Economics

Obama, Political Economist

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Peter Boettke wonders about Obama's ability to "to get beyond the stale ideological debates of the past" when he is following a well worn path in reflexive government "action":

Why not…Consider once again the arguments that "lost" due not to intellectual defeat, but political expediency.  What were those pre-Keynesian ideas regarding the economy and the proper role of monetary and fiscal policy?  President Obama said he cannot take seriously criticisms of fiscal irresponsibility from politicians that when they were in power doubled the national debt.  Good point. But does that mean that fiscal irresponsibility is off the table as a concern? How pragmatic is that, as opposed to how politically convenient is that excuse?….

NOTHING he is doing is radically different from what President Bush did before him….. No answer has yet been given as to why President Bush's bailout package didn't work while his stimulus package will. In fact, when pushed on that question President Obama really just said, we might even need to spend more down the road when this doesn't give us the result we want….

And what if the pragmatic answer requires less bold, decisive action on the part of the federal government? Not on Obama's table, alas:

What is really causing the problems…is that government action has produced an uncertain investment environment. The rules of ownership and control are unclear, or clear but counter-productive for individual initiative; monetary policy guided by the rhetoric of fighting inflation, but fearing deflation has been so loose that long term inflation that threatens the viability of the dollar should be a real concern to investors; and fiscal policy which is so out of control that US public debt will bankrupt the future generations with an astronomical tax burden and/or a monetization that will destroy the currency through hyper-inflation.  Whatever way you slice it, our current policy path is the PROBLEM not the SOLUTION. 

But if your intellectual range is from M-N (lets say Larry Summers to Paul Krugman), then don't be surprised when in being "rational", examining the "evidence",  weighing the "arguments" and assessing the "theories", you fail to consider the fiscal arguments of a James Buchanan, the monetary and capital theories of F. A. Hayek, the comparative institutional analysis of law and politics in Ronald Coase, and the monetary and fiscal policy arguments of Milton Friedman.

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  1. You know what? Fuck Barack Obama. There, i said it.

  2. Where is Ron Paul? Has the only guy in congress or the white house who was even close to being right about the economy been pushed aside?

  3. We’re fucked, the whole “amero” conspiracy actually sounds good relative to the status quo.

  4. “You know what? Fuck Barack Obama. There, i said it.”

    But we HAVE to do something!

  5. All of this is giving me a throbbing headache.

  6. you fail to consider the fiscal arguments of a James Buchanan, the monetary and capital theories of F. A. Hayek, the comparative institutional analysis of law and politics in Ronald Coase, and the monetary and fiscal policy arguments of Milton Friedman.

    Oh yeah? Well, you fail to consider that Obama was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. Did any of those dudes accomplish that? I think not!

  7. @ Z:

    Some shameless self-promotion, Ron Paul at the top of the post:
    http://www.markguppy.com/2009/02/let-them-eat-cake.html

  8. At what point does it become proper to address each other as commrad?

  9. Dagny,

    You know, most of them aren’t even black?

  10. We aren’t going to win this debate. It looks like every hard-won libertarian victory of the past 35 years has now been kicked to the curb by bi-partisan irresponsibility, unconstitutional exhuberence, presidential and congressional fecklessness, and ignorant citizens who demand Santa Claus be their representative. I used to laugh at those who thought a Mussolini-type regime could ever be in our future.

  11. Ye gods, socialism is a bad idea. Please, no!

    America is so full of stupid. Bush set us up the bomb, now Obama is going to finish the job.

  12. I’m really beginning to wonder if Obama and the Democrats sincerely believe this plan is actually going to work, or if they know it won’t and want to do it anyway.

    It certainly will increase federal power, prop up spendthrift Democratic state governments, fund labor unions and government workers, etc. If it increases the deficit, they can always tax the rich, right? And if there’s more unemployment, they can always increase benefits and welfare and have the government hire more people. Etc.

    In short, if things get better, they take credit and have “proof” of the wisdom of their actions. But if things get worse, they’ll simply push for more of the same old socialist solutions. It’s win-win for them.

  13. “At what point does it become proper to address each other as commrad?”

    ???????????? Commrad JBinMO.

  14. In promoting this economic crisis, he is following the Global Warming hysteria script to the letter.

    All economists agree on Stimulus. Really? Obama is truely a close-minded retard. If this is our smartest President, then the bar is very very low indeed.

  15. Bush set us up the bomb, now Obama is going to finish the job.

    You are on the way to destruction. Make your time. Hahahahahaha.

  16. When he calls opposition “ideological,” Obama is speaking an unnameable European language in which “ideological” means “obvious,” “derived from observation,” or “deductively reasoned,” depending on the context.

    He’s not fluent, but he slips into it when he’s angry.

    Noticing that he does this is “ideological.”

    So never mind.

  17. So are we all moving to New Zealand or the Czech Republic? I forgot which one was preferred. Who has better beer?

  18. “So are we all moving to New Zealand or the Czech Republic? I forgot which one was preferred. Who has better beer?”

    Bingo,
    I’m going to guess Bohemia has better beer.

  19. New Zealand all the way. I love the beach.

  20. PapayaSF, you are exactly correct in your assessment. Biden , before he was shushed up by the O!, even said so , stating that “there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong”. Where in the hell he came up with that number is only God’s to guess, but it does reveal their inner thoughts/working of this this ‘project’.

  21. I’ve decided New Zealand isn’t going to work for me. Any other suggestions?

  22. Black fascist.

  23. Wow, I wrote that before I refreshed. You guys are on top of it today. Ah hell, I guess I’ll go if at least three others do too. What can I say? I’m kind of a follower.

  24. We are literally watching the destruction capitalism and the coming of totalitarianism.
    Absolutely fascinating, in the sense that makes me bodily sick.
    Fuck America. I’m moving to Greece.

  25. Xeones – for once, I was ahead of you.

  26. “I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! LET’S DO IT!!!”

  27. rm -rf /

    It’s the only thing left.

  28. Serious question: what western government is not up to its eyeballs in debt and unfunded liabilities relating to health care and pensions?

  29. Anybody else catch the blatant stupidity of a speech Geithner made today?

    It’d be one thing if they got it and disagreed, I’m starting to think it’s more like Bush’s run up to Iraq…

    They don’t know what they’re doing, and they afraid of looking like it, so they’re gonna keep on doing what they’ve been doing like everything’s going according to plan.

    When the Stimulus and the bank plan doesn’t pan out?

    …It’s gonna get scarier.

  30. I’m really glad I don’t have children to worry about right about now

  31. Jamie,

    Maybe, but this has been tried before, and we partially bounced back. Don’t give up just yet, though I do recommend hiding under your desk for the next year or so ?

    One problem is that if the economy’s inherent strength pulls us out of this mess in the next year or so, we’ll hear how socialism did it. If it doesn’t, we’ll hear how the excesses of capitalism require more government intervention. Either message must be countered and countered well.

    Now is the time for all good libertarians to come to the aid of their nation by yelling, screaming, and saying “Wrong, wrong, wrong!” every single chance that we get. We can’t just sit around bitching quietly in a corner anymore. It’s time to go on the offensive. Pet causes du jour must be tossed out–limited government, free markets, free people!

  32. Argentina has great skiing, they say; and it won’t be much of a change, political economy -wise.

  33. Only one way to grow ourselves out of this mess . . . conquest!!!

  34. P Brooks: fantastic beef, too.

  35. Anybody else catch the blatant stupidity of a speech Geithner made today?

    I tried to listen, but I couldn’t make head nor tail of what that fucking dimwit was trying to say. But every time he referred to Obama, I could literally hear the capitalized “H” in Him.

  36. The “stimulus” bill passed the Senate.

    Thief! Thief! Congress! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!!

  37. Here’s a very effective way to stop the stimulus and related plans.

    The “libertarians” at this site will now post comments trying to dissuade you from pushing that effective plan. And, the “libertarians” who run this site will continue to keep you entertained with satires while the hacks in DC are greasing up their fists.

    If you want to be different and you want to prevent the U.S. being looted out of trillions of dollars, stop what you’re doing now and help me promote that plan.

  38. BP, it is worth repeating. Over and over and over again, by as many folks as are actually paying attention. Fuck Barack Obama.

  39. Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  40. The next Believer who tries to convince me Obama shits fairy dust isn’t going to like what happens next.

  41. fantastic beef, too.

    And, so I hear, good, cheap wine. And tango! Argentina it is!

    “Portugal… Gonna live it up down old South America way, eh, Mikey?”

  42. We’ve gone from Peron to Allende.

    Yay!

  43. “Adam | February 10, 2009, 1:48pm | #
    Serious question: what western government is not up to its eyeballs in debt and unfunded liabilities relating to health care and pensions?”

    I can’t think of any. Scary.

  44. “Only one way to grow ourselves out of this mess . . . conquest!!!”

    Unfornately, I think you might be right about that.

  45. “The next Believer who tries to convince me Obama shits fairy dust isn’t going to like what happens next.”

    It’s more like a runny, frothy, fairy foam. With sprinkles.

  46. Didn’t Argentina decriminalize drugs last year?

  47. Before you vote for anyone, ask yourself this question: If he/she were given the One Ring, would he/she have the wisdom not to wield it? If the answer is no, don’t vote for the dude/dudette. Simple.

    Note that this question, in theory, transcends political parties.

  48. I find this all very refreshing. Pointing out that the president is an idiot during the Bush years was kind of boring. Bringing up Mr. Obama’s Harvard-polished stupidity and empty arguments makes for better material.

    I don’t know the details, but just guessing, if you look at the details of, oh, I don’t know, gun ownership, health care choices, freedom to speak politically incorrect, marginal tax rates… Czechia and New Zealand won’t look so good.

    Sit back, relax, watch the show. America’s is the Daffy Duck of economies: they blow it up, and it’s back in the next scene.

  49. On the other hand, shouldn’t we all be heartened that the new Administration is bridging the gap between the U.S. political economy and that of Venezuela?

  50. Unfortunately, what we’re going to need is a few more episodes like California. When counties and cities stop sending tax revenue in to the state, you know you’ve fucked up royally. I don’t like seeing people suffer, but if a few more socialist states run out of money for their ‘entitled’, heads will start to roll. Until then, I’ll keep checking the mailbox for my pony.

  51. just to be that annoying guy again, why hasn’t reason covered this yet?

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/09/state_secrets/

  52. No answer has yet been given as to why President Bush’s bailout package didn’t work while his stimulus package will.

    The black guy’s package is bigger than the white guy’s?

  53. Cabeza – Yes, they did. As did Brazil & Columbia.

  54. I don’t like seeing people suffer, but if a few more socialist states run out of money for their ‘entitled’, heads will start to roll.

    Nope, the feds will bail them out. The pain of fiscally irresponsible states will be spread to responsible ones. Just like the other bailouts.

    America’s is the Daffy Duck of economies: they blow it up, and it’s back in the next scene.

    While you may be right, being blown up still hurts.

  55. …just to be that annoying guy again, why hasn’t reason covered this yet?

    What’s annoying is that they haven’t covered it yet; Obama’s backhanded tolerance for torture needs to be brought out in the open by as many sources as possible. One less article on the friggin bailout / stimulus / great moneytoiletflush won’t really matter.

  56. At least the Czech Republic won’t be adding carbon fighting to the list of looming power grabs.

  57. And soon I shall have understanding of video cassette recorders and car telephones. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers. And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being!

  58. Well our new tax-cheat Treasury Secretary has announced his new bank “rescue” plan that is long on sloganeering and short on detail.

    And the stock market promptly sold off about 4%.

    More change we can believe in.

  59. The “stimulus” bill passed the Senate.

    And here comes the fun part where in conference they’re going to take everything that’s being spent in the House bill but not in the Senate bill, and everything in the Senate bill but not in the House bill, and include both of them. The final price tag will be larger than either.

    Then Sens. Specter, Snowe, and Collins will be all “shocked” and threaten to vote against the bill that comes out of the conference report.

    Actually, it is possible to filibuster a conference report. That would be amusing. The Senate will rush in the new Senator Franken, and then peel off one of the three, probably Specter, to achieve cloture.

  60. The “stimulus” bill passed the Senate.

    Hence the name change…

  61. Wasn’t someone saying yesterday that they thought a $2 tillion number was an exaggeration?

  62. America’s is the Daffy Duck of economies: they blow it up, and it’s back in the next scene.

    I dunno, I tend to think of it as the Wile E. Coyote of economies. Same thing, of course, only different.

  63. If he/she were given the One Ring, would he/she have the wisdom not to wield it? If the answer is no, don’t vote for the dude/dudette.

    Baggins/Gamgee 2012. PO-TA-TO.

  64. America’s is the Daffy Duck of economies: they blow it up, and it’s back in the next scene.

    Whereas our foreign policy is the Elmer Fudd of foreign policies.

  65. I’m begining to miss the 60’s.

  66. No answer has yet been given as to why President Bush’s bailout package didn’t work while his stimulus package will.

    Actually, I thought Obama was quite clear on that last night. Any government spending that doesn’t end a recession simply wasn’t big enough. His will work because its bigger, and will be followed by more and bigger stimulus packages until the recession ends.

    Wasn’t someone saying yesterday that they thought a $2 trillion number was an exaggeration?

    Add both halves of the Bush “banking” bailout and the current “stimulus” bill, and you’re already close to $2 trillion. God only knows how much money has been “printed” by the Fed since this all began, so if you include that under a very broad definition, we’re probably pushing $3 or 4 trillion.

    In less than six months.

  67. Well, whichever character one chooses, I believe it is safe to say that public life in America has most certainly turned into a cartoon.

    Strangely, though, I’m finding it hard to laugh. Probably because of the discomfort this case of dyspepsia is causing.

  68. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

  69. I dunno, I tend to think of it as the Wile E. Coyote of economies. Same thing, of course, only different.

    Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into the Master Shake of economies.

  70. Ha, ha, your link is fucked again, NutraSweet. Ctrl-C, dude. Then Ctrl-V. Wax on, wax off.

  71. Whooo! Thanks for everyone for doing something productive to block the scam instead of just posting worthless comments that do little more than act as very temporary therapy. Whooo!

    (Does Obama pay Reason to be his ineffective oppostion, or does it just work out that way?)

  72. I actually would find some of this stimulus talk a lot less disconcerting if it were not for a the transformation talk that is promised as the followup, once, by god, the economy gets going.

    After all, people expect the government to “do something” about a recession. I would be fine if the administration would do some spending around the edges, a modest public works bill, some direct cash relief etc.

    But all this talk about transforming the whole economy (just what is a green job, I ask you?) is, I must say, distressing, to say the least.

  73. Strangely, though, I’m finding it hard to laugh.

    In a post-absurdity world, what is there to laugh at?

  74. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  75. Barack Obama is a gay political economist, not that there is anything wrong with that.

  76. Breaking news: Vice President Takei says that the economy is blow’d up.

  77. Warty,

    There’s always this. Or this. Or this.

  78. A tiny bit of good news: Dymond Millburn received a mistrial.

  79. SugarFree: “Chicken Fashion” still goes back to the top of this article. WTF?

  80. I’ll tell you WTF. It’s a conspiracy. To keep things gloomy. Crap.

  81. Ok, that was worth the buildup. I’m still pretty down, though.

  82. Sorry, d00d.

  83. I guess I could laugh at Sugarfree’s HTML skills.

  84. Hey! There were three good links for you upthread.

    The new season of MonsterQuest is starting: Is the Loch Ness Monster Dead?

    DEATH OF LOCH NESS

    The search for the Loch Ness Monster has captivated the world for decades, but now a startling realization about “Nessie” might shatter this age-old myth. Could the Loch Ness Monster be dead? And do its remains lie hidden at the bottom of the lake? Robert Rines, a world renowned inventor and explorer has spent much of his life searching for Nessie. He believes he may have seen the remains of this mythical beast while mapping the lake floor with sonar. Now he is on a mission to find scientific evidence to prove it. Rines, who says he saw the creature surface in the lake in 1972, now believes that the images explain the recent decrease in sightings, and that they can only mean only one thing. Nessie is dead. MonsterQuest’s search team travels to the lake looking for evidence and deploying the latest technology including remote operating vehicles (ROVs), sonar and specialty cameras as we search for Nessie’s remains.

  85. Nessie is dead???? NOOOOOOOOOOOO *dramatic music goes DUN DUN DUN*

  86. If you think you’re upset, imagine how Bigfoot feels. Nessie was his best man when he got gay-married to Creature From The Black Lagoon. (Who is really quite charming once you take the time to get to know him.)

  87. Eh. They’ll just find the same thing they find every time they trawl Loch Ness or look for sense in Washington: bupkis.

  88. Of course, Scotland! I’ve been looking all over the world, and now at last the fufillment of my lifelong dream is at hand!

  89. “And soon I shall have understanding of video cassette recorders and car telephones. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers. And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being!”

    Movie quotes are often obvious and boring. But there’s nothing like a good Time Bandits quote (from Evil no less).

  90. Actually, I’ve figured out an answer to one of my own questions.

    As near as I can tell Green Jobs are political patronage for one of the constituencies in the Blue Coalition.

    Goes well with the UAW bailout, no?

    Patronage left, patronage right (but not too far) patronage everywhere you see.

    Interesting change that, what? The Great Leader bringing back the Spoils System.

  91. Orange what do you think the people of the US have been doing and why do you think the Senate has turned its phones off?

    Next up;

    Statehood for DC
    Amnesty

    Because Whacky Barracky must not be denied!

  92. Now, here’s an example of chutzpah: The Republicans didn’t get their act together enough to challenge Obama for not being constitutionally qualified to be President as an Article 2 “natural born citizen” so Obama’s White House steals the census from the Commerce Department against the specific instructions of the constitution itself – “actual enumeration” under Article 1

  93. You dare the One’s right to shred the constitution! You racist!

  94. bought 100 ounces of silver from the local bullion shop yesterday. They charge $2.50 above “spot prices” for 10 oz bars…up until two months ago they only charged spot prices.

    If this trend continues then “spot prices” aren’t really spot prices anymore.

  95. been looking at how to build some good chicken coops.

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