Look at the independents

by Russ Roberts on September 29, 2009

in Politics

This is taken from the latest Zogby poll. The headline is:

47% Believe Bush Policies to Blame for Recent Job Losses

But look at the breakdown by party. Democrats blame Bush more than Republicans blame Obama. That’s interesting. But the independents are the real story. They are disenchanted with Obama on more than this issue and that is going to make it very hard for Congress to go along with the President.


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Miko September 30, 2009 at 2:06 am

What? No “both” option?

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 4:11 am

A both option? Yeah because Obama should have invented a time machine and cleaned up the Feds and Republicans mess before he took office. You really consider yourself serious?

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 9:36 am

Time machine?The Tabula Rasa and his administration are close to committing as up to $35 billion to help state and local housing agencies provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families.This is proof positive of government’s role in propping up the housing market even in the face of rising debt.Add this to Afghanistan (doesn’t talk to his McCrystal), Iran (no sanctions just yet; just talk), medical care reform moving towards a single payer, bank/auto takeovers and fawning for the world in trying to bring the Olympics to a corrupt (violent crime, machine governance, poor education, constricting tax policy, you name it) city.No, the Tabula Rasa does not need a time machine; he’s screwing up in real time.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm

A “both” option doesn’t blame Obama for the mess he inherited. Only a fanatical Obamatron thinks this way. “Both” says that the mess existed when Obama started and he’s made it worse with more counterproductive policies.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 11:21 am

The case against Bush could have been made more conclusive had the poll included two other categories of steady reliable voters.

That two would be graveyards and altzhiemer care facilities, both of whom have been shown to solidly support democrats with remarkable consistency.

mark September 30, 2009 at 2:10 am

Obama promised the moon, and he is learning that he cannot deliver the moon.

He is bringing campaign promises to a whole new level. I think it is very easy for someone who has never led any organization in his life to over-promise. His promises are now intersecting with reality.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 2:15 am

Definitely both, as well as everyone else in Washington.

Mogden September 30, 2009 at 2:27 am

Those are really lousy questions. I hate both administrations’ policies. Bush had the sin of neglect and the total lack of rule of law; Obama the serial bailer-outer of all manner of unproductive and idiotic institutions and borrowers.

iamse7en September 30, 2009 at 3:26 am

Neglect? What of attempting Fannie/Freddie reform in 2003? The Democrats blocked that, while Dodd and Frank assured that there’s NOTHING wrong with Fannie/Freddie.

The Bush administration did continue the trend of pushing home ownership, and there was the big increase in spending, but the Fed is more to blame than Bush. And it wasn’t Bush’s idea to securitize risky mortgages and have subprime MBS’s enthralled throughout the whole financial system.

Obama is taking the spending unprecedented levels. Tax cuts won’t solve everything, but imagine the incentives to businesses if certain tax rates were temporarily rescinded, and all other tax rates were greatly decreased. Instead, he is increasing the minimum wage, spending money we don’t have on waste and failed ideas, and pushing huge tax increases through cap & trade and socialized health care, despite refusing to call them tax increases.

Just imagine how the private sector would respond to a repealing of the corporate income tax? Or drastically lowering the capital gains tax rate, and other tax rates. Obama could do so much good for the economy right now, but instead he is doing the opposite. I know drastically reducing the burden of government would create more private sector jobs, and instead, he’s letting these job losses happen, all while wanting to push socialized health care and cap & trade. Therefore, HE is to blame for job losses right now, in the context of the question.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 4:23 am

“Just imagine how the private sector would respond to a repealing of the corporate income tax?”


Name September 30, 2009 at 8:40 pm
Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

“HE is to blame for job losses right now, in the context of the question.”

True, but hard to attribute most of the job losses to him yet. In a couple year’s time, though, they are all his if he continues his antigrowth agenda.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 2:36 am

They are bad questions. Obama’s policies have been active since before Obama was born, and many of the most damaging ones are shared by Bush, and neither of them thought them up.

If people took it to mean “The Obama administration is directly responsible”, then 36% is oddly high considering his short time in office.

Justin P September 30, 2009 at 2:46 am

I have to agree these are horrible questions. One observation though, looking at the numbers it seems that the Republicans are not a partisan as the Democrats. Only 9% of Democrats blame Obama, and they are probably in the Hillary for President camp (They support the policies, but are against Obama because they feel Hillary was slighted)What I want to know is the overall 15%, that think neither are responsible. How many of them put the blame on the Fed? I think I’m in the all of the above camp, I blame Bush, Obama and the Fed.Dr. Roberts, do you think the current crisis is cause not by the politics of the last 2 or 3 presidents but the combined polices of all the presidents since FDR first cut the gold link? And that it’s the ultimate consequence of Fiat Money?I’m thinking particularly, the French debacle under John Law, the hyperinflation and collapse of the economies under Weimar, Revolutionary War (Continental dollar), Hungary in the 30′s and 40′s, Argentina, and Zimbabwe. The common thread to all these monetary and economic collapses are Fiat/paper money.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 3:20 am

Even worse than having fiat currency is having it manipulated.

Justin P September 30, 2009 at 5:16 am

It’s eventually going to fail. The only thing supporting the dollar right now is China. Once they make a run, the dollar is toast.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 5:41 am

So what if we all started doing commerce in Euros, and then just paid our taxes in dollars?

One of the best things that could happen to our republic is to have the Federal government overtly default. They would no longer be able raise debt, and would be forced to operate on a budget by Dave Ramsey. The greatest danger to our county–federal government spending–would be solved.

I know, it’s a stretch.

Justin P September 30, 2009 at 9:27 am

Trying to see the silver lining are ya?

I don’t think it would be the “best thing” because we clearly will never learn from past mistakes.

iamse7en September 30, 2009 at 3:53 am

Definitely combined policies of all politicians since FDR. I just read Jeff Friedman’s assessment of the Financial Crisis (http://www.criticalreview.com/crf/pdfs/Friedman_intro21_23.pdf), and he goes into detail about how the unintended consequences of rules interacted with the unintended consequences of new rules, little by little, which all led to a concentration of risk in commercial banks, due to government regulations. He calls it a crisis of politics, not economics.

Clearly there needs to be a discussion about the Federal Reserve and our entire monetary system. A commodity-backed dollar would not allow the Fed to manipulate interest rates unto the creation of bubbles. Obviously the whole philosophy of privatizing profits and socializing losses is absurd and must be abandoned. I’m very proud of Ron Paul and argument against the Fed.

The crisis was caused by such a mixture of things, but each of these things was directly caused by government intervention. Increasing subprime mortgages, the issuance and securitization of these subprime mortgages, giving rating power to just a few GSEs which gave these MBSs AAA or AA ratings, Fed lowering interest rates, all of which gives commercial banks the incentive to buy these subprime MBSs, all of which increases housing value, which in turn, gives more people to start the process all over again with buying mortgages that they may or may not be able to afford…

And what is Obama/Geithner’s plan for these toxic assets? Privatize profits and socialize the loses. Just brilliant.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 4:36 am

“The crisis was caused by such a mixture of things…”iam

No it was caused by one thing and one thing only. Men with too much money and nothing productive to do lobbying congress to set up the system exactly as they wanted. Like spoiled two year olds who get everything they want every major policy change since Reagan over the last 20 years was totally totally sanctioned by The Wall Street Cowboys who believe nothing inn competitive markets ( but they do appreciate their cheerleaders as found on this blog) and only in making money any way they can.

We allowed the Free Marketeers to have everything they wanted and put an Any Randian Cultist at the head of the Fed and bowed to Milton Friedman and here we are with those same people now blaming everyone else. Actually in fact they haven’t missed a beat because Obama has done nothing the next bubble is now expanding transferring massive amounts of wealth from the productive working class to the Cowboys on Wall Street.

dsylexic September 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

any reason you keep posting on a pro freemarket blog?.are you a sadomasochist?

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Actually I am doing a Phd psychology dissertation on cognitive dissonance. So this is a great source of study subjects. IT’SSS FASCINATING!

Justin P September 30, 2009 at 5:17 am

You mean they have a plan?

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 12:14 am

I agree, there was just so much going on, that anyone will be able to cherrypick who is and who isn’t at fault and they are bound to find some evidence to support their case. That’s why you keep hearing about “corporate greed” all the time from the MSM. Of course it is much more complicated than that. “Corporate Greed” doesn’t hold water, because to those people, corporations are always greedy and are always trying to “steal” your money. So what was different about this case than any other time, to produce such a financial mess? To answer that question, look no farther than your elected representative, of both parties mind you. Of course people like muir only see one side at fault and will never fault their own party. Then complain of cognitive dissonance…ha ha great stuff.
I’m reading that critical review article now….great stuff thanks for the link!

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Why didn’t this happen between 1933 and 1983? You want to blame it on FDR but that’s 50 years without such a catastrophe.
And on top of that you want to say it started with FDR which makes you basically erase the Great Depression that occurred before FDR under similar policies as we now have? You guys are amazing denialist and revisionist. You don’t give a shit about the truth you just want to talk as if you are serious about it.

YEah this and the Great Depression are all FDR’s fault. The great economic expansion the 50 years AFTER FDR was just an anomoly.

matt September 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Although the vote was close, it’s been decided… You are magnificent.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm

And you aren’t because you’ve got nothing… an empty case… a hollow shell… spittle in the bottom of a glass…nothingness.

You get confused by my positions as they create cognitive dissonance for the preconceived positions you firmly hold. So rather then formulate a reasonable rebuttal you shout names like a child… you’d be better just to ignore me.

Just pass me over… don’t read me. I really am only interested in sincere criticism, debate and alternate ideas of which you have none.

JohnK October 1, 2009 at 11:35 am

“So rather then formulate a reasonable rebuttal you shout names like a child… ”


“spoiled two year olds”
“The Wall Street Cowboys”
“Any Randian Cultist”
“Republicans are idiots”
“the idiots in the mirror”
“You guys defy logic.”

OK lady, whatevah you say…

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:55 pm

RE: “One observation though, looking at the numbers it seems that the Republicans are not a partisan as the Democrats.”

How do you derive partisanship from this? I’ve said that a lot of what Obama has done has made things worse, but the worst of the crisis broke months before he became president. It’s not partisan to put more blame on Bush – it’s basic logic. Whatever Obama has done to make it worse, he didn’t create the conditions for the crisis (the qualifier being of course some of his votes as Senator had some influence – but the larger point remains).

Partisanship is more than just criticizing someone of the other party. Partisanship is criticizing someone of the other party simply because they’re of the other party.

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 12:29 am

It real easy even a caveman can do it. Just look at difference in percentages of Dems compared to Republicans and Independents. Republicans are much more likely to blame their own than Democrats…hence partisanship. You said “Partisanship is criticizing someone of the other party simply because they’re of the other party.” And I agree…the numbers show that Dems are more likely to blame the other party than their own by anywhere from 9.2 points to 2.6 points depending on how the margin for error goes.

Anonymous October 1, 2009 at 10:58 am

Wait – so you’re under the impression that you can identify their REASONS for blaming Bush simply by looking at how many of them blamed Bush?

That’s pretty impressive, Justin.

How about this explanation. Rs and Ds are both equally partisan, an objective person would blame Bush more, so Rs blame Bush more than you would expect holding all else equal and Ds blame Bush more than you would expect holding all else equal, hence Rs go after their own in this case more often than Ds go after their own. Again – given the fact that the economy collapsed on Bush’s watch, I think it’s a much more reasonable explanation.

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm

That’s because your partisan. =)
Maybe Republicans blame Obama less (as a percentage) than Democrats blame Bush (as a percentage) because they are afraid of being called racist? But really where did I ever say that I knew their reasons? I’m merely looking at the percentages.
I think the Independents have it right because they blame them both equally, given the margin for error. That’s because “Objectively” both have done things to hurt the economy and job growth.
So here I am blaming both and your trying to blame just one…who’s the partisan?

Anonymous October 1, 2009 at 1:32 am

Disingenuous Khuen,

“Whatever Obama has done to make it worse, he didn’t create the conditions for the crisis (the qualifier being of course some of his votes as Senator had some influence – but the larger point remains).”

Ahh, that wonderful deniability factor!

There is no larger point. As a Senator voting for the things Obama voted for he shares the same guilt for the things that happened as Pelosi, Reid, Bush, Greenspan, Bernacke, and any one in the private sector.

Anonymous October 1, 2009 at 11:01 am

Ummm… maybe he shares the same guilt as Pelosi and Reid.

I’m not sure how a single Senate vote that wasn’t exercised until 2005 (when the bubble was already pretty well inflated) has the same culpability as Bush, Greenspan, or Bernanke – who all exercise more influence than a single Senate vote, much less a Senate vote that was first cast in 2005.

You know, I don’t relish the idea of name calling, but one of these days I might be tempted to turn around the “disingenuous” label on you.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 4:08 am

Republicans are idiots. Yeah this mess is Obama’s fault?? WTF? UNREAL!

Actually this mess is Reagan’s fault. He started this silly trickle down BS.

We cut taxes, we opened up free trade, we loosened regulations , we deregulated industry, we pushed monetary policy, we destroyed unions, we froze minimum wages, ignored the Sherman Act ect ect… everything the Republican and Libertarians pushed for and here we are. But with them pointing fingers at everyone else rather then looking at the idiots in the mirror. Incredible gall!

Man just imagine if the Democrats had been in charge when this shit hit the fan.

Carter was in for 4 years at an inopportune time and he apparently destroyed the economy. The Creationist Republicans controlled the Executive office 20 0f 28 years and the congress for 12 of the last 14 years. And just coincidentally the biggest economic F up occurs since THE LAST TIME THEY WERE IN CHARGE WITH EXACTLY THE SAME POLICIES AND WITH THE SAME RESULTS.

iamse7en September 30, 2009 at 8:10 am

Free Marketeers?

How is it “free market” to only have a few rating agencies, given oligopoly status by government regulation?

How is it “free market” to have a central bank that manipulates interest rates according to a small group of people’s forecasts, or a monetary system that privatizes profits but socializes losses? What incentive does that give banks?

How is it “free market” to have government sponsored entities like Fannie/Freddie have power to purchase and securitize mortgages (some of them, yet increasingly, subprime) and have them labeled as AAA, thus eliminating their inherent qualities of risk?

How is it “free market” to have a central bank that has power to lower interest rates to almost 0, thus creating cheap money?

Increasing home ownership among the poor is a democrat idea, yet continued (but not to the same degree) by some republicans.

These things could not happen in a “deregulated industry.” It was the interactions of different REGULATIONS that created such a destructive bubble. You can’t regulate the decisions of millions of people. Each regulation will create unintended consequences that will require exponentially more regulations to try and prevent those unintended consequences, all of which cause such an economy to utterly fail. An economy cannot be centrally planned. Market forces trend toward equilibrium, thus preventing destructive bubbles from forming. Luckily, the market is powerful enough to pop those government-formed bubbles and attempt to bring things back toward equilibrium. But Obama is trying to prevent that.

MWG September 30, 2009 at 8:40 am

You must be new to Cafe Hayek as all your points have been made numerous times to muirgeo. You’ll notice he blames a lot on free markets, but if you dig deep enough into past posts, you’ll notice he also claims free markets have never existed. Sometimes his lack of understanding of even the most basic economic principles can be somewhat funny, but mostly he’s just annoying

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm

You guys are the ones that believe in free markets even though they never truly existed in modern economies. But the belief is strong enough that policy bends towards it and even that is enough to create such disasters and inefficiencies as we see here.

Simply thought through its an easy thought experiment to see how true free markets would lead to serfdom. The wealthy elite would eventually accumulate all property allowing cheerleaders of such a system (such as your self) only to till their soil and to be heavily taxed for doing so.

matt September 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I shall till your magnificent soil!! Be gone dastardly freemarketeers! For from your wretched souls will the cheerleaders pom pom you into submission!

iamse7en September 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I’ve been reading Cafe Hayek for 2 years now, but never have read the comments. I just read the articles from my RSS reader. I was curious at the comments concerning this question, and was flabbergasted at the nonsense that muirgeo was spouting.

I just can’t imagine an economy that is ‘run’ the way he would like it to be. Without question, it would fail as surely and quickly as other “managed economies.” Either way, I can imagine he becomes quite annoying. I feel like I can argue every single one of his comments on this thread, but it’s not worth the breath.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

What are you talking about? Almost ALL successful economies ARE run the way I would suggest. There’s [plenty of room for imporvement but theevidence doesn’t suggest ploicy n the direction you would favor. You favor boom and bust bubble economies that reward an elite minority and are less effecient. There are NO economies you can point to that run on your ideas. NONE. Yet you are a true believer. You have religious faith in the ideas you believe for some reason. I know not why. What is your blind faith based on? Did you read some books?..Get a degree?.. Get an indoctrination or inculcation?… Make a lot of money? What’s the proof that your never before tried economic system would be a success?

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm

All that is what happens when you have an unregulated market that allows massive accumulation and monopolization. The rules are made by the elites on Wall Street writing the policies and getting them instituted via their lobbyist. And absolutely, they don’t want a competitive market. They want one that is manipulated to their will and profits at the expense of other.

“These things could not happen in a “deregulated industry.” I don’t think you can provide an example to support this claim.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 7:02 am

Politics is mostly misdirection.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 10:34 am

I participated in this poll. IIRC, the only logical choice provided was to click the “unsure” radio button. I hate being unsure in an opinion-related poll question.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Yeah, because you could imagine a scenario where the right guy ( say Milton Friedman’s Ghost came into office and everything would be solved by now.

In reality if a true libertarian were in office and stuck to his guns don’t you think things would be much worse right now as all banks would have failed and the system would have totally crashed before it could recover. You really think the proper policy response would have had us in a pain free state right now?

You guys defy logic.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I don’t know what a “true libertarian” is, but a freer banking system, without the bailouts, could have “stimulated” the economy with all of the spending necessary to reorganize the liquidated assets of bankrupt organizations. If you’d pay attention to people like Selgin, you’d understand that by now.

Anchoring the system to a single commodity with a fixed price doesn’t appeal to me, but other anchors are conceivable. Someone always holds these anchoring assets when bankrupt organizations dissolve, so someone always has authority to extend credit in legal tender to reorganize.A political, central committee need not provide this spending. A decentralized monetary authority can authorize profit seeking proprietors to reorganize idle resources, without simply entitling an established class of bankers to perpetual office in the name of “preserving information”. These proprietors might be anyone, including you.”Profit” is not a dirty word in this context. It only means that organizations produce more value than they consume, that the organizations are not parasitic, that their business doesn’t destroy value. Constraining resource organizers to seek only these organizations is not an evil, exploitative conspiracy. It’s just common sense.We could also limit the entitlement of proprietors personally to consume yields of capital they’re authorized to govern, as Adam Smith suggested, and if the anchoring assets are too narrowly held, I don’t have a fundamental problem with title expiration either.

The political debate rarely reaches this point, because it’s always focused on mind-numbing bickering between apologists for the unfettered authority of established proprietors and apologists (like you) for the unfettered authority of the central committeemen, and of course, the established proprietors and central committeemen are almost always in bed together.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm

“You guys defy logic.”How would you know, dipshit? The closet you ever got to logic was when you shambled by good townspeople in your usual Village Idiot stupor, stumbled over some logic, fell on your face, but picked yourself up, brushed yourself off, and rushed away before any stuck to you.BTW, thanks for your service.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

As for “look at the independents” – do you know what the comparative sizes of each group are?Here’s why I ask. For years before the election if someone asked me I said I was an independent. And it was true – I voted for both Democrats and Republicans pretty regularly (in Virginia you get pretty decent options from both parties). Since the late fall, or so, it was starting to get embarassing to still be on the fence as an “independent”, and I started refering to myself as a centrist Democrat.I get the sense this happened to a lot of people as the GOP has been slowly losing it’s marbles over the last year or so really. So I wonder to what extent the residual that still call themselves “independents” is a particular subset of the people that called themselves “independents” last year or the year before. Just curious.

J Cortez September 30, 2009 at 3:27 pm

They are missing the option: “The policies of BOTH administrations are directly responsible for job losses.”

This partisan garbage, which is what this really is, irritates me to no end. The bottom line is that NEITHER party is any good. Straight out, BOTH are trash and their policies are only extending and deepening the current problems. Each parties’ “gotcha” mentality is like a disease. They attack the most stupid things the other side does and never seriously discuss any issue. I mean, it’s sad that even something as basic as polling data doesn’t even escape party hackery.

Name September 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Those two options are not really equivalent. The bush question is “largely responsible” the Obama question is “directly responsible”.

Obviously, if it weren’t for Bush and Clinton and Greenspan inflating the housing bubble, we would not be in this recession, so even though I think Obama sucks ass, I would also disagree with statement “B”. Furthermore even if our current president had instituted good policies, unemployment would still be increasing, because deleveraging takes time and this recession is a necessary adjustment.

iow: a completely bogus poll.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Would this count the Bush administration’s support of offshoring?

Having Elaine Chao with an ear to the Third World in a labor secretary post during that time, that’s about as bad as the current administration and the folks pulling their strings.

Tom October 1, 2009 at 8:09 pm

An interesting part, to me, is that 22% of Republicans and 20% of Independents indicate they don’t believe the President is responsible for the loss of jobs (or don’t know), whereas only 8% of Democrats feel that way.

This may be a hangover from the days of instinctive Bush hatred, but it may also indicate a propensity amongst modern Democrats to believe the president wields a lot more influence in economic matters than others believe.

matt September 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I thought you were doing your Magnificent Dumbass dissertation.

Muirgeo, MDA. Think of the prestige you’ll get when you sign your name.

Methinks September 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

You’re most likely lying, but if you’re not, I want to be a fly on the wall as you defend the grammatical nightmare you turn in.

So. Much. Fun.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm

The standards for PhDs must have dropped precipitously in the last few years. Bummer.

George Selgin September 30, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Well, you ought to write about plain old ignorance: that will lower your research costs.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 11:56 pm

“I am doing a Phd psychology dissertation on cognitive dissonance.”

You need to post a “PUT DOWN YOUR COFFEE” disclaimer before posting things like that! That has got to be one of the most hilariously ironic things I have ever read! Thank you, Muir!

JohnK October 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

I get it.

Cognitive dissonance is holding two contradictory ideas in one’s head, like government is the source of all economic solutions while also being the cause of all sorts of economic problems.
But this can be rationalized by blaming all the problems on Republicans while seeing Democrats as ethereal beings without fault or blame.

I could see making a thesis on that.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Part of my thesis will be on people who believe a mis-spelling invalidates a premise. That’s real big with a certain sect of Cognitive Dissidents.

Like Charles Darwin mis-spelled all kinds of stuff so obviously evolution never happened.

Methinks September 30, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Like, totally, dood. I’m shure yer rockin’ dessertashun will bowel dem ovah at Sammy’s sykology Kollej. gud luk wit dah grammmah.

iamse7en September 30, 2009 at 10:16 pm

There are hundreds of economies that we can take a look at, lots of data, which shows the more FREE an economy is, the richer it is.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 11:12 pm

My position more succinctly: Federal default is preferable to higher taxes.

Anonymous September 30, 2009 at 11:31 pm

There’s something wrong with my font. Did you write “cheerleaders porn porn you into submission”?

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

Maybe, but that’s like having to choose to live in 30′s Germany or 50′s USSR, either way your screwed.

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 12:14 am

Ha ha no it’s your font.

Anonymous October 1, 2009 at 1:32 am

You think there is not sufficient way around the currency laws? Take payment for services up front, and if that payment isn’t in something other than dollars, the services will be correspondingly poor–so services are self adjusting. I believe the same is true of stores, since no debt is incurred, there is no obligation to accept legal tender. People will be more than happy to pay their taxes in dollars. People will not want to work for the US government, which pays in dollars–that could be a good thing. And I’m sure there will be plenty of currency traders around happy to make a profit by providing people with Euros or whatever currency/currencies become popular. People who have savings in dollars will be desperate to exchange them before they loose to much value, but most people have savings in hard assets–corporate ownership.

Justin P October 1, 2009 at 2:10 am

I’m not saying people won’t adjust. We just don’t know how long that period of adjustment will take and in the interim, things will be very very bad. That being said. I do want things to change for the better, ie more freedoms, less government, strong currency etc. I’m not going to say that I know how to do it. I really don’t know what to do or what will be the unintended consequence of this action versus that action. I’m not trying to cop out, just being honest. In the meantime, I’m reading Hayek, Mises, Schumpater, even some Keynes (just so see how the otherside thinks). I think if you ask the right questions, there is a lot to learn from this crisis. I hope people will learn the folly of paper/fiat money and hopefully make a move to hard commodity backed money. Even though the Gold Standard wasn’t perfect, it’s a lot better than what we have now.

Anonymous October 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Re: “But really where did I ever say that I knew their reasons?”

Well, you said you agree with me that partisanship requires blaming the other party because they’re the other party… and you also said that they are partisan, so a caveman could tell you that requires some insight into their reasons for blaming the other party. I’m personally not saying it’s impossible that it’s partisanship – but I don’t see how you think you can look at a gap in the likelihood of blaming their own president and calling that partisanship.

Re: “So here I am blaming both and your trying to blame just one…who’s the partisan?”

First, I was clearly blaming both. The point is I’m blaming one more than the other. WHY was a blaming one more than the other, though? Did it have anything to do with their party? How does blaming two people equally mean you’re non-partisan? I hate this mentality – they do it in the news all the time too. They have to give creationists a 50/50 hearing with evolutionary biologists to be “fair”, to take one example. That’s not being “neutral” or non-partisan. That’s being partisan towards the creationists. Same here – the fact that you treat two things that aren’t equal equally isn’t proof that you’re non-partisan. It may very well be proof that you’re the partisan one. Whatever the truth of it is, the point is my putting more blame on Bush than Obama says nothing about whether I’m more partisan than you – absolutely zero.

And for the record, I don’t really blame either of them. Most of Bush’s mistakes with respect to the recession was a failure to do something he could have done. He wasn’t really directly to blame (although more to blame than Obama). These things don’t happen because one guy or even a handful of guys messes up.

Justin P October 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

I think you argue just because sometimes.

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