Last 30 Comments

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  • Last 30 Comments

    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Seattle Outcast said:
      I'll take exception to the thought that these debt can't ever be repaid - there is a time tested method for getting a government out of deep, unthinkable dept that has been performed repeatedly. You simply devalue the currency and pay it off pennies on the dollar. Sure, it screws over the little guy, but you can always blame it on someone else - and if people don't play along, just make ownership of bullion illegal like FDR did......
      Posted Apr 17, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Xetrov said:
      Obama trying to get the Stimulus passed - Millions more Americans will lose their jobs. Homes will be lost. Families will go without health care. Our crippling dependence on foreign oil will continue. That is the price of inaction. ... I believe that legislation of this enormous magnitude, that by necessity we are moving quickly — we’re not moving quickly because we’re trying to jamb something down people’s throats. We’re moving quickly because we’re told that if we don’t move quickly, that the economy is going keep on getting worse, and we’ll have another 2 or 3 or 4 million jobs loss this year. Obama signed it into law half-way through February, so I'll spot him that. After February there were 3,478,000 jobs lost in 2009. To somehow try to minimize the promises that the administration made to get this shit sandwich passed vs. the actual results is disingenuous at best.
      Posted Apr 17, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Iconoclast said:
      You cannot be serious in suggesting that you believed that the graph showing what might happen was 'fact'. Come on now, that's just silliness. Yes, it is silliness, on your part. I have yet to actually use the word "fact" in this thread at all, and only implied the use of the term when I replied "Sure seemed that way at the time." when you asked, "Are you trying to tell me that they sold it as 'fact', rather than a best guess...?" Try to get it into your head that I am talking about general perceptions. Joe Sixpack isn't a politics wonk, and probably never read the report or looked at the graph. No Joe simply listened to what all of the talking heads were saying to him on the six o'clock news. Of course the Ivory Tower academicians can cough up studies that show the stimulus had a "positive effect", but that means nothing to Joe Sixpack, especially if he's been unemployed for months on end and has all but given up looking for full-time work. As for me, I am already on record as saying we simply cannot know whether it "worked". I am simply...
      Posted Apr 17, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, AlexInCT said:
      Thanks for all the Friedman stuff. I went to the link and read the whole thing. I don’t see anything in there that explains how the US government doing nothing during the recent GFC would have been better for employment Not surprised. If you can't see why raising the minimum wage will kill exactly the kind of starting jobs most young people need, or help drive manufacturing offshore, or incentivize businesses that can automate to do that instead of paying unskilled labor what they are not worth, or how something like Obamacare will destroy the incentive of small businesses to stay in business or grow, all key things that impact economic growth and job creation (negatively), I am not surprised you remain unconvinced that government spending is the key to things. Me, I am now convinced that had there been no stimulus or "too big to fail" bailouts, but more importantly, no Dodd-Frank or Obamacare, that things would have temporarily gotten hard, but that in a very short term the economy would have rebound. See the Savings & Loans crisis in the 80s. Instead we got more FDR after the 1929 crash, so we will have negative economic growth while racking up...
      Posted Apr 17, 2014
    • On When I say this model is unsustainable.., AlexInCT said:
      Uhh you realize that there are people on both lists, right? eg: Households with full time workers who also have people on SSI. I do, but that doesn't take away from the fact that as a simple function of numbers there are more takers than makers, hist_ed. That you have some people working and some mooching, whatever the dynamic that allows that to exist may be, you can even argue that in a house with one or more full time workers in your scenario, the takers are just getting back what the others are making. The thing is that, to me, that's a specious argument. And distinguish between those that are collecting what they paid into like Social Security or Medicare and are entitled to be collecting that, and those that are just sucking at the government's teat. The fact of the matter is that the people we have in charge right now are obsessively focused on how to split the ever shrinking pie (social jutice!), which is shrinking because of what they are doing I want to stress, instead of making sure there is so much pie that we don't really need to worry about that split so much. The fact...
      Posted Apr 17, 2014
    • On When I say this model is unsustainable.., Seattle Outcast said:
      Did they supply any Venn diagrams?
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      Thanks for all the Friedman stuff. I went to the link and read the whole thing. I don't see anything in there that explains how the US government doing nothing during the recent GFC would have been better for employment. It doesn't describe the specific mechanism(s) which would have stopped the plummeting unemployment rate, or provide any indication of where it have ended up at. Nor does it deal with the wide-ranging deep effects of having a much much larger group of people unemployed for a lot longer. As I said, nobody seems to be able to explain it beyond simple ideology. I want to see a projection of what would have happened and an explanation of why/how. Rather than just simple ideology coupled with a criticism of the people that do attempt to some projection.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On When I say this model is unsustainable.., hist_ed said:
      Uhh you realize that there are people on both lists, right? eg: Households with full time workers who also have people on SSI.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On When I say this model is unsustainable.., Seattle Outcast said:
      A more appropriate ratio should start at around 99:1 and then progress to even a smaller percentage of government employees due to automation and other efficiency improvements.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, CM said:
      I know, you come from the mentality that you are owed because you were born Discussion over already then. Well done again Alex.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      Not necessarily, no, and I would never claim that it does. But sometimes, things just are convenient, and I would never claim that something necessarily made them so. So we can chalk up Straw Man #1. I never said you did. I pointed out that one thing doesn't necessarily mean another (i.e. just because it's 'convenient', doesn't mean there isn't solid reasoning behind it and that the opinion is genuinely held). We seem to agree on that. So no Straw Man. Again, I don't see how the comparison is valid without cherry-picking. Yet that argument that you actually believe simply cannot be convenient, as well? And one is not allowed to observe as much? It can, obviously. But what is the point of suggesting such a thing unless you're implying that it's not a genuinely held belief (which has been arrived at through logical thought)? Whether you intend to or not, you give the appearance that you want to belittle an opinion simply because you don't share it. Perhaps you're not aware of that appearance. Nice attempt to demonize me, chief, but as we can see, the attempt is an epic fail. You utterly failed to establish that I hold “such a view” at all,...
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Iconoclast said:
      In the decades following Friedman and Schwartz’s work economists started examining other government-policy failures in the aftermath of the crash. They have found an abundant supply of them. Here are several key examples of these bad policies: 1) In response to a sharp decrease in tax revenues in 1930 and 1931 (caused by a slowdown of economic activities), the federal government passed the largest peacetime tax increase in the history of the United States, which clearly applied the brakes on any recovery that could have taken place; 2) the federal government also passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930, substantially increasing tariffs and leading to retaliatory restrictions by trading partners, which resulted in a considerable decrease in demand for U.S. exports and a further slowdown in production (not to mention a loss of mutually advantageous division of labor); 3) the federal government also instituted all sorts of “public works” programs, beginning under Herbert Hoover and increasing dramatically under FDR; the programs removed hundreds of thousands of people from the labor market and engaged them in economically wasteful activities, such as carving faces of dead presidents into the sides of a mountain, preventing or delaying necessary labor-market adjustments; 4) another federal...
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Iconoclast said:
      I'm still searching for the explanation of how this would have actually worked. The Great Depression According to Milton Friedman As a result of examining more closely the key years between 1929 and 1933, Friedman and Schwartz first concluded that the Great Depression was not the necessary and direct result of the stock-market crash of October 1929, which they attribute to a speculative investment bubble. ... In fact, they believed that the economy could have recovered rather rapidly if only the Fed -- the central bank of the United States -- had not engaged in a series of disastrous policies in the aftermath of the crash. Friedman and Schwartz argued that all this was due to the Fed's failure to carry out its assigned role as the lender of last resort. Rather than providing liquidity through loans, the Fed just watched as banks dropped like flies, seemingly oblivious to the effect this would have on the money supply. The Fed could have offset the decrease created by bank failures by engaging in bond purchases, but it did not. At all times throughout the 1929–1933 contraction, alternative policies were available to the system by which it could have kept the stock of money from...
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Iconoclast said:
      A difference of opinion doesn't necessary make anything 'convenient'. Not necessarily, no, and I would never claim that it does. But sometimes, things just are convenient, and I would never claim that something necessarily made them so. So we can chalk up Straw Man #1. That suggests I just make things up according to some doctrine, or partisan hatred of a leader, rather than reach a conclusion via an argument that I actually believe. Yet that argument that you actually believe simply cannot be convenient, as well? And one is not allowed to observe as much? Do you hold such a view of all people, all those to the left of a certain position far on the right, or just me? Nice attempt to demonize me, chief, but as we can see, the attempt is an epic fail. You utterly failed to establish that I hold "such a view" at all, but simply assume as much in an attempt to score points. And it's based on a straw man to boot. I also don't know how you conclude that Obama's stimulus was a mistake. I never said it was. What I said was the Obama Administration's assessment of the situation was...
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, AlexInCT said:
      Point taken, Aussiesmurf. But I will see what happens in a year when the Census Bureau actually reports their results and hear what MSNBC/CNN, etc. have to say. Seriously Hal you got to wait a year for the output? Let me save you the hand wringing and tell you exactly what they will find after they jury-rig this new questionaire they will base their numbers off. And I do this, not by pulling this out of my ass, but by looking at the results of the changes to the methodology for calculating inflation that conveniently dropped energy and food prices from said calculation (to show no or little inflation being caused by government printing & borrowing money like it was going out of style). They will miraculously find that the number of uninsured has drastically dropped, by several tens of millions, and the marxists/fascists will claim Obamacare is a super success. Fuck the lot of them and anyone pretending that the intent here isn't to change the process in order to make the miserable failure that we kindly refer to as Obamacare look like what it is not.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, Hal_10000 said:
      Point taken, Aussiesmurf. But I will see what happens in a year when the Census Bureau actually reports their results and hear what MSNBC/CNN, etc. have to say.
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, Seattle Outcast said:
      Because the Klan has such a prominent presence in NZ, harassing white people, etc.....
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, AlexInCT said:
      But then I guess if “appearances are everything and substance is nothing to those on the left” what would I know. Right? Because, Klu Klux Klan. At the risk of coming off as coldhearted, I have to point out that a system that cost far more than a society can afford, is totally abused by booth those using it and those running it, and occasionally actually does good, more by coincidence than by design, isn't really a value add or good thing. I know, you come from the mentality that you are owed because you were born, but some of us remain practical, and want a system that isn’t just abuse on a scale that baffles the mind. Trying to infer that I am an evil fuck for not wanting to help prop up a bloated failed system pretending to be there to help, but that really exists in its failed incarnation to buy the new collectivist oligarchy votes might play well with weak willed fools, but I can give a flying fuck about your bullshit attempt to imply I am the one in the wrong, and not just wrong, but on par with fuckign racists scum, for pointing out the...
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, Aussiesmurf said:
      "Do you think any liberal pundits will take note of this?" http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/why-is-census-bureau-changing-way-it.html http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/04/fox-news-about-get-new-pet-rock http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/15/1292255/-Census-Bureau-overhauling-how-it-counts-nbsp-uninsured http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/census-change-gop-freakout-obamacare http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_04/lunch_buffet_538049905.php
      Posted Apr 16, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, CM said:
      ...Appearances are everything and substance is nothing to those on the left. Hell, look at inner cities. “Caring” leftists policies have left the family unit in ruin, replaced dad with a cheap government check, and they’ve convinced people that getting a job = sellout. They have ushered in a level of self defeating despair the Klan itself couldn’t dream of, and yet it’s all there. Exploit emotions, but put on a pretty face, and you can bullshit anything. This latest shit sandwich won’t improve anything, and will likely make things worse that it already has, but no matter that’s progress in the “progressive” universe. If you can present it as prime rib, and have an all too willing media willing to serve it up, then there’s nothing for them to worry about. Sometimes (as in my case as a child) "caring" leftist policies enable a family unit already in ruin to end, because a mother is able to leave a wife-beating step-father, enabling the pieces to be picked up and put together and the mother and child to go on and do really well for themselves. But then I guess if "appearances are everything and substance is nothing to those on the...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, Section8 said:
      If the Obama Administration were confident in their program, they wouldn’t be tinkering with the definition of uninsured. If they were even curious about how well their program was working, they’d delay this. What does it tell you that they’re happy to let the waters get muddied like this? Why not do it? Most people will never know this is going on, and those who do, 90% will forget eventually, and the rest who don't forget will be deemed paranoid by the partisan hacks who defend this administration. As for whether this administration and its supporters give a shit if it's working or not, of course they don't. Appearances are everything and substance is nothing to those on the left. Hell, look at inner cities. "Caring" leftists policies have left the family unit in ruin, replaced dad with a cheap government check, and they've convinced people that getting a job = sellout. They have ushered in a level of self defeating despair the Klan itself couldn't dream of, and yet it's all there. Exploit emotions, but put on a pretty face, and you can bullshit anything. This latest shit sandwich won't improve anything, and will likely make things worse that...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Shifting the Numbers, Seattle Outcast said:
      Levels of "I fucking told you so" are now at 500%....
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      Like I said, the crash may have been hard, but there is historical reasons to believe it could have been followed by a strong recovery if government would simply leave it alone and not meddle. I'm still searching for the explanation of how this would have actually worked. Nobody seems to be able to explain it (beyond "it's simple ideology, fucktard"). So beyond just the ideological mantra. With private enterprise pulling out of the economy at a great rate of knots, unemployment was skyrocketing, Demand was plummeting. If the govt had stood back and done nothing, how far would unemployment have gone before it bottomed out? What would have stopped it, if it wasn't govt intervention? We can't say for sure. Presumably it would have kept going for some time (it wasn't as if it were slowing, let alone plateauing). Would the US have reached 25% unemployment? 30%? And how would it have been better to have started the recovery at a much lower point? Businesses take time to build up from nothing (far longer than growing once well established). The govt would have had to pay out a shitload more in benefits over a very long period because a...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      I simply looked at it from the point of view of the President making an honest mistake, but you managed to find a way to make Obama’s mistake seem somehow benign while implying such couldn’t be the case for Bush’s mistake. Convenient. A difference of opinion doesn't necessary make anything 'convenient'. That suggests I just make things up according to some doctrine, or partisan hatred of a leader, rather than reach a conclusion via an argument that I actually believe. Do you hold such a view of all people, all those to the left of a certain position far on the right, or just me? With the stimulus, it seems to me that both Bush and Obama were following the best economic advice available to them. McCain is unlikely to have done anything different. These were essentially economic decisions. Yes they are also political decisions inherently because they are being made by politicians. But if all would have done the same, then I think it's fair to say that they were first and foremost economic decisions. I also don't know how you conclude that Obama's stimulus was a mistake. Especially given that you've already made the argument that we just don't know...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      I totally accept a misunderstanding. I celebrate that we can acknowledge it.
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On More selective law enforcement, AlexInCT said:
      Previously, to find this level of criminal behavior you normally had to head to Venezuela or neighboring countries… About the only difference between there and here is the amount of money the crooks are stealing from us in the US compared to Venezuela, and the apathy of so many people in this country compared to Venezuela, where they are fighting the tyrants, SO. I guess things have to get a lot worse before enough people stand up and take notice, and maybe that explains the brashness of this administration.
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Seattle Outcast said:
      Black Tuesday was pretty much entirely the fault of the Fed, which pumped far too much money into the economy the previous decade, causing a massive bubble that had to crash in proportion to how much it was propped up. With the Fed then massively shrinking the money supply combined with FDR closing banks and attempting to start up a Soviet style economy via the National Recovery Administration, and spending like a drunk sailor, the Great Depression was made deeper, longer, and contained two recessions within the depression. The perfect example of Keynesian economic theory in action - not only does it not work, it is a recipe for extended misery for anyone fool enough to follow through on it. What should be noted that the Great Depression was the simultaneous abject failure of two great icons of the left: The Federal Reserve, and a government run economy. That the Fed still exists at all is amazing, that we still have hold-overs from the New Deal screwing up agriculture is just stupid. That anyone would believe that FDR wasn't an abject failure at anything except getting elected when he should have been in prison for a large multitude of...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On More selective law enforcement, Seattle Outcast said:
      When president Jarrett came out with her little speech about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, I thought everyone knew that the current administration had given up even pretending they weren't a pack of criminals until the next election. Now her little sock-puppets go on stage every few days and go through the motions for the sake of a ever-more reluctant press. Previously, to find this level of criminal behavior you normally had to head to Venezuela or neighboring countries...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, Iconoclast said:
      Seattle did make a definitive call. Your attempt to question that by putting it in quotation marks is the impotent part of all this. Okay, I see the problem. When I quoted "definitive claim", my intent was simply to quote your choice of wording, not imply that it wasn't true, or that it was in doubt. My follow-up explanation of how quotes are typically used certainly didn't help. So, a misunderstanding. Will you accept that? Or will you insist that I really did mean to cast doubt, by insinuating that I couldn't have possibly meant otherwise? Why bother with such obvious nonsense? Well, it wasn't intended to be "nonsense", but merely a benign quote. Again, since I did use scare quotes as well, the misunderstanding is understandable. Well I don't think the comparison is valid, as explained. Yeah, no surprise there. I used a different set of parameters than you did, apparently. I simply looked at it from the point of view of the President making an honest mistake, but you managed to find a way to make Obama's mistake seem somehow benign while implying such couldn't be the case for Bush's mistake. Convenient. By anyone being reasonable. Uh-huh. ...
      Posted Apr 15, 2014
    • On Asymmetric Arrogance, CM said:
      Oh, and are Obama’s utter lies about Benghazi and Obamacare likewise “irrelevant”? To be "likewise" there would need to be a different subsequent condition on which to judge the initial decisions/action. So how would that work? And does it likewise take a “hard core partisan” to mention them? I don't see how the premise of the comparison stands up. Once we work that out I'd be happy to let you know.
      Posted Apr 14, 2014

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