One Possible Reason There Are So Few Liberals, Starring Jonathan Chait. And Some Stuff About Tax Progressivity.

About a month ago, New York Times' columnist David Brooks asked "Why aren't there more liberals in America?"

Leaving aside partisan politics, this is an interesting question. The Harris Poll has been surveying Americans on the topic of "political philosophy" since 1968 and the percentage calling themselves liberal had never risen above 20 percent through 2008 (the latest year for which I could find data online).

Part of the reason might be that people who publicly identify themselves as liberal often come across as smug, self-righteous jerks who, even when they swear they are not being patronizing, are in fact being patronizing.

For a recent example, consider New York magazine's Jonathan Chait, who writes:

People often ask, “Why is Jonathan Chait so mean?” It is a fair question, one that...merits a suitably thoughtful reply....

[T]his is why I am forced to be so mean. There are just a lot of people out there exerting significant influence over the political debate who are totally unqualified. The dilemma is especially acute in the political economic field, where wealthy right-wingers have pumped so much money to subsidize the field of pro-rich people polemics that the demand for competent defenders of letting rich people keep as much of their money as possible vastly outstrips the supply. Hence the intellectual marketplace for arguments that we should tax rich people less is glutted with hackery.... A similar problem exists, perhaps to an even worse extent, with climate change denial.

Most people don’t follow these issues for a living and have a hard time distinguishing legitimate arguments from garbage. I don’t mean this patronizingly: I certainly would have trouble distinguishing valid arguments from nonsense in a technical field I didn’t study professionally. But that's why there’s a value in signaling that some arguments aren’t merely expressing a difference in values or interpretation, but are made by an unqualified hack peddling demonstrable nonsense. Being so mean is a labor of love, I confess, but also one with a purpose.

This sort of thinking is about as convincing as Newt Gingrich's claim that he cheated on his wives out of surfeit of patriotism.

Chait, late of The New Republicis no stranger to these pages, as he semi-regularly spews contempt, anger, exasperation, and Lucy Van Pelt-level psychologizing in Reason's general direction. To the extent that he exemplifies character traits associated with liberals, it's no surprise that self-described liberals are few and far between. That he quickly received an attaboy from economist-cum-insult-comic Paul Krugman only underscores the assocation of liberalism with an off-putting, holier-than-thou mentality. "Actually," wrote Krugman at his Conscience of Liberal blog, "I think [Chait']s not mean enough here; some of the hacks know that they’re being hacks, and are putting out deliberate falsehoods." This from the Nobel prize winner who just earlier this year said "I've never gone ad hominem," a demonstrably false assertion that Bloomberg Businessweek has some fun with in this infographic.

The object of Chait's ideological noblesse oblige during this particular blood-sugar spike is Veronique de Rugy, Reason columnist, Mercatus Center economist, and my frequent collaborator. Or, as Chait prefers to call her, that "ubiquitous right-wing misinformation recirculator."

De Rugy had the temerity to cite OECD data suggesting that contrary to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. federal tax system is more progressive than those in most developed countries. What do we mean by "progressive?" Chait defines it as "the degree to which a tax system increases tax rates on higher-income earners."

Which is what de Rugy is talking about. Specifically, the spread in effective tax rates (that is, the progressivity in the system) is greater over here because the U.S. gets most of its revenue from income taxes and because the U.S. gives all sorts of exemptions to lower- and middle-class citizens, many of whom pay no income tax (note: de Rugy is talking about all taxes, including payroll taxes, and not just income taxes). In contrast, the higher marginal income tax rates common to Europe kick in at much lower levels of income, large chunks of the overall revenue is raised via universal consumption taxes such as the V.A.T., and exemptions and refunds common to the American system are minimal.

So the effect is that the spread in effective tax rates in Europe is smaller than in the U.S. For more on this, check out Greg Mankiw's discussion of the OECD data (check the data out here) at the heart of things and Scott Sumner's Money Illusion blog. Sumner, a Bentley College economist, writes that "many American progressives keep insisting that we can get closer to the (egalitarian) European model by making the US tax system more progressive, by having the rich pay more."

Throughout her work on the topic, de Rugy notes that the European system is more regressive and raises more revenue as a percentage of GDP. And she's interested in calling attention to the paradoxes of such a situation. To wit,

Progressive public finance experts like Peter Lindert have shown that most European tax regimes are able to collect more revenue than ours (as a share of gross domestic product, not in total) by having a more regressive -- not progressive -- tax system.

In other words, European Union governments understand that in order to feed their welfare states, governments must collect taxes from all citizens, including those at the bottom of the income ladder.

At the same time that the U.S. revenue mechanism charges higher rates to the wealthy (that is, is more progressive), however

Government spending here is significantly less progressive than it is in Europe. According to the OECD, European countries devote a significant share of their budget to progressive social transfers.

In the United States, on the other hand, only 14 percent of the budget goes to lower-income Americans. That's because much of the budget is spent on the middle class and better-off members of our society -- among other things in the form of Social Security and Medicare payments.

If you can stand the blatant, obvious hackery and ideologizing-uber-alles embedded in such prose, read more here, here, and here.

Over at The Atlantic, Clive Crook, who stresses that he respects Chait, weighs in on the matter thus:

When Chait, with all the authority of a leading light of the intellectual world, says "Rich Americans pay a bigger share of the tax burden because they earn a bigger share of the income, not because the U.S. tax code is more progressive," he is making the same kind of sloppy bias-driven error he falsely accuses de Rugy of making. (I'll refrain from wondering whether he made the mistake deliberately.) According to the OECD, rich Americans bear a bigger share of the tax burden because they earn a bigger share of the income and because the US income tax system is more progressive....

Why, according to the OECD, is the US system so progressive? Not because the rich face unusually high average tax rates, but because middle-income US households face unusually low tax rates--an important point which de Rugy mentions and Chait ignores.

Crook concludes that "on the topic in question, De Rugy is right and Chait is wrong....I'd say he owes de Rugy an apology."

Yeah, well, here's hoping. Indeed, in his latest foray on the subject, Chait brushes aside Crook and writes:

It’s possible that, by pairing my critique of de Rugy’s error (which I would describe as an extremely elementary error) with a broader disparagement of her credentials, I have made it impossible for her to actually concede error. Or possibly she genuinely does not understand the problem here. I’m not sure. My general experience is that the conservative movement is filled with polemicists who repeat very basic statistical fallacies like this, and seem immune to correction regardless of the level of politeness that correction takes. But, she is an individual and deserves the chance to be judged on her own terms.

What a big, big man with a heart as big as all outdoors. I think that Chait is flatly wrong in his analysis in this situation, but even if that weren't the case, his reflexive belligerence and quickness to cry hack, misinformation recirculator, and what have you - along with his grandiosity and sense of being embattled despite a perch at a high-profile establishment outlet - undermines his persuasiveness. I'm not making a plea for civility here; I'm simply observing that people who comport themselves like Chait make it excrutiatingly hard for anyone to agree with them. Even on the rare occasion when they're right.

Which returns us to the question with which this post starts: "Why aren't there more liberals in America?"

Certainly, there's no shortage of big-spending politicians (Democratic and Republican) who see the federal government as an instrument of social and economic transformation, which accords with one contemporary definition of liberal. But if the Harris numbers are even vaguely right that only about one-fifth of Americans are willing to call themselves liberal and Jon Chait is a liberal, then the question pretty much answers itself, doesn't it?

And suggests the next question: Why are there so many conservatives in America?

Update: De Rugy responds for a last time.

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  • ||

    He also blatantly misread the data by claiming that the OCED data was income tax only and didn't include the payroll tax. This is incorrect.

  • ||

    And it would be an understandable mistake or confusion if he hadn't decided to be a total dick about it while being wrong.

  • kate||

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    "

  • kate||

    looking for the bilover?===Datebi*cO'm=== is a site for bisexual and bicurious singles and friends.Here you can find hundreds of thousands of open-minded singles & couples looking to explore their bisexuality.sign up for free.
    "

  • Sevo||

    No.

  • Bell Curve||

    So few liberals. So few in MENSA too.

  • Tony||

    So few conservatives/libertarians in academia.

  • ||

    Real jobs for us.

  • Tony||

    If you say so. Fill 'er up, Drake! Super unleaded, please!

  • Hey Dumbass||

    The sign says, "Self Serve", sir...

  • ||

    I have to declare you thread winner! That was an excellent reply.

  • Almanian||

    Thank you, thank you, thank you....

    /Hey Dumbass handle

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The above exchange shows how liberals really feel about the common working man.

  • Working is Stupid||

    Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery
    http://whywork.org/

  • One who watches White Idiot||

    Aren't you bangin away at that keyboard in a Pittsburgh office complex fat boy?

  • Paul||

    The above exchange shows how liberals really feel about the common working man.

    Liberals hate the poor. Hate them. To them, they're all Christfags and WalMart shoppers.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    ...until Election Day, when all of a sudden they caaaaaaaare about the poor.

  • ||

    Liberals hate the poor. Hate them. To them, they're all Christfags and WalMart shoppers.

    Don't forget NASCAR and tractor pulls.

  • Team Blue||

    It's only okay to indulge in stereotypes when it's against Christfag Wal-Mart NASCAR types.

  • shrike||

    Christ-fags!

  • Typical Liberal||

    Don't forget about house niggers, lawn jockeys, and uncle Toms.

  • Drake||

    Don't tease me again, baby.

  • Paul||

    If you say so. Fill 'er up, Drake! Super unleaded, please!

    No, I'm not going to help you get your Mac on the wireless.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    What's the point? It's so damn easy to sail through the liberal arts departments by telling the profs what they want to hear that the whole thing gets boring pretty quick.

  • Dilbert World||

    It's so damn easy to sail through the corporate divisions by telling the bosses what they want to hear that the whole thing gets boring pretty quick.

  • Sevo||

    Dilbert World|2.10.12 @ 6:34PM|#
    "It's so damn easy to sail through the corporate divisions by telling the bosses what they want to hear that the whole thing gets boring pretty quick."
    Until bankruptcy.

  • ||

    Go to a right wing "Christian" college and the same applies.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    There's not as many of those, Nathan.

  • Bill||

    Except in the sciences, engineering, economics.

  • shamalamadingdong||

    That's a good point. Has there ever been a breakdown for MENSIS by political leaning?

  • ||

    Hmm, you want to poll an organization devoted to the idea that it's members are smarter than everyone else, and ask them what their political leanings are?

    I think we can predict the results.

    FWIW, as the holder of a newly minted PhD, I can say with some authority that most people with genius level IQs wouldn't dream of joining MENSA. At least not those who are at all capable of normal social interaction.

    A more interesting poll would be how many MENSA members suffer from Asperger syndrome.

  • Aspy||

    We don't "suffer" from Asperger syndrome, but it's clear you have some kind of issue with it...might want to get help for that.

  • Just Some Guy||

    Why should we think that the fact you've recently received a PhD makes you an authority on "most people with genius level IQs"? Unless your PhD is in some way related to Sociology, and you have studied geniuses, you have no more authority than anyone else. And it's kind of funny that you purposely let everyone know you have a PhD (letting us all know how smart you are), while slyly disparaging MENSA. I am not a PhD holder or member of MENSA, but I have nothing against either.

  • Sudden||

    Kudos on the alt-text of his photo. That may be the most offensive thing you can call someone.

  • juris imprudent||

    No, the alt-text should've read "Do not punch this face".

  • Colonel_Angus||

    You mean that in a suggestive context, right? Like it is really saying "Do not not punch this face"?

  • juris imprudent||

    No, straight-up. I had to catch my fist mid-air before it crashed into the monitor. That's how punchable that face is.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Imagine a fist, punching on a human face... forever.

  • Tman||

    Chait, with all the authority of a leading light of the intellectual world,

    What world is this? It sure as hell ain't earth.

    It's pretty typical of liberal elitists such as Chait to not only fail to admit error in judgment but then to double down on their own stupidity.

    Similar to the anti-war left, who suddenly misplaced their paper maiche puppets and protest songs once Obama moved in to Penn Ave.

    The only thing consistent about liberalism is how consistently wrong it is.

  • Funny how that works||

    The only thing consistent about libertarianism is how consistently wrong it is.

  • Almanian||

    clever!

  • Tman||

    Original too!

  • My dad...||

    ...can out-gambol your dad, too.

  • Funny how that works||

    Is this mic on? Rimshot, damn you, nobody is laughing.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Crickets. Bartender putting a few glasses in the plastic bucket.

  • Bill||

    The really funny thing is that classical liberalism and european liberalism and libertarianism are the same thing.

  • BC||

    "There are just a lot of people out there exerting significant influence over the political debate who are totally unqualified."

    Like, say, Jon Chait.

    What a worthless asshole.

  • juris imprudent||

    I certainly would have trouble distinguishing valid arguments from nonsense in a technical field I didn’t study professionally.

    Like climatology?

    There must be something lower than a worthless asshole.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    A worthless asshole with a Ed.D. who insists on being called "Doctor"?

  • Worthless Capitalist Asshole||

    Who insists on being regarded as superior.

    You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told
    them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions
    which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who
    are better than you. ~Ludwig Mises, letter to Ayn Rand

  • juris imprudent||

    Steve Jobs was pretty clearly a capitalist asshole (or an asshole who was a good capitalist if you prefer), but unlike Chait and his ilk, Jobs actually produced something useful.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    And we found out how many people hated his guts after he died.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    If you'd been paying attention you'd have known before that. It's not like it was a big secret or anything.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Liberal has become a pejorative and for good reason. As Chait's comments suggest, the left has difficulty debating opposing viewpoints, choosing instead to try to control the conversation and who can engage in it.

    This has been their problem holding an audience. Rightwingers like to argue their points of view to whomever will listen. Progressives seem to prefer the echo chamber.

  • ||

    ^^^ THIS ^^^

    I got into it recently with a lefty friend about Citizens United, with my asking her how, in a world with the First Amendment stricken and replaced by the Bernie Sanders amendment (PDF) or a reading of the First Amendment that neuters it, how one could possibly protect free speech on the Internet from a PIPA/SOPA sort of law were the Congress to pass such a monstrosity. Because now, "Congress shall make no law....", and the Supreme Court's decision is pretty damn clear: strike the bitch down. But if you agree that Congress should be in the business of regulating corporate speech, well, your ISP is a corporation.

    Game over.

    And what I got back was a long bunch of "la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you" refusal to engage.

    It seems to me that what is important for the Left isn't so much the passing of good, well-crafted laws as it is a settling of scores, an endless litany of vendettas to be cast into legislation regardless of the consequences -- even to themselves. That the Sanders amendment would result in the auctioning of free speech to the highest bidder, and only the highest bidder, appears to me blankly obvious, all others be damned. Line up and pay for your free speech rights, or STFU. And it's exactly this sort of crap that would come down like a ton of bricks on the lefties who imagine themselves running the show exclusively -- but who wouldn't be, and for the same exact reason that things are the way they are now.

  • juris imprudent||

    ...regardless of the consequences -- even to themselves.

    That is the truly mind-boggling part - they don't care about the consequences (foreseeable or not). It is all about them having good intentions.

  • ||

    Of all of the things that I find my liberal friends to be just wrong about, I think that this one is the most depressing for exactly the reasons listed.

  • Killazontherun||

    That at the heart of Citizen's United was a movie that was actually banned under McCommie/Feingold is a fact their cognitive dissonance will not let them engage honestly is what makes them so vile.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    I predict Michael Moore will be able to get away with a well-timed movie in the CU vein... and nothing else will happen.

  • ||

    that is something libs never concede in their aint-CU screeds... that the case came from a complainant protesting the BANNING of a documentary they made about hilary clinton, that pre CU was banned under campaign speech laws since it was relevant to the candidates and was released within a certain timeframe of the election

    libs love to claim that the rightwing are the book burners, etc. it is one thing to buy a book and burn it. that is not unconstitutional. it is another to BAN a book (or movie) so NOBODY can see it

    that's what CU was ultimately about

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Damn, dunph... good call.

  • mustard||

    It's not a ban, it's a delay. And they were still free to show it in other countries.

  • R||

    Why the fuck is it so difficult for liberals to understand "Congress shall make no law..."?

    They seem to have the same problem with "shall not be infringed".

  • ||

    Good point. It's not a ban if it's either not permanent or not global.

  • Maxxx||

    It's not a ban, it's a delay. And they were still free to show it in other countries.

    Libs love free speech, just not in the US.

  • ||

    right. "we'll just delay your right to abortion until AFTER the pregnancy"

    :l

  • ||

    and if they had tried that shit with the LA times, which dumped the "gropinator" story RIGHT before the election, libs would have been up in arms.

    "sure, you can report on the gropinator ALLEGATIONS... once the election is over and arnold has won"

  • Alan||

    Agreed. The cognitive dissonance regarding the Citizens United case is startling. I knew that many lefties were out in lala-land, but this really demonstrates just how incapable of thought most of them are.

  • Apatheist||

    The spam bots on here have more self-awareness than these cunts.

  • Capitalist Cunt||

  • ||

    Mr. Chait should extract his head from his ass long enough to search for the definition of "liberal".
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal

    I would refer him to numbers 4 and 5 in the link above. Then compare that definition to any social or economic policy of the current Administration or the DNC.

    They have destroyed their liberal brand as thoroughly as the Republicans destroyed their "conservative" brand.

  • protefeed||

    They have destroyed their liberal brand as thoroughly as the Republicans destroyed their "conservative" brand.

    No, no, no. They haven't destroyed "their liberal brand". They have destroyed the "classical liberal" brand by substituting an ideology that is almost its polar opposite.

    Making your brand a purer distillation of its essence by purging it of the remnants of classical liberalism isn't destroying the modern liberal brand -- it's just destroying the support for that brand among people who still hold some classical liberal notions mixed in with modern liberal thought.

  • ||

    So smug, so punchable. The "I'm smart and you're not" bookcase behind him really completes the douche-chilling presentation.

  • Almanian||

    Well said. He is extremely punchable.

  • Will Hunting ||

    "You fucking people. You spend all your money on these fancy, fucking books, and their the wrong fucking books!"

  • Matt Damon to Ben Afflect||

    "It's spelt 't-h-e-r-e', you fucking retahd!"

  • Gus van Sant to Ben and Matt||

    "You're both fuckin' retahded. It's spelt 't-h-e-y-apostrophe-r-e', you fuckin' retahds."

  • Matt Damon||

    Matt Damon!

  • juris imprudent||

    It's pronounced 't h a y - u h' youse fucknuts.

  • Jose||

    Too bad he was talking about the People's History of the US. Most worthless piece of trash ever written. And another smug liberal POS that makes you want to knock out their teeth.

  • ||

    imo, it should be required reading. if you want to get a good look at how progressive ninnies view history and the US' place in it, you can't do much better than Zinn.

    the Zinn worship at DU is awesome. chomsky gets SOME controversy, but Zinn is worshipped near universally.

  • ||

    The difference between Chomsky and Zinn is that in his own academic field Chomsky is arguably the most important and influential figure of the last century, and one may acknowledge his contributions to linguistics while still finding his politics abhorrent. The same can't be said for Zinn; he was a historian, so his entire reputation rests on his work in his own academic field, which speaks poorly for both the man and the discipline.

    From about 1988 to 1993 I used to drive Chomsky from his house in Lexington to the airport in Boston at least once a week. He's a pleasant, congenial man, and interesting enough to talk to-- politics never came up. The brain dead leftists who consider him an important political thinker could learn a thing or two from him about not inflicting their delusional beliefs on unwilling listeners.

  • Alan||

    There's a lot of half-educated people in the world. They aren't really bad people, nor even particularly stupid. Some of them were the most "sensitive" person in the dysfunctional family in which they grew up, and may have been smart enough that someone helped them get into a university program that was - unfortunately - well beyond their actual abilities.

    They're not really bad people or stupid people - they could, for instance, probably do acceptable work as a cashier or a Wal-Mart greeter. The problem is that they think they are smart because they went to college for a year or two, or possibly even got a degree (especially from an Ivy League school) - but they're not smart enough to know when they are hopelessly outclassed by someone who, you know, actually knows what they're talking about.

  • Just and Engineer||

    This. They were smart enough to get an education but not smart enough to see the holes in their education.

  • Holes in Libertarianism||

    You're not smart enough to see them.

  • Untermensch||

    The pot and the kettle, White Injun/Chony. The pot and the kettle.

  • Jasons Mom||

    He always was self satisfied even as a fat little boy.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    White Idiot still has yet to prove how billions of people could possibly live the shackbrah life.

  • James Solbakken||

    "Holes in Libertarianism|2.10.12 @ 6:38PM|#You're not smart enough to see them."

    Umso, where exactly are the holes in LEAVING ME THE HELL ALONE!!!!!!!!

    James

  • ||

  • protefeed||

    There's a lot of half-educated people in the world. They aren't really bad people, nor even particularly stupid. Some of them were the most "sensitive" person in the dysfunctional family in which they grew up, and may have been smart enough that someone helped them get into a university program that was - unfortunately - well beyond their actual abilities.

    Well, sometimes, but the more usual case is someone who is bright, but went to one of the overwhelmingly liberal colleges where the curriculum is designed to indoctrinate, rather than to show students a wide variety of views on all sorts of issues and teach students to actually THINK and to make independent decisions and understand differing POVs and figure out which of those POVs actually conforms closest to the real world.

    That is, they unfortunately went to a university that was only up their intellectual abilities, and they didn't self-educate themselves afterwards and learn to unlearn patently false notions taught by bright thoroughly indoctrinated and indoctrinating professors.

  • ||

    There's probably some of that, but what's really lacking in these sorts of people is the slightest smidgen of self-doubt. And that's a very, very hard thing for a human being to teach you if life doesn't teach you first (unlikely to happen for the sorts that go to Ivy League schools, for instance).

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The educated rarely understand that there is a difference between being educated and being intelligent.

    Unfortunately, the left has successfully convinced many of their sheelpe that the two are conflated.

  • ||

    there’s a value in signaling that some arguments aren’t merely expressing a difference in values or interpretation, but are made by an unqualified hack peddling demonstrable nonsense

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Typed with a straight face, no less. Epic lulz.

  • T||

    Yeah, that line jumped out at me as well. Pot, kettle, mote, beam.

    The lack of self-awareness is priceless.

  • ||

    Sometimes, you just have to let a moron make a monkey out of themselves; they do so much better of a job of it on their own.

  • T||

    Chait spoke, and removed all doubt.

  • Gojira||

    I bet since he's such an elitist, he won't drink American piss-lager.

  • ||

    No, that's me, Jimbo.

  • Gojira||

    You shut your goddamned whore mouth Epi!!!

    His posts have substance, and besides that, he makes more than you!

  • Almanian||

    he makes more than you

    elitist

  • ||

    Look, Jimbo, I have extensively studied the substance disparity on this website, and you are lacking. Not lacking as much as JW, but close. Of course, ProL blows you both away for lack of substance, or taste in pizza. Or anything.

  • Gojira||

    "Oh course, ProL blows you both away for lack of substance, or taste in pizza."

    I'm glad you slipped up and let my dark secret out of the bag, because now you have nothing left with which to blackmail me.

  • ||

    I still have that other thing, Jimbo. You know, the one with the lemur and your mom?

  • T||

    Fun nature fact: some species of lemur have sticky urine. They pee on their hands and feet to help them climb better.

    Which, frankly, is far more appealing than the reasons you deviants pee on your hands and feet.

  • ||

    So, T, you're saying you belong to the same bestiality swingers group as Jimbo.

  • T||

    No, but he insists on showing the damn tapes anytime more than 2 people are in the room. I think he's recruiting.

  • Gojira||

    "Sex with animals?!

    There's no time man!"

  • ||

    Howdy villains! I'm Mr. Mister! Watch your back, crime! When I get pissed, you get mist!

  • Gojira||

    That wasn't a lemur, that was my sister you stupid fuck. Shows what you know!

  • ||

    NO ONE is less substantial than I am!

    Swords at dawn at the glade, you malodorous cur.

  • Shrieking Comedian||

    "Like I got time to fuck a cat!"

  • Killazontherun||

    It's funny every time. Not being sarcastic at all. I've laughed at every version of tractor pull you guys have ever played.

  • Gojira||

    That's some first-class sarcasm there.

  • Almanian||

    We're all elitists now

  • Tony||

    You don't know how to be a proper elitist unless you're just like me.

  • T||

    Pssh. You can't even spell monocle, much less wear one correctly, plebe.

  • Gojira||

    Um, do I have to be just like you, including sexual preferences? Because if that's what it takes to be an elitist and get to drink craft beer...

    then I'll do it.

  • Sudden||

    Small price to pay for a glass of Ola Dubh 16.

  • Almanian||

    I know dubh is "black" in the gaelic...so is Ola Dubh 16 of celtic origin or sumfin?

  • ||

    Other than the asshole liberal variety, of which Chait is a full fledged member, most liberals are delusional when evaluating themselves (and answering poll questions) and call themselves independents. For example, my mother-in-law who once had an 8' x 4' Dukakis/Bentsen sign standing in front of her house insists she is an independent.

  • Britt||

    My mom voted for Gerald Ford in 1976. She's voted for every Democrat since then. Claims to be a moderate.

  • Killazontherun||

    My mom voted for every Democrat since JFK and claims to be a liberal. Funny enough, I was discussing a gaffe from Romney recently, and she blurted, 'Good Lord! I hope he corrects that!'

    I assumed she was staying home in November; it really surprised me she was considering voting for a Republican. She once did that for a senator years ago, and still regrets it.

  • Apostate Jew||

    This is one of the dumbest comments I have read here recently and that's saying a lot. The amount of claptrap posted by faux libertarians about the evil liberals is really astounding.

    The level of the regulars is slipping and the house liberal trolls are inept. Can this blog get any worse?

    Drink!

  • fish||

  • Triumph||

    "[E]conomist-cum-insult-comic Paul Krugman..."

    As an insult comic, I am insulted.

  • protefeed||

    I have yet to see Krugman make a "cum insult" joke

  • juris imprudent||

    For him it's an inside joke.

  • The Real Triumph||

    I POOP on your insultedness.

  • Triumph||

    [Cigar falls out of mouth.]

    Don't make me hump your leg.

  • Triumph||

    By the way, Gillespie...You outdid yourself, man. Using Brooks against Chait is genius. It's like throwing poop at vomit.

  • ||

    It's also worth mentioning that Chait is a serial liar. His role in perpetuating the cherished but false idea that "double-counting" meant something in the Health Care Reform debate involved some serious mental gymnastics that ignored cutting fee-for-service payments when it came time to pitch the changes to seniors, but boosted them up as part and parcel of the "savings" HCR would allegedly fetch. Can't have it both ways, Johnny.

  • fish||

    It's also worth mentioning that Chait is a serial liar.

    It's also worth mentioning that Krugman is a serial liar.

    It's also worth mentioning that Obama is a serial
    liar.

    It's also worth mentioning that Tony is a serial liar. is a dick.

  • protefeed||

    "Actually," wrote Krugman at his Conscience of Liberal blog, "I think [Chait']s not mean enough here; some of the hacks know that they’re being hacks, and are putting out deliberate falsehoods."

    Oh, the irony and the lack of self-awareness -- IT BURNS!

  • ||

    Yeah, this stuff is downright epic in un-self-awareness.

  • ||

    Now, you're ascribing his motivations to incompetence, which I most decidedly take issue with.

    Chait & Co. clearly are motivated purely by evil. I swear to fucking Zod that they have a mendacity purification system in the Seekrit Libural Headquarters. because, the shit he spews is absolutely primeval.

    Machiavelli was a clumsy novice compared to this mangy gang of power-crazed intellectual hoodlums.

  • ||

    The smart ones are those who benefit from the mindless partisanship of moronic drones like Chait. The mindless drones are just their tools.

  • obvio 9000||

    Machiavelli was a clumsy novice compared to this mangy gang of power-crazed intellectual hoodlums.

    Suggesting that Chait and his ilk are subtle and deviously cunning is off-the-mark. How hard is blind ideological loyalty? The predictability of liberals alone speaks to their lack of any real political acumen.

  • juris imprudent||

    blind ideological loyalty

    So Chait is the liberal version of Bernardo Gui?

  • obvio 9000||

    Thankfully, Chait lacks Gui's authority.

  • Smokey Almanian||

    Only YOU can prevent irony fires....

    *stares at Krugnuts, Chait, Friedman, Choney...*

  • juris imprudent||

    For a real laugh, look at that pic of Chait and imagine him trying to wear The Jacket(tm).

  • ||

    Exhibit Two: "Well, if you believe that you're some sort of Randian libertarian, and you should not be reading this website."

    [This was posted on the links page by Nicole:}

    http://gawker.com/5884041/huge.....ally-wrong

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Must... bleach... eyeballs...

  • ||

    You fucker. I clicked on that link and actually read the first five paragraphs.
    Goddamn That really pissed me off. I wont sleep now.
    Damn you.

  • juris imprudent||

    He suckered me too. What an excretion that was. You can just picture the author all pleased with himself.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    He likely reads and re-reads it as he masturbates furiously. For that sense of extra passion, he does so sans lube, and revels in how raw his dick has become, using his seed as a salve to cover the burn..

  • ||

    The moral blindness of such attitudes as this is beyond comprehension and yet so very very common.

    There are at least 2 billion people in the world who are worse off than the poorest person in the US. Any consistent redistributionist morality would take every dollar currently planned for redistribution inside the US and immediately send it to the truly impoverished in other lands. Yet somehow redistributionists find perfectly deserving recipients within the US.

    The actual value that most liberals support is not ending poverty: It's ending poverty near them.

    In other words, it's entirely aesthetic.

  • mustard||

    Ever heard of relative poverty, numchucks?

  • ||

    That would be the poverty that I see around me rather than actual bone-crushing live-or-die-in-the-next-week poverty?

    Yeh, I guess I've heard of it. I still say caring about relative poverty rather than caring about absolute poverty is substituting personal aesthetics for consistent morality.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Ending poverty has nothing to do with it. They couldn't care less about the poor.

    It's all about stealing from others, but being too pussy to do it themselves, they use the "legitimacy" of government to do their dirty work for them.

  • ||

    I'm kinda pissed that I stuck with it to the end, someone fucked up and cut it off before the punchline. That was a hell of a long set-up, so why no payoff?

  • Sidd Finch||

    But if the Harris numbers are even vaguely right that only about one-fifth of Americans are willing to call themselves liberal and Jon Chait is a liberal, then the question pretty much answers itself, doesn't it?

    And suggests the next question:

    Does a magazine that features hysterical retards like Dalmia and Riggs have any standing to talk shit?

  • Mike Riggs||

    MURDER DRONE

  • ||

    "..hysterical retards..."

    Kinda makes the point.

  • ||

    It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Just let them do their thing and they look stupider than you could ever hope for. It's almost magical.

  • SIV||

    So that whole left-libertarian "liberaltarian" fusion thing is now totally off?

  • Cytotoxic||

    It was off before it was on.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I followed that about as closely as men's volleyball but I think Wilkinson coming out of the closet was the death knell.

  • ||

    Wilkinson is gay?

    and if he his why should that have any effect on a libertarian looking at the left as an ally on certain issues?

  • Sidd Finch||

    He admitted to being a liberal and is still life-partnered to Howley AFAIK.

  • ||

    Kerry Howley is a beard?

    My whole worldview is falling apart!

  • Paul||

    It was never on.

  • protefeed||

    So that whole left-libertarian "liberaltarian" fusion thing is now totally off?

    Libertarians can convince some leftists to come around to a libertarian POV.

    Libertarians can make common cause with leftists on a few issues where their views converge, such as legalization of drugs.

    But trying to cobble together a lasting political alliance between libertarians and unrepentant leftists? Not gonna happen.

  • ||

    The Dems making a meaningful compromise with libertarians on any of the issues on which we disagree with liberals would alienate an existing Dem faction with greater numbers/volunteer power/money than we have. There's nothing in it for them, unless they're just deluding us.

  • juris imprudent||

    There's nothing in it for them, unless they're just deluding us.

    Well damn, that makes them just as bad as TEAM RED.

  • juris imprudent||

    stupid tags, stupid preview, stupid lack of edit

  • ||

    There's a little more wiggle room with team red. But you are right, there are certainly anti-liberty factions there that hold more sway than we ever could: neocons and sociocons for instance.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The core principle of left-liberalism is economic collectivism. They're waterboard every man, woman and child in America to get that brass ring.

  • Xenocles||

    "People often ask, “Why is Jonathan Chait so mean?” "

    But not as often as they ask "Who is Jonathan Chait," I bet.

  • ||

    It's so amusing when mindless partisan zombies think they're 1) smart, 2) "mean", or 3) not mindless partisan zombies.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd go with "Why is Jonathan Chait".

  • ||

    Gottdamn Nick, I love it when you uncork the Keg of Rant.

    Chait isn't fit to sniff your shoe inserts.

  • Tony||

    Chait isn't fit to sniff your shoe inserts.

    Can I?

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'm going to defend Chait here, goddamn it....of course he is.

  • Zeebs||

    Part of the reason might be that people who publicly identify themselves as ___________ often come across as smug, self-righteous jerks who, even when they swear they are not being patronizing, are in fact being patronizing.

    Yes.

  • juris imprudent||

    This is a pretty good Friday, Nick posts about Postrel and deRugy and there is no Balkoesque nut-punch.

    I probably just asked for it, didn't I?

  • ||

    Matt Welch is going to come to your door and personally kick you in the nuts.

  • ||

  • Killazontherun||

    Depends on the alignment of those specks between you and the sun. It could hurt.

  • Killazontherun||

    Er, specs.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Is the second one a pic of M.I.A?

  • ||

    I'm simply observing that people who comport themselves like Chait make it excruciatingly hard for anyone to agree with them. Even on the rare occasion when they're right.

    When your opponent is self destructing, just get out of the way and let it happen. I'm convinced that the snotty, smug, self-important attitude of liberals is their biggest weakness. Let's not take that away from them.

  • Tony||

    Did you say you wanted the Super Unleaded, sir?

  • fish||

    Given what guys "who do English" are getting paid these days you might want to consider something a little more blue collar! Or are planning on living off the taxpayer forever?

  • Killazontherun||

    The progressive's belief system that starts with people as a means to obtaining goals instead of the libertarian belief that people are proper ends in themselves is their biggest weakness as it is a political philosophy that relies on subjugating free will.

  • ||

    You don't need to think people are ends in themselves to get to libertarianism.

    If you value stability and prosperity libertarianism is the way to go, whether you believe in free will or not.

  • obvio 9000||

    Why are there so few liberals?

    Because most Americans don't support the policies and viewpoints that liberals advance. Next question.

    Why are there so many conservatives?

    Because most Americans broadly support the policies and viewpoints that conservatives advocate. Next question.

    Why don't Americans support all conservative politicians?

    Because most Americans can tell the difference between a pol who genuinely promotes conservative policies and a pol who only wraps himself in the conservative label.

    It's really not that hard, people. There's no reason to delve into the alleged personality defects of liberals.

  • Max||

    Why are there so few deranged right-wing libertarians? Because not enough of you dimwits are sending in your donations. Donate now!

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Awww, Max. Poor li'l guy.

    Welfare check late this month?

  • ||

    Chait is also an idiot, and should not be held up as an example of modern liberal thought. That he is paid by old-line media should note that.

  • ||

    The dilemma is especially acute in the political economic field, where wealthy right-wingers have pumped so much money to subsidize the field of pro-rich people polemics that the demand for competent defenders of letting rich people keep as much of their money as possible vastly outstrips the supply.

    Freedom. Horrible, horrible freedom!

  • Chait||

    Or possibly she genuinely does not understand the problem here.

    math show US more progressive tax then Europe....

    math wrong cuz hurt Chait feeling

    Math hard.

    Chait brain hurt.

    Chait smash.

  • Brad||

    Okay, just out of curiousity, what occupations do conservatives dominate? We've all heard the largely accurate "stereotype," that liberals overwhemingly dominate academia, music, entertainment, journalism, etc. All true. But what fields to conservatives congregate in? Okay, business is a given, but what else?

    :waits for sarcastic tony-esque reply of "mcdonald's drive-through lollol!!!lolhlolhlolhlololollol!!!":

  • Dekedin||

    This may be anecdotal, but it seems like the engineering field is way more conservative, or at least pro-capitalism, than pure sciences. I think it's because we have to be both engineers and businessmen at the same time.

  • ||

    that matched my experience in college.

    ime, people who deal with the "real world" tend to be more conservative, and people who deal in the theoretical tend to trend more liberal

    in college, it was the "soft sciences" and humanities that seemed to have more libs, and the hard sciences, especially those that were APPLIED directly to the real world, like engineering, that tended to have way more conservatives

    now, whether the hard sciences/real world stuff tends to attract conservatives disproportionately and the humanitiews tend to attract liberals, or whether study of same tends to PRODUCE / change people into conservatives/ liberals is another question.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I think it's because engineers can get away from academia with a valuable degree in 4 years. So within the sciences, IMO it's temperamental conservatives who tend towards engineering, architecture, etc. and they tend to also be political conservatives.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Liberal" academia actually has control of architecture training right now, at least for four year and graduate education. Associate level programs seem to be neutral, and more purely technical.

    I deduce that a lot of "elite" architects tend to be liberal based on characteristics of their presence in the profession. Of course design work in major public projects tends to get awarded to them.

  • ||

    I'm not so sure about that; I've run into a ton of liberal engineering students. Also, a look at Silicon Valley should dissuade anyone from thinking that living in the real business world makes people conservative.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Civil engineering is still for the most part a good old boys system. Its hard to figure out the connection between ordinary project implementation design firms and all the green crap being pushed in design these days. What happened is the eco stuff got forced in the marketplace as a general trend, and then policy wonks like ASCE embraced it as a public image thing.

  • Alan||

    Engineers and Computer Programmers tend to be conservative or libertarian. Military officers tend to be conservative as well. Businessmen and Lawyers tend to be whatever they think you want them to be.

  • ||

    You're wrong about what would be the most insulting. What you SHOULD have said was

    "":waits for sarcastic tony-esque reply of "hardee's drive-through lollol!!!lolhlolhlolhlololollol!!!":""

    MUCH more insulting than McDonald's

  • I.E.||

    Farming, primary sector/resource extraction, engineering. Fewer stereotypical professions because educated people tend to not be conservative, because they have broader experiences, learn to tolerate and try new ideas and get to know different kinds of people. But even the jobs you list aren't so dominated by "liberals" (e.g., music? Tell that to Nashville).

  • Brad||

    Well, I can see country or gospel as being more conservative, but as for most others, not really. There are few songs in genres such as Metal, hip hop, punk, alternative, R&b, Jazz, etc. that could be considered as having a conservative message.
    I don't want to overgeneralize, but creative people tend to be liberals.

  • Jumbie||

    A liberal creative person goes off to be an *artist* like say singer or painter.

    COnservative creative person sings in the church choir and paints as a hobby after working construction.

    Also Christian Rock is a huge industry. Don't discount it.

  • Jumbie||

    IOW, *professional* creative persons are liberals.

  • Brad||

    I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, but it sounds like you're pulling sweeping generalizations out of your ass. I admit that not all artists are liberals, but I was under the impression that it was a given that most artists do lean in that direction. Unless you can point me to the many examples of conservative metal, rap, Jazz et al. groups.

    And I'm not dismissing christian rock. but most music leans toward a liberal direction in general.

    I'm personally surprised there aren't more libertarian artists. They seem far more appropriate to produce 'edgy' art than PC, uptight liberals.

  • ||

    Most artists don't ever hint at their politics; when you're selling entertainment you're selling yourself, and being overt about politics is going to alienate at least half your customers.

    Those who feel secure enough to spout off about politics are overwhelmingly liberal, I'll grant.

  • Brad||

    Fair enough.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I could sell my art for at least hundreds of dollars a month. And I never have. I do have some installments and casual circulation. No financial interests in it.

  • Sevo||

    "I don't want to overgeneralize, but creative people tend to be liberals."

    Like those 'creative' people who, well harnessed nuclear energy?
    If you mean 'creative' to include those who claim to be "Xerox-artists" or "performance artists", well, you might have a point.
    But I have another view: If you claim to be an "artist", you'd better make a living at it. Otherwise, you're one more loser hoping for free shit.

  • Brad||

    Did I dismiss people who 'harness nuclear energy'? Of course not. But nice job writing off artists as just stereotypical liberal tools just looking for a handout.

    I'm far from a liberal, and I don't support the National Endowment for the Arts, but I really grow weary of sweeping generalizations of those dreaded 'liberal arts majors' around here. You do realize you're just perpetuating the stereotype of libertarians just being nerdy kids with asperger's and engineering degrees, right?

    BTW, Math and science are fucking boring. So sue me.

  • Sevo||

    Brad|2.10.12 @ 10:16PM|#
    "Did I dismiss people who 'harness nuclear energy'? Of course not. But nice job writing off artists as just stereotypical liberal tools just looking for a handout."
    You would do better reading a post before responding, dimwit.
    I dismissed specific losers who claim to be "artists".
    --------
    "BTW, Math and science are fucking boring. So sue me."
    Why is this not surprising? And I see from above, you find reading boring.

  • Brad||

    Fair enough. I overreacted without reading the full comment. But this place really is overbearing at times with the STEM worship.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Can I claim to be an artist but only have it compliment my primary career? Some aesthetic arts actually tie in nicely with what I do.

  • Sevo||

    Colonel_Angus|2.10.12 @ 11:15PM|#
    "Can I claim to be an artist but only have it compliment my primary career? Some aesthetic arts actually tie in nicely with what I do."

    As far as I can tell, no one isn't an "artist"; cook a dinner and wing it on a recipe? You're an "artist". Mow your lawn in a way that you think has visual appeal? Ditto.
    The question is what reward you expect; smiles from your family or those who drive by? Or special dispensation from the government?
    My business is based on "creativity"; our products haven't been available before, and I'd never ignore the visual aspects of those products. But the products *first* have to function (that old boring math and science). And the reward is success in the market.
    Now, am I an "artist"?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I think so. Success in the market comes from some degree of recognition, which is what brings art beyond personal creative accomplishments. The recognition can be a reward.

  • juris imprudent||

    "Creasy's art is death, and he's about to paint his masterpiece."

  • ||

    I don't want to overgeneralize, but creative people tend to be liberals.

    The fact that you conflate "creativity" with entertainment speaks volumes about your outlook.

  • Sevo||

    "The fact that you conflate "creativity" with entertainment speaks volumes about your outlook."
    This, and,(from Brad), this:
    "BTW, Math and science are fucking boring. So sue me."

    I'd bet there are very few posters on this board who haven't sat through a meeting where we were encouraged to "think outside the box".
    Well, fine. But unicorns are "outside the box", and there isn't a penny's worth of value in them.
    If you "think outside the box" without a grounding in science (and math), you're fantasizing, And wasting my time.
    Go "design" womens' footware if you think that's "creative", and quit wasting my time.

  • Brad||

    I didn't conflate them. Fine, I'll fix it for you: Creative people, or people in the entertainment industry, tend to be liberals.

    Talk about nitpicking. I'm aware there's a lot of shit entertainment out there that isn't creative.

  • ||

    No, my point was that creativity is not limited to the arts and entertainment industry.

    It takes gads of creativity to succeed in modern business, too (as well as high-level math and science).

  • Brad||

    I don't disagree with that. I guess I should have said, 'artistically creative people tend to be liberal.'

  • Sevo||

    "because educated people tend to not be conservative, because they have broader experiences, learn to tolerate and try new ideas and get to know different kinds of people."
    Funny. Stupid, but funny.

  • Fluffy||

    I'm surprised this argument has required so many words.

    It's really pretty straightforward that if you have a tax system where really high rates kick in at a relatively low income level, that system will be LESS PROGRESSIVE than a system where there are pretty low rates at fairly high income levels.

    Why is that so hard for Chait to understand and accept?

  • Sidd Finch||

    Chait is dumb. Krugman is bullshitting.

  • Brad||

    Yeah, I figured engineering and business were more conservative (or libertarian), given the propensity of so many here to label the humanities as "useless," and the sci-fans here, etc. Yet I've also seen polls that suggest even economists and engineers tend to be somewhat more liberal, or independent (libertarian?), than conservative. Degreed people in general tend to be more liberal than others, from what I've seen.

    Not saying conservatives are dumb or anything of the sort. In fact, according to Pew's 2011 typology survey, the least educated people tend to be the socially conservative democrats, or 'populist' types (the polar opposite of libertarians), which blows a hole in Tony's theory that conservatives are teh stupid.

  • ||

    Yeah, "fiscally liberal and socially conservative" is pretty much the antithesis of libertarianism.

  • protefeed||

    libertarianism might best be described as "socially tolerant" and "fiscally responsible"

  • Pope Jimbo||

    How about "socially tolerant, fiscally intolerant"?

    My fear is that "responsible" can be stretched a long, long way.

  • I.E.||

    "the least educated people tend to be the socially conservative democrats, or 'populist' types (the polar opposite of libertarians), which blows a hole in Tony's theory that conservatives are teh stupid."

    Re-read and explain. This statement only makes sense for a really, really odd value of "conservative", that excludes, well, conservatives. As for the "polar opposite" belief, try Ron Paul and his paleo friends.

    My list of stereotypical professions:
    Left-conservative - Miner/factory worker
    Right-conservative - Engineer/farmer
    Left-liberal - Academic/teacher
    Right-liberal - Comedian/sci-fi writer

  • Brad||

    I'm not entirely sure I get the gist of what you're saying, but I'll try to respond.

    Populists are fiscally liberal and socially conservative, and almost overwhemingly vote democratic, because, as many people say, it's the economy, stupid. It's for the same reason many libertarians are more likely to vote for republicans than democrats: the economy. Thus, populists can be considered a subset of the democratic party (black voters are a large part of this ideological group), while libertarians are often considered a subset of conservatives.

    so, populists can be considered 'conservative' in the same way libertarians can be considered 'liberal' on social issues. I don't deny that many so-called republicans fit this category (most of the assclowns currently running), but I don't see how they can be considered 'conservative' per se, except on social issues. Just like libertarians could be considered 'liberal' on social issues, but are really not liberal.

    You ever read the Nolan chart? it portrays this kind of dichotomy quite well.

    And I'm not sure what you mean by 'paleos' like Paul being 'polar opposites." Opposite of what? Paul is not fiscally liberal.

  • ||

    The social/economic divide is itself a mirage. The Nolan chart is an improvement over the left/right spectrum but it inherits the same flawed categorizations. "Social" issues on the Nolan chart are "things libertarians agree with liberals on" and "economic" issues are the opposite.

    For instance, gun rights, eminent domain abuse, and school choice all make more sense as "social" than "economic" issues, but we agree with conservatives on them.

  • Brad||

    That's a good point. I've always found there are a lot of social issues that libertarians disagree with liberals on, so the designation of libertarians as socially liberal is fairly inaccurate. Libertarians disagree with liberals on gun control, smoking bans, food bans/sin taxes, affirmative action, political correctness, and even things like gender differences. combine that with the social issues where they agree with liberals, it's almost about 50/50.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Degreed people in general tend to be more liberal than others, from what I've seen.

    Actually, college educated people are more conservative. Those with graduate degrees or no degrees are more liberal.

  • DeathKnell||

    Obama was elected, and will be reelected, because most of the
    American electorate is of the older
    demographic,(in addition to a
    minority-voting population),
    and they despise the
    conservative/Tea Party mantra of
    cutting programs that affect their
    interests...

    American liberalism is alive and well...

  • Killazontherun||

    So alive and well, trillions of dollars worth or wealth have to be shoveled in at a swelling percentage at the operational level just to keep it from flat lining.

  • Frank Drebin||

    Just when I think the comments in any random NYT article can't get any dumber, they manage to reach a new low (high?) in absolute, utter fucking stupidity.
    Sciencedammit, do these people have any brains at all?

  • ||

    You read the comments on the NYT? Not a smart move.
    I did that once....some woman was leading a 'remineralize the earth' movement. She wanted to dismantle everything that civilization had built and bury it back where it came from because we were making the earth sick by gutting it.
    I nearly committed suicide after reading her posts.

  • ||

    You're playing into her hands.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    She is probably against garbage dumps, too.

  • Killazontherun||

    And oh, top notch take down, Nick.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Another example of "it's okay when WE do it":

    http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net.....1.jpg?dl=1

  • ||

    That's a very rectalish name. You might want to change it again.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Nope. And I'm proud to have never clicked on its website... I see enough stupid online as it is.

    Excepting here, of course.

    That is, from the well-minded among us, I mean. Tony doesn't count, for instance. I think he may be brain-damaged.

  • Killazontherun||

    Apologies for thinking you were being sarcastic in an earlier thread; it's so hard to know when you see a new name, but I'm the last that can complain.

    Actually, I changed my last one cause it was getting confused with the nick of someone else.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    No problem. I've lurked around here for a while, enough to know who the crazies are (the good kind of crazy, that is).

    Though I am, indeed, sarcastic.

  • ||

    This may be like the coolest thing ever dude, I mean like seriously .Wow.

    www.anon-stuff.tk

  • CatoTheElder||

    Chait admits: "I certainly would have trouble distinguishing valid arguments from nonsense in a technical field I didn’t study professionally."

    And he's quite correct.

    Chait's CV merely states that he is a grad of University of Michigan without reference to his degree program. I think it's safe to assume that it was journalism or something similar that confers no little or no technical expertise in anything. He did take a junior level course in the Theory, Strategy and Practice of Football according to one of his articles. I don't mean to be paternalistic when I say that there's no evidence that he's qualified to distinguish valid arguments about anything other than football. And, lots of Ohio Buckeyes would argue about that.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Seems appropriate to dump the news here, in a thread commenting on the intelligence of liberals: Salon.com is evidently cancelling the column "Ask the Pilot" after some 10 odd years. Too bad, as it was the only reason to visit their ridiculous site, besides self-flagellation.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Glenn Greenwald is on Salon.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I find him hit or miss, mostly miss. I do like his continued insistence and reporting on civil liberties though. Besides, you guys do yeoman work in reprinting/linking to his better stuff here.

  • Sam Grove||

    Chait, like any good left "progressive", subscribes to "fiat economics" wherein the good intentions of the the right people can direct political power to thwart fundamental economic realities.

  • ||

    It’s possible that, by pairing my critique of de Rugy’s error (which I would describe as an extremely elementary error) with a broader disparagement of her credentials, I have made it impossible for her to actually concede error. Or possibly she genuinely does not understand the problem here. I’m not sure. My general experience is that the conservative movement is filled with polemicists who repeat very basic statistical fallacies like this, and seem immune to correction regardless of the level of politeness that correction takes. But, she is an individual and deserves the chance to be judged on her own terms.

    1. Project much? By being such a total dick while being wrong, you made it impossible for yourself to concede error?

    2. Essentially what Chait is saying is that he doesn't have to bother rationally analyzing the arguments of conservatives, because so many of them are hacks that one can safely assume that anything they say must be wrong, right off the bat.
    In other words, Chait is so accostumed to dismising conservative arguments that he does it reflexively, without even thinking about them.

  • Max||

  • Norm||

    Shallow me. I just want to know whether that is a bad dye job or the real color of his hair.

  • ||

    Why aren't there more liberals? Perhaps the answer is simple: They don't respond to labels that can be perceived as pejorative or, even worse, lacking nuance.

    I've talked to many liberals who won't assume the label. Instead, suchlike invariably attempt to nuance themselves away from it while hewing to liberal dogma. I don't push them one way or another because I'm doing anthropology in these discussions. I'm generally curious about what motivates them to twist in the wind so, all the while thinking, What the heck do you care what I think of you? That thought perhaps helps explain why I'm a conservative. I am what I am, bitter clinger and proud of it. Think less of me if you like, but you still got the next round.

  • non-smoker||

    Doesn’t anyone else see that Chait, although rude, was right?

    In her first column, De Rugy cited the share of taxes paid by the top 10 percent of households as evidence of tax progressivity. However, it is not. For example, if the tax rate were a flat 20%, and the top 10% earned 75% of all income, they would pay 75% of all taxes. But in this example there is no progressivity at all.

    Statistics on the share of taxes paid simply do not inform on progressivity, and Chait was correct to point this out.

    As De Rugy acknowledges in her final response, it is actually the third column in the table, “the U.S.’s is 1.35 vs. France’s 1.1”, which actually supports her argument, although it “isn’t easy to illustrate”.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ue-de-rugy

    It is unfortunate that she omitted that data from her original column. If the evidence is difficult to illustrate, try harder. Don’t substitute irrelevant statistics.

  • ||

    First, all these jokes about face-punching exemplify the dangerous slide toward incivility in public discourse today. Whatever you think of Jonathan Chait, he is a husband, a father, a son, and friend; he has not threatened anyone with violence, and is entitled to the same respect.

    Second, the problem here is not so much liberalism as consequentialism, which is not limited to any part of the political spectrum. Consequentialists evaluate public policy entirely by the results produced, in contrast to a more process-oriented adherence to principle. Hence Jon ridicules a flat tax because it would lead to increased disparity in the distribution of wealth, without ever specifying what tax rates would yield "fairness." The irony is that this ad hoc approach has begot the loopholes with which the U.S. tax code is riddled, whose arbitrariness Jon so shrewdly critiqued in his 2008 book "The Big Con: Crackpot Economics and the Fleecing of America."

    As I said before, however, outcome-based thinking is not confined to the left wing. Among conservatives it is best embodied in the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, whose goal of maximizing shareholder return is no more attainable than Jon's dream of a proportional distribution of wealth. Party loyalists disdain Romney because they want a candidate willing to embrace conservative principles regardless of the immediate consequences. And so their compass needle spins to Paul, to Gingrich, to Santorum, before settling back on Romney as pragmatism trumps idealism.

    Jon calls deception an intrinsic characteristic of Republicans, and I would agree it is abundant among party leaders and media. Yet the corresponding failure of Democrats is self-deception, and this is manifest in their refusal to admit that their redistributionist policies amount to socialism, let alone acknowledge the destructiveness of said ideology.

    This self-denial became evident during the last presidential campaign when Joe Biden, asked how spreading the wealth around was not consistent with the Marxist dictum "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," replied, "Are you joking? Is this a joke? Or is that a real question?" Such a response typifies the Chait-Krugman School of Economics: belittling everyone who disagrees while avoiding debate over the fundamentals. Such hostility, however, masks an inability to justify taking others' property without their consent.

    In stripping people of the right to own property, Messrs. Chait and Krugman tragically hurt those they intend to serve. Weakening the takings clause of the Constitution for the New Deal has enabled the state-sponsored larceny of allowing eminent domain for private use. Of course, one shared trait of communism and Marxism and socialism is the sameness of public and private. Their self-defeating natures are not mere coincidence or mistakes of design: societies that legalize theft inevitably self-destruct. Given the self-righteousness of our commander-in-chief and his millions of supporters who unapologetically rationalize their covetousness for what others possess as serving the collective good, it is a lesson we will all, once again, have to learn the hard way.

  • chat sohbet||

    nice page very happy with what youve done chat

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