Government Spending

Nick Gillespie Talks Budget Cuts on CNN's Parker Spitzer

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Reason's Nick Gillespie debates The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel about how to reduce the federal deficit and what exactly needs to be cut on CNN's Parker Spitzer. Air Date: February 16, 2011.

About 12 minutes. 

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NEXT: Would 'I ? the Redevelopment Authority' Get the Same Treatment?

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  1. I tried to listen to vanden Heuvel’s condescending obfuscation of Nick’s points but Spitzer’s whomemongering fellation of vanden Heuvel is just too much.

    Kudo’s to you Nick, but I feel like I need a shower after this.

    1. That’s my woman yore talkin about! (vanden Hoover) Be nice!

    2. Does Spitzer get $2000 an hour for fellating van den Heuvel?

  2. Gawd the condescending tone of that dutch broad is annoying.

    1. She’s rich enough to be stupid and get away with it.

      1. She’s rich enough to be stupid and get away with it.

        If she is so wealthy, why doesn’t practice what she preaches and pay more in taxes? Oh, wait…

  3. In the last couple days, congressional Republicans have proven that one of the following two statements is true.

    1: There is not a lot of waste in government

    or

    2: Republicans are too stupid to find government waste

    I’ll let you guys decide which you prefer to argue is true.

    Now please excuse me while I go much on some seed corn.

    *** zombie drool ***

    1. There IS waste in government. The only ones who refuse to honestly tackle it are big-gov’t Republicans, and their equally-retarded doppelgangers on Team Blue’s half of the aisle.

      BTW, Chad,you left out:

      3. Democrats are too stupid to admit it.

      1. I can find more waste in the federal government than these idiot Republicans can, and I truly mean “waste”

        1: About half of our military spending

        Boy, that was easy.

        I suppose you could count the abundance of fraud in Medicare and Medicaid as waste as well, but fixing that would require MORE government spending, not less.

        Why don’t we lay off a bunch of people in the Medicare fraud unit, the IRS, and the SEC. That will SURE save us some tall cash. Perhaps we can use it to buy the governorship of Florida or Ohio.

  4. Nick Gillespie has a lot more patience than I do.

    The real statement of our country is that Eliot Spitzer is hosting a TV show and invites Katrina vanden Heuvel to be on it.

    We’re screwed.

  5. Response to the woman from The Nation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyVFv7AdJ-0

  6. Sorry guys, looks like I’m going to have to change my position on budget cuts due to this email:

    Dear U.S.-based SIAM Member,

    We want to bring to your attention important action by the US House of
    Representatives on the funding for science in the current budget. The House is
    proposing dramatic reductions, especially to the DOE Office of Sciences budget which
    funds substantial research in applied mathematics and computational science.

    Since Congress did not pass a budget for the current fiscal year, agencies have
    operated on a continuing resolution (CR). The current CR is about to expire, and
    legislation proposed to extend this CR would force major changes in funding levels
    for science at several agencies.

    Of the major extramural federal research and education programs, the Department of
    Energy (DOE) Office of Science was hit particularly hard.

    If you wish to your views known your representative, you can find their contact
    information on the House of Representatives website at
    http://www.house.gov/house/Mem…..ate.shtml. When calling the offices, ask
    to speak with the science or appropriations staffer or to leave a message. You can
    use https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml to send an e-mail your
    representative.

    ——————

    Proposed funding levels in H.R. 1:

    National Science Foundation (NSF): While NSF is not spared in the proposed CR, it
    fares better than some other programs. Overall it would be funded at $6.566
    billion, $359 million or 5.2 percent below FY 2010.

    Department of Energy (DOE): The CR would provide a total of $4.018 billion for the
    DOE Office of Science, which would represent a reduction of $886 million (18.1
    percent) below the FY 2010 enacted level. Within the recommendation, the House
    proposes to reduce by 50 percent funding for the Office of Biological and
    Environmental Health (BER). The remaining programs within the Office of Science
    would be proposed for reductions totaling $583.83 million. These programs include
    High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific
    Computing Research (ASCR), Fusion Energy Sciences, and related support programs. The
    Applied Mathematics program resides within ASCR.

    Department of Defense (DOD): DOD was largely spared in comparison to many domestic
    agencies, but the CR would cut roughly $14 billion in funding for several large
    acquisitions. The additional reductions signify that DOD research will not be exempt
    from significant reductions as Congress seeks to cut spending across the federal
    government

    National Institutes of Health (NIH): The CR would also cut NIH by $1.6 billion below
    FY 2010 enacted levels (5.2 percent).

    Reinhard Laubenbacher
    SIAM Committee on Science Policy

    1. the gobp rejects science since the oil just up & disappeared…like the dinosaurs…5000 yrs ago! hallelujah ma pass the snakes!!

  7. Yesterday, I totally predicted Van Den Hoover doing the ‘we libs agree with you libs’ gambit. She’s so damned predictable.

  8. If I were on that show, I’d tell Spitzer that banging hookers is entirely is own business, but what he deserved to do time for was his abuse of his powers when he was in office.

    -jcr

    1. unless he expensed the banging

  9. Is “mines” the new “roads”?

  10. Argue about complicated topics! You have 30 seconds! Your time is up, why can’t you let the other side speak? One at a time!

    Isn’t there enough controversy in the world? Why drum it up by asking for someone to fix the problem in a 30 second sound bite. Somehow the 24 news networks never have enough time.

    1. It would be worthwhile to freedom if Nick never appeared on this show again.
      What a joke.

      “Hey hey, socialist chick. I agree with you but what about this stupid question??”

      1. obviously u wanna bang her

    2. The average CNN viewer’s attention span is about 30 seconds. If it takes longer to formulate a whitty game-winning pun, then you must be lying to them.

  11. Anyone else get the impression that the only reason she keeps saying “we’re having the wrong debate” is because she stands absolutely no chance of winning the current one?

    “Raise taxes!”

    “That won’t help, look at the facts.”

    …………..???
    “We’re having the wrong debate!”

    1. Why won’t raising taxes work? We have one of the lowest tax rates in the industrialized world, and correspondingly have a huge debt. Plenty of nations bring in much more revenue than we do, and we have done so ourselves in the past.

      Cancelling the Bush tax cuts would close the deficit far more than the feed corn and cat food cuts Republicans are making. Obviously, after ten years, you think the tax cuts would have shown SOME level of effictiveness at building a better economy. The fact that they haven’t pretty much says it all.

      1. Are you a troll?

        It’s friday, I’m drunk, and I’m on the net by tethering my computer to my iPhone.

        When you raise taxes people’s behaviour changes. The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world.

        So on the one hand you probably complain that jobs are going overseas. On the other hand you want to balance the budget by taxing corporations. And on your third mutant hand you think American is a low tax place because you mistakenly only look at sales and income tax.

        U.S. is a great place to shop and to work. Shitty place to start a business. That’s why jobs are gone.

        Here’s a protip: The value of your labour determines your wage. The business environment (safety, stability, infrastructure, low-tax) determines if a business sets up shop.

        More business = less unemployment. Which also = smaller labour pool which = higher wages.

        1. ” The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world.”

          But not necessarily high corporate taxes, as like the income tax system, it is riddled with loopholes. Most corporations pay far less than the nominal 35% rate. Either way, global synchronization of corporate tax rates is both desirable and inevitable. 25% with no loopholes will do.

          “And on your third mutant hand you think American is a low tax place because you mistakenly only look at sales and income tax”

          No, I look at the official OECD data on total government receipts. I suspect you pull numbers out the rear end of some Koch-funded think tank.

          Here is a real “pro-tip”: the value of my labor is determined by context, luck, law, genetics, and a market full of flaws and failures.

          It’s funny you mention stability. Do you think the bagger-fueled insanity going on in the house resembles in any way something one could call “stability”?

          1. I never said your political system was stable. I don’t receive any funds from outside the Canadian government and taxpayers. A system of loopholes exists in every country, so don’t think ‘Merica is special because you have unique corruption. You don’t.

            I’m sorry the value of your labour is determined by luck. I guess you didnt learn a trade.

            You’re right though that it is determined by law. But all law can do is lower your wage, or raise it at the expense of jobs your colleagues have.

            Minimum wage? It lowers the number of low skilled jobs. Maybe if you’re “lucky” you’ll get one the jobs that are left?

            How’s that for “contex”.

            1. “I’m sorry the value of your labour is determined by luck. I guess you didnt learn a trade.”

              Bzzt. But what I learned was affected by all sorts of things beyond my control, like being born with a talent for math, being born to a decent stable family that took good care of me and pushed me towards college, scholarships that I “earned” mostly for the aforementioned inborn talent rather than hard work, and a very random process of choosing a major during my sophomore year.

              “But all law can do is lower your wage, or raise it at the expense of jobs your colleagues have.”

              Not true at all. Without law, we would all be scratching in the dirt for grubs, even if I somehow magically still had all my trade skills.

              “Minimum wage? It lowers the number of low skilled jobs. Maybe if you’re “lucky” you’ll get one the jobs that are left?”

              Odd, most European nations have much higher minimum wages, lower unemployment, and higher employment rates among working-age adults. Sorry, but your theory fails. Yes, a few teens lose their part-time jobs when you raise the minimum wage. That’s pretty much it for measured negative effects.

              How’s that for “contex”.

              1. Lower unemployment in a majority of European nations? WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING AND WHERE CAN I GET IT?

                They don’t even MEASURE unemployment the same way we do (they don’t count certain groups who are getting gov’t subsidies in their figures), and most of them are still higher than us.

                1. Jim:

                  When the data changes, you gotta change your mind, my friend.

                  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c…..n-and-now/

                  Have a nice day.

                  1. Hahaha, Lurker, you owned Chad.

                2. Jim, actually it is the US unemployment numbers that are the most fake.

      2. Watch the video Chad. Look for a graph. It only has two lines on it, so even you should be able to figure it out.

        1. I wouldn’t bet on it.

      3. “Tax hikes on Evil Rich White Men solve every problem!”

        Jesus, what a fuckin’ joke.

      4. You know why they bring in more revenue than we do? Because they don’t have a system so reliant on progressive income taxes.

        They prefer regressive sales and payroll taxes three times the level of ours.

      5. We have one of the lowest tax rates in the industrialized world

        Not true. You have to add state taxes and city taxes, and then compare to the corresponding total taxes in other countries.

  12. “that womans gotta purdy mouth” good thing too cause she got shit fer brains
    hee-haw

  13. Holy crap. That’s what passes for journalism and debate these days?

  14. Again, holy crap. The Jacket really is everywhere. He is apparently on every channel at once.

  15. Apparently restricting spending to Clinton levels will reduce the poor to a condition of utter misery.

    Only a healthy dose of new highways, new museums, and half-constructed high speed railways will save the poor from being forced to sell their children to foreign-controlled, pedophile-cannibal CEOs.

    1. Also, if you don’t support card check and restoring the fairness doctrine, then you hate poor people.

  16. On this note, House just passed budget cuts

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..1021406409

    In a rare early morning weekend vote, the House approved an aggressive plan Saturday to eliminate dozens of federal programs and offices while slashing agency budgets by as much as 40 percent, drawing out more than $60 billion in deficit savings.

    235 Republicans were joined by no Democrats in support of dramatic spending reductions that they said were needed to address a soaring annual deficit of $1.6 trillion; 189 Democrats — as well as three Republicans — opposed it, accusing Republicans of writing the bill with a “double meat ax.” The three Republicans voting against the measure were Reps. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and John Campbell (Calif.).

    If enacted as is, the GOP plan would eliminate numerous programs, including the Corporation for National Service, which runs the Americorps program; it would terminate federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It would cut $600 million from border security and immigration programs. It would eliminate nearly $80 million for the District and slash funding for the cleanup of Chesapeake Bay.

    1. I’m fine with cutting Americorps out of existence, “paid volunteerism” is oxymoronic imo. I oppose cutting NPR/PBS. Our Founders realized the importance of an informed electorate for the survival of a free, democratic state and NPR/PBS provide a unique and important non-market driven source of information for citizens. Not a fan of cutting border security and Bay cleanup as I think these are pretty core functions of government…

      1. Don’t the liberals have enough media outlets already? Privatize NPR/PBS, as my daughter has over a dozen channels of cartoons as it is, and let them hire salespeople, like other media do. Jobs are created, gov’t is out of a business it has no reason to be in. They privatized their power to “coin money, and regulate the value thereof”, didn’t they?

        1. I watch My PubliK Television Station for the infomercials. I learn how to play the piano and to invest like a woman and to feel good and to do yoga.

        2. Well, I think the “liberal MSM” meme to be simplistic b.s. for the most part. But regardless I explained why I thought NPR/PBS to be a valuable and unique thing government should fund.

      2. Our Founders realized the importance of an informed electorate for the survival of a free, democratic state

        which is why the passed the 1st amendment and made it the first amendment.

        and NPR/PBS provide a unique and important non-market driven source of information for citizens.

        Propaganda.

        1. And the first amendment has failed to produce an informed electorate. So now what?

          1. Congress passes a law forcing everyone to watch the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, obviously.

            1. Chad’s solution:

              Shitcan the First Amendment.

        2. The First Amendment allowed for information. CPB is a source for information.

          It’s a funny type of propaganda which is so often critical of the government and its administrations.

          1. If the CPB programming content is in such high demand, then perhaps they should enter the marketplace and see how they do. If they fail, so be it. Just like their erstwhile show Worldfocus.

            The First Amendment states the right to freedom of press, not government subsidy of it.

            1. I guess you didn’t read the part about CPB being uniquely valuable because they are not (as) market driven.

              A theistic fundamenatlist, thinking his God all-good, can’t imagine why anyone would not want to see everything tied to His influence. Market fundamentalists tend to think in similar ways so I realize it will be hard for you see my point.

              1. Ad homs and red herrings still do not change the fact that if CFB is as valuable as you suggest, then more people would have tithed to make sure such “valuable” shows as Worldfocus would not have been canceled.

                1. That roaring sound over your head is my point making its second trip.

                  1. That roaring sound over your head is my point making its second trip.

                    Actually, it was a Cessna. Purchased and paid for by one of my neighbors.

                    Perhaps you are suggesting he should have not bought the plane to make sure Daljit could have have kept her job? Which is not necessary, as she is now employed by Al-Jazeera English. Shall the plane make a fly-by over your head?

      3. Our Founders realized the importance of an informed electorate for the survival of a free, democratic state and NPR/PBS provide a unique and important non-market driven source of information for citizens.

        It’s odd that the Founders didn’t see fit to establish a federally funded newspaper that would be insulated from market forces.

        1. Hey, we’re workin’ on it! Patience! Immelt is working on those federally funded “green” crap projects! Priorities man!

        2. The fount of good ideas was not exhausted with the Founders.

  17. Annandale civic association elects dog as president

    This past election, to make the meeting move faster, only the names and qualifications of the candidates were announced. Running for president, Ms. Beatha Lee was described as a relatively new resident, interested in neighborhood activities and the outdoors, and who had experience in Maine overseeing an estate of 26 acres.

    Though unfamiliar with Lee’s name, the crowd of about 50 raised their hands, assuming that the candidate was a civic-minded newcomer.

    Only weeks later did many discover that their new president was, in fact, a dog.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..ynamiclead

  18. Yay, more from the Entangling Alliances File!

    The Obama administration Friday cast its first-ever veto in the U.N. Security Council, blocking a Palestinian-backed draft resolution that denounced Israel’s settlement policy as an illegal obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.

    The U.S. vote killed off a measure that was supported by the 14 other members of the Security Council and isolated the United States on a crucial Middle East matter at a time of political upheaval in the region.

    Although U.S. officials have consistently criticized the settlement policy, a vote in favor of the resolution would have angered Israel and its U.S. supporters, including Republican lawmakers, who had urged the Obama administration to stand with Israel at all costs.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..eheadlines

    1. Who knew.

      1. We did.

  19. Katrina claimed that social security was not an entitlement but instead a contract between the federal government and the people.

    This is a flat out lie.

    It most certainly is not a contract.

    Contracts have specify rights that are legally enforcable in court.

    The courts have already ruled that no one has any standing to sue the federal government for payment of social security benefits based on paying FICA taxes.

    Benefits are entirely subject to the whim of Congress which can change or eliminate them at any time and no one has any legal recourse to sue the government about it.

    1. Benefits are entirely subject to the whim of Congress which can change or eliminate them at any time and no one has any legal recourse to sue the government about it.

      And it is often erroneously referred to as a “trust” – a trust would imply a finite amount of money be distributed at a pre-determined time from,….wait for it….an actual account where the balance can be produced upon request. Trusts can also be redeemed, sold or even borrowed against. SSN “benefits” cannot.

  20. That was too stupid – could not finish – Nick, why? For gawd’s sakes, why do that crap? Do the power worshipping lewisnskies pay something? Is this type of thing a form of rhetorical training? Are you loony?

  21. Chad, correlation does not equal causation. I know how much this inconveniences you, but you’re going to have to back up your statements with actual economic theory as opposed to causality fallacies. Your debate methodology may be acceptable on most political blogs, but it isn’t here.

    1. To the Chads, tax hikes and shitloads of new dole drones are the only true path.

    2. I have found a very strong correlation between people who spout “correlation does not equal causation” and those people being retarded.

      1. Then perhaps there is a connection, but the burden of proof falls on you to demonstrate the casuality between the two phenomena.

        I can’t say that your comment was totally worthless, MNG; I do get a chuckle out of supposedly grown men throwing around playground insults on the Internet.

        1. *”casuality”=”causality”

        2. I have also found people spouting off about “burdens of proof” are usually pretty foolish as well.

          So where is your “proof” that gutting all these programs won’t harm America?

          1. Wow, the morons are out in force today.

    3. Tncm:

      Nothing equals causation. It is entirely unprovable. All we have are correlations. Strong ones. That back the liberal point of view.

      Let’s just rattle off a few:

      1: The stock markets and GDP grow faster under Democratic presidents and congresses than under Republican ones

      2: States with higher net tax rates have higher GDP

      3: Higher net federal tax rates correlate both with higher GDP and faster GDP growth in subsequent years

      4: In any given year, the states that do the most tax increasing and the least tax cutting experience greater economic growth in subsequent years when compared to the states that do the most cutting and the least raising.

      http://www.angrybearblog.com

      I don’t know what your “debate methodology” is, but if it is par for the Reason course, it is to regurgitate whatever manure Cato and Heritage fed you.

      1. “Nothing equals causation. It is entirely unprovable. All we have are correlations. Strong ones. That back the liberal point of view.”

        The strength of a correlation is not evidence of causation. Correlation strength equals increased likelihood of some relationship between two variables, but has nothing to do with whether one variable causes the other. It could easily be a situation where the correlation is strong because the causation is opposite of what you think: B causing A instead of A causing B.

        Causation becomes more likely in the following ways:

        1. Causes must precede their effects. There is no way for A to cause B if B consistently happens before A does.

        2. Causation becomes more likely the more third variables are identified and accounted for. If C causes both A and B, it may look like A is causing B when it isn’t.

        3. Knowledge of a causative property can often cause that property to cease to become valid. One of the theories as to why the financial ‘quant’ models failed so spectacularly was that they were only valid when actors in the market were ignorant of them. Once everyone knew the previous relationships, they ceased to continue due to actions of people within the market.

        I was paying no attention to what you were arguing about, so I have no idea how this affects it, but I thought it was important to make those points about causation.

      2. Chad, there is also a correlation between rising C02 emissions and the decline in the world’s pirate population. A correlation certainly exists, but it is lunacy to claim that either causes the other. Voros McCracken’s post explains it better than I ever could, so I won’t step on his/her toes.

        Gross domestic product has always been a very dubious measure of economic growth. It is highly responsive to government spending, communicates next to nothing about the standard of living, and has a built-in tendency to double count. The whole idea of GDP is to estimate how much a nation could get in terms of United States dollars if it sold all of its assets on the market at once; I don’t think I even need to comment on how dumb and inane that is as a concept.

        If we were to concede for a moment that Keynes is right, C+I+G=Y is the key to economic growth, then we’d just have to keep that “G” variable high as a kite and deficit spend on people digging ditches to raise the standard of living. I am going to make the possibly erroneous assumption that you know why this is incorrect, but if not, I’m willing to explain it to you.

        So I’d like you to explain to me why raising taxes not only doesn’t have a negative effect on the standard of living or productivity, but does in fact raise it. I’m giving you an open platform to not only publicly embarrass me in front of my fellow travelers, but also to disprove one of the key tenets of libertarianism. It’s all you.

        “I don’t know what your ‘debate methodology’ is, but if it is par for the Reason course, it is to regurgitate whatever manure Cato and Heritage fed you.”

        Do you think he chokes on the irony of the fact that his entire argument is copy/pasted from an economic illiterate blogger, but then accuses me of being a Cato sycophant?

        1. “So I’d like you to explain to me why raising taxes not only doesn’t have a negative effect on the standard of living or productivity, but does in fact raise it”

          Very simple.

          There are two major parts of any tax and spend system. The taxing, and the spending. Both have effects on the economy and overall well-being.

          At the taxing end, whether the tax itself harms or hurts society depends on what you are taxing. In general, whatever activity you tax, you will get less of. If you are taxing negative externalities, this is actually a good thing, which is precisely why these should be the taxes of first resort. Libertarians should LOVE a carbon tax, for example. However, such taxes would not be sufficient to provide a robust government, and we must resort to other taxes such as sales, income and property taxes. These do, in general, discourge productive behavior and are a drag on the economy and overall welfare. On net, our tax system is a net negative, but not a particularly large one. The dead-weight losses for income and sales taxes is typically estimated around twenty percent. In other words, the government has to pay a buck twenty to get hold of a dollar, and this is decidedly a bad thing.

          On the other hand, there is the spending side. The question here boils down to the relative value of what the private sector spends its marginal dollars on vs what the public sector spends its marginal dollars on. Without question, the public sector wins this battle hands down. As you can see from the current budget debate, our marginal public spending consists of things like weather satellites, fuel oil for poor old people, police patrols, and pre-school for poor kids. For 90%+ of our private sector, our marginal spending is eating out, travelling, electronics, renovations, and heated car seats. The value to society for what the government provides with its last dollars is many times higher than the junk you and I are buying with our spare pocket money.

          Today, I almost bought a lamp for my bedroom, priced at $200. That happens to be the same as my individual share of the cuts the Republican house is trying to make. The idea that the lamp is more important than what the Republicans are trying to cut is simply absurd.

          Angrybearblog provides much more solid data than Cato, precisely because it looks at the widest data sets it can get its hands on, rather that the typical cherry picks that Cato belches. I particularly like ABB’s recent analysis of Canadian provinces. Guess what? They follow the same trend as American states…higher taxes = higher GDP and higher growth. And before you get all huffy puffy, I should let you know that ABB gets most of its raw data from the Tax Foundation, which is a conservative tax watchdog group, and ABB’s analyses are clearly explained in the article and are simple enough that you, too, could reproduce them if you have halfway decent skills with Excel or some other spreadsheet.

          I am not claiming, however, that the evidence shows that Democratic policies are economically superior. What I AM claiming is that the evidence does not show that Republican policies work, and if anything, hints that they fail. Therefore, Republicans have no basis to claim that their policies must be adopted or the economy will suffer. It hasn’t in the past, it hasn’t happened overseas,
          and it hasn’t happened among the several states.

          If you want to continue to argue about causation, I would ask you to consider why you believe A causes B, despite the evidence that A has happened repeatedly without causing B, and in fact, seems to have a weak negative correlation to B.

          1. As you can see from the current budget debate, our marginal public spending consists of things like weather satellites, fuel oil for poor old people, police patrols, and pre-school for poor kids. For 90%+ of our private sector, our marginal spending is eating out, travelling, electronics, renovations, and heated car seats. The value to society for what the government provides with its last dollars is many times higher than the junk you and I are buying with our spare pocket money.

            The only thing I see here is you saying what you value is more important than what other people value themselves. Which of course makes your entire argument null. You also want me to believe your measurement of others values are some how more accurate than the sum total of every other person on earth that participates in the global economy.

            You are showing expertly (although probably unknowingly) not only why top down centralized planning doesn’t work but why it is so insidious. You have the hubris to think you know better than others about what they find important in life. Other people’s dreams are wrong, your’s are right, and if anybody doesn’t go along with that it’s bring in the goon squad to break some legs.

            You really are a disgusting person.

            1. No, Pain.

              I simply recognize that markets, both the ones that exist and hypothetical never-to-exist “free markets” do not lead to optimal results for a wide variety of reasons.

              This can be tackled in a number of ways, but they typically boil down to using the government to modify the market mechanism such that it leads to something closer to the optimal result, or by scrapping the market mechanism entirely because it is so riddled with failures in particular cases.

              The fact that you worship your idiotic ideology to the point that you believe that tax loopholes for hedge fund managers are more important than keeping poor old people from freezing to death in the winter or educating our children is quite telling. Your counter argument seems to be nothing more than that it is impossible to prove that the lives of old people are worth more than the toys of billionaires, and that I am somehow arrogant for being willing to enforce my view that this is the case.

              You know what? I am arrogant. Because I am talking to a juvenile fool, who is a self-centered ass who believes he “earns” everything he gets his grubby hands on all by his lonesome, and refuses to pay back all those who have helped him along the way.

              1. So the money I earn, fair and square, isn’t really mine if you or some other grasping, slack jawed, castrated imbecile can think of something else to do with it? Something that appeals to your sensibilities?

                Fuck off, slaver.

                1. You may have earned it “fair and square”, but you didn’t earn it alone. You had a business partner in this affair, and he has every right to claim the portion of money that is his due. So why are you trying to stiff him?

                  1. Business partner? What the fuck are you babbling about? I work, collect my wages, check how much has been stolen from me before I touched my pat stub, and then wish cancer and syphilis on every worthless, gutless, spineless little prick who wants to take my hard earned cash but doesn’t have the courage or ability to point a gun at me like a common mugger.

                    Fuck off, slaver.

                    1. “Business partner”

                      The government and society, both of which provide you with all sorts of goods, services, and insurance. If you don’t like the deal, it has an opt-out clause, and you are free to leave and take whatever you have with you. As long as you stay, you are implicitly accepting the deal, including the democratic process for changing it.

                  2. “You may have earned it “fair and square”, but you didn’t earn it alone. You had a business partner in this affair, and he has every right to claim the portion of money that is his due. So why are you trying to stiff him?”

                    If that were true, the same principle would apply to the substantial number of people who pay no federal income taxes.

                    I don’t see you advocating that they start paying up.

              2. “You know what? I am arrogant. Because I am talking to a juvenile fool, who is a self-centered ass who believes he “earns” everything he gets his grubby hands on all by his lonesome, and refuses to pay back all those who have helped him along the way.”

                LOL

                Another twit who thinks he is a better judge of the value of everything than the values resulting from unforced market transactions.

                You aren’t the least bit capable of proving that those you want us to “pay back” have helped us in some unquantifed way to any greater degree than we have already helped them in the same way.

                1. “Another twit who thinks he is a better judge of the value of everything than the values resulting from unforced market transactions.”

                  No, “I” am not. But democratic and technocratic processes have strong points that market processes do not. Your blind faith in a failed system, rather than using all three mechanisms to offset each others’ weaknesses, is the key failure of your ideology.

                  What’s worse is that you deliberately make efforts to hamper other methods of making decisions, then try to whine about it when they don’t work so well.

                  “You aren’t the least bit capable of proving that those you want us to “pay back” have helped us in some unquantifed way to any greater degree than we have already helped them in the same way”

                  Irrelevant. The government and society’s investment in you is exactly that: an investment. It is not a loan, with a defined payback. Rather, it is like a share of your personal stock. The government in this sense is much like a venture capitalist, investing modest amounts in hundreds of millions of people, but only making its money back on a minority. However, some of those are so profitable as to cover for the majority who never even pay back what they were given.

                  If you are one of the fortunate ones who actually has paid back everything, congrats. Now quit trying to stiff your investors.

                  MINE MINE MINE MINE. ALL MINE. WAAH, MOMMY! MINE MINE MINE

                  1. The government hasn’t ever given me a goddamn dime though. They take a lot, but they don’t give any. That’s the flaw with your goddamn idiotic thesis.

                    If the .gov is investing in me then how come I’m not seeing checks?

                  2. “No, “I” am not. But democratic and technocratic processes have strong points that market processes do not”

                    Says you. Something else you cannot prove.

                    “Irrelevant. The government and society’s investment in you is exactly that: an investment. It is not a loan, with a defined payback. Rather, it is like a share of your personal stock. The government in this sense is much like a venture capitalist, investing modest amounts in hundreds of millions of people, but only making its money back on a minority. However, some of those are so profitable as to cover for the majority who never even pay back what they were given.”

                    Complete and utter bullshit.

                    You aren’t the least bit capable of actually empirically proving so much as a single word of that.

                    As for whinig, it is your and your ilk who want to get control of other people’s money who are doing the whining, not those who object to having their money stolen.

                    Seeing as how you have never done anything whatsoever in your entire life that has ever had anything to do with me having anything I’ve got, there’s no reason to consider you to be any sort of authority on the disposition of my wealth.

          2. It’s good to know that you completely ignored what I said about GDP.

            There’s not really much I can say at this point that other people haven’t. You believe taxation is good because the government knows how to better arrange the workings of the economy than private individuals do. You are taking your own subjective valuations and imposing them on everybody else arbitrarily. There is no measurement for what is and is not better for human society, and anyone who claims to possess knowledge of it is a snake-oil salesman.

            I did enjoy this discussion, though. It was a lot more civil than our previous dialogues.

  22. “The strength of a correlation is not evidence of causation”

    Agreed. As I said, NOTHING can serve as evidence of causation. Causation is a mythical angels-dancing-on-pinheads concept. All we have are the correlations.

    I would disagree with some elements of your discussion of causation. As for the first point, if there is a feedback between A and B (A causes B, B causes A), then either one can appear first and still trigger the feedback. In other words, just because A has in the past usually or even always preceded B does not imply that B does not cause A. Many conservatives make this mistake when talking about CO2 levels and global temperatures as measured in ice cores, for example.

    You are right that in general as you control or account for extraneous variables, the more compelling your argument for causation is. Which is why most conservative arguments are so weak! Countless conservative arguments are based on a handful of data points (Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!), willfully ignore the many sets of data that point in the opposite direction, and often fail to account for even the most obvious of extra variables.

    I agree with your last point, specifically as it applies to Wall Street. Any model that reasonably accurately predicts what goes on with stock prices will change the market, thereby rendering its analysis void. However, this generally only applies to measurements of humans. Our knowledge of climate change, for example, does not cause mother nature to change her behavior. She still bats last, and still bats 1.000.

  23. Here is a nice link that should make you proud as all hell to be a libertarian.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/…..ransplant/

    1. I’m sorry, but I stopped reading at “Republican’s anti-human life campaign”. I can’t stomach demagoguery from the Right or the Left.

      1. There is no “objectivity” in markets, either. All you can say is some sort of subjective “Bob drank the motor oil because it increased his utility”. It is completely meaningless, teaches nothing, and explains nothing.

        No, I can’t “prove” that spending a few dollars to keep some poor old person from freezing this winter is more important that keeping sure that Hank Paulson has a few extra bucks in his bank account to speculate with. But only a libertarian would argue otherwise.

        1. When have I ever claimed that markets are “objective”? Quite the opposite; the price structure in the market comes about from the subjective preferences of individuals. Distortions of the price structure, whether they be brought about by regulation, taxation, or subsidies impair the market’s ability to arrange the productive factors of society in order to best satisfy consumer demand. Please see my Mercedes example below, as it better illustrates my point.

          Unemployment compensation causes capital consumption, is achieved through theft, prolongs unemployment by reducing its opportunity cost, and causes conflict between members of society. I would also argue that it sets up an odd precedent in society, as it incentivizes unproductivity and hurts the productive. Whether these things are bad or not is up for the individual to decide. I think they are, you clearly don’t, whether it be because you are economically illiterate or are truly convinced of welfare’s legitimacy. Perhaps both. But regardless, your attempts to guilt-trip me into recanting libertarianism are wasted.

        2. I will preempt any more of your moralistic arguments by flatly saying that, 1) Objective morality is a fiction and 2) I make no pretenses about caring what happens to people on welfare in the short-run due to programs being cut. They are leeches by every definition of the word. These are my own views on this particular issue, and I can’t say whether they represent how any other libertarians feel.

          However, this website, myself, and others on it have expended thousands of words explaining how our policies materially benefit literally every member of society in the long-run. I again make it clear that whether the improvement in the average American’s standard of living is good or not is a matter of opinion.

        3. And if you can’t prove something, then for the love of God, quit pretending that you can.

  24. The whole idea of “market failure” is, frankly, baloney. It can be used to justify government interventionism in literally every thinkable daily scenario. I think that Mercedes should cost one dollar to purchase. Unfortunately, the market has produced a situation in which they cost much more than that, thus they have failed, so the government needs to step in and subsidize the production of Mercedes until the market has reached “efficiency”. In this case, when they cost one dollar each.

    But why don’t they cost one dollar each? Well, the materials that are used to make a Mercedes can also be used in several other lines of production. If the government were to subsidize the production of Mercedes, they would be bidding away resources from other productive efforts. This is why free market economists say that subsidies distort the economy; you are giving firms purchasing power that they have no received from consumers, and are thus having them satisfy “government demand” as opposed to “private demand”, the former at the expense of the latter.

    You claim that government can spend people’s money on things that are “more important” than what they would spend it on as private individuals. This of course is just opinion. I would argue that the resources used to build a fleet of fighter jets should’ve been left in the hands of the private market to satisfy the wants of consumers and raise the standard of living. You might argue otherwise. But to say that you objectively know what is and is not good for society as a whole is flatly wrong.

    1. But to say that you objectively know what is and is not good for society as a whole is flatly wrong.

      The irony is strong with this one.

      1. DNS, I implore you to find one example of me saying “X is good for society”. I’ve explained what will happen if we pursue certain fiscal or monetary policies, but whether these results are “good” or not is pure opinion. If you hate humanity and want people to starve to death in the hundreds of thousands, be a socialist. If you value a higher standard of living and individual freedom, be a capitalist.

        But if you have something meaningful to contribute, please do.

  25. That horrible cunt.

    She honked for like 2 mins without saying *anything* about the budget. All she said is, “wrong debate! poor people! cold houses! spending good for growth!” She then interrupts anything nick has to say. She’s completely substanceless… “YOU! YOU OVERSAW A FINANCIAL CRISIS!”

    WTF? Then spitzer’s like, “here’s what she’s saying…” as he needs to make her rambling into something coherent

    “Keynesism, not even properly taught anymore…” …. (good lol from nick = as though the problem with keynes is that *no one really understands*)

    The only thing she seems to get along with is ‘cutting defense spending’, but anything else seems to be a threat to the fabric of american society.

    …not only does she not bother with any coherent argument, she insists on talking nonstop…

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