I have come to the conclusion that, for our friends on the left, they are pro-choice in exactly one thing

Our good friend Amanda Marcotte has an interesting post up in which she tells us what we already knew, that fast food isn’t particularly good for you, and, she argues really isn’t faster:

People who ride the extreme “fast food only sells because it’s easy” argument tend to oversell how hard it is to cook and undersell what a pain in the ass it is to go to McDonald’s. I used to eat out at fast food places (albeit, locally owned ones based in Austin that emphasized healthier choices than the major chains—but they will never get any bigger than they are because of this choice) a lot more because I bought the whole line about how eating out is easier. But gradually it dawned on me that it really wasn’t.

OK, fine, I have absolutely no problem with Amanda telling us that fast food isn’t all that fast, or in her telling us that it’s a superior choice to cook for yourself. Through dozens of comments, the mostly liberal Ppandagonistae discussed that, with some agreeing while others claimed that fast food was simply a much better option for them (sometimes) than the author believed. The respondents were discussing their choices.

Almost unnoticed was her final sentence:

We have to think of the problem as more complex than that, even if doing so brings up uncomfortable solutions, like demanding a redistribution of agricultural subsidies and taxing fast food so that it’s not so much a cheap pleasure as it used to be.

Now we come to it. People’s food choices are not just their choices, but a “problem.” Not only does Amanda believe that many people are taking the wrong choices when it comes to food, but she also wants to use the power of government to punish such choices, to try to use economic pressure to compel people to take the choices of which she approves.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that we shouldn’t be subsidizing agricultural products at all. Such subsidies ought not to be redistributed, but ended. But Amanda wasn’t only for “a redistribution of agricultural subsidies,” but for increasing taxes on a perfectly legal choice that many people take, but of which she disapproves, to push changes in their behavior, to get other people to do what she believes is for their own good, and to punish them if they do not comply.

Me, I don’t like cheese very much; I call it what it is, rotten, sour, clabbered milk. Nor do I think that that high-cholesterol (supposedly) food-like substance is very healthy for you. But I am absolutely not offended if someone wants to put cheese on a sandwich, or even if Hoagie wants to open up (another) Italian restaurant with everything smothered in the stuff. If Perry wants to go into that restaurant and literally swim in that stuff, I do not care. It tramples on no one else’s rights — though it might mean that I would have more difficulty in finding an item there that I can eat — and that makes it absolutely none of my business.

That is what the late 1960s/early 1970s liberalism that I remember actually stood for: if something is none of your business, then it’s none of your business; if something doesn’t trample on someone else’s rights, then no one else has anything to say about it.

What the heck happened to the 1960s/1970s liberals? Where are the people from the left who thought that government simply had no business sticking its collective nose into their lives? Where are the liberals who thought that ever-increasing government control of people’s lives was fascism?

58 Comments

  1. *shrug* Don’t know about way back then, but most of my life it’s been clear that liberals are pro everyone-do-what-I-want. That’s why “bipartisan” means “Conservatives do what Liberals want,” why there’s the opposition to folks even offering free sonograms to women going into abortuaries, why every left-wing proposal comes with a bunch of sticks and carrots to shove folks to the plan they’re SURE will work, this time.

    The folks I know who think gov’t has no reason to stick its nose into their lives? They’re either libertarians or liberaltarians– the second one finds some way that whatever lefty thing they want to support is in the public interest. Like helmet laws because not wearing a helmet puts costs on the public.

  2. “….or even if Hoagie wants to open up (another) Italian restaurant with everything smothered in the stuff.’

    Woah there, Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup), not all Italian food has any cheese whatsoever unless you add it. Take your common meatballs and spaghetti or pasta bolognese, all meat pasta and tomato. Or one can go a little more upscale to a scallopini or cacciatore or upscale even further to a full blown osso buco. Not a smidgen of cheese in any.

  3. But back on topic here Dana. The old style ( Hubert Humphery ) liberals have morphed into “progressives”. Therein lies the rub. Seems progressives feel ( note I use “feel” not think ) that if they believe something to be a good idea we should all do it or be penalized for not doing it. You know, light bulbs, soda, toilets, Solyndra. We are so ignorant we must be corraled like the beasts we are….to save ourselves dontcha know?

    Whatever happened to the old liberals indeed. They are todays moderates since the Democratic Party left them adrift, still loving America and freedom with nowhere to go. Don’t get me wrong, the Republican Party has its share of loones, but todays Democrat Party is a cornucopia of special interests, radicals, anarchists, communists, socialists, and so on.

    You know, I was a Democrat for years. How’s that float your boat Perry? I switched to independant in the 90′s and to Republican just a while back. There was a time when there were actually conservatives and capitalists in the Democratic Party. Now, well, not so much. There are conservatives like Lieberman. Oh, that’s right he was forced out. And there are capitalists, but now they’re crony capitalists who bundle money and get 535 million in taxpayers money for doing so. Oh well, times change.

  4. A reason Progressives “feel” they must guide us in life’s pitfalls or we would be a danger to all and ourselves. I had a slightly similar experience about a month ago when I wanted a 10 foot piece of pipe cut into 3 equal pieces with a thread on the middle one to make pipe clamps. My 3 equal pieces were 2 four foot pipes, and 1 three foot piece instead of three 3foot 4inch pieces. We are DOOMED.

    We Are Doomed!

    Here’s the setup:

    The ‘kid’ at the hardware store was not able to determine what 7 ¾ of an inch was (is)! This kid was attempting to cut a piece of glass for me, on a professional glass cutter apparatus which had a very nice and very clear measuring indicator – and he had no freakin clue about fractions of an inch! OMG, I could not believe it… but I had to, it was happening right in front of my eyes.

    I went to our local ‘OSH’ Hardware store today to buy a piece of glass to repair a cracked pane in one of our windows. It’s one of those windows with triangle and diamond shape panes of glass. No big deal I said to myself… I made it easy for them at the hardware store and measured the length-by-width of a rectangular piece of glass that I would need in order to bring it home and then cut my own triangle with my hand-held glass cutter to fit the exact window pane.

    More of this compelling story here:

    http://modernsurvivalblog.com/survival-skills/we-are-doomed/

  5. I know exactly where you’re coming from Yorkshire. My friends and I were at the bar at the Club last week and our 26 yer old bartender turned to me and said: “Hoagie, we need bigger glasses for drinks”. I asked what he meant and he stated we should have glasses that were “a cup”. I said: ” Stu, they ARE a cup”. He got huffy and ran to the kitchen and returned with a 16oz. Pyrex measuring cup and challenged: “Wanna bet?” “Sure” He grabs a cocktail glass, fills the Pyrex with water and pours it into the glass. “See, there’s half a cup left in the measurer” he boldly proclaimed. I said: “Stu, how many ounces in a cup?” “Sixteen”. “No Stu, 8oz is a cup.” “So what’s 16oz. then?” “That would be a pint, Stu”. Oh!

    Afterthought: he asked how I knew the glasses were a cup measure. I explained that during our re-vamp of the club I standardized the glassware to ensure consistantcy in service and I ordered the damn glasses.

  6. Friday I’ll show him the difference between a shot and a jigger. Didn’t want to blow his mind all at one time.

  7. Yorkshire, Hoagie, those are great examples of the results of all this lovely herding. Use a bunch of new theories for education, then socially promote everyone who can out-think a rock….

  8. Foxfier says:
    28 September 2011 at 19:28 (Edit)

    Yorkshire, Hoagie, those are great examples of the results of all this lovely herding. Use a bunch of new theories for education, then socially promote everyone who can out-think a rock….

    They’ll be flummoxed if the rock rolls away from them…..

  9. Now we come to it. People’s food choices are not just their choices, but a “problem.”

    Remind me to burn dioxins upwind of your home sometime. Don’t go criticising my rubbish disposal choices.

    Obesity is a public health issue. Allow me to remind you of the concept of “externalities”, which even sane Republicans have heard of. If the money spent subsidising calories from saturated fats was spent subsiding calories from vegetables (or not spent), Americans would be better off, healthier and happier – and America as a whole would be better off.

    But, just as you have contempt for American democracy and the Constitution, you have contempt for American public health.

    Personally, I don’t care if you lard-asses all blow your hearts up. God knows, your brains have already calcified.

  10. ‘Oh, yum. I was going to make a joke about my husband making Italian look good, but the phrase “fried ravioli” distracted me….”
    Are you out of your phuckin’ mind? Foxfier, well done darling. I’ll be thinkin’ bout you.

  11. Yeah Pho, we’re calcified. Americans are all brain dead, right?

    Tell me more Foxfire. I’m waitin’.

  12. The Phoenician wrote:

    Obesity is a public health issue. Allow me to remind you of the concept of “externalities”, which even sane Republicans have heard of. If the money spent subsidising calories from saturated fats was spent subsiding calories from vegetables (or not spent), Americans would be better off, healthier and happier – and America as a whole would be better off.

    Apparently, in your rush to once again criticize, you missed this part:

    Now, I’ll be the first to say that we shouldn’t be subsidizing agricultural products at all. Such subsidies ought not to be redistributed, but ended.

    But that does not mean I want to use the tax code to cajole, to urge, to nudge, or to force people into taking — or avoiding — particular behaviors because the government deems them to be good or poor choices. We already have plenty of cultural messages pushing us toward being thinner, but our dietary choices are still, and should remain, matters of personal choice.

    But, I am unsurprised by your comment. Were you to have your way, we’d all be the automatons from George Orwell’s 1984, doing exactly what we’re told, because it’s good for us.

  13. The Phoenician wrote:

    Obesity is a public health issue.

    Is it? Communicable diseases certainly are, which is why we mandate vaccinations against those for which we have vaccines. But if I pass someone on the street who is obese, I can’t somehow catch it from him. Obesity is a personal health issue.

    We can view tobacco use as a public health issue, because second-hand smoke spreads, and we can reasonably regulate places where people may put smoke in the air. But we should have no public right to regulate private usage in an area in which second-hand smoke is not a problem.

  14. Hoagie -
    the recipe seems to boil down to “get frozen ravioli at the store, dip in buttermilk then breadcrumbs, deep fry at 350 until crispy and slightly brown, sprinkle with cheese of choice and serve with pasta sauce for dipping.”
    They suggest cheese ravioli, which I keep around for Fridays. Elf may be getting ravioli again this week….

  15. But that does not mean I want to use the tax code to cajole, to urge, to nudge, or to force people into taking — or avoiding — particular behaviors

    Have you bothered to read up on “externalities” yet?

  16. The Phoenician asked:

    Have you bothered to read up on “externalities” yet?

    You mean the concept under which, in effect, I can define any action as having some sort of effect or cost on someone else, and thus justify community meddling in virtually every aspect of life? You claim tat obesity is a condition which imposes societal costs, and therefore society has a perfect and legal right to impose greater costs on the obese person, impose active punishments to compel him to lose weight, or even force him into a fat farm or weight loss surgery.

    Well, we’ve tried that here before. If obesity causes health problems, alcohol consumption leads to much worse ones: damaged livers, lowered productivity, broken marriages, increased accidents, just a whole host of economic and social problems. And whole bunch of busybodies managed to get the Congress and the states to put the 18th Amendment into our Constitution.

    But, in the end, the public didn’t support it, and the demand for alcohol was too great; it was societally rejected, and Constitutionally repealed. The public said to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, “Don’t drink if you don’t want to, but leave the rest of us alone.”

    Your view on unaccounted, unintended, unpaid for costs would allow the government to impose any intrusive regulations that can be passed. Some busybodies think that people buying incandescent light bulbs costs society too much, so they want to ban them. Other busybodies think that any reference to God must be scrubbed from the public square, because it might offend a few people, while still others would regulate offensive lyrics in hip-hop “music.” And it’s all for our own good, of course!

    Liberals just don’t seem to understand liberty.

  17. You mean the concept under which, in effect, I can define any action as having some sort of effect or cost on someone else, and thus justify community meddling in virtually every aspect of life?

    No, I mean the basic economic concept. If you are unaware of basic economic concepts, perhaps you shouldn’t try talking about economics?

    Liberals just don’t seem to understand liberty.

    So sayeth the man who has spent years as an apologist for torture, indefinite detention without trial, and rendition.

  18. “No, I mean the basic economic concept. If you are unaware of basic economic concepts, perhaps you shouldn’t try talking about economics?”

    Sounds to me like Dana is quite aware of that particular economic concept. And I’d like to remind you there is only one economist who blogs here and it ain’t you. Just because you don’t agree with said economist changes nothing. Phishing online or Wiki or wherever for economic concepts and theories with which you agree does not make you an economist, it makes you a phisherman. And since neither you nor Dana are economists you are both equally qualified to discuss any theory you choose…as non-economists.

    Externality is an economic concept Pho, unfortunately one which is used by narcissists and tyrants to justify imposing their will on their fellow man. Externality is profoundly employed by marxists, communists, socialists and theocrats to control the “little people” and to promote and justify a pleathora of liberty-killing policies. Personally, I consider externality as “junk economics” which, as an actual economist, is my right.

  19. Sounds to me like Dana is quite aware of that particular economic concept.

    Then you’re wrong: “You mean the concept under which, in effect, I can define any action as having…

    You *claim* to be an economist. As far as I can tell, there’s little to prove that you have anything except maybe a piece of paper.

  20. What, I have to wonder, can’t be justified by “externalities,” if externalities are supposed to be considered? Pre-marital sex sometimes results in unplanned pregnancies, and out-of-wedlock births, and out-of-wedlock births lead to all sorts of increased societal costs, including higher welfare costs, and, later on, higher crime rates and incarceration costs. Given those externalities, why can’t we legally prohibit pre-marital sex?

    Stiletto heels lead to greater incidences of foot and ankle problems in women, and some of those costs are borne by society, in the form of lost productivity and increased health care costs; shouldn’t we prohibit stiletto heels, to keep down those costs?

    Business competition can lead to greater costs, as some customers will burn more gasoline traveling to a further-away store to get a lower price for a particular item; why shouldn’t the government simply set prices for all consumer goods, to insure that customers purchase what they want at the closest store?

    Similarly, some people will choose jobs further away from their homes, because those jobs pay more, leading to greater fuel consumption and more air pollution and an increase in greenhouse gases; why shouldn’t the government mandate that all jobs pay exactly the same thing, thus pushing people to take the job which is closest to their home?

    We decided that racial integration of schools is a good, and even necessary, thing in our society, and that the costs of segregation are borne disproportionately by some people, and by society as a whole, as blacks tend to earn less than whites. Yet forced integration, accomplished through busing, was very expensive, and has not resulted in racial integration in our living patterns; why should the government not simply assign families to specific residences, using race as a guideline, to insure a harmonious and racially integrated society?

  21. “What, I have to wonder, can’t be justified by “externalities,” if externalities are supposed to be considered?”

    And that’s the problem, almost nothing can’t be justified by externalities. In fact externality is the “butterfly effect” of economics. At some point there are so many “ripples” that nothing can ever get done. Especially nothing “new”, too many externalities.

    Pho: “Then you’re wrong”.

    Of course I’m wrong, I’d never expect you to say I am right on anything. You see Pho, you’re a “glass half empty” kinda guy and I’m “glass half full” kinda guy so the only thing we’ll ever agree on is that there is a glass.

    Then Pho follows up with this little snippet: “You *claim* to be an economist. As far as I can tell, there’s little to prove that you have anything except maybe a piece of paper.”

    So merely disagreeing with me isn’t enough, you need to challenge my credentials too. I think I see where you’re coming from. I studied economics but rather than sit around and write articles or teach or pontificate the science I chose to put it into practice and go into business. Therefore, I am not an “intellectual” and thus have no credibility. On the other hand an economist like Krugman who has never actually employed economics to create goods or services is the “expert”. Makes perfect sense.

  22. Hoagie was wrong!

    Of course I’m wrong, I’d never expect you to say I am right on anything. You see Pho, you’re a “glass half empty” kinda guy and I’m “glass half full” kinda guy so the only thing we’ll ever agree on is that there is a glass.

    It was a paper cup, damn it, a paper cup, not a glass!

  23. “Therefore, I am not an “intellectual” and thus have no credibility. On the other hand an economist like Krugman who has never actually employed economics to create goods or services is the “expert”. Makes perfect sense.”

    Hoagie, I’ll say again, you talk microeconomics, based on your education and experience on the ground, Krugman (and PiaToR) talk macroeconomics. Thus, you folks do not all speak the same language. To form economic policy, both voices need be heard and taken into account by lawmakers.

  24. “You mean the concept under which, in effect, I can define any action as having some sort of effect or cost on someone else, and thus justify community meddling in virtually every aspect of life?”

    This comment on externalities brings to my mind that good judgment must be brought to bear on each issue. I don’t believe an all encompassing statement, or law, can be written, because the issues are in grey areas. For example, on alcohol consumption, imbibing is a personal choice, fine, but driving drunk endangers others, not fine. On wearing seat belts, the same argument can be made for driving alone versus with passengers. On wearing stilettos, that is a personal choice having no significant impact on others.

    Dana, I think you want one “law” for all, which is, don’t tread on me! I don’t agree, as stated above.

  25. Actually, Perry, Dana wants one type of law for everything, which is “Obey the US Constitution”. You don’t agree, even though you may say you do, as evidenced by your many demands that various parts of the US Constitution be tossed aside with the garbage in the Laws you want.

  26. Perry said:”Hoagie, I’ll say again, you talk microeconomics, based on your education and experience on the ground, Krugman (and PiaToR) talk macroeconomics. Thus, you folks do not all speak the same language. To form economic policy, both voices need be heard and taken into account by lawmakers.”

    Perry, what I try to do is use microeconomic examples of the errors made in macroeconomics by persons who are not economists and have no basic footing in the craft. What, do you think my “education and experience on the ground” occcured in a macoeconomic vacuum? Do you think that the mico experience was some how not related to or resulting from macro decisions? And to “form economic policy” the entirety of the economic result needs to be taken into account, by economists not lawmakers who are not grounded in economics.

    Macroeconomics to whatever extent, studies the results of hundreds of millions of microeconomic decisions made by millions of people every day. Microeconomics drive the economy. Without a firm footing in micro, and experience in the same, all your theories on macro are just so much mumbo-jumbo. What the hell makes you believe that a person who never ran a hot dog stand is qualified to make macroeconomic decisions and policy for millions of others many of whom have run very sucessful hot dog stands? That’s just plain silly.

    Krugman (among other things) is a macroeconomic theorist. A theorist, Perry! And Krugman like Pho, you and Obama can theorize all you want but the cold hard facts are we reject your theories and as a result will not spend our money now. We will not expand. We will sit on trillions until you realize your theories are wrong. Your theories have created economic uncertainty at all levels. Uncertainty over regulations, taxes, targeted industries, targeted “groups”, property rights, spending, Social Security, Healthcare and a hundered other things. But instead of asking “how do we restore certainty’ you all run around trying to fix blame to someone or call people names. That ain’t fixn’ nothin’.

    Now ( on a lighter note )you’ll be happy to know that at 10am this morning our representatives made settlement on our condo in Boca raton, FL. Yes, in one of the most depressed real estate markets in America I managed to sell a 1.5 million dollar condo. Now, in this macroeconomic environment, where do you think we should invest this money? I guess the real question is: who do you think will invest it more wisely, me or your macroeconomic geniuses?

    Now I’m going out to meet the boys and celebrate the sale. Bye-bye.

  27. So merely disagreeing with me isn’t enough, you need to challenge my credentials too.

    Oh no, I’m not challanging your credentials. I’m challenging your expertise on macroeconomics, based on the egregiously ignorant cr@p you spout.

    Allow me to point out the flaw with your constant attempt to shut down discussion based on an appeal to authority – Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize. Therefore Paul Krugman is a bigger expert than you.

    I studied economics but rather than sit around and write articles or teach or pontificate the science I chose to put it into practice and go into business

    You have a business selling expertise in macroeconomix? I thought you cooked food…

    Macroeconomics to whatever extent, studies the results of hundreds of millions of microeconomic decisions made by millions of people every day.

    Macroeconomis also deals with system effects, paradoxes that don’t show up in microeconomics, and the framing of microeconomics itself – to take one glaring example which demonstrates the sort of cr@p you thorw around in microeconomics, money is a given equivalent to wealth, but in macroeconomics money is a tool quite different to wealth.

    Which is why your claim to expertise is suspect – because you regularly make category errors.

  28. Krugman (among other things) is a macroeconomic theorist. A theorist, Perry!

    SO HOW MANY NATIONAL ECONOMIES HAVE YOU RUN, HOAGIE?

    Krugman has one teeny tiny little factor in his favour – he has, far and away, the best track record of correct predictions of the pundit class, drawing on his expertise of economics. People who criticise him – like Dana – have to l1e about what he actually says in order to make him look bad.

  29. Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize. Therefore Paul Krugman is a bigger expert than you.

    Uh huh. And Nobel Prizes have been given to Yassir Arafat, Al Gore and Barack Obama. I’m sure they were “experts” in “peace,” eh? I also know countless doctors (PhDs and EdDs) who are dumber than rocks.

    Try again, D.D.

  30. Uh huh. And Nobel Prizes have been given to Yassir Arafat, Al Gore and Barack Obama. I’m sure they were “experts” in “peace,” eh? I also know countless doctors (PhDs and EdDs) who are dumber than rocks.

    Indeedy. Which implies what about somone who proclaims himself “an economist” and keeps on making basic mistakes?

  31. One wonders why, if the esteemed Dr Krugman is so brilliant and so often right, none of the leaders of the countries of the world — and there are nearly 200 of them — have asked him to come to their countries and set them aright.

    We have a Democratic President who followed much of what our Nobel laureate advised, and his plans simply failed. And while you can always blame us wicked reich-wingers and our evil influence for keeping our honored President from bringing Dr Krugman into our government, what has stopped the governments of Spain or Greece or Ireland or the United Kingdom or Germany, all with populations more politically liberal than our own, from bringing the good doctor in to help them?

    Indeed, it seems that the elected leaders of the developed world have actually taken advice that is the opposite of Dr Krugman’s. The last I knew, we teatards didn’t have much influence in Germany or the UK.

    And, the reason is simple: the good doctor is advocating a continuation of the policies which put them in the hole in the first place! After years and years and years of spending more than they produced, through borrowing and borrowing and borrowing, some people wiser than you have figured out that you can’t keep doing that forever, and realized that they’ve already hit the wall.

    Of course, those people who are wiser than you are also actually responsible for something, while you — and I — are not. They are the ones whose decisions actually matter.

  32. We have a Democratic President who followed much of what our Nobel laureate advised,

    See what I mean about people like Dana lying?

    Feel free to name the policy Obama implemented that was as Krugman recommended. Go ahead – mention the stimulus

  33. The Phoenician lies, then claims that it’s other people who are lying:

    We have a Democratic President who followed much of what our Nobel laureate advised,

    See what I mean about people like Dana lying?

    Feel free to name the policy Obama implemented that was as Krugman recommended. Go ahead – mention the stimulus…

    You can see what I wrote, and how the Phoenician attempted to change the meaning of what I wrote.

    It wasn’t me who was lying there, Phoe.

  34. And, of course, our Kantankerous Kiwi Kommenter managed to ignore the m,ain point, that it isn’t just us wicked reich-wingers who are not taking Dr Krugman’s advice, but it’s virtually all of the responsible democratic leaders in the developed world who are rejecting his advice.

    And Dr Krugman’s advice would be easier to take; it would involve far less pain, at l;east far less immediate pain, for the public, and the democratic leaders would have a better chance at being re-elected. But, at bottom, those leaders actually understand responsibility, and recognize that drinking more of the Kool-Aid that got their countries to where they are today is no cure.

  35. Perry wrote:

    This comment on externalities brings to my mind that good judgment must be brought to bear on each issue. I don’t believe an all encompassing statement, or law, can be written, because the issues are in grey areas. For example, on alcohol consumption, imbibing is a personal choice, fine, but driving drunk endangers others, not fine. On wearing seat belts, the same argument can be made for driving alone versus with passengers. On wearing stilettos, that is a personal choice having no significant impact on others.

    The seat belt law — which I do not and will not obey — is “justified” because the government says that seat belts reduce injuries in the event of an automobile accident (which they do), and that society bears the cost of the more significant injuries, in lost productivity and higher medical costs; I don’t know why such an argument would be based on whether or not there were passengers in the car.

    As for wearing stilettos, wearing them increases the risk of injury, which can lead to loss of productivity as women miss work or have diminished capacity at work due to pain, and they increase medical costs. Perhaps they don’t have quite the same costs as associated with not wearing seat belts, but the argument is still the same: if the government can intrude on your private life and require you to wear seat belts, why can’t the government intrude on your private life, and ban stilettos, at least on the public sidewalks?

    Dana, I think you want one “law” for all, which is, don’t tread on me! I don’t agree, as stated above.

    Yes, actually, that is the law I want: absent a necessary government interest, necessary meaning that we cannot live without it, or the protection of the rights of other people, I don’t want the government making laws which intrude on people’s personal decisions; such things are just not the government’s business.

    You, on the other hand, see what you believe to be the greater good as trumping the rights of the individual, and by God, we’ll use the police power of the state to force people to go along.

  36. You can see what I wrote, a

    Yes indeedy. And if you followed the link, you’d see Obama DID NOT follow Krugmans recommended policies.

    Ooops. You l1ed.

  37. And Dr Krugman’s advice would be easier to take; it would involve far less pain, at l;east far less immediate pain, for the public, and the democratic leaders would have a better chance at being re-elected. But, at bottom, those leaders actually understand responsibility, and recognize that drinking more of the Kool-Aid that got their countries to where they are today is no cure.

    As it turns out, Krugman addresses just this. You say “responsibility” because you have a moralistic desire to see people being punished, regardless of whether this has anything to do with economic theory or not</.

    Never mind, Dana – I’m sure you’ll find some way to twist what Krugman actually says on that link into the opposite in your usual weaselly way.

  38. “…because you have a moralistic desire to see people being punished, regardless of whether this has anything to do with economic theory or not”

    What? Punished? You’re the only one here who wants people “punished”. And you want them punished for the capital crime of disagreeing with you or making more money than you.

    BTW Pho, I’m rich, you’re poor. How’s your Krugman economics (Nobel no less) workin’ out for you? Or, as you asked ( in capital letters): “SO HOW MANY NATIONAL ECONOMIES HAVE YOU RUN, HOAGIE?”

    None! How many has Krugman or you run? Bet it’s the same as I. Now I get to ask in capital letters: HOW MANY BUSINESSES HAVE YOU RUN PHO? The more you type, the dumber you sound. I am an economic expert, you’re a librarian. Stick to what you know. Remember darling, I’m the one with a new a 1.5 million problem, not you. Ha-ha.

    And this shit:”Macroeconomis also deals with system effects, paradoxes that don’t show up in microeconomics, and the framing of microeconomics itself – to take one glaring example which demonstrates the sort of cr@p you thorw around in microeconomics, money is a given equivalent to wealth, but in macroeconomics money is a tool quite different to wealth.

    Which is why your claim to expertise is suspect – because you regularly make category errors.”

    I, unlike you frequently make errors. And I, unlike you, fix them when I see them. And as far as my “claim to expetise” is concerned….again, I’m rich, you’re poor. Perhaps I should trade in June’s Jaguar for a new Bentley?

    What’s the “sort of crap” I throw around in microeconomics? You really can’t see the forrest for the trees, can you? Or to put it in your lingo: penny wise, pound foolish. That sir, is macroeconomics! It’s really not that hard to understand, even you could do it. But you won’t, too many notes!

    The secret to economics Pho, micro or macro, is simple: Look at the cause and effect, check the unintended consequenses, then make a determination. Guys like you ( you know, government employees, union workers, etc. ) have no faith in your own abilities. It’s sad really. Therefore guys like me will always have to carry guys like you on our backs. BUT, when the burden gets too heavy …..guys like me Shrug.

  39. “Macroeconomis also deals with system effects, paradoxes that don’t show up in microeconomics, and the framing of microeconomics itself – to take one glaring example which demonstrates the sort of cr@p you thorw around in microeconomics, money is a given equivalent to wealth, but in macroeconomics money is a tool quite different to wealth.”

    BTW Pho, that paragraph shows how little you know about economics, micro or macro. Thanks. I rest my case.

  40. “… And if you followed the link, you’d see Obama DID NOT follow Krugmans recommended policies.

    Ooops. You l1ed.”

    You are quick to call a peron a liar, but you’re a fraud. Dana did not lie. Either Krugman, Obama or you did. Either way one of you is a fraud. You get to pick.

    I pick all three.

    You’re so cute Pho. Flopping around in your little hovel in NZ, puffing out your chest and calling everyone a liar. Must be sad to be you.

  41. Sorry, Phoe, but you linked to an article by Dr Krugman which made no different recommendation for the size of the stimulus plan, but one which simply said that some of the details were wrong. Dr Krugman advocated a stimulus, and President Obama presented, and got a stimulus plan passed. As always, you changed the goalposts to cover up for the fact that you were, once again, wrong.

  42. The Phoenician wrote:

    As it turns out, Krugman addresses just this. You say “responsibility” because you have a moralistic desire to see people being punished, regardless of whether this has anything to do with economic theory or not.

    Never mind, Dana – I’m sure you’ll find some way to twist what Krugman actually says on that link into the opposite in your usual weaselly way.

    I followed the link you gave, and found this interesting, if nevertheless pathetic, whine:

    And we’re not (just) talking about ignorant politicians. This stuff has been coming from the European Central Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Bank for International Settlements.

    I don’t fully understand it. But a large part of it, it seems obvious, is the intense desire to see economics as a morality play of sin and punishment, where the sinners are, of course, workers and governments, not the bankers. Pain is not an unfortunate consequence of policies, it’s what is supposed to happen.

    [laughter] Dr Krugman, who admits that he does not “fully understand” what the “ignorant politicians” and the professional economists and bankers are thinking, then engages in projection, ascribing motivations to people who disagree with his ideas, as though by assigning such motivations — even though such is an exercise in mind-reading — somehow invalidates all of their thinking. He even continues to describe them as “obsessive.”

    In more direct words, his arguments have failed to persuade those with actual responsibility to follow the course he thinks they should, so there must simply be something wrong with them.

    Well, Dr Krugman’s course ought to be clear! If the “Very Serious People” he decries won’t take his sage advice, then it’s time for him to step up and run for President! (Too bad there’s no “President of Earth” position for which he can run.) Since the Very Serious People, the ones with actual responsibilities, just aren’t listening to him, it’s time for him to take his case to the people, to put his ideas before the voters, to become the Mostest Serious of People himself.

  43. The Phoenician wrote:

    You say “responsibility” because you have a moralistic desire to see people being punished, regardless of whether this has anything to do with economic theory or not.

    And, like Dr Krugman, who admitted that he didn’t “fully understand” the Very Serious People who didn’t agre with him, you have chosen to attempt to read my mind and tell me why I think what I do. That I might object to another wasted stimulus plan not because I want to punish people, but because I don’t believe it will work any better than the last one, and it will leave us with future debt burdens which will depress our economy as we have to repay the additional borrowing doesn’t seem to occur to you, even though I’ve said it explicitly many times before.

    The fact is that we have been stimulating our economy for years and years now, doing just what you want us to do, borrowing money from China to enable us to spend more than we earn by our production alone. And now we owe $7 trillion to foreign investors, now we have roughly half a year’s GDP that we are going to have to send overseas. That money is going to have to come out of our economy, exerting a depressing effect in the years to come. But, to you, I’m the stupid one for not wanting to increase that amount.

  44. Sorry, Phoe, but you linked to an article by Dr Krugman which made no different recommendation for the size of the stimulus plan

    Uh-huh.

    Let’s quote from the story itself, shall we?

    Bit by bit we’re getting information on the Obama stimulus plan, enough to start making back-of-the-envelope estimates of impact. The bottom line is this: we’re probably looking at a plan that will shave less than 2 percentage points off the average unemployment rate for the next two years, and possibly quite a lot less
    [...]
    Suppose that we’re looking at an economy that, absent stimulus, would have an average unemployment rate of 9 percent over the next two years; this plan would cut that to 7.3 percent, which would be a help but could easily be spun by critics as a failure.

    And that gets us to politics. This really does look like a plan that falls well short of what advocates of strong stimulus were hoping for
    [...]
    I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we’re talking about now,
    [...]
    Let’s hope I’ve got this wrong.

    You were saying? GodDAMN, but you’re a weasel, Dana.

  45. And, like Dr Krugman, who admitted that he didn’t “fully understand” the Very Serious People who didn’t agre with him, you have chosen to attempt to read my mind and tell me why I think what I do.

    Uh-huh.

    “And Dr Krugman’s advice would be easier to take; it would involve far less pain, at l;east far less immediate pain, for the public, and the democratic leaders would have a better chance at being re-elected. But, at bottom, those leaders actually understand responsibility, and recognize that drinking more of the Kool-Aid that got their countries to where they are today is no cure.”

    Gee, Dana, what if – as experience and economic theory are both telling us – the pain of austerity politics is not necessary? But you believe it HAS to be because… because… well, becasue someone has got to hurt, right?

  46. “You mean the concept under which, in effect, I can define any action as having some sort of effect or cost on someone else, and thus justify community meddling in virtually every aspect of life?”

    I love serendipity:

    What MMN do is estimate the cost imposed on society by air pollution, and allocate it across industries. The costs being calculated, by the way, don’t include the long-run threat of climate change; they’re focused on measurable impacts of pollution on health and productivity, with the most important effects involving how pollutants — especially small particulates — affect human health, and use standard valuations on mortality and morbidity to turn these into dollars.

    Even with this restricted vision of costs, they find that the costs of air pollution are big, and heavily concentrated in a few industries. In fact, there are a number of industries that inflict more damage in the form of air pollution than the value-added by these industries at market prices.
    [...]
    At one level, this is all textbook economics. Externalities like pollution are one of the classic forms of market failure, and Econ 101 says that this failure should be remedied through pollution taxes or tradable emissions permits that get the price right. What Muller et al are doing is putting numbers to this basic proposition — and the numbers turn out to be big. So if you really believed in the logic of free markets, you’d be all in favor of pollution taxes, right?

    Hahahahaha. Today’s American right doesn’t believe in externalities, or correcting market failures; it believes that there are no market failures, that capitalism unregulated is always right. Faced with evidence that market prices are in fact wrong, they simply attack the science.

    What this tells us is that we are not actually having a debate about economics. Our free-market advocates aren’t actually operating from a model of how the economy works; they’re operating from some combination of knee-jerk defense of the haves against the rest and mystical faith that self-interest always leads to the common good.

  47. And going to the abstract of that paper:

    Solid waste combustion, sewage treatment, stone quarrying, marinas, and oil and coal-fired power plants have air pollution damages larger than their value added.

    It seems to me that a good way to make money would be to invest in those activities in the reddest of red states, while pushing an agenda of teh “free market” that precluded any pollution taxes. The result would be private profit at the expense of public health – death and disease among the voters silly enough to believe the rhetoric.

  48. Dr Krugman advocated a stimulus, and President Obama presented, and got a stimulus plan passed.

    Uh-huh.

    The story of Keynesian economists and the Obama stimulus, as anyone who’s been reading me knows, runs as follows: When information about the planned stimulus began emerging, those of us who took our macro seriously warned, often and strenuously, that it was far short of what was needed — that given what we already knew about the likely depth of the slump, the plan would fill only a fraction of the hole. Worse yet, I in particular argued, the plan would probably be seen as a failure, making another round impossible.

    But never mind. What we keep hearing instead is a narrative that runs like this: “Keynesians said that the stimulus would solve the problems, then when it didn’t, instead of admitting they were wrong, they came back and said it wasn’t big enough. Heh heh heh.” That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it, never mind the facts.

    And what the facts say is that Keynesian policy didn’t fail, because it wasn’t tried. The only real tests we’ve had of Keynesian economics were the prediction that large budget deficits in a depressed economy wouldn’t drive up interest rates, and the prediction that austerity in depressed economies would deepen their depression. How do you think that turned out?

    Not only are you ly1ng, you’re repeating l1es Krugman has already refuted. But, as a w1ngnut, you don’t actually care about reality, do you?

  49. And, for those who have any intellectual curiosity, there’s an article on “what would Keynes do” here. It’s not what you might think…

    (I see the Puffing Buffoon jh is back to his usual tricks of trying to censor out anything that points out what everyone already knows)

  50. “Perry, have you seen this yet?”

    PiaToR, you probably meant to imbed a link with “this”, which did not happen. Please try it again.

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