Is the Obama Recovery Over? Or Has it Not Really Started Yet?

The indispensable John Merline at Investors Business Daily plots the details of "The Recovery That Wasn't" in the graphic to the right:

Employment: By this point, the average job growth in the past 10 recoveries was 6.9%. Under Obama, jobs have grown by just 1.9%, according to data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve....

GDP growth: The Obama recovery has also performed far worse than average when it comes to GDP growth. After 11 quarters, the economy is still only 6.8% bigger than it was when the recession ended. In contrast, GDP was 16% bigger, on average, by this point in the previous 10 recoveries, the Minneapolis Fed data show...

Had the Obama recovery tracked the average GDP growth in the 10 previous recoveries, the economy would be almost $1.2 trillion bigger today.

Incomes: By the third year of the past five recoveries, real median household incomes climbed an average 2.8%, according to the Census Bureau, which only has household income data back to 1967.

Whole piece here.

You know what comes next, right?

Protestations from the Obama side that this is all just proof that recession/depression was so much worse than any of us knew that it's a goddamn great and good thing that Obama is helming the ship of state because if it had been one of those idiot Republicans like George W. Bush we wouldn't have had bailouts and a stimulus that was too small to really effect the economy - even smaller than the $150 billion tax thingamajig that Bush tried in early 2008 that was really pathetic because we now know that even Obama's $800 billion attempt was obviously too small christ it should have been two or three or even four times bigger and for god's sake can't we just prepare for the alien invasion that Paul Krugman - he won a Nobel Prize so just shut up already! - says will create enough of a multiplier effect to finally restart the economy and screw the debt because we'll have thousands of years to pay that down, especially now that thank Zardoz we've got universal health care that will be awesome if the d-bags on the SCOTUS don't FUBAR it and Dodd-Frank means there won't be any fraud or dumb lending!

And of course the Republicans will counter with: See, none of this would have happened if we'd only followed George W. Bush's disastrous big-government spending ways and expansion of major entitlements and a defense buildup because sharia law is taking over whole hamlets in Oklahoma and our plan to increase annual spending over the next decade by just $1 trillion is so much better than the Prez's to spend $2 trillion more, especially after increasing federal outlays by 60 percent or more over the previous decade when we controlled things is exactly the tonic the economy needs right now! But seriously folks, what do you expect when you let gay marriage happen? No economy can recover from that!

Exit questions: Do you think the weak recovery primarily stems from the severity of the recession that ended in 2009 or the government's attempts to ameliorate the recession? Does it worry you more that Obama might be re-elected alongside a GOP Congress (both House and Senate) or that Romney (who supported TARP, auto bailouts, and stimulus) will be elected with a GOP Congress?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I think Obama prefers the unfermented stuff

  • Mensan||

    No, with Barry, the (bull)shit comes out of his mouth.

  • John Thacker||

    Regarding the last question, I think it's actually more likely that we have Obama plus a Congress of unified Democratic control (but with a narrowed Senate majority) than Romney plus a Congress of unified Republican control.

  • R C Dean||

    You seriously think the Repubs are going to lose the House?

    Because I just don't think that's in the cards.

    I can see them managing to botch the Senate, sure. But for the Dems to retake the House would require a solid Dem sweep.

  • Evan from Evansville||

    I am thrilled with the erupting-from-underneath-your-skin snark and irreverence in this post.

    Dearest Jacket: I am truly in awe of your ability to go on countless media outlets and deal with the constant inflow of retarded, inconsistent logic and not lose your shit repeatedly.

    Although, I would enjoy watching The Jacket's full, tumescent rage spew forth on national TV just once.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And He included alt-text. Truly we are blessed to live in the time of the Jacket.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    " that this is all just proof that recession/depression was so much worse than any of us knew that it's a goddamn great and good thing that Obama is helming the ship of state because if it had been one of those idiot Republicans like George W. Bush we wouldn't have had bailouts and a stimulus that was too small to really effect the economy - even smaller than the $150 billion tax thingamajig that Bush tried in early 2008 that was really pathetic because we now know that even Obama's $800 billion attempt was obviously too small christ it should have been two or three or even four times bigger and for god's sake can't we just prepare for the alien invasion that Paul Krugman - he won a Nobel Prize so just shut up already! - says will create enough of a multiplier effect to finally restart the economy and screw the debt because we'll have thousands of years to pay that down, especially now that thank Zardoz we've got universal health care that will be awesome if the d-bags on the SCOTUS don't FUBAR it and Dodd-Frank means there won't be any fraud or dumb lending! "

    Why don't you take Carney's job? That's a more coherent argument than he's making lately.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Honestly, I think that long ass sentence Nick wrote, that's gotta be the best sentence on politics I've read in years.

    It's even got a Zardoz reference!

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Explain the Obama/Jenkem picture. Explain it!

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's gotta be photoshopped, right?

  • Spoonman.||

    Absolutely. The phrase on the bottle is the following:

    Jenkem
    pickwick
    totse

    TOTSE was an...unusual webforum which I posted at as a teenager (and which no longer exists). pickwick was a TOTSE user who claime he was going to make and use Jenkem. It turns out he faked it (surprise), but the picture was passed around by morons warning about the Next Big Threat to the Children.

  • Brandon||

    Morons trying to outlaw poop?

  • Ken Shultz||

    screw the debt because we'll have thousands of years to pay that down, especially now that thank Zardoz we've got universal health care that will be awesome if the d-bags on the SCOTUS don't FUBAR it and Dodd-Frank means there won't be any fraud or dumb lending!

    I don't know which is worse, the idea that ObamaCare was going to strengthen the economy or the idea that regulation like Dodd-Frank legally banned future economic downturns.

    Both are indefensible, and yet the Obama supporters I've met seem to accept both as if they were common knowledge.

  • wareagle||

    Both are indefensible, and yet the Obama supporters I've met seem to accept both as if they were common knowledge.

    if you have noticed, intellectual dishonesty prohibits sitting Team members from criticizing their own. Retiring members, however, feel no such restraint. Interesting how many soon-to-be ex-Congressmen, Barney included, now say health care was a bad idea, at least the wrong idea at the wrong time. They still voted for it, but....

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "the idea that ObamaCare was going to strengthen the economy"

    No, just alleviate suffering. I didn't give a toss about how much or how little government was involved or how much money it would save. I had one objective - make the current system less of a pathetic atrocity. You people and the whiny single-payer/public option supporters can go to North Korea for all I care.

    "the idea that regulation like Dodd-Frank legally banned future economic downturns."

    That's what I thought. Just as I thought that Obama would end global poverty and discover unlimited clean energy!

  • Brandon||

    John?

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    I think we'll have either Obama /Rep house/Dem Senate, if he wins big (+4% or greater) or Obama/ Rep full Congress if it is close. If Romney wins, it will be a Republican sweep.

    Normally I'm all for divided government, but since Obama likes regulation as much as pit bulls like pork chops, I think the only way to regain control of the regulatory apparatus in an Obama second term is to require each Republican House member to give a staffer bath salts and an axe, and drop them off at an agency office building.

  • Mensan||

    "... give a staffer bath salts and an axe, and drop them off at an agency office building."

    I see no flaws in your logic.

  • Mensan||

    Nick, that was simultaneously the most awesome and most pathetic paragraph length run-on sentence I have read in a long time. Awesome, because it perfectly lampoons pretty much all the team blue apparatchik talking points. Pathetic, because the blue-teamers actually believe that sentence to be completely factual.

  • LemonMender||

    And the Team Read bit? Seems about accurate too. Which means there is simply no hope.

  • Mensan||

    Yes, accurate, but it was not one continuous run-on sentence.

  • Registration At Last!||

    The brake on the economic recovery is the price of oil.

    Period.

    Full stop.

    Every time the economic indicators start revving up, the price of oil goes into the triple digits, and doesn't come back down until the indicators are sputtering again.

    You can pile on all the tax breaks, stimulus, or deregulation you want. The minute you start getting a payoff from the policy change, the price of oil will jack up because of increased demand for the 82M bpd maximum the world can produce, and any further gains will be thus choked off.

    You can stick as many derricks in the Bakken as you want. The piss-stream you can suck out of that real estate is never going to budge that 82M bpd by even 2 percent.

    Until energy-tech finds a way to displace oil as the world's only major transportation fuel, the economy isn't going to be going anywhere better very fast.

  • Brandon||

    Wow. Still full of shit, huh?

  • Registration At Last!||

    Yes, you are.

  • Brandon||

    What an astonishingly witty comeback. Are you 5?

  • Registration At Last!||

    Are you?

  • Registration At Last?||

    No, you're 5!

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    So Krugman can't say a bigger stimulus would have been better but libertarians can say obviously things would have been better with no stimulus? Aren't both hypotheses unprovable?

    I mean, I know a stimulus is against libertarian orthodoxy, but that isn't an actual argument.

    "Do you think the weak recovery primarily stems from the severity of the recession that ended in 2009 or the government's attempts to ameliorate the recession?"

    The crisis was catastrophic and the stimulus was bungled. It did save upwards of 3 million jobs (so says the CBO - I don't trust you people) but at too steep a cost. But as much as you hate government spending, that doesn't invalidate the *idea* of a stimulus.

    Also, I can't shake the suspicion that libertarians only talk about the deficit because you want an excuse to destroy the new deal and give the shreds to "job creators".

    "Does it worry you more that Obama might be re-elected alongside a GOP Congress ... or that Romney will be elected with a GOP Congress?"

    I know libertarians (at this site) don't really care about gay civil rights or abortion rights, but Romney would add "heartland values" on top of the deficit. He would also increase said deficit faster than Obama, but hey at least the job creators would get lower taxes ("*This* time their taxes will be low enough! The jobs will never stop coming!") and environmental codes will be removed ("The Keystone pipeline will add seventeen million jobs!").

  • BarryD||

    "But as much as you hate government spending, that doesn't invalidate the *idea* of a stimulus."

    Yes it does. The point is not that borrowing a ton of money will temporarily employ people. That's obvious. If I max out my credit card at a bar, it provides a few jobs for the night.

    The reason the idea of a stimulus is invalid is that, all told, the costs outweigh the benefits.

    In short, your entire post is nothing but straw men.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "The point is not that borrowing a ton of money will temporarily employ people. That's obvious. If I max out my credit card at a bar, it provides a few jobs for the night."

    I don't know how to continue your analogy because I don't know how to simplify topics until they become useless. So I'll just say - what if not maxing out your credit card and creating those jobs would have deepened structural problems and would have made a recovery even more difficult?

    We are in a hypothetical region. If you neo-liberals/libertarians are allowed to mock Krugman for saying a bigger stimulus would have been better, I am allowed to mock you for saying America would have been better off without the bailouts or the stimulus.

    "The reason the idea of a stimulus is invalid is that, all told, the costs outweigh the benefits."

    Says?

    I find it hard to believe that Obama would have gotten credit from you libertarians if he had not issued a stimulus and the unemployment rate would have been higher. Heck, you would have just said it's his fault anyway for not lowering taxes on the successful and not dismantling the FDA.

  • ||

    I find it hard to believe that Obama would have gotten credit from you libertarians if he had not issued a stimulus and the unemployment rate would have been higher.

    Your hypothetical -- that not doing the stimulus would have caused the current high unemployment rate to be even higher -- is not based on reality.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    I am going to assume the CBO calculation that the stimulus prevented the loss of circa 3.3 million jobs is a correct starting point. Where would those jobs come from otherwise? The confidence fairy? These job creator unicorns I've heard so much about?

  • R C Dean||

    I am going to assume the CBO calculation that the stimulus prevented the loss of circa 3.3 million jobs is a correct starting point.

    You are aware, of course, that there is no evidence for such a conclusion, and that the CBO was merely saying that they assumed that the stimulus would save that many jobs, yes?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    But, but... they calculated it!

    Where their calculation was:

    amount of money spent/amount per job saved = number of jobs saved

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    There is no evidence that the economy would have been better off without it, either.

  • Alex the wolf||

    You are wrong on that. An economy can either be free or regulated, and the freer the economy the higher the standards of living. Take a look at the ranking of the Heritage foundation or any basic book on economics. Then, unless you are a skeptical who thinks that knowledge of anything is impossible, you can just rely on commonsense. Keynesianism mithology basically says that government can create wealth out of nothing and the reason for this is so difficult to understand that only very few elites know how to spend the money to achieve this miraculos outcome.

  • Brandon||

    We are mocking Krugman for having absolutely no predictive ability, insight or intellectually honest arguments. Not for saying the stimulus wasn't big enough, but for saying it wasn't big enough only after it became glaringly obvious that it failed even by its backers' standards.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "We are mocking Krugman for having absolutely no predictive ability, insight or intellectually honest arguments."

    Actually, he predicted the economy would still be mediocre by now.

    In fact, he is the best prognosticator of 26 surveyed pundits: http://www.poynter.org/latest-.....the-worst/

    But, together with Pelosi and Soros he must be hated at all times, and meritocracy doesn't apply to him.

    "Not for saying the stimulus wasn't big enough, but for saying it wasn't big enough only after it became glaringly obvious that it failed even by its backers' standards."

    Now you are lying to my face, or just showing total ignorance. He said it was too low to start with.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Here, go read this post of his and come back afterwards. You might just realize he isn't a communist that wants to feed your children and your home to the deficit: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....too-small/

  • Virginian||

    ^Weapons grade stupid.

  • ||

    So Krugman can't say a bigger stimulus would have been better but libertarians can say obviously things would have been better with no stimulus? Aren't both hypotheses unprovable?

    Krugman can and has said that. He is wrong. Taking money out of the private sector and using it to prop up government jobs will make the economy worse, and evidence for that is the sucky economy now after that was tried on a massive scale and it failed.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "evidence for that is the sucky economy now after that was tried on a massive scale and it failed"

    The entire rub lies in "on a massive scale". The loss of jobs before the stimulus took effect was also arguably "massive", and if the stimulus was not as massive then it was massive in absolute but not in relative terms.

    The stimulus created jobs. At a steep cost, yes, but the real effectiveness of the stimulus is not measured by taking the stimulus cost and dividing by the jobs created/saved.

    If the dam is leaking, then perhaps stuffing the hole with money is the only recourse.

    Anyway, we didn't find out how your non-solution solution would have worked out, and we never will.

    Me, I suspect that without the bailouts and the stimulus, we would have been looking at a republican house and senate headed by Santorum by now, and you libertarians would have been screaming at Obama until your throats bled over how high unemployment would have been.

  • Brandon||

    "If the dam is leaking, then perhaps stuffing the hole with money is the only recourse."

    Or, you know, letting the dam owner repair it.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    The owner in this case was over 300 million headless chickens.

  • ||

    I know libertarians (at this site) don't really care about gay civil rights or abortion rights

    You seem to know a lot of things that ain't so, and that even a little googling would show to be non reality based.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    Nah, I just read the comments and the subject matter of the articles. This site is commissioned by hard-republican private interests, and so the readers and the writers all make pro forma jests at the expense of homophobes and Christianists, but reserve their real contempt, hyperbole and vitriol for environmentalists and democrats.

    Most of you probably consider gay marriage and abortion rights "controversial matters" best "left to the states". Cheers, guys.

  • ||

    This site is commissioned by hard-republican private interests

    You are an idiot.

    Did you even read this: "Romney (who supported TARP, auto bailouts, and stimulus)"

    Who the fuck do you think wrote it?

    The server squirrels?

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "Did you even read this: "Romney (who supported TARP, auto bailouts, and stimulus)""

    Have you even read this?

    http://www.guidestar.org/FinDo.....3fd2-9.pdf

    The Reason foundation needs corporate money to even exist. If the donors would make their donations on the condition that Romney not be attacked for failing to uphold libertarian orthodoxy regarding government stimulus, then the article above would look different.

  • ||

    Romney has never upheld libertarian orthodoxy.

    The reason I know that with crystal clear clarity is because Reason.com showed me that.

    Your whole premise is a pile of cards...not a house of cards but a pile of cards that may or may not have once been stacked into a shape of a house.

    Do you seriously think anyone who reads reason hit and run on any regular basis is not informed about how shitty Romney is for liberty?

    Really?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Of course he thinks that.

    He lives in a black and white world where only the two Teams matter. In his very small intellectual world, you're either Team RED or Team BLUE. Since we are obviously not Team BLUE, he concludes that we MUST be Team RED.

    Because he's a fucking idiot.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    So the reason the word "Obamney" is seen here and there is evidence you libertarians refrain from lumping outsiders together without nuance?

    Libertarians in general might not lean republican, but this site kinda does. When it comes to the PPACA or the environment, this site is difficult to distinguish from freerepublic.

    Heck, my own name here is selected to mock a libertarian acquaintance who groups non-libertarians under the statist moniker. I've also been called fascist, socialist, eco-fascist, alarmist and slaver from time to time, which is adorable.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    My impression is that Romney is criticized for not being Norquist^2 when it comes to taxes, not being Randian enough when it comes to government cuts and not being Paul Ryan in general. Also, his militarism is criticized, and I'm with you on that.

    As for the fact that he will be regressive on women's rights and gay civil rights - that always takes second priority when it comes to American libertarians.

  • ||

    My impression is that Romney is criticized for not being Norquist^2 when it comes to taxes, not being Randian enough when it comes to government cuts and not being Paul Ryan in general. Also, his militarism is criticized, and I'm with you on that.

    You mean a libertarian web site is criticizing candidates for not being libertarian.

    Oh my god the fucking horror!!!!!

  • R C Dean||

    Most of you probably consider gay marriage and abortion rights "controversial matters" best "left to the states".

    Well, at least a far as gay marriage goes, that puts us in agreement with Obama, right?

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    That has to do with a silly ritual gay people have no reason to desire being involved with.

    Romney's equivalent to Axelrod (named Gillespie, oddly enough) has said they will introduce an amendment making it impossible for states to legalize gay marriage. Not to mention Romney's walkback on adoptions, and saying civil unions cannot be legally effective as much as church marriage.

  • ||

    You know one thing I miss about the Bush administration?

    Cute posts exactly like these from Republicans accusing us all of secret heresy and that we were all just crypto-leftists.

  • ||

    Aren't both hypotheses unprovable?

    nope.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj6lRFXC5rA

    Overspending hurts the economy...and stimulus is overspending.

  • ||

    Does it worry you more that Obama might be re-elected alongside a GOP Congress (both House and Senate) or that Romney (who supported TARP, auto bailouts, and stimulus) will be elected with a GOP Congress?

    Yes. It does worry me.

  • vicky||

    obama worries me far more than anything.

  • ||

    Do you think the weak recovery primarily stems from the severity of the recession that ended in 2009 or the government's attempts to ameliorate the recession?

    I don't think. I know. If the government had done nothing we would be better off.

    and the economic sciences agree with me:

    "The most recent studies find a significant negative correlation: An increase in government size by 10 percentage points is associated with a 0.5 to 1 percent lower annual growth rate."

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa.....wnload=yes

  • freeAgent||

    I take a hybrid approach. I think part of the reason the recovery has been so feeble is because the crash was extremely hard. However, it was hard because of years of bad government policy in the first place. The short-term recovery has also not been helped by Obama's reactions. The long-term recovery has almost certainly been hurt by the short term recovery policies as well.

  • vicky||

    Honestly, there has been NO recovery as yet.

    Thats why we need a change in NOv.

  • Jefferson_Was_Right||

    Not to rain on the admittedly amusing parade of snark in this article (and I laughed, make no mistake), but why is it that all of the focus is on the very short-term effect of the stimulus? Even the comments seem focused on it.

    The problems we face are structural. I'm no fan of Bush's economic policies, but the deficit was shrinking year-over-year up until the housing bubble collpased. Why did that event happen?

    Answer: it goes all the way back to 1977 and the CRA, and thesocial imperatives disguised as changes to underwriting standards by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae at the end of the 90's.

    Look at spending at local, state, and federal levels compared to housing prices. The free money printed up by our glorious masters in the Fed created housing price inflation in the double digits.

    Those price hikes were leveraged to create more money. We all rendered unto Ceasar without complaint, and it created a spend, spend, spend mentality (both at a public and private level) that made efforts to control spending in the 80's and early 90's moot.

    The job losses and continual real unemployment can be traced back to the collapse of the housing sector, followed by the collapse of all the sectors that serviced it.

    My point? The stimulus didn't /matter/. What matters is that the government needs to be kept out of the finance sector entirely, lest they spend another 30 years setting us up for the next bubble.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Appreciate the visit from Mary Stack. Way to ruin another thread, loser.

    Also, Nick - RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST.

    That is all.

  • billyboy||

    The Blamer and Chief hit a new low today referencing the bad economy he inherited from Bush at the portrait ceremony for G. Bush at the White House.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    As to question 1, the recovery does not begin with the recession, so that leaves me with some variation on Choice #2. Assuming for the sake of discussion that some form of government intervention was warranted (debatable), Obama's approach was ham-handed and corrupt.

    Things that worry me:
    1. Obama re-elected with a split Congress;
    2. Obama re-elected with a GOP/Tea Party Congress;
    3. Romney elected with a Dem Congress

    If Romney is elected with a GOP/TP congress I think we have a reasonable chance of keeping things in order, if only because all concerned will know that reducing spending is the order of the day.

  • Pa Deuce||

    Well, that is an interesting article and interesting comments, but here is what happened:

    Democrats created the entire national debt.

    - $6 trillion from the unsuccessful, corrupt War on Poverty, 1965-1995.

    - $3 trillion after the collapse of the Dot.com Bubba Bubble. In Clinton's last year. The NASDAQ was down $2.5 trillion before Clinton left office, and the DJIA and SP soon followed. Every economic bubble in history was followed by disaster; Japan has not recovered from the Japanese Bubble crash in 1991.

    - $6+ trillion and counting from the Housing Bubble and the election of a Marxist as president. The Democrats were solely responsible for every law and policy that created the Housing Bubble. The same week that Lehman Brothers collapsed as a result of the Housing Bubble, a Marxist gained the electoral votes to become president, and this double blow caused the DJIA to fall 3000 points within days. The DJIA fell further immediately after the Marxist was nominated, fell again after the Marxist was elected, fell 400 points after the Marxist was inaugurated, and continued to fall until a tepid "recovery" began.

    My horseback estimate is that we are seeing a worldwide crisis developing, Gird your loins.

  • Pa Deuce||

    " ... a Marxist gained the electoral votes to become president ... " should read " ... a Marxist gained the Democratic Party nomination ... "

  • Me||

    Libertarianism is a disease. Like something that people get in adolescence, which doesn't go away.

    Hello, yes, the economy is doing badly.

    An economist (hopefully) would think about that intelligently.

    Fear of future taxes. Excessive regulation. (To say the least.)

    But then you introduce gay marriage.

    Ann Coulter has commented on this. It's like a cult. They pull you in on small government, and then they switch the conversation to gay marriage or the legalization of drugs.

    All of these are market failures. People in these cases are not rational. There are big negative externalities.

    Hey, nut jobs, finance is also a market failure. Asymmetric information. Princpal-Agent.

    The housing collapse was in many ways a moral problem. First, I might mention the Ten Commandments. Don't covet thy neighbor's house.

    But also, what really were we trying to do? The answer is that that we were trying to create wealth among African-Americans through home ownership. (We'll leave that aside as a bad idea, since homes depreciate.)

    Charles Murray said that welfare caused the collapse of the family among black Americans. The divorce revolution?

    Now you clowns are shilling for gay marriage. What will be your argument for the legalization of sex for children, which is the next front in the culture war? See NY Court of Appeals decision. Or plural marriage, which your great libertarian friend Laurence Tribe supports.

    You guys are a mess. And a disgrace.

  • Me||

    Libertarianism is a disease. Like something that people get in adolescence, which doesn't go away.

    Hello, yes, the economy is doing badly.

    An economist (hopefully) would think about that intelligently.

    Fear of future taxes. Excessive regulation. (To say the least.)

    But then you introduce gay marriage.

    Ann Coulter has commented on this. It's like a cult. They pull you in on small government, and then they switch the conversation to gay marriage or the legalization of drugs.

    All of these are market failures. People in these cases are not rational. There are big negative externalities.

    Hey, nut jobs, finance is also a market failure. Asymmetric information. Princpal-Agent.

    The housing collapse was in many ways a moral problem. First, I might mention the Ten Commandments. Don't covet thy neighbor's house.

    But also, what really were we trying to do? The answer is that that we were trying to create wealth among African-Americans through home ownership. (We'll leave that aside as a bad idea, since homes depreciate.)

    Charles Murray said that welfare caused the collapse of the family among black Americans. The divorce revolution?

    Now you clowns are shilling for gay marriage. What will be your argument for the legalization of sex for children, which is the next front in the culture war? See NY Court of Appeals decision. Or plural marriage, which your great libertarian friend Laurence Tribe supports.

    You guys are a mess. And a disgrace.

  • Me||

    Based on space limitations, I realize I did not make certain points clear. (The system doesn't tell you, when you are going too long.)

    So two more points. The housing bubble in the U.S. (and yes you can distinguish a bubble in the U.S. from other countries) was caused in large part by trying to create a false wealth among African-Americans in lieu of the normal wealth that a married couple of long standing will create.

    And two, Charles Murray, though a good miner of census data, is basically a fascist per his racial views. That he is also a self-described libertarian is something you guys should think about.

  • jg||

    EXCELLENT WRITING!

    FUNNY

    'RIGHT ON'

    i'll go with romney plus the GOP

    both the republicans and dems ... suck ... repubs suck a little less ...

    but i want a super-rich guy at the helm (i voted for PEROT)

    i never heard this comment from any of the pundits:

    romney, given his vast weatlh ... could do anything he wanted to ...

    he didn't have to enter 'public service' as governor ... now running for the prez...

    romney is willing to SACRIFICE a life of comfort and ease ... for the daily crapola sandwich the media and the dems give him...

    folks, doesn't that tell you about his 'character' and commitment to the USA?

  • Dillon||

    I love the ending to this article!

  • Alex the wolf||

    I prefer Obama. I think we should give Solyndra another shot!

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement