Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Gnome of Berkeley

Long time readers know I have little tolerance for ivory tower liberals. Actually I have little tolerance for ivory tower conservatives as well but they at least have kept their numbers under control. However in the spirit of the blind squirrel credit is due Robert Reich for his comments on Populist Backlash. Normally Reich spends his days bemoaning inequality and suggesting ways for government to impose equality of the lowest common denominator. Handicapper General, Diana Moon Glampers would blanche at some of his ideas for imposing equality. He then spends the rest of his time attempting to rewrite the history of the Clinton Administration with emphasis on his influence on their tremendous economic successes. Despite the obvious intellectual burden of these pursuits he has managed to find the time to either plagarize from the archives of EN or stumble upon the now blindingly obvious:
These Americans aren't revolutionaries. To the contrary, they're deeply conservative. They've worked hard, but their hard work hasn't paid off. Some have tried to save, only to see their savings disappear. They're worried about the future and about their kids' futures. They never expected anything like this.

This is the angry soil in which populist backlashes can take root.

Indeed. Of course he has it all backwards with respect to solutions; more government and more debt but at least he admits that the more debt and more government to date has been ineffective. That brings up the thing that bugs me most about Keynesians. No matter the size of the failure they will always fall back on the excuse that no matter what was done if only a little more had been attempted then it would have succeeded. And that is my prediction for these bailouts.

26 comments:

Peripheral Visionary said...

Rob, that attitude is common among single-track-mind psuedo-intellectuals; their policy is always the right solution, and if it doesn't fix the problem, it's not that it was a failure, it was that it wasn't carried out far enough. "The Soviet Union didn't fail because it was Communist--it failed because it wasn't Communist enough!", etc. I'm not sure what it will take for the Keynesians to see the light, but I suspect the near-bankruptcy (or outright bankruptcy) of several major modern countries may put some cracks in the foundation of the stimulate-or-die ideology.

Aaron said...

quick guys. you can bid on casey's blueball right now! current bid is $8 plus $15 shipping and handling.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190271789453

w said...

Very simply, ask an "expert" in any field for a better solution and they will add layers of complexity. Ask the low level enacters of policy and they will cry for simplicity.

bronson said...

Funny, that's the exact argument used by the conservative think tanks... Iraq is not a failure, and it would be even more of a not a failure if we had spent more on it / deployed more / killed more / etc.

Rob Dawg said...

Bronson,
So right and why I mentioned specifically. It's just that the neolibs are in charge now so beating up on neocons is so last election.

Captain Nemo said...

Re: Casey's Blue Ball

For someone who thinks he is soooo knowledgeable about the Internet, he is remarkably naive about eBay -- he doesn't realize that Shipping and Handling charges are a way to make money without paying commission to eBay.

Captain Nemo said...

Re: Goldspring

Seems pretty static @0.012 now. When does CS run out of money now that there is no profit from GSPG?

Lost Cause said...

These are not neolibs coming into power. The neolibs would be the ones who think that the free market is the solution for everything. I would rather call them the New Wave of the New Left.

@PV Oh, yeah, policy has no effect at all. That why people spend hundreds of millions to get elected. The only ones with their heads in the clouds are the ones who don't see the purpose of the government -- or imagine that it is going away. The government was formed to establish justice -- and justice has something to do with fairness, equality and balance. This is elementary school stuff -- no ivory tower here.

Rob Dawg said...

Glodboi™ is trapped in the investor conundrum. He's totally fucked. As long as he remains totally fucked there's no reason to pull the trigger. Then, should a meteor hit and he breaks even then he'll hold for the profit. A profit and he'll hold for the big money.

Pumper dumpers love his type.

Akubi said...

Who needs KC's blue ball when you can buy an Illinois senate seat on eBay!

Peripheral Visionary said...

@Lost Cause: What? I never implied that policy has no effect; I only stated that some people have one policy which they believe is the magic fix to everything, and when Dr. Keynes' Wondrous Patented Cure-All Elixir doesn't fix each and every problem, they insist that it's only that the doses were too small, not that it may be the wrong medicine.

As has been said many times, we got into this mess by spending too much and we will not be getting out of it by spending more. Some targeted spending in specific areas may be a part of an overall solution, but only a part, and alongside other policy changes. But ultimately, I suspect that "time and price" will be the largest factors in resolving this economy crisis.

Peripheral Visionary said...

@Akubi: I wonder if you could form a bank, access TARP funds, buy the Illinois Senate seat, then vote to have your debt to TARP forgiven. Truth, Justice, and the Casey Serin Way. Sweet™!

Property Flopper said...

Wildly off topic - but wow... Just saw an article on the music they blast at detainees in Iraq to break them. On the list:

"I Love You," from the "Barney and Friends" children's TV show.

OK - That's worse than waterboarding.

w said...

Strange, I did not see any reference to what party governor Blagojevich is from in the news stories about his little predicament. Instantly, I thought he must be a Democrat because if he was a Republican it would be in the subtitle of every God damned story. Suddenly, the press is using their "journalistic integrity" to move the debate above party affiliation.

Rob Dawg said...

W,
You beat me to it again, sigh. Yes, I was assembling the top 10 google searches including the top two from Fox and none mentioned party affiliation.

BTW, Can I visit and show you how to trim avocados for yield and tolerance? By tolerance I mean get ready now because the next two nights could decimate your income for the next 3 years. You gotta get a whole new feel for extreme weather. Seriously, this is pray time. My BILs are the ranch electricians for the region. If you need an emergency call I can get you a slot but not a break.

w said...

Rob, check for an email.

Thanks

Lou Minatti said...

I read somewhere tonight that Blagojevich and his bad toupee had an approval rating of something like 4%, and this was before his arrest.

Son of Brock Landers said...

So the former and current governors of Illinois will end up in jail (ryan and blago). Sweet. I am so glad we have a Prez coming in from that school of politics.

When I lived in Mass I went to an open lecture Reich gave at Brandeis. Horrendous because it was "look at me i'm awesome, equality is something we need to strive for", but what was most interesting is that when a questioner asked about China's rise he said we should be cautious. So rising incomes for 3rd world peasants is not a positive "strive for equality" movement? Douche.

Lou Minatti said...

Rob,

I hear that an historic blast of global warming is headed towards your neck of the woods. Do you have your emergency survival kit ready?

Captain Nemo said...

You didn't really want your vote counted did you?

This is a draw-dropping example of why we should treat electronic voting with the deepest skepticism.

Aaron said...

Cali to run out of cash by March.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081210/ts_csm/abellyup

Rob I know this has been the subject of many of your past posts. the question is how many more states will there be in 2009?

Lost Cause said...

St. Yoo of Perpetual Torture denounced by Berkeley city council.

w said...

I am too lazy to read the story. What did he do? Was he advocating the killing of abortion doctors? Did he suggest agricultural policies that would cause millions of people to starve to death? Maybe he just has misunderstood religious teachings that with further introspection the city council could come to understand his actions as an extension of his rage.

Peripheral Visionary said...

Thank goodness California is dealing with the pressing social issues, like the personal views of a tenured professor. It's about time California started paying attention to the things that really matter. The financial crisis can wait--well, at least until March, presumably.

Property Flopper said...

W -

He is the guy who wrote up the memos saying the US was OK to use torture on prisoners.

w said...

Sorry PF, that was my lame attempt at sarcasm. Perhaps it was too subtle.