Quotable Liberals

Timothy Burke on Timothy Geithner:

Geithner is so far little different in his approach to [transparency] than Hank Paulson. I do not buy that secrecy about the flow of resources into the financial system is a necessary precondition of the success of Administration policy. So far, in fact, every single disclosure about the joint Paulson-Geithner plan is showing that secrecy actually retards the effectiveness of government action. Either you understand that sunlight is cleansing as a basic matter of principle or you don't. So far the Obama Administration is giving every sign that they don't understand, and see transparency just as a buzz word.

Joshua Micah Marshall on the proposed bonus tax:

This seems like just another example of perverse outcomes from the 'worst of both worlds' approach we're taking to the whole finance industry bailout -- keep the same people in charge of the institutions, keep effectively insolvent institutions afloat, but throw a lot of federal dollars in their direction and put in place fairly draconian tax provisions for money that's spent in ways we find either wasteful or offensive.

And because we're paid by the number of comments our posts generate (note: that is not actually true), here's Matthew Yglesias on looking for Galts in all the wrong places:

Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt's ideas are stupid. That said, none of them are nearly this stupid. Rand's novel isn't about a world in which executives who build companies based on a lot of incorrect decisions, then pay themselves millions of dollars while bankrupting their firms, then come to the government hat-in-hand asking for bailouts, then find that the bailers-out want to attach some strings to their hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds and then go to hide out in Galt's Gulch. That doesn't make any sense at all.

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  • ||

    Shut The Fuck Up Matthew Yglesias

  • Seward||

    Perhaps I am wrong about this, but shouldn't that be she "was" a stupid person. Since she is now, deceased? And has been for some time.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Perhaps I am wrong about this, but shouldn't that be she "was" a stupid person. Since she is now, deceased? And has been for some time.

    Leonard Peikoff is her "intellectual heir," so all comments about the current state of her mental capacity should be read as statements about him.

  • ||

    Matthew Yglesias is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

  • ||

    Poor Yglesias. He'll never have 1% of the influence or notability of Ayn Rand.

  • Seward||

    Anyway, I basically agree with all of this; sustaining these businesses via government life support short circuits what is one of the top two or three key things about capitalism; the "creative destruction" element that Schumpeter so elegantly described. Further, I am rather skeptical of the government's ability to efficaciously plan the activities of these companies over the short or long term.

  • @||

    Another WIN for the Obamatarians!

  • ||

    "That doesn't make any sense at all."

    See that's all he need to say - but he's a professional joynolis' and gets paid by the word.

  • Barack Obama||

    Ayn Rand is retarded.

    WHOOPS!

  • Franklin Harris||

    Leonard Peikoff is her "intellectual heir," so all comments about the current state of her mental capacity should be read as statements about him.



    Oh. Well, in that case I guess "she" is stupid.

  • cuernimus||

    Did Rand ever write a book about all the talented individuals that came to the US as a result of their home countries sucking and warn us not to make our country suck that hard? Or was Atlas Shrugged kinda like that, only with rape fantasy, manifestos to the worthlessness of the poor, and Zyklon B?

  • Paul||

    Leonard Peikoff is her "intellectual heir,"

    I always wanted an "intellectual heir".

    But seriously, from what little I know of Yglesias, it seems that support for the bailout is crumbling even with the Obamatrons. Sure, they have to throw in the "but I still hate Capitalism" or at minimum, on of capitalisms so-called figureheads. That's fine with me. But just keep admitting that this government intervention is the biggest epic fail ever.

  • ||

    One quibble with Joshua Micah Marshall:

    We did not "keep the same persons in charge" of AIG. The top executives came in as part of the bailout as "dollar a year men", and were actually appointed, or at least approved, by the government.

    C'mon, Josh! Reality-based, remember?

    I do not buy that secrecy about the flow of resources into the financial system is a necessary precondition of the success of Administration policy.

    A lynchpin of the financial services bailout has been the belief that the sick and wounded must not be separated from the herd, as doing so would prompt ruinous runs and short raids. You can agree or disagree with that view, but you should at least address it.

  • TofuSushi||

    Jesse,

    I think you mean intellectual hair.

  • @||

    So anyone miss Bush yet?

  • @||

    If all the events that have transpired since the beginning of Democrat governance haven't convinced you that the GOP is the natural home for libertarians, you're a Democrat shill.

    End of story.

  • BPC||

    I find it both depressing and hilarious that many liberals hold up Rand as some sort of godlike figure to libertarians.

    Even among Reason writers and commenters there are wildly different feelings about her, from outright hatred, to absolute unfamiliarity with her work.

    People like Yglesias really do think that every libertarian sits at home burning incense in front of their Rand shrines.

    Oh well, collectivist thinking is easier than critical thinking I guess.

  • robc||

    Huh, somehow I thought the natural home for libertarians was the LP.

    I wonder what gave me that idea?

  • Cabeza De Vaca||

    So anyone miss Bush yet?

    No.

  • robc||

    BPC,

    My favorite is the whole "You should have got over Rand about the time you turned 16".

    Considering I hadnt read anything of hers until I was about 25-26, that would have been kinda hard.

  • @||

    They've done such a great job of winning, haven't they robc?

    Anyway almost all LP members are former Republicans. Which should clue you into which major party is preferable by far.

  • TofuSushi||

    Huh, somehow I thought the natural home for libertarians was the LP.

    I wonder what gave me that idea?


    That Rockwell guy?

  • Jerry||

    Matthew Yglesias is such a second hander.

  • ||

    I sure do miss divided government. Apparently, that's the only option left for protecting our liberties.

  • dhex||

    "If all the events that have transpired since the beginning of Democrat governance haven't convinced you that the GOP is the natural home for libertarians, you're a Democrat shill."

    hmmmm.

    i'll take "none of the above" for $600, alex!

  • BakedPenguin||

    So anyone miss Bush yet?



    No. Make that "fuck no".

  • shecky||

    Yglesias has a good point responding to Carol Baum's editorial, where she says:

    The government needs Liddy and Citigroup's Vikram Pandit and Bank of America's Ken Lewis to continue working to restore their firms to prosperity in the same way the looters in Rand's novel need Hank Reardon and Francisco d'Anconia and Dagny Taggart, respectively, to run their steel mills, copper mines and railroad.

    You simply cannot refer to any of the recipients of government bailout in any way as having any Galt-ish qualities.

  • ||

    Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt's ideas are stupid. That said, none of them are nearly this stupid.

    What a delicious strawman to start my day. No sensible person who'd actually, you know, read the book would make any comparison between Rand's individualist heroes and the bailout recipients. Other parallels between Atlas Shrugged and current events absolutely apply, sure. Not this one.

  • Paul||

    So anyone miss Bush yet?

    No, because he made Obama do it.

  • TofuSushi||

  • JB||

    Yglesias is a retard (no wonder he likes the Special Olympics Presidency).

    He admits to not having read Atlas Shrugged. I'd rather see you quote a homeless person.

  • tarran||

    I am willing to bet $5.00 that '@' is Eric Dondero.

  • Jesse Walker||

    No sensible person who'd actually, you know, read the book would make any comparison between Rand's individualist heroes and the bailout recipients.

    That was Yglesias' point, actually.

    So anyone miss Bush yet?

    Is he gone? I didn't notice.

  • BPC||

    robc, I forgot about that one. Another liberal canard is "why don't you go jerk off to Atlas Shrugged some more?"

    I don't know about anyone else, but even my favorite novels don't tend to inspire sudden masturbation.

  • libertarian democrat||

    As much as I dislike Rand and found her characters to be unrealistic, even from a satiric point of view, they get less unrealistic every day.

  • Zeb||

    "If all the events that have transpired since the beginning of Democrat governance haven't convinced you that the GOP is the natural home for libertarians, you're a Democrat shill.

    End of story."

    And you are clearly a GOP shill. The same exact shit would be happening now, whoever won.

  • Bumpers||

    "I always wanted an "intellectual heir"."

    I am fortunate enough to have one. Her name is Heather. She's my German shepherd.

  • Basil Fawlty||

    "I think you mean intellectual hair."

    As always, TofuSushi attemps to be funny.


    And again, fails.

  • JP||

    More and more, the current crop of Leftie Democratic incumbents makes me think of a line from a documentary about Jack the Ripper that has stuck in my head. The narrator was talking about Jack's last known victim, a woman whom Jack murdered and dissected in her apartment, unlike previous victims who were killed in the open:

    "He finally had the chance to do everything he'd always wanted."

    Shudder.

  • KipEsquire||

    "Rand's novel isn't about a world in which executives who build companies based on a lot of incorrect decisions, then pay themselves millions of dollars while bankrupting their firms, then come to the government hat-in-hand asking for bailouts..."

    Um, Jim Taggart?

    P.S. Think Progress is a stupid blog. Yglesias is a stupid man, and liberalism's ideas are stupid.

  • Steve Forbes\' Intellectual Ha||

    I think a case can be made that some of the bailout recipients are Galtish.

    Following the implementation of mark-to-market rules, a lot of companies -- that are and were making money -- were forced to sell off assets in order to have the required amount of cash on hand. Now, what happens when everyone is forced to sell all at once? You have a financial panic.

    Some companies (e.g., Bank of America) were strong-armed into assisting the government in "saving" the economy by buying up their former competitors at inflated prices. You know -- because we can't let prices fall, or we have "market failure." The government then used this is as a way to meddle with the decision about BoA's stock dividend, leading to a collapse in the stock price.

    So, some of these "rogues" are, in fact, the victims of government looting. Or so says my evil master, Steve Forbes.

  • Optimist (not The Angry one)||

    I'm really looking forward to December 21, 2012.

  • ||

    "I don't know about anyone else, but even my favorite novels don't tend to inspire sudden masturbation."

    Well, I wouldn't exactly call them novels.

  • Bumpers||

    "I'm really looking forward to December 21, 2012."

    Why?

  • Seward||

    Bumpers,

    That's when something big happens according to the Mayan Calander. There are all sorts of theories about what it will be - a new age of soft bunnies, the end of the world, etc.

  • kinnath||

    I've never read anything by Rand.

    As I've said before, I became a libertarian after working on group projects in Jr High. I just didn't know what libertarians were called until the 1980 presidential election.

  • Bumpers||

    "That's when something big happens according to the Mayan Calander. There are all sorts of theories about what it will be - a new age of soft bunnies, the end of the world, etc."

    Let's hope it's the bunnies thing.

  • Cabeza De Vaca||

    "I've never read anything by Rand."

    You're a wise man Kinnath.

  • ||

    Yglesias' comparison of Rand's "hero" characters in Atlas to the AIG dirtbags is proof that he doesn't know much about the book. There were just as many businessmen playing the game and living off government regulation as there were Galt-like characters. Whether you agree with her vision of the "ideal person" or not, you have to ignore most of the book to believe that she thought most industrialists and businessmen fit her ideal.

  • Xeones||

    Is he gone? I didn't notice.

    Aaaaand snap, presidency!

  • robc||

    I am willing to bet $5.00 that '@' is Eric Dondero.

    @ is a doing a good job of a Dondero imitation, but Dondero was always so obnoxious about only posting under a real name that ... oh yeah, it is probably him.

  • Seward||

    kinnath,

    I've met few libertarians/free market types who are fond of Ayn Rand, and I've met many who never read her work. I've tried and failed a few times myself.

    Anyway, if one focuses on Rand that is a good way to ignore Hayek, Friedman, Mises, Schumpeter, etc.

  • ||

    JLM,

    Boy, it's like no one here actually clicked the link and read the post. His point was that the AIG execs were nothing like Rand's heroes in response to a Bloomberg columnist heralding them as Galtian champions.

  • kinnath||

    Anyway, if one focuses on Rand that is a good way to ignore Hayek, Friedman, Mises, Schumpeter, etc.

    I've managed to avoid those as well. Does this mean I have to turn in my decoder ring?

  • ||

    Guess I shoulda RTFA. Oh well.

  • Seward||

    kinnath,

    No. There is so meta reason to be a free market type. No meta text one must read.

  • ||

    So anyone miss Bush yet?

    No.

    (crossposted to Balko's new thread)

  • Sam Grove||

    I wonder at some of the criticism's of Atlas Shrugger.

    The characters are unrealistic/caricatures

    Um, her intention was to create dramatic contrast. The characters were created as caricatures to cast them in bold relief. A fairly common device in literature.

    2 Businessmen as hero?

    A very few. James Taggert illustrates the apposite of Rand's ideal.

    I think the leftist mindset requires reading Atlas Shrugged, etc. in the worst possible interpretation, but then, they often are lousy interpreters.

  • robc||

    His point was that the AIG execs were nothing like Rand's heroes

    I think that is clear without clicking the link, but the rest of the quote above is still wrong.

  • ||

    *shrug

    I think Ayn Rand is brilliant.

  • kinnath||

    No meta text one must read.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I was eleven when Martin Luther King was shot. I didn't understand why he was hated until many years later.

  • EJM||

    That's when something big happens according to the Mayan [Calendar].

    Read more here--if you dare. ;)

    (Note that it's also the basis for the name of Milwaukee's most famous Latin hip-hop group.)

  • ||

    I think the constant slanderous conflation of Randians and libertarians shows just how intellectually bankrupt liberal thought is on the subject of liberty. Do they want to talk about their layered rationalizations of theft? Do they want to actually expound on the silly notion that slavery for some is necessary for the freedom of the rest? Do they want to make an honest case for why 51% can brutally oppress the other 49%?

    Nope, they'd rather scream "OMG Rand is the suxxor!" and dance around congratulating themselves.

  • ||

    Can't the feds just annul the $50 billion they gave AIG in the first place? That would make everyone happy.

  • kinnath||

    I don't worry about Mayan predictions. We're only about halfway through god's nine billion names.

  • TofuSushi||

    What is with all of the "meta" usage recently? Is that some new authoritarian codeword or something?

  • kinnath||

    Bean curd boy is the meta cunt of the internet.

  • ||

    In any case, Yglesias is right that the Bloomberg columnist's "AIG execs = Randian superheroes" analogy makes no sense. Being a libertarian doesn't mean defending every moronic thing another libertarian writes.

  • ||

    Knowing is only 25% fresh.

    Anything + Nicolas Cage = sucks. Not even Alex Proyas and the end of the world can counteract his suckiness.

    2012

  • kinnath||

    Happy spring everyone, I'm heading out into the sunshine.

  • Shaggy||

    "Bean curd boy is the meta cunt of the internet."

    No. Meta-meta-mata cunt. So we had him Brazilian bikini waxed.

  • TofuSushi||

  • ||

    I suppose Yglesias had to rebuild his progressive street cred after daring to suggest that market pricing for water might actually work yesterday.

  • alan||

    Hey guys, give Yglesias a break. If he did not qualify his remarks with, 'Atlas Shrugged is a stupid book, Ayn Rand is a stupid woman, and John Galt's ideas are stupid.' that jerk circle of liberal journalist he belongs to would never let him here the end of it.

  • ||

    "That's when something big happens according to the Mayan Calander. There are all sorts of theories about what it will be - a new age of soft bunnies, the end of the world, etc."

    I'm hoping December 21, 2012 is the last time I have to listen to anybody jabber about the Mayan Calendar.

  • alan||

    Perhaps I am wrong about this, but shouldn't that be she "was" a stupid person. Since she is now, deceased? And has been for some time.

    Hey, 'A is A' and the mere element of time nor bodily decomposition can change the immutable truth, silly.

  • alan||

    that jerk circle of liberal journalist he belongs to would never let him here the end of it.

    Fucking homonyms undermine me every time.

  • TofuSushi||

    I wish Ayn Rand were required reading in all private schools.

  • Trig||

    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/files/2009/03/dddrr.jpg

  • ||

    I wish Ayn Rand were required reading in all private schools.

    HAHA!


    Well played...

  • ||

    Fucking homonyms undermine me every time.

    And Logo fucking sucks.

  • @||

    ROFL! That comic strip is hilarious!

  • TofuSushi||

    alan,

    Basil Fawlty (or whatever they are commenting as this hour) may have another fit about that seeing two in one thread.

  • ||

    If Matthew Yglesias has a shred of decency left in him, he will be impotent for the next seven years!!

  • Stagman||

    Anyway, if one focuses on Rand that is a good way to ignore Hayek, Friedman, Mises, Schumpeter, etc.

    You're forgetting that Friedman propped up Pinochet and other such bullcrap. Liberals, I've noticed, like to attacked libertarians via the credibility route rather than actually address the issues. You have read Rand? You are a dumbass. You like Friedman? You support political killing by secret police. It nicely avoids the whole problem of having a real argument with a libertarian.

  • ||

    You libertarians support the Constitution? How awful, it's a slavery document.

  • dhex||

    "Um, her intention was to create dramatic contrast. The characters were created as caricatures to cast them in bold relief. A fairly common device in literature."

    not so much in good literature, however. depends on one's focus, however.

  • alan||

    Basil Fawlty (or whatever they are commenting as this hour) may have another fit about that seeing two in one thread.

    That's why I corrected myself. I'm not sure who Basil is but with a name like that, you can't be too careful. You might be the last guy to smirk at a boy named Sue, before he really snapped and yelled, 'How Do You Do!'

  • ||

    If all the events that have transpired since the beginning of Democrat governance haven't convinced you that the GOP is the natural home for libertarians, you're a Democrat shill.

    Because the events of the last 8 years were so good for freedom and small government.

  • Seward||

    Stagman,

    My response would be that Friedman didn't do any of that. He met Pinochet once. He went down to Chile at the behest of a private organization. He criticized the human rights abuses of the regime there.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Just 10 more comments and I'll get my bonus!

  • KT||

    Yglesias was pointing out the idiocy of these people who talk seriously about "going Galt". And he's right, it is idiotic. Maybe you disagree with him about the merits of Rand's works, but that's not the point.

  • ||

    Just 10 more comments and I'll get my bonus!

    Shoulda worked in something about abortion.

    Yglesias was pointing out the idiocy of these people who talk seriously about "going Galt".

    "Going Galt" is nothing more than a literary device communicating the fundamental truth of RCz First Iron Law:

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish

    Punish innovation, hard work, productivity, etc. with confiscatory taxes and bureaucratic bullshit, and you will get less of it. Its human nature. Not a damn thing you can do about it. Just a fact.

    The idiots are the ones who don't realize this.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    What about these people make them hard working or productive? Innovative perhaps. They innovated the financial system into a collapse.

  • highnumber||

    If all the events that have transpired since the beginning of Democrat governance haven't convinced you that the GOP is the natural home for libertarians, you're a Democrat shill.

    If all the people who have been poisoned by strychnine have not convinced you that cyanide is the food of the gods, then you're a partisan.

  • jp||

    Let it not be said that I didn't do my bit toward Jesse's entirely deserved, earned-with-real-value-creation bonus.

  • alan||

    KT | March 20, 2009, 3:37pm | #
    Yglesias was pointing out the idiocy of these people who talk seriously about "going Galt". And he's right, it is idiotic. Maybe you disagree with him about the merits of Rand's works, but that's not the point.


    Darlin' KT, why would I ever be limited to another person's point?

  • JB||

    KT,

    Yglesias is completely wrong. 3 executives are resigning from AIG. Why save a company so retards like Obama can demonize you all day? Let the affirmative-action articulate one do the work.

    http://twitter.com/GStephanopoulos/status/1359520945

  • ||

    I heard that Yglesias was quoting nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman the other day when he said that abortions create prosperity, and you can prove it by looking at that scene in Star Trek where Yoda shoots first. I'm just saying.

    (Walker, email me for my cut)

  • Jesse Walker||

    Jason and jp, I'll give you both 60%.

  • ||

    Walker, Fuck Jason and jp!

    By my count this is the 10th. Gimmme gimme gimme (just practicin' for the bailout game)

  • Stagman||

    My response would be that Friedman didn't do any of that. He met Pinochet once. He went down to Chile at the behest of a private organization. He criticized the human rights abuses of the regime there.

    Well no shit. What do you think I meant by "other such bullcrap."

  • Jesse Walker||

    KD gets an additional 85%.

  • Right Wing Realist||

    Trolling objectivists? Has reason sunk this low?

  • Right Wing Realist||

    And what the fuck is up with criticizing Ayn Rand? There are like 5 objectivists in the world. Easy target taking lazy MFers.

  • ||

    What about these people make them hard working or productive? Innovative perhaps. They innovated the financial system into a collapse.

    Way to miss the larger point, Tony. "Going Galt" and RC'z First Iron Law point to the inevitable results of the entire Obama program of raising taxes and increasing government control.

    Way to stay fact-free, as well. The AIG execs subject to the confiscatory taxes are not the Bad, Bad Men who drove AIG into the ground. Those guys are long gone. The government is confiscating bonuses from people it has asked to stay around.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I was over there at ThinkProgress.org after reading this, I left a couple comments, probably shouldn't as I had already learned that the few people who pointed out all the stupid were completely ignored.

    But hey, I'm easily baited by idiots... Fight the good fight & all.


    The gist of what I said there:

    The closest person who might be considered to have "gone Galt" is Jim Rogers, as far as I can tell... Rand wasn't "pro-business", but pro-freedom & pro-innovation, most of the businessmen in Atlas Shrugged are douchebags like Jim Taggart, she makes that abundantly clear... Galt/all of the Rand heroes would NEVER have taken bailout money, they probably wouldn't have needed it...

    Blah blah.


    What a really discovered over there was that the people who comment on Yglesias' writing are morons. Their "arguments" primarily consist of parroting the phrase:

    She was stupid! You're stupid too!


    Well done lefties, congrats on the critical thinking skillz.

  • highnumber||

    Sean,
    So you're saying they're all stupid?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    highnumber:

    Not all... but the depth of discourse over there doesn't even compare with the boards over here.

    Imagine if the only comments anyone ever made on the Reason boards (outside of Chapman articles or Chip Bok's cartoons) consisted of:

    That's dumb! You're dumb!

    You like a guy who's dumb so you by extension are dumb!

    OMG you're so stupid!


    Then asking, "Why are we dumb again?" and having the response be... "PSHSHHHHHhhhhhhh... Cause!"

  • Anonymous||

    but the depth of discourse over there doesn't even compare with the boards over here

    And I bet theirs are moderated to delete evils like racism and Christianity.

  • ||

    RC'z First Iron Law

    The end points of the Laffer curve are easy to define. The optimum point, just like the definition of "confiscatory", is hard. Just sayin'...

  • Roberto Villegas||

    Seems Rand is the only one who knew that government spending programs (to fix problems created by government) don't work. If she was stupid, what does that make of today's politicians? The sub-prime crisis was not created by businesses making bad decisions; it was created by Democratic politicians thinking they could "spread the wealth" through Fannie and Freddie. Government created the problem and when they saw they were forcing the insurer of their bad debt instruments out of business they had to act to keep the whole house of cards from falling down. Well the cards still fell and now the government is trying pretend that it is the solution when it has always been and always will be the problem. We need a constitutional amendment that forbids government from interfering in the economy.

  • highnumber||

    The sub-prime crisis was not created by businesses making bad decisions; it was created by Democratic politicians thinking they could "spread the wealth" through Fannie and Freddie.

    Do ophthalmologists treat ideological disorders?
    Cuz, if they do, make an appointment post haste, bro.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Do ophthalmologists treat ideological disorders?
    Cuz, if they do, make an appointment post haste, bro.


    wtf are you talking about highnumber?

    What Roberto Villegas said with respect to the sub-prime nonsense is completely right, perfectly verifiable, and honestly not that hard to check.

    See for instance:
    NY Times: Sep. 30, 1999 - Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

  • highnumber||

    Not to say that gov policies did not play a major issue, but poor business decisions clearly were made. Individuals and corporations were complicit. No way can you put ALL the blame on Fannie or Freddie. Any honest evaluation admits this.

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