"George Shultz Wants To Pimp Your Grandma to Wall Street."

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A gaggle of Lyndon LaRouche supporters have been marking their territory near the entrance to the Dupont Circle Metro entrance in Washington, D.C., reminding all who pass by of a simpler time when insane conspiracy nuts and exotic mendicant orders (has anyone seen a Hare Krishna hawking flowers in the past decade or so?) were part of the warp and woof of the American tapestry (or something like that).

The LaRouchies' target: George W. Bush's Social Security reform, which they have waggishly dubbed a "povertization" plan. But the brilliant touch involves the forgotten all-star utility infielder of '80s Republicans, the drug-legalizin' George Shultz. On display along with mocking pictures of Bush is a poster decreeing "George Shultz Wants To Pimp Your Grandma to Wall Street."

Who knew? One more reason to grok Schultz.

Bonus question: Why do people confuse LaRouchies with libertarians? I get this all the time and don't know the etiology of the disorder. Anyone?

Update:
Fixed spelling of Shultz's name. When it comes to spelling that name, I know nothing.

NEXT: Banking While Muslim: Update

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  1. LaRouche once advocated a gold standard for money, but that is as close to Libertarianism that he ever came.

    B’sides, all us whacko nut jobs look the same to the great ‘merikan ignoranti.

  2. “Why do people confuse LaRouchies with libertarians? I get this all the time and don’t know the etiology of the disorder. Anyone?”

    This might be of interest. And this pdf-file is… hmmm… hilarious.

  3. “Aliens, bio-duplication, nude conspiracies… Oh my God! Lyndon LaRouche was right!” -Homer Simpson

  4. Libertarians get confused with a lot of people. I saw briefly this morning – on the Today Show before work – a website the shooter in MN had frequented was entitle something like Libertarian Nazis or something (I said it was a brief look, right?) Anyway, the word libertarian was rather large and a few swastikas(sp?) adorned the page.

    I just thought to myself that this may be another possible conspiracy theory in coming months about someone purposefully smearing the name – or word – libertarian. I had read somewhere that the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the Freemen were all associated with libertarians, which I bought into for a while and had written all libertarians off as kooky. I’ve since recovered from that delusion, joined them, and have thus concluded that they are, in fact, kooky. 🙂

  5. Why do people confuse LaRouchies with libertarians?

    Because they both start with ‘L.’

  6. Because they both start with ‘L.’

    I think that says it. Fringe organizations (the LaRouche and LP) that most people only fleetingly hear about every four years and that start with the same letter.

  7. When I was working on the Badnarik campaign last year, I talked to my father who immediately thought the LP candidate was LaRouche. So count me among the wonderers.

  8. Nick, its a simple answer.

    Because both groups are a bunch of whack-jobs who are out of touch with reality, and its hard to keep them straight.

    I think that it’s an indication of being considered fringe by mainstream america. People don’t know the difference because they don’t care enough to know the difference. Why?? Becuase even though there are some very good ideas within the planks of both platforms, the public face (or the general perception) of both groups is considered bat-shit crazy. So who has the time to sit and distinguish between crazies? I mean the average American hardly can keep up with the 2 pathetic dominant parties and their various and ever-changing (and often self-contradicting) positions. So sadly, one group of crazies gets confused with another group of crazies. (Im sure both names starting with L doesnt help the situation either as many other posters have pointed out)

  9. Why do people confuse LaRouchies with libertarians?

    ?Cause they?re not Democrats or Republicans, thus most (especially the MSM) feel it makes no difference.

  10. ChicagoTom,
    Idn’t dat wot Aye sed?

  11. “Because they both start with ‘L.'”

    I am liberal.

    I am a Liberal.

    I am libertarian.

    I am a Libertarian.

    Slap me the knuckles with a ruler.

  12. NoStar,

    You Darn Tootin it is!

    Except I mine wasn’t tounge in cheek.

  13. You know…you proofread and preview and proofread and preview…and crap still gets through….

    My previous post should have ended with

    “Except my comment wasn’t tongue in cheek”

    Apologies

  14. I saw the Larouchists in Old Town Alexandria a few months ago. I was glad to see them. I hadn’t run across their ilk since they hung out at the DMV back in the 80/90’s.
    Their basic schtick is to proclaim all sorts of doom and gloom at some point in the future, then hope that you have forgotten what they said at the time they said it would happen. By then they will be on to the next future catastrophe. A simple but effective prostelyzation strategy for preying on complete morons.

  15. WindyTownTom,
    My tongue may be planted firmly in my cheek as I mock myself, other Libertarians, and the great unwashed ‘merican Ignoranti. Still that does not mean I wasn’t entirely serious.

  16. Larouche? Isn’t he a fucking fascist?

  17. “LaRouche once advocated a gold standard for money, but that is as close to Libertarianism that he ever came.”

    Yet another good reason for libertarians to ditch this silly idea.

  18. Brian, That silly idea is one of the reasons the dollar is losing out to the Euro which is partially backed with gold.

    I anticipate double digit inflation that Greenspan will be able to do little about when all the petro-dollars, and drug cartel-dollars, and foreign held dollars come home to roost having been exchanged for Euros.

  19. ?Cause they?re not Democrats or Republicans, thus most (especially the MSM) feel it makes no difference.

    Until they have an actual impact on a campaign (Perot/Reform Party – 92 & 96 / Green Party – 2000) it doesn’t make any difference.

    As long as the LP is in a statistical dead heat with Pat Paulson (and in his case that’s a literal dead heat), that’s not gonna change.

  20. I see the LaRouche folks every few months down at Union Station in DC, and I caught them a couple weeks ago at the Smithsonian metro stop. They used to be entertaining, but it’s gotten tired. They did have my favorite campaign slogan ever back in ’92 (one likely to send a chill up the spines of conspira-lefties everywhere).

    “The only opponent George Bush fears enough to put into prison.”

    LL was doing time for what I seem to recall was campaign fraud from the ’88 election. As for the Hare Krishna’s, it’s starting to push a decade, but they used to hit South St. in Philly pretty regularly when I lived there about seven years back.

  21. Nick Gillespie,

    George Shultz’s last name is spelled without a “c”.

  22. I once looked at some LaRouche literature. I’ve heard people characterize LaRouche as far right or far left, but he’s so crazy that no conventional label will suffice, and even most of the unconventional ones don’t really fit. He is what he is.

  23. Why do people confuse LaRouchies with libertarians?

    Because some libertarians advocate drug legalization and LaRouchies are obviously on drugs — or should be.

  24. A friend once asked me for a two-minute bio on Ayn Rand, and she started with the question, “Wasn’t she a Nazi sympathizer?” Just as someone whose surname was originally Rosenbaum is unlikely to identify with Nazis, I don’t see how anyone can associate Lyndon LaRouche with the Libertarian Party.

    Personally, I think that the Illinois Board of Elections is the best education tool. As he appears on the Illinois Democratic Party Presidential Primary ballot every four years, those who take a Democratic ballot (read nearly everyone in Cook County) should know that he is NOT a Libertarian candidate.

  25. Well, NoStar, how the hell would being on a gold standard prevent the price of oil from causing inflation? Oil is worth more relative to the dollar than it was in 2000, even accounting for exchange rates and what little inflation there has been (oil has risen about 350%; euro has risen about 30%; total inflation has been about 6%). If we had goldbacks rather than greenbacks, it figures that oil would be worth more relativ to a gold-backed currency than it was a few years ago.

    As I’ve said before, gold is no less a fiat currency than paper money is. Money–you can’t eat it, it doesn’t do useful work, and the only reason people keep it around is so that you can trade it for other, more useful things, or people who will do them. This was as true for Romans or William Jennings Bryan as it is for us. Money (in a free market) in any form allows people to quantify the value of their labor and their time; at the end of each day I can buy 240 pounds of green peas, but today only 50 gallons of gas–tomorrow maybe more, maybe less. If gold would stabilize prices, it would inevitably undermine the free market. Since prices should represent the cost of getting something to market, it stands to reason that they will change, and if something fundamental to that, like oil, becomes more expensive, it stands to reason that all prices will rise (and in contrary situations, that they will fall).

    Gold could not prevent that. It never has. In fact, the 19th century, that blessed time of goldbacked money, the US saw deflation of 50%. I don’t have the energy to lecture you on why deflation is not so great?for one thing, it makes debt harder to pay off, a situation that would royally fuck the US at this point. I will say that one of the virtues of the manipulation of interest rates is that you can reduce the effects of deflation by lowering the interest one pays on the capital of a loan, thus compensating somewhat for the increased difficulty of paying back the capital.

    Read up yourself, or swim in your gold like Scrooge McDuck.

    annoyed

  26. To see inflation in action, visit here:
    http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

  27. Brian Courts,

    While I agree that many European policies are not sustainable in their present form, European integration should be the death of many of them. Keep in mind that if the Growth and Stability Pact were actually being enforced against the wishes of Germany and France, those two countries would be getting fined up the ass for having deficits amounting to more than three percent of their GDP. The enlarged EU and new voting rules will eventually prevent obstruction of enforcement of clear policies, meaning that countries will need to make structural reforms rather than being beaten into submission.

  28. Any noun starting with an “L” is leading with its chin. It can’t be taken seriously.
    Here are words beginning with a burst of air causing them to dominate from the getgo:
    Budweiser
    Gonzo
    Bold
    Kick-ass
    Pussy
    Tough

    Libertarianism should be changed to DamnStraightism.
    Reason–“r” is wimpy too–should change its name to Poison. (The motto, “Free minds and free markets,” should be changed to “How much can your mind take?”

    Okay, I know Ruthless is wimpy by my definition. Well, I am wimpy.

  29. How about the Pot,Pussy&Privatization Party. Encapsulates several aspects, yet still kicks you with bursting alliteration. Plus the kids’ll eat it up.

  30. The bigger question is–

    Why do people confuse Nick Gillespie (and several other Reason contributors, eg Matt Welch, Kathy Young) with Libertarians?

    See http://www.lewrockwell.com/dmccarthy/dmccarthy57.html

  31. I’ve heard several different versions of this story:
    Time Magazine has referred to La Rouche as a Libertarian at least once, and perhaps several times over the years. One person’s recollection can be found a quarter of the way down this page: http://snipurl.com/dneq

  32. Isn’t LaRouche dead?

  33. Daniel McCarthy article: “Nick Gillespie…argued that a monomaniacal focus on the state left out some important aspects of liberalism.”

    I hope Gillespie did say that. A libertarianism confined to “Guvmint bad!” is as meaningful as a Che t-shirt.

  34. Before he began running in Democrat primaries,
    LaRouche operated a third party–the Labor
    Party (or something like that.) So, LaRouche, L.

    Just like the Libertarian candiates, Clark, L.

    Also, LaRouche’s policy proposals have from time to time mixed conventionally rightwing and leftwing positions.

    Some libertarians describe our views in that way.

    Of course, LaRouche’s views never amounted to a libertarianish mix–probably more populist/authoritarian than anything else.

    Also, LaRouche was pro-nuclear energy. Back in the day, there were some libertarians who were very pro-nuke. Here at Reason, if I recollect.

    I have experience the confusion first hand. A colleague at The Citadel mentioned LaRouche when I said I was a libertarian–years ago. Also, once when I was campaigning door-to-door in a Libertarian congressional race, I had someone answer the door and bring up LaRouche.

    Bill Woolsey

  35. Is Andre Marou’s (1992 LP Presidential candidate)name similar enough to LaRouche’s to have confused anyone.

  36. The LaRouchies regularly hang around Harvard Square. The way they present themselves these days, the ignorant (a common commodity around here) must find it hard to tell them from the general run of leftist Democrats. Social Security is currently their major hot item. Last year it was Dick Cheney; on one occasion they were predicting he’d be arrested the next day.

    They love to hand out literature to people. Even if I walk by with my hands conspicuously in my pockets, they’ll thrust a magazine out at me. Even when I take it and immediately dump it in the nearest trash barrel, they’ll hand me another when I come back in the other direction ten minutes later.

  37. The LaRouchies ran an ad during the Democratic primary debates in New Hampshire. All of the candidates did, so it was a bit odd to see the Gephardt ad, the Joementum ad, the Edwards ad, then the Lyndon Freaking LaRouche ad.

    Lyndon’s ad started with scary stock footage – mushroom cloud, starving people, etc., then cut to a STILL SHOT of the old bugger sitting behind a desk, and Lyndon doing a voiceover. Like that Star Trek episode.

    The tag line at the end – I’m not making this up – was, “Vote LaRouche…or DIE!!!!!!”

  38. annoyed, constant inflation has its own problems. A good introductory text is probably Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit.
    The main advantage to something like the gold standard is that the government can’t just print as much as it pleases (as it has done a few times in the past; how much extra did the Fed put out for Y2K?), which does have a fair bit to do with inflation.
    BTW, I don’t see where you’re coming from. Oil prices can’t cause inflation. Sure, it can cost a lot more, but that isn’t inflation. If oil is more scare/harder to extract/less processed/more in demand than in the past, it should cost more. That’s pretty basic, but completely orthagonal to inflation. It’s like saying that handcrafted hardwood furniture being more expensive than in the past than now is causing inflation. Doesn’t have anything to do with it.

    Deflation isn’t inherently a horrible thing, either. There are also problems associated with the constant inflation we’ve had since the Fed was formed, but those are usually ignored completely. Which is quite frustrating. I’d personally much prefer the previous cyclic infaltion/deflation, since long term left things pretty much flat.

  39. People probably confuse Libertarians and LaRouchies b/c they both start with L. I think LaRouchies are braindead and fascist. I have video of Hitchens threatening a heckling LaRouchie with fisticuffs at an overflowing bookstore. Hitchens then took the nutjob’s hat from off his head but a policeman showed up before it could degenerate further.

  40. Annoyed,
    It is too late to save the US currency. When the chicken (foreign held bills) come home to roost, we will have inflation if not hyper inflation.

    It is too late for a gold standard to help. But had we kept the dollar backed in gold, we would not be facing this situation now. Think of gold as a preventative, not as a cure.
    NoStar
    PS: If I’ve increased your level of annoyance, no need to thank me. I’m happy to oblige.

  41. Why not let banks and other private finanicial institutions control the amount of currency in circulation? At least they could actually back up their bank notes!

    “nazi.org”?!? They’re a non-profit hate group, huh?

  42. “Pimp My Grandma”… well, it should give “Monster Garage” and “American Chopper” a run for their money.

  43. NoStar — I think you analysis is overall correct.

    I read an intersting read about this topic recently, although I don’t have the economic background to speak authoritatively, what I read did make sense to me.

    Anyone interested can find it here

  44. The origin is simple: Time Magazine, January 13, 1992. … Lyndon LaRouche. The wild-eyed libertarian.

  45. Angela Keaton,
    I was among the hundreds who objected. There’s a form letter here somewhere from Time Magazine I was hoping to quote, but couldn’t find.
    As I recall, some prominent librarian–at the time–got a letter published the following week which caused Time to eat some crow.
    Can you find that?

  46. Back in 1992, whenever I was responding to the question “Who are you voting for?” people thought Andre Marrou (real libertarian) was Lyndon LaRouche (whackjob). I think it was the franco-phonic names that confused him.

  47. Ruthless (and Gman) — see the first link in the second post of this thread:

    This isn’t the first time we’ve been falsely linked with LaRouche. During the 1992 campaign, Time magazine identified LaRouche as a “libertarian.” What’s worse, they refused to correct the error. They continued to insist that LaRouche was a “libertarian” even if he wasn’t connected with the LP. The most they would do was publish a letter to the editor from Andre Marrou denying the connection.

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