Balkinization  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A 2012 Preview

Gerard N. Magliocca

My two books (on Jacksonian Democracy and 1890s Populism) articulate a "generational cycle" theory to help explain how the Constitution changes. In a nutshell, the theory is that every thirty years or so the political system undergoes a realignment that follows a similar pattern and leads to substantial institutional and doctrinal changes. The Obama presidency is the latest example of this phenomenon, which begs the question of what the past examples might tell us about 2012.

The 2008 election bore all the hallmarks of a party realignment. It had been nearly thirty years since the previous one (Reagan in 1980). Barack Obama received the highest popular vote percentage for any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson. The Democrats won large majorities in both houses of Congress. And the President's election was preceded by a sharp economic panic, which is often the trigger for a political earthquake.

The Obama Generation used this mandate in the same manner as its predecessors and pushed through a transformative statute with significant constitutional implications--health care reform. This law (and the stimulus bill) created a substantial backlash--the Tea Party. This is also typical during periods of generational transition, as any attempt at profound change is met by strong resistance. And like its previous counterparts, the Tea Party is not a "status quo ante" movement. They are advancing an agenda that is far stronger than what passed for conservatism during George W. Bush's presidency (at least on certain issues).

The 2010 elections broke with the historical pattern. In every prior realignment, the President's party held its position in Congress. Sometimes they lost seats (Republicans in 1862 and 1982, for example), but Obama Democrats were the first group to lose one part of Congress. That defeat was followed in 2011 by repeated (and unorthodox) clashes between the House and the President over the budget, including the debt ceiling debate. This kind of pitched battle is also reminiscent of previous disputes (consider Jackson's fight with Congress over the Bank) and will be renewed when the "Super Committee" reports back in November.

As we head into 2012, the constitutional fight is coming down to the two issues. The first is involves the individual mandate. With the Eleventh Circuit's decision on Friday, it is very likely that the Supreme Court will decide the question next summer. This could lead to a rare "preemptive opinion" that I discuss in my scholarship that come at these generational turning points and carry heavy political implications (Worcester v. Georgia, Dred Scott, Pollock, Schechter Poultry). The second flashpoint is the Balanced Budget Amendment. The BBA is an integral part of the debt ceiling compromise, and while it cannot be passed by Congress in the next year, you can be sure that this proposal will be a major party of the GOP's platform and will lead to a significant conversation in the country about the role of the federal government.

A final thought. In almost every prior generation, the President was reelected. (Lyndon Johnson is the only exception.) There is nothing, though, that says that this trend will hold, especially given the unprecedented result in the 2010 midterms. And if the President does lose, then the Tea Party will have a mandate. Much like William Jennings Bryan, President Obama's political legacy could be ironic--the establishment of an enhanced Republican coalition.

Comments:

Perhaps there is a generational political shift rather than a cycle back and forth between ideological poles and America can have two shifts in a row towards one pole.

For example, in the 1930s, we had a shift to full blown progressivism - social insurance and the regulatory state. In the 1960s and 70s, we had a second shift to the left with the adoption of the redistributionary welfare state.

In the 1980s and 1990s, we shifted away from the redistributionary welfare state. Perhaps the better way of looking at today is that the Obama Administration's attempt to dramatically expand the reach of government redistribution and regulation triggered a second shift to right, this time challenging the very premises of the 1930s progressive state.

2008 was not a realignment to the left because Obama and the margins for the Dem congressional majorities were elected on center to center-right platforms and, when the Dems governed from the far left in 2009-10, the voters fired the Dem House in 2010 and appear to be gearing up for a repeat performance for Obama and the Dem Senate in 2012.

Thus, it appears that 2010 may be the beginning of the generational shift Prof. Magliocca is looking for - a libertarian conservative shift.
 

That is what I'm saying. Something similar occurred in the 1890s. The Republican hegemony was challenged by the Populists. That was rejected and what you got was a renewed (though somewhat different) Republican majority. The comparison to Obama would be closer if Bryan had won in 1896 but then got clobbered in 1898 and 1900.
 

Gerard N. Magliocca said...

The comparison to Obama would be closer if Bryan had won in 1896 but then got clobbered in 1898 and 1900.

I haven't looked at this period of history since university, but I seem to recall that Bryan honestly campaigned on his principles.

In very stark contrast, Obama campaigned on promises of tax cuts for all, net spending cuts and having the deficit in his first term - largely the opposite of his actual governance.

Its easier to win when you tell the people what they want to hear in the midst of a market crash.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

@GM: Political scientists have largely debunked the idea of realignment elections. The entire argument is premised on a false assumption.

@BD: Your position, besides being faux-infused with history, gets recent events wrong. PBO campaigned as a center-left politician. Some of the MCs campaigned as economic populists, but center-right on cultural issues.

PBO and the Ds in Congress did not govern from the "far left." This demonstrably wrong. The voters "fired" the Dem house because (1) the economy was poor (thanks largely to the policies of GWB and WJC's economic brain trust (e.g., "let's repeal Glass-Steagal!")), and (2) because voting was dominated by an older, whiter voter in a non-presidential election.

Leave the right-wing echo chamber more often (at least to do more than troll on blogs to "show" those liberals).

10,000 feet: Now that Wall Street has seen the monster they helped create--the faux-populist Tea Party--it seems likely they will do what they can to stuff them back in the closet.
 

Those political scientists are wrong.
 

Calvin:

Campaigning on cutting taxes and spending and halving the deficit is classic Reagan, not in the least center-left. The last Dem nominee to run a center-left campaign was Mondale.

The Obama/Dem policies of nationalizing GM/Chrysler, running the health insurance industry, attempting to create a "clean energy industry," more than doubling the pace of regulation, raising well over half a trillion in taxes over the next decade (s-CHIP and Obamacare), spending 25% of GDP and running the highest deficits in American history absent a World War in the name of "economic stimulus" is indeed "far left." Indeed, unless you lived during the New Deal, this is the hardest turn left of your lifetime.

Dems in swing districts lost about 4% each for their support of TARP, "stimulus," Obamacare and Cap & Trade. Dems in Dem districts lost hardy any support at all even though their districts were some of the worst hit by the recession. Indeed, according to one calculation, the Dems had a good chance of keeping the House if it had voted down TARP and all the Obama policies. http://www.themonkeycage.org/2010/11/
did_controversial_roll_call_vo.html

You are entitled to your own fantasy life, but not your own facts.
 

@GM: Why's that?

@BD: You're incorrect. PBO did not campaign as "classic Reagan." He campaigned as center-left liberal. Indeed, your argument's internal logic exposes it flaws:

(1) Obama campaigned as "classic Reagan."
(2) Once elected, he took the hardest left turn since FDR (also demonstrably incorrect, look at LBJ's and Nixon's expansion of federal government expansion), but
(3) No one saw this coming because he campaigned as "classic Reagan."

This is inane and has no truck with reality.

TARP was a Bush policy.

ACA did no more than gift 31 million to new customers to the health insurance industry rather than running the health insurance agency. It is hardly socialized medicine, which is why so many liberals were angry w/ the final product.

They saved GM, didn't nationalize it. It's now back in private hands.

Cap and trade was a GOP policy before PBO came out for it; then it became sacrilege.

Do you even have the faintest understanding of the deficit issue and why it is where it is at? It appears unlikely.

Your "analysis" of the 2010 election does not address my point that they were fired for the reasons previously expressed. Also, if you think that most voters could accurately name and tell you about the policy points of Obama's agenda, you need to look at the political science research setting forth the scary lack of knowledge of the American public.

The problem is not that I'm making up facts -- as you can see I have the upper hand in both logic and historical facts on my side -- it's that you see the world through ideologically colored glasses and dismiss those facts that get in the way of the conclusion you want to reach.

Apologies in advance for any typos.
 

Well, I can't really answer that well in a blog comment. But the facts just don't bear out the negative view of realignments that, say, David Mayhew takes.
 

The author focuses on historical models and not on the details of the present situation. This results in an argument generalizing from generalization, as if Glenn Greenwald had spent the last years writing paeans to Obama and JB hadn't spent more time than that discussing the future of the "national surveillance state"

"The Obama Generation used this mandate in the same manner as its predecessors and pushed through a transformative statute with significant constitutional implications--health care reform."

A reform that follows the plan initiated by a Republican governor and likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Republicans don't stand a chance of winning the election. If Obama loses it will be entirely his own fault.

"More than half of the respondents in a CBS News/New York Times poll at the end of June stated that the issue of jobs and the economy was the most pressing one. The country's debt, one of the favorite issues of the tea party and now the Republicans, was of concern to only 7 percent of those who responded.

In fact, poll after poll reveals that the public considers jobs to be the subject their elected officials should address."
 

My understanding was that re-alignments occurred in 1932 AND 1968, not 1980. also, the Populists in the 1890s played the role of a re-alignment 3rd party. Such parties provide a way-station for dissatisfied members of the major parties to switch affiliations.
 

Our yodeler continues in his advocacy role, starting with conclusions and force fitting his own "facts" into them. That's what he does.

Gerald of course has confidence in his two books. So that's his advocacy with this post. But his books have yet to withstand the tests of time, and he overreaches with his closing sentence:

"Much like William Jennings Bryan, President Obama's political legacy could be ironic--the establishment of an enhanced Republican coalition."

Whatever Bryan's political legacy (according to Gerald), comparing it to Obama with such a span of time in between, including the great changes that took place, especially Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights movement, is a giant leap. Would it be irony, or something else we really can't openly talk about that might establish an enhanced Republican coalition?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], LBJ wasn't reelected because he did not run for reelection. Perhaps he would not have won, not only because of the furor of Vietnam but also the establishment of the Southern Strategy of Richard Nixon. And keep in mind how Nixon turned out - be careful of whom you vote for.

Reading between the lines of Gerald's post, I surmise he prefers tea over coffee.
 

Apologies for misspelling Gerard's name. I am sensitive to such mistakes as from time to time I am referred to as "Shaq." (Believe me, I don't dunk, even do-nuts.")
 

I do like tea. You might even say that I'm an advocate for tea.
 

So Gerard can "party" on.
 

I am curious as to how you see a Supreme Court decision on Obamacare playing out. I would guess (and it is only a guess) that a decision upholding the law would be more energizing to the Tea Party than one that struck down the individual mandate.

FWIW, I like Coke Zero. I am sure Shag can do a lot with that.
 

To be slightly more serious, I don't have any particular interest in the Tea Party, except as something to study. But I do drink green tea regularly (Chinese loose tea). Even as I'm writing this.
 

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/tea-party-movement-getting-americans-steamed.php

Ignore the argument at TPM if you want but follow the sourcing.
 

Gerard:

Have you studied the relationship between the populist libertarian conservative waves in 92 (Perot), 94 (congressional wave election) and 10 (Tea Party and congressional wave election)? My anecdotal experience is that these were generally the same middle class people rebelling against GOP and Dem establishments they see as unresponsive and corrupt.

Indeed, I suspect that part of the 06 and 08 Dem counter waves were partially driven by populist protest votes against the GOP establishment. The Dems in the swing districts usually ran to the right of the GOP incumbents, campaigning against GOP spending, deficits and corruption. There was a 2009 poll of Tea Party Americans which asked how they voted in 2008 and 17% said they voted for Obama.

The populist discontent out in Middle America with our political class of both parties has reached a fever pitch that Doug Shoen recently called "pre-revolutionary." The Dems are the party of government and thus the natural home of the political class. On the other hand, the GOP is run by a similar political class, but brands itself as a populist party of limited government. I suspect that, if one of the parties had to go the way of the Whigs to make way for a populist "Tea Party," it would be the GOP because its elite could not adapt to the shift in the electorate.
 

DG:

You fundamentally misunderstand the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a popular movement, not a political party running for office or an individual politician you can personally destroy through slanders and innuendo.

The Dems appear to be basing their 2012 campaign on attempting to destroy the Tea Party branding. Let's say they succeed in making the Tea Party a dirty word. This effort still misses the point.

Attempting to popularly destroy a political party or candidate works because you are reducing votes for that party or candidate.

Destroying the Tea Party branding does not change the ideology, goals or votes of the members of the movement. They will simply call themselves something else while casting ballots for the same people.

Go read the Starfish and the Spider about leaderless movements.
 

mls: Is "Coke Zero" code for a "Free-Base line" preference? (Something to sniff at.)
 

Destroying the Tea Party branding does not change the ideology, goals or votes of the members of the movement.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:14 AM


It should be pretty effective at destroying TP candidates.
 

"ACA did no more than gift 31 million to new customers to the health insurance industry rather than running the health insurance agency."

It did quite a lot more than that. It is a problem when the meaning of the legislation is perverted, no matter who does the perverting.

Anyway, food stamps (or whatever they call it these days) gives million of customers to the food industry instead of having the government run the food industry. Are food stamps a problem?
 

DG/Joe:

Obamacare grants Sec HHS nearly unbridled power to make all major decisions for health insurers, including setting coverage floors, indirectly setting coverage ceilings through tax penalties and the new Medicare payment panel, determine what is overhead and profit, cap overhead and profit, direct marketing, force all insurers to sell in government exchanges through subsidies and penalties, and then set premium prices through HHS evaluations and state insurance board rulings.

Socialism by any other name.
 

unbridled power

That's odd, Bart. You didn't have much of a problem with GWB having unbridled power to spy on American citizens, or order the torture of suspected terrorists.

Fascism by any other name?
 

"Keep the government out of my Medicare!"

Recall that Tea Party sign? And signs about Second Amendment protection of Tea Party members' rights? Perhaps Tea Party members are unbridled.

With the reference to "socialism," our yodeler continues to market his yet to be published work of "Friction" on Obama's socialism that he started writing prior to 1/20/09.

Regarding the Bush/Cheney 8 years for which he was an enabler (although not an effective one), that's all behind him now, what he describes as the GOP sewer, now that he's been reborn in a piping hot tea pot - still spouting steam but no substance..
 

Perhaps Bart could clarify which of the socialist powers granted by the ACA to the Secretary of HHS are not currently powers held by many of the various state insurance commissioners. Since such regulatory intrusions occur only under socialist regimes, I assume they are all unprecedented, but I just wanted to check.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Steve M:

Socialism is direction of the economy to redistribute wealth.

Only MA under Romneycare gets close to exercising all of Obamacare's powers to direct the health insurance industry and even MA does not have a Independent Payment Advisory Board and punitive taxes to limit care.

Obamacare also plans to redistribute $2 trillion over a decade from the upper middle class and the wealthy as well as medical instrument manufacturers to everyone else in amounts determined by income.

Socialism by any other name.
 

Socialism is direction of the economy to redistribute wealth.

All economies redistribute wealth. Suggested rewrite: Economic policy is direction of the economy to redistribute wealth. Now argue about the particulars instead of using scary words that are intended to prevent reflection on the realities of the situation.
 

PMS:

Free economies create wealth by creating and selling goods and services that consumers freely purchase. Under the laws against theft, such economies do not use force to take money from one group and give it to another.

Economic policy covers the range of policies from laissez faire to socialism. Laissez faire does not direct the economy, socialism does.

Finally, why does the American left shrink away from the term socialism? In the EU and most of the rest of the world, socialists have no problem discussing and pitching their ideology.
 

As a counter to our yodeler's concept of socialism, I highly recommend Joseph William Singer's "Subprime: Why a Free and Democratic Society Needs Law." It is available via SSRN, but instead of supplying the URL, I suggest going to Larry Solum's Legal Theory Blog to read the abstract and use the link provided for those interested in downloading the article (which runs 33 pages).

Larry did not provide a "Recommended" or "Highly Recommended: Download it whiles its hot." But I think the article sizzles. No, there is no reference to the Tea Party. Rather, the article looks at property law, comparing the interests of libertarians and liberals. Of course, some Tea Party members profess to be libertarians. So the article should be of interest to those who are concerned with the impact of the Tea Party.

While libertarians surely accept the need for law, many of them object to regulation, which Singer points out IS LAW. Singer provides countless examples of the need for regulations especially in the context of subprime mortgages and their contributions to our current financial/economic situation.

Here's a brief excerpt at page 31:

"Freedom requires regulation and free markets work only because they are structured by law. Libertarian ideals can only be achieved by a robust regulatory state. Conversely, liberal ideals of freedom and equality can only be achieved by a free economy that ensures equal opportunity to pursue happiness."

As further tease, the article starts with a joke that's really funny.

For those too lazy to go to Larry's great, really great website (shame on you!), here's the SSRN URL:

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1909085
 

Finally, why does the American left shrink away from the term socialism?
# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:32 AM


Mostly as a result of demonizing by ignorant wingnut ideologues like you. Police, fire, and military service are all socialized in the US. So is healthcare, it's just not being done efficiently (ER care is very expensive).
 

Finally, why does the American left shrink away from the term socialism?

Speaking for myself, I don't shrink from it. In my opinion a police department, a fire department, a state university- these are all forms of socialism. So is the US military.

But the effort to make socialism a scary word? You know something about that, Bart.

There is a very good reason to regard laissez-faire with suspicion, aside from the fact that 1920's laissez-faire policy led directly to the great depression. Left to it's own devices laissez-faire produces a societal mitosis into the very rich and the very poor. This is a recipe for first-order misery and trouble. One of governments proper roles is mitigating pure market effects. Redistributing wealth is a positive goal when done prudently.

I don't expect a Yahoo like you to understand that though.
 

Singer offers a false syllogism:

1) A free and democratic society needs law;

2) The regulatory state make law;

3) Thus, free and democratic society needs the regulatory state.

Tyrants and dictators also make law, but no one would confuse a tyranny or dictatorship with a free and democratic society.

Libertarians believe that the only proper laws are those enacted by the people or their representatives and are further limited to proscriptions against one person harming another.

Progressives proposed the regulatory state specifically to remove most lawmaking from politics (read the people or their representatives) for the purpose of expanding the law into ordering the economy and other segments of society.

The regulatory state is the antithesis of liberty and, because it is nearly unaccountable to the people, a direct threat to the rule of law.

The rule of law means the government applies the law equally to all under due process guaranteed by the law. The regulatory state arbitrarily cherry picking those whom it will or will not inflict proscriptions is quite the opposite for the rule of law. See the HHS Obamacare waivers.
 

mattski said...

But the effort to make socialism a scary word? You know something about that, Bart.

Socialism is no more a "scary word" than is libertarianism. It simply describes a type of political economy. If we are unwilling to use the term because others may consider it scary, then we cannot properly describe various parts of our current political economy.
 

Socialism is no more a "scary word" than is libertarianism.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:51 AM


Then why do you keep calling Obama as socialist as though there is something wrong with being a socialist?
 

BB:

I consider socialism to be bad policy as you do libertarianism. Our opposition does not make either term scary.
 

I consider socialism to be bad policy as you do libertarianism.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:00 AM


The US military is an example of socialism, sparky.
 

Our yodeler's "silly-gism" suggests he didn't read the article - or if he did, he doesn't understand it.

Our yodeler seems to claim to be a "pure libertarian" (which of course is an oxymoron). Perhaps we should calculate the benefits he gets from regulations and other laws at both the federal and CO levels.

And just what liberties is our yodeler being deprived of? He has been exercising quite successfully the liberty to make an ass of himself with faux facts and faulty conclusions.

Perhaps our yodeler can point to specific regulations referenced in Singer's article that he would object to on libertarian principles. Is our yodeler for a Pure Food Law and regulations promulgated thereunder pursuant to Congressional authority resulting from a republican form of governance and subject to judicial review?
 

I consider socialism to be bad policy as you do libertarianism

The sophistication of your analysis doesn't rise to the level of a comic book.

Bart, any effort at promoting community values, or the welfare of the nation as a whole is going to involve asking the most fortunate to pay the way of the least fortunate to some extent. To reject this is to embrace Maggie Thatcher's "there is no such thing as society." (Hat tip to D. Ghirlandaio) Is that your view?

The Framers of our great nation spelled out why they thought we needed a constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

That's more references to community values than to individual rights. Not that the Preamble is the last word on morality. It isn't. But it's both a pretty good guideline for statecraft and the law of the land.
 

"Part II. Consumer Protection Law" of Prof. Singer's article (pages 18-24) addresses many laws/regulations at the state level. These have become fairly popular. I wonder if our yodeling libertarian would like to get rid of them? If there had been better such laws/regulations in place, perhaps the subprime mortgage problem might have been nipped in the bud. (Paul Krugman pointed out in yesterday's column in the NYTimes that Rick Perry's TX had less mortgage problems than in other states because of more protective provisions.)

Perhaps our yodeling libertarian (singing "I've got mine, Who cares about you?") might cherry pick through Prof. Singer's examples to find a law/regulation that he abhors. Or does he abhor all regulations, both federal and state?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], the Constitution's supremacy clause covers regulations promulgated pursuant to statutes enacted, n'est pas? A Constitution our yodeling libertarian took an oath to uphold?
 

BD: Libertarians believe that the only proper laws are those enacted by the people or their representatives and are further limited to proscriptions against one person harming another.

shag: Is our yodeler for a Pure Food Law and regulations promulgated thereunder pursuant to Congressional authority resulting from a republican form of governance and subject to judicial review?

"Part II. Consumer Protection Law" of Prof. Singer's article (pages 18-24) addresses many laws/regulations at the state level. These have become fairly popular. I wonder if our yodeling libertarian would like to get rid of them?


Are you having a hard time applying my principles above? Let's simplify for you:

Congress or state legislatures enacting statues pursuant to their constitutional powers - good.

Unelected bureaucrats imposing regulations - bad.

Laws prohibiting people from harming one another - good.

All other laws otherwise attempting run our lives and protect us from ourselves - bad.

Now let's apply these principles to your examples:

Congress or state legislatures enacting statutes prohibiting the sale of poisonous food that kills or sickens the consumer - good.

Regulatory bureaucrats banning natural nutrients like salt because they think you are too stupid to regulate your salt intake to keep your blood pressure down - bad.

BTW, stop lying that I represent myself as a pure libertarian. You know I do not.
 

Bart argues from ideology and faith. When data shows that his faith is based in nothing else he tacks off in another direction. It's wack-a-mole, thread by thread. Corner him on one thread and he'll vanish there and appear on another. Bart I won't wait up for your reply on past subjects and saying you can't find the link is a lie worthy of Peter Wallison.

For the rest of you who may be interested in the varieties of capitalism this might be interesting.
 

I shall accept our yodeler, with his:

"BTW, stop lying that I represent myself as a pure libertarian. You know I do not."

as an "impure libertarian." As I had noted earlier, a "pure libertarian" is an oxymoron. So just delete the "oxy" and I stand corrected for our yodeler's new libertarian characterization.

It seems clear that our "impure libertarian" can accept the enactment of statutes at the federal and state levels, unless such statutes provide for the promulgation of supportive regulations by an agency established by such statutes serving in the Executive branch. Where in the Constitution is it provided that such is unconstitutional? Perhaps our "impure libertarian" would require legislative action for each and every regulation promulgated. But what would be the result in a modern economy if that were required? Congress has a 14% approval rating currently [see Sam's skit at yesterday's Daily Show]. Perhaps it would go into negative numbers if Congress had to engage in promulgating each and every regulations. What protections might securities laws provide to investors in that situation? Does Congress have the expertise or the time to seriously address regulatory implementation of general statutes? There has been judicial review of this matter that our "impure libertarian" refuses to accept. Of for the "impure libertarian" good old days of the 1920s.
 

Laissez faire does not direct the economy, socialism does.

That's where you're wrong. All economies involve the distribution of resources. In a laissez-faire approach, the policy is geared towards the distribution of wealth to the corporation. Remember that businesses are profit-driven; efficiency demands that costs are kept low. One of those costs--often the major component--is labor costs. Given an actual factual laissez-faire situation, outsourcing and minimal wages become the norm. Increasing productivity is more desirable than creating jobs, and it doesn't take long for all the wealth to become concentrated at the top.

Of course, anyone with enough gumption could be on top provided they have enough capital to compete with the players already present in the market. I'd say they could use their education as an inroad to management, but if government were to take away education programs as part of a shift to laissez-faire approaches, most workers would be unable to afford post-secondary education.

The net effect would be a radical redistribution of wealth and opportunity from the lower class to the upper class far more noteworthy than the "socialist redistribution" of wealth caused by shifting upper class tax rates back to their year 2000 levels.

In short, any economic policy directs the distribution of wealth; force isn't required to effect that distribution. Neither is force a necessary element of theft when considering the status quo. Taking money and jobs from the poor in the name of free markets will still be seen as theft by those willing to call a spade a spade.
 

Just to reiterate: Bart would be accusing the drafters of the Constitution of being pinko socialists if he were able.

Shorter Bart DePalma:

MAMMON UBER ALLES!
 

BD: Laissez faire does not direct the economy, socialism does.

That's where you're wrong. All economies involve the distribution of resources.


Government direction of the economy.

In a laissez-faire approach, the policy is geared towards the distribution of wealth to the corporation.

Laissez faire is simply another word for free markets where businesses offer goods and services and consumers decide whether to buy them. Corporations are simply a business form and free markets are not in any way dedicated to providing wealth to corporations. In order to succeed in a free market, a corporation or any other form of business must produce a good or service the consumer will buy. If not, they fail. Thus, free markets are primarily dedicated to providing goods and services to consumers are the lowest price.

Remember that businesses are profit-driven; efficiency demands that costs are kept low. One of those costs--often the major component--is labor costs. Given an actual factual laissez-faire situation, outsourcing and minimal wages become the norm.

Absolute nonsense. Cost of labor is decided by supply and demand in a free market. Businesses will pay for additional labor so long as each added worker produces more than he or she costs.

Increasing productivity is more desirable than creating jobs...

Of course. Businesses are not make work charities. See above.

if government were to take away education programs as part of a shift to laissez-faire approaches, most workers would be unable to afford post-secondary education.

Actually, the cost of university would be dramatically lower as it was prior to the GI bill when it was actually possible to work your way through college. See Reagan. Universities as rational economic actors will keep raising tuition to the maximum government subsidy and student ability to pay.
 

Our yodeler references "free markets" several times in his most recent comment. If our yodeler had read - and understood - Prof. Singer's article, he would have better understood markets that are not free in that markets depend upon law, including regulation, to function.

And our yodeler is actually completely nuts on the economics of education, perhaps thinking it was the good old days pre-GI Bill when actually few went on to college, and in fact when many did not even finish high school.

Somewhat off topic, did anyone here read Steve Rattner's op-ed in today's NYTimes? While Rattner does not mention it, even Rove's eye is wandering from the pack of GOP nut-jobs.
 

Not to change the subject, but do people at work ever ask Bartbuster where he got such an odd name?
 

mls, the people I work with are smart enough to figure out where I got my name.
 

I've got the feeling that mls has never mastered the art of the "dirty dozens" based upon his feeble attempts with dull barbs and pointless points of order.
 

Absolute nonsense. Cost of labor is decided by supply and demand in a free market. Businesses will pay for additional labor so long as each added worker produces more than he or she costs.

Yeah, that's exactly what I was saying--I'm not sure why you think that's absolute nonsense. Without any government intervention, businesses have no incentive to hire locally or pay a locally competitive wage (other than cultural inputs or physical requirements). The entire world would like to have a job, and many of them are willing to accept far lower wages than the American worker. Expect more jobs to go overseas and wages to plummet because someone somewhere will take the job for less (and be worth more than what he/she costs).

Universities might become magically cheaper, but my guess is that the same people who push through massive government reforms would also gut education funding.
 

PMS makes this point in response to our yodeler's usual economic rubbish::

"The entire world would like to have a job, and many of them are willing to accept far lower wages than the American worker."

And as Paul Krugman and other have pointed out (in response to the Rick Perry TX "miracle") even many Americans are willing to accept far lower wages by moving to TX, so desperate are they for jobs.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Bart DePalma said...
PMS: Given an actual factual laissez-faire situation, outsourcing and minimal wages become the norm.

BD: Absolute nonsense. Cost of labor is decided by supply and demand in a free market. Businesses will pay for additional labor so long as each added worker produces more than he or she costs.

PMS: Yeah, that's exactly what I was saying--I'm not sure why you think that's absolute nonsense. Without any government intervention, businesses have no incentive to hire locally or pay a locally competitive wage (other than cultural inputs or physical requirements).

Your proposition is that, absent unidentified government interventions, American business will move overseas unless American workers accept the lowest wage paid overseas. This is absolute nonsense.

1) As a baseline, business pays based upon the productivity of the worker. This baseline can be adjusted depending upon the supply of labor.

2) As a rule, it is more productive to hire local labor to avoid the various costs of moving the good or service to the consumer. The degree of productivity penalty for moving your employees away from your consumers varies on several factors.

3) Even if a foreign labor force becomes more productive than the domestic labor force after taking into account the distance productivity penalty, business will hire locally (even at higher wages) after the foreign labor force reaches full employment so long as each local worker adds more production than his or her cost.

4) With the possible exception of education, government interventions and the uncertainty of future interventions increase the cost of domestic labor and make it less productive - depressing wages and then hiring.
 

Your proposition is that, absent unidentified government interventions, American business will move overseas unless American workers accept the lowest wage paid overseas. This is absolute nonsense.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:45 AM


Which is why all your clothes are made in the good old US of A!!

Wait a second...
 

BB:

And why those countries use our machine tools and software.

Go read up on comparative advantage in trade.
 

And why those countries use our machine tools and software.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:05 AM


Which is coded and supported in India.
 

The PC games I play are all coded in Russia.
 

Excuse me Mr. DePalma, I was just in a terrible car accident (drunk driver! client of yours??) could you please direct me to the nearest orthopedic auction? I'm in desperate need of the free market.
 

Shag:

Thanks for the links to the Tea Party constitutional colloquy and other discussions.
 

Our yodeler, with this:

"Shag:

Thanks for the links to the Tea Party constitutional colloquy and other discussions."

reminds me of Sherlock Holmes' concern with the anticipated next moves of Prof. Moriarty. What devious course of response can we expect from our own Napoleon of the Tea Party? Is there a hint of a conversion? Let me ring up Dr. Watson.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], the joke that Prof. Singer's article starts off with concerns Holmes and Watson on a camping trip. Moriarty is not mentioned, but perhaps he was the ....
 

As usual, your grace is unmistakeable.
 

As usual, your grace is unmistakeable.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:37 AM


Blankshot, you have spent many hours in here trying to justify torture and pointless wars with some of the most dishonest arguments I have ever seen. Why would you expect to be treated with respect?
 

It is humbling to have our yodeler refer to me as "your grace." I shall be gentle with the sword - when appropriate.

I of course recognize the Constitution's proscription on titles of nobility and accept our yodeler's "grant" with grace. AMAZING!
 

Gerard:

Do you factor the economy into your generational shift theory?

We appear to be in the first long term recession since the Great Depression, which is plunging popular dissatisfaction with the government to modern polling lows.
 

Bart, do you trust the pinko socialists at Morgan Stanley on whether or not cutting government spending at this time is a good idea?
 

mattski:

The money guys play crony capitalists to socialists across the world. Who do you think benefits from the qualitative easings and parks their money into government debt? The EU is in serious trouble now because their banks own much of the government debt that the socialist welfare states can no longer service.

The stock markets are diving across the world because they see no good ending in the EU. Because the socialist/progressive governments are not willing to cross their rioting government workers and dependents and because the German and French taxpayers are unwilling to cough up the well over trillion dollars necessary to maintain the PIIGS countries in their desired debt fueled standards of living, we are very likely going to see the first death throes of socialism and progressivism as Europe descends into a depression.

And they call the Tea Party nutty for wanting to stop America from following suit.
 

Europe (including Britain) has been taking the austerity route. How has it worked for them? Paul Krugman at his Blog on his trip to Britain has talked about the Britain's central bank (BofE) raising concerns with Britain's austerity program.

Krugman and other economists have pointed to 1937 inactions as a lesson that has been unlearned. Our Tea Party has been at the forefront in preaching austerity in addition to challenging the debt increase. Yet our yodeler boldly states:

"And they call the Tea Party nutty for wanting to stop America from following suit."

It seems that the Tea Party's austerity is following suit. This will lead to a downward spiral. Government cannot create jobs without spending. That is the lesson that was learned from 1937 but is now being neglected. The alternative of austerity will result in more austerity, digging yet a deeper hole to climb out of - unless the walls crumble.

Perhaps our yodeler's economics ken could point the way for America to avoid becoming like the EU and Britain. It seems he and the Tea Party want to keep on cutting spending as if miraculously the Phoenix will rise from the ashes. While lessons were learned from 1937, they are now being ignored.

Our yodeler wishfully seems to predict:

" ... we are very likely going to see the first death throes of socialism and progressivism as Europe descends into a depression."

perhaps expecting libertarian free marketeers to come to Europe's rescue.
 

I just read Krugman's NYTimes Blog post of 8/19/11 "Awesome Wrongness" that I cite for my preceding comment. It is in times like these we need thoughtful government, not just politics as usual. Back of the envelope bookkeeping may work for the family in most instances, but when it doesn't, thoughtful government is required. For the politically minded opposition, a major goal is to attack public confidence, which may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, but what is really won and who really loses?
 

Here is Shag's link.

It's invigorating to learn that Bart knows better than us run-of-the-mill liberals, he knows better than establishment Republicans, he knows better than establishment Democrats, he knows better than Paul Krugman AND he knows better than "the money guys" on Wall St.

Thank goodness for that.

As has been said before, if a conservative Republican was president chances are Bart would favor government borrowing to avert any recession-induced voter discontent.

**Note to bartbuster: In addition to the infractions you mentioned, let's not forget that Bart has single-handedly destroyed the comments section of this blog as a forum for rational debate. I think that is what pisses me off the most...
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

Europe (including Britain) has been taking the austerity route. How has it worked for them?

What austerity? GB is still spending more than they did under Thatcher and Blair when the economy was booming. If we balanced our budget through spending cuts, we would return to Bill Clinton's FY 2000 budget.

Paul Krugman at his Blog on his trip to Britain has talked about the Britain's central bank (BofE) raising concerns with Britain's austerity program.

What a surprise. Krugman found a kindred spirit from the same people whose wild borrowing and spending plunged GB into its present debt crisis.

Krugman and other economists have pointed to 1937 inactions as a lesson that has been unlearned.

This has to be the dumbest argument for Keynesianism yet. Keynesianism claims without any historical proof that government borrowing and spending on, among other things, make work programs, will create private jobs. However, over the first four years, FDRs make work programs only created make work jobs and his small cuts in make work programs in 1937 only caused a loss in make work jobs. The private economy did not return to full employment until 1946 - after the borrowing and spending ceased.

Government cannot create jobs without spending. That is the lesson that was learned from 1937 but is now being neglected.

Talk about your faith communities...

THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE NET PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS. All the government can do is take money from one part of the private economy, take a cut for itself and then spend it inefficiently on things it wants and the consumers are not demanding.

The New Deal and Japan's Lost Decade are Exhibits A and B to this fact of life.

As to the latest spectacular failure of American Keynesianism, the NYT has yet another story of the utter failure of the government created "clean energy economy" to create jobs:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/us/
19bcgreen.html?_r=2&scp=
1&sq=green%20jobs&st=cse

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
 

THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE NET PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS.

Blankshot, that simply is not true. The company I work for is hiring like crazy due to the stimulus.
 

bb:

What part of "net private sector jobs" did you miss?

Your benefit from crony capitalism is coming at the cost of millions of others who cannot find work or are dropping out of the job market entirely and from mortgaging the futures of our kids and grand kids. The Obama Administration has borrowed and spent nearly $4 trillion since it came to power and the percentage of the population with a job keeps sliding.
 

By the way, a lot of hypocritical GOP congresscritters also believe the Stimulus created jobs.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/09/stimulus-foes-see-value-in-seeking-cash/
 

is coming at the cost of millions of others who cannot find work or are dropping out of the job market entirely

That's a pretty big pantload. We're not taking jobs from anyone. We're hiring like crazy.

and from mortgaging the futures of our kids and grand kids

That didn't stop you from supporting the Iraq Disaster. Now shut the fuck up while we try to clean up the mess you assholes created.
 

Our yodeler, with this:

"All the government can do is take money from one part of the private economy, take a cut for itself and then spend it inefficiently on things it wants and the consumers are not demanding."

fails to identify what "consumers are not demanding." Our yodeler fails to recognize how the private economy has been subsidized but is reluctant to prime the pump, waiting for government to address consumers' requirements, such as for infrastructure. Our yodeler fails to recognize the post-WW II role of government in the peace time economy, including the Marshall Plan and Japan's restoration economically. Yes, tax rates were high, with 90% tax brackets; and there were excess profits taxes as well. Yet, there was an economic recovery world-wide spurred on by government that benefitted the private sector and resulted in jobs, with increasing consumer benefits, until around 1980, when workers' wages plateaued. Tax rates were lowered significantly but this resulted in deficits, requiring tax increases from time to time. Our yodeler ignores history to suit his antipathy to empathy. Here's his compressed historical proof:

"The New Deal and Japan's Lost Decade are Exhibits A and B to this fact of life."

But his Exhibits are blank. Our yodeler forgets so much of history to the present, including in particular the Bush/Cheney 8 years of what our yodeler described as the GOP sewer he was high diving into after deserting, like a rat a sinking ship. Our yodeler quotes Einstein. Perhaps he should have first quoted Dick Cheney's "deficits don't matter" who goes back to the Reagan deficits that he helped accumulate. Cheney proved Einstein point.

On the matter of austerity in Britain and continental Europe, our yodeler is all wet. Our yodeler seems to be suggesting even more austerity is needed. But I'm reminded of the Tea Party sign about the government "getting its hands off my Medicare."

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Jon Stewart had a good take yesterday on taxing the poor (that just might impact our economic mountain top guru).
 

Shag:

By definition, if consumers are demanding a good or service, the private sector would be providing it. The government is not in the business of making iPads and such.

Socialism and to a lesser extent progressivism is all about producing goods and services the state believes the economy should be producing, but is not because consumers simply are not demanding them. Recent examples include battery cars, wind mills, electronic medical records, Obamacare qualified health insurance, high speed trains, ethanol, etc.

Thus, when a socialist or progressive government employs Keynesianism, you get goods and services consumers do not want or you give away money which consumers use to pay off bills or save because the economy is bad.

As for infrastructure, very few Americans have the skill set to perform construction work so spending here does not significantly reduce unemployment and what jobs are created are by definition temporary make work. See the utter failure of the Obama "stimulus" bill, which our Marie Antoinette president jokes could not find any "shovel ready jobs."
 

Recent examples include battery cars, wind mills, electronic medical records, Obamacare qualified health insurance, high speed trains, ethanol, etc.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:51 AM


Don't forget police, fire, schools, and the US military.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

BB:

If you want to limit the government to providing public goods like police, fire, public schools, and the US military, you would agree with most libertarians.

It is interesting how socialists and progressives defending the present government behemoth always cite basic public goods and ignore the rest.
 

As for infrastructure, very few Americans have the skill set to perform construction work

Shoveling shit seems to come naturally to wingnuts. I would think that it's excellent training for a job in construction.
 

If you want to limit the government to providing public goods like police, fire, public schools, and the US military,

Blankshot, I'm not doing any such thing. I'm simply pointing out that socialism actually works really well. In fact, without it you would probably be working in construction.
 

Our yodeler evades, no doubt intentionally:

"All the government can do is take money from one part of the private economy, take a cut for itself and then spend it inefficiently on things it wants and the consumers are not demanding."

telling us what exactly the government wants that it spends on "inefficiently" that "consumers are not demanding." I concede that the government is not in the business of making Ipods. Is our yodeler talking about food stamps and other safety net benefits? Medicare, in particular drugs? Education (beyond public schools)? If, as Romney says, corporations are people, then they are consumers, and they benefit big time with subsidies. Perhaps our legal profession oligarch of his mountain community can elucidate.

In addition, note that our yodeler does not comment on his compression of history to the New Deal and Japan's Lost Decade. By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Paul Krugman has a tad more credentials on Japan's Lost Decade than our yodeler. Maybe our yodeler will pull out an Exhibit C from his impure libertarian library of nonsense.
 

Shag:

With his baseless ideological screeds, Krugman has made himself a public joke and a discredit to economists in general. Krugman is an ongoing supply of ridicule and gotchya moments for libertarians and conservatives. Even the frustrated White House staff just let loose on the man.

What on earth makes you certain that Krugman knows more than anyone else about macro economics in general or the failures of the New Deal and Japan's lost decade in particular.

Krugman recommended that Japan pursue a Keynesian borrow and spend strategy. Japan borrowed over 100% of GDP and paved over the country and still experienced a lost decade until exports picked the economy up somewhat. Krugman was wrong about Japan the same way he was about the efficacy of the New Deal.
 

With his baseless ideological screeds, Krugman has made himself a public joke and a discredit to economists in general.

Blankshot, this is pretty funny coming from the likes of you.
 

Our yodeler no doubt, in referring to Paul Krugman on Japan as a joke, had familiarized himself with Krugman's timely articles on Japan, collected at an MIT website:

http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/jpage.html

titled "A Special Page on Japan. Seems he spotted a liquidity trap early on with Japan's situation as he spotted a liquidity trap with the 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession. Perhaps our yodeler can tell us if and when Japan followed his advice.

As for the "efficacy of the New Deal," our yodeler surely is aware of Mr. Bernanke's well received and accepted research papers on the Great Depression by economists, including Paul Krugman, including the 1937 failures.

Our yodeler is left at home plate, still base-less about economics, history and just about everything else.
 

For our yodeler's edification, here's a link:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/japan-reconsidered/

to Krugman's Blog post of March 9, 2009, "Japan reconsidered."
 

Our yodeler might also be interested in this link:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/inflation-deflation-japan/

to Krugman's Blog post of May 25, 2010, "Inflation, Deflation, Japan."

Regarding this observation of our yodeler:

"Even the frustrated White House staff just let loose on the man."

our yodeler might follow Krugman's Blog for his responses.
 

Shag:

Can you say after ex post facto revisionist attempt to explain why Krugman was originally wrong about Japan?

For the next case of revisionism, note Krugman's claim that the US does not have to worry about inflation after the Fed doubled the money supply since 2008 and his calling on the Fed to print even more trillions to buy up bad financial assets.

Commodity prices went up with the money supply over the last couple years and businesses are beginning to pass them onto the CPI. While some of the food inflation is being artificially caused by nonsense like using corn for fuel, much of the rest of it is plain old easy money inflation.

Stagflation anyone?
 

The only inflation our yodeler demonstrates is his continuation of his own facts and his ignorance. What is the interest rate on long and short term treasuries? Krugman recognizes that long range inflation matters, but not currently. I'm seriously concerned with our yodeler's breathalyzer reading on reality.

As to revisionism, it is easy to point out our yodeler's revisionism as he now refers to Bush/Cheney's 8 years as a GOP sewer, after finally slithering out of the pool, with his 8 years of adulation on the record, including at this Blog.

With further austerity that our yodeler promotes, stagflation is indeed possible.
 

THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE NET PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS

That wholly depends on the unemployment rate. Unemployment is way above normal rates right now, Bart. That means the gov't CAN put people to work who would otherwise be idle.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This is your modus operandi here at Balkinization.

Your benefit from crony capitalism is coming at the cost of millions of others who cannot find work or are dropping out of the job market entirely and from mortgaging the futures of our kids and grand kids.

This is classic Bart. You have the "problem" and the "answer" with you at all times. You really don't care what the question is, you're going to provide us with the pre-recorded message that you replay to yourself, probably hundreds of times in an average day.

So, you're BLAMING gov't spending for John Q. Public's unemployment??? Are you insane? (Don't answer that.) Our economy is deeply depressed. We're suffering from a lack of consumer demand, Bart, because average people DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY to spend. They're deeply in debt, and a huge portion of their disposable income is going to paying down debt.

Businesses are sitting on piles of cash because they don't see sufficient consumer demand to merit any investment in increased production.

As for infrastructure, very few Americans have the skill set to perform construction work so spending here does not significantly reduce unemployment and what jobs are created are by definition temporary make work

This is hysterical. I am in the construction business, Bart. I have a very good idea what the average entry level worker needs. And it's basically this: average-to-good intelligence and a strong back. Construction skills, thank goodness, are picked up quickly.

By definition, if consumers are demanding a good or service, the private sector would be providing it.

What you consider knowledge is actually just that: a definition. What more capable people than you consider knowledge comes from observation, not definitions.

Bart. You don't care what the facts are. You already have your answers. Your answers are almost uniformly wrong and as an unfortunate result you're a tedious idiot.
 

Personally, I think mattski's comments are unfair to tedious idiots.
 

Paul Krugman answers our yodeler at his NYTimes Blog with his 8/20/11 post "Fancy Theorists of the World Unite" with graphs on interest rates and inflation, in the course of deflating our yodeler's WSJ sources.
 

And Greg Ip, the U.S. economics editor of the Economist, has a lengthy op-ed at the WaPo:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-republicans-new-voodoo-economics/2011/08/18/gIQAxhyRQJ_story.html?hpid=z3

titled "The Republicans' new voodoo economics" with the page layout including entertaining Toles political cartoons. While Ip does not mention Krugman, they are on the same Keynsean track. (The article starts with a little humor going back to John McCain's 2000 campaign about the importance of Alan Greenspan at the Fed.)

Ip has appeared on Charlie Rose several times in the past week and has been quite impressive. No doubt our yodeler will be drawn away from servicing his allegedlydrinking clients to dissect Ip as he has tried with Krugman, but using a banana to do so has no appeal.
 

Correction: the title to Ip's op-ed ends with a question mark (?) that was inadvertently omitted. Possibly I was thinking of Frank Sinatra singing Cole Porter's "You Do Something to Me" as Ip was commenting on the Tea Party:

"Let me live 'neath your spell
Do do that voodoo that you do so well
For you do something to me
That nobody else could do"

This might serve as a blurb for our yodeler's upchucking work of 'Friction" on Obama socialism.

Or was it George H.W. Bush I was thinking of?
 

Off topic for this thread (but not for this Blog), take a peek at Richard Primus' "Response: The Functions of Ethical Originalism" to an article by Jamal Greene. A link to SSRN is available at the Originalism Blog; there is also a link to Greene's great article, which I read some months ago in draft form made available on SSRN. Primus' "Response:" is only 11 pages but has a lot of meat; it references this Blog's Gerard Magliocca and a recent article of his.

And the Pew Research Center has a June 20, 2011 post "Ideological Chasm Over Interpreting Constitution" that is relatively short, with some interesting charts on polling results, including Tea Party members.

I apologize for not providing direct links, but I've got to shower and get to the local farmers' market for sweet corn and other offerings for the weekend. Like politics, eating is local.
 

Shag:

Greg Ip provided the usual progressive CW survey of recent economic history while the editors provided the usual Dem media jabs at the GOP.

Ip's survey missed the rather significant impact of monetarism.
 

Speaking of monetarism (as our impure libertarian yodeler was), here's a link to Paul Krugman's NYTimes 12/14/09 Blog post "Samuelson [Paul], Friedman, and monetary policy":

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/samuelson-friedman-and-monetary-policy/

Our yodeler so cavalierly dismisses both Krugman and Ip. But I get the impression that our yodeler would echo Alan Greenspan, before Alan's recent mea culpa to a congressional committee following the 2008 Bush Cheney Great Recession. I don't know if our yodeler read Ip's op-ed; if he did, he must have cringed at the opening of John McCain on Greenspan.
 

Shag:

Ip is an eminently qualified macro economist, Krugman is not. Indeed, Ip was knowledgable enough to note that the Tea Party is advancing the Austrian school of economics. Krugman simply calls names.

Greenspan started off as a strong monetarist, but eventually succumbed to easy money policies. Bernanke has been an unmitigated disaster as a guardian of the currency.

Interestingly, Krugman cites with approval this passage from Samuelson's 1948 economics text concerning the Fed printing money:

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” You can force money on the system in exchange for government bonds, its close money substitute; but you can’t make the money circulate against new goods and new jobs. You can get some interest rates down, but not all to the same degree. You can tempt businessmen with cheap rates of borrowing, but you can’t make them borrow and spend on new investment goods.

If Krugman was not completely blindered by his progressive ideology, he would realize that this passage equally applies to Keynesian borrow and spend "stimulus."

The government can do very little to affirmatively create economic growth. The best and first thing government can do is ensure that it is not negatively hampering business activity.

The error in Ip's article was that he quickly dismissed the oppressive impact of regulation on business activity while bemoaning a lack of liquidity. In fact, our businesses are sitting on over $2 trillion in cash because of punitive tax rates on repatriated income and the worst regulatory business environment in US history bar none.
 

Our yodeler disregards Krugman's recognition as a a Nobel Prize recipient for his work in economics.

However, I do recognize our yodeler as a "No-Balls" recipient of the "Spent Tea Bag of the Year" award for following the "Austerian" [sic] school of economics that marches back in time.

Yes, Ip is polite. But he doesn't know the ilk of our yodeler, who is a cherry-picker that ends up with a collection of pits.

Regarding regulation, consider the deregulation going back to Reagan and enhanced during the Bush/Cheney 8 years of what our yodeler now describes as the GOP sewer that brought forth upon this nation the 2008 Great Recession. And just what are the regulations currently that limit the private sector from creating jobs? Is it Dodd-Frank that the GOP refuses to fund? Punitive tax rates on repatriating profits? That's corporate patriotism? It was done once before and whom did it benefit besides corporate executives and some shareholders? Now's the time for our yodeler's Einstein quote.

As to Krugman being blinded by ideology, our yodeler beginning on 1/20/09 after abandoning, like a rat, the sinking GOP ship of Bush/Cheney took aim at Obama socialism with his book (work of "Friction") proposal before there was evidence, a pre-emptive action by a stalker practicing "idiot-ology." No wonder the alleged drunks flock to him.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag:

Regarding regulation, consider the deregulation going back to Reagan and enhanced during the Bush/Cheney 8 years of what our yodeler now describes as the GOP sewer that brought forth upon this nation the 2008 Great Recession.

Interesting fantasy.

In reality, Congress kept enacting open ended legislation (and the Supremes joined in by adding GHG to the Clean Air Act), allowing the federal bureaucracy to add to the regulatory burden throughout this period. Reagan only temporarily reduced the pace.

And of course it was also the federal regulators of the financial industry who created the subprime home mortgage market and then cheered it on.

And just what are the regulations currently that limit the private sector from creating jobs?

Do you even try to keep up with current events?

On the growing tidal wave of regulations...

http://www.economist.com/node/17961890

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/
2011/07/red-tape-rising-a-2011-mid-year-report

On the havoc caused by the new EPA utility regs...

http://www.jsonline.com/business/
128109718.html

http://www.star-telegram.com/
2011/08/19/3301808/
new-epa-rule-could-lead-to-rolling.html

The WP's Ezra Klein tries to spin the confirmation by CRS that coal energy production is about to be eliminated by regulatory fiat. Klein assures us that replacing hundreds of power plants and replacing them with more expensive energy will be relatively painless because the industry can stave of the regulations for years with law suits. I am so comforted...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/
ezra-klein/post/getting-ready-for-a-
wave-of-coal-plant-shutdowns/2011/08/19
/gIQAzkZ0PJ_blog.html

The there is CBOs estimate of the jobs Obamacare will kill...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/
cbo-director-says-obamacare-would-reduce-
employment-800000-workers_547288.html

As I posted above, this regime has created the worst business environment in American history bar none.
 

As I posted above, this regime has created the worst business environment in American history bar none.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:18 AM


Blankshot, you're forgetting the warmongering idiots who got us into this mess (with you cheering for them the entire way),
 

..................NICE…. ^_^v.................
 

Back in the mid 1940s as a teenager, I used to sneak into Boston's landmark Old Howard Athenaeum that featured burlesque. Of course, I was attracted by the comedians, as we didn't have the Internet and blogs back then (although we did have crystal radio sets). Heavily featured was a chorus of 60 - some were 55. (drum roll) The romantic male tenor's specialty was "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," following which comedians would get on stage with their schtick that would include the bouncy entrance of one of the younger, blonder chorus girls, introducing herself to the bug-eyed comedians with the wave of a hand: "Hi, I'm Bubbles" resounding in audience laughter.

Our yodeler overlooks [ALERT: segue coming!] the bubbles formed by deregulation starting with the S & L scandal under Reagan and the bubbles during the Bush/Cheney 8 years that burst into their 2008 Great Recession, also due to deregulation - Laissez-Feh!

The Old Howard burned down a few years later, but not lost were recollections that JFK had also been in the audience as a young Harvard student who had a sense of humor, as had so many others, tired of the Great Depression, tired of the war. But I imagine our yodeler on its stage with his tired schtick and the audience yelling in unison: "GET THE HOOK!"
 

In fact, our businesses are sitting on over $2 trillion in cash because of punitive tax rates on repatriated income and the worst regulatory business environment in US history bar none.

Do you have any evidence for this unmitigated pant-load?

(Bart, you toil ceaselessly on this blog to the same effect: Zero. The only reason a few stragglers like Shag, Bartbuster & myself respond to you is an impatient refusal to allow you to leave your right-wing turds here without rebuttal.)
 

By the Bybee ]expletives deleted], how much of that alleged corporate trove of $2 Trillion in cash came about post-the 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession as a result of programs to save financial firms, etc, from going under? Me thinks there are some greedy corporations out there. And they are so greedy they want to repatriate profits tax free to further cushion their corporate cheeks (since, per Romney, corporations are people). Add cheeky to greedy.

As clarification of what Mattski said, our left-wing re-butt-als of our yodeler are turd free and factual.
 

And just to clarify, Shag: I'm not disputing that private businesses are sitting on mega-cash. That's a fact. I don't know the precise numbers.

What is complete and ridiculous nonsense is Bart's explanation for why business is not investing this money.

Punitive tax rates my ass. As I've reminded Bart repeatedly, the greatest growth in our nation's history took place under much higher tax regimes.
 

Shag:

Shag from Brookline said...
By the Bybee ]expletives deleted], how much of that alleged corporate trove of $2 Trillion in cash came about post-the 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession as a result of programs to save financial firms, etc, from going under?


Little or none.

1) The Fed printed money to conduct the vast majority of interventions with over a trillion in loans, which have now been almost all paid back.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-21/wall-street-aristocracy-got-1-2-trillion-in-fed-s-secret-loans.html

2) All the major banks except I believe for City Group and AIG have paid back their TARP loans.

3) As for the companies nationalized under TARP, despite well over $300 billion in tax payer cash, none of Chrysler, GM, Fannie and Freddie are sitting on that cash. Indeed, Freddie and Fannie are looking for more bailouts.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mattski:

In the recovery phase of the business cycle in a free market, businesses lower their costs, sell more products at discounted price and then plow the profits back into hiring and expansion. The hiring is helped along by the fact that labor costs have gone down as the supply of unemployed labor increases. This is why GDP growth precedes a drop of unemployment.

There are only two recessions which did not follow this pattern - the Great Depression and the Great Recession. This is because government in each case kept business and labor costs high and impeded recovery. In both cases, businesses went on a capital strike and declined to rehire workers.
 

There are only two recessions which did not follow this pattern - the Great Depression and the Great Recession. This is because government in each case kept business and labor costs high and impeded recovery. In both cases, businesses went on a capital strike and declined to rehire workers.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:47 AM


That is insane. So, all those unemployed people aren't really unemployed, they're just on strike?
 

According to our yodeler, it would seem that corporations (who are people, per Mitt Romney, who may or may not need people with all their cash) had minimal profits post-2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession. But financial reports seem to indicate that it was corporate profitability that led to the stock market improvement pre-Tea Party/GOP actions on the debt ceiling. Were corporations sitting on all that cash trove of $2 Trillion during the Bush/Cheney years? If so, perhaps whistleblower action may be appropriate regarding IRC Section 341 Collapsible Corporations rules.

In what appears to be our yodeler's "corrected" response to Mattski, our yodeler says:

"There are only two recessions which did not follow this pattern - the Great Depression and the Great Recession. This is because government in each case kept business and labor costs high and impeded recovery. In both cases, businesses went on a capital strike and declined to rehire workers."

Just focusing on the 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession for the moment, perhaps our yodeler will provide a cite substantiating that the government kept labor costs high. As to business not hiring, it seems clear that this is attributable to lack of demand, not a "capital strike," whatever that is.

"GET THE HOOK!"
 

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Bart, at a certain point you don't deserve a patient reply. We're way past that point.

You are mentally ill. Severely so.
 

Shag:

You seriously have not read or heard of the capital strike during the New Deal?

As to the effect of the Obama tidal wave of regulation on business and labor costs, start with the links I provided a couple days back and then do some basic research. Relying upon the NYT of MSNBC does not count as research, although the NYT did recently slip from the party line with an article noting the hundreds of billions Obama has wasted on trying to create a government directed and subsidized "clean energy economy."

Look up the link yourself as I am waiting for a court hearing.
 

Look up the link yourself as I am waiting for a court hearing.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:37 AM


Blankshot, I'm on a "moronic wingnut link" strike.
 

Shag:

Here is a good post with multiple links (including to the NYT article I mentioned) concerning the Obama administrtion's complete failure in creating a government directed and subsidized "clean energy economy."

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/08/1
9/feeding-the-masses-on-unicorn-ribs/

Diverting investment capital from the private sector by borrowing and spending it on socialist boondoggles like this is part of what is ailing the economy.
 

You seriously have not read or heard of the capital strike during the New Deal?

I'm familiar with the rationality strike that teabaggers are currently conducting. I suspect the two strikes are related.
 

Our yodeler is obviously well read in Ayn Rand's work of fiction "Atlas Shrugged." The "capital strike" is a new direction being taken by our yodeler in the maze where he found himself after abandoning, like a rat, the sinking ship of Bush/Cheney's 8 years at the helm. Let's spread the word that big business is buying into the Randian "capital strike" to in effect dethrone Obama, that big business is not basing its decision on lack of demand. But big business may be losing opportunity, unless big business doesn't care, so long as Obama is not re-elelected. Is big business that astute that it will take its chances with the lineup of GOP candidates to date? This strategy would not be cutting one's nose to spite one's face but a decapitation. As for the Great Depression, that was another time, a much deeper hole than at present, brought on by de-un/regulation during the roaring '20s when the GOP was in control. When WW II broke out, was it pure patriotism that got big business to get off its "capital strike" or the fact that money could be made? The enactment of an excess "war profits" tax suggests that the money was attractive. Deregulation contributed heavily to the several bursting bubbles and resulting 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession after its 8 years of ineptness. Banks, etc, were bailed out to save the system. Now, the banks, etc, are on a capital strike? How have they benefitted from the Great Recession, other than being bailed out? Has it benefitted big business in the past several months that financial/stock markets have suffered? Presumably for big business it is beneficial to further the huge spread between the 0.1% at the top and the rest (that includes our yodeler) than for the country to recover economically.

Our yodeler, rat-like in his maze, will soon go into yet another economics direction, but he is trapped with his past well documented at this Blog as a stalker of Obama beginning on 1/20/09. Of course, our yodeler is a capitalist without any capital, relying upon the few crumbs tossed his way in spewing the capitalists' screed of greed.

"GET THE HOOK!"
 

Our yodeler is in line for the

"HALF-ATLAS SHRUGGED-OFF" award for 2011

for his capital strike efforts. (Alan Greenspan "won" a couple of years ago for his "shrugged-off" mea culpa on bursting housing bubbles.)
 

Shag from Brookline said...

Our yodeler is obviously well read in Ayn Rand's work of fiction "Atlas Shrugged." The "capital strike" is a new direction being taken by our yodeler...

Outside of law, you are truly ignorant about history.

On one of his authoritarian jags, FDR coined the term "capital strike" in a bitter complaint that businesses were not investing as the nation slid into the 1937 recession and then launched a FBI investigation of possible criminal conspiracy by the "strikers" to elect Republicans. Very much like an increasingly flailing Obama launching a Justice investigation of S&P after the rating agency downgraded the Obama Administration's creditworthiness.
 

I agree with Shalini!
 

Outside of law, you are truly ignorant about history.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:33 PM


Blankshot, watching you get your ignorant ass kicked on a regular basis is the best part about this blog.

First you claim there was a "capital strike", then you claim it was a figment of FDR's imagination. You need to get your story straight.
 

Our yodeler may have this:

"Very much like an increasingly flailing Obama launching a Justice investigation of S&P after the rating agency downgraded the Obama Administration's creditworthiness."

"bass ackwards," as reports indicate that the Justice Dept. investigation was launched BEFORE the S & P rating downgrade.

So, did FDR really, really make up capital strike? Was there an actual capital strike back then? Did Ayn Rand get the idea in "Atlas Shrugged" from FDR?
 

Tea Party personality traits.

Bears a remarkable resemblance!
 

Mattski:

One disturbing similarity between American progressives such as yourself and the USSR is a tendency to label dissidents as mentally disturbed. My favorite finding of your junk science attack on 41% of last year's voters are that the Tea Party is both authoritarian and libertarian. These over credentialed political hacks need to obtain a dictionary.
 

Bart, how does a dictionary rescue your average Tea Partier from a charge of hypocrisy, incoherence and/or schizophrenia? (I'll go, in the main, with incoherence.)

It isn't lightly that I conclude your mental health is deeply compromised. It is the copious evidence of your selective awareness. You simply ignore reality when it refutes your preconceived notions.

Or to put it another way- your comments at this blog put together form a cogent argument that France, Canada, Sweden, etc. cannot and do not exist.
 

"One disturbing similarity between American progressives such as yourself and the USSR is a tendency to label dissidents as mentally disturbed."

The term "moonbat" gets over a million hits. I'd say that proved that the tendency to label opponents as mentally disturbed is a bipartisan affair (and it took less than five seconds of research!). If it's indicative of Soviet totalitarians, we're ALL Soviet totalitarians.
 

Here's a link:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/make_the_capital_strike_official.html

to Gene Schwimmer's July 12, 2011 American Thinker article "Make the Capital Strike Official" that may be of interest regarding our yodeler's efforts with his suggested method for businesses sitting on $2 Trillion in cash to ignore supply and demand as a means of making Obama a one-term President. Note that this article was published before the blow to the stock markets resulting from the Tea Party and other GOP-ers actions on the debt ceiling. Note in the closing paragraph that Schwimmer concedes he is not wealthy but hopes to be. Sounds a little like our yodeler. The comments for the most part are like those of our yodeler here at this Blog. Here's a paragraph from the article whereby Schwimmer shows his true colors:

"If we can have a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, why can we not have, too, a National Association for the Protection of People Who Provide Jobs for the Advancement of Colored People (and Everyone Else)?"

This article helps to put our yodeler in perspective with his desperate economics on capital strike. Our yodeler has a lot of "Galt" - but no gelt.
 

One disturbing similarity between American progressives such as yourself and the USSR is a tendency to label dissidents as mentally disturbed.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:50 PM


You don't put a lot of thought into the bullshit you post here, do you?
 

Somehow, I think the impoliteness of calling a spade in Bart's case is more benign than Bart's history of calling liberals the "true enemies" of America.
 

The "Personality Traits" at TPM that mattski provided a link to does not include Tea Party Members who are moles for the GOP that want Obama to be a one-term President. Such a mole may not share the traits of Tea Party Members but wants to make sure that they are in sync with his primary goal of limiting Obama to one-term. Our yodeler, after 8 years of avidly supporting Bush/Cheney, deserted its sinking ship with the 2008 Bush/Cheney Great Recession and immediately upon Obama's inauguration on 1/20/09 announced his book proposal on Obama and his socialism, while latching onto the Tea Party and castigating Bush/Cheney as the GOP sewer. That sounds like a mole, who will feign support of the Tea Party because of his primary mission to limit Obama to one-term. Yes, moles have infiltrated the Tea Party to actually serve the interests of what our yodeler now characterizes as the GOP sewer. A pure libertarian could not be a mole, of course. Perhaps that's why our yodeler was so sensitive to my suggesting earlier that he was a pure libertarian, as a result of which I re-characterized him as an impure libertarian (to which he did not protest).
 

Mattski:

Have you read the Cultures of the Tea Party to which you linked?

Apparently authoritarianism in this study has nothing at all to do with politics. Instead, a slightly higher supermajority of TP supporters than the super majority of the population at large thinks kids ought to respect and mind their parents.

Libertarianism in this study only concerns regulations of personal expression and not the economy, which is the primary driving force of this rebellion.

Even more amusingly, if you support enforcement of immigration laws, you are a nativist and secondarily an authoritarian.

Finally, if you are "very concerned about changes taking place in American society today," you have a general fear of all change.

This kind of shoddy thinking is why sociology is a bastard step child in academia.

Even though they are openly hostile to the movement, Democracy Corps did a far, far better job determining what the Tea Party thinks.
 

I have been waiting for our yodeler to follow up on his "history" of FDR and capital strike. So I Googled "FDR + capital strike" and came up with Paul Krugman's NYTimes Blog post of 12/3/08 [during the waning days of Bush/Cheney when our yodeler was preparing to desert the sinking ship] titled "Even more on nominal wages: A few more notes on the did-FDR-prolong-the-Depression front:" The post includes a couple of interesting graphs on industrial production and investment. Here's the link:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/even-more-on-nominal-wages/

I plan to pursue this by checking out other links, including the Galtian trail. Our yodeler is attempting to make a mountain our of the molehill that he occupies in his claim that the economic laws of supply and demand were superseded by Henry Ford and a few other industrialists during the Great Depression by declining to invest their assets to worsen the economy to limit FDR to two terms. Now how did that work out?
 

Have you read the Cultures of the Tea Party to which you linked?

Actually, I linked to a talkingpointsmemo post about the report. Not to the report. I have not yet read the report.

Democracy Corps did a far, far better job determining what the Tea Party thinks.

Just a guess, but might you be saying that on account of the fact that the Democracy Corps report is now one year stale on a rapidly morphing demographic?
 

wow. not even a major earthquake can stop this thread.
 

Even CBS News gets it. CBS is correctly reporting that Obama has now borrowed $4 trillion and will soon pass all 8 years of Bush borrowing.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20095704-503544.html

It is unsurprising that Obama has hit new lows in both Gallup's polling of adults and Rasmussen's polling of likely voters.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/gallup-daily-obama-job-approval.aspx

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/
politics/obama_administration/
daily_presidential_tracking_poll
 

Blankshot, what happened to your "capital strike" bullshit? You abandoned that faster than you ran from the GOP sewer after Obama's election.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

I have been waiting for our yodeler to follow up on his "history" of FDR and capital strike. So I Googled "FDR + capital strike" and came up with Paul Krugman's NYTimes Blog post of 12/3/08...

LMAO! Dude, is Krugman your home page because running a search for "FDR capital strike" does not bring up Krugman in any of the first few pages?

Our yodeler is attempting to make a mountain our of the molehill that he occupies in his claim that the economic laws of supply and demand were superseded by Henry Ford and a few other industrialists during the Great Depression by declining to invest their assets to worsen the economy to limit FDR to two terms. Now how did that work out?

Dude, I never posted that business went on a capital strike to cause voters to fire FDR (or Obama). That was FDR's (and likely Obama's) paranoia. Business goes on capital strikes when government destroys the business environment and makes it dangerous to invest capital. This is rather common in third world socialist regimes and was until recently almost unheard of in America.
 

mattski said...

BD: Have you read the Cultures of the Tea Party to which you linked?

Actually, I linked to a talkingpointsmemo post about the report. Not to the report. I have not yet read the report.


Go to the link at the bottom of the TPM story to find the report.

BD: Democracy Corps did a far, far better job determining what the Tea Party thinks.

Just a guess, but might you be saying that on account of the fact that the Democracy Corps report is now one year stale on a rapidly morphing demographic?


When (if) you read the report to which you linked, you might note that they did their polling last summer and fall.
 

Business goes on capital strikes when government destroys the business environment and makes it dangerous to invest capital. This is rather common in third world socialist regimes and was until recently almost unheard of in America.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:27 PM


I hate to break it to you, but the current business environment is the end result of 8 years of GOP rule. Or have you already forgotten Dick Cheney and his little sock puppet?
 

Business goes on capital strikes when government destroys the business environment and makes it dangerous to invest capital. This is rather common in third world socialist regimes and was until recently almost unheard of in America.

Gawd. You don't have a shred of credible evidence for this truly egregious bullshit.

You don't have any shame, either.
 

Our yodeler does not understand nuanced "Googling" research where an item high on the list may lead to ... in this instance Paul Krugman. Sometimes it's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. For example, go to:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/12/the-capital-str.html

scroll through the comments to that of Mark for the link to the Krugman Blog post.

Bartbuster and mattski have pointed out our yodeler's "capital strike" hypocrisy, as he has backtracked from his original charge that there were "capital strikes" against FDR and against Obama. But with this backtracking, why did he bring it up as meaningful "history" reflecting on the subject of this thread? Is it just another failed path of the maze our yodeler is stuck in? Wishful thinking?
 

Shag:

There is nothing nuanced about your repeated and I dare say worshipful citations to Mr. Krugman. Only a Krugman groupie would bypass Marginal Revolution's perfectly good description of the situation to troll the comments looking for a Krugman link. Marginal Revolution provided the following quote:

Roosevelt went on in later weeks to speculate that the slowdown in investment was not economically explicable but was, rather, part of a political conspiracy against him, a "capital strike" designed to dislodge him from office and destroy the New Deal…In a reprise of his tactics in the "wealth tax" battle of 1935 and the electoral campaign of 1936, Roosevelt loosed Assistant Attorney General Robert Jackson, along with Ickes, to give a series of blistering speeches in December 1937. Ickes inveighed against Henry Ford, Tom Girdler and the "Sixty Families,"…Left unchecked, Ickes thundered, they would create "big-business Fascist America – an enslaved America." For his part, Jackson decried the slump in private investment as "a general strike – the first general strike in America – a strike against the government – a strike to coerce political action." Roosevelt even ordered an FBI investigation of possible criminal conspiracy in the alleged capitalist strike, but it revealed nothing of substance.

(From David M. Kennedy’s Freedom from Fear (p. 352) in The Oxford History of the United States.)

Sounds a great deal like the class warfare of today's Dems.

Next, you were the only one claiming that the capital strikes were a conspiracy to depose FDR and Obama. Knocking down your own strawmen does not constitute a revision on my part.
 

BD: Business goes on capital strikes when government destroys the business environment and makes it dangerous to invest capital. This is rather common in third world socialist regimes and was until recently almost unheard of in America.

mattski said... Gawd. You don't have a shred of credible evidence for this truly egregious bullshit.


With what do you disagree?

That this is a common result of third world socialist regimes? See Castro's Cuba, Chavez' Venezuela and Sandanista Nicaragua for just three examples.

That this result was "until recently almost unheard of in America." Do you claim capital strikes were common in America? Do you really claim that companies are sitting on $2 trillion worth of cash because this administration has created an expansionary business environment? Hell, can you find any business owner who claims this?

Obama fielded multiple complaints about regulatory overreach on his heartland bus tour and his administration has now suggested reducing this burden by creating an online compliance process that they claim will save $10 billion over a decade. Of course, this does not even begin to remove the hundreds of billions of dollars necessary to comply with the Obama regulatory tidal wave over his administration that is detailed in my links above. Or the hundreds of billion in regulations in the pipeline from EPA, HHS and the dozens of new bureaucracies created under Obamacare and Dodd/Frank.

You are of course free to name a prior administration which created a worse business environment than Obama and then back it up with the data that I provided throughout this thread.
 

You are of course free to name a prior administration which created a worse business environment than Obama and then back it up with the data that I provided throughout this thread.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:59 PM


That is easy. Dick Cheney and his ignorant little sock puppet. You want data? See "Recession, Great". Seriously, you fucktards drove our economy off a cliff. It takes a lot of nerve to try to blame it on the guy who is trying to clean up your mess.
 

Our yodeler raised on this thread the matter of "capital strikes" as having occurred during the Great Depression and that "capital strikes" are taking place currently under Obama because of Obama's policies. Subsequently, trapped in his molehill, he changed his story to say that FDR accused business of "capital strikes" and suggesting that perhaps Obama may similarly react to the $2 Trillion cash trove business are sitting upon. No, our yodeler cannot weasel his way out of his molehill on this. So I guess it is up to Edna Krabappel to send our yodeler to the blackboard to write, over and over again and again,

"I LIED ABOUT CAPITAL STRIKES AND TRIED TO MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF MY MOLEHILL."
 

Hell, Obama added regulations costing $9.5 billion just in the past month.

http://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/08/03/report-obama-administration-added-95-billion-in-red-tape-in-july

And you ask why business is in strike.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Can Krugman possibly lose any more cred?

https://plus.google.com/100094747939867300298/
posts/QJUXU19sPws
 

And you ask why business is in strike.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:57 PM


No, we're not asking. We're mostly making fun of you.
 

And you ask why business is in strike.

Incorrect. We don't ask why business is in strike.

We aren't delusional.
 

BD: And you ask why business is [on] strike.

mattski: Incorrect. We don't ask why business is [on] strike.


I guess you really don't care. Neither does this President and Senate, which is why the voters need to fire them in 2012.
 

I guess you really don't care. Neither does this President and Senate, which is why the voters need to fire them in 2012.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:16 PM


To put one of the nutcases who got us into this mess in charge? Does that really seem like a good idea to you?
 

Our yodeler corrects himself with this:

"BD: And you ask why business is [on] strike."

As corrected, what is clear is that our yodeler's point is that "business" is on "strike." He seems now to substitute "business" for "capital" as our yodeler has "flipped, flopped and flown" on "capital strike." What, if any, difference is there between "business" and "capital" as our yodeler once again gets lost in his maze? Maybe with another "flip, flop and fly" our yodeler will say he never said that "business" is on "strike." But then Edna will have to send our yodeler back to the blackboard for his straw horse efforts.
 

Paul Krugman is back in the good old U.S. of A. (New Jersey), and has an 8/23/11 post at his NYTimes Blog titled "Businessmen and Macroeconomics" that while not using the "historical" capital strike phrase our yodeler attempts to use as a straw horse demonstrates that businessmen and their capital have limitations when it comes to job creation in a liquidity trap. Businessmen will invest if there is an opportunity to make a buck. But if there is no demand, why run the risk?

Yes, businesses small and large create jobs, but they also eliminate them when it suits their purposes. That's not, as Krugman points out, macroeconomics at work in the time of a liquidity trap.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Monday's NYTimes (8/22/11) The Caucus column by John Harwood titled "Spend Now, Save Later, Bond Fund Leaders Say" is not that much different from what Krugman has long been saying.

By the Bybee II [expletives again deleted], our yodeler has not taken the bait on Gene Schwimmer's "Make the Capital Strike Official" July 12, 2011 article at American Thinker. I wonder why. Maybe we can get Edna to put the ruler to our yodeler's ass.
 

In case our yodeler doesn't get to TPM quickly, here's a link:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/economists-gop-cites-deeply-flawed-cbs-report-to-blame-debt-on-obama.php?ref=fpb

to Brian Beutler's 8/24/11 commentary titled "Economists: GOP Cites Deeply Flawed CBS Report To Blame Debt On Obama." As you read it, keep in mind our yodeler's adulation of everything Bush/Cheney during their 8 years.
 

Shag:

Who do you think conducts a capital strike if not business? A capital strike is when businesses decline to use their profits to reinvest in their growth as in standard recession recoveries because government has artificially raised the costs of doing business and hiring labor.
 

Who do you think conducts a capital strike if not business? A capital strike is when businesses decline to use their profits to reinvest in their growth as in standard recession recoveries because government has artificially raised the costs of doing business and hiring labor.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:53 AM


Blankshot, the current unemployment rate is around 9%. The idea that the government has increased labor costs is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard, and I've been reading your bullshit for about 8 years.
 

Shag:

There is nothing flawed about CBS News report that, according to Treasury's own figures, Obama has borrowed and spent $4 trillion in a little over 2/3 of one term in office. Indeed, TPM does not even dispute this fact. Rather, they try to blame Obama's borrowing and spending on anyone but Obama:

The recession caused it - The Obama and the Dems should have cut spending to match lowered revenues in their 2009, 2010 and 2011 budgets rather than spending like crack-addled socialists.

Bush tax cuts caused it - Putting aside for the moment that tax revenues skyrocketed by double digits after the Bush tax reforms, nothing prevented Obama and the Dem supermajority from raising taxes back to Clinton levels.

The structural deficit (entitlements) caused it - Nothing prevented Obama and the Dem supermajority from enacting entitlement reform rather than adding to the structural deficit with S-CHIP and Obamacare. In reality, the Dems exist to expand entitlements.

You borrowed it, you spent it, you own it.
 

You borrowed it, you spent it, you own it.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:29 AM


Oddly, that same logic does not seem to apply to the economic mess you wingnuts created. Why is that?
 

It should be obvious to all by now that our yodeler got his BS in BS as he once again "flips, flops and flies" back with a "capital strike" currently taking place. Our yodeler is a yoyo. It's time to "walk the dog." (But don't forget the litter bag.)
 

Who do you think conducts a capital strike if not business? A capital strike is when businesses decline to use their profits to reinvest in their growth as in standard recession recoveries because government has artificially raised the costs of doing business and hiring labor.

This is tedious to the point of farce. You live in an alternate universe, Bart, where every problem was created by a liberal.

The whole of your rhetoric expresses nothing if not your inability to feel connected to other people. And the discomfort of your isolation leads you to post here obsessively (and I do mean obsessively) in a vain attempt to alleviate your symptoms.

Self medication.
 

Mattski:

Not all statists who cause capital strikes are of the left. It just happens that our current regime causing our capital strike ranges from progressive to socialist.
 

Not all statists who cause capital strikes are of the left. It just happens that our current regime causing our capital strike ranges from progressive to socialist.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:55 AM


Blankshot, why do you keep trying to ignore the fact that this mess was the end result of 8 years of rule by a tax cutting/no regulation regime?
 

bb:

There was no capital strike during the Bush 43 years. There have only been two in American history - during the New Deal and now.

Blame Bush expired years ago. But by all means keep it up. Dem pollster Stan Greenberg finds Indi voters hate this cop out.
 

There was no capital strike during the Bush 43 years. There have only been two in American history - during the New Deal and now.

Blame Bush expired years ago. But by all means keep it up. Dem pollster Stan Greenberg finds Indi voters hate this cop out.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:10 PM


I'm not talking about a capital strike, dumbfuck, I'm talking about the fact that the current economic collapse is the end result of the exact policies that you advocate, low taxes and no regulations. Why would we ever go back to the policies that got us into this mess? That seems like a moronic idea.
 

By the way, the idea that "blame Bush" would ever end is also pretty moronic. The end result of his rule was an economic disaster. Only a complete moron would try to forget that and go back to the policies he favored.
 

Nena Easton compiles the various ways government is either wasting money on or making the unemployment crisis worse.

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/24/washington-needs-to-wake-up-to-the-jobs-crisis/
 

Blankshot, it was 8 years of GOP rule which got us into this mess. Where to you get the nerve to think you have any say in how we get out of the mess you created?
 

Let's confirm our yodeler's "flip, flop and fly" on "capital strike." He responds in a recent comment to Bartbuster:

"There was no capital strike during the Bush 43 years. There have only been two in American history - during the New Deal and now."

Our yodeler is now stating as a fact that there was a "capital strike" during the New Deal and there is a "capital strike" now. Is this his final position? It isn't something that FDR claimed that did not take place? Our yodeler is full of contradictions on "capital strike." Can our yodeler with a straight face deny that he denied saying there were "capital strikes" during the New Deal and currently? Our yodeler raised on this Blog the matter of "capital strike" and he seems to get lost in his mental maze re-traveling inconsistent roads to see what will stick; but it all sticks him in the saddle of this straw horse he is riding.
 

Bartbuster is exactly correct. Our current Lesser Depression is a result, primarily, of Bush-era financial laissez-faire. Not that Clinton is blameless. Rubin was under the spell of Greenspanism, and the whole Brooksley Born episode was a scandal Clinton should be ashamed of.

It can't be repeated enough that Bart is literally out of his mind. Which sort of makes recycling some of his greatest hits apropos:

Remember when Bart argued that because pain cannot be objectively measured this meant we had no cause to prohibit waterboarding? And almost in the same breath he claimed that our GI's endured far worse pain & suffering than that inflicted on our enemies through waterboarding.

And yet, "Einstein" DePalma didn't seem to see a problem with that juxtaposition!
 

Mattski:

Our current Lesser Depression is a result, primarily, of Bush-era financial laissez-faire.

LMAO!

Precisely what action or deregulation did Bush take which in any way led to the creation and then mass default of the subprime / Alt-A home mortgage market?

Sorry, but the subprime mess as well as the destroyed economic recovery from that mess are nearly all Dem productions.
 

Someone is forgetting the ownership society...

Here's a refresher:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNqQx7sjoS8
 

PMS:

What precisely did that bipartisan bill have to do with subprime or Alt-A home mortgages? The bill provided a subsidy for home down payments.
 

My family has worked in real estate for nearly 30 years, so it may not be as obvious to you as it is to those in the industry. Bush's ownership society encouraged lenders and guarantors to loosen the qualifications necessary for loan approvals. Yes, some efforts were bipartisan bills, but others were directives made by executive branch agencies.

Those loosened regulations in the beginning of Bush's first term widened the market for subprime loans substantially; before the bubble burst, the Bush administration bragged about the number of new homeowners they created with their policies. Afterwards, of course, they moved to regulate the market to repair the situation.

Were Democrats to blame for all this? Perhaps in part, but given their lack of power from 2000-2008, it seems laughable that it was over-regulation that led to the subprime problem. If that were the case, the GOP would have had six easy years to remedy the situation.
 

PMS:

Precisely what directives from what agencies during the first Bush Administration?

Actually, it would not surprise me at all if the financial regulators continued their Clinton era promotion of the subprime market well through the Bush Administration.

The regulatory state is virtually its own government.
 

Do we have another "flip, flop and fly" by our yodeler regarding the subprime situation as he seems to be defending the GOP sewer he now describes as the Bush/Cheney 8 years? How many subprimes were written from 1/20/09 on and how many subprimes were packaged and securitized from that date on? As noted by others, Bush/Cheney took credit for increased home ownership during their 8 years preceding 1/20/09. Of course, Bush/Cheney had the support of Fed Chair Alan Greenspan (a fellow Randian of our yodeler) who saw no bubble.

When our yodeler is trapped (like a rat) in his mental maze, he changes direction, with no facts for guidance, just his hatred of everything Obama since 1/20/09.
 

I've been busy taking advantage of Restaurant Week here in the Boston area yesterday and today. Good food and drink, good friends, breaking bread.

Alas, reality calls with our yodeler once again breaking wind.
 

BD: Precisely what action or deregulation did Bush take which in any way led to the creation and then mass default of the subprime / Alt-A home mortgage market?

Unsurprising, no one can offer a single Bush action or deregulation. PMS at least gave it a try.

Thus, once again, blame Bush crashes and burns as the Obama depression deepens.

BTW, the percentage of young people with jobs has fallen to it lowest point since the stat was taken. That living wage idea sure worked out well for young unskilled workers.
 

Our yodeler seems to be back in that GOP sewer he calls the Bush/Cheney 8 years; but I don't think he ever really, really left it. Our yodeler seems now to absolve Bush/Cheney of its role in the 2008 Great Recession during its 8 years that started with the Clinton surplus. In fact, our yodeler tries to put the blame on Clinton on our yodeler's theory that it was the surplus that was like a Garden of Eden temptation for Bush/Cheney. Recall Cheney's "deficits don't matter"? That was based upon Cheney's days in the Reagan Administration. That Clinton surplus was burning a hole in libertarian pockets and thus the Bush/Cheney tax cuts. (Don't forget the two wars and unfunded Medicare prescription benefits, etc.) "And the bubbles bursting in air, ...."
 

John Mikhail has posted parts 1 and 2 on what he describes as Necessary and Proper Clauses, three distinct provisions, regarding Congress' powers under Article I of the Constitution. Part 3 may be forthcoming soon, as well as further parts. These posts so far have not been made open to comments. Perhaps as John finishes up on his posts, comments may open. I am not suggesting that comments take place on this thread which has gone on for a long time. But with Sandy unavailable, those of us interested in this Blog are limited. I can appreciate John's not opening up to comments but at some point, I hope he reconsiders, as Parts 1 and 2 explore areas of N & P that may not have been as well explored earlier. I am looking forward to Part 3 and beyond as the N & P Clauses - 3 distinct provisions - will surely come into play with ACA (aka Obama Cares). I note that the Originalism Blog has posted on Parts 1 and 2, not substantively but passing on links for that Blog's visitors. Jack Balkin at some point may jump in with posts on John's postings. (I am shamelessly dropping hints; but what of it?)
 

I can think of 186 (make that 187) reasons why Professor Mikhail would not want to open his post to comments.
 

One should go to mls' blog Point of Order to understand what seems to his "comments envy" here.
 

readers envy, perhaps. Definitely not comments envy.
 

Sorry, but the subprime mess as well as the destroyed economic recovery from that mess are nearly all Dem productions.

Just keep laughing your ass off, Bart.

(Btw, I already cited a specific example. It took place during the Clinton administration, but the chain of influence was Ronald "gov't is the problem" Reagan to Greenspan to Rubin.)
 

Shag:

Your hero Krugman is actually proposing the Fed print further money to create 4% inflation to compel business and consumers to spend money now rather than see the government steal their wealth by debasing the currency.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/opinion/
bernankes-perry-problem.html?_r=1

However, your hero is despairing that Bernanke will not carry through with the plot because Paul Ryan and Rick Perry have called it out.
 

Our yodeler doesn't understand that what the Fed might do and what the government (Congress/Executive) might do to address the current economic issues may differ significantly. Krugman's column today addresses what the Fed might do based upon Bernanke's earlier paper on Japan in a time of a liquidity trap. Krugman points out that the political environment for Bernanke is made difficult by Perry's unsubtle TX threat on Bernanke. While Krugman's column does not in detail address what the government might do, he recognizes the politics that prevents the government from taking direct actions along the lines indicated by the two PIMCO economists discussed in the NYTimes article this past Monday that I referenced in an earlier comment.

Our yodeler should also read Krugman's NYTimes Blog "wonkish" post post his column. But the problem is, our yodeler may read but fails to comprehend, focusing only on inflation - which Krugman doesn't expect Bernanke and the Fed to push - and our yodeler's apparent new hero Perry. (Our yodeler seems to "swallow the leader" hook, line and sinker.) If the government takes certain actions, that would not be inflationary with current low interest rates.
 

So I guess mls doesn't care, despite his invitations - urgings - about the lack of comments on his posts at his Blog? (If a tree falls in the forest, and ...?)
 

Shag:

The problem is that Bernanke has already debased the currency and created a large surge in commodity prices and something very close to Krugman's "moderate" PPI inflation level. Obviously, this did not compel businesses and consumers to spend money and create a Keynesian recovery. Rather, Bernanke is destroying the citizenry's wealth.

Krugman recommends that Bernanke make things even worse.
 

Our yodeler fails to note that it was his newly re-instituted BFsF Bush/Cheney Administration (after abandoning and branding them as the GOP sewer) that appointed Mr. Bernanke to the INDEPENDENT Fed.

Krugman merely pointed out in his column what the Fed could do but for the threats of our yodeler's new hero Perry. As for inflation, a little bit is not necessarily bad economically, as demonstrated by the existence of some inflation during good years, such as the late '90s of Bill Clinton that left a surplus for Bush/Cheney, etc, etc, ....

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Perry is getting a free ride what with Stewart and Colbert on vacation this and next week and SNL doesn't come back live for a few weeks. Of course, by then Sarah P. may toss her bra in the GOP ring-a-ding-ding, leaving Perry hanging.
 

I forgot to add that Paul Krugman's prediction on Bernanke was accurate. So it's up to the government (Congress, Executive) to take steps of create jobs.
 

In an earlier comment by our yodeler, he included a quoted portion (page 352) from David M. Kennedy's "Freedom From Fear, The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945," a heavy tome of some 900 pages. The very next paragraph (top of page 353) begins:

"The theory of a conspiratorial capital strike had little basis in fact, but it nevertheless fell on receptive ears among a group coming to be known as the 'New Dealers.'"

As I recall, on his last "flip, flop and fly," our yodeler had asserted as a fact that a capital strike, the first in America's history, had occurred during the New Deal. But his source could not have been the prominent historian David M. Kennedy. Did our yodeler actually have a source or once again was it a figment of his anti-everything-Obama imagination?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], the index to Kennedy's tome does not list "capital strike." But under "Strikes:" there is included: "capitalist, 352-353." So was this figment a major aspect of the New Deal? Our yodeler grasps at straws and builds a straw horse that gets him further enmeshed in his mental maze.
 

The problem is that Bernanke has already debased the currency and created a large surge in commodity prices and something very close to Krugman's "moderate" PPI inflation level. Obviously, this did not compel businesses and consumers to spend money and create a Keynesian recovery. Rather, Bernanke is destroying the citizenry's wealth.

One day Bart is telling us that money is merely a "medium of exchange" and wealth is constituted by "goods & services." The next day Bart is telling us that inflation--changes in the value of our currency--"destroys the citizens wealth."

Commodity prices are set largely by supply and demand, but Bart doesn't seem to understand.

Bart appears to concede that motivating consumers & businesses to spend would be a good thing, and yet he quails at the prospect of the Federal Reserve targeting a 4% inflation rate.

This shows the full measure of Bart's crackpot patriotism. Rather than applaud the prospect of a policy which might revitalize our depressed economy he cries "theft" at the thought of 4% inflation.

Bart, you should keep your selfish, ignorant thoughts to yourself. You have nothing useful to offer the nation you bogusly claim to love.
 

..................NICE.. ^_^v.................
 

The Sunday political shows for the most part were preempted here in the Boston area with local Irene coverages. But the Sunday NYTimes had several interesting items on the economy and the roles of the Fed and the government (Congress, Executive). Gretchen Morgenson's Fair Game column had "The Rescue That Missed Main Street" taking the Fed and the Bush/Cheney Treasury to task on the 2008 reactions that favored banks. Also in the Business Section is Richard Thaler's Economic View article "Washington Should Try a Little Prudent Self-Restraint" that focuses primarily on Congress. Over in the Sunday Review section, David Leonhardt's column "Dissecting the Mind of the Fed" takes a look at the views of economists.

And the Sunday Boston Globe Ideas Section has an interesting article by Leon Neyfakh "The I-word: Harvard economistKenneth Rogoff has spent his career fighting inflation. But today he thinks it might just same the economy."

Outside of the economy, take a peek at Maureen Dowd's "Darth Vader Vents" for a "review" of Veep Cheney's 8 years as Bush's mentor as recounted in his recently published book. Now what if his advice had been taken and we bombed Syria back in 2007 while we were still at it in Iraq and Afghanistan?

It's getting time to say "Goodnight Irene."
 

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