really need to buy favors from government or need government to fuck over your competition, that you can do so with equal ease from either party. The democrats win hands down at the game of abusing power. It would be constant news if the LSM got off its ideological ass and did its job.

    Your argument boils down to the fact that since a kid that stole a candy bar committed the crime of stealing he is on par with the guy that fucking robbed a bank. One party has robbed tax payers of trillions, destroyed the economy of entire cities, has once prosperous states on the verge of collapse, and makes no compunction of the fact they believe government – meaning they – should have the power to pick winners & losers. The other party couldn’t rise up t that level of corruption if it had the democrats showing them how to do corruption and criminal.

    So I ask you yet again: If you want to make your case that there is an equivalence, show me where the other side has driven a town, city, or state into economic ruin.

    Thumb up 5

  41. Iconoclast

    http://philebersole.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/14opchart-full.jpg

    Well, this second graph certainly doesn’t help your case. Remember, your question was (emphasis added):

    Except that doesn’t the historical record show that the US economy has always done better while a Democrat is President?

    CM, July 24, 2013 5:18 PM

    Right off the bat, we see in that second graph that four Republican Presidents have a stronger indicator than all but one of the Democrat Presidents. That is all I need to refute the claim your question implies, but I will go further and state that one can paint any kind of misleading picture one wants via numeric manipulation. Sure, the “average” case looks better for Dems, but that is due primarily to the fact that the stock market crash is attributed to Hoover, and it’s such a strong negative indicator that it pulls the “average” GOP score way down. If we were to cherry-pick a different way, we could get much different averages. Even leaving out Hoover, as this graph “generously” does, we still have W. Bush’s post 9/11 economy in the mix, and just about anyone will tell you that the big-spending, big government policies of W. and his Congress were more closely aligned with liberal policy than conservative. The term RINO (Republican In Name Only) was coined for a reason.

    As for all of the graphs in toto, I notice that there is no cited source for most of them — there is no way to determine where the numbers are coming from. Also, assuming the truth of these graphs for the sake of argument, there is nothing which actually links the economic indicators to actual policy, so again, the meaning is limited, and could very well be misleading.

    Thumb up 5

  42. stogy

    Your argument boils down to the fact that since a kid that stole a candy bar committed the crime of stealing he is on par with the guy that fucking robbed a bank.

    Not at all. If you are going to make the claim that the dems are worse (although why you would bother to do so is beyond me), then it’s really up to you to provide the evidence. Graphs, charts, hard evidence. I mean, every time someone asks you to actually assemble an argument you duck and weave.

    And once again – this is not about evening up the balance or some other kind of false equivalence. I don’t actually care about who is more corrupt, because arguing about it is a stupid waste of time. The point is to look at the systems that facilitate corruption regardless of party affiliation. Your own article said as much (although I am wondering if you managed to actually read it). Once you can see how the systems allow political corruption to occur, you can start applying pressure for reform.

    Right now, when it’s Republicans in power, all the dems bleat about how bad the corruption is and how they have a plan to fix it. Of course, once they’re in power, fixing the systems is exactly what they don’t want. It’s no different with the other party though. What we end up with is political Kabuki – and we are the ones forking out the rather hefty ticket price.

    if you really need to buy favors from government or need government to fuck over your competition, that you can do so with equal ease from either party

    Of course you can. Your own linked article said that. The size of the donations given to both sides of the house show that. The examples I gave above show that. Power corrupts. Every one of the last six administrations has ended in scandal, a raft of indictments, and threats of impeachment. One of the best arguments for separation of church and state I know of is that, rather than improving the standards and ethical values in politics, having religious groups in power inevitably corrupts their own religion.

    You say endlessly that you want a free market economy with low taxes and minimal government interference – but you only seem to want to clean up the mess on one side of the house. Look at the systems that create the corruption, not who is worse.

    Thirteen years ago I was arguing that Republicans should clean up the huge holes in voter registration laws and some of the huge disparities between states in voting systems and vote counting. I was told I was a sore loserman. This will come back and bite you if you don’t try to fix it, I said. But oh, how they laughed. But now, of course, Republicans are whining about voter fraud and stolen elections years after the ballots. Fix the systems that create the problem, before they are used to promote corruption.

    So I ask you yet again: If you want to make your case that there is an equivalence, show me where the other side has driven a town, city, or state into economic ruin.

    You want an argument for equivalence? You’re just like a right-wing muppet version of Nancy Pelosi, but you are twice as extreme. And not as bright. And someone else is pulling your strings. And you are even less capable of adequately defending a position. She’s definitely better looking.

    That, or you are trolling your own blog.

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  43. stogy

    Fuck stogy, this gave me one heck of a laugh dude. I guarantee you I have forgotten more about science – the real shit, not the consensus shit or biased and bogus collectivist fantasies you think passes for science – than you think you know.

    Need I remind you that a week or so ago you were unable to even recognize basic scientific principles that are central to climate science. And that these principles are also central concepts in contrarian challenges to the vast and growing body of research by climate scientists. You are incapable of defending arguments you have made against climate science, and actually posted news (not science) articles that were contradictory of the claims you made.

    You linked to a political website run by a political hack claiming that was where you got your very accurate scientific information from, and cast aspersions on the work of real scientists (many of whom are actually card carrying conservatives) without actually having a clue what they have actually done in their research – because you are too lazy to actually read anything that contradicts your narrow and slightly Pelosi deranged world view.

    That about right?

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  44. AlexInCT

    Need I remind you that a week or so ago you were unable to even recognize basic scientific principles that are central to climate science.

    You mean that consensus shit? Or are you talking about the models put together to produce a predetermined output that cannot produce results that match what has been happening and is happening in the real world? Or the fact that these fucks manipulated data, then destroyed the data and the information about the scam they used, all so nobody could question their fake and scientifically faulty methodology? Maybe you are talking about the peer review circle jerks that propped up any and all bullshit that served to push the narrative, while at the same time dismissing anything that showed the AGW cult for what it was on the spurious premise that who funded it disqualified the study? And don’t forget they destroyed the lives of anyone that dared to question their dogma, while pretending the massive government funding that helped them produce ridiculous crap these totalitarian governments wanted (so they could frighten people into giving up their freedoms and even more of their money), shouldn’t affect how the nonsense they were peddling should have come off. Oh, I got it! You mean that ludicrous model that pretends CO2 is the biggest greenhouse gas, and then that manmade CO2 is the biggest culprit/problem, while ignoring water vapor, natural CO2 cycles and evidence that CO2 couldn’t be the big factor, the influence of solar activity, or even the role of the oceans? Or is your beef with the fact that I pointed out that not a single prediction by your cult has panned out, meaning their theory, according to the scientific principle, should be thrown out like the trash it is? Are those the “scientific principles” you want to imply I don’t get? Because believe me, I get there is very little science and a whole lot of faith when it comes to AGW and the collectivist movement behind it. Your types are not referred to as watermelons by accident, and your proposed solution to this faux problem isn’t more totalitarian collectivist government by coincidence, either.

    Shorter me: I think I now see the problem. You think you understand science and scientific principles, but you fucking have no clue that the bullshit you have been fed about AGW is anything but science.

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  45. CM

    You will pardon me for dismissing every single one of those graphs you linked without a real source or any context of the statistical methodology employed, especially since what they show is so arbitrary.’

    You’ll dismiss what you don’t like whether I pardon it or not.
    But in this case there is a reason I put qualifiers on the links, and raised it as a question to begin with (rather than a statement of fact). As stogy says, you made the claim, it’s up to you to support it.

    The whole thing about lies, damned, lies, and statistics.

    So then how do you some up with your definitive statements? What do you rely on that it’s “lies, damned, lies, and statistics”?

    When you live in your echo chamber it is hard to find evidence that the straw men you erect are just that.

    Indeed.

    Shit, STOP THE PRESSES! We agree on something. I am going to need a drink. 

    I said perhaps. Yet again, I’m not confident enough to make a definitive statement about this.
    However if you’re refuting the premise, how could you agree with a possible rationale to explain the premise? I mean, WTF?

    Oversimplification there, but OK.

    How is it an oversimplification to suggest that the majority of people that vote Democrat or Republican are regular joes?

    Not sure what this has to do with corrupt government and how democrats seem to dominate that mountain, but I will play along.

    Again, I put it forward as another example of what political leaders do. About how they use people.
    My links put forward examples of people on the right corrupting their own philosophy and shafting the very people that give them their power.

    Seriously? That’s your point? CM, I guess now that I see the idiotic argument that you are trying to make it becomes clear to me why the left has spent so much effort and time trying to convince people on the right that entertainers like Beck and Limbaugh are political entities. Here is a revelation for you: they are not. And no serious conservative or libertarian would think them to be anything but that. Some see them as patriots or as opponents of an evil machine, but I think the only ones that are desperate to see them as political heroes are people on the left.

    Perhaps you should read the pieces, it’s much more than just about those two, it’s about the system that has evolved. But anyway, of course those people are ‘politicial entities’. They rise to powerful positions based on the appeal of the politics they espouse. They tap into the sweet spots.

    I guess it is much better to get people “on-board” and then shafted through idiotic collectivist schemes backed by the full force of government entities and a willingness to use that force to destroy anyone that doesn’t bow down. Talk about stretching yourself to make a false equivalence.

    Again, in order to try and respond in a way that actually makes sense you’d need to read the articles.

    I stand by my point that you & Stogy are desperate to create a moral equivalence because you know how fucked up the shit the left has done is, but you just can’t admit it and live with the fact you bought into this shit.

    Again just because you occupy an extreme position it doesn’t mean the rest of us do.

    I need to make a case?

    You said you could, so do it.

    Is the proof too hard for you to actually figure out on your own, or are the blinders on so tight that you just refuse to see it, CM?

    Yes yes, etc etc etc. Now make the case. You said you could, so follow through for once.

    Shit, based on the furor people like you caused when Gore put out that nonsense fictional movie of his that all of you pretended was a scientific documentary, I would beg the question why nobody made that case back then. Don’t bother: the question was me being facetious. I know the answer.

    So follow through now on your statement. I wish to take you up on your offer.

    Gore is worth over a billion dollars because of the AGW scam. He rode the many lies, schemes, and scams pushed by this idiotic movement to a high, and that made him stinking rich. He even sold his TV company to an oil sheik of all people, for big profit, and to avoid a big tax hike team Obama put in place. Gore is the prototypical profiteer your side would despise if he did not had an (D) next to his name. He is even such a big scumbag that he tried to force some masseuse to give him a happy ending, and then tried to destroy her when she tried to go to the authorities. Instead the guy’s ass is kissed. The man is a scumbag.

    Even if any of that were true it’s not relevant to case you said you could make. What it does suggest though is that you’re altering your position. You claimed earlier that you could “effectively make the case that Gore got others – the UN and every collectivist leftard government that went along with the AGW scam to grow their power over people and their wallets – to hold the gun for him”. Now you’re saying the ‘movement’ was to blame, and Gore simply ‘rode’ it. Which is it? Yet again, you’re not even being internally consistent.

    I just love how you added the sex claim though – it’s yet another example of how you rely on allegations, accusations, and insinuations (your Holy Trinity).

    But, to address your requirement that I need to prove that if Gore didn’t exist no other leftist scumbag would step up to fleece the stupid, let me say that anyone that denies that some other leftist scumbag would have stepped up to fill in that vacuum, is being delusional. They are a dime a dozen.

    This further confirms that you’ve changed your position. You’ve as much admitted that you can’t make that original case at all.
    Science isn’t a gun Alex. Not even close. It’s pretty much the exact opposite. The overwhelming weight of evidence has been increasingly convincing. This isn’t even remotely an equivalent to hawking all manner of dodgy shit to your listeners on a radio talk show.

    LOL! From you that’s priceless.

    I can only assume you’re being ironic there, responding to my claim that you rely on empty accusations by making an empty accusation.

    And I need no luck. It’s so obvious and easy that it takes no effort to point out that some other leftard scumbag would have stepped up to profiteer from the schemes and scams.

    You mean it takes no effort to immediately change your seemingly-definitive position because you have no shame or standards. Even then your argument makes no sense, as explained above.

    The facts about what Gore has done are well documented. I don’t need to do anything but point you in that direction. if you refuse to see it, then the issue is with you.

    No, the issue is that you’re making accusations and not supporting them. Well, that’s one issue.

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  46. CM

    He is even such a big scumbag that he tried to force some masseuse to give him a happy ending, and then tried to destroy her when she tried to go to the authorities.

    Apparently the police determined there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.
    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/07/01/4-biggest-problems-with-molly-hagertys-al-gore-harassment-clai/

    If they had pursued it anyway, wouldn’t that just be because they were pressured to do so, and wouldn’t that be inappropriate? That’s what people say about the Zimmerman case. Or do you get to use different standards?

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  47. CM

    Right off the bat, we see in that second graph that four Republican Presidents have a stronger indicator than all but one of the Democrat Presidents.

    Yep, I certainly shouldn’t have said ‘always’, that was dumb. I wrote that and fired it off without thinking about the wording carefully enough.

    That is all I need to refute the claim your question implies, but I will go further and state that one can paint any kind of misleading picture one wants via numeric manipulation.

    I agree. Which is why, aside from incorrectly using the word ‘always’ I did put some effort into ensuring that I wasn’t make any definitive claims in my response to Alex’s claim. I framed it as a question, and put a qualifier around the links. And provided a plausible explanation which was pro-Republican.

    As for all of the graphs in toto, I notice that there is no cited source for most of them — there is no way to determine where the numbers are coming from. Also, assuming the truth of these graphs for the sake of argument, there is nothing which actually links the economic indicators to actual policy, so again, the meaning is limited, and could very well be misleading.

    Yep, I certainly wouldn’t stand any of them at this point. As I say (and you reiterate), even if they were accurate, they still might be pretty much meaningless.

    Given all this I wonder what analysis Alex has used to arrive at his definitive claim. That’s all I’ll be able to do though – wonder about it. ;-)

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  48. CM

    You mean that consensus shit?

    Geez, you’re just underlining yet again that you don’t understand what you’re talking about. Why on earth would you do that to yourself??! It’s painful.

    Or are you talking about the models put together to produce a predetermined output that cannot produce results that match what has been happening and is happening in the real world?

    Again. You’re confusing figuring out the past and figuring out the future.

    Or the fact that these fucks manipulated data, then destroyed the data and the information about the scam they used, all so nobody could question their fake and scientifically faulty methodology?

    Where? Where did this happen Alex?
    For the love of all things loveable, for once in your life, support your accusations, allegations and insinuations. Otherwise it just keeps looking like you know it’s bullshit so you can’t.

    Maybe you are talking about the peer review circle jerks that propped up any and all bullshit that served to push the narrative, while at the same time dismissing anything that showed the AGW cult for what it was on the spurious premise that who funded it disqualified the study?

    See above. Same thing above.
    You can’t actually discuss the science becuase it’s very clear that you don’t understand even the very basics, so you immediately launch into politics, and unsupported accusations, allegations and insinuations. It’s pathetic.

    And don’t forget they destroyed the lives of anyone that dared to question their dogma,

    Who’s life has been destroyed?

    while pretending the massive government funding that helped them produce ridiculous crap these totalitarian governments wanted (so they could frighten people into giving up their freedoms and even more of their money), shouldn’t affect how the nonsense they were peddling should have come off.

    I don’t even understand this one. What does that even mean?

    Oh, I got it! You mean that ludicrous model that pretends CO2 is the biggest greenhouse gas,

    Which model is that? Provide a link to it.

    and then that manmade CO2 is the biggest culprit/problem, while ignoring water vapor, natural CO2 cycles and evidence that CO2 couldn’t be the big factor, the influence of solar activity, or even the role of the oceans?

    Please provide a link to ANY model which does ANY of these things.

    Or is your beef with the fact that I pointed out that not a single prediction by your cult has panned out,

    You made the claim but didn’t provide any evidence.

    meaning their theory, according to the scientific principle, should be thrown out like the trash it is?

    Theories don’t get thrown out because you don’t like them.

    Are those the “scientific principles” you want to imply I don’t get?

    You don’t seem to get ANY of it. But primarily it’s the basic science you keep getting badly wrong. When it’s pointed out why just repeat all the unsupported narrative nonsense you’re doing right now.

    Because believe me, I get there is very little science and a whole lot of faith when it comes to AGW and the collectivist movement behind it.

    You got that exactly backwards. Obviously.

    Shorter me: I think I now see the problem. You think you understand science and scientific principles, but you fucking have no clue that the bullshit you have been fed about AGW is anything but science.

    Brilliant, yes that’s it Alex. You’re too good for us. All we have is the actual science and our lame attempts to request that you support anything that you’re claiming. You sure learned us. ;-)

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  49. Xetrov

    Yeah, you three idiots are arguing about Global Warming in a post from Hal about Detroit and one of the specific failed policies that led directly to it’s bankruptcy (hint, it wasn’t GW), and I’m the one trolling.

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  50. CM

    Sorry, were we getting in the way and derailing some discussion that is somehow hidden from view?
    If not, I’m not sure I understand the problem (other than that you don’t like discussing climate change).
    If you want to get ‘back onto topic’, I’ll gladly step aside.

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  51. stogy

    Yeah, you three idiots are arguing about Global Warming in a post from Hal about Detroit and one of the specific failed policies that led directly to it’s bankruptcy (hint, it wasn’t GW), and I’m the one trolling.

    Xetrov: Alex brought in the example of Gore fleecing the flock in replying to CM, but has so far been completely unable to show any evidence supporting that. We respond by pointing out that Alex has repeatedly shown that he doesn’t even understand the most basic principles of climate science, yet is willing to declare thousands of scientists involved in a global conspiracy to scam ordinary joes out of their hard-earned cash and impose a global government run by those dirty tricksters at the UN .

    Fleecing the faithful is on topic. Crony capitalism is on topic. Therefore rejecting unsubstantiated and ludicrous allegations that impugn on the motives of hardworking scientists is on topic. What’s not to like?

    *(That’s 97% of all climate scientists – including those who are of conservative politics – although I doubt you would find any insane enough to vote Republican by now)

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  52. AlexInCT

    Xetrov: Alex brought in the example of Gore fleecing the flock in replying to CM, but has so far been completely unable to show any evidence supporting that.

    That’s because Gore became a billionaire by finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow instead of peddling bullshit carbon credits, a fake documentary, doing speeches to tell massive lies about the coming of water world, or leftist TV he then sold to an oil Sheik. As I mentioned, the problem isn’t lack of evidence: it is with your ability to process facts logically when they don’t meet your narrative. So, you are right Stogy. Gore made all that money honestly. And so did Corzine, Madoff, and Al Capone.

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  53. CM

    As I mentioned, the problem isn’t lack of evidence: it is with your ability to process facts logically when they don’t meet your narrative.

    When they came up with the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ you must have been sitting right in front of them. That you can’t see that this PRECISELY what you are doing throughout this thread, and through MOST threads, is astonishing and fascinating in equal measure.

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