Immigration

It's Not a Libertarian World at The New York Times

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STOP IT WITH THE "GAME CHANGER" ALREADY! E-NOUGH!

Ever feel like an outnumbered ideological minority? And/or that your ideas are growing strong enough that the establishment is now impelled to strike you down? Either way, today's New York Times op-ed page is for you.

Four op-eds, four assaults on the libertarian senses. Starting with Mark Binelli–"Can a libertarian island paradise rescue a blighted city? No":

Belle Isle was recently at the center of a different moneymaking scheme. A group of wealthy libertarians suggested that private investors buy the island from the city [of Detroit] for the nice, round, Dr. Evil-ish sum of $1 billion and transform it into an independent, self-governing territory. With the price for citizenship set at $300,000, the Commonwealth of Belle Isle would exist as a sort of free-market paradise; within 30 years, the group's Web site predicted, the island would be known as the "'Midwest Tiger,' rivaling Singapore as an economic miracle." One can order from that Web site a novella about this future Belle Isle, which describes the commonwealth's low taxes, minimal government, even its own currency (called — seriously — "the Rand").

The book — a preview of its opening chapter has the hero landing on the rooftop helipad of the commonwealth's 57-story Four Seasons hotel — makes the entire scheme very easy to mock as Objectivist fan fiction. But it's not entirely a joke: private foundations and deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.

Dr. Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman–"Now is not the time for spending cuts":

Given the state we're in, it would be irresponsible and destructive not to kick that can down the road.

Start with a basic point: Slashing government spending destroys jobs and causes the economy to shrink.

This really isn't a debatable proposition at this point.

Ross Eisenbrey–"Why we don't need more foreign high-tech workers":

Bringing over more — there are already 500,000 workers on H-1B visas — would obviously darken job prospects for America's struggling young scientists and engineers. But it would also hurt our efforts to produce more: if the message to American students is, "Don't bother working hard for a high-tech degree, because we can import someone to do the job for less," we could do significant long-term damage to the high-tech educational system we value so dearly.

That's just terrible

And David Brooks–"Machiavelli in an age of terror":

Acting brutally abroad saves lives at home.

For a different view on urban development, government spending, immigration, and overseas brutality, I recommend a very nice magazine, for the low low price of less than $15 per year.

NEXT: Michelle Rhee Responds to Critics

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  1. “This really isn’t a debatable proposition at this point.”
    See? He’s so smart that his assertions are not debatable!

    1. You think it’s an assertion because Matt cut out the warrant. That paragraph continues:

      The contractionary effects of fiscal austerity have been demonstrated by study after study and overwhelmingly confirmed by recent experience ? for example, by the severe and continuing slump in Ireland, which was for a while touted as a shining example of responsible policy, or by the way the Cameron government’s turn to austerity derailed recovery in Britain.

      1. JOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEE

        Hey, joe, how’s life? Are you still short, drunk, stupid, angry, and wifeless? Oh, how silly of me. Of course you are, you big silly goose.

        1. Hey, what’s wrong with being drunk?

      2. Ha, moron thinks the UK has pursued an “austerity” policy.

        1. We live in a world where the deleterious effects of raising taxes are touted as the reason not to cut spending.

          War is peace, etc.

      3. You get that Krugman is only pretending to be as stupid as you actually are? Agreeing with someone who is pandering to idiots does not make you look intelligent, Joe.

      4. government clock watcher thinks cutting clock watching jobs bad. film at 11.

      5. The contractionary effects of fiscal austerity have been demonstrated by study after study and overwhelmingly confirmed by recent experience

        In Joe world the economy magically comes back no matter how much you abuse it. Just keep beating it and the moral will improve. What makes Joe funny is not that he is silly and ignorant, he certainly is all of that. It is that he thinks he is so smart. Joe is the best troll ever.

      6. Re: The Dehydrated,

        The contractionary effects of fiscal austerity have been demonstrated by study after study[…]

        And you subscribe to such question-begging assertion, you moron? What does the Krugnutz mean by “fiscal austerity” in the first place? Is he talking about a Coolidge-like fiscal austerity of real spending cuts or the faux austerity where the government just reduces the rate of increase and raises taxes on everybody?

        Everytime I hear a pundit say “study after study”, it means to me that there are no such studies.

        and overwhelmingly confirmed by recent experience ? for example, by the severe and continuing slump in Ireland,

        Again, do you subscribe to such claptrap? Tell me the truth.

        Ireland lowered their corporate tax rate but did nothing about spending or regulation. True, investment rose thanks to the lower tax burden but the government never practiced “austerity.” What Krugman calls “austerity” and the Europeans (who are almost all totally economics-illiterate, a remarkable achievement in public “education”) call “austerity” is nothing more than continuous deficit spending, except they call it “austere.”

      7. Those are still very debatable assertions, but he insists they are not debatable.

        So, no, the rest of the paragraph doesn’t help.

      8. Uh, just because there’s some vague evidence for a proposition doesn’t make it not debatable.

        The contractionary effects of fiscal austerity have been demonstrated by study after study and overwhelmingly confirmed by recent experience

        which studies?

        for example, by the severe and continuing slump in Ireland, which was for a while touted as a shining example of responsible policy

        touted by whom?

        or by the way the Cameron government’s turn to austerity derailed recovery in Britain.

        what evidence do you have that there would have been a recovery otherwise?

        Krug’s analysis wouldn’t even make it past a Wikipedia editor. Lucky for him, the NYT has lower standards.

        1. The market economy is what drives economic success. Government’s role in the economic engine is far more akin to friction than to gas, oil, or anything else that actually makes the engine work. At best, government can be credited for providing the framework for the rule of law and enforcing property rights. But even that’s been perverted as Europe and increasingly the U.S. engage in crony capitalism, market manipulation, out of control spending, and ever-growing regulation.

          A big problem across the world is that there isn’t a major market largely uninhibited by government intervention. The U.S. was that market at one point, but that’s been less and less true over the years.

        2. die Erz?hlung vor allem

      9. Touted by who as a shining example and what was Ireland’s actual policy?

        Was is really austere or was it just said to be so?

      10. Here’s the deal:

        Cutting government spending reduces nominal GDP by definition. Its not a conversation-ender, its a “so what?”

        1. In fact, it may be a quality argument for reimagining the way GDP is calculated.

          1. Why would government do that? Then the farce is all the more visible to everyone.

            No economy is going to be sustainable that relies on its government. Did the last two hundred years just not happen?

  2. Detroit, the Somalia of domestic libertarian slander.

    1. Nothing says libertarian like fifty straight years of progressive Democrat governance.

      But this is what NYT readers actually believe to be true.

      1. Ir’s not as if Libertarians turned Detroit into a post industrial apocylpse.

      2. Everything is the fault of capitalism. [/NYT commenter]

        1. More or less, that’s true — longer life spans, higher standards of living, higher quality and quantity of goods and services, entertainment options for the average citizen far surpassing what the kings of old could enjoy.

  3. Start with a basic point: Slashing government spending destroys jobs and causes the economy to shrink.

    Holy loaded premises, Batman!

    1. If keeping the economy from shrinking requires the government running a trillion plus deficit, isn’t it fair to say that the economy is as its currently composed unsustainable?

        1. I snark Matt. But when you think about it, people like Krugman think you can have an economy based upon giving millions of people high paid public sector and union jobs and public benefits. And you can do that as long as you can borrow the money to pay for it. But an economy structured as such really is unsustainable.

          1. Krugman fantasy fic:

            Start with a basic point: Increasing government spending increases jobs and causes the economy to grow.

            [Krugman takes a quick look around]

            Oh, wait! No it doesn’t! That stuff I was seeing before must have been the inside of my own colon, where the fumes were causing me to hallucinate…

          2. No, he’s saying “don’t cut government spending in a recession because it will make things worse”. He favors paying down debt when the economy recovers.

            1. Says Little Joe with his head up there next to Krugnutz.

            2. No, he’s saying “don’t cut government spending in a recession because it will make things worse”.

              First, we are technically not in a recession. Funny how in October the party line was the economy was doing great but somehow right after the first Tuesday in November the economy is now in a recession. It is almost as if people like Krugman and you lie or something.

              Beyond that, we have been spending trillions for four years now. We are four years out from the financial collapse of 2008. This is as good as it is going to get for the foreseeable future. So if you follow Krugman’s advice, we will never cut spending, which of course is the entire point. Krugman may be craven, but he is not stupid. He doesn’t believe a word of what he is saying. He is just making shit up to justify endless spending and keep his job at the NYT.

            3. Hang on…the recession ended in June of 2009. Doesn’t the Keynesian counter-cyclical policy argue we should have been slashing spending for the last three years?

              1. When it is time for an election, the economy is booming. When it is time to cut spending, we are in a recession.

                1. In truth, we live in a world of constant government created stimulus. I don’t see Krugman proposing slashing Medicare, Social Security, and the myriad of social programs or the bureaucratic apparatus that constitutes the welfare state when the economy is a growth cycle. The Keynesians insist that would depress economic activity even though empirical evidence and solid economic theory suggest quite the opposite. When we cut defense after the collapse of the Soviet Union the net economic gain boosted the economy (there really was a peace dividend), as did our return to a civilian economy in WWII. Keynesians have never been able to state opportunity cost correctly, and even free market economist tend to under play its importance. It is the second biggest flaw of their theory after their view of savings as being economically counter productive instead of being the means to which individuals maximize their own utility (and in the aggregate create a more prosperous society).

                  1. What Killazontherun said. the idea that we would ever have a liquidity trap like we had in the late 20s is lunacy.

                2. Souns like you took what passes for journalism curses and are carrying the LSM talking ppoints with style there man. Well played.

              2. Obviously we would have if the rethuglicans had let Obama.

              3. But we don’t agree with THAT part of Keynesian philosophy.

                /Keynesians

            4. He favors paying down debt when the economy recovers.

              And I favor going on a diet and exercising next year, too.

            5. He favors paying down debt when the economy recovers.

              I suppose you can link us to a column calling for spending cuts when the economy was not in recession?

            6. He [Krugman]favors paying down debt when the economy recovers.

              In which column has Krugman called for the government to spend less than it takes in as tax revenue, in order to pay down the debt, even someday in the far off future?

          3. Krugman is a lot like Keynes, at least Hayek’s description of him. They both have no ability for abstract thought. They just start with the ending they want and derive a “solution” that gets them to their ending point.

    2. It’s easy, gB. If you start with the premise that liberty is bad, then clearly libertarianism is retarded.

    3. Well, in the short-term it causes make-work jobs to disappear and causes the bullshit measure of GDP to go down. And the short-term is all Keynesian derpconomists care about. Of course, slashing government jobs increases wealth in the long term.

      1. Hehe, derpconomists. That will never get old.

      2. They really don’t get the concept that the purpose of a job is to assist in creating wealth in the form of some good or service that people want, and can pay for.

        To their eyes, a government bureaucrat shuffling paperwork is equivalent to someone in private manufacturing, if not better.

        1. Definitely better. Shuffling paperwork doesn’t increase global climate warming change.

          1. Yeah, but it causes PTSD in sensitive public servants: they can hear the cries of dead trees while shuffling the paperwork.

        2. Better, because the government worker is unionized, with better benefits and a pension, so he or she can live a more contented and less stressful life.

          1. Meanwhile forcing the rest of us to work that much harder to pay for all these low-stress uselesscrats.

        3. I once heard a municipal employee (San Francisco) explain that he didn’t think you could have an ethical job in the private sector.

        4. BakedPenguin| 2.8.13 @ 11:24AM |#

          They really don’t get the concept that the purpose of a job is to assist in…

          PAYING MOAR TAXES?

  4. But it’s not entirely a joke: private foundations and deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.

    But groups like the nature conservancy that use private funds to buy land and turn into 21st century versions of the King’s hunting preserve are just dreamy!!

    If the Belle Isle idea is so daft, wouldn’t the good liberals at the NYT want the project to go forwards so it would fail and they would have a living example of the failure of Libertarian ideology? Do they care that much about not letting Libertarians embarrass themselves?

    1. Their biggest fear is that we are right. They wouldn’t want to risk it.

      1. You set up an island just for rich people, of course it is going to be nice. What about the poor?

        1. They’ll still have Detroit.

          1. That, SIR, is an awful thing to wish on the poor.

            GOOD DAY!

          2. Ah, so libertarians are class segregationists now eh?

          3. And urban gardens.

            1. Bidets in public toilets? I can dream.

        2. If you want programs for the poor, the first thing you need is money to actually pay for them.

          And that comes from being if not nice, at least reasonable tolerable of rich people.

          1. Programs? How about we start a monocle-polishing factory and give them real jobs instead?

    2. The howling about Belle Isle amazes me. It’s a dump. The state offered to lease it long term, and make it a state park, so it would get maintained and such. City council hemmed and hawed, and ultimately turned it down.

      It’s got some really cool things (like the aquarium), but there’s just an amazing about of decay.

      This has some good examples (and comically photoshopped “after” pictures)

      http://apps.detroitnews.com/ap…..p?id=14836

      1. Hilariously awful photoshops.

        1. Indeed. I know the problem well. You should see what they do with my side profile.-)))

        2. When I do awful Photoshops like that, I call them comics.

          1. You know the City of Detroit hired some dude to make these comics. Would actually be a pretty fun day job.

            1. I think the state put the before/after pictures together to try to sell the plan to the city. It didn’t work.

              1. Those photoshops are the hilarious.

        3. Most of them involve turning up the Brightness and adding happy multicultural familes. Is that basically the plan?

          1. Is that a llama head heating the tree in the second photo?

      2. The best one is the park area that is obviously landlocked in the before picture, and the after picture ACTUALLY says, “Relocated to a waterfront location”.

        1. Does their plan involve flooding portions of Detroit?

          That sounds like a good partial solution.

      3. Until I looked at where your link was from, I thought the Photoshopping was a blatant attempt to mock the Bell plan. But no, they really think Photoshopped pictures prove they’ll accomplish their goals.

        1. Well, it’s more accurate to say the photoshopped pictures are their goals.

          They think their good intentions will accomplish them.

      4. My favorite was the “Nature Trail”. Looked more like a fetid bog.

        And why does it look like that entire island is in the process of flooding?

      5. Wow. Those are awful. It looks like a bit from Tim & Eric or Tom Goes to the Mayor.

        I like the first one were replacing one pillar in the gazebo apparently transforms it into a family paradise.

        1. Well it also magically turned into late spring, too.

          Remember, only the government can make springtime. It’s a hard job playing God, and it’s expensive. Only union labor can do the job properly. You can bet that if the leaves fall off the trees that means you didn’t pay enough for public servants to prevent winter from happening.

      6. I nearly sprayed soda all over my screen looking at those.

        It looks like it will be a wheelchair preserve where the handi-capable can roam free through nature.

  5. Note for John: praise for Machiavelli is one of the signs of neoconism.

    1. People who praise The Prince aren’t as well-read in Machiavelli as they think. Machiavelli wrote The Prince as sarcastic attack on the corrupt authoritarian governments of the various merchant-prince and Papal city-states of Renaissance Italy.

      Remember, Machiavelli, like his best friend Leonardo da Vinci, was from Florence, which was a republic until the Medici conquered them with the help of the Pope. After the fall of the republic, Machiavelli was on the Medici’s shit list and was arrested and tortured. A year later, he wrote The Prince.

      If one reads the Discourses on Livy, it is clear that Machiavelli advocated civic republicanism as his preferred form of government.

      1. reasonable filtered that comment due to the term “city-state”.

        1. Well, use of that term could awaken the gaze of Mary.

          1. That is why it ended up in the filter.

      2. I you want to read a great book about how poor government (in this case not just the state but the church too) affected the economy of 14th and 15th century Italy read Medici Money. Excellent example.

        1. I will check that out. The other thing that really screwed virtually all of Europe was the practice of hiring mercenaries. When the war ended the mercenaries were out of a job and would just turn on their bosses or anyone else around and demand protection money in order not to be looted.

          Sir John Hawkwood terrorized Northern Italy for much of the 14th Century.

          1. read the book…it is covered.

          2. Interesting. Anyone else notice there’s a current super-power that seems to be relying more and more on mercenaries to fight its wars?

            1. No.

              If you’re referring to the US, the vast majority of our troops are American citizens. The others are not in it for the money, they’re in it for the promise of citizenship in the future.

      3. Seriously? The Prince was merely tortured-induced sarcasm? Do you have some citation for this beyond your own pedantic opinion?

        And no, I’ve not read Discourses on Livy but color me skeptical that this makes it all clear.

        1. you can pretty much read anything you don’t like as satire. Some claim the Republic is satirizing utopian views of justice. My own theory is that David Foster Wallace’s entire career was one long trolling of the workshop fiction crowd. In all cases, it is a tough case to make absent a direct admission by the author.

          1. I actually read through Plato’s Republic with an eye towards irony. And there are indications of sarcasm such as when he writes:

            Last of all comes the most beautiful of all, man and State alike, tyranny
            and the tyrant; these we have now to consider.

            Quite true, he said.

            Say then, my friend, In what manner does tyranny arise?–that it has a
            democratic origin is evident.

            Clearly.

            Ironic? Very doubtful in my opinion, unless Law is apocryphal, which could be argued, of course, but I’m pretty skeptical. Meanwhile I’d like to see some evidence for HM’s apparently obvious assertions.

          2. Basicly it comes down The Prince and The Discourses being completely contradictory and written so close together that it’s nearly impossible he believed what he was writing in both. The common belief that The Prince was intended ironically comes from the fact that it follows the form of genre called “Mirrors for Princes”, but appears to be deliberately flouting the conventions of the genre. Additionally, while several plausible theories as to why he would have spent the time writing an ironic version of The Prince have been advanced, no one has really come up with a good explanation of why he would have written The Discourses if he didn’t believe them.

            1. Thanks, SD, I wasn’t aware of that. Interesting stuff.

              1. Part of the problem is that a modern audience doesn’t have enough familiarity with mideival and rennaisance royalty to recognize how off the wall some of Machiavelli’s examples are in The Prince. The closest analogy would be if tomorrow Ron Paul released a book suggesting that in order to become more politically successful, the Republican Party needed to start following the examples of, say, Hugo Chavez. People today would probably recognize he wasn’t being serious, both due to the contradiction with Paul’s other works and due to the general unpopularity of Hugo Chavez. In 500 years, the average person, who probably won’t have heard of either Paul or Chavez, might assume the book was meant seriously.

                1. But I doubt such a book would have enough insight to become a classic still read 500 years later.

                  The burden of proof for a classic being ‘ironic’ lies heavily on the person making such claims. Or one can just make such claims and run away.

                  1. How do we know the movie Airplane! is inteded to be ironic and not a serious movie that was badly made? There’s nothing in the movie itself that announces itself to be ironic; the obviousness of the irony comes from understanding within the cultural context it was made in, particularly in terms of familiarity with other examples of the “airline disaster” genre.

        2. Technically, WE’RE the ones who are really being “Machiavellian” every time we ironically justify or mock-vindicate the machinations of Top Men.

        3. If Roger Penrose’s recent books have been sarcasm, I would regain some respect for him.

          1. Don’t you dare mock Penrose you evil bastard. You know I have a man-crush on him.

      4. Which makes it fitting that Brooks is a big fan of The Prince.

      5. I believe The Prince was more for getting in with the Medici’s. He does state at the beginning of the book, though, thathis prescriptions are specifically for running a principality and not a republic or other elected government.

  6. Slashing government spending destroys jobs and causes the economy to shrink.

    Derp. Jobs != wealth.

    Bringing over more ? there are already 500,000 workers on H-1B visas ? would obviously darken job prospects for America’s struggling young scientists and engineers.

    DEY TUK ER JERBS!!1

    Acting brutally abroad saves lives at home.

    Welp. That’s David Brooks, alright. Wherever there’s an authoritarian cock, he will be there to suck it.

    1. You mean paying every man and woman a million dollars a year to dig and fill holes won’t actually make everyone filthy rich and grow the economy?

    2. Bringing over more ? there are already 500,000 workers on H-1B visas ? would obviously darken job prospects

      Dog whistles.

  7. if the message to American students is, “Don’t bother working hard for a high-tech degree, because we can import someone to do the job for less,” we could do significant long-term damage to the high-tech educational system we value so dearly.

    In other words, we wouldn’t want people to find out higher education is extremely overpriced in this country, thereby destroying the bubble and actually bringing education costs down at the expense of a bunch of academics and bureaucrats. Cool.

    1. The higher education bubble is ripe, too. The state gives universities and colleges less and less money each year, but instead of laying people off and cutting back on underperforming departments, they raise tuition and nibble at the edges. They are all rending their clothes and gnashing their teeth at “for-profit” colleges. Oh noes! Profit! It’s not like those asshole work for free.

      1. All they have left is their rep and their control over the credentialing system. That is a lot granted. But it is not enough to hold out forever.

      2. They are all rending their clothes and gnashing their teeth at “for-profit” colleges. Oh noes! Profit! It’s not like those asshole work for free.

        It’s very amusing. The for-profit university I teach at has done so well that last year all faculty and staff got a 3.5% raise across the board.

        1. you monster. Why do you hate the poor childrunz that can’t afford your high priced counter-indoctrination camps?

      3. but instead of laying people off and cutting back on underperforming departments, they raise tuition and nibble at the edges

        And all I ever hear about from my non-libertarian peer group is whining about how wrong it is to cut programs that cost a bunch of money and don’t lead to careers, because OH THE HUMANITIES!

        I say this as a non-STEM (mostly) person. The shit I love to do is mostly a hobby. Sorry people don’t really want to pay you for your hobbies anymore.

        1. I couldnt fine any really funny “oh the humanities” images from a gis, but did run across this, that I had forgotten about.

          Virginia Earthquake

        2. But that’s what they are gen-ed requirements for. Those lousy STEM kids can fund the French department with their filthy lucre.

          Anyone that knows even a little bit about economics could spend a day on campus and come up with ideas that would save millions. The inefficiencies around here boggle the mind.

          1. Well the problem is how many of them really do think it’s “filthy lucre.” If you go think of college as an investment that will reap financial, not just cerebral, dividends, you’re doing it wrong.

            1. You aren’t doing it wrong if you get a degree in mechanical engineering. You are if you get a degree in psychology.

              1. Sorry, I was pretending to be “them.” Motives for learning must be pure!

              2. You aren’t doing it wrong if you get a degree in mechanical engineering

                Or medicine.

                1. Yes, you are. FUCK ALL DOCTORS.

                  1. Green is a terrible colour on you, Wartington.-)))

                    1. You have finally seen the light! GM is dead, long live Thor!

                    2. GM is dead

                      In stasis for the time being. I am exercising my inner sexual Tyrannosaurus fuckbeast levels of fun for a bit.-) Dr. PG approves.

                      You see, Warty, if you had gotten a medical degree, you too could enjoy cold winters on the steppes with UKR wimminz. But you opted to program Da Vinci’s for…wait for it…DOCTORS. Sucker!

                    3. Weren’t you just telling someone to avoid going to med school at all costs the other day?

                    4. Weren’t you just telling someone to avoid going to med school at all costs the other day?

                      Yes, I did and I did mean that. I am just giving Warty a hard time because he’s stuck in that shithole known as Ohio, he hates doctors, and lurrvvs UKR wimminz.-)

                  2. I don’t have a problem with humanities degrees (I mean, I have one after all), but they aren’t a path financial stability. Selling them as such is fraud.

                  3. Sorry there’s no cure for Wartyism yet… they’re still working on it though. Hang in there, big guy.

                2. Or medicine.

                  Bull, who could possibly make money as a doctor anymore? Unless you were some kind of advance chiropractor like Dr Groo…

                3. Or medicine.

                  My sister is on the faulty for continuing ed at Harvard Med.

                  There is no class of people with a higher sense of entitlement than doctors.

                  (She is there for 5 more months and is then getting the hell out of there and back into the profit-making sector where they actually WANT results rather than actively prevent them.)

              3. I really should have got a degree in ME. Since I now have to do their job anyway. I suppose I still could.

        3. You CAN get people to pay you to do what you love; it just requires that you work five tmes as hard as you would at a 9-5 job.

        4. My pops works for a community college, so I’m kinda up on this. The new pres at his college decided to cut the number of VP of _____ positions from I think 14 to 6 over three years — and he seems to believe that six is probably too many. I believe cutting those 8 jobs saves over a half million dollars a year just on those positions, without accounting for the support staff that an administrative VP requires. That kind of bloat is pretty endemic to higher ed institutions across the country. When they say, “there’s nothing to cut!!”, they mean “we can’t fire our fellow administrators”.

          I suspect the total savings from paring down 14 silos to 6 will be at least 4x the VP salaries, maybe as high as 10x. So if a juco can find $2-$5M/year without looking very hard, imagine what state Us could find.

          1. When they say, “there’s nothing to cut!!”, they mean “we can’t fire our fellow administrators”.

            Exactly the same thing can be said for public schools (primary that is). While teachers are complaining they don’t get paid enough, why aren’t they crying for school principals, vice principals, and superintendents to take pay cuts or flat out get rid of those positions?

            The only non-teaching jobs you should need at a school are 1-2 admin assistants to keep track of grades, and a school nurse and janitor.

            1. I’d have to go dig uo the numbers, but teaching positions at Texas universities have remained nearly flat, but admin positions skyrocketed over the past decade or so. Now, I’ll be the first to suggest some admin overhead of the modern university is driven by external forces, but the numbers I recall seeing were unjustifiable. It stank of bureaucratic empire building.

          2. When they say, “there’s nothing to cut!!”, they mean “we can’t fire our fellow administrators”.

            This. To the 10^23 power.

            I don’t think people on the outside can understand how much of a hassle it is to deal with all those dotted lines on the org chart, to borrow a Dilbertism. Tenured professors can to a large extent ignore them, but those of us at the bottom of the scrotum pole not so much.

      4. The state gives universities and colleges less and less money each year

        Not true. Just rather than giving them direct payments, they go the indirect route by giving them money via student loans.

        1. I’ll also point out that by doing it this way government money could be funneled to private universities (read: Ivy League).

  8. Our drone policy should take account of our founders’ superior realism. Drone strikes are so easy, hidden and abstract. There should be some independent judicial panel to review the kill lists. There should be an independent panel of former military and intelligence officers issuing reports on the program’s efficacy.

    Brooks of course fails to mention that Obama does none of that.

    1. In fairness to David Brooks (OMG I just said that), the implication here is that these are steps that Obama *should* but isn’t taking.

      1. True Matt. But Brooks spends the entire column telling us how dreamy Obama is and then spends one paragraph mentioning that well maybe we need some controls on this. That is kind of important isn’t it? And the lack of controls doesn’t say good things about Obama.

  9. “Belle Isle was recently at the center of a different moneymaking scheme.”

    I’m curious how the NYT thinks it’s a moneymaking scheme.

    1. They have no idea. That is just NYT speak for “what they are doing is wrong”.

      1. Yeah, nothing worse than moneymaking in a slow, stagnant economy.

        1. Well, yeah. Anyone making money is stealing it from the poor. That’s why we have government. To punish greedy money makers and distribute the money to where it belongs.

          1. Ugh. If there was one piece of economic stupidity I could magically eliminate, that would be the one. That somehow making a profit means you are taking something away from someone else.

            1. The firms that make the biggest profits are the ones that create the most value for society (money freely given for goods and services) at the lowest cost to that society (in terms of resources consumed to produce those goods and services).

              That definition gives liberals fits.

              1. Yeah. That’s why they just can’t shake certain aspects of Marxism (I don’t go around calling many peopel Marxists, but certain bits of Marxism certainly have stuck to the left pretty firmly). If you don’t think about it at all, a company making huge profits does look like it is hoarding surplus value, or some bullshit. It’s an idea that is intuitively appealing, yet totally wrong and backwards.

    2. I’m curious how the NYT thinks it’s a moneymaking scheme

      because its aim is to make money; that makes it a scheme. Duh.

  10. Shorter NY Times: “Our ideas are failing miserably, so yours will too you utopian, ideological, mostly male group of nutjobs”

    This is the time for libertarians to shine. Fall on your swords, boys. Into the breach. Krugman is weak, and his conscience is wearing thin. The Times has become a parody of itself. You can smell the weakness on Obama.

    For Liberty!

    ***I’ve been speaking to conservatives, you see.

    Don’t worry about being dropped from the mainstream for your anti-war isolationism, pro-pornography views, anarchic tendencies (apart from classical liberal, Hayekian ones), the sea-steading, the bit-coin dreams, the end the Fed goldbugs. You’ve gained many a field.

    If libertarians do happen to be going back into the wilderness, then take liberty back from the damned watermelons, the soft totalitarians, the illiberals, the Keynesians, the post-modernists, the progressive race-hustlers, the behavioral-economic, rationalist, paternalistic, technocrats and their crown jewel: Obamacare.

    You can worry about the big-State Righties later on.

    This is what they tell me.

    1. Cool story, bro.

    2. Yeah tell it again.

  11. From Brooks’ column (emphasis mine):

    When you read Machiavelli, you realize how lucky we are. Unlike 16th-century Florence, we have a good Constitution that channels conflict. We have manners, respect for law and social trust that softens behavior, at least a bit. Even in the realm of foreign affairs, we’ve inherited an international order that restrains conflict. Our ancestors behaved savagely to build our world, so we don’t have to.

    And people say libertarians live in a fantasy world???

    1. Our ancestors behaved savagely to build our world, so we don’t have to.

      Acting brutally abroad saves lives at home.

      It is like two columnists in one.

      1. He’s two, two, two twits in one!

    2. Speaking of fantasy worlds, how in the hell could anyone believe that Detroit needs a light rail system?

      1. It used to have a trolley system in which each ride cost the rider 50 cents and the city $100. It’s time to bring back such wise investments in infrastruture.

        1. That’s a .5 percent return on their money! Better than T-bills!

      2. It’s common sense.

  12. a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line

    Needs moar omg global warming.

    The New York Times, The Nation’s Newspaper of Broken Record.

    1. It always comes back to the trains doesn’t it?

        1. It is funny. The same people who object to German Shepherds because of their association with Bull Connor think stuffing people into trains is the height of civic virtue.

      1. In the NYT utopia, they’ll all run on time.

        1. The trains thing is a fairly easy mistake that humans make, it’s all a confusion between causation and correlation.

          “All the places I like have trains, therefore having a train makes a place I don’t like into a place I will like.”

        2. Odd, I initially read that as “NY Tulpia” for some reason,-)

          1. That sounds like a scary place.

            1. There are lots of stop and frisks.

              1. There are lots of lingering stop and frisks.

              2. But the trains run on time, and all the food trucks park parallel to traffic.

                1. all the food trucks park parallel to traffic

                  But only on private property.

                  1. …and throwing snowballs is punishable by the death penalty.

                  2. And only at a non-competitive distance from B & M restaurants.

                    1. And only at a non-competitive distance from B & M restaurants.

                      Bondage and masochism restaurants? Sounds interesting.

          2. I’m not responding to trolls today.

            1. Get a sense of humor man.

  13. This post is full of too easy.

  14. You’d have to be CRAZY to look at Detroit and question the value of a strongly activist liberal government.

  15. the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.

    Hopefully, “remap” is just another word for “level”.

    1. NO There are a lot of beautiful old houses in Detroit. If you could just get the Detroiters to leave and replace them with intelligent life, you would be cooking with peanut oil.

      1. The intelligent Detroiters DID leave and the aint coming back.

      2. Homesteading.
        Actually now that I think of it that wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you take possesion of a home and improve it it’s yours. Add a break to property taxes which the city isn’t getting from these properties now this may work.

        1. The parcels still would have to be unincorporated from the city to attract any homesteaders that would trust the idea.

          I wouldn’t doubt some developers would want a couple square miles of Detroit unincorporated so they could start over with a new city.

          Even professional criminals don’t trust Detroit graft anymore.

  16. You see, there’s Paul Krugman, the economist, of quite agile mind and once at the head of new knowledge in an area of his field, and then there’s the soft socialist political philosopher, for whom Keynes is the first step towards…something.

    There’s also the statue of Krugman erected at the Times, visible from the Bay Area to the New School.

    Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand…
    ——————-

    Beneath the statue, gather hoardes of gay-friendly, pro-peace, postmodern, semi-nihilist, oft-hipster, multicultural, global warming true believer, vaguely liberal, tolerant sometimes communist, Obama-worshipping melange.

    They can’t help it, and watch out if you get in the way. They’re light years ahead of you. It’s science. They’ve been to Europe AND done work in Africa. They’re progressing at an exponential rate. They’re evolving beyond religion, beyond tradition, beyond meaning.

    They’re demographically mixed (Upper East Side AND Harlem) and economically literate. They’ve read all the right books.

  17. Krugabe is a revered elder in an idiot village populated exclusively by people who believe every single penny of government spending is “investment”.

  18. They ride ALL the right city buses. They hang out with ALL the right gangsta thugs upstate and union bosses too.

    They saw Precious. They make art. They read Gramsci. They know a good private-public partnership when they see one. They do green. They will be successful. They can make this work. They will heal the planet.

    They frequent all the right fundraisers. They LOVE jazz. They will buy organic. They will love the Muslims. They will give up guns.

  19. Slashing government spending destroys jobs and causes the economy to shrink.

    What will become of the Cavalry, and all those wranglers and teamsters? And the stokers in the steam powered destroyers?

    Oh, the horror.

    It’s like Schumpeter never existed.

    1. What will become of the Cavalry

      Based on my 6 years in it, they’ll be as drunk and ignorant as ever.

  20. Paul Krugman:

    “Now is never the time for spending cuts”.

    “The only reason the bailouts aren’t working is because they aren’t big enough”.

    “We would all be better off if we were invaded by aliens!”

    “A hurricane every week this winter ought to turn the economy around!”

    “Does this Nobel Prize make me look smart?”

  21. Progressive History
    FDR resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for pimping young sailors as part of a homo entrapment investigation

    The Democrat Party then nominated him as James M Cox’s VP and they lost to Warren G Harding in a landslide.

    1. Its not gay if its away.

      1. Homo until armistice. HUA or as the Marines pronouce it, OO rA

    2. FDR – famous for asses and holes in the ground.

  22. Hey, don’t blame me, I voted for Kwame Kilpatrick.

    Well, I nominated him for the “Marion Berry Crackdaddy Of The Year” Award.

  23. Come to exciting Detroit! Our advanced, green light-rail system is one of the most environmentally friendly places to be raped in the WORLD!

    It’s a new day in Detroit!

    1. Dick Jones approves!

    2. Considering large swaths of Detroit look like an episode of “Life After People”, it’s not a stretch to say it’s an environmentalist paradise.

      1. Don’t they actually film a lot of that show in Detroit?

    3. It’s like an advertisement made just for Steve Smith.

  24. Clearly, the way to reduce spending and increase revenue is to prop up unions, blow wads of cash on green boondoggles, sign Obamacare into law, vastly increase the size and scope of federal government, build light rails to nowhere, reward your friends and punish your enemies in community organizing style.

    Then, just blame Bush, stand in front of the media and look Presidential once every six months, and make the suburbs feel guilty about race with “moderate” platitude-filled speeches.

    Just cut military spending by sequester and it’ll work out fine.

    1. QUICK! Somebody get this guy his own blog so that his wisdom isn’t lost FOREVER!!!!

      1. Yeah – hey Chris, one 5 hour energy is enough.

        1. Or just get back to work on your debut album.

  25. So basically, we’re still in crisis mode, according to Krugman, with an economy on life support, and we need to keep spending just to sustain it…until when, exactly?

  26. would obviously darken job prospects for America’s struggling young scientists and engineers

    Oh give me a break. Getting an academic job in the sciences is one thing, but “our struggling young” engineers.

    At my school engineering students walk out of the on-campus job fair with (a) job offer(s).

    I don’t want to paint a Utopian picture, don’t get me wrong, but unemployment rates for recent engineering undergraduates our low and starting salaries are high.

    Employers aren’t clamoring for reform so they can lay down teh oppreshunz on foreign engineers; they’re doing it because they need the employees.

    1. I can confirm this. My son-in-law just graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He had a 60K job offer BEFORE he graduated which included the company paying for his last semester.

      1. Word. We’ll take ’em as fast as the schools can graduate them. I think we were looking to hire 60 or 90 new grads this year for our rotational program. We’re poaching engineers from any other industry we can think of.

        1. Need any ChemEs?

          1. I think we’ll take anybody with an engineering degree right now, honestly. I know a lot of the postings say BS in Engineering with no discipline specified. I know the last recruiting trip I did, I interviewed EE, ME, and Aerospace.

            1. Email me a link? I’m looking around and going back to Texas sounds better every day.

              1. No problem. I’ll send it to the email link in your handle.

                1. I’d be interested too possibly. What industry, and location?

      2. Yeah, I know somebody whose kid graduated with a mechanical engineering degree last year. He had several job offers immediately and took one locally making 65K a year.

      3. Not a new grad, obviously, but last year I thought out loud about leaving academia to some of my engineer friends and a couple of weeks later I had emails from corporate recruiters probing my interest.

        Anybody relatively young in STEM who’s unemployed at this point isn’t looking hard enough. Though I do know several other “junior faculty” who are in the dumps and feeling trapped because they can’t find an academic job when their current one expires.

  27. I seem to recall someone at EconLog (Garret Jones, perhaps?) touting a recent paper by the IMF that concluded spending cuts were much less harmful to an economy in recession vis-a-vis tax increases. I admit I don’t read Krugman much, but is he at least honest enough to admit that austerity also means tax increases? Or is the implicit assumption still that austerity = spending cuts = bad for economy?

    1. but is he at least honest enough to admit that austerity also means tax increases? Or is the implicit assumption still that austerity = spending cuts = bad for economy?

      I didn’t bother to RTFA, but his MO is to equate tax hikes to spending cuts as if they have the same impact on output (or, when he’s feels especially up for question begging, to state that spending cuts are even worse because of the direct impact on GDP) or to use the failure of tax hike driven austerity to achieve much growth as a reason not to attempt spending cut austerity.

      Paper in question: http://www.economics.harvard.e…..g+2012.pdf

    2. For Krugnutz

      austerity= threat of imaginary spending cuts and compounded with increasing taxes

      These things are what Paully calls austerity and are bad for economy.

      He just likes to pretend that ‘austerity’ is something else.

  28. Sparky, email me and I’ll get you your own blog too. For pennies on the dollar. You give me $10, I’ve give you $20 back by the end of the month.

    It will last FOREVER!

    1. OK, but do I have to be a libertarian? I really don’t want to be a libertarian.

      1. You can be whatever you’d like. You’re TOTALLY free.

        Sorry, I’ve got to get off the Four Loko.

        In all seriousness, because we didn’t get the kind of TARP that Krugman wanted, and we’re limping along, and any reduction in spending will plunge us back into depression,

        how does he account for the misallocated spending we’re doing now?

        When can we cut?

      2. None of us do, really, we’re just in it for the women.

        1. You guys must be swimming in poon.

          1. Oh yes, there will be women at my section of Belle Isle. I can assure you.

            As one of the dark libertarian overlords of Detroit, I will see to it.

            One corollary here is what Zappo’s exec, Tony Hsieh is doing in Las Vegas. Tech/business guy with plans for a community.

            Either way, the old models aren’t working, whatever your political stripes.

            The NY Times op-ed page is grudgingly accepting this, if at all.

  29. But it’s not entirely a joke: private foundations and deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.

    Wow! Outsize influence! Sounds ominous.

    “It’s insidious and suspicious when the private sector does it!”

    It’s easy to mock liberals because their thinking patters are so pedestrian and child-like. It’s even easier when they fancy themselves geniuses – hey, they even come up with bullshit studies to prove just how smart they are! Just like peeping inside a self-esteem-building therapy group led by Stewart Smalley.

  30. is he at least honest enough

    Haha, good one.

  31. Stupid libertarians don’t understand that government is magic! It can create value out of thin air! There is no such thing as debasing the currency! When government prints a hundred dollar bill it creates a hundred dollars of value! Magic! That and when government spends money it always does it more wisely than the person who actually earned the money, because Top. Men. are magic! See? It’s magic!

    1. A hundred? You forgot the multiplier effect.

  32. Ross Eisenbrey?”Why we don’t need more foreign high-tech workers”

    You know you’re going to hear a whopper when someone starts asserting what people need or don’t need.

    Bringing over more[…] would obviously darken job prospects for America’s struggling young scientists and engineers.

    I just don’t see any insight from the author as to why would tehcnology companies go through the expense of hiring and keeping a foreign technologist instead of hiring local hands. I am guessing that, for the author, these companies are just being callous and unpatriotic and darn it if the government should not step in to correct this moral wrong!

    if the message to American students is, “Don’t bother working hard for a high-tech degree, because we can import someone to do the job for less,” we could do significant long-term damage to the high-tech educational system we value so dearly.

    So it should be a question of encouragement. Never mind that companies make decisions on the margin and not because they want to send a message to kids they don’t know or care to know. It is the market that sends the message, and right now the message is that many so-called “engineers” are just punk kids that sailed through college binging and partying, with no real work experience, skills or professionalism. Instead, foreign workers have more experience, are more than encouraged to perform, plus are cheaper.

    1. Geez, OM, what kind of young engineers are you hiring? The ones we’ve been getting work harder than I ever did.

      1. It’s not so much that they’re lazy or whatever, but there just aren’t enough of them. I’m not one of those “everyone should be in STEM” people, but the reason engineering degrees make more money then any other is because they’re comparatively scarce. There’s plenty of people who sit around a whiteboard and brainstorm new gadgets, but someone has to turn the whiteboard into a product.

        I know this guy who thinks he can work at Google because he comes up with cool ideas. He doesn’t get that the cool idea is like 5% of the job. The other 95% is making it work. Plenty of people visualize futuristic tech. Very few people can actually build it.

        1. Like Edison said, it’s 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.

        2. We build things that are conceptually not too terribly difficult. I mean, shit, the core of our product is a gate valve. But making a gate valve that works every time for the next 25 years when you stick it on the ocean floor? That’s a hell of a lot harder than it sounds. A lot of old tech is like that. The knowledge base needed to do things right is staggering.

      2. Re: T,

        Geez, OM, what kind of young engineers are you hiring? The ones we’ve been getting work harder than I ever did.

        I totally agree wiht that. What I am doing is arguing from the premise that foreigner are “taking ther jebz!” The solution that the author proposes is to close the doors on foreign workers. I argue that, if it were true that foreigners are “unfairly” taking jobs from a readily-available supply of workers, then the answer is to look at the crop of engineers and see if the problem is there. That is what I’m doing: Strictly arguing from his premise.

        Obviously, what Mr. Eisenbrey is suggesting is pure and unadulterated bullshit. The reason why there are so many HB-1B workers is because there are not enough local technologists. That is what economics suggests (The Law of Supply) but since this imbecile is simply engaging in simple-minded moralizing, then this fact is not mentioned.

  33. Ever feel like an outnumbered ideological minority?

    Every time I vote.

  34. The NYT has an IQ test. If it’s too high, you don’t get the job.

    David Brooks passed with flying colors.

  35. A tax-free zone on Belle Isle sounds like a great idea. With it’s proximity to major metropolitan centers like New York, Chicago, LA and London, it would race past Singapore and Abu Dhabi as a business Mecca.

    1. A tax-free zone on Belle Isle sounds like a great idea. With it’s proximity to major metropolitan centers like New York, Chicago, LA and London, it would race past Singapore and Abu Dhabi as a business Mecca.

      What does it offer that either Singapore or Abu Dhabi doesn’t? It can’t act as a transportation hub as it is not on an ocean. As a financial center, proximity isn’t really a factor. As a tax free zone, how will it pay for infrastructure? I am really curious as to what it offers that many other locations around the world already offer?

      1. Cheaper golf courses in Michigan.

      2. As a tax free zone, how will it pay for infrastructure?

        Because roads would never be built without taxes.

        What does it offer that either Singapore or Abu Dhabi doesn’t?

        Not getting stoned to death for minor infractions.

  36. …it would race past Singapore and Abu Dhabi as a business Mecca.

    Plus the whole not stoning people to death thing would help, I’d think.

    1. Yeah, you wouldn’t have to worry about what plants or magazines you left in your suitcase when you enter the city.

  37. There’s two flavors of austerity:

    Austerity for productive citizens via tax increases.

    Austerity for government and unproductive citizens via spending cuts.

    The first is the only one that’s been tried, and its failed. Of course, Krugman and the Total Staters conflate the two, in order to prevent the second from being tried.

    1. What the hell is an “unproductive citizen” you fucking commie?

      1. People who don’t feel they should work or in any way provide for themselves because they have some misconception that they own their neighbors and all their neighbors produce as per some imaginary “social contract”, you fucking commie.

  38. Okay, so I’m looking for a place to create my new “special autonomous region” where economic realities and the value of the individual will be recognized and embraced through a libertarian approach to government.

    Where do I put it?

    A tropical island paradise in the warm waters of the Pacific or the Carribean? No. An idyllic alpine range of the rugged West? No. A coastal community along the U.S. mainland at a warm latitude with mild winters and a population well disposed toward the idea of economic liberty? No.

    I’ll put it in Detroit.

    Wha-huh?

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s because all those places you mentioned aren’t the kind of places their local governments are willing to give up. In Detroit on the other hand, they are in desperate need of… a high speed rail system.

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