Will We Wake Up in 1933?

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Obama's "restraint," says this blogger, is to be admired. He is in possession of "both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament," said conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes's judgment of FDR. Christopher Buckley cribbed the same line, declaring that Obama "has exhibited throughout a 'first-class temperament.'"  I can't disagree with any of these assessments, and I'm all for leaders with a Rooseveltian temperament. But shouldn't we be slightly more skeptical of those in possession of a Rooseveltian vision of domestic policy? And with the McCain issue will likely off the table by tomorrow morning, with the curtain soon to be drawn on the era of Bush's big government conservatism, with no dreaded Republican to do battle with, are we ready for a president with an expansive view of government intervention into the economy? (And yes, Bush was the worst of the worst on spending, but we soon won't have Mr. Bush to kick around anmore.) Will Obama, in this time of crisis, heed the advice of those members of the liberal commentariat agitating for radical economic change; will he push for some kind of New New Deal? According to this John Heilemann story in New York magazine, some of Obama's adviser's are already looking to the ghost of FDR to guide them:

"A lot of people around Barack are reading books about FDR's first hundred days," says a member of Obama's kitchen cabinet. "It's a sign of the shift that's going on emotionally: from being on this improbable mission to believing, Hey, we're going to win."

Obama might show "restraint" (whatever that means) and be an astoundingly clever guy, but perhaps it is time for the Obamacons and the Obamatarians to face the prospect of four years of big government liberalism, to accept that American foreign policy probably won't be any less interventionist (just fronted by people lacking that Rumsfeldian bombast). Perhaps we should start thinking about a big, messy healthcare bureaucracy, the victory of card check, an attempt to reintroduce the fairness doctrine, or the establishment of a "fair" (read: protectionist) trade policy. 

Oh, and be prepared for more stuff like this bizarre rant from half-witted actor John Cusack, star of the Hitler buddy pic Max ("C'mon Hitler, I'll buy you a glass of lemonade"), who declares in the Huffington Post that "the modern free market system is false but a new revelation shall come." Deep, man. After all, sayth Cusack, we have reached "the end of Milton Friedman, Reaganomics and supply-side theory" and we, as conscripted members of the new CCC, must "help Obama try to implement another New Deal…"

NEXT: The Food Miles Mistake

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  1. As Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would ask: Who Gives a F*ck?!

  2. I’d like to propose a new, streamlined free market economy. One that focuses government regulation in a new, more efficient way. At a small fraction of today’s cost!

  3. L0LZ. Moynihan is all set for the next 4 years at least.

  4. After months of pimping for Obama, Reason has finally gotten its Libertarian balls back.

  5. In all seriousness, Mike, your last para shows that it’s too soon to go raining on our parade. (Folks, I said “parade,” not “party.” There’s a difference.)

  6. Krauthammer would be cute with th comparison to FDR with the “both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament.” Problem is Holmes said FDR had “a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament.” I know intellect doesn’t matter to Republicans this year, but isn’t that an important distinction?

  7. Um, laugh all you want, but Cusack was right insofar as he predicts it will be a long time before people will hearken to free-market ideas again. Seeing how the recent kleptocracy had been branded free-market, people for the next decade or so will hear free-markets and laugh and call the speaker a fucking idiot.

    Fair? Probably not. But there it is anyway.

  8. And intellect does matter to the left? Ha!

  9. I am getting so hammered tonight.

  10. I’m not surprised by Cusack. Didn’t he hold up that boom box blaring “Red rain coming down”?

  11. “Mosby | November 4, 2008, 5:07pm | #
    I am getting so hammered tonight.”

    As soon as it is clear who is winning I’m switching to Fox News if Obama wins, and MSNBC if McCain wins, and doing exactly that.

  12. Perhaps we should start thinking about a big, messy healthcare bureaucracy, the victory of card check, an attempt to reintroduce the fairness doctrine, or the establishment of a “fair” (read: protectionist) trade policy.

    Or maybe you should have been thinking of this all along?

  13. FDR ran against Hoover’s big spending, so I wouldn’t put much trust in the Obamassiah’s “restraint”. Our only salvation is that the money doesn’t exist for a new New Deal and also for the previous New Deal (and Great Society) programs. I don’t think even Pelosi can spend more than the entire GDP per year, taxed or borrowed.

    Thank you W, your bankrupting the govt will be our ultimate salvation.

  14. It took you until today to write this article? Tell me, does this magazine even have a reason to exist anymore?

  15. the modern free market system is false but a new revelation shall come

    This is pretty fucking funny. I expected him to follow it with “Wait for the sign…then all prisoners will be released. You will perish in flames!”

    It’s sad to see the star of Better Off Dead come to this.

  16. Whichever candidate wins will prove again that George Takei was right: America is “full of stupid.”

    Incidentally, I quoted Schiller in another thread (“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain”), prompting the Urkobold to post the whole passage from Maid of Orleans on the blog:

    Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
    Against stupidity the very gods
    Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
    Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
    Wise foundress of the system of the world,
    Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
    Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
    Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
    Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
    Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
    And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
    To the fool-king belongs the world.

    Given the reference in the quote to “reason”, I think a certain magazine should add the payoff line to its masthead ?

  17. All good questions. Unfortunately, if REASON is any guide, the libertarians who aided and abetted Obama’s rise will no doubt be stunned at the infringements on our liberty that are in store from an Obama administration.

  18. Fair Minds and Fair Markets

  19. Why does the Krauthammer link end up a huge fail?

  20. As a percentage of GDP, W was rather moderate on spending.

  21. Victor,

    I think it will be more like 1922-23 Germany. I hear 24 hour printing presses pumping out bills that read “Ein Milliarden Mark” in our future.

  22. Don’t all Krauthammer links end in huge fails?

  23. One hour and eight minutes before many polls close and Reason finally decides to grow a pair with this article.

    I hope my next issue of Reason doesn’t have material that should have been published in July or I’ll return it with my subscription.

  24. “adviser’s” = wrong

    advisors = correct

  25. Wow… I cannot believe this rag actually calls itself “libertarian.” Face it– you’re either in love with, or utterly intimidated by, Obama. Even in this silly, limp-wristed attack on him, you still have to drag Republican commentators into it, as though THEY are the real problem.

    Guess what, guys! The only people who are actually standing up to Obama are the rank and file Republicans. And the only people in the media who are taking a stand are the mainstream Republican outlets, like National Review or Fox News.

    The problem with Reason (and the reason I cancelled my subscription) is that you people lack the courage of your so-called convictions. When is the last time you ran a hard-hitting piece on Obama? I rest my case. Your idea of criticizing Obama amounts to criticizing Republican for “letting” him get elected. Pathetic.

    You are completely irrelevant.

  26. “Thank you W, your bankrupting the govt will be our ultimate salvation.”

    “Yes.

    In Germany.”

    Someone was saying to me the other day that the silver lining of global bankruptcy was that no one could afford to bankroll any new wars. But then, he said, that didn’t stop Hitler.

  27. ” Your idea of criticizing Obama amounts to criticizing Republican for “letting” him get elected. Pathetic.”

    I despise Obama but if he gets elected it will be because McCain was too much of a wimp to go after him hard. His choice of Palin is one of the few good decisions he made.

  28. Obama has been very short on specifics. I’ll wait a bit before I say, with apologies to Warren,

    Doom

    DOOOM

    DOOOOM!

  29. Our only salvation is that the money doesn’t exist for a new New Deal

    Nonsense. The Fed will just electronically print up as much as we want and lend it to the Treasury (at interest, of course), which will hand it out to the appropriately well connected people and organizations.

    Just like now, except that a different set of players will have first dibs.

    Actually earning money by producing something of value is so 20th 19th century.

  30. After all, sayth Cusack, we have reached “the end of Milton Friedman, Reaganomics and supply-side theory” and we, as conscripted members of the new CCC, must “help Obama try to implement another New Deal…”

    To which he added, “All motion picture production should be placed under the oversight of a Federal Arts and Culture Czar, and, as an actor, my salary should be limited to a just level of compensation.” — What, you say he didn’t add that?

  31. While I think Obama would prove more dangerous than McCain as our next Fool-King (I may use that title in place of “President” until we get someone worthy of the name), particularly given the likely composition of Congress, McCain will suck for libertarians, too. Therefore, I’d like to offer amnesty to those libertarians who foolishly voted, campaigned, or wrote articles for either candidate. Renounce Satan and return to we few, we happy few, we band of libertarians brothers (and sisters!). Because we’re going to have our work cut out for us in the coming years, that’s for sure.

  32. the only people in the media who are taking a stand are the mainstream Republican outlets, like National Review or Fox News

    That’s because they have to; it’s a reflex. Myself, I’ll take a wait and see attitude until Obama actually, you know, does something.

  33. Malto, are you saying losing in ’64 was like losing WWI, and the Great Society is like Versailles?

  34. “Myself, I’ll take a wait and see attitude until Obama actually, you know, does something.”

    My view of politicians is that they should all be presumed guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

  35. That’s because they have to; it’s a reflex. Myself, I’ll take a wait and see attitude until Obama actually, you know, does something.

    QFMFT.

    This isn’t Red Dawn, people.

    Oh, for a second there, I forgot who I was talking to. Carry on.

  36. Shouldn’t you guys be waiting until the results to write a post-mortem?

  37. Drudge Report has this flashed across in bold red type:
    “SENATE SOURCES: DEMS SEE 58 SEATS; EXIT POLLS RELEASED 5:15 PM ET”

  38. Exit polls are incredibly unreliable.
    See: 2004

  39. I’m pretty angry at the few libertarian friends I have who voted Obama. Frankly, that’s idiocy.

  40. BDB,

    Like it matters much who wins? Fool-King #1 or Fool-King #2, we’re all in big trouble. Because, you know, free markets are bad; socialism is good. Even McCain believes that.

  41. “This isn’t Red Dawn, people.”

    I would not be so sure. We should know if it is Red Dawn by early tomorrow morning.

  42. “Perhaps we should start thinking about a big, messy healthcare bureaucracy, the victory of card check, an attempt to reintroduce the fairness doctrine, or the establishment of a “fair” (read: protectionist) trade policy.”

    PERHAPS, your magazine could have written a serious and thorough piece of criticism on Obama before friggin election day.

  43. Incidentally, I’m sticking to my McCain wins prediction, and no, I didn’t vote for him. I voted for the children’s book elephant.

  44. the modern free market system is false but a new revelation shall come

    Translation: “in the future, we shall do something else, but I don’t know what.”

  45. One difference between today and 1933: today, we have a much better body of theory available to back up the “freedom has been tried and didn’t work” party line.

  46. “Incidentally, I’m sticking to my McCain wins prediction, and no, I didn’t vote for him. I voted for the children’s book elephant.”

    I hope you are right. If Obama wins and the Democrats have sizable majorities in both houses of Regress, I will seriously consider moving to a low tax country in the Caribbean. I am serious.

  47. BTW, this is from the latest CNN article on exit polls:

    But many said the chance to vote was worth the wait.

    “It feels great to be an American today. The best hour and a half of my life,” exclaimed Jude Elliot, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

    Buh…?? Wha…??

    I can only infer that they were screwing in the queue.

  48. they should all be presumed guilty

    Heh – good point.

    Wha…??

    Good lord. The last time I voted was 2004 and every year it never took more than 10 minutes after work. In New York City. WTF. (I am still debating whether to vote.)

  49. Everyone go read that John Cusack article. Take a drink for every strawman he mercilessly attacks. Make sure someone is near you to call the hospital when you succumb to alcohol poisoning.

  50. John Cusack is even dumber than I thought, not to mention a pretentious writer of overstuffed awful prose.

  51. If Obama wins, even if he’s a halfway decent president (which I doubt), there are going to be a large number of very, very disenchanted voters. And I’m referring to the ones who voted for him. I don’t even blame Obama for that–some people are projecting far too much onto his blankness and are doomed to suffer disappointment.

    Lester,

    What’s sad is that, of course, the free market has been anything but free for decades. Our economy has been freer than others, true, but not anything close to truly free of government meddling. The regulatory burden alone is going to do us in one of these days.

  52. Don’t all Krauthammer links end in huge fails?

    Win.

  53. “Gentlemen, if we do not hang together, then we shall surely hang apart.”

    Fuck, We can’t even get that part right.

  54. I hope people see the Dems as the party of the New Deal, because most people think, rightly, that the New Deal was not some disaster in our history but was rather nice. They tried that laissez-faire bullshit, they got a Depression, they saw politicians bind themselves from helping with laissez-faire pieties, and then this guy came along and htey started to see things get better. People bitched “socialism!” but they didn’t find their daily freedoms impinged upon, in fact their opportunities expanded.

    The average person doesn’t go around saying “My God, I don’t have the freedom to freely contract with another man to work for me for below the government set minimum wage or to buy meat that has not been thoroughly inspected, what kind of tyranny do I live in?” Shit, any normal person doesn’t do that…

  55. I’m not surprised to see some commenters fantasizing that Reason hasn’t published many harsh criticisms of Obama. It isn’t the first time partisanship has impeded someone’s reading comprehension skills, and it won’t be the last.

    It’s kind of funny, though, that it’s an anti-Obama post that set off the vitriol.

  56. I’m not surprised to see some commenters fantasizing that Reason hasn’t published many harsh criticisms of Obama. It isn’t the first time partisanship has impeded someone’s reading comprehension skills, and it won’t be the last.

    It’s kind of funny, though, that it’s an anti-Obama post that set off the vitriol.

    Do not attempt to fathom the thoughts behind the comments. That way lies madness.

    Heck, I post, and sometimes even I don’t know what I’m thinking.

  57. I mean really, the libertarians have some policy positions that could really appeal to at least a signficant minority of voters, but as long as the best they can do is this kind of stuff it’ll be seen as a fringe movement (politically, I’ve always argued that libertariansim is quite influential, at least rhetorically, on the policy side). I mean, saying “My God if the liberals win we will have {gasp} another New Deal” is just going to make people go “really, jeez, is that supposed to be a bad thing?”

    I can think of dozens of New Deal provisions that make my life better daily and almost none that oppress me…

    Now if you want to sell libertarianism, stick to things that really affect things that a lot of people like a lot, like their ability to buy and use certain drugs, or buy porn, or own certain firearms and such. But “Oh my god did you know the government won’t allow you to buy virus infected meat if you wanted to” is a no sell to so many people…

  58. Oh no! Not a New New Deal!

    Is the best Reason can worry about something like that, when an Obama win would threatens things more fundamental?

    You know, like that whole FirstAmendment thing that libertarians pretend to care about?

  59. I am serious.

    Your tag is ironic.

  60. If I want to sell sick chickens then dammit I should be able to! The oppression, the sick stifling of liberty!

    And don’t get me started about the tyrannical restrictions preventing me from buying securities from folks with inside information I could never possess, I mean, the fact I can’t engage in such transactions really burns me up at night!

  61. Yeah, I don’t know why libertarians are always griping about the New Deal. All it was was a regulation about chickens and another one about inside trading.

  62. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if half of this crowd is going to actually helped him do it, cheering all the way.

  63. MNG,

    Enjoy the misuse of power that you like now, but don’t complain when it comes back later to shoot you in the ass.

  64. Is the best Reason can worry about something like that, when an Obama win would threatens things more fundamental?

    You could just tell us what we’re supposed to be worrying about without making us go to your website.

  65. but they didn’t find their daily freedoms impinged upon

    We did.

  66. But “Oh my god did you know the government won’t allow you to buy virus infected meat if you wanted to” is a no sell to so many people…

    Yeah, I wish Reason would quit running articles on that all the freakin’ time, it’s gotten so old and really makes us look bad. What are they thinking? /sarcasm

  67. Actually, the last time I remember a post about food regulation was way back when Julian Sanchez wrote about dinner parties that had become illegal when the hosts began to charge money, making them restaurants in the eyes of the law. No one was getting sick and everyone was happy with the arrangement, so yes, the interference of the law did infringe on freedom.

  68. No, we’ll wake up in 1932.

  69. Pro Libertate,

    I doubt your prediction of disappointment in Obama will come true. People like Obama because he is black, young, good-looking, and gives good speeches. He’s no Michael Jackson; he is going to be black, young, good-looking, and a good speechifier for the next 8 years. It’s not like he is going to break his “no new taxes” pledge or something; has he even made any such pledges?

    Like JFK and FDR, Obama is only going to become more popular as years go by. In 2100 the guy is going to have a temple in Washington that will put that huge shrine to FDR to shame.

  70. fyodor,
    This obviously shows that you’re simply a libertarian extremist./sarcasm

  71. mitch,
    Thanks for giving me that vision of the future. I’m going to have to break out the cheap shitty beer now.

  72. New Deal Hater,
    Note: You do not have to engage in said transactions.

  73. Man, I just got used to thinking that it’s 1939 (it’s been 1939 since 2003, oddly enough), and now it’s 1933. When will we get to the Twenties? I want to drink bathtub gin and dance the charleston!

  74. Mitch,

    I don’t agree. The one nice thing about us and our media today is that once you get in the White House, we’re going to beat the shit out of you if you don’t “do something.” Or if the economy is bad. Or if we go to war. Or if we don’t get a pony.

  75. To all you “libertarians” who chose not to vote or who chose to vote for someone other than the LP candidate: Fuck you very much.

    It is blood on your hands when Barr gets less than 5% and the LP again loses any chance of being a serious contender in the next election cycle.

    And for those who maintain the wild fantasy that anything close to a true free market would ever successfully navigate the halls of Congress … well, there’s nothing to say. The disease has clearly taken your entire mind.

    Have a nice day.

  76. PERHAPS, your magazine could have written a serious and thorough piece of criticism on Obama before friggin election day.

    What the hell is it with first time posters who have obviously not been reading this blog for the last two years??

    Sweet jebus the Team Red/Team Blue rah-rah on here is about as misplaced as a cucumber up LoneWhackJob’s ass.

  77. Fyodor,
    I seem to recall some recent stuff on Raw Milk and bacon dogs.

  78. Actually they post quite a bit about food regulations in relation to the taco stands and such (and I actually agree with them a lot).

    The Marijuana Tax Act, which wasn’t exactly a War on Drugs as we know it, while passed under FDR was hardly part of what is known as the “New Deal.”

  79. My point is that most of the New Deal would only have affected your “freedom” in some way you’d worry about if you were a factory owner or business person, which most people ain’t.

    All kinds of people own firearms or want to buy pot and are prohibited and badgered by the government on a regular basis. That’s a better tack to take than bitching about the New Deal as some terror show.

  80. JSH: Malto, are you saying losing in ’64 was like losing WWI, and the Great Society is like Versailles?

    Sorry in advance for the length of this reply.

    Productive people (who are the source of all the wealth in any economy) exchange the product of their labor/creativity for money. Since 1914, the source of money in the US and in other places where the dollar is accepted in payment, has been the Federal Reserve Bank.

    By act of Congress in 1913, the US government contracted out, to a private bank, the Fed, the monopoly authority to create the money we use as legal tender. The Fed is not a government agency, it is a privately owned bank whose shareholders are financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

    The Fed creates our money by willing it into existence. It then lends this newly created money to the US Treasury, in exchange for bonds from the Treasury. Interest is of course due on these bonds, payable by the government to the Fed. The US government (you, the taxpayer) are in hoc to a select group of financiers who own the Federal Reserve System.

    If you were one of the owners of the Fed, it would be as if you had a printing press in your basement that could churn out dollars, and you were given the sole privilege of creating and loaning out these dollars for interest. This privilege extends over the entire US economy. You would be, in effect, charging interest on the entire cumulative output of the US economy.

    The dollars you have in your pocket and bank account, are not assets, they are not claims on something of value. They are IOUs owed by the government to the Federal Reserve Bank.

    You work for a living, creating something of value, and are compensated with IOUs which are merely claim checks on the taxing authority of the US government (dollars).

  81. Part 2

    Should the government spend too much for an extended period of time, it will run up its debt to a level where it will not be able to keep current on its loans. There is but a limited amount of money it can extract from the country’s economy in taxes each year, for servicing this debt.

    Should this happen, the government will default on its debt, just like the banks and corporations and homeowners who have been defaulting in increasing numbers the last few months.

    The government has of late been bailing out many of the politically well connected people and companies that have been defaulting, by taking on their debt itself. If it does this too much it (or rather, you the taxpayer) will not be able to service this increased level of debt.

    However, if the gov’t defaults, there is no one to bail it out, and the ‘paper’ that will go bad (become worthless) will not be bonds and derivative contracts and subprime mortgages, but the IOUs to the Federal Reserve Bank — US dollars.

    This is called ‘counterparty risk’: the risk that the person on the other side of a trade, can’t pay up.

    As a worker, you are paid in dollars, which are claim checks on the taxing authority of the US government. If the US gov’t goes bust, these dollars become worthless. In this case, you will have lost the value you supposedly got in trade for the value you created for your employer. That is your counterparty risk, when you accept dollars in trade for your productive labor.

    By law, you cannot accept anything but dollars, in payment for your labor, or for anything else. This is the meaning of ‘legal tender laws’.

  82. Mr. Nice Guy: the New Deal sounds good to many people because they only look at the benefits and not the costs. Everyone likes getting Social Security checks, but few are going to calculate how much bigger they’d be if it had been done with private accounts. Similarly, the farmers who get price supports love them, but the average person doesn’t understand how much cheaper their groceries and restaurant bills would be if they didn’t exist.

    As for affecting freedom, if the government declares wages must remain high and people lose their jobs as a result, that surely affects their freedom, correct? That and other of FDR’s policies are now widely seen as lengthening and deepening the Great Depression.

  83. Part 3

    We are a debt centered society, because even our money is debt. We are paid in units of debt, not in units of value. This has been the case since 1914, when the Federal Reserve was established.

    Back in the 19th century, before the advent of the Federal Reserve, when you received a dollar in pay, you got a lump of metal, either silver or gold. You directly received value for value. There is no counterparty risk in holding a silver dollar or a $20 gold piece. These lumps of metal will not go bust, or default. So it is worth saving them for future investment or spending.

    In contrast, our current dollars have counterparty risk, either slowly and continously declining in value as more of them are created (inflation), or suddenly collapsing in value, should the US government get financially overextended (hyperinflation). So it is foolish to save our modern dollars or to hold them for any length of time. It makes more sense, to owe dollars, than save them. And, in general, Americans nowadays are net debtors, not savers.

    As individuals and as members of companies, we have followed the lead of our government, and gone into debt. Now, this pyramid of debt is collapsing. There is the possibility that this collapse will not stop until all the debt instruments outstanding, are either paid off in things of value, or are recognized as worthless paper promises that will never be made good. As the foundational debt instrument, the dollar will be the ultimate IOU that will face the test of repayment before this crisis is over.

    There is a connection to WWI and its consequence, the Versailles treaty. American involvement in WWI was funded by running a budget deficit funded by borrowing dollars created by the newly created Federal Reserve. The post WWI 1920s bubble was also funded by easy money created by the Fed. When that debt pyramid collapsed, we got the Depression.

    The Federal Reserve is the credit card for the US government, and, to the extent that the government takes on responsibility for other’s debts, it is the credit card for the entire economy. The question is: What happens when we collectively max out that credit card?

    If you want to explore some of the effects of the Versailles treaty, read John Maynard Keynes’ book “The Economic Consequences of the Peace”, or look up “hyperinflation in Weimar Germany”.

    ### end ###

  84. MNG —

    You are wasting your (shockingly good points and) time.

    And while I certainly don’t share your enthusiasm for the new deal, not only cause it was bad economics but also because of Brandybuck’s point that the power to muck about really sucks when it’s in other hands, I certainly don’t think it was the freedom-hating gulag people round these parts make it out to be.

    All kinds of people own firearms or want to buy pot and are prohibited and badgered by the government on a regular basis.

    QFMFT. Make common cause with people who want to buy whatever gun, smoke whatever drug, and stop the police from harassing them at traffic stops, and you’d have a lot of people.

  85. Mr. Nice Guy | November 4, 2008, 7:16pm | #
    My point is that most of the New Deal would only have affected your “freedom” in some way you’d worry about if you were a factory owner or business person, which most people ain’t.

    Uh, while true, about 1 in 15 Americans are business owners and many, many more are shareholders in companies via stock investments. But really, who looks at numbers anyway?

  86. MNG-

    A stich in time may have saved mine, but it sure has hell stole yours and mine.

  87. All kinds of people own firearms or want to buy pot and are prohibited and badgered by the government on a regular basis.

    QFMFT. Make common cause with people who want to buy whatever gun, smoke whatever drug, and stop the police from harassing them at traffic stops, and you’d have a lot of people.

    So, you are saying that libertarians have the majority of the country behind them? Well shoot, than this election is a done deal baby!

    The problem is that the average American may agree with one or two of these “freedoms” but rarely the entire platform of liberty. Social conservatives want guns and god but not gays. Social liberals want pot and prostitution but not private schooling. And I am afraid that the economic conservative is a dying breed.

  88. My point is that most of the New Deal would only have affected your “freedom” in some way you’d worry about if you were a factory owner or business person, which most people ain’t.

    Yeah, who needs them anyway? Nobody.

  89. MNG-

    Correction: A stich in time may have saved nine…

  90. Mitch,
    I don’t agree. The one nice thing about us and our media today is that once you get in the White House, we’re going to beat the shit out of you if you don’t “do something.” Or if the economy is bad. Or if we go to war. Or if we don’t get a pony.

    Well, we’ll see. I have a feeling we are in for eight years of stories of stories on how cute the Obama kids are and how great it is to have a young virile president whom foreigners and pop singers looooooove….

    Haven’t we already seen the Obama campaign shut out or unleash their fanatical followers on media outlets who ask them tough questions or host hostile guests? CNN went soft on Saddam Hussein to keep their access to Iraq, didn’t they? This Hussein is better looking than that Hussein, so I expect CNN and crew to act in an even more supine fashion.

  91. The New Deal Agricultural Adjustment Act lead to Wickard vs. Filburn

    Wickard thus establishes that Congress can regulate purely intrastate activity that is not itself “commercial,” in that it is not produced for sale, if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity.

    That was bad for everyone,excepting Congress.

  92. A good acquaintance/semi-friend asked me today whether I thought greyhounds have the inherent right to smoke pot. Quick as a Sarah Palin wink of the eye I responded, “canine cannabis is cool, even on racing days.”

  93. So, you are saying that libertarians have the majority of the country behind them? Well shoot, than this election is a done deal baby!

    No, kwix. What I’m saying is that a la carte moves towards freedom are easier to get traction on than an all-or-nothing deal.

    That is to say, many people care very strongly about one or two freedoms, couldn’t care less about many others, and actually *hate* one or two.

    So the question for the enterprising libertarian politician becomes which freedom requires the soft-sell in their district?

    But I just created a fictitious species in my head just there, so take it for the subjunctive musing it is.

  94. Elemenope-

    “a la carte moves towards freedom are easier to get traction than an all or nothing deal.”

    So I have learned.

    The soft sell? Well, how about my 8:12 post?

  95. STFU, people blaming Reason for not hitting Obama harder. Scenario- Obama wins, can’t handle the problems, the Republican civil war ends with free market budget hawks beating the religious right and the party finds a coherent anti-bailout, anti-tax, live and let live movement.

    What’s the alternative? Hammer Obama and watch him win anyway? Support MCain as the lesser of two evils and see him pair with the Dem Congress to be worse than Bush?

  96. Also, read the Cusack piece. Then, just you’re able to lift your jaw off the floor (or clean up your vomit, whichever), start reading the comments. People don’t deserve freedom. Costa Rica sounds nice.

  97. There is no counterparty risk in holding a silver dollar or a $20 gold piece. These lumps of metal will not go bust, or default.

    Yeah well – if Obamasiah actually does have the temperment of FDR (and he does seem to,) you’d better hide that gold and silver well. And you’d better hope like hell that Uncle Sugar doesn’t know you have it. Same goes for any lead you might happen to have, too.

  98. Ah yes, lead. The third precious metal in the coming era.

    It’s not the way I want things to go, just the way I think they will go, if history is any guide.

  99. And it’s not just history that is pointing toward hyperinflation.

    I just heard Charlie Gibson say, when talking about the projected trillion dollar federal deficit, the proposed new stimulus package and all the industrial companies that are lining up at the bailout trough:

    “I may be old fashioned, but do we even worry about deficits any more? The money just keeps rolling out.”

    George Will responded that: “It used to be that people said the government should budget like the average American family, and not spend more than it takes in. Nowadays, the average American family has decided to follow the government’s lead, and run continuous deficits.”

  100. If none other than Dick Posner is to be believed, Holmes’ intellect comment was directed at me not my bastard cousin.

    Bully!

    -TR

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