Money Troubles

What Mitt's failures tell us about voters' economic worries

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On his way to losing the New Hampshire primary—and with it his chance at the GOP's brass ring—Mitt Romney had a few confident months. John McCain fell in the polls, and instead of attack ads Romney ran commercials introducing him to voters as a "business legend". They recapped his years as a venture capitalist and big-money turnaround artist (his most famous project being the 2002 Winter Olympics) over a hum of inspiring, faux-U2 music. In speeches and interviews Romney portrayed himself as a master fixer, ready to become what the conservative Weekly Standard called a "CEO president".

Read the rest at Guardian Unlimited.

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  1. This is why political prognostication is so fraught with peril. A year ago the economy was humming along at a record pace and we were all convinced that Iraq would be the No. 1 Issue. And just a couple days ago we were burying Hillary in New Hampshire. I predict that we cannot predict anything. Except that Ron Paul will not be President. I am 99% sure of that. Make it 95%.

  2. We the People are finally waking up to who is really running the economy. And it isn’t us.

    As I said before, Free People, not Free Markets.

  3. The economy is the most important issue Paul can bring to the table this election. I was really irritated that he wasted ad time about taking away student visas instead.

  4. “CEO president”

    Oh no!!! Not again! Like I needed another reason to discount the man.

  5. As I said before, Free People, not Free Markets.

    If you don’t have free markets, then you don’t have free people. After all, if I am not free to enter into transactions with other people that I see as benefiting myself (and the other’s I’m transacting also see as benefitting them), then I’m not really free.

    Christ, I can’t believe I had to explain that.

  6. Jesus H. We finally get rid of Urkobold’s annoying ALL CAPS CARPET BOMBS only to find ourselves invaded by BoldFace Boob. I think I’ll start posting in Esperanto. Notice me! Love me!

  7. Christ, I can’t believe I had to explain that.

    He supports John Edwards, which should make it much earlier to believe.

  8. easier. easier.

  9. We finally get rid of Urkobold’s annoying ALL CAPS CARPET BOMBS…

    What? I liked Urkobold. At least he had a sense of humour.

  10. Steve, some people are fooled by marketing into entering transactions that really don’t benefit them, but benefit the capitalist. Its not an equal playing field. One side has privelege and the other doesn’t.

  11. “We finally get rid of Urkobold’s annoying ALL CAPS CARPET BOMBS”

    Oooh, we did? Awesome. What happened?

    Christ, that crap was irritating.

  12. MCW: You can’t protect stupid people from making stupid decisions… unless you limit those decisions. Limiting decisions decreases freedom of the individual.

  13. Jesus H. We finally get rid of Urkobold’s annoying ALL CAPS CARPET BOMBS

    My crystal ball shows that URKOBOLD? will be visiting this thread. Crysty is usually correct.

  14. MR. ED SHALL REPORT TO THE GLUE FACTORY, AND MOON UNIT ZAPPA CALLED: SHE WANTS “AWESOME” TO RETURN TO THE 80s.

    JSUBD STILL GETS NO COOKIE. THE WEIBSKOBOLD HATH SO DEEMED.

  15. Awesome to the 80s?? Bogus, dude!

  16. “The problems that the Republican party faces here won’t be unique to New Hampshire. There is a rising, national, cross-party fear that America is becoming less powerful and influential by the year. It’s the kind of worry that subsumes everything.”

    Alright Dave, fess up. This was a straight up Guardian pander, right?

  17. WARTY SHALL LEARN WHAT HAPPENS:

    *GAGS MR. STEVEN CRANE WITH A SPOON*

  18. Lately I’ve been reading posts that vanish within a couple of minutes. The last one was five minutes ago, about “granny apartments”. What’s up?

    BTW, I don’t believe in Urkobold, but I’m afraid of him. Good enough?

  19. “some people are fooled by marketing into entering transactions that really don’t benefit them, but benefit the capitalist.”

    Like the war in Iraq?

  20. JSUBD STILL GETS NO COOKIE. THE WEIBSKOBOLD HATH SO DEEMED.

    WEIBSKOBOLD is just jealous because his foreign manufactured crystal ball is opaque. Caveat emptor, minion!

  21. Jesus H. We finally get rid of Urkobold’s annoying ALL CAPS CARPET BOMBS only to find ourselves invaded by BoldFace Boob.

    It could be worse: The words in bold could be rhymed ala Jesse Jackson.

  22. Christ, I can’t believe I had to explain that.

    The older I get, the more convinced I am that the intelligence required to understand such things is beyond 80-90% of the population.

  23. Steve, some people are fooled by marketing into entering transactions that really don’t benefit them, but benefit the capitalist.

    Far more often effective marketing leads people into transactions that benefit both them and the capitalist. It’s not a zero-sum game. Most people who are fooled learn from the experience, and avoid particular products or capitalists, enabling the market to correct itself.

    Things never really get messed up until the government starts interfering. Since the bureaucrats seldom have to live with the consequences of decisions they make for the people, there’s no lessons learned feedback.

    Its not an equal playing field. One side has privelege and the other doesn’t.

    And if you believe government is going to protect people from the capitalists the government charters to run government-regulated corporations I have some marketing about prime Texas coastal bottomland I want to send you.

  24. It could be worse: The words in bold could be rhymed ala Jesse Jackson.

    Ha! Maybe Obama will resort to that if he starts to falter. Crying has already been done. Look for Operation Nipsey Russell if things start to go badly for him.

  25. “One side has privelege and the other doesn’t”

    Is that so? Than why would people spend money on marketing if there’s nothing to gain? Oh, they gain money? So the foolish consumer has the money and marketing wants it?? I know…

    “some marketeers are fooled by people into entering transactions that really don’t benefit them, but benefit the consumer. Its not an equal playing field. One side has privelege and the other doesn’t.”

    What a douche.

  26. It really gets under my skin how these consumers wave their money around and the poor marketing department can do nothing to get it accept jump through hoops trying to please the consumer with products or services they might want. Sickening.

  27. accept=except

    nice.

  28. Steve, some people are fooled by marketing into entering transactions that really don’t benefit them, but benefit the capitalist. Its not an equal playing field. One side has privelege and the other doesn’t.

    And here we see a fundamental difference between the liberal and the libertarian. The former sees people as fundamentally stupid and in need of…well…a nanny. The libertarian on the other hand does not hold such a view.

    Sure sometimes transactions don’t always pan out, but nobody has claimed they will. Still I would rather have the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. So ulitmately we see that MCW actually favors restricting freedom.

  29. Where oh where did MCW go? Who was he? Was he just a troll, who stepped into the wrong community? Was he a lost child? Is it Naomi Klein? Is it joe’s little brother?

    So much mystery in his history

  30. Not stupid Steve but sometimes underpriveleged. The government must play referee to make it fair. A referee, not a nanny.

  31. WEIBSKOBOLD is just jealous because his foreign manufactured crystal ball is opaque.

    Umm, dude, I’m pretty sure WEIBSKOBOLD is a her.

  32. Yadda yadda yadda… economic ignorance

  33. Not stupid Steve but sometimes underpriveleged. The government must play referee to make it fair. A referee, not a nanny.

    I know exactly what you mean! I just bought a can of soup from the store and it wasn’t that good. Can you give me the number of the referee.

    [/snark]

  34. Did I arrive late to the bolding party?

  35. Sleeper? The housing bubble has burst. The subprime market melted. Fuel and electical costs have risen substantially in many areas.

    We’re looking at a reverse wealth effect. When a family with a $200,000 home saw it run up to $400,000 in value, they felt flush. Maybe the took out a home equity line and bought a big screen or a pool. Now, the housing stock is piling up and the $400,000 house next door has been on the market for nine month and was just marked down to $325,000. The heating oil bill just came in the mail along with the big ass tuition bill. So, this is what noneconomists call the “pucker factor.”

    This helps the Dems because the Republicans are in White House and they are going to spend something like half a trillion on the folly in Iraq. Does this help HRC more than Obama? Who knows. Obama may be seen as the spirit of audacity, but the electorate may be saying, “Fuck audacity, where’s my damn money”?

  36. I’m talking more about if your house was foreclosed because of an exploitive loan.

    The referee (government) could put a moratorioum on foreclosures like during the current crisis.

    Thats more important than soup.

  37. What you are talking about is already government-endorsed types of fraud and extortion. Severe ravaging of contract theory and societal lack of emphasis on the importance thereof.

  38. Warning: Do not listen to libertarians talk about contract theory, extortion, fraud or force while driving or operating heavy equipment.

  39. And here we see a fundamental difference between the liberal and the libertarian. The former sees people as fundamentally stupid and in need of…well…a nanny. The libertarian on the other hand does not hold such a view.

    This libertarian believes that people (present company excepted, of course) are fundamentally stupid. I just don’t think my rights and options should be curtailed because of the majoriies’ incompetence.

  40. Perceptu min! Amu min! Alportu al mi la fi?o de via frato Raul!

  41. “Bring me the fish of your brother Raul” ???

  42. fi?o -> fi?on

  43. This libertarian believes that people (present company excepted, of course) are fundamentally stupid.

    Isn’t that one of the 5 axioms of libertarianism?

    1. People are fundamentally stupid.

    2. People are fundamentally lazy.

    3. People are fundamentally selfish.

    4. Politicians are people.

    5. Governments are monopolies within their jurisdictions.

  44. David Weigel,

    Do British readers understand that GOP = Republican?

  45. I’m talking more about if your house was foreclosed because of an exploitive loan.

    So what is the solution? Prevent them from agreeing to such a loan (restricting their freedom) or bail them out once they learn what a dumb idea it was?

    The referee (government) could put a moratorioum on foreclosures like during the current crisis.

    So, shelter them from their bad decision making so that they can make more bad decisions. Great idea.

    Thats more important than soup.

    Not if I’m being exploited!!! I didn’t really want the soup, and evil marketer made me buy it.

    This libertarian believes that people (present company excepted, of course) are fundamentally stupid. I just don’t think my rights and options should be curtailed because of the majoriies’ incompetence.

    Right, my rights and options to be stupid or not should not be infringed to supply MWC with a nanny.

  46. And this, my friends, is why libertarians never get elected and rarely get invited to parties. Yes, people can be lazy or stupid or selfish or any combination thereof. People can also be unlucky. They can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the stock libertarian response is essentially, “tough shit; it’s your fucking problem.” So, Steve’s smart, hard-working, generally nice brother buys a can of soup that is poisoned and dies. He calls the widow and says, “I’m against any government involvement even though you are financially destite without Steve’s income and I’ll tell you in excrutiating detail why for government to do anything. And the kids, try a private charity or get off your lazy ass and get another job or two.”

  47. I’m not some cold hearted asshole like my “brother” makes me sound. I happen to think that the government is actually quite good at redistributing misery and reducing incomes.* There are actually market mechanisms for handling my “brother’s” premature death such as life insurance. Is it my fault that he decide not to spend $20 to $50 bucks a month to cover for this possibility? And if he is that strapped, why not ask…well me for help? To proud there “bro” or just stupid? Well if you are like our oldest sister, you already no my guess.

    And I’m not 100% opposed to everything the government does. Take price indices like the PPI and the CPI and the unemployment data. I think that stuff is pretty good, the people working there generally know what they are doing and it is actually not all that expensive a bureaucracy. Given how so many rely on that information it is probably actually a good thing.

    I’d even be willing to consider some transfer programs provided that politicians have little or no ability to muck around with them.

    So, don’t be such an idiot, dear “brother” of mine.

    *Thanks to Arnold Kling for that line.

  48. I can’t wait for that fucking suit to lose his war chest for naught. Fucking fake, bred his whole life by daddy to assume his place in a legacy that goes from Governor of State X to President. Then what, Mitt, fade off into obscurity? Retirement? Rapture?

  49. So, Steve’s smart, hard-working, generally nice brother buys a can of soup that is poisoned and dies. He calls the widow and says, “I’m against any government involvement even though you are financially destite without Steve’s income and I’ll tell you in excrutiating detail why for government to do anything. And the kids, try a private charity or get off your lazy ass and get another job or two.”

    As opposed to the government solution: Ban soup.

  50. I’m talking more about if your house was foreclosed because of an exploitive loan.

    The referee (government) could put a moratorioum on foreclosures like during the current crisis.

    Sounds to me like someone just wants a “do-over”.

  51. Once again, MCW has reared his ugly head. Quick question: what does being “underprivileged” have to do with making idiotic decisions?

  52. ARE YOU ANNOYED WHEN THE URKOBOLD TYPES WITH THE CAPS-LOCK KEY ON? WELL, BEHOLD A NEW LEVEL OF ANNOYING!

    FEeL tHE PAiN.

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