Saturday, April 17, 2010

America's Comeback Story: Welcome to the Economic Expansion; U.S. Destined to Stay on Top

Daniel Gross in Newsweek on how America pulled itself back from the brink—and why it's destined to stay on top:

"The long-term decline of the U.S. economy has been greatly exaggerated. America is coming back stronger, better, and faster than nearly anyone expected—and faster than most of its international rivals.

The Dow Jones industrial average, hovering near 11,000, is up 70 percent in the past 13 months, and auto sales in the first quarter were up 16 percent from 2009. The economy added 162,000 jobs in March, including 17,000 in manufacturing. The dollar has gained strength, and the U.S. is back to its familiar position of lapping Europe and Japan in growth. Among large economies, only China, India, and Brazil are growing more rapidly than the U.S.—and they're doing so off a much smaller base. If the U.S. economy grows at a 3.6 percent rate this year, as Macroeconomic Advisers projects, it'll create $513 billion in new economic activity—equal to the GDP of Indonesia.

The last two expansions have been 120 months and 92 months, respectively. If the U.S. continues to adapt as it has, and if it produces a few more game changers like Google and Apple, there's no reason that the expansion that started in July 2009, against all the odds and predictions, can't last just as long."

105 Comments:

At 4/18/2010 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... there's no reason that the expansion that started in July 2009, against all the odds and predictions, can't last just as long.

Except for "game changers" like trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Increased taxes, already totaling close to 670 billion, and you ain't seen nothin' yet. Billions in subsidies for "clean energy" that will result in electricity rates up to fives times higher than conventional power generation. An auto industry already on the verge of needing another multi-billion dollar bailout. Continued "unexpected" jumps in jobless claims. States facing huge budget deficits and confronting unfunded health care and pension obligations totaling more than 4.5 trillion dollars nationwide, and increased Medicaid costs associated with the government takeover of health care. An entitlements crisis set to explode as Social Security has already moved into the red. Surveys showing more than 61% of small businesses not planning to hire in the next year, etc., etc. But, hey, other than all of that, everything is great. Hope and change.

 
At 4/18/2010 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep Anonymous. Social-Republics like USA and European countries have no way to adress the growth of productivity and quality made by the market/technological advance. Quality and Productivity after a certain level will be one of main barriers to growth.
To adress the economic inflexibility of Social-Republic will only happen at Constitucional level with implementation of Economic Republic - starting to limit the power of Government over the economy and resources of its citizens, to sit at side of Political Republic as the necessary evolution towards more freedom in Western Society.
It is better that starts now or then people will begin to build their own countries over sea and latter in space.
When that happen will be the end of forced Social-Republic.


lucklucky

 
At 4/18/2010 4:03 AM, Blogger Charles Platt said...

The word "debt" appears in the Newsweek piece four times, all of them positive, as in its praise for CIT group eliminating its debt. The word "bubble" is nowhere to be found.

 
At 4/18/2010 5:45 AM, OpenID billibaldi said...

Only in America.

Fiskar gets Half Billion USD loan guarantee from US taxpayers to make cars for rich people.

As for Apple, with every year passing it becomes more and more the US-based marketing and design division of Foxconn, the Taiwanese/Chinese manufacturing giant.

 
At 4/18/2010 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real personal income less current transfer receipts is at July 2005 levels (Line 29, Table 2.6). Government transfers to persons now acount for 18.3% of personal income. (Line 14 divided by Line 1, Table 2.6) The ratio was 12.5% ten years ago.

Without government, there is no America comeback story. How many standard deviations is private personal income below trend line?

 
At 4/18/2010 7:59 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Daniel Gross might be correct, but if so it's for all of the wrong reasons. His nonsensical column praises the US for following in Japan's footsteps on an accelerated schedule and cites the auto and green energy industries which have taken loads of taxpayer dollars as the next great engines of economic growth.

I wrote more about his ridiculous cover story here:

http://togetrichisglorious.blogspot.com/2010/04/gross-incoherence.html

 
At 4/18/2010 9:07 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Daniel Gross states:

"So what will our new economy look like once the smoke finally clears? There will likely be fewer McMansions with four-car garages and more well-insulated homes, fewer Hummers and more Chevy Volts, less proprietary trading and more productivity-enhancing software, less debt and more capital, more exported goods and less imported energy."

Or fewer and smaller assets and goods, less capital created and captured in the global economy to distribute to the masses, higher taxes, prices, and interest rates, less consumption, more production to be exported, and higher energy prices.

 
At 4/18/2010 9:35 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

The optimistic spin has few fans. If I talk optimistically at a party I get so many arguments! So many Americans cannot see what a great country and great economy we have in the USA. Once it was fear of Japan, now China. But we have so many things that will keep us on top for another hundred years at least.

 
At 4/18/2010 10:09 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Oh yeah! I'm always wanting to see what someone as clueless as Daniel Gross has to say...

 
At 4/18/2010 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many Americans cannot see what a great country and great economy we have ...

No, so many Americans lament the loss of their economic freedom. They see our "great country and great economy" being transformed into a social welfare state. Yes, we are recovering from this recession and are still the worlds greatest economy, but the engine of that dynamism - the private sector - is under assault. If you want to play Pollyanna, fine, just don't expect any applause.

 
At 4/18/2010 11:32 AM, Anonymous Recriad said...

Single family defaults are still rising despite a small drop in the foreclosure rate (from a holiday pause). This summer will be an unprecedented wave of short sales and REO sales.

Commercial real estate isn't going to recover until 2011 and 2012. "Extend and pretend" isn't going to be able to bridge that chasm. About 300 banks will fail this year, mostly from CRE concentrations and high delinquencies.

Don't let the temporary hiring fool you. Census jobs are not "jobs" - they are extended day labor for idle people. No one with any real skills would take those jobs and give up a full-time work search. The private temporary hiring is NOT, as after other recessions, a precursor to full-time employment. Every employer survey says that they are skiddish about permanent hiring and are just meeting TEMPORARY production needs. This production is from inventory swings and retail sales at fire-sale prices.

Others have pointed out trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Those of us who can see beyond the headlights know there will be higher taxes to pay for this.

The bottom line is that economic activity is propped up by government deficit spending. Any champion of free markets should not be heartened by this pseudo-recovery. Markets are doing their jobs, but their job is to deliver pain as well as pleasure. How can rising house prices supported by government programs be something for a free-marketeer to crow about?

Articles like this are just careless and shallow analysis supporting a pre-conceived opinion. Somewhere beneath that opinion is financial interest.

 
At 4/18/2010 12:13 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, one of your articles states:

Just How Much Money is $1.25 Trillion?

In today's financial headlines - the word Trillion is often casually thrown around. So much so, that it's easy to lose perspective on how much money this really represents.

Picture a stack of $100 bills. It might surprise you to know that it only takes a stack four inches high to be worth $100,000. So $1,000,000 would be a stack of $100 bills 40 inches tall.

How about a Billion? Well, you would have to stack $100 bills up to the top of the Empire State Building...twice...in order to reach a Billion.

So to picture $1.25 Trillion represented by a stack of $100 bills - that stack would be 850 miles high...We're talking about a lot of money here.

 
At 4/18/2010 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all about the DEBT! In Canada, it is quite common when we want to compare our numbers/ourselves to the US to just multiply the Can. number by ten....This roughly works for everything from population to GDP to cars, houses etc. Any wide deviation from this rough "rule of 10" would normally be a cause for concern. As of last week US debt stands at 12.8 T while the Can. debt is at 0.517 T !!! One would have to multiply the Can. number by 24 to approach the US number!!!! WOW That's the elephant in the room and it ain't going away. What I find surprising is that some on this site are still calling for lower taxes!!! Seems to me that you are either going to have higher taxes (as there doesn't seem to be any appetite for spending cuts yet)....or massive inflation (a tax under another name). Time to pick. Since our economies are "joined at the hip", I hope you pick right. Best Regards.

 
At 4/18/2010 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There will likely be fewer McMansions with four car garages"? But where will Al Gore, John Edwards and Thomas Friedman live?

 
At 4/18/2010 1:02 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon, it seems, the only hope for this country is if Republicans get their act together (because conservative and moderate Democrats went along with the liberal spending spree "hog wild").

The Republican party would have to win big in 2010 and then win big again in 2012 to where it has a Republican president, 60 Senate seats, and control of the House (which it hasn't done since 1921).

Then it would need the sense to engineer a "creative-destruction" process in government, and complete it within two years, to eventually shrink the size of the federal government in half.

 
At 4/18/2010 1:46 PM, Blogger moneybagzz said...

Just my $0.02 but a long term (18-24 month) decline in the unemployment rate would be an indicator that the economy is improving.

The nation has many strengths, but the political pendulum swings in favor of draining those resources (higher taxes, caused by higher spending) over increasing them.

Sooner or later the pension and healthcare costs will dwarf available resources, and then there will be less talk of 'recovery' and more of 'double dip.'

I can only hope that I am wrong on this but I have little faith in this administration to do the right thing.

 
At 4/18/2010 2:10 PM, Blogger OA said...

Ah, the propaganda starts just in time for the election, and after health care legislation.

Also at Newsweek, and I didn't have to dig for these, they were "most viewed" or on the front page.

"Responsible Republicans are nearly extinct."
http://www.newsweek.com/id/236578

"The Tax Man Should Cometh
How I learned to stop worrying and love audits."
http://www.newsweek.com/id/236552

The "History of Tax Revolts" in pictures, whose first and last picture is the aftermath of that nut in Texas who flew his plane into the IRS building. And notice the html address: "from peaceful to violent."
http://photo.newsweek.com/2010/2/Tax-resisters-from-peaceful-to-violent.html

"Why America's Tax Code Is the Least Progressive in the Industrialized World"
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2010/04/15/why-america-s-tax-code-is-the-least-progressive-in-the-industrialized-world.aspx

It's clear that Newsweek falls into the higher taxes are ok camp. Where was all this debt and tax talk prior to passage of the health insurance law?

 
At 4/18/2010 2:19 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

The U.S. economy is massive, diversified amd innovative BUT the financial sector ate a lot of investment funds through gaming the mortgage market with government backing.

We now know that a financial powerhouse (Goldman Sachs) structured mortgage tranches as a proxy for a hedge fund (Paulson). The tranches were hand-picked for failure and sold as AAA quality.

Goldman Sachs bought huge sums of insurance from AIG to cover the mark downs of the mortgage values.

Goldman Sachs later got TARP money and AIG is government run because of the demands by Goldman Sachs and others.

The fact that the financial sector was able to game the system with government guarantees is a huge misdirection of capital. Capital was diverted from wealth creation to wealth concentration via financial manipulation.

The U.S. will get back on top with investment banking and not government sponsored financial trading.

BTW, GS probably did things that used to be considered quite unethical but are questionablly illegal today.

 
At 4/18/2010 2:54 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Asia is in a long-term secular bull market, both for investors and Main Street. I see no stopping it. China will eclipse the USA as the world's largest economy in 10 years and will just keep going.

Europe is already growing again.

The USA is wasting treasure everywhere, but we will grow also, and may have a 10-year bull market in equities and property ahead.

If we can shrink the rural welfare empire, and the military, and keep federal outlays down under 20 percent of GDP, we will grow well also.

I am beginning to think that monetary policy is becoming unimportant, as long as reasonable standards apply. China has its own monetary policy, and its GDP is growing at 11 percent a year. They are the world's largest buyer of commodities already. Sheesh, the terrific growth of China in the last year may be what pulled the globe out of recession, not anything Bush, Paulson and Obama have done. I would say we look like the Gong Show next to them.

 
At 4/18/2010 3:56 PM, Blogger OA said...

@ Anon 12:44. Re: tax increases/decreases.

See this graph of US Federal "revenue" which is taxes and fees. The main tax events during this period are:
Clinton's income tax increases in 1993
Clinton's cap gains tax decrease in 1997, which also changed some income taxes with things like a new $500 child tax credit, and also changed the lifetime real estate cap gains exemption into an every couple years exemption
Bush's income tax decreases in 2001
Bush's income tax and cap gains and dividend tax decrease in 2003

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/downchart_gr.php?year=1990_2009&view=1&expand=&units=b&fy=fy11&chart=F0-fed&bar=1&stack=1&size=m&title=&state=US&color=c&local=s

Note that in spite of tax "cuts" revenues by 2005 were above the dot com juiced peak, and by 2008 they were 25% higher than 2000.

Reversion to the prior income tax and capital gains tax rates is coming in 2011. Wage tax rate changes do not change the tax base instantly as people don't change their work and lifestyles on a whim.

But investment tax changes quickly have an effect, since investment income can be managed. The two humps in the "revenues" came after investment tax decreases.

I don't know the last time there was an income tax increase and investment tax increase at the same time. But we'll see how that works out.

I think the WH projections of nearly $3 trillion in receipts in 2012 is wildly optimistic. Which is why a VAT is on the table. Commerce can't be avoided like capital gains and dividends can.

 
At 4/18/2010 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

America has caught the British disease. It's a terminal disease that inflicts countries that allow overpaid parasites to make a highly rewarded cushioned very comfortable place of employment for themselves while everything around them declines. These people then start to form support groups amongst themselves to hide their incompetence. Hopeless idiots and bandits are written up as heroes. The disease is still prevalent in the country of origin from the top down in a country that was once the worlds superpower.

 
At 4/18/2010 7:01 PM, Blogger Marco2006 said...

Rah Rah sis boom bah!

What a ridiculous article! Let's forget California, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, and other states are in horrible financial shape with pensions they can never repay.

Let's forget Social Security is now spending more than it intakes seven years earlier than expected.

Let's forget Medicare will go insolvent by 2017.

 
At 4/18/2010 10:41 PM, Blogger grant said...

The current projection is for U.S.core inflation to reach 2% by the end of this year!so who is paying you OF COURSE!

 
At 4/18/2010 11:10 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Rich people are a good, we want more of them.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without government, there is no America comeback story.

Vive la Government.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The optimistic spin has few fans. If I talk optimistically at a party I get so many arguments! So many Americans cannot see what a great country and great economy we have in the USA. Once it was fear of Japan, now China.


Fear is what causes conservatives.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

juandos said...
Oh yeah! I'm always wanting to see what someone as clueless as Daniel Gross has to say...


Juandos is up to his usual boring tactic of attacking the author without adding anything of substance.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, so many Americans lament the loss of their economic freedom. They see our "great country and great economy" being transformed into a social welfare state

We will be driven to the poorhouse in a government owned automobile.

Probably foreign made.


Credit to Will Rogers

 
At 4/19/2010 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So to picture $1.25 Trillion represented by a stack of $100 bills - that stack would be 850 miles high...We're talking about a lot of money here.

It is still only a little bitg of all the money.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republican party would have to win big in 2010 and then win big again in 2012 to where it has a Republican president, 60 Senate seats, and control of the House (which it hasn't done since 1921).

Then it would need the sense to engineer a "creative-destruction" process in government, and complete it within two years, to eventually shrink the size of the federal government in half.




Beautiful Dreamer

The last time conservatives controlled the legislature and the government they couldn't pass their OWN legislation.

I hope they nominate Glen Beck.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:43 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

It is amazing that in the early 1980s exactly the same point of view held except that Japan was going to conquer the world. As other articles point out the US has one big advantage over China demographics. China is just at the peak working age population which will decline. Europe is of course a basket case in the medium and long terms. (Look at the population of Russia or even Iran who has to strike now or loose)
It is an interesting question how we will use the increment in potential economic growth, do we opt for more stuff, or for time. I suspect its somewhat a generational thing and the option may be for more time, and less stuff as people find that stuff does not bring happiness. The boomers opted for stuff, and look were it got us. Its often said that few on their deathbed say I wish I had worked harder. Perhaps this will go down the chain and other ways of persuing happiness come about.

 
At 4/19/2010 1:22 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon states: "The last time conservatives controlled the legislature and the government they couldn't pass their OWN legislation."

Perhaps, you didn't hear about the Reagan Revolution, a Democrat president and GOP Congress from 1995-00 where the U.S. had one of the greatest periods of prosperity, or the even greater period of prosperity with a Republican president and GOP Congress from 2002-07 (and in a structural bear market that began in 2000). Of course, the GOP didn't have a 60 seat Senate in any of those eras. It's a tall order, but it looks like they're off to a good start:

Dick Morris Predicts GOP Landslide
April 17, 2010

The man considered one of the premier sculptors of Bill’s Clinton’s re-election in 1996 predicted Friday night that Republicans would take control of the Senate and the House in mid-term elections this fall.

Dick Morris told a packed dinner at the Pennsylvania Leadership Council: “I’ve got news—it’s not even going to be close, guys.”

Fresh from addressing a 4,000-strong Tea Party in Arkansas, Morris—best-selling author, syndicated columnist, and Fox News commentator—held the PLC audience spellbound with his bold predictions.

“Republicans will win the Senate with 52 or 53 seats,” Morris said without hesitation, “and the House will go Republican by 10 to 20 seats.”

The former Clinton strategist-turned-Republican pointed out that it will take a minimum of 39 seats to change from Democrat to Republican for the GOP to win a majority. Seven of those 39, he predicted, “will come from right here in Pennsylvania—the epicenter of change.”

 
At 4/19/2010 1:50 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon states: "Fear is what causes conservatives."

In Pelosi's hometown, liberals are conservatives. They conserve gasoline, water, electricity, etc.

Now, they're conserving city workers, teachers, construction projects, etc. Even with the highest tax rates in the country, it still can't afford it's bills.

Ignorance is what causes liberals.

 
At 4/19/2010 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we can shrink the rural welfare empire...

What rural welfare empire?

Urban areas have 95% of the population and by inference 95% of the welfare cases, probably more. Just on the basis of population, how can the rurals have any kind of an empire?

Urban areas depend hugely on the rural areas for suppport of all kinds, and frequently it is unpaid support.

Rural areas have high travel costs, but despite that urban areas are by far the bigger energy sinks. Think of all the public uses of energy like streetlights as a form of urban welfare.

Amercian Farmland Trust and many other sources point out that farmland pays twice as much in taxes as it gets back in services.

Please explain what you see as the rural welfare empire.

 
At 4/19/2010 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignorance is what causes liberals.

The statement that fear is what causes Conservatives was based on many scientifically conducted experiments as noted in the citation, which also discusses the turmoil these studies have caused, and points out possible biases.

The evidence is in that fear is what causes conservatives, although that particular characterization of the facts may be a little snippy.

The studies also point out that liberals are more likely to have higher education (hence the liberal bias in academia), homes with books in them, skill in foreign languages and other indicators of education.

Have you got any evidence that shows ignorance produces liberals?

 
At 4/19/2010 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, you didn't hear about the Reagan Revolution, a Democrat president and GOP Congress from 1995-00

I didn't know that was the last time they were in power.

 
At 4/19/2010 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Pelosi's hometown, liberals are conservatives. They conserve gasoline, water, electricity, etc.

Ironic, isn't it that Conservatives have the reputation of being anti-conservation.

I think they are more opposed to the socialist way that conservation seems to be achieved, and rightly so.

But they are missing out on what could be one of their best drawing cards by not producing a coherent stand on conservation issues, particularly in supporting market based conservation policy.

 
At 4/19/2010 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The statement that fear is what causes Conservatives was based on many scientifically conducted experiments as noted in the citation ...

What citation? As usual you provide no links to supporting evidence. It's all gas.

Have you got any evidence that shows ignorance produces liberals?

Yes, the avalanche of gibberish you've just posted here. Case closed.

 
At 4/19/2010 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But they are missing out on what could be one of their best drawing cards by not producing a coherent stand on conservation issues, particularly in supporting market based conservation policy.

I guess you missed the 1990 Clean Air Act, signed by George H.W. Bush, that set up a credits trading program for curbing acid rain. Perhaps you should pick up a few books for the house.

 
At 4/19/2010 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The studies also point out that liberals are more likely to have higher education (hence the liberal bias in academia)

The bias in academia, like the bias in Hollywood and the media in general, is the result of generations of blacklisting on the part of liberals and has absolutely nothing to do with higher I.Q.'s or more education.

 
At 4/19/2010 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic, isn't it that Conservatives have the reputation of being anti-conservation.

No, it's not ironic at all, it's simply an indication of how easy it is to mislead liberals with "higher education, homes with books in them" and "skill in foreign languages". Of course, you really cannot call four years of marxist indoctrination "education", or "ebonics" a foreign language. So, I guess that you'll have to fall back on those books, written by "intellectuals" like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Michael Moore, no doubt.

 
At 4/19/2010 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say anything about higher I.Q.'s.

Sorry, I didn't give the citation.


..."[In] 1969, Berkeley professors Jack and Jeanne Block embarked on a study of childhood personality, asking nursery school teachers to rate children's temperaments. They weren't even thinking about political orientation.

Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects' childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. They found arresting patterns. As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient. People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3. The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics."


http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200612/the-ideological-animal


The conspiracy theory that conservatives are being blacklisted sounds like a result of some kind on insecurity.

As for education levels, that isn't my idea, it just seems to be conventional wisdom:

"The divide has to do with economics and education level. The very rich still continue to vote for Republicans in large numbers. But the younger, more educated, more successive people living in the "hip" places overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Poorer, less educated whites tend to vote Republican. "

Comment by Irwin on another blog.

 
At 4/19/2010 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's not ironic at all, it's simply an indication of how easy it is to mislead liberals with "higher education, homes with books in them" and "skill in foreign languages".


Who is it that is doing all this misleading of the liberals?

 
At 4/19/2010 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, you really cannot call four years of marxist indoctrination "education", or "ebonics" a foreign language.

How about nine years of science and math?

 
At 4/19/2010 11:11 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Liberals appear to be only slightly more educated than 'enterprisers', but much better educated than 'social conservatives' or 'disadvantaged democrats'. So as in most things, it is more complicated.

This is interesting, but which way does the causation arrow point? Could it be that more exposure to the liberal academy causes people to be more liberal? Or could it be that enterprisers are turned off by liberal education and go to work instead of pursuing post graduate degrees? It is not so obvious that more education makes you more open minded and therefore more pro-government control of the economy. I would like to see more specific polls about political views and education level.

There is also an assumption built into the 'liberals are better educated' that somehow years in college equals wisdom about public affairs. This assumption is questionable.

Found this study, there must be something more recent.

http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=945

 
At 4/19/2010 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironic, isn't it that Conservatives have the reputation of being anti-conservation.

No, it's not ironic at all,

------------------------------
So you agree that conservatives are generally anti conservation?

 
At 4/19/2010 11:17 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Anon at 9:04 am:

I will pick just two items: The $60 billion a year in federal crop subsidies, and the $8 billion in a year in rural telephone subsidies.

Someday, I will parse the federal government for rural subsidies in roads, power systems, water systems, postal service, and airports, which together easily dwarf crop and telephone subsidies.

Nearly the whole of rural America's infrastructure has been built or subsidized by federal dollars, and rural America's biggest industry--agriculture--is but a creatuire of the federal government, in terms of subsidies, output controls, and assistance. I won't even mention the wretched ethanol program.

My back of the envelope guessimate is that about $200 billion a year flows into rural subsidies, the backbone of the Red State Socialist Empire. That will be $2 trillion in the next 10 years.

One way to balance the federal budget would be to return to each state that same amount they sent to DC. You game for that?

 
At 4/19/2010 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you missed the 1990 Clean Air Act, signed by George H.W. Bush,

I never said that conservatives have not done good work. I guess you are so intent on trashing me that you missed the fact that I only said conservatives have the reputation of being anti-conservation.

You cannot defeat my argument, if there is one, by inventing a different one, and putting words in my mouth.

 
At 4/19/2010 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is also an assumption built into the 'liberals are better educated' that somehow years in college equals wisdom about public affairs. This assumption is questionable."

OK, so somehow years outside of college equals wisdom about public affairs?

I'd suggest that wisdom about public affairs can only be discovered through measuing the results of policies enacted, which is something we do very poorly.

Dogmatic theories are not equal to wisdom.


Let's assume that lowering taxes actually increases government revenue by spurring business and investments. At zero tax rate there must be zero revenue, so there must be some lower bound when lowering taxes no longer increases revenue.

With all your wisdom, what do you suppose that tax rate might be?

 
At 4/19/2010 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One way to balance the federal budget would be to return to each state that same amount they sent to DC.

Sorry, I don't see what that buys you. If the feds send back all they take in, the remaining federal budget is zero. Why not just do away with the feds and let the states keep the money.

 
At 4/19/2010 11:38 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"My back of the envelope guessimate is that about $200 billion a year flows into rural subsidies, the backbone of the Red State Socialist Empire. That will be $2 trillion in the next 10 years."

Your boyfriend, the actual socialist, flushed 4-5 years of your guesstimate down the toilet in one fell swoop with the "stimulus." I wonder who many years of your guesstimate will make up Obamacare? Too bad, we're all about to find out.

"One way to balance the federal budget would be to return to each state that same amount they sent to DC. You game for that?"

Leave aside the inefficiency of sending it to DC in the first palce, how exactly would that balance the budget when your boyfriend is running up trillion dollar + deficits for as far as the eye can see?

 
At 4/19/2010 12:13 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

"One way to balance the federal budget would be to return to each state that same amount they sent to DC."

"Sorry, I don't see what that buys you. If the feds send back all they take in, the remaining federal budget is zero. Why not just do away with the feds and let the states keep the money."

As much as possible, this strikes me as a great idea.

Right now, there are states such as Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Mississippi that get back as much as $1.90 for every dollar they send to DC. They have a stake in expanding the federal budget.

The Red Bloc of rural states is one reason why every R-Party President since and including Ronald Reagan have bled supertankers of red ink. No R-Party president has even proposed a balanced budget since Eisenhower. That was more than 50 years ago.

Yet, laughably, some R-Party supporters want the R-Party to be taken seriously.

I regard the R-Party as a confederacy of feckless poltroons.

Damn straight, let's keep the money at the state level. I see no reason for some states to be subsidized by other states. None at all.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only five crops are subsidized, and almost all of that goes to large agribusinesses and absentee owners who live in urban areas.

Rural telephone is rapidly being replaced with wireless and satellite technology which is largely independent of whether the location is rural or not.

That said I agree with you in saying that these programs represent rural subsidies.

I don't think there is any doubt that rural electrification and phones were a net positive for the nation. Think of all those new appliances that were sold to rural families - most likely fabricated in urban areas.

Think of all the rural families that contribute tax money that goes to mass transit they will never see.

Right now we have a huge surplus of farmland, and I would happily agree with you that we should allow the owners to put it to better use, if there is one. But as long as you are zoned agricultural, the only market is to another farmer who wants to lose money worse than you do. It's not really a good economic model, but it is one that is not imposed by the feds, but by the locals.

But government can take a long term view of such things, so that farm subsidies can bee seen as payments to support conservation of farmqand for some future when we will need it. Those biofuels are going to have to grow somewhere.

Just because there are subsidies to rural areas doesn't mean there is a rural welfare empire or that subsidies don't go both ways.

 
At 4/19/2010 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, you don't mean that the feds just take in money and send it back, you mean that a state cannot have more spent on it by the feds than the state sent in to the feds.

I suppose you would argue that the Feds need to operate in a more business like manner. Balanced budget and all that.

It seems to me that to be business like the Fed would want to invest where it expects to see the greatest return, but your idea would preclude that.

How would you make that work with Virginia or Maryland which get huge feedback? Move Justice to Texas, Senate to Hawaii, House to Florida, Agriculture to Iowa, HUD to Toledo?

 
At 4/19/2010 12:38 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The Red Bloc of rural states is one reason why every R-Party President since and including Ronald Reagan have bled supertankers of red ink. No R-Party president has even proposed a balanced budget since Eisenhower. That was more than 50 years ago."

Meanwhile, the nitwit Benji voted for is covering those super tankers with red ink spewing from an exploding, Yellowstone sized super volcano of debt.

I think that indicates a flaw in his genius theory.

 
At 4/19/2010 1:04 PM, Blogger OA said...

@ Amon 11:06, how do you get from traits as a 3 year old meaning:

"The statement that fear is what causes Conservatives was based on many scientifically conducted experiments...."

Of course that article takes the literal case of liberals who turned "conservative" after 9/11 which I would say is a typical liberal trait to just change at the drop of a hat.

I think it proves liberals are more self important than liberal in thinking. They just go with what works for them at a given moment.

You forgot to include the part right below which dealt with current traits:

"The most comprehensive review of personality and political orientation to date is a 2003 meta-analysis of 88 prior studies involving 22,000 participants. The researchers—John Jost of NYU, Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland, and Jack Glaser and Frank Sulloway of Berkeley—found that conservatives have a greater desire to reach a decision quickly and stick to it, and are higher on conscientiousness, which includes neatness, orderliness, duty, and rule-following. Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature."

Which is consistent with my experience (and I grew up in California and went to UC Berkeley) that liberals are flaky and unreliable. Many would boycott something one week, then go right back to using it the next week or next month. I'd ask if that corporation had caved or something had changed and of course nothing would, they just didn't want to deal with the inconvenience of continuing to boycott.

One long time fried would literally have to ask his wife what they were boycotting that week. I stopped hanging out with them as they were so unreliable. Every time I went over there they had a new group of friends.

I think their only ongoing relationships were with their family, but I guarantee they'd be described as "self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient." That also made then unreliable friends as they mainly thought about themselves.

I don't find liberals or conservatives more fearful, I think what they're fearful about is different. Liberals are just fearful of things of the moment, like Global Warming, or warrantless wire tapping, or the US had a bad image overseas.

 
At 4/19/2010 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't find liberals or conservatives more fearful, I think what they're fearful about is different. Liberals are just fearful of things of the moment, like Global Warming, or warrantless wire tapping, or the US had a bad image overseas.


Good point.

It is a different argument from what the study proposed, however.

 
At 4/19/2010 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about nine years of science and math?

Would that be "rainforest math"? It takes years of liberal "education" to craft programs like these.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two left-wing Berkeley professors, a subjective analyses of a handful of 3 year-old kids and an article in Psychology Today? Wow, that settles it. It's got to be true.

If there were any need of more evidence that ignorance produces liberals, well, here it is.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:03 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Paul-

Do you work for the Republican Party?

 
At 4/19/2010 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's assume that lowering taxes actually increases government revenue by spurring business and investments ... must be some lower bound when lowering taxes no longer increases revenue.

First, we don't have to assume, the evidence is clear. Second, maybe you should put down Das Kapital long enough to Google "Laffer curve".

 
At 4/19/2010 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't quote the whole thing, obviously, and we read it differently, obviously.

The article opened with the example of liberals who turned "conservative" after 9/11 but that was just to introduce the idea of what sparked the question.

The point of the third graders was that they were evaluated for certain traits as part of some other work. Only later did the idea occur to see if those traits identified as youngsters had a statistically significant correlation with their later political ideas.

It turns out there was. After the fact doesn't mean because of the fact, and maybe those kids grew up to become fearless warrirs before they identified as one party or another.

But its a pretty strong coincidence and one that is hard to say was biased in execution.

The "many experiments" refers to the metastudy you mentioned. I interpreted rule following and orderliness to be symptoms of fear.

On the other hand I don't view rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information as being "flaky".

Let's have a sailboat race, where you steer directly for the finish line and never deviate or adjust, and I steer "flaky" constantly pointing in different directions and adjusting for every current condition, within the general context of keeping generally to the goal ahead.

I will beat you every time.

Lets have another race in which four conservatives race independently and each doing what they do best, and four socialist liberals sail as a team.

The liberals will win every time because they can gang up on the lone lead conservative. Operating within the rules they can blanket his wind and force him into tactically impossible situations.

---------------------------

Yeah, I don't understand those that pick up on the latest socially acceptable behavior and wear it like a scarlet loetter or religion on ther sleeve either. like being locavores, or evegelicals or whatever.

But I wouldn't call boycotting anything and everything you don't like a liberal trait. Liberals, it seems to me, would have more of a live and let live attitude.


As Americans our idea of risk management (fear aversion) is totally screwed up. Liberals think it is OK to spend a infinite amount of many to avoid each and every risk, especially if they can fool themselves into thinking it is someone else's money.

Conservatives recognize that you can only spend all that you have once.

I don't say I agree with the psychh studies, I only point out that someone is looking. Eventually they will learn something that is pretty much incontrovertible, at that point it will serve us little to deny the truth.

We can pat ourselves on the back for being morally superior and logically certain, until we are blue in the face, but sooner or later we are going to have to show results, and not the George W. Bush kind.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google "Laffer curve".

I know what the Laffer curve is, now I'm asking you what shape it is. At what point do you fall on the back side of the curve such that reducing rate no longer increases revenue?

Conservatives aleways argue for lower taxes, and I'm asking, what if you got them? Revenue would go up, allegedly, and then you would either have to find something worthwhile to spend it on or cut taxes again to prevent that government surplus from taking money out of our pocket and then just sitting there.

The tax rate can't be zero, so what is the optimum?

 
At 4/19/2010 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you are so intent on trashing me that you missed the fact that I only said conservatives have the reputation of being anti-conservation.

No, you missed my point, that the reputation for being "anti-conservation" is leftist mythology propagated by cultural organs currently monopolized by the left. What was it that that great liberal hero once said? Oh, yeah, "a lie told often enough becomes the truth".

 
At 4/19/2010 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two left-wing Berkeley professors, a subjective analyses of a handful of 3 year-old kids and an article in Psychology Today? Wow, that settles it. It's got to be true.

If there were any need of more evidence that ignorance produces liberals, well, here it is.

-----------------------------

I'm not suggesting this is proof or that I agree with it. What I'm telling you is that some people are designing experiments to measure such things.

When a bunch of people measure similar things in different ways and keep getting the same results, it eventually becomes hard to ignore experience.

You might not like the results, but dismissing reality out of hand is a form of paranoia.

Assume the studies are right, and creative, disruptive, children types are more likely to grow up to be liberals.

We hate the socialist brainwashing school system, but maybe it is our best source of conservatives: let the schools beat some fear into the kids, and they will grow up to be conservatives.

What do you say when two right wing chinese professors get similar results on an experiment with 50,000 kids?

 
At 4/19/2010 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you missed my point, that the reputation for being "anti-conservation" is leftist mythology propagated by cultural organs currently monopolized by the left.

-----------------------------

Surely there is a study somewhere that verifies your theory. How many Sierra club memebers are registered Republican vs Democrat?

Sounds like conspiracy theory to me. If leftists are incompetent airheads constantly flip-flopping on direction, how is it that they are so successful at managing so many occult co0nspiracies?

If you are right, they sure sold this message pretty well.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting, but which way does the causation arrow point? Could it be that more exposure to the liberal academy causes people to be more liberal?

------------------------

Nice to see that Marko took the trouble to read it and think. Good points.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Would that be "rainforest math"? It takes years of liberal "education" to craft programs like these."

--------------------------------

So your argument is that liberals do NOT have more education because the education they have is so obvioulsy deficient.

Next you are going to say that incompetent stupid liberals have co-opted the education system so that they can produce more liberals throught he use of rainforest math.

What makes you think that rainforest math is any less useful or complex than, say, oceanography or celestial mechanics?

 
At 4/19/2010 2:51 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,


Your boyfriend is adding $3 million per minute to the national debt.

 
At 4/19/2010 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might not like the results, but dismissing reality out of hand is a form of paranoia.

Reality? You mean "reality" as defined by liberals, where the results of every study magically affirm their intellectual and moral superiority. There's a word which describes this liberal affliction, "narcissism".

Assume the studies are right, and creative, disruptive, children types are more likely to grow up to be liberals.

Why would I do that, when leftists routinely crank out this crap as a means of disparaging their political opponents. It's a lesson they learned from Uncle Joe who sought to have anyone who disagreed with him declared insane and institutionalized. Here's what happens when you put one of these "studies" under the microscope:

It happens like clockwork. Every few years, researchers contrive yet another study to prove that conservatives are mentally deficient. This time, the attack comes from evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa in his current paper, Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent. To be fair, gunning for conservatives does not appear to be his primary motive. Instead, he seems to have tied himself in knots trying to affirm a pet theory. Either way, he has recklessly disparaged millions. The methodology is atrocious.

 
At 4/19/2010 3:09 PM, Blogger OA said...

Anonymous said...
Good point.

It is a different argument from what the study proposed, however.


I can't pull up any of the studies, but from the synopsis, none of the studies proposed any argument that you seem to think is there.

Their intent was:
"This study examines personality (socio-emotional) development; ego control and ego resiliency from early childhood to early adulthood; factors related to the development of gender differences; parental child-rearing attitudes and values during childhood and adolescence; the self-concept over time; among other topics. Emphasis is given to continuity and personaility-context issues in development."

That the Blocks hypothesized that
"... insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics," is a not uprising. It's a hypothesis and from liberal Berkeley professors.

Maybe the correct hypothesis is insecure kids end up learning to rely on facts over BS that their friends spout. Did they test for gullibility and willingness to make decisions based on emotion later in life, and then correlate that with political affiliation? I bet not.

It is not conservatives who seek authority over everyone's behavior regarding what they drive, what they eat, what they do with their money, and how much of the fruits of their labor they are allowed to retain. Liberals crave huge control over what others do, to include what happens in other countries. But again it is control over different things.

The saying that conservatives want to control what happens in the bedroom and liberals want to control everything other than what happens in the bedroom comes to mind.

If liberals don't crave the reassurance of authority, why do they want the strongest authority of them all to control more and more things and give the biggest safety nets?

 
At 4/19/2010 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a deconstruction of the study that Anon insists reflects the reality of conservative psychology:

The LIB/CON scale, which is absolutely pivotal to the integrity of this study, appears to be a shambles of bias, emotion, and muddled application ... It appears as though the correlations between ideology and personality cannot be supported. In fact, it is entirely unclear what this study actually measured.

The problem is, studies like this one are leapt upon by reporters and ideologues hungry for a sound bite, and they make a big impression ... These editorials-masquerading-as-research are taken seriously by mainstream outlets such as "Psychology Today" and the "Toronto Star", which ran a fawning account of the findings last March (Kleiner, 2006). And, naturally, the simplified findings of this study were joyfully replayed on blogs such as The Daily Kos (2006). None of them questioned the inexcusable methodology. Why would they?

How to Spot a Broken Study: The Baby Conservative Project

Never, never, never trust a liberal. Always assume they are lying and go from there.

 
At 4/19/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger OA said...

Oh there's a sailboat analogy. Flaky to me isn't changing according to conditions. Flaky would be starting a race, then deciding you didn't want to be in a race and jumping overboard to go snorkeling.

 
At 4/19/2010 4:34 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Anon says: "Have you got any evidence that shows ignorance produces liberals?"

Yes, it was easily determined with over 100 subjects, and the population as a whole reflects that statement almost perfectly.

Conservatives know more than they say and liberals say more than they know. Moderates say about as much as they know and vice versa :)

 
At 4/19/2010 9:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

anon @ 4/19/2010 12:15 AM whines ridiculously: "Juandos is up to his usual boring tactic of attacking the author without adding anything of substance"...

Hey anon, what's wrong? Your panties are all in a knot whining about a lack of contribution but apparently you're not smart enough to read the contents of the link...

Previous similer postings by Professor Mark I've noted certain flaws in someone's 'overly optimistic rantings' so why repeat them?

You want more contribution anon? Make sure you have someone on hand to read and explain the following to you: BOTTOM-LINE - - DEBT SUMMARY TABLE - AMERICA'S TOTAL DEBT (as of Jan. 1, 2010) - $57 Trillion

So any talk of American expansion is more "dead cat bounce' until something is done about the debt...

 
At 4/19/2010 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As this is an economic site and not a political one I would like to know the details on the wretched ethanol programm

 
At 4/20/2010 1:17 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

PeakTrader said...

>"In Pelosi's hometown, liberals are conservatives. They conserve gasoline, water, electricity, etc.

Now, they're conserving city workers, teachers, construction projects, etc. Even with the highest tax rates in the country, it still can't afford it's bills."


Not everyone in Pelosi's hometown is happy with her.

 
At 4/20/2010 2:06 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 11:33 said:

>"Why not just do away with the feds and let the states keep the money."

What an excellent idea!

Actually an amount should be sent to the feds to cover these functions only.

 
At 4/20/2010 2:16 AM, Anonymous Reality said...

"As other articles point out the US has one big advantage over China demographics."

Yeah, it's a great advantage, until you realize that 50% of the kids being born here are black (average IQ 85) and Hispanic (average IQ 90). If this were such a great advantage, the Chinese and Japanese would be throwing their borders open to black and Hispanic immigrants. They're not though. Maybe they don't realize the alchemical power of diversity?

 
At 4/20/2010 8:45 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I would like to know the details on the wretched ethanol program"...


Google federal ethanol program

 
At 4/20/2010 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

prepare American high school students for the freshman calculus courses that serve as the basis for undergraduate majors in engineering, science, and mathematics

Gee, I had four terms of Calculus in high school. And that was public school.

 
At 4/20/2010 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

apparently you're not smart enough to read the contents of the link...

Juandos is up to his usual tactic of persoanl attacks without adding anything useful to the discussion.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that Anon insists reflects the reality of conservative psychology:

I have not insisted anything. All I pointed out is that some people are looking at the liberal vs conservative dichotomy and what appears to be stereotypes. (You DO sterotype liberals, do you not?).

Sterotypes don't get that way by accident, and sooner or later someone is going to come up with a reason or reasons.

For all we know conservatism is a genetic disorder or chemical imbalance like chronic depression.

But if someone comes up with that as a reasonably verifiable truth, some people will no doubt claim it is all a liberal conspiracy. Such talk, in the face of facts, would not be very useful and I submit it is not very useful now.

We know that conservatives and Liberals are different otherwise we wouldn't have different names for them. Normal curiosity would lead us to want to understand the difference, or we can try to convince them of our view of the truth by calling them idiots.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See this graph of US Federal "revenue" which is taxes and fees. The main tax events during this period are:

You don't really expect me to believe that only tax events affected the revenue, do you?

The question is what is the max point on the Laffer curve. Nothing in your post goes to that point.

I can't tell anything from that graph other than revenue sometimmes goes up and sometimes goes down.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the other hand I don't view rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information as being "flaky".

Oh there's a sailboat analogy. Flaky to me isn't changing according to conditions. Flaky would be starting a race, then deciding you didn't want to be in a race and jumping overboard to go snorkeling.

Here is an example of what happens when you try to win an argument by changing it.


The analogy is, let's consider a sailboat race in which one skipper rules (steers) with conservative traits and one steers with liberal traits.

And the response is that a liberal would abandon the race, which of course has nothing to do with the original example, and changes the preamble of the analogy. It has only to do with bashing liberals, which is a really good way to help the conservative cause.

You are right, of course, a liberal might well abandon the race depending on changing conditions: no wind or too much wind. Or he might go snorkeling if he has a crab pot in the prop.

But the assumption is that you have a race, and under the conditions stated the one who adapts to changing conditions will win every time.

So the conservative says, "I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do this.....and it will always work."

I don't think so.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't even touch the other half of the analogy, where four skippers work as individuals and compete against a (communist or socialist) team of four other boats.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now that we have thoroughly trashed the study that says there are disceranble traits that differentiate Conservatives from liberals, I guess we can trash the argument that ignorance cuases liberals.

Unless you have a study to back it up.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually an amount should be sent to the feds to cover these functions only.

And everything else the fed does would wind up getting mis-managed by the states.

Instead of one mis-management per policy we would have fifty different mis-managements per policy.

I don't see a path to improved living conditions or less expensive less intrusive government in a plan that allows Connecticut to require catalytic converters and Wyoming not.

I agree that every time someone in rural Wyoming hs to bu a catalytic converter he is subsidising someone in an urban area, but I don;t see the alternative as being any cheaper.

 
At 4/20/2010 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is, studies like this one are leapt upon by reporters and ideologues hungry for a sound bite, and they make a big impression ... These editorials-masquerading-as-research are taken seriously by mainstream outlets such as "Psychology Today" and the "Toronto Star", which ran a fawning account of the findings last March (Kleiner, 2006). And, naturally, the simplified findings of this study were joyfully replayed on blogs such as The Daily Kos (2006). None of them questioned the inexcusable methodology. Why would they?

Racial IQ Differences Are Mostly Genetic

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/04/26/9530.aspx


Yeah, it's a great advantage, until you realize that 50% of the kids being born here are black (average IQ 85)

 
At 4/20/2010 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you missed my point, that the reputation for being "anti-conservation" is leftist mythology propagated by cultural organs currently monopolized by the left.

Are you going to watch (Hannity or Beck? Not sure which.) tonight?

The discussion is how the green wing liberals radicals are conspiring to ruin our economy with radical tax and spend free market pollution controls, and force us into green labor job creation camps.

 
At 4/20/2010 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeah, it's a great advantage, until you realize that 50% of the kids being born here are black (average IQ 85)"

Well howdy-doo! Way to show which century you belong in. Why don't you grab your Confederate uniform and lead your racist boys into battle? That way, the South can get it's ass kicked again!!

That's right! 50% of kids born here are black - you only overestimated by... 37%.

Geewilikers, no wonder you "moralist" Christians have trouble implementing the 6th commandment - you can't read past the third word in the sentence. You better learn fast, because Jesus doesn't like hypocrites...

 
At 4/20/2010 7:39 PM, Blogger OA said...

Anon, I was not trying to "win an argument", I was defining flaky. That's why I wrote "Flaky to me isn't changing according to conditions. Flaky would be ..."

You somehow interpreted the flaky actions of my acquaintances or friends to indicate "... rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information." That was nowhere close to the truth. Dropping a boycott when nothing had changed wasn't even close to finishing anything. They didn't adapt to anything. No change in tactics, no letters, no speeches, no new action, they just got bored.

If you have evidence that liberals make money in the stock market while conservatives don't I'll be glad to hear it. Or that liberals run successful companies while conservatives don't. Adaptability isn't a liberal trait.

I didn't read that second analogy but now that I have it's ridiculous. How is teamwork and coordination a liberal trait? You're talking adaptability which isn't an exclusively liberal trait and all of a sudden that means teamwork which isn't an exclusively liberal trait either.

 
At 4/20/2010 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That the Blocks hypothesized that
"... insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority


A Hypothesis is something youput up to test against. The blocks concluded that......


The most intersting thing about this study is that there was no hypothesis A Priori. They merely studied some kids and analyzed them for certain traits. Whether or not they had those traits is apparently not a matter of dispute.

Later they had the idea to compare the (now) persons political affiliations ro ideology with the previous traits. The analyis of their political ideals is not apparently a matter of dispute.

The comparison is straightforward.

How then, or why then, should we imagine that the results would be any different if the researchers ideology is liberal or conservative?

If they had set out to begin with, 20 years ago to "show" that childhood traits were associated with later political ideology, then I'd say you have an argument.

M J Perry presents such comnparisons frequently, and he gets to data mine the material retrospectively: no hypothesis required. (Naturally, he must have one in mind in order to do the work, WE never see the ones that don't pan out.)

But to simply diss all such studies strikes me as extreme.

I know scientists who are liberal and scientists who are conservative, but I don't think it affects the quality of their work.

 
At 4/20/2010 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is teamwork and coordination a liberal trait?

So you think it is OK to pool your resouces and energy for mutual advantage?

 
At 4/20/2010 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" liberals are flaky and unreliable. Many would boycott something one week, then go right back to using it the next week or next month."

...........

I'm not trying to win an argument


OK, but you think liberals are inconsistent and conservatives are more steadfast, stick to their principles. (And they think their priciples are ones everyone should have.) That is where this started.

And you think Conservatives are better than Liberals because of it. Better ususally implies more successful. And Conservatives like to think the free market and individual effort produces more innovation and more success. Also that Liberals are socialists who think that common goals are more important than individual ones.

So, I merely posited a gedanken experiment to suggest that might not always be the case.

Conservatives like to bandy about the Constitution. The Constitution does not change very much, so it bolsters the Conservative position of (generally) resisting change, just by sitting there.

But, going back to the Constitution the Preamble mentions both Liberty and the General Welfare, so I maintain that they need to be considered in equal proportion. One persons Liberty cannot be unbounded without eventually interfering with someone else's general welfare.

Therefore I think it is foolish, unseemely, and incosistent (flaky) when some conservatives unduly extoll the virtues of (their own) freedom and dismiss any idea of protecting general welfare.

And it is this attitude that leads some people to believe that Conservatives are not at all conservative when it comes to conservation.

By training and experience I opught to be on the environmentalists side, but I think they (some of them) are stark raving mad. They don;t seem to be able to understand that you need a strong economy to be able to pay for a clean environment.

They think they can get it by stealing it. A lot of "our" environmental "services" our green infrastructue comes from or lives in the rural areas, and I think we are going to have to find ways to support them, even if I do not agree with the current farm subsidies.

No matter how you slice the environmental agenda, I believe it is going to come down to picking who lives and who doesn't. They don't even see it coming yet, or refuse to admit it will be a problem. But I think this is a place where some good conservative thinking, and good values can make a difference.

 
At 4/20/2010 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adaptability isn't a liberal trait.


Huh?

I think you mean adaptability isn't exclusively a liberal trait.

Didn't you say they just got bored with it? Are you implying that if conservatives adopted a boycott they would stick with it, whether it worked or not?

Like Cuba maybe?

I'm not picking on you here, just trying to understand and discriminate.

 
At 4/20/2010 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have evidence that liberals make money in the stock market while conservatives don't I'll be glad to hear it.

Well, you got me there.

The GOP is the party of the rich, or so goes the conventional wisdom since the days of FDR. They get votes from low income, uneducated people by appealing to their religion, ideals, and pride.

OK. I should not confuse the GOP with conservatives.

Anyway, that was historically. In recent elections Dems have raised more money than Pubs.


In 2006, 17 of the top 25 contributors to 527 advocacy groups funded liberal/Democratic causes

In 2004, Democrats made up 15 of the 25 individuals who gave more than $2 million to 527 groups.

I don't know if that means they are making more money in the stock market or if they are just more stupid about giving their money away.

 
At 4/20/2010 11:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 5:49 said...

>"And everything else the fed does would wind up getting mis-managed by the states."

In many cases, everything else the feds do is ALREADY being mismanaged by the states.

For example, in California, we have the California Air Resources board, as well as the South Coast Air Quality Management District dictating air quality standards as well as the federal guidelines from the EPA. that's a lot of duplication, a lot of mismanagement, and a lot of expense to taxpayers. Eliminating any of these would be a step in the right direction.

In your example of Connecticut and Wyoming, If a lot of Connecticut residents felt their state government oppressive, they might be able to move to another state, including perhaps, Wyoming. IT is harder to move out of the US to a more favorable location...at least so far.

 
At 4/20/2010 11:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 2:16 said...

>"I know what the Laffer Curve is...

...The tax rate can't be zero, so what is the optimum?"


For more than anyone could possibly want to know about this subject, see this article.

The optimum tax rate is at the pointy part of the Laffer curve boob.

from the article:

"The Laffer Curve itself does not say whether a tax cut will raise or lower revenues. Revenue responses to a tax rate change will depend upon the tax system in place, the time period being considered, the ease of movement into underground activities, the level of tax rates already in place, the prevalence of legal and accounting-driven tax loopholes, and the proclivities of the productive factors. If the existing tax rate is too high--in the "prohibitive range" shown above--then a tax-rate cut would result in increased tax revenues. The economic effect of the tax cut would outweigh the arithmetic effect of the tax cut."

That means there is no one tax rate that is optimum except in the context of other conditions. No, the tax rate cannot be 0%, nor can it be 100%. In between those extremes, there is an area where reducing tax rates will increase revenue, and an area where it will not.

 
At 4/21/2010 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The optimum tax rate is at the pointy part of the Laffer curve boob.

Yes. Now what is the shape of the curve? Usually it is presented as a parabola, meaning the point would be a 50% tax.

Neither of us boobs believes that is true.



That means there is no one tax rate that is optimum except in the context of other conditions.


Which is pretty much what I said in response to thed ridiculous revenue graph previosuly shown. Basically what your quote says is that the laffer curve is worthless.

If all those constraints are true then all the laffer curve does is outline an ideology which was first described by the Persians in the third century or something like that. This little bit of legerdemain leaves you free to claim that ANY tax is too high and lowering taxes always increases revenue.

Which of course is exactly wht the laffer curves shows cannot happen.

So I'll repeat the question. What is the lower bound, the level of taxation below which revenues will generally decrease. Is that a level of taxxation you would accept?


This [paragraph] is a double wiggle worm since most of those variables are pretty easily described in modern economies.

It ought to be possible to derive the laffer curve from first principles: cost of capital, labor productivity, cost of inputs etc.

Once you put together a model that does that, you can play what-ifs and sensitivity analysis to watch the shape of the curve change.

Try it sometime, you may find it instructive.

 
At 4/21/2010 1:51 PM, Blogger OA said...

Anon, you seem to be trying, so I'll play along one more time.

You have not provided any proof to back your statement that numerous scientific studies proved that fear led to people being conservative. The only proof was a hypothesis regarding the correlation between a described insecure 3 year old and an assessment of their later political affiliation. There was no proof. I offered an alternative hypothesis, so if a hypothesis is a proof to you, then I've proved my point. And where are the other numerous studies?

Then somehow,

"Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature."

morphed into liberals possessing "rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information.." While I guess conservatives would not. Because that's the assumption underlying your first sailboat analogy. That conservatives wouldn't even tack once, they'd just set the sails once and go.

So I mentioned success in the stock market and running businesses because those are clearly situations where success requires "rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information." I failed to explain why I had asked about that because I thought it was obvious. But I correct that oversight now.

Of course you find both liberals and conservatives doing well in both. Because adaptability is not an exclusive trait of liberals. I did say not an exclusive trait in the 3rd sentence after the one were I said isn't a trait. Obviously that was a misstatement.

I most certainly believe that pooling resources and energy for mutual advantage is good. You can't field an army, run a company, or run a household without that. Are you saying only liberals do that? And don't answer, because I'm not coming back to this topic. Well I guess you can do it for others to read, so do what you wish.

 
At 4/21/2010 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have not provided any proof to back your statement that numerous scientific studies proved that fear led to people being conservative."

Hi, this is a different commenter - Billy Mays back from dead to be precise. Actually, nobody needs to do any scientific research that fear drives conservatives: you only have to watch how they talk, how they act. Did you see all of those gun nuts raining the National Mall a few days ago? They're worried the government's going to take away their guns! Do you remember the fear that stoked conservatives in the lead up to Iraq? Their fear of Saddam possessing fields of anthrax drove them against their better judgment, and listen to more rationale people who questioned the WMD's existence. How about the birthers? Those racist pricks really think Obama's a Muslim born in Kenya! Or how 'bout Glenn Beck...?

Anyway, if today's Dems are 'liberal,' then what do you call Ike and the 'Pub boys who were content with a 91% tax rate on the wealthiest? Heck, even I thought that was ridiculous. Anyway, when the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, don't let the Fox News talking heads scare you into thinking we're turning into a Marxist paradise. Clinton's small tax increase on the wealthy didn't build gulags, and neither will this upcoming tax increase.

 
At 4/21/2010 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

: you only have to watch how they talk, how they act.

I would not have put it so bluntly, but as I said, stereotypes don't get thaqt way by accident.

 
At 4/21/2010 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying only liberals do that? "

No, I'm suggesting that conservatives are inconsistent (flaky), too. They frequently use rhetoric that makes it sound as if anything not individualistic is socialistic.

See comments by Juandos, for example.

You are accusing me of morphing (restating) the facts, after you missstated the facts of the story on studies of liberal/conservative psychologies.

There was no hypothesis in the original studies which inclunded more than one third grader. there was only a comparison of the results of that study to later facts, which were roundly dismissed here as the ravings of someone possessed of a 20 year clairvoyant conspiracy to discredit conservatives.

I only point out that if the facts in the first study which characterized kids are not in doubt and the facts of their later affiliations are not in doubt then anyone liberal or conservative would have reached the same result.

The story went on to say the the current most authoritative work on the matter was a metaastudy of 22 earlier studies. I'd call that multiple studies.

Now, the American Farmland institute has done hundreds of studies, which as far as I can figure out are all wrong, because they all use the same methodology. Then they pubblish a metastudy of their own studies which says, see, they must be right because thay all conclude the same thing.

That isn't the case here.

The case also isn't closed yet but the data does seem to show certain kinds of trends. We need not consider the trnds as disparaging (for either liberals or conservatives) and we need not be insulted by them. But we would be idiots not to consider them in whatever we attempt, if it might give us more insight or better results.

"rapid ability to adapt to new conditions and information.."

Neither that quote or the one before it are mine, not sure if they are from the author of the story or if they were quotes abstracted from the studies.

Now, remember this all started as a result of comments regarding strict interpretation of the Constitution and treating it as a living document being moder revisionis BS.

So I'm saying that liberals are more likely to try to adapt new conditions to the Constitution and vice versa, wheras conservativesa re more likely to say, "humph, newfangled revionist BS" If that wasn't the case, we'd fix it as required and move on.

But now you claim ability to adapt and change is equally a conservative trait, and so I say problem solved: adapting to problems isn't flaky and neither are liberals. It doesnt buy us anything to accuse them of traits that we are willing to claim as our own, especially if we deny any study that esablishes traits.

 
At 4/21/2010 5:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 10:08

First of all, just to clarify, you may believe that I was calling you a boob in the following sentence from my last comment, but I wasn't. I was referring to the shape of the Laffer curve.

>"The optimum tax rate is at the pointy part of the Laffer curve boob."

Had I been calling YOU a boob, I would have used a comma as follows:

>"The optimum tax rate is at the pointy part of the Laffer curve, boob."

But now, after reading your response to my comment, I AM calling you a boob.

Are you intentionally being obtuse, or are you being argumentive just to be argumentive?

Either you didn't read the article I provided a link to, or you didn't understand it. Everything in my comment is explained in great detail in that article.

Read the article.

Do you understand that the Laffer curve is a CONCEPT, and not a measurement of anything? Specific values CANNOT be assigned to either axis of the graph, as that would require knowing specific conditions mostly related to existing tax structure. The Laffer curve only suggests that at some positions on the curve, raising tax rates decreases tax revenue, and lowering tax rates increases tax revenues, so your question cannot be answered specifically by referring to the Laffer curve.

Read the article.

>"Yes. Now what is the shape of the curve? Usually it is presented as a parabola, meaning the point would be a 50% tax."

No, it doesn't mean 50% tax. There are no values on the axes nor are there gradients. You are assuming 50% is at what appears to be the midpoint.

>"If all those constraints are true then all the laffer curve does is outline an ideology which was first described by the Persians in the third century or something like that."

Yes, that's EXACTLY what it does, except that it's a CONCEPT, not an IDEOLOGY.

Read the article.

>"So I'll repeat the question. What is the lower bound, the level of taxation below which revenues will generally decrease. Is that a level of taxxation you would accept?"

READ THE ARTICLE!

>"It ought to be possible to derive the laffer curve from first principles: cost of capital, labor productivity, cost of inputs etc."

No, it ought not. It has more to do with existing taxes and conditions described in the article.

Read the article.

>Once you put together a model that does that, you can play what-ifs and sensitivity analysis to watch the shape of the curve change."

If you think that's worthwhile, why don't you do it yourself, then come back and tell us what you have found? I'm sure many here would be interested in your results. You might, however, have difficulty modeling human behavior, and that has a large effect on tax revenues, as is explained in the article.

You should be aware that models, no matter how sophisticated you make them, are not always good predictors of the real world. Think climate models.

>"Try it sometime, you may find it instructive.

I'm not interested enough in the answer to YOUR question to spend much time on it, as it has no exact meaning unless specific conditions are known.

I will say this, however, in general, the more money that is left in private hands, the better the economy will function. Individuals almost always know better how to spend their own money than government does. So, the lower taxes are the better.

I was trying to be helpful by providing you with a link to an article that I felt would give you the information you needed to better understand the Laffer curve, but it seems I may have wasted my time.

Read the article.

 

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