Do the Terrorists Win If We Balance the Budget?

The debt ceiling debate takes an ugly turn.

You know what they say: One man's terrorist is another man's democratically elected congressman.

That's just one of the many lessons of the debt ceiling compromise, a deal that heralds a new era of electrifying political rhetoric. Nazis are out. Jihadists are in.

The Tea Party "acted like terrorists," Joe Biden reportedly said of negotiations. One reasonable New York Times columnist called the tea party the "Hezbollah faction" of the GOP, and the other advised the radicals to "put aside their suicide vests"—for now. And in a sweeping assault on the Tea Party, metaphors, syntax, and clarity, MSNBC's Chris Matthews packed everything he'd read on the blogs into a glorious globule of rhetorical confusion.

But fret not. Terrorist analogies are welcome when democracy fails to break to the left. Republicans should never refer to the Congressional Progressive Caucus as a bunch of wealth-destroying jihadists who wear suicide vests packed with prosperity-killing stimulus plans. That kind of overheated hyperbole would be catastrophic, leading to violence, and/or another alarmist Diane Sawyer television special. But Bob Beckel is just being cute when he discusses the "tea terrorist party" on Fox News. (He later apologized.)

And it turns out that the extremist freshman wing of the Republican Party (which wing isn't extreme, though—am I right?) voted 59-28 in favor of the bipartisan "sugar-coated Satan sandwich" debt deal. What kind of namby-pamby hostage takers are these people? (Did you know that 95 House Democrats also voted against raising the ceiling? From what we've learned about staggering dangers of fooling around with this policy, we apparently have another 95 nihilists running around D.C.)

If you're wondering why these elected officials, representing their constituents within the system, are the equivalent of terrorists, a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania bores to the heart of the matter: "This small group of terrorists," Mike Doyle explained, "have made it impossible to spend any money."

Well, damn near impossible. Washington will have to squeeze by on $43,900,000,000,000 over the next decade while wrestling with real cuts that are likely to rise to zero—or maybe less. If we can't spend money, who are we as a people?

Perhaps it's because of some psychological ailment such as Stockholm syndrome—and why else would a person believe in libertarian fiscal policy?—that I hope the tea party does a better job next time around. It is, after all, silly watching the establishment celebrate a compromise on debt that adds $7 trillion to the nation's liability and uses a base line that assumes some pretty significant tax hikes.

But you needn't sympathize with the American Taliban to understand the significance of the day. No amount of hysterics changes the fact that there has been realignment to the national conversation. The country has been radicalized by reality. A new CNN poll finds that though they rightly disapprove with everyone involved, 65 percent of those polled think that cuts in the debt deal were appropriate. Most polls find that voters believe government is too large and favor spending cuts. Remember that polls showed that most voters were against raising the debt limit at all.

It's not the terrorists who drive this change. It's the evidence. It's the economic suffering that "spreading it around" policy has created. It's institutionalization of a recession. For a while, at least, those who claim that bankruptcy spending and bullet trains create jobs -- no matter how regularly the media offer these myths as fact -- can't be taken seriously.

Fleeting as this shift may be, we were brought a sliver of good news this week. During one glorious day, the United States passed legislation with the sole intention of cutting government rather than "creating" so-called jobs or "investing" in some cockamamie energy boondoggle or "helping" "working families" -- which is, of course, the biggest help Washington can offer us. For that, we can thank the "terrorists."

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Blaze. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.

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  • Fluffy||

    This actually is nothing new and fits very snugly into the leftist paradigm that refusing to cater to someone who "needs" something is the same as undertaking violence against them.

    Obama "needed" a debt ceiling increase. Therefore, refusing to give him one without setting conditions on doing so was effectively the same to a leftist as undertaking violence.

    Because they aren't free unless you are their slave. This theme repeats itself over and over and over.

  • jacob||

    Orwell would be so proud.

  • ||

    proud, suicidal, same/diff.

  • Tony||

    Not doing something = forcing people into an amoral lifestyle, or some shit.

  • Aqua Buddha||

    I once had one say I was forcing my morality on her by not letting her force her leftist morality on me, and I was 'forcing' her to go to the free market for healthcare by denying her a govt program.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    [...] and I was 'forcing' her to go to the free market for healthcare by denying her a govt program.

    Is Joy Behar as bone ugly in person as she appears to be on television?

  • Tony||

    You claiming that your system is good for us and that we must accept it because you say so, regardless of whether anyone wants it, isn't forcing it? Just because it fits your own narrow and inadequate definition of freedom doesn't make it any less an imposition.

  • Shorter Tony||

    "Oops! I just defined ObamaCare, didn't I?"

  • Tony||

    Yeah remember the hysterics over legislative technicalities during that fight? Are tea partiers perhaps the biggest hypocrites the world has ever seen?

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Just because it fits your own narrow and inadequate definition of freedom doesn't make it any less an imposition."

    Unless your morality requires me to provide something to you for free and my system requires nothing from you.

    One forces, the other does not. A Webster dictionary could have saved you the embarrassment of your response.

  • Tony||

    Your system does require something from me. It requires significant costs from me, in fact. Just because those costs don't take the form of taxes don't make them any less an imposition.

    You want to make people pay out-of-pocket for education, healthcare (police and national defense too?) rather than having a reliable pooled-resources program, meaning individual costs (particularly the costs of poor and old people) go up considerably, and that's not an imposition?

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "You want to make people pay out-of-pocket for education, healthcare..."

    Yes, I want people to pay for the services that they use.

  • Nipplemancer||

    that's the glory of freedom, you can pool your resources with whomever voluntarily chooses to do so.

  • Tony||

    Nipple that's the system we have. You voluntarily consent to the legitimacy of your fellow citizens' policy preferences with respect to their pooled resources by not renouncing your citizenship and going elsewhere.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    So any law passed or any interpretation the governmnet chooses is a fait accompli? and we should accept it or leave? That is not a republic, it is a dictatorship.

    ..and we can already see the violence inherent in the system!

  • Tony||

    and we should accept it or leave?

    You have to accept it as legitimate but you don't have to like it. You are free to engage in speech and assembly and political organizing in order to get enough people to agree with you in order to legitimately change it.

    Tea partiers just proved they don't care about democratic legitimacy, they think they should get their policy because they're "just right." That is authoritarian behavior.

  • cw||

    Explain where they've done this. Holding up placards and denouncing Obama is not authoritarian.

  • ||

    "Tea partiers just proved they don't care about democratic legitimacy" the fact that they the tea partiers are taking part in the system and not bombing it like terrorist show that they to are partaking in the system of democracy.

  • ||

    Tony, You have to accept it as legitimate just because it come from the government?

    You've never read the Declaration of Independence or heard of the Revolutionary War, have you?

  • Tony||

    Unless you're prepared to foment revolution, you have to accept it as legitimate.

    Realize that legitimate policy and policy you favor aren't necessarily the same thing. I tire of whiny ignoramuses on the right confusing the two.

  • ||

    Tony is deriding us for whining. God! you've just got to love the irony.

  • ||

    "Tea partiers just proved they don't care about democratic legitimacy, they think they should get their policy because they're "just right." That is authoritarian behavior."

    And the way your socialist friends Oboma, Pelozi and Harry boy did to pass YOUR beloved health care reform act was any different?

    Are you that blind because of your LUST for central power....or is it that your that stupid, cause those are the only two options.

  • ||

    You have to accept it as legitimate

    The only little problem with that line of argument is that it's not legitimate. Ever read the constitution? There are 17 enumerated powers. Anything else people like you want the feds to do is not authorized.

    -jcr

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "You voluntarily consent to the legitimacy of your fellow citizens' policy preferences..."

    Except when that policy preference is for personal and economic freedom...then you are a terrorist!

  • ||

    I was born into this system I did not volunteer to pay exorbitant tax rate.If you think being born into a system is voluntary then tell that to those were born into slavery that they volunteered to be a slave and can't change that.

  • Tony||

    Nobody's charging you an exorbitant tax rate.

    It's not voluntary to be born in any situation. You aren't capable of doing anything voluntary for at least a couple years--that's why your parents act as your custodian. They choose to remain citizens. You can later choose to renounce it. You don't get to choose to opt out of the system others set up for you just because you don't like it.

  • ||

    So by your logic slavery was okay because that was what the majority wanted.

  • ||

    You voluntarily consent to the legitimacy of your fellow citizens' policy preferences with respect to their pooled resources by not renouncing your citizenship and going elsewhere.

    Seriously? An arrangement that I'm compelled to accept if I merely want to remain in the land of my birth is "voluntary"?

  • doug||

    Like you fucking own this country...

  • cw||

    Since their are always costs in this world, arguing you'd have "costs" from in free-market system is rather pointless. We think it's more just for someone to pay for themselves or volunteer to pay for others than to be forced to. But you know this already.

  • Tony||

    arguing you'd have "costs" from in free-market system is rather pointless

    Why? Because the only costs you are capable of seeing are taxes? Or because it would be devastating to your worldview to consider the consequences of it?

  • sarcasmic||

    It requires significant costs from me, in fact.

    Only if by "cost" you mean "loss of stuff given to by government that was first taken away from someone else".

  • adam||

    No one is stopping you from pooling your resources voluntarily with anyone else. Pool all you want. Just don't expect me to pool with you.

  • ||

    No, Tony, if you can find other people willing to pool resources with you, you're free to do so. That's why we have insurance companies. When you decide to make other people "pool their resources" with you at the point of a gun, you're acting no different from any stick-up artist.

  • sarcasmic||

    Whiny Tony:
    But getting people to do things voluntarily is hard!
    You have to persuade them and stuff!
    It's so much easier to use government!
    Then people don't have a choice!

  • Tony||

    So national defense is an illegitimate use of pooled resources?

    You see the logical consequences of your argument, don't you? There are reasons that anarchy isn't popular.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here it comes: Tony knocking down a strawman argument that limited government equals no government.
    Hammer that strawman Tony!
    Beat it!
    Burn it!
    Because it's the only way you can win!

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic you explain to me what the difference is between pooling resources for national defense and pooling resources for something else.

    And please don't say the constitution.

  • sarcasmic||

    Defense is an individual right.
    I have a right to defend myself from the use of force.
    National defense is a collective application of this right.
    When justly used it is purely reactive in nature.

    I do not have a right to health care in that I do not have the right to the goods and services of another person.

    Defense does not compare as "goods and services" because soldiers are not "serving" me directly. I can't walk up to a soldier and ask for their services in the same way I can walk up to a medical professional and ask for their services.

    Apples and oranges.

    And no use of the constitution.

  • Tony||

    That is some impressive bullshit sarc. So billions upon billions of dollars worth of soldiers' labor, arms & ammo, ships, planes, tanks, and infrastructure doesn't amount to "a right to the goods and services of another person"? You don't have to "walk up" to a soldier, but your leaders in government are directing them on your behalf. Their services are conscripted for you whether you want the war or not. There is no meaningful difference here.

    What this is is a nonsensical ad hoc rationalization for supporting one purpose of pooling resources and not another. Just say you like one policy and not the other, don't pretend this ridiculous distinction makes one morally superior or more legitimate than the other.

  • Tony||

    That is some impressive bullshit sarc. So billions upon billions of dollars worth of soldiers' labor, arms & ammo, ships, planes, tanks, and infrastructure doesn't amount to "a right to the goods and services of another person"? You don't have to "walk up" to a soldier, but your leaders in government are directing them on your behalf. Their services are conscripted for you whether you want the war or not. There is no meaningful difference here.

    What this is is a nonsensical ad hoc rationalization for supporting one purpose of pooling resources and not another. Just say you like one policy and not the other, don't pretend this ridiculous distinction makes one morally superior or more legitimate than the other.

  • sarcasmic||

    Just say you like one policy and not the other

    Liking has nothing to do with it. There is a clearly definable difference.

    I have an individual right to seek justice if my life liberty or property are harmed.
    Police and courts are the collective application of that right.

    I have a right to protect my property from fire.
    Fire departments are a collective application of this right.

    I have a right to defend myself.
    National defense is a collective application of that right.

    Notice these rights have something in common. They require nothing from anyone else on an individual level. They are also reactive in nature.

    Your "rights" conflict with the above rights. Your "right" to someone's goods and services violates their rights to liberty and property.

    Your "rights" are proactive in nature.

    I put them in quotes because they are not "rights", they are wants.

  • sarcasmic||

    Their services are conscripted for you whether you want the war or not. There is no meaningful difference here.

    Er, in my above post I said "When justly used it is purely reactive in nature."

    Does my right to self defense mean I can run around shooting anyone who might be a threat to me in the future?
    Obviously not.

    Does collectivized self defense give our government the right to go off killing anyone who might be a threat to us in the future?
    Obviously not.

    National defense, as practiced by our government, goes way beyond justifiable defense. It is in fact criminal.

  • ||

    The difference between pooling resources for national defense and pooling resources for "something else" is that government is charged with providing for the common defense in the U.S. Constitution while providing for "something else" is not.

  • ||

    No Tony, National defense is a legitimate function of government and detailed as such in the Constitution. Debt ceilings and healthcare, umm, not so much.

  • ||

    Your system does require something from me. It requires significant costs from me, in fact.

    Please specify. And no, paying for what you take out of your own pocket doesn't count.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "It requires significant costs from me, in fact."

    State these costs. State what costs I cause you by paying for my own healthcare.

  • ||

    What if I don't want to pay into that pooled resource?

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Yeah remember the hysterics over legislative technicalities during that fight?"

    Are you seriously trying to bash libertarians for the blatant hypocrisy of both the Dems and Repubs?

    That's like blaming the guy who just got robbed for the thieves arguing over his loot and killing each other.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's like blaming the guy who just got robbed for the thieves arguing over his loot and killing each other.

    Well if there hadn't been the wealth inequality that caused the thieves to rob him in the first place, then the thieves would have no loot to kill each other over.

    Envy is the disease and government is the cure.

    Destroy the notion of private property, confiscate the wealth, punish the creation of new wealth, and then there will be nobody to envy.

    Everyone will be equally poor and happy.

  • Thomas L. Friedman||

    Isn't this brand new Mao Suit just too, too darling, really...?"

  • ||

    "tea partiers perhaps the biggest hypocrites the world has ever seen?"

    Nope your liberal progressive bag lappers are.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I would like to state publicly and for the record, that Tony is a jackwagon.

    That is all.

  • GroundTruth||

    The problem, Tony, is that one can opt out of a free market deal, but Romneycare and Obamacare (as examples) require me to partake.

    I'd be perfectly happy to have some private group organize a health care system that anyone could join, and if one is not a part of it, then one can not claim a benefit from it.

    ... Oh wait, that's what we had until it was decreed from on high that anyone showing up at an emergency room must be taken care of, regardless of whether they were part of the group that supported the hospital (i.e. were insured).

    There are two different world views: one compels and the other allows. The first is slavery and the second is liberty. Take your pick.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort."
    -Heinlein's Lazarus Long

    Libertarians make for comfortable neighbors, while the Tonys of the world are why fences were invented.

  • ||

    Sarcasmic, HOA's....

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    You claiming that your system is good for us and that we must accept it because you say so, regardless of whether anyone wants it, isn't forcing it?

    Couldn't you form an autonomous collective of healthcare providers and users and run it any way you saw fit without being forced to use the free market and without forcing anyone to use your solution?

  • ||

    Tony,

    Step back and think about this for a second. If someone were to say that they are being forced not to beat the living daylights out of you with the nearest baseball bat they could find, you'd (rightfully) note them as a psychotic. Non-coercion is the default condition among civilized people.

  • Tony||

    Civilized being the operative word. The entire point of government is to be the repository of all legitimate force. That is not a drawback of government; that is its primary role. Long ago humans figured out that this was a better system than letting anyone claim the ability to use force for any purpose without accountability.

  • ||

    No civilization anywhere has made its government the repository of all legitimate force. There are many forms of legitimate force, and the people retain many, if not most, of them.

  • ||

    So, your argument is "when the government does it, it's okay". I always knew you had a statist streak, but I never took you as being THAT much a fellator of state power.

    So, I guess you're fine with the religious right's claim that the government is infringing on their freedom to not tolerate gay people.

  • Fullerton Police Department||

    The entire point of government is to be the repository of all legitimate force.

    Hey....then it was okay to beat and tase that helpless mental case to death!!

    Thanks Tony!! You've performed a vital community service today. You need a job in the community relations office or anythin?

  • ||

    "Long ago humans figured out that this was a better system than letting anyone claim the ability to use force for any purpose without accountability."
    So, the majority is okay to do whatever it pleases as long as it holds itself accountable to itself. I guess you owe Theodore Bilbo and Bull Connor.

  • ||

    "I guess you owe Theodore Bilbo and Bull Connor."
    should read
    "I guess you owe Theodore Bilbo and Bull Connor an apology."

  • Just an Engineer||

    Can you all just stop spoofing Tony already, it's getting old. Surely even she can't be this dumb.

  • ||

    You claiming that your system is good for us and that we must accept it because you say so, regardless of whether anyone wants it, isn't forcing it?

    Well, for starters, claiming something isn't forcing anything.

  • ||

    Tony, if socialism is so grand how about you and your kind set up a voluntary socialist system?

    In short, anyone 18 and older can opt-in, paying taxes to the voluntary system on part of his or her income from each paycheck.

    You and your kind could devise the system to stream all kinds of payouts ("benefits") to participants for many kinds of contingencies, such as catastrophic illness or mere unemployment. From your voluntary socialism, you and your kind could dole out retirement income -- Social Security.

    You and your kind would be free to set the rules regarding how much needs to get paid in and over what time in order to get welfare payouts like medicine, food, housing, retirement.

    Why do you and your kind need us? If your vision is clear, your morality solid and you know better how to run things, surely you and your kind can run your system under voluntary association.

    We'll still let you drive on our roads, across our bridges and through our tunnels. We'll let you buy products in our stores from products that clear through our ports.

  • Tony||

    Oh you'd let us drive on your socialist roads, bridges, and tunnels? How very generous.

    I don't need to set up a private commune. I have a quasi-socialist society in which to influence policy already. If everyone here were honest they'd acknowledge that we're just talking about policy differences within the context of a mixed economy, as all economies are.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yes, we have a mixed economy.

    Why, though, is there never enough socialism in the mix to satisfy you statist fucks?

  • Tony||

    That's not always necessarily so. It's just that we've been trying it your way for 30 years, with predictably disastrous results.

    Cue no true scotsman bullshit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony|8.3.11 @ 12:35PM

    Chock full o' hypocrisy.

  • ||

    lol I've heard that argument too. "well what if I want to live in a society that pays for healthcare and education? You don't have the right to take that away from me."

    Acutally, yes, I do.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yup.

    Not taking is the same a giving.
    The property belongs not to the owner, but to the taker.
    If the taker takes less, that is a gift.

    Not giving is the same as taking.
    The property belongs not to the giver, but to the receiver.
    If the giver gives less, that is theft.

    If the giver is government, what is given must first be taken before it can be given.
    This gives the receiver a right to property that belongs to someone else.
    Institutionalized theft.

    The notion of property must be destroyed for socialism/communism/progressivism/wtfism to reign.

  • ||

    The notion of property must be destroyed for socialism/communism/progressivism/wtfism to reign.

    That's in Chapter 1, isn't it?

  • John Galt||

    Bravo!

  • Tony||

    Even al Qaeda's mission is more tangible than "cut guvmint because it's too big and I hate it!"

    Government is always too big when a Democrat is in the White House, and apparently always too small when a Republican is there. Can't we just let the hypocrisy cancel itself out and then stop listening to these ridiculous charlatans as if they had a clue about the location of their elbow relative to their asshole, let alone macroeconomic policy?

  • jacob||

    Do _you_ even believe the bullshit you type?

  • Tony||

    Yes I believe that the so-called tea party are representative of the lowest of low-information voters, and that a political party that relies on people being ignorant is a dangerous thing.

    Terrorists may be too specific a term--they are run-of-the-mill fascists. They quite clearly don't respect the democratic process, and were quite clearly threatening not only the economic health of the country, but of the planet, over narrow ideological demands. If they were leftist radicals instead of fascists you would be over the moon with hysteria about these tactics.

  • Shorter Tony||

    "This sweet, sweet presidential man-knob is my personal Everlasting Gobstopper!"

  • jacob||

    Imbecile. A fascist is a socialist you rube. Before you go throwing around scary terms you might want to read up on the definitions of the terms by the people who lead the movement. Mussolini wrote about fascism. Saddam was a fascist. Hitler was a fascist. His party was called the National Socialist Workers Party.

    Next step is to call the T-party types 'racists', right Tony?

    The T-Party types are against raising taxes in order to fund the 25% jump in federal spending that has occurred since Obumbles showed up in the white house.

  • cw||

    More accurately, a fascist is a statist. Mussolini wrote in his Doctrine of Fascism that the state is the spiritual center of all life, and therefore must be all powerful.

    So it really is true that statists are very, very close to fascists.

  • sarcasmic||

    All the "ists" function on the same theme: People must be controlled.

  • cw||

    Pretty much. For the greater good or whatever.

  • ||

    I used to jokingly say that the difference between Communists and Fascist was where the illusion is. In a Communist state there is illusion of Democracy with no illusion of private property or free market. Vice in a Fascist state there is the illusion of a free market and private property with no illusion of Democracy.

  • ||

    Mercantilism --> State Capitalism

    State Capitalism influenced and enabled by Military Power --> Fascism

  • PIRS||

    "and were quite clearly threatening not only the economic health of the country, but of the planet, over narrow ideological demands."

    In what way would not adding more debt to our already huge debt problem threaten not only the economic health of the country, but of the planet?

  • jacob||

    you are hitting Toni with facts and reason, do you think this really will work?

  • PIRS||

    I am just trying to get him to think about statements he makes.

    Perhaps I am asking too much of him?

  • jacob||

    PIRS,
    "I am just trying to get him to think about statements he makes."
    I think you have jumped the shark with that idea. Its OK. There is therapy. I recommend somehting in the 80 proof range.

  • PIRS||

    [Opens a bottle of Pastis and pours a short glass]

  • Pip||

    Perhaps Definitely, I am asking too much of him?.

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure, why don't the tea partiers accept sensible means to address the national debt?

    I'll answer that for you: they don't care about debt. Not one bit. They care about an ideological agenda to dismantle the welfare state, and debt is the excuse. Anyone who claims to care about debt but is not willing to raise any revenues for the cause is admitting to this.

  • PIRS||

    "why don't the tea partiers accept sensible means to address the national debt?"

    By "sensible" are you trying to say taxing those people who have the ability to hire others so they are able to hire fewer people? Is that what you mean by "sensible"?

  • Tony||

    Whatever sensible is, it's not the claim that giving more money to wealthy people will cause them to hire more people. Employment rises when there is demand for employment, not because rich people decide to become charitable in response to tax policy.

  • jacob||

    "Whatever sensible is, it's not the claim that giving more money to wealthy people will cause them to hire more people. "
    how many poor people have hired you Toni.

  • Tony||

    how many poor people have hired you Toni.

    It's sad that an entire philosophy of how the world works rests on these tired platitudes from the 80s.

    Do you understand supply and demand? Businesses hire when they need more employees to increase the supply of what they're selling to meet demand in the marketplace.

    You are characterizing employment as alms from beneficent rich people. It's rather revolting.

  • Restoras||

    This is wrong. Businesses hire to generate a return on investment that exceeds the cost of capital.

  • ||

    Labor is the poor man's capital.

    When a firm operator hires labor, he does so to to gain skills needed to produce an amount of output.

    That firm operator hopes she has calculated correctly such that the purchase and sale of that output exceeds its cost of production. For if that isn't the case, in short order, that firm operator goes to ruin.

    So rightly, firms as material capitalists (direct speculators) produce and attempt to sell to gain a return on the money capital spent to obtain the material capital used in production.

  • Ironic||

    "Businesses hire when they need more employees to increase the supply of what they're selling to meet demand in the marketplace."

    And are unable to do so if they do not have enough money to do so.

    By the way, they don't "sit" on money for no reason whatsoever. If they "sit" on money it may be because of an uncertain future or because they think they will have less of it stollen from them in the not-too-distant future.

    With Warmonger Obama at the helm, I do not blame them for "sitting" on money.

  • Tony||

    If business leaders are more uncertain about Obama being in office than they are the Tea Party GOP then that's a strong blow against market rationality. They've demonstrated that they are nothing but an uncertainty generating machine.

    The uncertainty (even with lots of capital) is that nobody wants to be the first to hire a bunch of people when demand is weak. This is the vicious cycle. The only way to reduce this uncertainty is to increase demand so that businesses invest in labor.

  • Restoras||

    Well, you already tried that and it didn't work.

    Next.

  • ||

    The only way to reduce this uncertainty is to increase demand so that businesses invest in labor.

    You don't increase what people want and what they need (aka, demand) by government fiat, champ.

    Show us the way.

  • PIRS||

    "Whatever sensible is, it's not the claim that giving more money to wealthy people will cause them to hire more people."

    Compare these two statements:

    1. I am going to be nice and give you $100.00

    2. I am going to be nice and refrain from forcibly taking $100.00.

    Do you not see a difference between those two statements?

    "Employment rises when there is demand for employment, not because rich people decide to become charitable in response to tax policy."

    Charity has nothing to do with it. It is an a priori statement that businesses can only be started by those with the ability to start them. If you make people less able to start businesses there will be fewer businesses started and expanded.

  • Tony||

    Businesses are sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash. What the hell makes you think CEO's tax rates have anything to do with their decision to spend that money hiring people?

    Effective tax rates remain the lowest they've been in most of a century. That hasn't created any jobs. Furthermore, we had a booming economy with top tax rates as high as 90%. This is just a ridiculous fairy tale and all the evidence in the world shows that.

  • Restoras||

    Business leaders look into the future and see uncertainty surrounding their tax liability and their costs. The won't invest in their business, and hire, unless there is a strong probability of generating a required rate of return above the cost of capital. You can ask Steve Wynn.

  • Tony||

    Well thank goodness we have the Tea Party to inject a little certainty into the economy. Sheesh.

  • Restoras||

    Not sure what that has to do with anything.

  • Tony||

    The confidence bogeyman is the foundation of tea party fiscal policy--yet they've deliberately imposed the single biggest jolt of uncertainty the economy has faced since 2008, over narrow ideological demands.

  • Restoras||

    No, I think you are referring to the current administration as imposing the single biggest jolt of uncertainty, since it has all the power, and the "Tea Partiers" have none.

  • PIRS||

    Tony,

    As Jacob pointed out, you have not answered my questions.

    I will answer yours when and if you answer mine.

    [takes another shot of Pastis]

  • H man||

    When the tax rate was that high we didn't have Medicare or Medicaid stoping that booming economy and the loopholes in the tax code made sure that no one actually paid that rate.

  • Ironic||

    "Businesses are sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash. What the hell makes you think CEO's tax rates have anything to do with their decision to spend that money hiring people?"

    Read over that statement a couple of times. Think about it - if you are capable of thought.

  • Restoras||

    I suppose you are referring to the post-war period when the US indutrial base was the only one that wasn't a pile of rubble? And had no competition?

    Cicumstances have changed a bit.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Businesses are sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash.

    Oh? Have you seen their balance statements, you stupid twink?

  • ||

    ". Furthermore, we had a booming economy with top tax rates as high as 90%. This is just a ridiculous fairy tale and all the evidence in the world shows that."

    ....Really when was that?.....Got proof?

    ....Thought so.

    Get the fuck over it you State-st douche. Flat tax 15 % top to bottom and the Government must stay with in its means. Just like the rest of the "people".

    We know you would like to nob Keynes if he were in front of you, but there is a reason his ideas NEVER work. They are based on false premise, and require "control" of the peoples behavior and lives. In time Keynes ideas lead to more and more central control and power, if you need a reminder on how that worked out see Russia, 1930's Germany, China and North Korea.....they all had the same goals Tony. And the ideas start with Keynes style economic reasoning that was preached to be for "the people"

    Over time people resist forced anything some stop producing if it is forced labor , some just demand "more" for nothing if it if "welfare" and others just walk away from the system even if it means death.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Out of what is, I assure you, morbid curiosity alone: is there any appreciable daylight between the following burble of economic pseudo-principle and your own beliefs, Tony? (Specifics, please, if so.)

    "It's all BULLSHIT. Retirement should be 55, Min Wage should be $20, Workweek 4 days

    "Healthcare should be free

    "Education, housing, food, communications should all be subsidized and easily accessible to the working classes"

  • Tony||

    I think reducing the out-of-pocket costs and economic uncertainty of the middle and lower classes does far, far more to help maintain a stable and growing economy than worrying about the same with regard to people who have the freedom to spend whatever they want for whatever purpose regardless of a 3% difference in their tax rates.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    That would be a "no," then...?

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, eaxactly.

  • ||

    I think extracting trillions of dollars from the economy to reducinge the out-of-pocket costs and economic uncertainty of the middle and lower classes, thereby directly and indirectly reducing the income and assets of the lower and middle classes does far, far more to help maintain a stable and growing economy . . .

    Seriously?

  • GroundTruth||

    Don't forget a 2 week vacation in Florida each winter and another 2 weeks in the Rockies each summer!

  • JoJo Zeke||

    My very favoritest snippet o'stupidity from said DU thread is this one:

    plus, with a four day work week, employers could hire other people to work three days a week and [...] unemployment would be lowered.

    Geniuses, I tells ya! Untapped, unacknowledged economic GENIUSES -- !!!

  • Tony||

    Actually, Germany has implemented a program where people share the workweek in order to reduce unemployment.

  • Restoras||

    This is a half measure. What Germany should do is mandate a 20-hour work week so every job will require two people to do it.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Why... just think: with a ten hour work week, we could employ THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD -- !!!

  • Restoras||

    Too logical by half!

  • ||

    Ever hear of Under Employment?

  • cw||

    If you don't like the wealthy's products, then don't buy them, Tony.

  • KPres||

    Whatever sensible is, it's not the claim that giving more money to wealthy people will cause them to hire more people. Employment rises when there is demand for employment, not because rich people decide to become charitable in response to tax policy.

    Wrong. Competition forces rich people to invest their money in productive enterprises. And if they don't respond to those competitive forces, but rather spend their money on consumables, well, that creates the demand you just mentioned, while also reducing the rich person's share of wealth.

  • jacob||

    Toni is declaring spending reduction to be unreasonable? After a 25% increase in the budget over two years. We are seeing $7B in cuts next year and this is reasonable according to to Toni.

    Someone left the gates to Bizarro world open one night, and out waddled Toni.

    Hey Toni, you do realize that is we tax 'the rich' at 100% of income we still would not close the deficit. Roll that around in your noggin.

    Team Blue is not allowing for ANY spending cuts. Saying we will be spending $900B less 10 years from now is BULLSHIT -- especially when we are in the hole to the tune of $200B per month.

    The federal government is eating 24% of the economy. Is that reasonable to you? Answer that question. Don't doge it by changing the subject. Answer that. Yes or No.

  • Tony||

    Jacob the president offered more in spending cuts than the bill that was passed does. The government is such a large part of the economy now because the economy is suffering from weak demand. And I'm sorry if I don't think characters like Louie Gohmert know the solution to this problem.

    Just because taxing the rich won't solve the entire problem doesn't mean it's not part of a sensible equation. You guys are the only ones who think in this all-or-nothing way.

  • jacob||

    Toni,
    1. ANSWER the question as posed.
    2. The President _said_ lost of things, many of them self contradictory. He put NOTHING in writing. The last time that lying fuck made a deal it was supposed to have ~$30B in spending cuts, the end result was $300M. Team Red is choker bloc full of idiots, especially in the leadership dept. Team Blue looks a lot like Team red in this regard as well.

    Why do never answer questions and instead keep caning the topic boyo? Is that because there is no there there in your statements.

  • Tony||

    I don't know if 24% of GDP is reasonable. Why is it unreasonable to you? Because you decided that it sounds like too much?

    As I said, government is a larger portion of the economy now because the private sector is failing to grow on its own. Lots of people are out of work so government safety net programs have ramped up considerably. There is weak aggregate demand in the economy and it's not because of the socialist under your bed. The insanity of this entire debate is that we're obsessing over fiscal issues not based on any clear data but because the numbers sound bad to you. Do you think it might be prudent, including fiscally prudent, to worry about the millions of people out of work so we can get them off the dole and paying taxes?

  • ||

    Why is somebody who makes $250,000 a year "rich," but somebody who makes $249,990 a year "working class?"

    Who picked those figures?

    Is it $250K just becuase it "sounds rich" and rolls off the tongue nicely when ranting aimlessly about the haves and have-nots to the voter base of the class warriors?

    Ponder whether

  • Tony||

    Good Lt you just made the argument against means testing social programs. (Having a stark cutoff discourages upward mobility.)

    Of course the figure is arbitrary, but the point is to choose one where raising taxes won't be a burden. The alternative offered by anti-tax zealots, of course, is to burden as many people as possible.

  • ||

    When did I oppose means testing for Social Security? Oh, yeah. NEVER.

    Cause I support that. The Democrats don't, though.

    Ask them.

    The alternative offered by anti-tax zealots, of course, is to burden as many people as possible.

    As your President said, everybody should have some skin in the game.

    Especially those who derive the most use and benefit from the system they've been hooked up to by their "moral betters" who are "only looking out for their best interest."

    By the way, I don't know if it's occurring to you that you're conceding that taxes A) are a burden and not a virtue, and B) that by increasing them, you increase the burden on individuals, no matter what the income level is.

    Thanks!

  • Tony||

    Good Lt I concede that taxes can be a burden, and that Republicans want to make them more burdensome rather than less. My preferred system is one in which they don't burden anyone--which entails taking more from the people who can afford it. Taking $1000 from a poor person is not the exact same burden as taking $1000 from a millionaire and the sooner you guys realize this the better.

  • ||

    "Taking $1000 from a poor person is not the exact same burden as taking $1000 from a millionaire and the sooner you guys realize this the better."...Hello Karl

    But Taking 15% from both is the only fair thing to do. But in Tony land the "poor" will pay ZERO and the "rich" will pay ...oh 50% today.....wait i need more for the "poor"....make that 70% tomorrow.

    Flat 15% top to bottom Tony....nothing back for any one except Medical bills and R&D for companies. Balanced budget cant spend more than what is cumming in.

    But that would be too EASY ....it is a "complex" problem so the answer must be much more complex.

  • ||

    Jacob the president offered more in spending cuts than the bill that was passed does.

    The President didn't offer any spending cuts at all. At best, he talked about how he hoped someone else would offer spending cuts.

  • ||

    Income is taxed not wealth. When idiots like you talk about taxing the "rich" you're really taxing anybody and everybody who has an income above some arbitrary limit, which has nothing to do with taxing the "rich" and everything to do with making sure the world is "fair".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Jacob the president offered more in spending cuts than the bill that was passed does.

    Really? Then why did Carney get pissy with the press when they asked the administration to release their plan?

  • GroundTruth||

    "ideological agenda to dismantle the welfare state, and debt is the excuse"

    Right and wrong in one sentence Tony. Yes, the welfare state should be dismantled, but the debt is not an excuse, it is a parallel issue stating that we can not consume more than we create.

  • Tony||

    Debt is a tool in the service of that agenda. Republicans massively inflate it when they have power, then demand that Democrats cut cut cut when they get power. This is no secret. Apart from being a deviously effective strategy, it shelters Republicans from the political consequences of cutting government programs.

    The Tea Party is just the natural end result of the ever-more-radical movement of the GOP in the service of these ends: they are people who actually believe GOP lies as gospel truth.

  • Pip||

    "They care about an ideological agenda to dismantle the welfare state, and debt is the excuse."

    I seem to recall that they were only in it for the racism.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'm not sure, why don't the tea partiers accept sensible means to address the national debt?

    What exactly do you consider "sensible," Tony?

  • Tony||

    [::points to RRR's wallet::]

  • Tony||

    Acknowledging that there are two sides to a ledger would be a good start.

  • KPres||

    How about acknowledging that a ledger is just an accounting tool, that tells little or nothing about what the outcome of a particular state policy might be.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Acknowledging that there are two sides to a ledger would be a good start.

    Sorry, you're going to have to get more specific than that.

  • ||

    Super Smart Tony says "I'm not sure, why don't the tea partiers accept sensible means to address the national debt?"

    That is Liberal code for adding to the debt.

  • ||

    We could sell off assets to address the national debt.

    We could freeze spending at current levels for the next several years to address the national debt.

    We could end the wars as a way of freeing up more resources to address the national debt.

    We do have to cut spending and downsize government, because the present system of taking from some by force to give to others is fundamentally unsustainable. But as we struggle with the need and the approaches to do that, there are many things we can do before giving up and raising taxes.

  • Tony||

    Raising taxes is not giving up, it's being responsible. You clearly don't want to do that, you want to institute a new world order, and ignoring revenue as one method of reducing debts is simply a strategy to that end. Admit to being dishonest about caring about debt.

  • marlok||

    Spend less, owe less. It's not dishonest.

    You have ceased to make logical arguments.

  • ||

    "Raising taxes is not giving up, it's being responsible"

    No Tony NOT SPENDING more that you have coming in is responsible. Anything else is irresponsible, or another words YOU.

  • Zeb||

    Tony, do you know anything at all about Fascism? It is a socialist political philosophy whose aim is to have a very large and powerful government involved in all aspects of the economy. Now, I agree that a lot of the tea party types are inconsistent opportunistic hypocrites like most politicians, but they pretty fucking far from fascists.

  • Tony||

    Some fascists have been socialists, one being a political system and the other an economic one. But I mean the generic authoritarian nationalism that rejects liberalism and rationalism in favor of rule by corporate elites and the complete subjugation of workers' rights. It's a right-wing thing.

  • Restoras||

    Right of communism, yes. Not an American right-wing thing.

  • Tony||

    We do have our very own special brand of right-wing radicalism. Maybe this time, unlike all the other times in the history of right-wing radicalism, they're right on policy.

  • ||

    Fiscal restraint with money that doesn't belong to you and that the country doesn't actually have = "radicalism"

  • ||

    Toni gets his understanding of political theory from the Policy Adoption in CivilizationV. (i forget what it was called in 4.)

  • Destrudo||

    Yes. Rejecting liberalism = fascism. You are some kind of genius, bottom boy.

  • ||

    Yes. Rejecting liberalism = fascism. You are some kind of genius, bottom boy.

    Duh, Destrudo, in CivV those policies are mutually exclusive.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Rejecting liberalism = fascism.

    Ah! The sainted mantra of MSNBC. ;)

  • PIRS||

    " that rejects liberalism and rationalism in favor of rule by corporate elites and the complete subjugation of workers' rights."

    You mean like this Jeffery Immelt?:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....12005.html

  • KPres||

    "Some fascists have been socialists"

    No, free-market capitalism is incompatible with fascism, which requires that businesses act for the good of the state, as defined by the government, not the businesses themselves.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "liberalism and rationalism" are not synonyms, Tony.

  • ||

    tony, where u get dat bait u trollin' with?

  • KPres||

    "Yes I believe that the so-called tea party are representative of the lowest of low-information voters"

    You believe whatever the MSM tells you to believe.

    The studies show the Tea-Partiers are both more educated than the general population, and more educated about politics, as well.

  • The Theoretician||

    ...the so-called tea party are representative of the lowest of low-information voters, and that a political party that relies on people being ignorant is a dangerous thing.

    That's not true and you know it. The"meat" of the dems demographic are mid two digit IQ mouth breathers and you damn well know it Without the farm animals you have....well...you!

  • MarylandMike||

    We need to stop feeding the troll that is Tony.

  • ||

    Starvation hasn't worked. It's time to gorge it death.

  • ||

    a la Cass Elliot

  • Blech||

    Worst. Sub-thread. Ever.

  • Spnge the Dyslexic||

    Only a COngress could think a balanced budget was a bad thing. every other household, buisness and 49 of the states know that a balanced budget is crucial to surviaval. try running a 41% defict and see how long before you lose everything and file a chapter 11.
    Spending out of controll is much more terroristic IMHO

  • Tony||

    Government should act like a business, but it's not allowed to borrow, invest, or make a profit.

  • ffrr||

    If government accounting was subject to GAAP standards, we would currently be bankrupt.

  • Restoras||

    Yes. Yes, indeed.

  • Pip||

    If government accounting was subject to GAAP standards, we would currently be bankrupt in prision.

  • cynical||

    No, just Congress.

  • PIRS||

    Any business that routinely borrowed and borrowed and borrowed without producing products that people would voluntarily wish to buy would have "gone broke" long ago.

    Try again

  • cw||

    Maybe because government can't make a profit?

  • Tony||

    TARP was profitable to the tune of $20 billion. Besides, it can raise taxes, and that is, in fact, sometimes government's job (like to pay for wars, for example).

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, it's easy to be profitible when you borrow money from the government for nothing and use it to buy their bonds.

  • ||

    Say, anybody else remember the solemn promises that when the TARP money was paid back, it would be used to reduce the debt?

  • Tony||

    Anyone else remember when low taxes were promised to create jobs?

  • cw||

    I agree that lowering tax rates won't necessarily create more jobs. But I argue that raising them won't, either. This just shows that there's more to job creation than just taxes.

    I believe a federal government churning out hundreds of pages of law each year certainly plays a role in businesses' investment decisions. They wouldn't be sitting on so much cash if they thought they could make a good return in the U.S. economy. The debt and size of the federal government plays a big role in this.

  • ||

    I do in fact remember the early 80's quite well? I also remember the early to mid 2000's. Which decade did the better part of you end up as a mattress stain?

  • KPres||

    If you mean the Bush tax cuts, they created 9 million jobs.

  • ||

    Government should aim to be more efficient with the resources it has.

    That's just good common economic sense.

    And when you're dealing with everyone else's money and not just your own, moron, you'd better damned well exercise some common sense.

    Government = operates using other people's money extracted from them by force.

    Business = operates on owner's money used voluntarily to engage in trade on the open market.

    I know you don't understand the difference.

  • Tony||

    The difference appears to be a hangup you have over social contract theory.

    There would be no money without government, and modern economics allows government to control the supply of money for certain desirable ends.

    The important point is that by tacking on microeconomic "common sense" to what should be macroeconomic government policy, you're reducing efficiency and prolonging pain needlessly.

  • ||

    Government does NOT control how money is distributed (nor should it).

    It doesn't start each year by saying, "hey! Here's the pie of (X) dollars we printed up for this year, and everyone gets (X) slice of it! Now support your paymaster unflinchingly, serf!"

    That's not how America, free markets, free people or capitalism works.

    That's how all centralized command economies in history have worked (or more accurately, failed to work).

    This has nothing to do with "pain." It has to do with numbers.

  • Tony||

    There is no such thing as a market without government influence. Wealth is distributed the way it is because of government policy that rewards and punishes certain market activities. You guys generally acknowledge this with respect to any loot in the hands of the poor, but for some reason change your tune when talking about the money concentrated at the top--that's assumed to be the product of a free and fair market and thus shouldn't ever be tinkered with.

  • ||

    There is no such thing as individual and political freedom without a market that is freer from government control than not.

    You don't pull up the poor by pulling down the wealthy. You DO pull the society down when you pull down the producers, as we're witnessing in real time during this Age Of Plenty ushered in by an influx of regulations, legislation and centralized power-grabbing dictated as necessary by your "spread (other people's) wealth around," command-'economic model.'

    Government can't give you anything it did not first take from somebody else by force.

    Markets can give you what you want for what you're willing and/or able to pay in exchange for it.

    Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the other ones.

    The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.

    Etc.

    All objectively and demonstrably true, all ignored. Willfully.

  • Tony||

    A list of cliches doesn't amount to an argument. Markets are great and all, but you admit to their weakness when you say

    "Markets can give you what you want for what you're willing and/or able to pay in exchange for it."

    What if what people want is something only government can provide, like national defense or universal healthcare or a social safety net in order to mitigate the risks that come from living in nature (and in a 'natural' market)? Nothing about the glories of the market preclude people from democratically deciding to pool resources to make society livable and stable. You seem to value giving people only the choices they can make with the money they have in their wallet. There's more to life than that, and that's a terribly unfair system all by itself. You just patch over that unfairness by appealing to moralistic fairy tales about earning and productivity. As if we should all be forced to live according to a morality of work straight from protestant Christianity.

  • ||

    A pile of corpses, poverty and collapsed economies throughout history is an argument. It's just not an argument you want to hear, because it's the application of argument you're making.

    What if what people want is something only government can provide, like national defense or universal healthcare or a social safety net in order to mitigate the risks that come from living in nature (and in a 'natural' market)?You're arguing against a point nobody is making.

    We're not in favor of "no government," becuase that's anarchy (a sub-set of the far leftwing, ironically). We're arguing for limited government.

    Which is what the Founders wanted. Which is what our Constitution provides and requires.


    Nothing about the glories of the market preclude people from democratically deciding to pool resources to make society livable and stable.

    Ah, and when the people democratically decide that they've pooled enough and that the government therefore needs to trim back, they suddenly become "terrorists."

    Got it.

    There's more to life than that, and that's a terribly unfair system all by itself. You just patch over that unfairness by appealing to moralistic fairy tales about earning and productivity.And the solution to "unfairness" (an intentionally arbitrary and nebulous term designed to have a wide range of meaning grafted onto it) is...more government force.

    Because the government always plays fair, is honest, isn't corrupt, doesn't have its own motivations, etc.

    Are you 12? Have you read an American history book? Or any history book?

    As if we should all be forced to live according to a morality of work straight from protestant Christianity.Or a life of rational self-interest and productivity that has nothing to do with Christianity.

    Is that what this is about? Religion? Really?

  • Tony||

    We're not in favor of "no government," becuase that's anarchy (a sub-set of the far leftwing, ironically). We're arguing for limited government.

    Which is what the Founders wanted. Which is what our Constitution provides and requires.

    Well the constitution is just a conversation stopper, since you can say it requires one thing, and I can appeal to centuries of case law and argue that it requires another.

    If all we have are policy differences just say so.

    Ah, and when the people democratically decide that they've pooled enough and that the government therefore needs to trim back, they suddenly become "terrorists."

    They're not terrorists because of the policies they want, they're terrorists because of the methods they used to achieve them.

    Because the government always plays fair, is honest, isn't corrupt, doesn't have its own motivations, etc.

    No, but it's at least democratically accountable, which is not what the market is--which absent government is just a system of competing mafias.

    Is that what this is about? Religion? Really?

    Seems to be. You want me to accept at face value the claim that one's productivity in a market economy should be the sole determination of whether one is allowed to live a decent life. This is not a fact of nature, it's a component of protestant morality. Where is it written that only those who are good at succeeding in a market are worthy of a decent life? Isn't that like saying only Olympic-level athletes are worthy of the same? Maybe not everyone is good at making money. Why does that "crime" deserve the death penalty, or any penalty?

  • Restoras||

    "Markets can give you what you want for what you're willing and/or able to pay in exchange for it."

    How, exactly, is this a weakness?

  • ||

    Because, you see, the government can't force people to give you things that you might want.

    And that's unacceptable. Everybody should have everything, ever, no exceptions. The government should make this happen.

    Only then will we have utopia.

  • KPres||

    "What if what people want is something only government can provide, like national defense or universal healthcare or a social safety net in order to mitigate the risks that come from living in nature (and in a 'natural' market)? "

    What you want is irrelevant when it infringes on other people's right to control their own property. I want a slave. Government can give it to me. That's hardly justification.

  • Tony||

    KPres I've demonstrated countless times that the only possible conclusion to that ethical sticking point is anarchy. If anarchy is the only possible result of your moral premises, then obviously your moral premises are wrong.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    ... and your position in extremis has a name as well, communism.

    There are anarcho-capitalist that post here.

    Both extremes suffer from the same problem, they will only function if everyone plays nice.

  • ||

    You seem to value giving people only the choices they can make with the money they have in their wallet.

    God forbid that anybody should be limited to buying only those things they can actually afford.

  • Mabal Zarhairi, II||

    The problem with this site is we have to create our own democrats in order to keep a thread lively.

  • Restoras||

    Money existed before government.

  • Tony||

    Whether money was invented before government is an academic question, but fiat money certainly can't exist without government.

  • ||

    "fiat money certainly can't exist without government"

    False. Ever heard of BerkShares?

  • Tony||

    BerkShares are a local currency meant for a specific purpose that depend on the existence of the US$ to have any meaning.

  • ||

    You are correct. However, BerkShares could exist without the US government. Fiat money has value because people give it value. The government does not give it value.

  • ||

    People = Consumers

  • Restoras||

    You are saying that money cannot exist without government. That is a lie. Sorry.

  • KPres||

    Fiat money can't exist without goverment?

    Tony, your ignorance betrays you. You can't even grasp a simple concept like fiat money.

    What you don't realize is that every casual reader who comes by here and sees something like that posted is thinking to themselves, "geez, that guy doesn't know what the hell he's talking about."

    You hurt your own cause. You should learn to keep quite about subjects you clearly don't have any kind of command over.

  • ||

    "There would be no money without government"

    False. Ever heard of BerkShares?

  • ||

    "social contract theory."

    I have no social contract except to stay out of other peoples lives as long as they stay out of MINE.

    And that goes for the Government too.

  • jacob||

    Interesting how T-party repubes are declared terrorists by Team Blue and its water carriers in the media. This is the same set that cannot bring itself to declare Jihadi's to be terrorists. The war for some people really does stop at the waters edge.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The terrorists are why Joe needs Secret Service protection at his home. And he's saving the rent money, to offset the terrible cuts to the budget.

  • Tman||

    Hey cut the man some slack. After all he is also a member of the "cracked skull" club, as he so delicately explained to Rep. Gifford.

  • ||

    I'm curious. What other elected officials are certifiably, clinically, brain damaged, besides Joe and Gabby?

  • Tman||

    That reminds me of the PJ O'Rourke piece "Mr. Sununu Goes to Washington"

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....8vqhzs.asp

    Where is there a philosopher in Washington?

    Actually, I was pretty sure I knew where, and never mind that like any intelligent person he didn't major in philosophy. Senator John Sununu (Republican of New Hampshire) earned a BS and an MA in mechanical engineering from MIT, an MBA from Harvard, and a living as a design engineer and manufacturing consultant. His reputation is .  .  . well, as one of his fellow senators said to me, "Don't let anything happen to this boy in the New Hampshire election, otherwise we'll have to argue about who's the smartest person in the Senate." I was willing to bet that Senator Sununu knows that if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, the government will tax the timber industry and subsidize the purchase of Miracle Ears.

  • Pip||

    Obama is emotionally challenged.

  • Majak Jeanie||

    That list is too long. Could you make a simpler request?

  • ||

    No, no, I mean actual physical brain damage. Not just acting like they're brain damaged.

  • Al Franken||

    PRESENT!

  • ||

    Whew! Thank god, Al. We need you.

  • Patrick||

    That's the funniest thing you've ever said.

  • ||

    WELCOME TERRORISTS!

  • Complaint||

    Couldn't you find a way to work in a picture of Kelly Thomas for this story?

  • cynical||

    Maybe a picture of Jared Loughner to shake things up a little.

  • Joe Biden||

    Don't forget Joe!

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Anyone else feel like the lookout on the Titanic? Large bergs narrowly missing us and the Cap'n and crew are throwing on the coal.

    I still say there was enough room on the door, the stupid bitch...

  • ||

    enough with the transportation analogies.....unless someone want's to do a StarTrek one.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Anyone feel like they are stuck on a Borg cube being indoctrinated into the hive mind?...Tony?

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Freedom is irrelevant. Individual rights are irrelevant. You and your property will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

  • ||

    I was hoping more along the lines of "getting the enterprise out of a spacetime anomaly (the ditch) by funneling more antimatter to the nacels...." etc etc.

    The borg stuff doesn't really do the "getting the car out of a ditch" analogy.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Ah..I see. You still think we are one of the good guys. My bad.

  • Greer||

    After watching this, and watching very little of it because it made me want to vomit, the question I had was what is the next round of hyperbole going to be? If voting for a spending bill makes you a terrorist, what's going to happen the next time they debate a bill on drug policy or light bulb bans? What's left after murderer and Nazi and terrorist?

  • MarylandMike||

    It goes Nazi, terrorist, then puupy-raper if memory serves.

  • MarylandMike||

    *puppy

  • jacob||

    I think you missed the father-rapist, mother-killer stage

  • Brett L||

    Doesn't litterer come after father-raper?

  • Pip||

    COAL BURNER!!!

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Mike, Mike, Mike...Judging by our prisons we should know that drug dealers and drug users are defnitely worse than Nazis.

  • ||

    What's left after murderer and Nazi and terrorist?

    Galactus.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    ... followed, inevitably, by Squirrel Girl.

  • Pip||

  • T||

    I need to revisit all reasons the left and the .gov think I'm a terrorist. It's getting pretty long.

  • ||

    you're including that post you just made, right?

  • Democrat, circa 2004||

    DON'T QUESTION MAH PATRIOTISMS!!!!!!!!!

  • Democrat, 2011||

    GROWTH OF GUBMINT SPENDIN REDUCIN TERRISTS!!!!!!

  • Anomalous||

    Silence! I keel you!

  • Mike M.||

    Remember all the "civility" talk after the Giffords shooting?

    I guess "civility" to a leftist is defined as: you keep your mouth shut and do as your told, and furthermore you agree with what we say or else we'll call you a terrorist, Nazi, or any under name under the sun.

  • The Left||

    Shut the fuck up, Nazi.

  • Restoras||

    Well, yes, civility is reserved for those who are civilized, so obviously only those that think like they do. Everyone else is a barbarian.

  • ||

    I got a particularly large charge out of the Democratic complaints of lack of compromise on the part of Republicans after a year and a half of
    "we won, elections have consequences, now we're going for Obamacare no matter what you Republicans -and the majority of the people- want."

  • cw||

    All I have to say is: On man's "terrorist" is another's freedom fighter.

  • Greer||

    One man's terrorist is another man's useless politician who is getting vilified not for cutting shit but for proposing decreased spending increases that probably won't happen anyway.

  • Greer||

    The thing I learned (relearned) is that these people will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER cut anything. I'd say for starters to cut the Dept of Education. If proposing not increasing spending makes them terrorists, then I'd be a nuclear bomber for proposing that. We will never have a smaller government, EVER. Makes me want to vomit.

  • Tony||

    The point is that they wanted to impose a highly unpopular agenda by exploiting legislative technicalities and holding the economy hostage rather than just putting it up to a vote. If Democrats had done anything like this to impose universal healthcare the tone here would be very different.

  • Restoras||

    Do you hear yourself?

    That's exactly what the Democrats did, Tony.

  • Tony||

    The Democrats did not force anyone to vote for it based on the threat of deliberately wrecking the economy.

    The only procedures they used in order to get a plan passed were the same ones used earlier to pass the Bush tax cuts, so meh.

  • Restoras||

    Technically, I suppose you are right - they just forced it down the throats of the electorate by bribing individual Congresscritters.

    Now this nonsense about deliberately wrecking the economcy - are you saying that it wasn't already wrecked?

  • Tony||

    "Forcing down our throats" as you guys all uniformly parrot Rush Limbaugh's formulation, means legitimately passed through a vote in the legislature, not passed under the coercive threat of letting the US default on its debts.

  • Restoras||

    Again, fair enough (though I don't listen to Rush, or watch Fox News, for the last fucking time, clownshoes) though I'd point out that part of the reason, in fact perhaps a very big part of the reason, that your Team Blue lost the House was because it was forced down the throats of an electorate that didn't want it.

  • ||

    Yeah, but the lack of compromise WAS kinda noticeable. That's why no Republicans voted for Obamacare, isn't it?

  • Tony||

    Ask any liberal if he thinks Obamacare wasn't a compromise.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Details, Tony. You know damned well Team Blue does shit like that when they don't have the majority.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    "legislative technicalities" = damn Constitution getting in the way again.

    Fuck...swore I wouldn't respond to Tony's shit stains anymore...

  • cw||

    [...]holding the economy hostage[...].

    Ugh, do you ever come up with your own shit? I mean, seriously: how the fuck were they holding the economy hostage? Did Obama hold the economy hostage by not agreeing to the Boehner/Reid plan? No? Consistency lacking, then.

    Besides, Obamacare is FORCING law onto us; the Republicans not voting for tax increases is not FORCING anything onto any of us!

  • Mabal Zarhairi, II||

    holy wow, this tony (_!_) could be the real thing! don't piss him off, we need him! He uses big words, too, "macroeconomics, microeconomics" you know, dumb shit like that when talking about how ignorant others are.

  • Restoras||

    He did go to college, you know.

  • ||

    I guess it takes a couple of years of indoctrination to become so misinformed.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "He did go to college, you know."

    And that is where his Brain and common sense were removed. And replaced with "book smarts"....those fix everything ya know.

  • some guy||

    Tony, how exactly did the Tea Party hold up this legislation when they don't control 41% of the Senate or 51% or the House?

  • Tony||

    Minority rule is the new black. Now in both houses!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And, someday, your party will do the exact thing.

  • cw||

    Bush-years Leftists: "How dare you call us terrorists for objecting to the government!"

    Obama-years Leftist: "Those who disagree with the president are TERRORISTIESS!!!@!!@$%%@!"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good call, cw.

    The same people who yelled "dont trust The Man" and "question authority" in their youth, now demand what they preached against.

  • Yet another Dave||

    Not that long ago, these very same voices were calling for a toning down of the "violent" political rhetoric in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....06232.html

  • ||

    If the right truly are terrorists, which the left appears to believe in the fevered swamps of its collective lore, then isn't the left shirking it's duty to provide for the safety of the people by not simply killing them outright?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Yes...there must be a reckoning or the left will turn out to be the disingenuous hypocrites we all know them to be. Once a the 'publicans are back in, read the last sentence but switch the word 'left' with the word 'right'.

  • Yet another Dave||

    I'm also confused. According to the mainstream media, Tea Party politicians holding to their guns are "terrorists" who are "holding the economy hostage," but the president and other left-wingers holding to their guns during the debate ... are not. Oh, okay - I see the difference ...

  • some guy||

    Yeah it's funny how the Tea Party apparently has enough votes in Congress to stop bills from passing. Last time I checked they didn't hold 51% of the House or 41% or the Senate...

  • ||

    All over the world, people shake in fear at the prospect of Al-Queda refusing to support socialized medicine.

    -jcr

  • DK||

    Jesus fucking Christ! This entire board is Tony making his usual inane comments, being refuted, refusing to acknowledge the refutations, and going off on the same exploitation bullshit we've heard so many times before. Can we just stop engaging him? It's clear that he can't understand argumentation. Why are you all still bothering?

  • ||

    Tony, Tony, Bo-bony,
    Banana fana fo fony,
    Fee-fi-mo, mony
    Tony!

  • some guy||

    C'mon DK. It's fun to watch Tony paint himself into a logical corner every day. We just have to each take our turn slapping him down so no one gets too tired of his antics.

  • ||

    Actually, responding to Tony shows a scientific proof that the left doesn't care what the facts are its all about feelings. And what does the proof tell us, we are screwed because the media is of the same bent and hence nothing will change.

  • ||

    Thank you to the usa. Notice how terrorist come in power. They went after police officers youth and jobs.(managers,doctors,psychologists). Why do we not have aggressive attitude towards stoping them? Some hire their relatives to support corruption here in the usa. New genetic a new person! Legalize low grade weed. Well be careful. Rev 12:9kjvzond. rom 3:23kjvz Righteoussness not self centeredness.

  • ||

    If only the right were actually thought to be terrorists, our leaders would be apprehensive of them and unwilling to act so as to piss them off. Oh well, artistic license has its way, eh?

  • The Left||

    Do the Terrorists Win if We Balance the Budget?

    To answer your question: yes.

  • Tncm||

    This is probably the fifth time I'm making a list like this for Tony, but here we go.

    1. How much money people are holding in their cash balance is totally irrelevant. Though nominal prices will no doubt fall, as long as real prices stay in the same proportion, nothing has changed. No resources are being destroyed because people don't spend money. No resources are being unemployed because the demand for money has increased.

    Say's law destroys your argument, but Murray Rothbard also disproved this nonsensical fear of hoarding decades ago.

    2. Inflating our way into full employment (what Keynes called the "money illusion", where historically consumer goods prices rise faster than labor prices and thus real wage rates decline resulting in higher employment) increases economic distortions and malinvestment and thus unemployment in the long run. What needs to happen is for real wage rates in industries that expanded during the "boom" period to fall, while real wage rates in other industries may need to stay the same or rise to match consumer demand. "Aggregate wages", whatever those are, don't need to be moved anywhere.

    3. Stimulus spending cannot alleviate a depression. Using money to employ resources in the productions of goods and services that consumers have no demand for is the definition of self-defeating. Employment is not the end goal, a higher standard of living is. Many countries have had full employment and atrociously poor economies, such as the Soviet Union and Maoist China.

    4. "Excess capacity" is a red haring. At one point in time we had "excess capacity" in the tools used to produce horse-and-buggy carriages while they were unemployed and being absorbed into other industries. Should we have employed them, once again, just for the sake of employment?

    5. Not everyone to the right of Clement Attlee is a fascist. In fact fascism would more properly be called a far-left phenomena, as the only thing distinguishing it from communism is its support of the nation as opposed to advocacy for an international alliance of the "proletariat".

    One day you may be able to think in terms besides gross domestic product and aggregate output, but until then you will be stuck in the intellectual morass of the Keynesian paradigm. But at the very least you'll have a lot of company.

  • Tony||

    The problem with Say's law is that it was inadequate to describe a reality in which general gluts can and do happen, with human irrationality playing a role. At least Keynesian economics takes into account actual human behavior when exploiting certain phenomena (e.g. sticky wages) as macroeconomic tools. Nobody, not even businesspeople, act like Say claims they do. Is the current hoarding really a result of government misallocation and not a general feeling of uncertainty? What explains the differences between now and prior to the recession? Government existed then too.

    Using money to employ resources in the productions of goods and services that consumers have no demand for is the definition of self-defeating.

    True, but this is where government plays a vital role: as a buyer acting on behalf of a collective demand (for roads & bridges and the like). There are some goods and services that the private sector has never and cannot provide, like an infrastructure or universal education. Government buying these things, even with debt (or printing money) is not only not a misallocation of resources (government is just another market participant), it's very much investment.

    If Say's law requires that there be no government and no money, what good is it anyway? It seems that classicists like yourself simply want to blackball certain types of consumers (like governments) and certain types of negotiators (like unions) and declare the consequences of their actions to be a "misallocation," as if they aren't every bit as legitimate as market participants as anyone else.

  • Tncm||

    I gave you a chance, Tony. I'm not playing this game where you constantly move the goal post and have me chase red harings for hours on end for your own amusement.

    It is incredibly evident that you don't know what Keynes even meant by a "general glut", you don't know what sticky wages are, you don't know what Say's law is, and you don't know what classical economics is (for the record, I don't support the cost-of-production theory of value, so that alone disqualifies me from the ranks of Adam Smith).

    If you aren't going to debate in good faith than don't debate at all. In short, address my points one by one, including the article I linked, or go away.

  • Tncm||

    *It should read "red herring". I can't believe I butchered the spelling of that word so badly.

  • Tony||

    I don't have to go anywhere because I refuse to spend my afternoon reading Rothbard before you accept my argument as good-faith. You're like CS Lewis, toiling away trying to make real-world sense of an essentially fantastical set of premises. Waste of a mind. I am really just a layperson but you're throwing long-discredited concepts at me as if they prove something, or have any relevance to the specific policy discussions that are happening in the real world. I think I made some points, and you didn't even attempt to address them, let alone in a way enumerated exactly as I demand.

  • Tncm||

    I don't have to go anywhere because I refuse to spend my afternoon reading Rothbard before you accept my argument as good-faith.

    Is it really so troublesome to read three pages from a book? How can you enjoy intelligent discourse if you don't read the evidence your opponent brings forward?

    You're like CS Lewis, toiling away trying to make real-world sense of an essentially fantastical set of premises.

    I'm flattered to be compared to such a literary and intellectual heavyweight like C.S. Lewis.

    Waste of a mind. I am really just a layperson but you're throwing long-discredited concepts at me as if they prove something, or have any relevance to the specific policy discussions that are happening in the real world.

    But you don't have to prove why they're fallacious, of course. Through Krugmanite arguing and appeals to authority you can avoid actually having to debate anything while preserving your veneer of intelligence. And I'm a layman as well; I have no doubt that the folks at CATO and the Mises Institute are far above me in terms of their economic prowess. I've only seriously been studying it for about a year, and thus the books I've read on it are very limited.

    This type of posturing may be the norm at the Huffington Post, but I refuse to accept it here.

    I think I made some points, and you didn't even attempt to address them, let alone in a way enumerated exactly as I demand.

    I'll address your new "points", and if you don't respond in depth to what I've previously posted then I'm done, and you can have the luxury of declaring "victory".

    The problem with Say's law

    This is Say's law. It's not what that liar Keynes said it was, that "supply creates demand", but something else entirely. Keynes had to use a straw man to attack Jean-Baptiste Say simply because the normal iteration of Say's law is truthful and cannot be proven false.

    is that it was inadequate to describe a reality in which general gluts

    Except Say explicitly addresses gluts in the economy, and the boom-bust cycle involves what Hayek called "a cluster of errors" in capital or capital intensive industries.

    Some firms fail (housing industry), some firms see a decline in profits (banks), and some see a rise in profits (Apple and other computer companies). It is not a general glut, but a specific glut. In the same vein, we don't need wages to generally fall, but specific wages to fall.

    with human irrationality playing a role.

    Austrian economic theory does not deny malinvestment. Indeed, its whole business cycle theory is predicated on malinvestment.

    At least Keynesian economics takes into account actual human behavior

    It is the mathematical formulas in econometrics that were popularized by Keynesians like Paul Samuelson that expressly ignore human action and instead opt to throw polynomial functions at statistics in a foolhardy attempt to develop flawed ex post facto economic theory.

    (e.g. sticky wages) as macroeconomic tools.

    Wages are rigid downward due to unionism and government intervention.

    At the beginning of the Great Depression President Hoover, that great laissez-fairest, went around to businesses and begged/bullied them into not cutting wage rates, which of course aggravated unemployment.

    Nobody, not even businesspeople, act like Say claims they do.

    What is this nonsense? Are you sure you know what Say's law is?

    Is the current hoarding

    "Hoarding" is relevant insofar as deflation causes disturbances in markets as nominal prices adjust, which isn't very relevant at all. But if you read that book excerpt I linked you'd know why an increase in saving not matched by investment (or as Keynes might say, a mismatch between national income and national expenditure with the former exceeding the latter) by itself has no effect on employment, no effect on return interest, no effect on loan interest, and no effect on the capital structure.

    government misallocation and not a general feeling of uncertainty?

    Could you rephrase this question? It seems eerily like a false dichotomy to me.

    What explains the differences between now and prior to the recession?

    The difference? I suppose the names of the people in government.

    True, but this is where government plays a vital role: as a buyer acting on behalf of a collective demand

    "Collective demand"? Only individuals can act. Thus, concepts like "collective demand" or "social demand" are ridiculous because "society" cannot demand things.

    (for roads & bridges and the like)

    Why can't those be provided by the market? Why can the market provide something as essential as food and clothing and not a bridge?

    There are some goods and services that the private sector has never and cannot provide,

    Name any good or service that the government provides and I can find you an example of the private sector supplying it now or supplying it in the past.

    like an infrastructure or universal education.

    Well, universal education cannot be provided by anyone simply due to the scarcity of resources.

    Government buying these things, even with debt (or printing money) is not only not a misallocation of resources

    If people truly demanded those things then they would be profitable and hence businesses would produce them. In fact, one of the greatest "arguments" for government spending is that they "invest" in ventures that are unprofitable, and thus wasteful.

    If Say's law requires that there be no government and no money, what good is it anyway?

    It doesn't require either of those things.

    It seems that classicists like yourself

    Do you even know what that is?

    simply want to blackball certain types of consumers (like governments)

    I do tend to look down on thieves, yes.

    and certain types of negotiators (like unions)

    Unions are fine, it's only when they're granted a monopoly by the government that they become a problem.

    and declare the consequences of their actions to be a "misallocation," as if they aren't every bit as legitimate as market participants as anyone else.

    When you invest in a production process which creates a good or service that isn't financially remunerative, that is the definition of a malinvestment. So yes, it is malinvestment.

  • Tony||

    the normal iteration of Say's law is truthful and cannot be proven false.

    This sounds suspiciously close to my problem with Say's law, that it is unfalsifiable. Isn't the point that government interference disrupts the natural equilibrium of the market? But there will never not be a government, and if the repeated overproduction crises of the past two centuries don't conflict with Say's law but only because government was around to blame, then I fail to see what Say's law actually purports to do except act as a description of an idealized world or as mere tautology.

    Some firms fail (housing industry), some firms see a decline in profits (banks), and some see a rise in profits (Apple and other computer companies). It is not a general glut, but a specific glut. In the same vein, we don't need wages to generally fall, but specific wages to fall.

    Even if there are profit-making sectors, are we not in a general glut caused by the collapse of the housing bubble? You'd probably want to argue that government is to blame for any bubble, but that isn't really confirmed by history, and specifically not in this case. Government was part of the misallocation, but not as big a part as market apologists think.

    "Collective demand"? Only individuals can act. Thus, concepts like "collective demand" or "social demand" are ridiculous because "society" cannot demand things.

    Now we're getting down to your rather casual assumptions. Even if you call societal demands a collective desire to steal, they still exist. The political realm does not act like a market but it still, in my view perfectly legitimately, reallocates goods, services, and wealth to meet demands that are just not met by the private sector.

    Why can't those be provided by the market? Why can the market provide something as essential as food and clothing and not a bridge?

    It could provide a bridge, but it won't provide an infrastructure. Who would invest in something like that, the purpose of which is to facilitate a market economy for the general good, not provide some private actor with a return? It's simply investment, just one made collectively.

    So the point isn't that the market can't build a bridge or educate a student, but it won't provide these things universally, and it's clear that a modern civilization needs some sort of universally accessible infrastructure and universal education--without regard to ability to pay--because the market lacks one essential quality: fairness of access. We do not come into the world as a new generation with a blank slate economy, so even if your claims about the culprits of malinvestment are true, that's still a reality that must be dealt with. And attempting to overhaul civilization to approach some measure of a blank slate economy is neither feasible nor less intrusive than any other form of tinkering.

    Well, universal education cannot be provided by anyone simply due to the scarcity of resources.

    But universal education is supplied all the time in every modern country. This is achieved because governments act as the buyer on behalf of the people--lo and behold demand creates the supply.

  • Tncm||

    This sounds suspiciously close to my problem with Say's law, that it is unfalsifiable. Isn't the point that government interference disrupts the natural equilibrium of the market? But there will never not be a government, and if the repeated overproduction crises of the past two centuries don't conflict with Say's law but only because government was around to blame, then I fail to see what Say's law actually purports to do except act as a description of an idealized world or as mere tautology.

    If you won't actually read the article and address its contents then our discussion of Say's law is finished. I will not tolerate sophistry; and for the record, if you knew anything about logic then you'd know that Say's law isn't a tautology and that even if it was, truisms can tell us important things about the world around us.

    The fact that you've reverted from Keynesian animal spirits into the overproduction theory shows that you are both a loon and are concerned with winning a debate by shifting goal posts, not furthering your or my understanding of economics and the various schools which contribute to it. You need to actually pick a position and stick to it, otherwise debating you becomes impossible. I can certainly explain why the overproduction theory of the boom-bust cycle is false, but something tells me you don't actually believe in it and instead you're throwing a red herring in my face.

    Even if there are profit-making sectors, are we not in a general glut caused by the collapse of the housing bubble?

    It cannot be called a general glut because as I have stated thousands of times it is capital and capital-intensive industries that are hit in recessions. If something is specific then obviously it cannot be general.

    ou'd probably want to argue that government is to blame for any bubble, but that isn't really confirmed by history,

    So now we're fallaciously appealing to history.

    First and foremost, just because something hasn't happened in the past doesn't mean it can't happen now. This requires no further explanation.

    Second, history is actually on the side of Hayek, not Keynes. If recessions were caused by a sudden drop in consumer spending then we'd see industries that produce consumer goods being hit hardest by recessions and not industries which are far from consumer spending.

    Government was part of the misallocation, but not as big a part as market apologists think.

    Considering that it was the government which was engaging in credit expansion and not private actors, the federal government is the only actor which blame can be placed on.

    To idiotically blame recessions on "excessive greed" is like blaming plane crashes on "excessive gravity".

    Now we're getting down to your rather casual assumptions. Even if you call societal demands a collective desire to steal, they still exist. The political realm does not act like a market but it still, in my view perfectly legitimately, reallocates goods, services, and wealth to meet demands that are just not met by the private sector.

    Society cannot act, only individuals can act. Therefore, everything in that paragraph is wrong.

    It could provide a bridge, but it won't provide an infrastructure.

    in·fra·struc·ture
       [in-fruh-struhk-cher] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    the basic, underlying framework or features of a system or organization.
    2.
    the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools.

    The private sector has provided or is providing all of those things.

    Who would invest in something like that, the purpose of which is to facilitate a market economy for the general good, not provide some private actor with a return? It's simply investment, just one made collectively.

    You could earn a return on a bridge by charging some sort of user fee, so it very well could be profitable.

    So the point isn't that the market can't build a bridge or educate a student, but it won't provide these things universally,

    Can government make goods or services non-scarce?

    and it's clear that a modern civilization needs some sort of universally accessible infrastructure and universal education

    Prove it.

    without regard to ability to pay--because the market lacks one essential quality: fairness of access.

    You're going to have to prove why I or anybody else should care about such a vein abstract like "fairness". Bonus points if you accomplish the impossible by doing it without appealing to emotion.

    And attempting to overhaul civilization to approach some measure of a blank slate economy is neither feasible nor less intrusive than any other form of tinkering.

    I don't want to do that, and neither does any other libertarian.

    But universal education is supplied all the time in every modern country.

    Of uniform quality and of unlimited supply?

    This is achieved because governments act as the buyer on behalf of the people

    If people truly demanded something then it would be profitable and produced by the private sector, hence the government wouldn't have to act as a "purchaser on behalf of the people".

    lo and behold demand creates the supply.

    So a simple desire for something magics it into existence? Why isn't there bountiful food in Africa if this thesis is true?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I don't have to go anywhere because I refuse to spend my afternoon reading Rothbard before you accept my argument as good-faith.

    Start making good-faith arguments and people would start accepting them, you mathematically-challenged goon.

  • Fluffy||

    Tony,

    Although there have been a lot of nice tangents in the discussion in this thread, the bottom line is this:

    If you and I were the only human beings left on earth, and I refused to interact with you in any way, I suppose in some tortured meaning of the word I would be "forcing" you to take care of yourself.

    But it's infinitely morally bankrupt to regard that kind of "forcing" as the same as the kind of "forcing" that would be involved if I decided to catch you and make you my fucking slave and servant instead. Or if I decided to kill you for fun.

    By showing up in this thread to argue against my point, you actually proved it.

    I stated that to a leftist it's "violence" if you do absolutely nothing to someone except decline to be their servant. You showed up and demonstrated that this is EXACTLY what you think, and proudly so.

  • Tony||

    At least we agree that there is a moral distinction between slavery and things that are not slavery.

    So is servanthood. Neither of these things is equivalent to taxing and pooling of resources.

    My only point is that your system has costs to individuals just like mine. I think mine are less overall because pooling can result in more efficiency. Which is exactly what all but the starkest anarchist believes with respect to national defense and certain other services. Unless you are a total anarchist you have to accept a certain amount of government force and resource pooling--and at that point we simply have a difference in policy preferences. There is no underlying moral difference.

  • Fluffy||

    Where is it written that only those who are good at succeeding in a market are worthy of a decent life?

    Because that's the default state.

    We all come into the world naked.

    Beyond that, the default state is "no effort" and "zero wealth".

    Somebody has to make an effort and be productive for anything to exist at all.

    The default state would be for those people to be productive (and comfortable) and for everyone else to remain at zero.

    You need to generate a positive moral proof to move us OFF of that default state.

    And you haven't even tried to do that.

  • Tony||

    I understand the point, but the market is not the totality of human existence. People deserve not to starve whether they can produce a widget or they're a quadriplegic. A lot of you appeal to natural rights that come with being human. Fine, I just assert as a premise a few more natural rights than you do (understanding them for the convenient fiction they are).

  • Tncm||

    I understand the point, but the market is not the totality of human existence.

    Straw man. No one here has ever claimed that, let alone Fluffy.

    People deserve not to starve whether they can produce a widget or they're a quadriplegic.

    Prove that they deserve it. Otherwise this is just an appeal to emotion.

    A lot of you appeal to natural rights that come with being human. Fine, I just assert as a premise a few more natural rights than you do (understanding them for the convenient fiction they are).

    And then you're in trouble when you run into people like me who argue for libetarianism from a purely materialist and thus economic perspective.

  • Tony||

    Prove that they deserve it.

    You can't prove a normative value. Which means you can't prove that they don't deserve it, and you can't prove that someone deserves not to be taxed. You're allowed your moral premises and I'm allowed mine. Mine are just better.

    And then you're in trouble when you run into people like me who argue for libetarianism from a purely materialist and thus economic perspective.

    I fail to see how you approach the subject of how people should live without asserting any values. And your economics are largely unfalsifiable bunk.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "You're allowed your moral premises and I'm allowed mine. Mine are just better."

    You can think your way is more efficient, but that it requires my labor to support your way makes me a "servant" to you in proportion to the amount of my labor (taxes) you take (or the government takes by proxy).

    Also, you argue that you are allowed your "opinion" but then you admit you wish to put it into action. If this is successful (as your big government kind has made a reality) it becomes policy backed by the force of the US government. It is no longer an opinion, but rather a shackle around my neck.

    And the biggest blow to your premis that yours are "better" is that you can have no complaints about Bush invading Iraq or lowering taxes. He was doing what he thought was "right" and was convinced that his morality was "better" than that of other people.

    If you play this game, you really only play the game of "whoever is in charge gets to do what they want, with no restrictions"

    The depth of your ignorance is exceeded only by the breadth of your arrogance.

  • Tony||

    You are not a servant if you are allowed an equal say in the matter. Just because you don't get your way doesn't mean it's not legitimate. It's how decision-making works with large groups of people. Sometimes you don't get your way.

    My moral premises certainly do not permit a massively destructive and expensive phony war based on lies. Not sure where you came up with that one.

    If you play this game, you really only play the game of "whoever is in charge gets to do what they want, with no restrictions"

    Power is power. There is no talisman of moral superiority you can hold up against it. Of course power should have restrictions. That's the whole point of government. You act like there can never be coercive forces in your life without government. It exists to mitigate the illegitimate forms.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "You are not a servant if you are allowed an equal say in the matter."

    Ok, what if 51% of the population decided to tax 100% of the other 49%. The 49% had their "vote" and lost. Are they not servants? Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Power is power. There is no talisman of moral superiority you can hold up against it."

    Could not have said it better myself. However, you still maintain that power is only used for "good" when it is held by the government. How come the government wants to restrict the freedom and power of everyone and everything except itself?

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "My moral premises certainly do not permit a massively destructive and expensive phony war based on lies. "

    and what is Libya? Bay of Pigs? Vietnam? Iraq? There are lot of democratic presidents who ran some of those wars.

  • Tony||

    I don't maintain that at all. Government is supposed to have checks and balances on its power, power that is bestowed upon it via the consent of the governed so that they are protected from non-legitimate forces in the world. Your worldview is the one that depends on nonsense expectations, namely that wealthy individuals and corporations will never abuse power without government.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Corporations can only abuse power when government gives it to them. How can Walmart hurt you? They can't unless you are forced to shop there. Simply stop shopping there and they can't hurt you. If the government uses eminent domain to seize your private land to sell to them then you are being hurt. But it took government to make that happen. If a company pollutes you can sue them for damages. That also works as a deterrent.

    On the other hand, a vengeful police officer or a greedy politician can throw you in jail for the rest of your life or take your life savings. You can just be sitting in your house. Like this guy: ( http://lufkindailynews.com/new.....03286.html )

    Libertarianism maintains that people will do what is in their interest and so we should decentralize and check that power because it will always be used and abused. You say centralized power and authority will be used for good and those who attain that power will look beyond their own needs and faults and do "the right thing". Even if they do, they have to be omniscient to know what the right thing is.

    Who is living in fantasy land?

  • Tncm||

    You can't prove a normative value. Which means you can't prove that they don't deserve it, and you can't prove that someone deserves not to be taxed. You're allowed your moral premises and I'm allowed mine.

    I have no moral premises.

    Mine are just better.

    Prove it.

    I fail to see how you approach the subject of how people should live without asserting any values.

    I don't. I support free markets purely for selfish reasons, i.e. that I benefit from them. That everyone else does as well is happy coincidence.

    And your economics are largely unfalsifiable bunk.

    You are such a tool.

    If something is deducted from a true axiom then that statement is also true. The whole corpus of mathematics is accomplished by logical deduction from basic axioms. The most sophomoric of logicians can tell you this.

    You can disprove these deductions by showing a flaw where it has deviated from the logical chain of discovery. Thus math and economics are both falsifiable.

  • ||

    Assuming a balanced budget means bringing our troops home from the middle east and elsewhere, then yes some terrorists claim this is what they wanted all along anyway. If what they really want is the destruction of America as some of our Pols say, then no. It will only make America stronger.

  • ||

    By the way, I hope the equating of terrorists to the tea party is correct in the sense of unflinching, unwavering, uncorruptible support for their cause. However disgusting one finds the culture of those Afganis, they have been literally fighting for their cause for something like 30 years now. Thats dedication.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    Say what you will about the tenets of jihadism, at least its an ethos

  • ||

    This government is like a morbidly obese lady who claims she will lose weight by cutting 100 calories from her 5000-calorie-a-day diet.

  • Rosanne||

    5,000 calories isn't the normal daily intake?

  • ||

    Boy, Tony sure seems to have a lot of free time on his hands.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid are both arrogant bitches:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/se.....with-house

  • Some Guy||

    The country has been radicalized by reality. A new CNN poll finds that though they rightly disapprove with everyone involved, 65 percent of those polled think that cuts in the debt deal were appropriate.

    They were radicalized by the "reality" of unspecified future cuts?

  • منتديات تهاويل||

    They were radicalized by the "reality" of unspecified future cuts?

  • Wulfy||

    The hysteria continues: Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes uses a quote from a horror writer to describe the Tea Party's role in the debt debate:
    "It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity and desolation; the putrid, dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation; the awful baring of that which the merciful earth should always hide. God knows it was not of this world.”

    When ideological rhetoric gets this Manichaean, there can be no reconciliation, no compromise. This is a fight to the death. The moderates will be replaced by real fighters in the next two election cycles. Real cuts will be made. Govt dependence will get violent. They will be suppressed by people who don't take shit. Between statists and creators, there can be no compromise when you run out of other peoples money. As was said in the Highlander movies about the immortals... "In the end, there can only be one."

  • Tony||

    There are a lot more poor people than "creators." (So they've gone to full deity status now?)

    Though we've certainly been hard at work preventing them from having any say in their society. We throw a good chunk of them in prison. I wonder how libertarians reconcile the fact that seriously reforming drug laws would put a lot of people on the streets who will vote against the plutocrats.

  • Wulfy||

    Yes I support creators because even an entry level toilet cleaner can be a creator if he finds a more efficient way to clean toilets and hires two more guys and teaches them the process. Libertarians believe that if you stop giving fish to able bodied people they will devise better ways to fish. Parasites devote their creative energy to find ways to get govt "benefits" for doing very little productive work. Tea partiers

  • Tony||

    The problem is you define productive (or creative) as synonymous with wealthy, and parasitic as synonymous with poor. What if the wealthy can be parasites too? I argue that they have been, much, much more destructively than results from any safety net handout. Yet you guys offer no solutions whatsoever to the distortions that come from the wealthy gaming the system in their favor. You, in fact, want to make it easier for them.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Yet you guys offer no solutions whatsoever to the distortions that come from the wealthy gaming the system in their favor. You, in fact, want to make it easier for them."

    Our solutions, half wit, are to lessen the government authority that abuses its power to give handouts and special treatment to anybody especially the crony capitalists. It is government that promotes this "gaming" and you, sir, are the one who wishes to make it worse, by giving them more authority. You don't get rid of corruption by giving more authority and money to crooked cops and the same stands for politicians.

  • Tony||

    Government is always going to be there, so the question is how do you prevent cronyism? By making government weaker? The power of wealthy interests will be there regardless, and I fail to see how you mitigate it by reducing the police power over it.

  • Wulfy||

    Fatfingered it....tea partiers want to enable the poor to be creators, not extort them.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "I wonder how libertarians reconcile the fact that seriously reforming drug laws would put a lot of people on the streets who will vote against the plutocrats
    Hmmmm, tough one there, Ton...oh, yeah, they will support the people/party/politicians who pushed to let them out of prison because their "crimes" were victimless and only made crimes by nanny state lovers like yourself. I doubt they would vote for drug-war-loving dems or repubs (which just happen to be big government types - the opposite of libertarian)

  • Wulfy||

    Ditto on that. The fact that we have to explain to Tony what a creator and a victimless crime is typifies the confusion statists have about what liberty is. Tony's repeated use of the term plutocrat is betrays his Marxist obsession with inequality of outcome being the root of all evil. Liberty is both a natural right and a govt policy of enabling equal opportunity with free trade and property rights protection, but Marxists think liberty is economic power which is a zero sum commodity that the rich steal from the poor. Their core emotional power is envy and the infantile desire of a paternal/maternal power to equalize pleasure and give them goods just for breathing, while libertarian core emotion is lawful competition in markets and creative competition against hostile natural and human adversaries which would try and take their life or property by force. Statists are clearly hostile towards liberty, and must be eradicated, hopefully by democratic means, but if they respond to the teat being ripped away with violence, as they are in Europe, libertarians will not be so appeasing. We do not initiate violence, but if attacked, we shoot back.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    True. That's why Tony won't follow-up and explain why he thinks non-violent drug offenders released from jail by libertarian minded pols would support the big government politicians that put them in jail.

  • Tony||

    Oh look another internet revolutionary. You want a radical reformulation of what a modern society means, and if you don't get your way you're going to shoot those who disagree with you. What an appealing worldview you have.

    I don't operate from a position of envy. I have no cause to envy anyone. I think I'm talking about a modicum of fairness in the service of capitalism. Look at what you're arguing for (and want to foment violent revolution over): protecting tax cuts for rich people. How pathetic can you be, really? Again, you suppose all the money at the top was earned, and are equally certain all the money at the bottom was looted. Why? Because the poor are so much more politically powerful than the rich? Surely you realize the things you believe, however justified they are by airy-fairy appeals to natural property rights, is just lame excuse-making for the entrenched power structure. Liberty, bah.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "you suppose all the money at the top was earned, and are equally certain all the money at the bottom was looted"

    And you maintain the opposite. who would be more delusional?

  • Tony||

    I maintain no such thing. I think capitalism rewards what it's set up to reward, and there's absolutely no reason to assume the status quo is anything like the fairest possible set-up.

  • ||

    The fairest possible setup is to have equality before the law.

    A govt. which redistributes -- by the application of its monopoly on violence -- is anything but fair.

    According to the online Merriam-Webster: 'fair' is

    6 a : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism

  • شات بنات مصر||

    much delivers

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNk U

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