Economics

The Great Libertarian Conspiracy

Democrats campaign against people they don't understand.

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Back in 2008, if you pressed a libertarian planning to vote for Barack Obama, chances are he'd yelp out the name Austan Goolsbee. The Libertarians for Obama website (which, appropriately, shut down after November 2008), claimed "Obama's chief economic adviser—a friend from the University of Chicago, where they both taught—sounds an awful lot like a libertarian." The Atlantic's Megan McArdle repeatedly pinned her preference for the Democrat on his closeness with Goolsbee, "one of my favorite professors, and a hell of an economist." The libertarian economist David Friedman cited Goolsbee when musing to the San Francisco Chronicle that Obama might end up emulating the liberals who launched New Zealand's wildly successful deregulation project in the 1980s.

Two years later there probably isn't a libertarian-leaning person on earth who still thinks Obama has it in him to pull a Nixon-goes-to-China when it comes to downsizing government. The president has followed up George W. Bush's big-government disaster with a big-government catastrophe, setting consecutive annual records for spending, deficits, and debt while extending the pernicious too-big-to-fail doctrine all the way to the auto parts business. And every day on the hustings in advance of the Democrats' midterm drubbing, Obama campaigned against a wholly fictional Bush record of deregulation and spending cuts.

"Between 2001 and 2009," the president falsely claimed in September, "a very specific philosophy reigned in Washington: You cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires; you cut regulations for special interests; you cut back on investments in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was if we put blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everybody to fend for themselves, America would grow and America would prosper." As any good 2008 libertarian for Obama could tell you, that description does not square with Bush's record of jacking up federal education spending by 58 percent in real terms, increasing significant regulations and regulatory spending at rates not seen since Richard Nixon, and boosting discretionary spending more than any president since Lyndon Johnson.

And what about our University of Chicago hero Austan Goolsbee? In September he became chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers. Just before the appointment, Goolsbee gave a background briefing to reporters on behalf of the administration in which he trashed the most influential donors the libertarian universe has ever seen: Charles and David Koch, funders of the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center, the Institute for Humane Studies, and much more. (David Koch sits on the Reason Foundation's Board of Trustees.)

"So in this country, we have partnerships, S corps, we have LLCs—we have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax, some of which are really giant firms," Goolsbee said. "You know, Koch Industries, I think, is one, is a multibillion dollar business, and so that creates a narrower base, because we got literally something like 50 percent of the business income in the U.S. is going to businesses that don't pay any corporate income tax."

How would an administration apparatchik even know about the tax status of a privately held company (which, according to a Koch lawyer quoted by The Weekly Standard, does indeed pay corporate taxes)? That's what the Treasury Department's inspector general was looking into at press time. An administration spokesperson claimed to Politico that Goolsbee's comment "was not based on any review of tax filings" and that "we will not use this example in the future."

Yet the administration has continued to single out the Kochs for criticism. Since August, when The New Yorker's Jane Mayer published a widely cited hit piece about "the billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama," the president, various administration officials, and scores of commentators have zeroed in on Koch Industries in a way that the right focused on George Soros during the Bush era: as a shadowy, self-interested, all-powerful bogeyman attempting to hijack American democracy.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich accused the Kochs of plotting "a billionaires' coup" to secure "corporate pork," tax cuts, and a blank check for Wall Street bailouts. "What the Koch brothers have bought with their huge political outlays," opined Times columnist Paul Krugman, "is, above all, freedom to pollute." The New York Observer's Yasha Levine concluded that the brothers are "not very" libertarian, as evidenced by their fondness for "using government subsidies to maximize their own profits." The Democratic National Committee hammered Koch Industries for laying off 118 workers at a North Carolina plant: "The question for the Kochs is instead of spending money on secret campaigns to fill the government with candidates that will enact their special interest agenda, why aren't they spending that money on saving those American jobs?"

And in August, Obama hinted darkly at the motives of the Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity. AFP, said the president, is "running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it's a big oil company, or a big bank."

If these attacks appear to lack a consistent theme, it's because Democrats need the Koch bogeyman to accomplish so many political tasks. The narrative that emerged after the Mayer article, which became a kind of pre-election Rosetta Stone for Democrats trying to decode why they were going to lose in 2010 and maybe 2012, boils down to a strained four-part theory: 1) The ruthlessly powerful Kochs are "covertly" waging a war against Obama on behalf of right-wing Republicans; 2) they are doing so chiefly out of their own corporate self-interest (mostly to pollute) and a general "pro-corporate" agenda; 3) they are creating and/or co-opting populist anti-government sentiment they don't necessarily believe in; and 4) this is all a direct effect of the Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on political speech by corporations (though wealthy individuals such as the Kochs have always been free to spend their money on political messages).

What a long, strange trip it has been for the Kochs. In 1980 David Koch was the vice presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, when he and Ed Clark (a self-described "low-tax liberal") ran on a platform that included abolishing the CIA and FBI. Not long before that, according to Senior Editor Brian Doherty's definitive history Radicals for Capitalism, Charles Koch had openly considered buying the progressive opinion magazine The Nation before helping to launch Inquiry, which published such writers as Noam Chomsky and Marcus Raskin. The conservative flagship National Review beat The New Yorker by a solid 31 years with its cover-story shocker that "anarchists, backed by corporate big money" were "infiltrat[ing] the freedom movement." Horrors!

Although I assume that being the No. 1 political enemy of the U.S. government must be harrowing or at least irritating to the Kochs (with whom I have interacted less than I have with any other Reason Foundation board member, and indeed less than I have with George Soros), I can't help but smile at what this weirdly asymmetrical conflict symbolizes. There are millions of people—including me, including the Kochs, including people who have never heard of the Koch family—who feel some basic affinity for the notion that that government is best which governs least. Although this is a bedrock tradition in the American polity, it has had almost zero representation in Washington, D.C., during the last decade of bipartisan misgovernment.

Yet libertarians are supposed to be a threat to the republic. Just imagine if we had any political power!

Matt Welch (matt.welch@reason.com) is editor in chief of reason.

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339 responses to “The Great Libertarian Conspiracy

  1. Bilderberger influence ,TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?

    1. For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA.

      Do you ever wonder why people don’t take you seriously?

    2. The problem here is so simple really. It started when someone decided that there was a ‘War on Terror’. This would be similar to a ‘War on Sniping’ or a ‘War on Pincer Manuevers’. The US went to war against a tactic.

      In WW2 we were at war with Nazism and Fascism–and we fought the supporters of those ideologies at home, and abroad.

      We have avoided even the appearance of being engaged with the ideology that is fighting us now.

      We are at war with Islam.

      Islam is a faith, but it is a faith designed as a political system, a faith designed as a world conquering ideology.

      In WW2 we fought the ideologies of Fascism and Nazism in all the places it appears–against nations and groups.

      And we did not hide from what we were fighting against.

      Now, we fear speaking the truth. Even supporters of the ‘War on Terror’ refuse to make this connection–to them, we fight ‘jihadis’, or ‘islamists’. And we do this because not all Muslims are jihadis.

      Not all Germans were Nazis, Not all Italians were fascists–but we understood that we had to fight, and win–or die.

      Then, we chose our life, and the life of our ideals over the lives and ideals of those promoting horror.

      We must make that same stance today.

      The Bund is building centers to teach the lessons of Mein Kampf. Why can we not see that?

      Because it calls itself a faith?

      1. You and the Commander should get a room somewhere.

    3. I prefer Suki…

    4. I prefer Suki…

      1. guess I double prefer Suki. As FIRST I mean

    5. Amen, brother. This is why I buy my gold from Goldline.

      Remember America, only you can save Our Republic by buying my book.

  2. Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// 1. .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece? 4, The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.
    5. “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”the commander

      1. Professional help. Someone who can work on chemical balance of your brain perhaps.

        1. I thought that’s what chemtrails were designed to do?

          1. Chemtrail Therapy is overrated!

      2. He has plenty of help available.

        There’s a spell checker built into Firefox and Safari plus Word, Works, Word Perfect, Word Pro, Pages, Writer, AbiWord, KWord,and others have spelling and grammar checkers built in.

        1. I recommend downloading ieSpell.

          Internet Explorer Rules!

    1. The COMMANDER!

      1. Cobra Commander?

          1. Thanx for the awesome song.

      2. Actually he’s
        THE COMMADER ////////

    2. Somebody watched Jesse Ventura night afore last.

      1. THEY’RE GOING TO KILL ME!!!

        1. And to think he used to be the governor of my state.

      2. How is it that a two sentence post of my cautious prose will get labelled as spam, but this deranged copy-paste job bypasses the spam-detectors?

        1. He brushed his teeth first.

    3. He’s no commander.

    4. I’m not about to read that, so help me out here you mugs who did, is the short version, ‘fucking Jews?’ When I see big bulking paragraphs like that, I always assume that is the content.

      1. Either that or Obama is bringing about the End Times through an elaborate manipulation of the world money supplies in coordination with the U.N. and Russia. Also, he’s the antichrist or some shit.

        1. I thought that conservacrooks wanted the End Times?

    5. Commander, tear this ship apart until you’ve found those plans. And bring me the passengers – I want them alive!

      (this will hopefully keep him too busy to bang on a keyboard)

      1. Monkeys don’t bang. They copy and paste.

    6. Not saying that I agree (because I haven’t read it). But if I did want to repost it, could I correct the spelling, grammar and gratuitous use of capitalization and punctuation first? Or is that a required part of the message?

      Also, is there somewhere I could buy a tinfoil hate, or do I need to make my own?

      1. The tin foil hate is within you, and it always has been. You just need to feel it and let is swell up inside you.

      2. Be sure to ground it, otherwise MIT research indicates it only concentrates the mind control radio waves!

  3. I do think that it is a shame that the Birchers were exiled from polite society but it’s easier to wax nostalgic about them when they’re quieter.

  4. If Democrats truly understood libertarians, then they would know how little support and influence libertarians actually have and wouldn’t bother to campaign against them.

    1. When you are gung-ho for regulation even though regulation is the at the core of your problems, you have to try to blame the problem who are opposed to regulation. Since the GOP is not about deregulation, you have to blame the liberatians.

    2. And if your uncle had tits he’d be your aunt.

      1. Not necessarily.

        Kiss Kiss!
        YFQ

    3. Let’s not forget: Democrats campaigned FOR libertarians in a bunch of 2010 races.

      1. “Let’s not forget: Democrats campaigned FOR libertarians in a bunch of 2010 races.”

        It’s an age-old political tactic. The Dems know that Libertarians that are desparate to keep Big Gubmint Democrats out of office will usually toss their lot in with Slightly-Less-Big-Gubmint Republicans. They can rob these repubs of some votes by convincing the Libertarians to cast for our own party.

        Why do you think conservative organizations often fund Green Party campaigns in tight elections? Hint; It’s not a sudden attack of misplaced guilt.

    4. If Democrats truly understood libertarians, then they would know how little support and influence libertarians actually have and wouldn’t bother to campaign against them.

      But that’s exactly *why* they campaign against them. They don’t have the political power to fight back.

      1. We don’t have the political power to get in the door.

        The closest thing in the clubhouse libertarians have are a few Tea Party folk who talk a libertarian-ish game (though the verdict is still very much in question), and the very rare Gary Johnson or Ron Paul.

        When the game is rigged against you, you have no shot.

    5. By campaigning against Libertarians, they call attention to them and raise their profile. That makes more Republicans likely to vote Libertarian, giving the Democrats a plurality edge in elections.

      It’s related to the logic that led Republicans to run “against” Hillary before Obama was nominated. They thought they had a better chance of beating her than him.

    6. Democrats campaign against people who don’t exist.

    7. I remember reading something in HuffPo where a very progressive author was complaining that Libertarians were idiots because they strive for something that never existed. My response was “Like striving for Civil Rights?”

      I think it is just the nature of both the Democrats and the Republicans to attack Libertarians because they realize that their parties aren’t based on consistent political philosophies anymore. They have to attack something different because it brings too much light on how similar they really are.

  5. The right focused on George Soros during the Bush era: as a shadowy, self-interested, all-powerful bogeyman attempting to hijack American democracy.

    They’re still obsessed with him.
    Glenn Beck rants about him constantly.

    1. Soros = legal drugs, open borders, atheist, noted capitalist who writes on market reflexivity, sits on famous UN Council.

      Beck = the commander.

      1. shriek = hyperactive tall story telling spaz

        1. Quit defending Beck.

          You are known by the company you like.

          1. I didn’t defend anyone, you fucking meth addled moron. You are known by the insanity you spew.

            1. But Bush was a war criminal!!!!11

          2. So when your “company” promotes politicians dedicated to the opposite of what you consider good governance, you should support him anyway because he wouldn’t mind smoking a bowl with you?

        1. Yeah, like Warren Buffett is too.

          The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals. I know Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) will tell you conservatives otherwise but its the truth.
          reply to this

          1. The very top tier of capitalists corporatists are all liberals.

          2. If you’d ever listened to Rush Limbaugh, you’d know that he points out all the time that nearly all the Billionaires of the world are liberals.

            By lying (or writing something you knew nothing about) you’ve just lost what little credibility you had with me.

            1. I said “capitalists” – not billionaires you fucking doorstop.

              1. Shrike, like a whoremonger in Tijuana, you are a one pony trick.

          3. Yeah… Uh… Shrike.

            A. You’ve been around long enough to know we’re not Limbaugh fans or “conservatives” here. Don’t be a cock.

            B. You missed the point spectacularly. Calling Soros (or Buffett) “Capitalists” is a ridiculous abuse of the word. Neither of them are supporters of free markets, and as has been noted, neither are most of the richest people in the world.

            That should… One would think… Cause you to question whether or not it is in fact you who is siding with the wrong people.

            Multi-billionaires often benefit from the mixed economy precisely because it allows them to keep the cash flowing into their pockets in good times & bad through subsidies, bailouts, and other freedom-crippling restrictions on the market – restrictions which are usually not a problem for their Fortune 500 companies, but which are a big deal to their smaller rivals.

            This is kind of libertarianism 101… But then, I shouldn’t be surprised, after years of being around Hit & Run, I’ve never seen any of our more prolific trolls actually bother to learn anything. Instead they always go back to strawmen.

            Sad… But… Whatever.

          4. The Kochs, Murdoch, the Saudi royal family, the Sultan of Brunei, Russian crime-lords … all liberals? That’s some mighty good stuff you’re smoking there.

    2. Glenn Beck is planning a special on Mr. Soros this Tuesday on his show.

      We will be nationalizing FOX tomorrow in time to pre-empt it.

    3. Glenn Beck is planning a special on Mr. Soros this Tuesday on his show.

      We will be nationalizing FOX tomorrow in time to pre-empt it.

  6. Goolsbee isn’t attacking Koch the Libertarian. He is attacking the Kochs for being partisan Republicans.

    And lets not pretend Republicans ever cut spending because they don’t.

    If they were serious let them kill the doc fix which would cut physician Medicare reimbursements by 23%. But no…… DeMint and McConnell are squabbling about whether to retain earmarks (only $18 billion) or not.

    McConnell will win that one. The Alabama and Mississippi block of Senators love their pork.

    1. Actually if you read the article, Goolsbee attacked the Kochs for exploiting a tax loophole, but either 1) this is made-up, or 2) this is true, but he wouldn’t be able to know this unless he was digging through confidential IRS files.

      As for the non-sequiter about spending- I doubt you’ll find many on these boards who are very hopeful about GOP spending, but when the other choices are Obama/Pelosi/Reid who seem to keep coming up with those trillion-dollar ideas, Republicans suddenly don’t look so awful.

      1. Because spending to save the economy is evil, whereas spending a shit ton more to selectively invade foreign countries and give tax breaks to millionaires gives you hope.

        1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 12:49PM|#
          “Because spending to save the economy is evil, whereas spending a shit ton more to selectively invade foreign countries and give tax breaks to millionaires gives you hope.”
          I’ll bet your mommy told you that made sense.

          1. Loook at us! We’re savvvinngg the economy!

            [throws anchor titled Big Spending out to man thrashing about in the ocean named Economy]

            1. Hey, mind if I borrow that?

              1. Sure. Knock yourself out, Chip.

        2. Yeppir, cause here in Libertarian land we’re all about us some wars and eating the poor. You give us hell, Tony.

          1. Hey, don’t ruin another man’s fun. If he wants to beat up straw men, who are you to criticize?

            1. First, they came for the Kochs..

        3. paraphrasing Steve Forbes via Dennis Miller: The govt raising taxes to spend more money thereby fixing the economy is like raising the level of your pond by taking bucketfuls of water from the deep end and pouring them in the shallow end.

        4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_sequitur

          Follow this link, Tony. I think your rhetoric will improve dramatically after you stop depending on the non-sequitur.

          1. You said Republicans make you feel better in the spending department. I’m saying that’s a crock of shit, because they spend way more than Democrats on way more useless crap.

            1. they spend way more than Democrats on way more useless crap.

              You are besmirching my legacy.

            2. I’m not gonna defend Republicans, thats for sure. But, tell me, when have democrats not spent on expensive foreign entanglements?

              1. I swear to God I would have pulled us out of Viet Nam if I hadn’t died of lead poisoning.

            3. “[Republicans] spend way more than Democrats on way more useless crap”

              You might want to check federal spending for the past two years.

            4. Meanwhile, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid slashed the military budget and brought our troops home. Good work guys!

              1. Joe M what the hell do YOU know? You neglected to mention that they also closed GITMO and repealed the Patriot Act. Way to go!

            5. Ok Tony the Tard, please get it right….BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats spend TONS and tons of money on useless crap. It just happens that the democrats have done more in the last 3 years than every one before them ever did!

              1. Sorry, I’m not gonna accept a false equivalency because it tends to reward the worse party.

                And your talking about about recent spending is a load of crap. A lot of the depression-averting spending has had a ROI, which is more than you can say for Bush’s stupid wars.

                1. A lot of the depression-averting spending has had a ROI…

                  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

                  That’s why you are the king, baby!

                  1. I am SO sorry I missed this thread….

                2. “A lot of the depression-averting spending has had a ROI”

                  Well, no, it hasn’t–a deficit spending rate of 12% of GDP for a GDP growth rate of 2% is actually a -10% ROI.

                  Try again, math whiz.

                3. “A lot of the depression-averting spending has had a ROI…”

                  It didn’t avert anything. It made it worse. Unemployment was supposed to top at around 9% with no stimulus. With the stimulus, we get 10.5% (supposed to be under 8%, they said).

                  And I’d say we’ll probably break even with the wars, if I have to be utilitarian about it. Long-term political stability in the middle east is going to be crucial in keeping oil prices down over the next 30 or so years, when the alternatives could actually become realistic for widespread use.

                  1. OOOH, the externalities!

        5. Because we here on this board support invading foreign countries.

        6. I completely agree Tony. They keep telling me that if I don’t stop it will kill me, what a bunch of douches.

        7. Tony I see you are one of those unfortunate voters who is too ill educated to understand the wisdom of our administration.

          Those predator drones we send to Pakistan and Afghanistan support American jobs. Just today they helped us sell India dozens of warcraft that will be built here in the U.S. of A. by good ole union labor.

          Never fear. I have your tax returns here and will send a tutor by later today supported by our jobs program at Vista. For good measure I will be sending one to your mom’s address as well.

          1. I don’t know if C-17s are Warcraft per se (unless there are more items in the arms deal)

      2. “Goolsbee attacked the Kochs for exploiting a tax loophole”

        Progressives are always ranting about the evil of “the corporations”. If Goolsbee’s IRS information were correct, the Kochs haven’t organized their enterprises as corporations. Goolsbee criticizes the non-corporate Koch enterprises because they’re not corporations and therefore not paying corporate income tax. The progressives respond with a daily two-minute hate.

        So, progressives don’t just hate corporations; they hate all successful businesses regardless of organization.

        1. Progressives hate any competing nexuses of power.

  7. How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Pffff, libertarians have never managed to change anything, why would they start now?

    (this is a joke, I realize libertarian thought has helped influence positive policies such as airline deregulation)

    1. airline deregulation

      That would have been that libertarian Jimmy Carter.

      1. SO? It’s still a very libertarian proposal.

        1. Don’t attack my rhetoric with your logic, silly!

      2. Jesus what a partisan cunt.

        Kiss Kiss!
        YFQ

      3. Sean’s point clearly was about how Jimmy Carter was a libertarian.

        1. I will learn to refresh
          I will learn to refresh
          I will learn to refresh

      4. That would be the fault of the vast shadowy libertarian conspiracy that tricked Jimmy Carter in to deregulating the airlines, resulting in the chaos in the air we have now.

      5. airline deregulation

        That would have been that libertarian Jimmy Carter.

        I thought that was Saint Ronnie. I’m sure you’ll provide me with a reference to prove me wrong.

        1. It was libertarianish Alfred Khan, who was a Carter appointee. Not Carter.

          1. I really dropped the ball on that one.

            1. Jimmmmmyyyy, where arrrrre yooouuuuu???

      6. Actually the way that joke goes is: None. The market will take care of it. From the 70s.

      7. Actually the way that joke goes is: None. The market will take care of it. From the 70s.

      8. Actually the way that joke goes is: None. The market will take care of it. From the 70s.

      9. Blue team go! Hack.

      10. And that “libertarian” Ted Kennedy!

        Oh wait… I love it when we talk about ideas and dumbasses like shrike can only see party allegiance.

    2. Actually the way that joke goes is: None. The market will take care of it. From the 70s.

      1. Holy crap that is some epic multi-post. Way to go squirrels that run the H&R comment system!

        Most formulaic jokes have multiple punchlines you know.

    3. Actually the way that joke goes is: None. The market will take care of it. From the 70s.

    4. How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

      KULTUR WAR !

  8. At what point do people realize the whole Alinsky “freeze it personalize it” strategy only works at the local level. If you are talking about some poor bastard sitting on a zoning board, the tactic works. But if you are talking about people on the national stage with large resources and followings and the ability to defend themselves it is a sad joke. the Chicago lefties in the Whitehouse and their media stooges have tried this shit against Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, and now the Kochs. It hasn’t done them a damn bit of good and it won’t do them any good.

    1. John you silly silly man. It will work once Obama esplains it better. He just hasn’t worded it properly yet. Duh!

      1. You mean that his teleprompter hasn’t worded it correctly.

        It’s all the teleprompter’s fault.

        1. No. We’re too stupid to understand him is all.

    2. On net, it allows them to marginalize everyone who they DON’T bitch about.

    3. the whole Alinsky “freeze it personalize it” strategy only works at the local level

      Tell that to Newt Gringrich you oblivious obtusian.

      1. That’s not fair! I want to be the oblivious obtusion!

  9. “As any good 2008 libertarian for Obama could tell you, that description does not square with Bush’s record of jacking up federal education spending by 58 percent in real terms, increasing significant regulations and regulatory spending at rates not seen since Richard Nixon, and boosting discretionary spending more than any president since Lyndon Johnson.”

    You and your reality based view of …reality. It is a well known fact that 99% of facts don’t matter and that the other facts are not facts(Dilbert).
    You know, if only gubermint approved monopoly rating agencies had rated mortgage backed securities, investors (who maybe should do due diligence themselves???) would not have lost trillions…
    And if Freedie and Fannie had only had they very own regulatory agency, devoted solely to regulating Freddie and Fannie to warn us…
    And if only we had passed some all encompassing law to forbid fraud and stupidity…Oh, I don’t know…like Sarbanes Oxley, that was thwarted by those evil guys…
    what a wonderful world it would be…

    1. “Facts, shmacts. You can use facts to prove anything that is even remotely true.”

  10. Does this mean Austan Goolsbee is the country’s most famous Libertarian now, or is it still Bill Maher?

    And, as always, what The Commander said.

  11. I’m not sure the Kochs are libertarians. They don’t want to abolish government contracts and monopolies so long as those things make them richer. Have any of their business locations been acquired through imminent domain? They want their businesses deregulated and taxes lowered, yes. That’s more like a business-tarian or republitarian, or something.

    Can anyone prove they support libertarian positions on drugs, abortion, police, immigration? Why aren’t they spending a fraction of their billions on any of those things? Why doesn’t the tea party (their pet project via Americans for Prosperity) advance libertarianism on those issues, if they are such big libertarians?
    Probably because those policies have nothing to do with preserving their wealth, which is their true goal.

    1. Is there really a libertarian position on abortion?

      1. The government shouldn’t regulate it, yes. It’s a free market transaction like any other.

        1. Like doing a hit?

        2. Or, you know, it’s a murder like any other.

          Libertarianism has the same split on abortion that everyone does.

          1. Libertarianism has the same split on abortion that everyone does.

            If I may use the abortion issue to ask a broader question, what is the libertarian stance on violations of legitimate governmental process? On of the biggest problems I have with abortion in the US as it now stands is that the current policy has been formulated illegitimately. The SCOTUS fabricated a non-existent right and case law has reinforced and extended that “right” to the point where abortion is permitted anytime and anywhere. The political system has been pushed so far to the side of abortion supporters that the only argument left is as to the exact extent that tax dollars will be used to pay for abortions.

            My impression is that Reason is supportive of the unrestricted legality of abortion. Do libertarians (big or little L) care whether or not the American people get a voice in the formulation of important laws and policies? Do they think that their ends justify the means?

            1. You can’t believe in freedom and be pro-life.

              1. *facepalm*

                Tony, you dipshit, if you believe that an unborn fetus is a full-fledged human being (which is a question answered much better by philosophy and not by science, incidentally), then uh… YES… You can be “pro-life” and believe in freedom.

                Personally, I believe that the rights of the born and adult far outweigh any rights held by potential humans. As such, I think there’s no place in my view for the law to prevent abortion.

                To answer right sock’s question:

                “Do libertarians (big or little L) care whether or not the American people get a voice in the formulation of important laws and policies? Do they think that their ends justify the means?”

                Actually kind of the opposite. The means are far more important than the ends. Whether or not a majority of anyone has a say in what laws are written largely depends on the laws in question. For instance, it wouldn’t matter if 99% of the population voted in favor of rounding up all the Chinese in the United States and systematically murdering them.

                It still wouldn’t be an acceptable thing to do.

                Majority opinion does not guarantee any kind of legitimacy. Tony doesn’t understand this either 🙁

                1. Sorry. It’s not about majority rule. It’s about what, on balance, is better for human beings. Making women criminals for having abortions does more actual–and absurd–harm to society than allowing abortions does. This is something that has been figured out. I’m tired of this being an unsolvable controversy. Advanced societies provide for abortion liberty, and that’s that. Treating fetuses as human beings is perverse, and has an entirely religious basis.

                  1. Love is hate.
                    War is peace.
                    Work is freedom.

                  2. Uh… Ok…

                    1. The “majority rule” point wasn’t directed at you, dumbass. It was answering a different question.

                    2. You are easily the worst arbiter I could dream up to decide what, “on balance, is better for human beings” in just about any scenario.

                    3. I also already expressed my view on abortion, and shockingly perhaps to you, since you’re obviously mostly illiterate, I’m in favor of it being legal! I was merely pointing out that there is a counterargument to be made that is consistent with the principles of individual liberty. It all depends on when you belief a human being begins being counted as a human being… And again, unfortunately for anyone who is “tired of this being an unsolvable controversy”, that is a subjective question for people to discuss and debate and has no particularly easy or crystal clear answer.

                    I’m sorry that this area of life is too complicated for you, Tony.

                    1. It all depends on when you belief a human being begins being counted as a human being… And again, unfortunately for anyone who is “tired of this being an unsolvable controversy”, that is a subjective question for people to discuss and debate and has no particularly easy or crystal clear answer.

                      I’m sorry that this area of life is too complicated for you, Tony.

                      Sean, you’re forgetting that Tony doesn’t really give a fuck about the life or rights of any individual (whether or not the fetus is one). So of course he doesn’t understand where you’re coming from. He’ll screw over any number of innocent people if it means a net gain for “humanity.”

                  3. I may not agree with your lofty rhetoric about what “is better for human beings”, but I do agree with the conclusion.

                    I do *believe* that it’s barbaric to get an abortion, but two mitigations exist:

                    1) I don’t live anyone else’s life and I’m not about to openly judge and authorize government force for making a personal decision about having a child (or not). I hate more than anything those who would judge me because I somehow fall short of their moral expectations. Those people can go fuck themselves.

                    There is certainly a “rights” argument to be made in favor of the unborn (man, I hate that term), but I’m not sure that it’s anything more than an ideological stance rather than something we might use to concretely grant “being human” in a legal sense, because the idea of “being human” is a purely philosophical construct.

                    2) It is even more barbaric to condemn women to digging out fetuses with hangars in back fucking alleys, or dirty kitchen tables, receiving abortions from black market docs.

                    If we can agree on one thing, it should be that prohibition of a desired product or service does not work and only distorts the marketplace. It only shifts that product or service to the black market, which is never a good thing. If we prohibit abortion, it will not cease, it will simply be driven underground and I’m not willing to do that.

                  4. Sorry. It’s not about majority rule. It’s about what, on balance, is better for human beings.

                    Yup, there are definitely no problems with the end justifies the means. Nope no problems at all. Just ignore all the atrocities and mass murders done in the name of the greater good, and utilitarianism is fucking perfect.

                    Also, what you want does amount to majority rule. What’s “best for humanity” = what’s best for the majority at the expense of the minority.

              2. Jesus Christ, Tony. George Orwell couldn’t have put it better.

        3. If a pregnant woman wants to light up a joint, drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes, should we tase/beat/club/shoot her and throw her in prison?
          Prison seems like a good, safe prenatal environment. Let’s just put all mothers there.

          What if she wants to work in a formaldehyde processing plant?

          Or go skydiving, rock climbing, or any other thing that might endanger the fetus?

          What about after the kid is born (it’s still a human life when it’s not a fetus anymore, right?)–do we use force to make her raise it how the politicians want?

          Obviously the only answer is government intervention.

      2. I was going to make that same point.

        1. How about not initiating force against us!

          1. Okay, but once you’re born we can use force anytime we want.
            Sound fair?

            1. Just give us a chance to find out how right you are.

              1. Gee, there’s just something here that i’ve never figured out. Once you squirt that little bastard out of your cunt, if he gets so much as a hang nail, CPS shows up, you get arrested and we see your confused dishevelled face on the six o’clock news. But if right before that last grunt, you can decide to coat-hanger that little cocksucker, well you can do a “jesus Christ fuck you” Exorcist number on the unwanted son of a bitch, and there will be candle-light vigils for you, complete with a sympathetic press lapping up the broken water for you. i always thought the L (big L) Libertarian philosophy was feel free to swing your fist, up to and not including the point that it meets my nose. Now, if you like to fuck as much as i do, and yet unaccountably you are too stupid to practice birth control, and you (incredibly) get knocked up, you can murder the human you caused to get created (on the theory that this fucking midget has got no rights), or you can, because you so mega-fucked up, bear this unwanted parasite for 9 months and then sell his worthless ass for $60,000, 30 seconds after you grunt your last adios to him. The essense of libertarianism is that you should be able to do whatever you want, but if you murder your neighbor, there almost certainly be repersussions. If you murder your son or daughter, you should get your ass kicked for that too. i know it might be hard to resist the siren song of assholes like Tony who say you can’t be for freedom and be prolife, but there has just GOT to be a way that you can be a Libertarian, and believe that life is sacred.

                1. That always gets me. The personal responsibility aspect of it should kick in with most people at some point. “I didn’t know ejaculation into the vagina would cause this mess” is a really fucking weak excuse. I don’t advocate banning it in any manner but to do something like saying “abortions for some and miniature American flags for others” isn’t going to settle the divisiveness of this issue.
                  The problem is mega-retarded people fucking and not ever once thinking about the consequences from just an economic standpoint, let alone a philosophical one. Then 3 weeks after the future welfare fuckheads remember 6th grade sex ed, the lemming couple picks up the ‘my body, my choice’ banner out of pure fucking convenience.

                2. That’s the most confusing thing about Tony and the rest of the dumbass parade.

                  Before noon, they crow to the high heavens about how the government not only has the power but the moral right to tell you what to do with your body (no smoking, no drinking, no transfats, no praying within earshot of anyone who might possibly be offended, no writing books that might offend their delicate sensibilities, no saying things that might hurt their feelings, and whatever you do, don’t you dare have a negative thought about any group or class of people unless they are white, wealthy, Christian, or some combination of the three).

                  After noon, when some chick needs a scraping after hot chandelier-swinging monkey sex (or a drunken fumbling in the back seat) and suddenly the human body becomes inviolable personal property and the mere thought of legislating what a person can or can’t do with it becomes anathema.

                  Which brings us right back to the whole Tony being a dumbass thing.

                3. Until the fetus is a separate entity, it should be treated as a part of the mother’s body. And a mother can do with her body what she wishes.

                  1. Hell, even if you assume that the fetus is a separate entity right from the point of conception, it’s still living in the mother’s body. And, her body being her property, the fetus doesn’t get to stay there if she doesn’t want it, just like I don’t get to stay in your house if you want me out.

                    A strict property-rights view makes the insoluble human/non-human question irrelevant.

    2. As I survey the Koch’s tax returns I see that David Koch was the Libertarian Party veep candidate in 1980 and that both brothers have funded CATO and many other libertarian groups for decades, long before they started funding tea parties.

      But please fight among yourselves. I am curious to see if you can replicate a Democratic firing circle.

  12. “The Kochs are awesome!” says magazine funded by the Kochs

    1. You forgot to add “…and their *** tastes like candy!”

      That’s really what you were thinking, isn’t it.

      1. Obama’s tastes like nicotine and Soros’s taste like paprika.

    2. Close enough. DRINK!

    3. Any substantive arguments against the points made above? No? Moving on…

    4. I don’t get any money from them, and I think the Koch family has done a lot for America. They deserve a great deal of credit.

    5. PETE does not approve. He won’t take your arguments seriously until you rage against the Kochs.

  13. pernicious too-big-to-fail doctrine

    It’s important to understand that this phrase is not so much a doctrine as a statement of fact. Yes, it’s bad that there are industries whose failure would ripple through the economy and cause widespread devastation, but in late 2008 such industries existed. Letting the banking or auto industries fail would have been far more costly to the country than the money it took to keep them afloat.

    Libertarians are dangerous insofar as their economic ideas are shared pretty much verbatim with Republicans, who have the power to enact them as policy. Not that they are ever consistent or complete in their application of them, but they are still the same wrong-headed ideas that all but guarantee eventual systemic failure. And those who will be punished for the crime of destroying the economy are normal citizens who had nothing to do with dreaming up this stupid laissez-faire bullshit. Say, a worker at an auto parts factory. The day a CEO of a failed company is punished commensurate with the havoc its failure has wrought is the day a modicum of fairness exists in our system. But it appears that we’re in for still more years where poverty is blamed on the poor and joblessness on the jobless, and free market cheerleaders in the ranks of the moneyed elite can quickly turn into socialists if their particular industry is threatened–justified because it’s too big to fail. That should be done away with, not as a concept, but as a reality. That will take some intervention, won’t it?

    1. Rather than commenting on the absurdity and stupidity of this comment, take it away Old Mexican…….

    2. “Letting the banking or auto industries fail would have been far more costly to the country than the money it took to keep them afloat.”

      Whether or not it rises to the level of “doctrine” per se, what you’ve just described is obviously a belief, based on hypothetical conjecture, not a fact! Totally aside from whether it may be a well grounded belief or not.

      1. It’s based on a lot of evidence. It’s at least as evidence-based as the assertion that letting them fail would be harmless.

        And on top of all this, other countries not befouled with laissez-faire nonsense have no problem supporting domestic industries, especially auto industries, if it gives them an advantage. Are we supposed to compete on a wing and a prayer?

        And what business do you have asking for evidence anyway. Libertarian economics has never been able to prove itself in the real world. The excuse is always “well, it hasn’t really been tried.” Which is the same thing as saying there is no evidence for it working.

        1. “It’s at least as evidence-based as the assertion that letting them fail would be harmless.”

          Find me one person who argues that. Just one.

          The argument was that bailing them out would be a costly short-term fix that would exacerbate a long-term problem. Now they’re biggerer and their failure will be viewed as even more devastating.

        2. We aren’t going to let you try your policies, and we’re going to use the fact that your policies haven’t been tried to show they won’t work.

          1. The policies HAVE been tried and they’ve worked phenomenally well. See: 1920 Depression… Tom Woods Explains

            Letting the market sort itself out without intervention means actually a much shorter period of problems as the correction is actually allowed to take place, rather than foolishly being stretched out for years.

        3. All that laissez-faire nonsense worked great in this country for over a century until the progressives tried to regulate everything.

          Now look what we’ve got: a century of regulation and government growth with nothing to show for it but a mountain of debt.

          1. When was this laissez-faire golden age exactly? And how were the vast majority of people doing during that time?

            1. There was a time, a time before progressive policies were enacted, when this country was the envy of the world.
              People risked everything to come to the Land of Opportunity.
              How were people doing at the time? A lot better than they were before, and a lot better than they were most anywhere else.

              That is a response using higher reasoning.

              I’m sure you would have preferred an emotional response about child labor, robber barons, and rampant exploitation, but I’m a human being not a human animal.

              1. In the words of one of the regulars, weak sauce dude, weak sauce.

                The conversion of the US into a world superpower both militarily and economically, to a country with a robust middle class (the essence of a healthy economy), happened with double the current tax rates on the wealthy and massive government spending.

                You’re selling a fairy tale world. One in which, it seems, child labor is okay?

                1. First off I’m not exactly thrilled that we became a military superpower and world policeman.

                  As far as being an economic superpower goes, that happened not because of “double the current tax rates on the wealthy and massive government spending”, but in spite of those things.

                  The only fairy tale is the one where top-down solutions imposed by force are the best answer to every perceived problem.

                2. And maybe being the only country with an industrial base that was largely intact after World War II accounted for a small portion of it… or perhaps nearly all of it.

                  1. They always forget what really ushered in that era of common prosperity — The Taft Act which put crushing limits on the power of unions. The best thing that ever happened to this country.

                    1. The Taft Act … The best thing that ever happened to this country.

                      At least until the Reid-Schumer Act banned public sector unions.

                  2. And maybe being the only country with an industrial base that was largely intact after World War II accounted for a small portion of it… or perhaps nearly all of it.

                    Yeah, after the massive government action known as winning WWII. Where’s the free market here again?

                3. “The conversion of the US into a world superpower both militarily and economically, to a country with a robust middle class (the essence of a healthy economy), happened with double the current tax rates on the wealthy and massive government spending.”

                  Irrelevant. America’s status as an economic superpower isn’t a “then vs. now” comparison, it’s an “us vs. them” comparison.

                  The reason we’re losing our superpower status is because EVERYONE ELSE has adopted more pro-market policies. The Chinese would have been the world’s economic powerhouse by 1960 had it not been for communism.

                  You’re wrong anyway, government spending as a % of GDP was lower in post-war era than it was during 80s-00s, and much lower than it is today.

                4. I’ve been to countries where children enjoy a right to work. They’re awesome.

                  1. Aaargh. That was supposed to be a reply to Tony above.

        4. I’ve just figured it out–Tony is really Tom Friedman.

        5. “And what business do you have asking for evidence anyway.”

          @me? Ha-ha. All I said was what you called a fact was a belief.

        6. other countries not befouled with laissez-faire nonsense have no problem supporting domestic industries, especially auto industries, if it gives them an advantage.

          I have a problem with the inherent unfairness of the government intervening on behalf of some industries.

          A pure free market is a level playing field. A government that bails people out because they are “too big to fail” or because it sees an advantage in helping certain companies is one where some individuals are advantaged due to their status as employees or owners of those industries.

          And raising taxes on “the rich” does not really correct for this problem. There’s no parity or proprtionality between those hrmed by the taxes and those helped by the interventions. Some people are harmed by both.

          If you want a market that is free and fair, you can’t have the government stepping in to help out select companies. You can’t have the state picking winners.

          1. There is no such thing as a pure free market and there never has been.

            The state shouldn’t pick winners in industry for no good reason, the state should ensure that the people it represents are winners.

            Life is unfair. We should be working to make sure it’s not as unfair as it could be. That may mean violating market fairness by bailing out an industry that doesn’t deserve to be bailed out. But if that prevents 5 million people from losing their jobs, then the damage to our souls, I think, is worth it.

            1. So why is the unemployment rate STILL higher than Obama said it would be with no stimulus at all?

              http://bit.ly/bljqHP

              Sorry pal, zombie banks and Democratic paybacks disguised as fiscal stimulus are the reason this recession is so bad.

            2. Then why is unemployment higher than Obama said it would be without the stimulus?

              http://bit.ly/bljqHP

              Sorry, Pal, your zombie banks and Democratic paybacks disguised as fiscal stimulus have made things worse.

            3. Zombie banks don’t reduce unemployment, dipshit. Neither do Democratic Party paybacks disguised as fiscal stimulus.

            4. Perhaps we should stop manipulating the economy such that 5 million people are engaged in activities for which there is no market demand in the first place.

              If the government wasn’t in the business of creating massive credit bubbles and subsidizing businesses unnecessarily, then those people would be employed doing something sustainable, instead of working for a future zombie business that would eventually need to be perpetually supported by the taxpayers.

              Less intervention means less fuckups in the future, which means that corrections – while they will always exist – will remain small and unencumbered by the piling up of problems that government brings with it.

      2. TO be fair, GM has actually cut back substantially. Basically, the GM bailout was really just a guided bankruptcy that preserved union contracts rather than risk a bankruptcy that would have nullified such agreements.

        True, the bank bailouts have not lead to any positive outcomes.

        Once again, statists love to ignore historical examples in which the government did nothing and the economy recovered in order to maintain their belief that a recovery can only occur through government action.

        1. TO be fair, GM has actually cut back substantially

          They have cut back enough to do this

          Since we own 60%, Do I get a discount on a pit pass?

    3. A study was conducted that showed liberals tend to be ignorant of basic economic principles:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/…..on_LEADTop

      You are a fine example of how there is an inverse relationship between one’s knowledge of basic economics and the likelihood that they are a progressive liberal.

      1. I almost literally vomited all over my screen when I read that sniveling, self-justifying ridiculous piece of shit article.

        Third World workers working for American companies overseas are being exploited: agree or disagree

        So apparently there’s a correct (nay enlightened) response to this. In order to be economically literate, you must agree that foreign workers aren’t exploited? Who comes up with this trash? It’s like something you’d find in the Wall Street Journal. Oh wait, that is where it’s from!

        I will create a poll based on the WSJ poll’s model, with just one question:

        Q: “Fucking sheep causes better health. Agree or disagree.”

        A: The enlightened response is agree.

        –brought to you by the Sheep Fuckers Foundation

        1. “I almost literally vomited all over my screen when I read that sniveling, self-justifying ridiculous piece of shit article.”

          Not really–you’re just being dramatic.

        2. Last I checked Third World workers working for American companies overseas were doing so by choice, not because some corporate thug is pointing a gun at their head.
          Additionally those Third World workers have a higher standard of living than if they were still slogging through a muddy field, stepping in steaming shit as an ox pulls a plow in front of them.

          You can never understand this because doing so requires utilizing higher reasoning, which you are incapable of doing.

          This inability to use higher brain functioning is what makes you a progressive liberal.

          1. That may be true, but “exploited” is not exactly an objective term. The question is one people can have genuine disagreements about. There is not one “enlightened” correct answer, and to posit that there is one is just nonsense.

            1. Yes Tony there is an “enlightened” correct answer.

              It is not the one you have in an emotional reaction to an image of evil men in top hats with monocles stealing fist fulls of cash from these poor brown people in the Third World.

              No, the “enlightened” correct answer is the response that a human being capable of using higher reasoning comes up with after thinking things through.

            2. You missed the part where they said they weren’t concerned about the correct answers. As they clearly stated, only incorrect answers were counted. The point of this would be, if there could be a dispute over the term exploited or anything else, an answer of “not sure” would not be counted as incorrect.

        3. “I almost literally vomited all over my screen when I read that sniveling, self-justifying ridiculous piece of shit article.”

          That is because all you know how to do is react. That’s what animals do: react.
          Human beings are given this gift of higher reasoning which allows us the ability to respond.
          Though some, like you, never progress past the animal’s ability to react.

        4. Fucking sheep is how gonorrhea was introduced to humans.

          That means that that twink who gave it to you had sex with someone who had sex with someone … who had sex with a sheep.

          Good thing for antibiotics, eh Tony?

        5. Q: “Fucking sheep causes better health. Agree or disagree.”

          AGREE!

    4. It’s not hard, just keep in mind that Tony = the Commander at the other margin.
      For instance:
      “That should be done away with, not as a concept, but as a reality. That will take some intervention, won’t it?”
      Note that doing away with intervention in the mind of a idiot *takes* intervention.

      1. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!!!! BLAAARRRRGGHHH!!!!!!!

      2. Taking away the necessity of government intervention in “tbtf” industries would require something like breaking them up into smaller entities whose failures wouldn’t undermine the entire economy.

        Are you one of those guys who thinks that liberty can be achieved if government simply stopped doing things? Wouldn’t that leave a lot of bad policy in place? You guys can’t get around legislating and preferably via good governance. Otherwise you’re just one of the sad sacks who thinks the status quo is the best possible world and yet they should still be taken seriously.

        1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 1:10PM|#
          “Taking away the necessity of government intervention in “tbtf” industries would require something like breaking them up into smaller entities whose failures wouldn’t undermine the entire economy.”
          No it wouldn’t. Allow them to fail, period. No breakup; that’s what bankruptcy is for.

        2. So by wanting to see massive change in the way that the government functions we are simply defending the status quo?

          1. A lot of you say that’s the best we can get. If more of you manned up and acknowledged that getting the policies you want would require Congress doing things that would be spiffy.

            1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 1:30PM|#
              “A lot of you say that’s the best we can get. If more of you manned up and acknowledged that getting the policies you want would require Congress doing things that would be spiffy.”

              Doing *WHAT*? We have bankruptcy laws in place; what they needed to do was nothing. Let GM, Chrysler, Fannie, Freddie and the banks go belly up.

            2. Backasswards Tony…

              The policies we want would require Congress undoing things.

            3. It would generally require Congress undoing things, but whatever.

              1. Undoing is not meaningfully different from doing in the context of legislating.

                You just want to pretend your policies and the means of achieving them are morally superior than everyone else’s, because you say so.

                1. So do you, Tony, so do you.

                2. So do you, Tony, so do you.

                3. So do you, Tony, so do you.

                4. So do you, Tony, so do you.

                  1. Holy quadruple post. Well, maybe Tony needed to hear it a few more times…

                5. “You just want to pretend your policies and the means of achieving them are morally superior than everyone else’s, because you say so.”

                  Are you really that stupid?

                  It is people like you who want to forcefully substitute the morally superior will of the legislator or regulator for that of the citizen.

                  We simply want people to be free.

                  1. sarcasmic you’re talking in fluffy nonsense. I want people to be free too. We may disagree about how to achieve that end, but either way will require policy changes and good governance. I’m not claiming moral superiority for my process, just my policies. You’re claiming it for both without justification.

                    1. “It used to be the boast of free men that, so long as they kept within the bounds of the known law, there was no need to ask anybody’s permission or to obey anybody’s orders. It is doubtful whether any of us can make this claim today.” – Friedrich Hayek

                      It is because of people like you that we are no longer free.

                      I believe we should be free to do that which is not prohibited by law (not to be confused with legislation), you believe we should be free to do that which is allowed by the legislation (not to be confused with law).

                      The latter is not freedom. No Tony, what you want is slavery.

                    2. Wow you’ve figured me out. I’m a diehard slavist!

                      To what era of human existence was Hayek referring to? Perhaps he mean “free men” in the way history has usually meant it: a small proportion of the total population. Usually white and male and property-owning. Otherwise what he’s saying makes no sense.

                      I believe people should be free to do that which is not prohibited by law also. That’s pretty much a tautology though. The entire question at hand thus becomes, what laws should exist? The point of many laws is to restrict trivial freedoms for the sake of larger freedoms gained by that law being in place. This tradeoff is just a fact of existence, and the fact that you feel you are somehow less free than your forebears makes me think you have a distorted, rose-colored view of the past, which you demonstrate in other posts.

                  2. “Are you really that stupid?”

                    Yes, yes I am.

                6. Yes, we believe that government leaving people alone is the morally correct way for things to be. That is pretty close to a definition of libertarian.

                7. “Law X is hereby repealed.”

                  Whew! That was doing something, all right!

    5. Libertarians are dangerous insofar as their economic ideas are shared pretty much verbatim with Republicans, who have the power to enact them as policy.

      LOL

      I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

      1. You guys be nice to Tony. That’s a really long comment for him. Probably took him an hour to type all that out from the crayon original.

      2. Will you take a check?

        1. If it’s written to cash.

    6. Hey Tony, do you think it is possible that these large financial institutions went ahead with the risky lending because they were confident that the government would bail them out if it turned out badly?

      That is called a “moral hazard”. I want you to look that up right after you look up the meaning of “personal responsibility” and “accountability”.

      While the dictionary is open, check out “vagina” so you know what one looks like.

      1. Yes that is highly possible. What’s your proposal to end this moral hazard? Maintain industries whose failures could jeopardize the entire economy, yet refuse to bail them out if the time comes? That is, punish the country for their poor business decisions (while their executives no doubt would never feel any sort of the punishment that 99% of the country would)?

        I say we remove the moral hazard by removing the possibility of TBTF–not a doctrine, the reality of it. It’s perfectly in line with libertarianism for a company’s failure to be its own problem and nobody else’s, and that’s all I’m arguing for.

        1. It’s perfectly in line with libertarianism for a company’s failure to be its own problem and nobody else’s, and that’s all I’m arguing for.

          …except for that part where you advocate spending taxpayer money to protect them from their failures.

        2. while their executives no doubt would never feel any sort of the punishment that 99% of the country would

          Look, THIS is what it’s all about for Tony. He doesn’t care about the economy. He doesn’t care about industries, or companies. It’s all about eating the rich. There’s no point in even arguing with him.

          1. How is it justifiable, morally or otherwise, that the perpetrators of a company’s failure are not punished while the rest of the country is?

            1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 1:55PM|#
              “How is it justifiable, morally or otherwise, that the perpetrators of a company’s failure are not punished while the rest of the country is?”
              S-B’s right; Tony doesn’t give a hoot about anything other than envy.
              Poor Tony. Cut your welfare check, did they? BTW, when the world turns “fair”, you’ll be the first to know.

            2. BTW, I do agree the responsible parties should be fired.
              Start with Bush (well, he’s gone), Obama, and the whole raft of congresscritters who voted for TARP.

            3. How is it justifiable, morally or otherwise, that the perpetrators of a company’s failure are not punished while the rest of the country is?

              Then why the FUCK do you support bailing them out?!

              1. Because at least the country wasn’t punished as severely as it would have been. If I had my way the offending institutions would have been immediately nationalized, their executives fired and replaced, rather than merely bailed out.

                1. So your solution to a problem largely caused by moral hazard created by bad policy is to nationalize major industries effected by bad policy? Will they ever be re-privatized?

                  BTW, how are you so sure the country would have been so bad off if no bailouts had taken place? Sounds like something you just want to believe to justify preconceived beliefs.

                2. Tony|11.8.10 @ 4:03PM|#
                  “Because at least the country wasn’t punished as severely as it would have been.”

                  When brain-deads run out of run-of-the-mill lies, they make up a hypothetical and hope someone is dumb enough to believe it.
                  Tony, to be clear, you’re full of shit. You don’t have one shred of evidence to support this claim.

                3. In Happy Tony Land, Too-Big-To-Fail companies, rather than being run by a greedy, deceptive managerial class, will be run by a greey, deceptive bureaucratic class.

                  Genius.

                  1. Anonymous Coward|11.8.10 @ 8:44PM|#
                    “In Happy Tony Land, Too-Big-To-Fail companies, rather than being run by a greedy, deceptive managerial class, will be run by a greey, deceptive bureaucratic class.
                    Genius.”

                    And they get to do it endlessly, pounding taxpayer money down that rat hole without ever going belly-up.
                    I give you Franny and Freddie as examples.

            4. If you and your fellow corporatist stooges could possibly tear your lips off of the regulatory Koch, you would see that what you think supposedly “checks” an industry is used as protectionist mechanism to keep competitors who could take a slice of the overall market for themselves, thereby making it unlikely for a company in a particular industry to be “too big to fail.”

        3. “Yes that is highly possible. What’s your proposal to end this moral hazard? Maintain industries whose failures could jeopardize the entire economy, yet refuse to bail them out if the time comes?”

          Read this: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://mises.org/books/denationalisation.pdf&pli=1

      2. That’s so nasty TANSTAAFLusa.

        Tony may be slow but he knows how to use a mirror.

    7. “Letting the banking or auto industries fail would have been far more costly to the country than the money it took to keep them afloat.”

      In other words, you completely endorse the “Too Big to Fail” Doctrine. Just wait until these companies all come crawling back for their 2nd bailouts. Have fun endorsing those.

      “free market cheerleaders in the ranks of the moneyed elite can quickly turn into socialists if their particular industry is threatened–justified because it’s too big to fail.”

      And yet you endorse their bailouts in the first paragraph, I guess because it was the Democrats doing the bailing. Cognitive Dissonance much?

      “That will take some intervention, won’t it?”

      Maybe doing something like NOT bailing out Chrysler.

      1. You’re missing my point. “Too big to fail” is not a doctrine, it’s a state of being. The problem (if you consider it a problem, and I do) is that certain industries couldn’t be allowed to fail because it would undermine the entire economy. What’s fair and capitalistic about that? Shouldn’t one firm’s failure be its own problem and not everybody else’s? The bailouts were necessary because this uncapitalistic circumstance existed. The solution is to make sure it doesn’t exist in the future. Letting the economy tank is not a viable option, and I hardly see how you can justify it based on any libertarian/capitalistic principles.

        1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 1:13PM|#

          You’re missing my point. “Too big to fail” is not a doctrine, it’s a state of being. The problem (if you consider it a problem, and I do) is that certain industries couldn’t be allowed to fail because it would undermine the entire economy. What’s fair and capitalistic about that?”
          Absolutely nothing. Did you see anyone here supporting that?

        2. You’re missing my point. “Too big to fail” is not a doctrine, it’s a state of being crock of shit.

          Kiss Kiss!
          YFQ

        3. Your belief that failing companies should be bailed out repeatedly to prevent catastrophe is a doctrine. Why deny it?
          Another doctrine might be that letting these structurally unsound companies fail now would be preferable to letting them fail after 10 years of bankrupting the country.

          Sure, it must feel good when Obama spends a trillion and then tells you it was to prevent a depression, but at best he’s simply punting these problems to the next administration.

          1. I don’t believe failed companies should be bailed out, except in case their failure would undermine the entire economy.

            I propose that either a) no company be allowed to exist at a size such that its failure would result in general economic distress or b) any industry that must exist at this level of interconnectedness, i.e. any industry that is literally TBTF and it can’t be otherwise, be nationalized. Like defense. We can’t let it fail no matter how much it costs, right? So it should be the property of the people. Any other industry that is TBTF and can’t be otherwise should also be owned by the people whose lives depend on its success.

            1. Tony|11.8.10 @ 1:58PM|#
              “I don’t believe failed companies should be bailed out, except in case their failure would undermine the entire economy.”
              And you don’t have anything other that brain-dead theories to suggest it would be so.

            2. A lot of my friends are liberal, but none share your admiration for state power.

              “a) no company be allowed to exist at a size such that its failure would result in general economic distress”
              1) Define ‘general economic distress’ – would a pizzaria shutdown qualify since the deliverymen would have to find new jobs?
              2) good luck getting any company to stay in the U.S.

              “b) any industry that must exist at this level of interconnectedness, i.e. any industry that is literally TBTF and it can’t be otherwise, be nationalized.”
              1) Have you heard of property rights?
              2) Prepare to do a whole lot of nationalizing. The failure of most large companies would cause a ripple. Are you prepared to nationalize everything on Forbes’ top 100 list?
              3) Do you realize that one day a president you despise will be in charge of these nationalized companies?

              1. That’s why we need a panel of tenured economic planners not influenced by the whims of uneducated voters.

              2. marlok,

                Define ‘general economic distress’ – would a pizzaria shutdown qualify since the deliverymen would have to find new jobs?

                It’s a good question, but I’m not talking about the margins, I’m talking about total systemic failure, which is what we would have faced if the banks were allowed to go under. It was not a morally laudable choice to bail them out, it was just more so than putting millions of innocent people out of work for the sake of teaching the banks a lesson in capitalism. I have no problem with government intervention in industry where necessary, because I’m not a magical markets true believer. Generally it’s best avoided though to evade moral hazard, but in order to do that we’d need strong policies that discourage firms from achieving TBTF status.

                Have you heard of property rights?

                Yes, I’ve heard of them. What does that have to do with whether a company’s viability affects the economic health of the entire country? Property rights aren’t infinite in scope you know.

                Do you realize that one day a president you despise will be in charge of these nationalized companies?

                Yep. Just such a president was in charge of the nationalized armed defense industry for 8 years. No I didn’t like the outcome. But that’s why elections matter.

            3. So you aren’t a corporatist, until you are?

              Tony, your committment to liberty overwhelms. It also makes me want to retch. Please, worship at the altar of Big Government somewhere else.

            4. “I don’t believe failed companies should be bailed out, except in case their failure would undermine the entire economy.”

              Tony, what the fuck do you think happens when a company files for bankruptcy? All the profitable parts are sold off and the capital goods re-enter the economy. Only the unprofitable parts are destroyed.

              So how the hell does it help the economy to keep all those unprofitable parts going?

              Hypothetical: If you were the sole proprietor of a gas station that was losing money, would you keep it open thinking “what would I do for a living if I closed shop? I’d be unemployed”

              Fuck that. Better to do nothing than work all day and lose money.

              It’s the exact same thing with the bailouts.

              1. Bankruptcy is just another government handout, you know.

                1. I often wonder what educational pedigree created Tony’s decent vocabulary and punctuation skills, yet left him ignorant in so many other ways.

          2. Who bailed out Studebaker, Nash, Rambler, Yugo, Duesenberg, or the hundreds of other failed car companies? And who started the whole bailout orgy? Could it be Bill Clinton? Hmm, what else started under his regime – affordable housing? How’d that work out?

            1. Pretty sure all of those things started well before Clinton.

              1. Your sarcasm-detector needs service; all those auto companies (and many more) went bankrupt with no bailouts.
                I think it was Kaiser who said (when the eponymous Henry J finally ceased production) ‘We expected to spend $30M, but we didn’t expect it to disappear without a ripple’.
                Still made a good Gas-Class drag car.

                1. Damn nested comments……..
                  The above was a reply to Zeb

    8. And shrike’s fellow corporate shill shows up…

    9. Thank god so many people are like Tony, parrots with a moderately good vocabulary but not ability to think abstractly.

      My job is secure!

    10. The chief difference between Tony and the Commander is that the Commander is funnier. Other than that, they’re both pretty much whack-jobs.

  14. Took ’em about forty minutes to find you, Matt. Post election organization and vigilance amongst the left is slipping. Hit those page counts hard haters!

  15. Why haven’t the Koch brothers sued any of these people for defamation?

    1. To do so would draw attention and not diminish it. The best way to prove you are the evil that controls the system is to denounce the people calling you out. It’s simple, really.

    2. No Koch. Pepsi.

    3. Why do you think Reason is having a begathon? All that cash the Kochs have pumped into getting hate stories printed had to come from somewhere.

  16. See what happens when you put the word “Conspiracy” in your title Matt?

    1. I meant to do this as a reply to Commander and noislam. I don’t know why these threaded comments are such a pita. I don’t have that problem on other sites.

      1. there are great forces conspiring against us. botched threaded comments are just the beginning.

      2. The squirrels that run the H&R comment system are underpaid, demoralized, and unqualified for the job. Donate today!

  17. How is it that a two sentence post of my cautious prose will get labelled as spam, but this deranged copy-paste job bypasses the spam-detectors?

    The Bilderbergers work in mysterious ways.

    1. Your post compresses as spam. The copy & paste job appears random, and is therefore uncompressable.

  18. Hey that’s a great picture of me!

  19. Yeah, like Warren Buffett is too.

    The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals. I know Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) will tell you conservatives otherwise but its the truth.

    1. shrike|11.8.10 @ 1:39PM|#
      “Yeah, like Warren Buffett is too.
      The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals. I know Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) will tell you conservatives otherwise but its the truth.”
      And you can believe this since it comes from the King of the Brain-Deads.

    2. “The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals. I know Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) will tell you conservatives otherwise but its the truth.”

      Quite the opposite. Rush frequently points out that the mega wealthy are all liberals who favor increased taxation. You should listen to his show more often.

    3. The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals. I know Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) will tell you conservatives otherwise but its the truth.

      We know that. Libertarians have been saying for years that the richest Americans are liberal Democrats.

    4. Oh, I liked you better as Adam Smith, by the way.

  20. Yes, it’s bad that there are industries whose failure would ripple through the economy and cause widespread devastation, but in late 2008 such industries existed.

    Like witches.

  21. The very top tier of capitalists are all liberals.

    If by “liberals” you mean “willing to use the federal government to hobble their competition and guarantee their own revenues and markets”.

    1. Shrike thinks we haven’t figured out the relationship between Wall Street’s “top tier” capitalists and Democrat-driven bailouts. It’s to laugh.

  22. New York Times columnist Frank Rich accused the Kochs of plotting “a billionaires’ coup” to secure “corporate pork,” tax cuts, and a blank check for Wall Street bailouts.

    This does not compute. With Democrats in control of both houses and the current administration, Wall Street already had a blank check for bailouts.

  23. the Kochs (with whom I have interacted less than I have with any other Reason Foundation board member, and indeed less than I have with George Soros),

    That’s because the Kochs are Shadowy! Shadowy, Matt, shadowy!!!

  24. Any libertarian who, in 2008, thought that Obama might have some libertarian sympathies should turn in their credentials.

    It never ceases to amaze me how the ‘oh so smart’ among us couldn’t see Barack Obama for what he was. I was hoping that libertarians were more immune from that malady than most.

    Only the uneducated Neanderthals had reached that level of enlightenment.

    1. Some of us were hoping for some attention to rudimentary civil liberties.

      Instead we have a new, nuanced version of the Bill of Rights.

    2. Let me be clear: I am a tool.

    3. If you wanted to repudiate the excesses of the Bush Administration, there were only two options.

      1) Protest vote or not voting.

      2) Vote for Obama

      I don’t hold it against anybody for picking either one of those options.

      Bush is almost as much to blame for this mess as Obama is. He set the stage for this. If I’ve heard the justification that “Bush did it too” once, I’ve heard it a hundred times.

      They’re right, of course–Bush was almost as bad as Obama on the economy. But since when did being stupid in the same way as the last guy ever justify anything?

      The next election will be about repudiating the Obama Adminsitration. Chances are we’ll vote in another idiot doing that too.

      I won’t hold it against anybody for voting that idiot in either–if what they meant to do was repudiate the Obama Administration.

      1. Bush’s last gift to the country – Obama. Thanks W.

  25. Progressive Rule #1: The American people want what we want.

    Progressive Rule #2: If the American people don’t want what we want? See rule #1.

    We’re talking about people who cannot conceive of the idea that people would reject a President like Barack Obama–so they make up bogeymen to explain it…

    There’s no way the American people could reject Progressiveness?

    Oh. Yes. There. Is. 23 Democratic senators are up for election next time–and the White House too!

    See you in 2012.

    1. It’s still Obama vs [Cardboard Cutout].

      My guess is when [Cardboard Cutout] gets replaced with Mike Huckabee, Obama will easily get elected to a 2nd term.

      1. A great opportunity for an enterprising furnace supplier will exist in hell in two years.

      2. There’s a lot that can happen in 24 months.

        It’ll be about the economy. If the economy improves, chances are that Obama will win.

        The monkey wrench in that machinery is the fact that Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have any clue whatsoever as to what makes economies grow. He should be doing the “Nixon Goes to China” routine on tax rates, etc., but he’s not about to do that. Even if he did, it would take 18 months or so for that stuff to kick in…

        So, he has about 6 months to figure out what makes economies grow and to do it–or he’s gonna be fighting an uphill battle.

        The world economy could come roaring back in that time too–rising waters lifting all boats kinda thing.

        …but I wouldn’t count on that–not with the foolish strategies we’re seeing Geithner and Burnanke pursuing as I type.

        Bill Clinton should send Barack Obama his old placard reading, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” Not that it would make any difference. Barack Obama truly believes in his heart of hearts that ObamaCare makes American companies more competitive globally.

        He thinks the green economy is gonna grow us out of our problems. He’s that dense.

        Remember, he has no private industry experience whatsoever–and no one on his staff does either. They’re all academics and career bureaucrats. And it’s gonna cost him the presidency unless he gets real lucky.

        Otherwise, he’s got 6 months to find religion and see the truth. And the clock is ticking…

        Tick. Tock.

        1. Unfortunately, Obama and Democrats can now point to Republicans in Congress. If the economy continues to fail, he can blame it on GOP shenanigans and blocking maneuvers.

          And he’ll have a point– but not for the reasons he thinks. The GOP doesn’t seem to have any grand strategy that counters Obama/Democrat policy. GOP strategy seems to come down to “slower, steady, don’t touch Medicare”.

          So yeah, there’s a good chance that the economy won’t really recover in 18 months, and yes, the GOP will be partly to blame because they’re pledging Obama Lite.

        2. Oh, and something about Mexicans.

          1. The Republicans won’t be able to blame for much.

            They can only do so much in the House. Anything they do, can only be done if it passes in the Democratic controlled Senate and it isn’t vetoed by Obama well.

            That’s why ObamaCare isn’t going away without Obama’s consent. That’s why tax rates aren’t going down unless Obama and the Senate Democrats want it to go down.

            It’s Obama’s play. Sure, they’ll blame the Republicans for everything that goes wrong in the world just like they always do. But if the economy is still anemic and unemployment is still high 24 months from now…?

            24 months from now 40% of the voters will vote Democrat, just like they always do, but that swing vote? There’s now way they’re voting for Obama if the economy still sucks come 2012.

            Bill Clinton was savvy enough to sign on to what Gingrich’s Republicans were doing after ’94–and blame them for it.

            Obama’s got six months to make something happen. Tick Tock.

            1. You are aware that Obama and the Dems enacted one of the biggest tax cuts in American history, right?

              Probably not.

              1. As I predicted. For six months you democratic scum would shut down that lie after April 15th, and then start assailing our ears with it once more for another half of a year until the next April 15th rolls around. I see you got the memo reminding you that it was time yet again to roll out Democrat Product — Polished Turd with a Brand New Coat of Spit Shine.

                Tony, you couldn’t explain the first thing about ‘magical’ market theory, be it Austrian, Keynes, Monterist, or even Marx. You are just a superficial piece of shit with a few talking points. You are a shitsmear on Western Civilization.

              2. Which one was that, Tony?

                1. A large chunk of the much-reviled stimulus bill was tax cuts, Limbaugh cocksucker.

                  1. A reduction in withholding is not a tax cut. You probably think a reduction in the rate of spending growth is a cut, Pelosi cunnilinguist.

                  2. A *temporary* increase in returns in the form of credits for certain eligible individuals now counts as a “Tax Cut”? Who knew!?

              3. Tony|11.8.10 @ 4:20PM|#
                “You are aware that Obama and the Dems enacted one of the biggest tax cuts in American history, right?
                Probably not.”

                Were you aware that we all got unicorns for Christmas last year?
                Probably not.

    2. “We’re talking about people who cannot conceive of the idea that people would reject a President like Barack Obama–so they make up bogeymen to explain it…”

      Yep–good example is the rejection of Chicago by the IOC, despite His Clean and Articulate Elegantness doing the full-court press to get his hometown the nomination. Check out this hilarious remark by one of Obama’s lickspittles after the decision was made:

      “I hate the fact that these elegant people were here,” U.S. IOC member Anita DeFrantz said of the Obamas, “and then our country got treated that way.”

      http://www.usatoday.com/sports…..pics_N.htm

  26. Terrorists tried to bomb a U.S. plane with exploding dogs

    Sick Islamic terrorists tried to bring down a US cargo plane using two exploding DOGS, it was revealed today.
    The Kamikaze canines – whose stomach had been stuffed with bombs and detonators – were discovered at Baghdad airport two years ago, French daily Le Figaro said.
    They had been primed to explode in mid-flight, but were never loaded aboard the aircraft because freight handlers spotted both dogs had died in their cages.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..g-DOG.html

  27. He should be doing the “Nixon Goes to China” routine on tax rates, etc., but he’s not about to do that.

    We need comprehensive simplification and rationalization of the tax code, with a reduction of rates overall.

    Unfortunately, the Presidential Suit calls daily for new targeted tax “breaks” or other social-engineering gimmicks for various constituencies of preferred special pleaders, while calling for the ostracism (and punitive taxation) of evil rich people.

    As satisfying as it may be to see the repudiation of the Harvard version of American capitalism, I would prefer he leave a reviveable corpse when he leaves.

    1. Yeah, he doesn’t get it.

      In Obama’s universe, the connection between lower tax rates and economic growth is an unproven theory. It’s like the way we think of intelligent design. …something backward yokels believe in–something to be scorned!

      A random actor–monkeys throwing at a dartboard–could hit on better policy than he can.

      I’d like to pipe up that I’m rootin’ for him too. I feel about this like I did about the Iraq War–I wanted to be flat, dead wrong about that, and for the Bush Administration to be absolutely right! I’m sure not rooting for the economy to stay in the tank–just so we can get rid of Obama…?

      And for all we know, the economy may come back despite everything Obama does. God knows the economy has managed to grow despite all manner of stupidity in the past…

      But he goal should be better economic policy–not necessarily getting rid of Obama. Like a lot of people, though, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Obama is incapable of proposing better economic policy himself–and that makes him an obstacle.

      I think he’s so lost, he doesn’t even know what to do to make the economy grow–even when his presidency is on the line. He’d presumably do the smart thing to save himself if he had any idea at all what that was.

      Cut taxes to stimulate economic activity?! It’s not just that he doesn’t want to do that; he’s so lost he’s actively avoiding doing that.

      He’d raise taxes if he could. He’s clueless. I’d compare him to Carter, but Carter was better than this. …especially on deregulation.

      Banking led recession, so you heavily regulate the banks?! He has no idea what he’s doing–but he thinks he’s doing the smart thing. …and that makes him even worse.

      Somebody around here the other week was talking about how much better it was to be incompetent and lazy rather than incompetent and industrious–I think that fits Obama to a “t”. He has no idea what he’s doing, and he’s workin’ as hard as he can at it. God save us from industrious incompetence.

      1. “He’d raise taxes if he could. He’s clueless. I’d compare him to Carter, but Carter was better than this. …especially on deregulation.”

        Hell, Carter even tried to cut spending, only to get denutted by his own party.

      2. It’s the great resurrection of Keynes macroeconomic theory. It’s all been said before. Only fresh faced college hippies think it is something brand new. Just wait for another Hayek or Friedman to come around and set the record straight again. Takes a carter to get a reagan.

  28. http://deals-and-investments.c…..ssmall.gif

    *Reason: Fix your spam filter so we can post tinyURLs.

  29. Tony is right about the bailouts to a certain extent. Why not give some of these companies government loans to keep the gears going? Would you rather they fail so all the workers have to get on foodstamps and welfare?

    1. That’s exactly right. What nobody seems to get is that the unemployment incurred by teaching the banks a lesson would only explode the deficit.

      Of course soulless vultures like Eric Cantor would then propose to cut back on the safety net rather than so much as cause a scuff on a billionaire’s loafers.

      1. The whole bailout thing was such a catch22. It at least inspired some authentic debate. What I said all along, even though I am libertarian, is that the government should give these companies a loan (that would actually have to be paid back eventually) to keep them going. I know it doesn’t sound libertarian, but some times we have to do what is practical and logical. What’s infinitely worse to me is people being unemployed, and on welfare/foodstamps, etc. If we have to use taxpayer money in the form of a loan to avoid widespread job loss, I think we should do it. As long as the criteria for the loan is parallel with that of any other bank loan (IE. I have a mortgage, the bank owns my house, I live in it and do what I want, then it is mine when I pay off the loan). I don’t want the government to own industries or even to have a dominating public sector.

        1. some times we have to do what is practical and logical

          Pfft. That’s ridiculous. This is reason.

  30. It’s a shame that for the majority of my adult life, nay, life period, this country has been governed by idiots.

  31. I’m at the point where I’ve decided everyone is a farking moron, and I don’t like any of you very much at all. Left, right,center–no matter, you are all irritations to be suffered painfully. If it were up to me, I’d line everyone up against a wall. Entire farking planet of gd addlepated pinheads.

  32. You are aware that Obama and the Dems enacted one of the biggest tax cuts in American history, right?

    Probably not.

    I knew about this, 95% of Americans were given a tax break. It doesn’t matter though, this is just income taxes we’re talking about. The Obama Administration practise a lot of the European style economic politics like John Keynes back in the early 1900’s in Great Britain. Lower middle class, working class taxes, spend more of the rich man’s money (even more than he has), then raise commodity taxes.

    Who pays the commodity taxes? Everybody who uses products. Obama raised the loose tobacco tax from 1 dollar to 20 dollars per pound. First president to ever have a federal tobacco tax. He also inspired state governments to create “beverage taxes”, which will soon be federal too. The Sin Taxes (Beer, cigarettes, and junk food) will be higher than ever. Gasoline taxes will be imposed on a federal level too.

    In my mind, taxing the income of 5% of the richest people in America is bad economics. It looks good to poor people that think they’re getting a break but it leads to payroll trimming all around the board.

    Labour jobs and executive white collar jobs are effected the most. Companies like Coca Cola, Estes, FedEx, United Gypsum, Davidson Chemical, etc, etc have experience hundreds of job layoffs, pay cuts, raise and hiring freezes. Why? Annual Fiscal Budget reports.

    You can try all these politics to make rich people surrender their money, but they will just recover the sums by laying off workers… which usually leads to job amalgamation in upperclass, white collar work (IE. Two jobs will be merged into one, and the other person will be laidoff).

    It’s hard to think about, but it happens.

    What needs to happen for this country to get back on its game is utilizing another real produce. We are the largest producers of corn, and synthetic alloys. Most countries do not buy things like steel or lumber from us any more. Hate to side with the hippies, but legalizing marijuana would give us another cash crop, and a whole shit load of jobs.

    1. I know you’ve heard of stagflation… think about this in addition: A high increase on the demand for productivity.

      A. Inflation rate is high
      B. Unemployment rate is high.
      C. Workers desperation is high.
      D. Demand for Productivity is high.

      The more we tax the richest people in America, the higher these variables go up. Once upon a time a man could work a labor job, 40 hours a week, and take care of his wife and 2 kids. Now we got 50 year old women busting their asses working 2 jobs, taking shitty positions for extremely low pay because they’re desperate. Not everybody can be on welfare. Someone has to work and produce. Those of us who do go to work and earn a living are forced to yeild productivity (in a lot of labor jobs) that takes real physical debt on a human body. It is easy to think about the poor people who don’t have a job at all… but look at menial, unskilled labor and how low paying and high risk it has become.

      I would not tax the rich. Give them what they want. Give them what they worked for. Young Middle class academia-liberals treat corporations like the enemy, and the working class man gets the boot in the jaw for it.

      1. “Once upon a time a man could work a labor job, 40 hours a week, and take care of his wife and 2 kids.”

        Incidentally, you can still do this to an extent in America (although the devaluation of the currency has made it much harder in real terms)… You just have to expect 1950’s era living conditions.

        A lot of the reason people work as much as they do, with the two-person income, does come from the much higher expectations of living standards people today have.

        But that’s not to diminish, by any means, the drag on the economy that has been decades of increasing prices and lagging wage increase… But this gets us into talking about central banks again.

        And by the way, Beer Drinker… The bailing out banks was really the worst way to handle anything – even if you want the government to take care of people who’ve lost their jobs.

        Propping up Zombie Businesses just means that millions of members of the American labor force are still having their productive efforts directed at something for which there is no legitimate demand.

        They will be forever making things that consumers don’t actually want, producing a surplus of that good or service, and leaving shortages in other needed areas.

        This is what the bailouts accomplished.

        They left us with a bunch of failure, that is still building up in the economy, only to collapse again – bigger & harder.

        If you wanted to use government to help out the people on the bottom end in the most pain, then you don’t bail out rich bankers.

        If anything, you streamline bankruptcy proceedings, let all those companies go out of business and then give the actual people effected by mass unemployment some cash from the treasury to get by, and perhaps offer some special help to get some new vocational training for when the market has corrected itself.

        That way, all the systemic risk actually goes away; we’re not propping up bad businesses indefinitely; the people who actually made serious errors and misallocated resources (i.e. banks) actually bear the losses as a result of their bad decisions and maybe even learn something; the taxpayers do not go into endless debts; the money supply isn’t inflated beyond repair; and the people at the bottom end still don’t starve while everything is getting sorted out.

        THAT was the correct solution… and I think it would have even been politically viable. But whatever. It’s wayyyy too late now.

        1. Letting entire industries collapse because of some bad business tactic is an option… so the insurance companies and taxpayers fund the people who are laidoff instead of funding the companies to keep payroll and production. Either way it’s taxpayers’ money.

          I would rather give a corporation a loan, then to watch the whole thing plummet so that workers are forced to go on unemployment. A loan that has to be paid back to the taxpayers. Not necessarily a “bailout”.

          There’s a plethora of things the government has spent tax dollars on that have been way more frivolous than loans.

          1. You really didn’t comprehend what I wrote, did you?

            First off, we’ve been giving out exactly those kinds of “loans” to the auto industry and other industries for years – and all it did was insulate them from having to make meaningful changes, further compounding the problems in the long term.

            Secondly, it’s not just about a company that’s making “bad decisions” in the short term.

            It’s about subsidizing businesses or keeping businesses alive that are over producing a product compared with consumer’s demand for it at the price offered. Take the housing bubble. Everyone basically can agree that in the last few years, we simply had more businesses trying to supply more housing than people who actually wanted to buy a house. As a result, in the end, massive quantities of physical resources – wood, metal, wiring, plastics, machinery, etc. – and copious amounts of the American labor force were directed towards activities that had diminishing (or no) value.

            Unfortunately, those people will have to lose their jobs in that sector and shift their efforts, and resources, to something that is valued by consumers…

            I don’t know specifically “what” the new product should be… Maybe energy, maybe computers, maybe spaceships… The market provides signals to entrepreneurs and existing businesses hinting at what’s next – but the massive losses in the housing industry show you that whatever it is, it ain’t more housing!

            So what good does it do anyone perpetually keeping people employed producing something that no one wants?

            This, by the way, is easily the worst side-effect to viewing the market as a series of aggregated statistics. It isn’t just about what percentage of people are “employed”, but what they are actually employed to create. Bailouts subvert the natural course of the market by keeping people producing things that no one needs, while preventing capital & labor from being appropriately reallocated to more productive uses.

            That is a BIG DAMN PROBLEM. And it’s one that sticks us with even bigger systemic risk the next time around.

  33. Bilderberger influenceTO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?
    4. Bilderberger influence,president George W. Bush says he was “blindsided” by the financial crisis that shadowed his final months in office, but adds that the Democratic-controlled Congress shares some of the blame. –

    Now that the agenda for global government and a centralized world economic system is public and out in the open, the importance of the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference rests on grooming political candidates. The lion’s share of Bilderberg’s 2010 agenda has already been announced by its members weeks before ? it will revolve around a potential military strike on Iran as well as the future collapse of the euro.The Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest.

    —– Bilderberg group in United States——-
    George W. Ball (1954, 1993),[13] Under Secretary of State 1961-1968, Ambassador to U.N. 1968
    Sandy Berger (1999),[14] National Security Advisor, 1997?2001
    Timothy Geithner(2009),[15] Treasury Secretary
    Lee H. Hamilton (1997),[1] former US Congressman
    Christian Herter,[16] (1961, 1963, 1964, 1966), 53rd United States Secretary of State
    Charles Douglas Jackson (1957, 1958, 1960),[17] Special Assistant to the President
    Joseph E. Johnson[18] (1954), President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Henry Kissinger[19] (1957, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2008),[20] 56th United States Secretary of State
    Colin Powell (1997),[1] 65th United States Secretary of State
    Lawrence Summers,[15] Director of the National Economic Council
    Paul Volcker,[15] Chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979?1987
    Roger Altman (2009),[15] Deputy Treasury Secretary from 1993?1994, Founder and Chairman of Evercore Partners
    [edit] Presidents
    Bill Clinton (1991),[21][22] President 1993-2001
    Gerald Ford (1964, 1966),[4][23] President 1974-1977
    [edit] Senators
    John Edwards (2004),[24][25] Senator from North Carolina 1999-2005
    Chuck Hagel (1999, 2000),[26] Senator from Nebraska 1997-2009
    Sam Nunn (1996, 1997),[1] Senator from Georgia 1972-1997
    [edit] Governors
    Rick Perry (2007),[27] Governor of Texas 2000-current
    Mark Sanford (2008),[28] Governor of South Carolina , the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware? === The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.== The Bilderberg Group in which he accuses them of manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”

    Repost this if you agree,

    1. Just this *one* time… I’m going to take Commander Klink seriously and answer his enumerated questions.

      1.

      …wait… Where’s “1”?

      2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

      Leaving aside that this wasn’t a question, or even a properly formulated sentence… I don’t know where the major proof is. You haven’t actually provided any. Citations & links tend to help. Just a thought…

      3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?

      Maybe because Greece is an attractive coastal Mediterranean nation with wonderful beaches and fine resorts appealing to rich people?

      For example… This.

      4. Bilderberger influence,president George W. Bush says he was “blindsided” by the financial crisis that shadowed his final months in office, but adds that the Democratic-controlled Congress shares some of the blame.

      Ummm…. Ok? A lot of people with an extremely poor understanding of economics were blindsided. In fact, that’s pretty much the break-down… If you had a good understanding of the subject, as many fine economists did, you probably wrote a book on the impending crisis.

      You can pretty much break it down directly by methodology.

      Anyway… Where’s Xeones when you need him?

  34. THANK YOU TO ALL VETERANS , THE COMMANDER ——NOV.11 ,2010

  35. The Koch’s aren’t Libertarians, the Koch’s are opportunists, Libertarianism isn’t greed. Your magazine does a great disservice to Libertarians when it becomes simply an arm of the radical wing of the Republican party. I think we need to reject both of these corrupt, decadent parties, not become the cheap whore of one of them.

  36. Eh bien, je suis un bon poste watcher vous pouvez dire et je ne donne pas une seule raison de critiquer ou de donner une bonne critique ? un poste. Je lis des blogs de 5 derni?res ann?es et ce blog est vraiment bon cet ?crivain a les capacit?s pour faire avancer les choses i aimerais voir nouveau poste par vous Merci
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