Debt

It Is Time For Government to Stop All of its (Messing) Around

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Did someone say Johnny Rotten meets Maggie Thatcher? Or was it Johnny Dangerously meets Maggie's Farm?

On Milton Friedman's 99th birthday (and my 43rd!), the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran some quotes from an interview the paper conducted with moiself and Nick Gillespie, on the subject of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. Here's an excerpt:

On the book's aims:

Welch—The intent … is to encourage … fence-sitters, to tell them, "Hey, it's OK to jump off this thing"—that it's not irrational to not feel any sense of affiliation. … "Republicanoids" and "Democratoids" alike frequently call independents either crazy people or just incredibly ill-informed … and I think they're wrong.

Gillespie—We wanted to write a political manifesto that kind of blows up politics. … (T)he main message is that there are at least two parts to people's lives: There's the realm of politics and there's everything else, and people know, despite economic troubles and high unemployment rates and screwy policies and housing prices in flux and all of that, they know that the nonpolitical part of their lives keeps getting better, and … we stress … that politics is a lagging indicator of what's going on in America … . It's time to kick down the front door … and bring everything that is good and decent, all that democratization and decentralization of power and decision-making that we have in so much of our lives, to the political arena. And of course the incumbent powers … a right wing and a left wing, they're going to scream and cry and shout, but they're finished. They're finished. They're the dinosaurs in the La Brea Tar Pits—they're stuck, they're sinking and they're not climbing out.

I ain't missin' you at all

Quotable:

"The impasse over the debt ceiling is exactly the problem that is outlined in the book, and the real issue is that we need to get to a point where we start saying, 'What are the first, second and third priorities of government?' And, 'Let's stop (messing) around with the second and third, much less fourth through 10th, priorities of government.'"—Nick Gillespie

"We've had three, four years of … disaster Keynesianism, started under Bush and increased under Obama, and you don't have to be an ideologue, you don't have to even have heard of a single Austrian economist … to look around you and say, 'Hey, you know what, this really hasn't worked.' … It's created an appetite for people who want to know, 'OK, what's the alternative to all that?'"—Matt Welch

There's an enormous pile of interviews, reviews, and more over at the Declaration 2011 site.

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97 responses to “It Is Time For Government to Stop All of its (Messing) Around

  1. Is it just me or does that title not make sense? Without the parenthetical we have “It Is Time For Government to Stop All of its Around.”

    Also, isn’t it always time for the government to stop messing around?

    1. As an ancap I agree that “It Is Time For Government to Stop All of its Around.”

      Happy Birthday Matt!

      1. ‘What are the first, second and third priorities of government?’

        No, no and no!

        1. Or another way of saying it:

          “What are the first, second and third priorities of government?”

          Mu.

          1. Happy Birthday Matt! You old fart.

      2. +1 Don’t just do something, STAND THERE!

    2. Oh wait I see, the Tribune can’t tell the difference between brackets and parentheses. Carry on.

      1. Did someone say [BRACKETS]

  2. that it’s not irrational to not feel any sense of affiliation

    You mean it’s not un-irrational to not not feel no sense of non-affiliation?

  3. They’re finished.

    Not likely. Too many loyal drones on both sides.

  4. I’m going on a family vacation with my BiL and his wife, both of whom are raving mad New England liberals. I’m going to bring this book (if I can find it) and maybe Mark Styen’s new tome (if I can find that – living in NYC sometimes these screeds aren’t readily available). I wonder what kind of interesting conversations we’ll have after several cocktails?

    1. That sounds excruciating.

      1. After 15 years I’ve become numb to it all.

        1. And yet you’ll attempt to torture them anyway. That’s perseverance!

          1. I enjoy toying with them – like an orca with a seal. It amuses me.

            1. What’s the point?

              No amount of rationality can penetrate the “mind” of someone who bases their decision making process on how they feel.

              Emotion is by definition irrational.

              You are embarking on a fool’s errand.

              1. I understand this but I have to pass the time somehow.

                1. Seems like a frustrating way to pass the time.
                  I’d rather play board games than talk politics with a liberal.

                  1. I learned liberals were crazy at a early age when my neighbor, who was babysitting, landed on boardwalk and didn’t want to pay the rack rate because I already had a pile of cash.

                    1. Well let’s face it, you can’t play Monopoly with a liberal.

              2. someone who bases their decision making process on how they feel.

                Nice! You just defined libertarianism.

                1. Is someone spoofing Tony?

                  1. Yep. Tony is spoofing himself. Lame.

        2. Here’s what you will have accomplished after two hours of vigorous drink-spilling, head-splitting arguing:

          1. Mark Steyn is a racist Islamaphobe.

          2. Matt and Nick are just pawns of Wall Street.

          Don’t even try.. don’ even try..

    2. Let me guess, they’ll probably recite blather from the Shock Doctrine and tell you that the riots in London were not riots but a revolution.

      1. “nd tell you that the riots in London were not riots but a revolution.”

        Or they might say the riots in London are actually Bush’s fault.

      2. Don’t remember who first said it (maybe MLK), but all I’ve heard it too many times to count: “Riot is the voice of the unheard”

        1. Riot is the voice of the unheard

          And that voice is saying “I’m a thieving, burning, violent danger to all I encounter. Please crack my skull.”

    3. I wonder what kind of interesting conversations we’ll have after several cocktails?

      I’m thinking something like this.

      1. Do we really have to go through with all this?<?i>

        My sentiments exactly.

    4. I can relate. My in-laws are your typical east coast liberals. I almost got kicked out of their house for pointing out how they were hypocrites for supporting abortion based on a woman’s right to control what is in her body and on the other hand supporting drug laws which throw people into jail for wanting to inject heroin into themselves. I think they thought I was a drug addict. Good times, good times.

      1. I think they thought I was a drug addict.

        This is perhaps my favorite part of the whole escapade. They are shocked that thier sister would marry such a person, and are embarrassed to have me around. I love it.

        1. They are shocked that thier sister would marry such a person…

          Never underestimate a libertarian’s power to work that vajayjay.

  5. You guys got a book out?
    Seriously?
    That’s totally cool!

    1. Totally! Too bad they’re so shy about mentioning it, or we might have heard about it before this.

  6. I do not think the government is messing around. They just can not reach consensus

    1. In the (unlikely) event you are not a troll, please expound on the difference.

  7. Airport protester sues over being kidnapped by thugs.

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/…..r-1231274/

    1. Tobey stripped to his socks and shorts Dec. 30 in a protest against airport security procedures and unreasonable searches and seizures. He was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, but Henrico County authorities dropped the charge.
      Tobey eventually was allowed to continue on his flight.

      Kidnapped! By thugs!

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      1. “He was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct,”

        Yes, he was kidnapped by thugs. How would you like to be detained by thugs and interrogated by them while in the airport.

    2. “…Tobey had made his point by removing his shirt to display words from the Fourth Amendment written on his torso but went too far when he disobeyed a command to pass through a security scanner.”

  8. “He was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct,”

    Yes, he was kidnapped by thugs. How would you like to be detained by thugs and interrogated by them while in the airport.

    1. Boo hoo. Exhibitionist protester’s prank inconveniences him. What did he think would happen? Note to civil disobedients: plan ahead.

      1. PS
        Your overlords have commanded you not to feed me.
        It’s Thursday, dontcha know.

        1. I have no overlords.

          1. I admire your independent streak. The collective will not be pleased.

            1. Collectivism is for statists, not libertarians.

              1. You sure about that? There’s a lot of goose-stepping around here.

                1. ” There’s a lot of goose-stepping around here.”

                  Can you give some examples of this goose stepping from actual libertarians?

                  1. Rhetorically, “goose-stepping” is marching in ideological cadence with fellow travelers. There’s safety in numbers. Dissent is frowned upon. If the majority of commentators here are “libertarians,” then one need only peruse a thread or two to witness the monotonous goose-stepping. See also: echo chamber, gang, mob.

                    1. I take it you have not been here long. LIbertarians disagree with one another on a large number of issues. We argue with one another here all the time. Just yesterday I was defending my anarcho-capitalistic position. The only thing we all agree on is the non-aggression principle. The non-agression principle is pretty much the very basis of libertarianism. Would you be shocked to find a vegan message board filled with people who all frown on eating meat? Would you call that “goose-stepping?” Probably not, that is the very definition of vegan!

                      A couple of days ago I got into several arguments on here about Lew Rockwell, not all libertarians appreciate him. I defended him, others criticized him. There is great variety here. The non-aggression principle is the only thing we all agree on.

                    2. The non-aggression principle is the only thing we all agree on.

                      One principle does not a philosophy make. The NAP is not an axiom.

                    3. And “progressives” don’t march in ideological cadence, of course. No goose stepping amongst them, none at all.

                    4. course the troll never wrote there wasnt

                    5. Trolls referring to other trolls as trolls. I love it OO. Keep up the good work buddy and maybe we’ll take you out for ice cream after you make a poopy in your diapie.

      2. “Boo hoo. Exhibitionist protester’s prank inconveniences him. What did he think would happen? Note to civil disobedients: plan ahead.”

        I take it you would not mind if someone comes over to your house and feels up you, your spouse and your children before you get into your car for work?

        1. I don’t have a public airport in my house.

          1. You did not answer my question.

            1. Try to focus. Your question is nonsensical and has nothing to do with “thugs” “kidnapping” an airport protester.

              1. Other than their consumes and toy badges what differentiates these “authorities” from ordinary kidnappers?

                1. make that costumes

                  1. Police are granted exclusive right to the use of force by the Constitution. Actual kidnappers are common criminals. Being arrested by the police is not “kidnapping,” if you believe words have meanings; being an anarchist doesn’t mean that you get to make up your own meanings for words. Sorry.

                    1. “Police are granted exclusive right to the use of force by the Constitution. ”

                      Mafiosos are granted exclusive right to kill those who talk by the code of Omert

                    2. Gotcha. Cops are criminals. No difference at all. Adios!

                    3. “Gotcha. Cops are criminals. No difference at all. Adios!”

                      Cops (like everyone else) are criminals when they violate natural rights, yes

                    4. Gotta run. Special commendation for keeping your cool and not resorting to the always entertaining “Fuck you, slaver!”

                    5. “Gotta run. ”

                      Bye.

                    6. What happened to Troll-Free Thursday?

                    7. “Police are granted exclusive right to the use of force by the Constitution”

                      I wonder where I can find this edition..

                    8. What constitution have you been reading? Mine doesn’t mention the police at all.

                    9. I was just wondering the same thing.

  9. It’s Thursday, people!!

    1. Obey the collective, people! That means you, PIRS!

      1. Num, num, num! Got any ketchup?

  10. We’ve had three, four years of … disaster Keynesianism, started under Bush and increased under Obama, and you don’t have to be an ideologue, you don’t have to even have heard of a single Austrian economist … to look around you and say, ‘Hey, you know what, this really hasn’t worked.’

    ________________________

    This is true, and it has now made plain just how ideological the supposedly “moderate” left is these days. Even after the failure of the stimulus, Christina Romer gets on Maher’s show last week and says that the effects of stimulus spending remain beyond dispute! She is impervious to facts and, worse still, her own failures. Add to that the continued calls by liberals pundits for another round of stimulus, combined with the ridiculous defense of the failure of stimulus 1 (which was really 2 or 3 after Bush’s failed stimuli). These people are hard-core ideologues, and their ideology is that money only has value if they are the ones who get to spend it.

    1. Actually they’re people informed by facts objectively assessed. We had sort of a half stimulus, and it resulted directly in economic growth. Now that the money has run out we are seeing growth stall. The correlation is plain as day, all you have to do is look.

      Matt Welch’s question is a good one: what’s the alternative? Nothing offered even pretends to be able to cause economic growth or an increase in employment.

      1. So by “half a stimulus” you mean the largest fiscal stimulus in US history, right? And the one the Keynesians predicted would keep unemployment at 8%, when it actually reached 10% and has basically been stuck at 9%? Are those the facts they have objectively assessed?

        What’s the alternative? You now seek to continue spending hundreds of billions on failed policies by default, is that it?

        1. Which Keynesians are you referring to? Is that the one prediction made once by Christina Romer before Obama was even sworn in? What does an inaccurate prediction on jobless rate have to do with what policies are useful? We spent money–economists said it wasn’t enough, but it was all that was politically possible. It helped. It turned out that the economists were right, and it wasn’t enough, though it did manage to save millions of jobs that otherwise would have been lost. Now that it’s run out, predictably, people are being laid off (especially in the public sector, where the drag is coming from–and you can’t deny that that’s a result of a lack of federal funds).

          Since we have clear evidence that it boosted the economy, we ought to do more until we have sufficiently self-sustaining growth. And you didn’t offer an alternative. I don’t think you care about unemployment or economic growth, at least not as much as your ideology.

          1. The first two worked so well we need to do a few more. Then you’ll see that it really works.

          2. What does an inaccurate prediction on jobless rate have to do with what policies are useful?

            It’s the metric the architects of this plan set for it. If it fails to achieve that metric, by definition, the plan has failed.

            It turned out that the economists were right, and it wasn’t enough, though it did manage to save millions of jobs that otherwise would have been lost.

            Labor, as other resources, is suppose to move towards its most productive use. In saving millions of jobs, we prevented the creation of millions of more productive jobs.

            1. The “saved” jobs notion was invented after the fact as a desperate measure to try and establish that this $800 billion managed to accomplish something. No one claimed before the fact that merely holding employment steady was the goal.

              Perhaps “it helped,” as you say. That is a remarkably low standard by which to judge any public policy, much less the borrowing and spending of $800 freaking billion dollars — a move that has further eroded our already-precarious financial situation. By the same token, I suppose, lowering marginal rates to 15% would “help.” Something tells me that would not be enough to convince you, Tony.

        2. You know what I’ve always wondered about the “8% unemployment graph” that was trotted out before “The Stimulus!”?

          Why they limited it to 8%?

          It’s not like anyone could actually validate their projection since it’s all made up of bullshit numbers that have no bearing on reality. They could have made up a chart that showed “bread line” levels of unemployment if it wasn’t passed. 15%, 20%, and then showed how “The Stimulus!” would keep it a sane 10-12% and eventually wind it back down to late-Bushian 7-8%.

          That chart would have been just as fake as the one they came out with, but it wouldn’t be the (IMO very effective) cudgel the “8%” chart has become.

          1. Why? Because they really believed it would actually work. No need to fake anything when it really works, right? Hell, they’re still believers, even after such obvious failure. Look at Tony’s post above. Whether he’s real or trolling as a devil’s advocate, that truly is what a lot of people still believe. It worked! It just wasn’t big enough!

        3. remember ~40% of the stimulus were payroll tax cuts which libtoids should favor.

          1. No, that’s Republicans. Republicans do tax cuts. Small gov types tend to want to eliminate the tax altogether.

      2. “Look! The stimulus worked, because it happened! Proof!”

  11. We are the Washington. Resistance is futile.

  12. I think its time for the US to start minding its own business and deal with its own problems.

    http://www.real-anonymity.us.tc

    1. I’ll be so pleased when our god-like singularity AI finally reaches its full powers. It seems to have quite a libertarian streak.

      1. It’s just pandering.

        1. Gods don’t pander.

  13. Since we have clear evidence that it boosted the economy, we ought to do more until we have sufficiently self-sustaining growth.

    Of course we we should.

    Buggy whips for everyone!!!!

    1. Can we buy pre-broken windows? It would save time all around.

      1. In fact, I just had a *brilliant* idea to stimulate the economy: no returns or exchanges allowed by law. If you buy something and don’t like it, want it or whatever, tough. Go buy one you like better. Also, encourage or legislate Secret Santa programs. Fines will be assessed if you give people items you wanted to return but couldn’t.

  14. The title could have been monkeying around.

    But that would have been, you know….

  15. Joyeux anniversaire Jeffe.

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