Unemployment Rate

De Rugy, de Rugy, de Rugy's on Fire!

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Reason's econ columnist is all over the joint today, starting with a piece in the Washington Examiner entitled "To deal with debt, we have to stop lying about it." Sample:

The following criteria should provide some guidance to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in assessing the quality of the solutions it puts forward.

These criteria are simple: 1. Do the recommendations really cut spending rather than focus on cutting the deficit? 2. Do the recommendations allow for political carve-outs? 3. Do the recommendations fix the budget gimmicks?

These criteria address the three major issues that put us in our current state of fiscal irresponsibility. We have overspent; we have made excuses for our overspending; and we have lied about our overspending.

She also has a new piece up at The American, about what happens "When Debt Flies Off the Charts." Starts like this:

At a time when Paul Krugman and other Keynesians are arguing against austerity measures and in favor of more stimulus money, it is worth asking how bad the country's financial situation is. The answer, unfortunately, is: really bad.

De Rugy also took time out of her morning to throw cold water on a Barack Obama Recovery Summer ribbon-cutting over at National Review, and also sit for an interview about stimulus jobs on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, which you can watch below at the link.

Read de Rugy's Reason archive here.

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  1. Her pants are on fire maybe.

    1. …and you just exposed that you are both Dan T. and Max/Edward. Thank you.

    2. I’d do her

    3. Welch, you totally set him up.

  2. Very nice article on the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

    1. 2010, he thinks, will be the year entire nations start going broke.

      Well, he’s at least partially right, so far.

  3. We haven’t over spent we have under taxed. The private sector has wasted trillions of dollars. If that money had been taxed, it could have paid off the deficit and used to stimulate the economy and provide health care and social justice. At this point anything below a flat 70% tax rate on all earnings below $150,000 (ten times the federal minimum wage) and 95% on all earnings above that is irresponsible and racist.

    1. The private sector has wasted trillions of dollars.

      What?

      1. Hookers and blow, Paul. Hookers and blow.

        1. The rest they just pissed away.

        2. WE HAVE VASTLY DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDINGS OF WHAT CONSTITUTES WASTE.

          1. thank you

            1. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE LOBBYING TO BAN HOOKERS AND BLOW? CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? WHAT’S MORE AMERICAN THAN HOOKERS AND BLOW?

              HOOKERS AND BLOW,
              HOOKERS AND BLOW.
              EV’RYONE WISHES FOR
              HOOKERS AND BLOW.

              HOW DO YOU MEASURE
              ITS WORTH?
              JUST BY THE PLEASURE
              IT GIVES HERE ON EARTH.

      2. Liberals would point to the banking collapse as evidence of the private sector wasting trillions of dollars. To them, if only that money had been taken in taxes, it could have been used properly.

        Yes, they really are that un self aware.

    2. Although, the troll does have a point.

      For instance, I don’t have a spending problem, I have an earning problem.

    3. To earn $150,000 per year, you have to earn at least $75/hr. If the government taxed 95% of that $75 for all earnings above $150,000 the hourly rate of those earnings would $3.75. This is below minimum wage, therefore, your plan is racist.

    4. I realize you’re probably a spoof, but I’m impressed that you suggested precisely what FDR prescribed right at the onset of the Great Depression–an almost-total taxation of income above $100K.

      Didn’t help much, did it?

      1. Anything above $100k a year is “surplus income”.

    5. oh c’mon. BE BOLD in your recommendations! Social justice is NOT a cheap commodity.

  4. Shorter version of the debt chart linked to: if absolutely nothing changes, and Congress continues to act like idiots forever, then we’re fucked.

    Which is unlikely, as eventually the naive young voters who voted for Obama in droves will realize they don’t actually want to drive the nation off a cliff.

    1. I think you are right. Our governing classes think they can use this as an excuse to raise taxes through the roof in the name of responsibility and keep the party rolling. They are going to get a horrible shock.

    2. …as eventually the naive young voters who voted for Obama in droves will realize they don’t actually want to drive the nation off a cliff.

      Hah! Those dorks will continue demanding more and more spending even after going over the cliff. There will be a complete and utter collapse of the economy, and they’ll still demand more and more. They’ll be huddled in a cave eating a rat they managed to catch, thinking that if only Obama could have spent faster civilization would not have melted into a puddle of goo.

    3. What the debt chart doesn’t take account of, as far as I know, is what happens when we (and most other countries) start rolling over huge chunks of very low-interest short-term debt starting later this year.

      At some point, the interest that we are going to have to pay to issue new debt is going to start to rise. When that happens, the government finances everywhere (foreign, fedgov, and and state governments) will go into a nasty fiscal spiral.

    4. Ha! What do you mean “if” Congress continues to act like idiots forever?

      The other half of your conjunctive is what we have to focus on – “if absolutely nothing changes”. Things must change, and we cannot count on those “things” to include Congress.

  5. Why was Barack Obama cutting ribbons at National Review?

  6. I want to marry Veronique, but I fear she would always be on my ass about what I spend “our” money on.

    1. You would die a wealthy man, but she would be a real bitch about the check book.

    2. I think Katherine Mangu-Ward is the one to marry. A woman who loves food as much as she does, and is still thin, is priceless.

      1. Mangu Ward is totally the one to marry. As a young woman she is irresistibly cute. But as she gets older she will get less cute and more pretty.

        1. YOU PEOPLE WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND OUR LOVE!

          1. That made me laugh. Thanks, I needed that after reading Radley’s latest!

            1. Umm, Asians. Seriously.

              1. except for Filipinas.

        2. Dude, just write a letter to Maggie Gyllenhall and tell her how you feel. Unloading your sexual angst onto the comments section is something that starts with a P, ends with a C, and has an anagram of ATHEIST in the middle.

          1. There’s nothing pathestic about it.

            1. Gorram S!

          2. Fuck off. There is nothing sexist about anything I wrote. And if anyone is being pathetic, it is joyless scolds like you who feel it is your duty to defend the honor of women you don’t know against slights you imagine to exist. It is all in good fun. Lighten up and stop being a word that also begins in D, ends in K and rhmyes with ick.

      2. Unless the bigamy laws are changed, neither de Rugy or Mangu-Ward is one to marry.

        1. Husbands have accidents all the time!

        2. Don’t you fucking scold me about cuckolding.

          1. I didn’t say anything about adultery being off-limits, just marriage.

            1. Yes, well, don’t scold me about the meanings of words, either.

              1. Freedom of scolding is protected by the First Amendment, you rights-eschewing cuckold.

  7. No spending done by the Gov is concerned with anything but a jobs program for reliably Democrat voters.
    Been in a Gov office lately? Any Gov office? See any free-thinkers, risk takers or budding capitalists sitting there?
    In my youth I once spent 11 months in a State office, and no one talked about anything except for vacation and retirement. Gov workers are pathetic. If you are a Gov employee, fuck you.

    1. Why do you hate the troops?

    2. No spending done by the Gov is concerned with anything but a jobs program for reliably Democrat voters.

      Actually, I believe it’s targeted toward swing voters in the hopes they’ll vote for the status quo.

      The urban poor are useful only as outrage generators to the Dems.

  8. And once you see that all Gov is a pay for votes suckfest, all else becomes clear.

  9. . . . We don’t need the water, let the motherf*cker burn! Burn motherf*cker, burn!

    1. I, for one, do not want de Rugy to burn. Let’s get some water.

      1. Agreed. One French martyr burned at the stake is plenty.

  10. I’d like the US to be a country where the underclass is thin. Ever seen the poor in the USA? Whales.
    Check the poor in Panama and get back to me. They are motivated. Skinny and motivated.

    1. In wealthy countries the poor tend to be fatter. This is because while everyone has access to food, the cheapest food tends to be calorically dense and less healthy. Look up the poorest states and the fattest states in the US, it’s almost exactly correlated.

      1. Interestingly, it is also almost exactly correlated with how conservative the states are.

        1. Shut the fuck up Tony. No one wants to hear about how you hate poor people and anyone not like you. Your bigotry gives Reason a bad name.

          1. I wish my boyfriend wouldn’t eat so much asparagus.

        2. Haven’t seen any black people in a while, have you, Tony?

        3. I don’t buy this argument for a second. Rice, oatmeal, and in-season fruits and vegetables are dirt cheap, have very low GI indices and are great sources of fiber, minerals. Eggs and cottage cheese are also about as cheap as you can get for food and are tremendous sources of protein. Some of the healthiest foods are also the cheapest, and if you’re really poor and motivated you’ll eat less to save money. I lost 10 lbs my freshman year of college because I couldn’t afford to eat much, meaning I ended the year at 5’7.5″ and 130 lbs.

          1. but if its not from whole foods its not healthy.

            1. Tell that to the 94.5% of my body that is not fat.

          2. rustedangel – your basic argument is right, except for rice. Even brown rice has a high GI. Also, frozen veggies are usually even cheaper than fresh, and don’t spoil.

            The same assholes who bitch about the poor not having choices also do everything they can to stop Walmart from setting up shop in poor neighborhoods.

            1. The arguments against Wal-Mart aren’t that it doesn’t provide cheap products. It certainly does. But at the cost of fewer jobs and lower wages. They help create their own customer base.

              1. Fewer jobs? Prove it.

                1. I don’t feel like looking it up, but the statistic is I think that for every job Wal-Mart creates, 1.5 jobs are lost. It’s easy to see why: they import most of their crap from China, thus outcompeting local businesses that don’t.

                  1. I don’t feel like looking it up

                    Boy, there’s a shocker.

                    It’s easy to see why: they import most of their crap from China, thus outcompeting local businesses that don’t.

                    And all that wealth magically vanishes. We can chalk up comparative advantage as another economic theory you don’t understand.

                  2. Yep. Those who find themselves unlucky enough to live under the misrule of Tony’s copartisans have to pay high prices to prop up inefficient American manufacturing. This especially affects urban poor who don’t have the ability to shop around.

                    And I’m extremely dubious that there are many retailers who don’t sell foreign-manufactured goods, even your beloved “local” ones. Of course, that’s a canard anyway — jobs created in foreign countries are still jobs. Who knows how many Chinese are forced to continue working low-paid, backbreaking jobs because of snooty American liberals’ xenophobic purchasing attitudes.

            2. You got me, I temporarily forgot about white rice’s GI. I don’t buy into that measure too much anyways.

              I read a convincing paper in B-school on Wal-Mart causing price and wage deflation in markets they move into. I’m sorry, but I just have to admire a company so efficient that they cause money to be worth more.

              1. Before anyone flips out, the measured inflation was on the order of 1.9%, and was found to be statistically significant. It was a paper handout, I don’t have access to it anymore 🙁

              2. They’re only efficient because they import almost all of their products from places with dirt-cheap labor and treat their own workers like serfs. That’s not to say there’s no upside. Cheap crap is good for people who can’t afford expensive crap. But that’s ignoring the fact that sans Wal-Mart they might not be as poor in the first place.

                1. But that’s ignoring the fact that sans Wal-Mart they might not be as poor in the first place.

                  You heard it here folks: inefficiency is the way to prosperity!

                2. You forgot about inventory management. Wal-Mart pretty much invented just in time delivery.

                3. But that’s ignoring the fact that sans Wal-Mart they might not be as poor in the first place.

                  They’d have to get a pretty hefty pay hike to make up for the higher prices they’d have to pay sans-Walmart.

                4. But that’s ignoring the fact that sans Wal-Mart they might not be as poor in the first place.

                  Yeah, if they were making $0/hr, they’d be a lot better off.

          3. Okay so you’re introducing another variable that allegedly accounts for the stunning correlation between poverty and obesity in poor areas: they’re all lazy. This is quite an accusation–I bet more working class people who survive on McDs work harder than a lot of people who can afford the time and money to eat healthily.

            And I suppose the large unemployment we have now is a result of a massive surge of laziness? Wait, productivity has increased the entire time wages have decreased, so I don’t buy the simple libertarian moral equation that wealth = virtue.

          4. I went through this with a Seattle Times reporter who did a feature length back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead-in-dispair article about how oh-so expensive it was to eat healthy.

            I went to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients for a low fat, very healthful meal, listed the nutrition contents, volume, price and calculated price per serving. I ended up with a large, healthful meal with vegetables, lean beef, stir fried in vegetable oil for like $2… with leftovers to take to work the next day for lunch. I sent her the detailed report with grocery store receipts in an email.

            I never heard anything back.

            1. The important factor being ignored is the leisure time required to cook and eat healthy foods.

              We’re talking about aggregate phenomena here, and it’s just a little too nonsensical to blame obesity rates on laziness.

              Or are you saying that Blue states contain the hardest workers? Even despite the bigger role of government… hmmmm Perhaps libertarianism is a crock of shit!?

              1. The important factor being ignored is the leisure time required to cook and eat healthy foods.

                I don’t disagree with that… for the most part.

                I’m a single parent. If you think I have “leisure time” in the evening to do this kind of cooking, you’re sadly mistaken. During the schoolyear, my evening is like the fucking 100 yard dash, with an extra 100 yards thrown in for good measure.

                One of the reasons my evenings are balls-to-the wall pressed down and running over is because I take the time to do this kind of cooking. I have determined that its important for me and my daughter to have quality, home cooked meals and therefore I have to go through a process of self-discipline to make this happen.

                The point being, you have no idea how easy it would be to slip into the mode of whipping through the drivethrough to make dinner. It would sure make my life easier, and free up more time in my evenings– and let me tell you, on the occasions that I do do this, life sure seems easier.

                I’m not one of the people insisting that poor people are inherently lazy and that’s their problem– relatively wealthy people are guilty of this, too.

                It’s more complicated than that. For me personally, it’s about priorities.

                1. Oh, and I forgot the most important part: One of the reasons I cook all my meals at home is because it’s cheaper. I’m divorced, which means I don’t have a fucking discretionary dollar to my name.

                  1. But I keep telling my boss:

                    “I don’t have a spending problem, I have an income problem.”

                2. Paul, all of that is admirable, but it’s still an exception to the rule. On aggregate poor people are more obese in wealthy countries, and I just don’t think the explanation is laziness, otherwise America is the laziest country in the world.

                  1. Oh and I forgot the other component: exercise. That takes leisure time too (it would be nice if we weren’t such a car-based economy–I think that contributes a lot to obesity).

                    But if you agree that unhealthy eating and lack of exercise are the result of a lack of leisure time, you can’t say it’s also the result of laziness, as that would be a contradiction.

                    1. it would be nice if we weren’t such a car-based economy–I think that contributes a lot to obesity

                      Maybe we should eliminate subsidized urban mass transit and make the poor walk everywhere. 😉

                      This is what happens when your political “philosophy” is an incoherent laundry list of positions.

                    2. Tulpa,

                      Wait a minute. Places that have urban mass transit are also places where people walk more and are thus thinner. It’s the places where you require a car where everyone’s a fatass. Virtually no walking is needed in your daily life. How about we subsidize mass transit in those places? Bonus: people won’t have to spend as much on polluting, inefficient, expensive, regularly-in-need-of-repair cars.

                    3. Places that have urban mass transit are also places where people walk more and are thus thinner.

                      Uh..no. Half the seats on the average Pittsburgh Port Authority are taken up by a quarter of the riders.

                    4. Uh..no. Half the seats on the average Pittsburgh Port Authority are taken up by a quarter of the riders.

                      Ha! I had Europe in mind, though with the arrival of American “cuisine” they’ve started to balloon up.

                  2. I don’t think it’s laziness either. However, I might go as far as saying it has a lot to do with convenience.

              2. The important factor being ignored is the leisure time required to cook and eat healthy foods.

                Frozen broccoli & cauliflower. Microwave: 1 minute, 30 seconds. Canned tuna, mixed with chopped celery and / or onions and either mustard or a small amount of mayonnaise: 3-5 minutes.

                Yeah, that’s really gonna cut into your day… or perhaps progressives are full of shit.

                1. I think the point is that to make a healthy meal that tastes good (relative to the unhealthy stuff out there) takes some time and skill. The human sense of taste is geared toward a very different environment from the one we now inhabit — an environment where every calorie was precious, and easily-digested calories even more so. Eating healthy, in a very real sense, requires tricking and/or fighting against your body.

          5. These things take time to prepare. What makes good food expensive isn’t the ingredients but the prep time.

        4. Right; we knew it would be the fault of conservatives that people are poor and fat.

          1. Just an interesting correlation. One that disproves everything you guys believe in.

            1. I think you are a bit far away from Q.E.D on this proof. Better keep working on it.

      2. the cheapest food tends to be calorically dense and less healthy

        Science, Tony, this is mega stupid, even coming from you. Vegetables are the cheapest foods and the most nutritious. “Poor” people in wealthy countries are simply more likely to sit on their asses, rather than lacking access to nutritious foods like the idiot talking point that you parroted.

      3. In wealthy countries the poor tend to be fatter. This is because while everyone has access to food, the cheapest food tends to be calorically dense and less healthy.

        Wrong.

        Quite often the “poor” folks eat at McDonald’s and equivalent many times per week. It’s not a matter of healthy food being expensive – it’s not. Eggs, lettuce, rice, milk, etc. are not expensive. It’s laziness and a desire for yummy food. It’s way easier – and tastier – to walk or drive over to Micky D’s and scarf down a Big Mac with large fries than it is to spend the time preparing brussel sprouts with broiled chicken breasts and a salad. Even though the Micky D’s dinner will cost more.

        It’s a matter of ignorance. Often the poor are not only poor, but undereducated. They have no idea how to buy healthy food and prepare a healthy diet.

        1. “It’s a matter of ignorance. Often the poor are not only poor, but undereducated. They have no idea how to buy healthy food and prepare a healthy diet.”

          Im sure theres some of that arounf, but i dont think thats the main driver. Poor people have been eating for as long as history – and its increadbly elistist to think a poor person is so stupid that they cant generally figure out that salad is more healthy than fatty hamburger.

          And as mentioned above there are plenty of really cheap things to eat that are healthy. McDonalds has cheap shitty salads too, but you dont see people buying those. And anyone short of a complete moron knows that salad is healthier than a burger. People eat fast food because they prefer the combination of price, taste, and conveinience. Based on their perceived sence of value, people rationally chose to eat the way they do – they care about things other than the health of it.

          1. salad is more healthy than fatty hamburger.

            Not necessarily.

            Chicken Tostada Salad from El Pollo Loco with regular Creamy Cilantro dressing and a medium Coke: 1290 cal

            Two Cheeseburgers Meal (medium fries and medium Coke) from McDonald’s: 1190 cal

      4. Yes, it?s prohibitively expensive to eat a salad, you need at least 125k to afford such luxuries.

    2. I’m headed to the Panama Canal next week, I’ll report back.

      1. I have some clients in Panama who are American expats. Many of them have married young, cute Panamanian girls.

        1. I already tried the Latina wife thing…didn’t work out. Doesn’t mean I won’t ogle (with an artist’s eye, of course).

          1. But was she a wise Latina?

          2. I already tried the Latina wife thing…didn’t work out. Doesn’t mean I won’t ogle (with an artist’s eye, of course).

            Fixed.

      2. I was there earlier this year, problem is it?s unsafe and if you look like a gringo you can?t blend in and walk the streets at night.

  11. Her pants are on fire maybe.

    1. Oh crap, someone used that one already.

      Um, maybe she should be fired for lying so much!

  12. We already have a Krugman. Get back to us when she’s “Nobel Prize Winner” Veronique de Rugy.

  13. How do you pronounce her name?

    1. After consulting youtube, It sounds like she says veroni di rugy.

      1. But do the drapes match the rugy?

  14. So when is Reason going to do a swimsuit calendar? Think of the potential. You can cater to all people with Bow Tie Boy, The Jacket, and the Reason babes.

    Is that racist?

    1. No, just stupid.

    2. I really don’t want to be looking at Ron Bailey in a speedo for a month.

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