Monday, September 05, 2011

Does the Media Have a Liberal Bias? Is There Any Evidence? Yes, According to a New Book and Study

Political Quotients of Some Politicians (click to enlarge)

Does the mainstream media have a liberal bias?  Yes, according to the empirical evidence that Tim Groseclose, UCLA political scientist and economist, presents in his new book "Left Turn: How Liberal Media Distorts the American Mind."  From Tim's website:

"Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science and economics at UCLA, has spent years constructing precise, quantitative measures of the slants of media outlets. He does this by measuring the political content of news and converting that content into an SQ, or “slant quotient,” of the outlet.  To determine bias, he compares SQs of news outlets to the PQs, or “political quotients,” of voters and politicians.
 
Among his conclusions are: 1) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias, and 2) while some supposedly conservative outlets—such as the Washington Times or Fox News Special Report—do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.

Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points on a scale of 100, the difference between: 1) the current political views of the average American and 2) the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With Left Turn, readers can easily calculate their own PQ—to decide for themselves if the bias exists. This timely, much-needed study brings fact to this often over-heated debate."

MP: To determine your PQ, take this 40-question quiz.  At the end of the quiz, you'll see a list of politicians who have PQs similar to yours.  The chart above (click to enlarge) shows a sample of PQs for politicians ranging from Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint on the far conservative end to Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi on the far liberal end of the scale.  

Here's a five-part video series of Tim being interviewed about his book by Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

54 Comments:

At 9/05/2011 11:31 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Yes, this academic study should be taken at face value, but evolution and climate science....not so much.

 
At 9/05/2011 11:37 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

BTW--I happen to be a free marketeer. But when I see a "balanced" panel on any mainstream media, it inevitably has to hard right-winger, a moderate and then a left-winger. Okay fine--but the hard right-winger is completely true to free-market principles (that I agree with).

Even the left-winger subscribes to free market principles, but only wants government to soften some edges, or perhaps keep the free market working even better, through prevention of monopolies, or backstopping our financial systems with the FDIC.

When was the last time you saw a full-on communist on the "balanced" mainstream panel?

In this country. despite a "liberal" media bias (imagined or otherwise) full-on communists or even socialists are simply excluded from the conversation.

I happen to think that neither communists nor socialists have much to add to the conversation. But the fact is our airwaves--publicly owned--keep real hard=core lefties out of the conversation.

This is a "liberal' bias?

 
At 9/05/2011 11:47 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

The problems with the Groseclose/Milyo study of media bias
http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2005/12/the_problems_wi.html

 
At 9/05/2011 11:59 AM, Blogger truth or consequences said...

hey, how about adding a clip of Nixon... insisting that there is a "silent majority" out there that supports him...he didn't like what the "mainstream media" was saying either...

The "liberal media bias" is just the new "silent majority"...gotta come up with a new name when the old one was proven false a LONG time ago.

 
At 9/05/2011 12:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"BTW--I happen to be a free marketeer"...

Yeah, sure pseudo benny you've said it a thousand times but you still sound like a marxist...

"Even the left-winger subscribes to free market principles..."...

You mean like Obama?

"When was the last time you saw a full-on communist on the "balanced" mainstream panel?"...

Sunday, Sept. 4 on Meet the Press...

"I happen to think that neither communists nor socialists have much to add to the conversation. But the fact is our airwaves--publicly owned--keep real hard=core lefties out of the conversation"...

So what are you saying pseudo benny, NPR is off the air?

Are people like Allan Colmes, Randi Rhodes, and Ed Schultz no longer on the radio?

 
At 9/05/2011 12:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

re: The problems with the Groseclose/Milyo study of media bias

Typical Nyhan baloney...

Here's an example: 'But let's also assume the press is expected to consult technical experts or scholarship about trends or recent developments they are reporting on according to the norms of journalism, and that under such norms these experts, when they are cited, are not always "balanced" by an opposing expert'...

Obviously this doesn't happen that way and a good example of that is how the fraud of man made global climate change was being foisted off onto an unsuspecting public...

The samething happened in the DDT fraud and the acid rain fraud...

 
At 9/05/2011 12:38 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"..in this country. despite a "liberal" media bias (imagined or otherwise) full-on communists or even socialists are simply excluded from the conversation."

No they're not. They simply call themselves "liberals" or "progressives." Your boyfriend is exhibit A.

 
At 9/05/2011 1:15 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: Obviously this doesn't happen that way and a good example of that is how the fraud of man made global climate change was being foisted off onto an unsuspecting public...

Your point doesn't make sense. The Groseclose/Milyo study is based on the correlation of cited experts, and the objections raised are several.

Paul: No they're not. They simply call themselves "liberals" or "progressives."

There are almost no socialists of prominence in the U.S. Do you know what is meant by "socialist?"

 
At 9/05/2011 1:31 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"There are almost no socialists of prominence in the U.S. Do you know what is meant by "socialist?"

Yeah, I don't need you to enlighten me with the textbook definition. Socialists in the US simply call themselves something else in order to be politically viable. They usually call themselves "liberals" or "progressives." Both Obama and Biden voted to the Left of Socialist Congressmen Bernie Sanders, according to National Journal's 2007 voting analysis.

 
At 9/05/2011 1:49 PM, Blogger KPres said...

"There are almost no socialists of prominence in the U.S. Do you know what is meant by "socialist?"

So? There are also no Anarcho-Capitalists of prominence in the US, either. Even Ron Paul supports government action in a lot of ways.

Regardless, that's irrelevant. Do you say the temperature in your oven is "cold" because its temperature is closer to absolute zero than it is to the surface of the sun? Of course not.

It only makes sense to rank these things relative to the mean. The country as a whole is much more capitalist than communist, because communist is a proven abject and unqualified failure, and everybody knows it.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:03 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

KPres-

If communism is a proven and abject failure, how do you explain Communist China?

The seem to be doing okay to me.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:13 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: Yeah, I don't need you to enlighten me with the textbook definition.

Good. As almost no one of prominence in the U.S. is calling for the nationalization of the means of production, then there are very few socialists U.S. politics.

Paul: They usually call themselves "liberals" or "progressives."

Um, no. The vast majority of liberals and progressives are not socialists.

KPres: The country as a whole is much more capitalist than communist, because communist is a proven abject and unqualified failure, and everybody knows it.

Communism and socialism are distinct, but the lessons of state control of markets is the crux of your point, and explains why there are virtually no socialists of prominence in U.S. politics. Nearly all modern developed economies are mixed, that is, they provide a social safety net, public education, security and so on, but also entail robust markets.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:22 PM, Blogger epv said...

If your definition of doing okay is being right there with Ecuador and Turkmenistan in PPP then I guess you're right.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:25 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Zachriel,

"As almost no one of prominence in the U.S. is calling for the nationalization of the means of production, then there are very few socialists U.S. politics. "

Um, no. Obama, and a significant number of Democrats move the ball down that field without necessarily spelling out what they're doing. Obama is at heart a socialist, but he's also an Alinskyite. An Alinskyite burrows within, tries not to spook the electorate until it's too late. If he starts calling for the "nationalization of the means of production," he'd marginalize himself in an instant. He certainly wouldn't be President of the United States if he had been honest about his agenda.

"Um, no. The vast majority of liberals and progressives are not socialists."

So here you are admitting that at least some of the so-called liberals/progressives can be socialists at the time. You just disagree over the number.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:33 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: So here you are admitting that at least some of the so-called liberals/progressives can be socialists at the time.

Of course some people are socialists, but virtually none of political influence. What's happening, as illustrated in your own comment, is trying to affix the label to people who are not socialists.

 
At 9/05/2011 2:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Of course some people are socialists, but virtually none of political influence."

Once again, you cannot be a declared socialist in the US and have political influence. So a socialist calls himself something else in order to gain power. Obama's history, his voting record, his Alinskyite training, is proof of that.

 
At 9/05/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I happen to think that neither communists nor socialists have much to add to the conversation. But the fact is our airwaves--publicly owned--keep real hard=core lefties out of the conversation. "

What are you talking about? Obama is in the news almost every day. How much more left wing can you get without having a CPUSA membership card? In fact, we don't know that he doesn't have one.

Actually, those public airways are used by private companies, who should be able to broadcast pretty much anything they chose. If you don't like it, turn the dial.

A common complaint from the Left is that conservative commentators are overrepresented on radio, but there's nothing stopping liberals from operating stations and broadcasting liberal views also. Maybe they just can't maintain a large enough audience to attract sponsors.

 
At 9/05/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Paul-

Calling mainstream Democrats "socialists" is like calling mainstream GOP'ers "fascists" or "anarchists," or even "seditionists."

If we do not even believe in the EPA--and we know that free markets fail when it comes to pollution--then GOP'ers qualify as "anarchists."

When a Gov. Perry uses state "investment funds" to direct state taxpayer money to his campaign backers's businesses as "grants"--that qualifies as fascism.

And when Perry calls for Texas to leave the union, that is sedition. Clearly.

Ergo, Perry is a fascist, anarchist, seditionist.

My point stands: We never hear from people who are communists or socialists in our mainstream media. They are x'ed out.

But we do hear from fascists, anarchists and seditionists. Like that bilious knave Perry, a vile excretum from the southern portal of Texas, who may be our next President.

I bet we are in another war within one year of a Perry presidency.

 
At 9/05/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If communism is a proven and abject failure, how do you explain Communist China?

The seem to be doing okay to me.
"

Benji, that is lame even for you. Can you not acknowledge that those successes have occurred since China has adopted some limited forms of capitalism and markets?

 
At 9/05/2011 4:31 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Benji,

"Calling mainstream Democrats "socialists" is like calling mainstream GOP'ers "fascists" or "anarchists," or even "seditionists."

No it isn't. And your boyfriend has never been mainstream, he only masks his true beliefs so nitwits like you will vote for him. He's been very successful, in that one regard. You were so busy looking down your nose at Saraha Palin, you never bothered to look at his extensive ties to radicals and hard leftist causes throughout his life because he whispered sweet nothings of "Hopeandchange" into your ear.

"If we do not even believe in the EPA--and we know that free markets fail when it comes to pollution--then GOP'ers qualify as "anarchists."

No they don't. The EPA didn't even exist until Nixon created it in 1970. You don't get anarchy by axeing one government department that is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. This is exactly the kind of moronic logic you employ when you vote. I implore you to stay home next year, you've done enough damage.


"When a Gov. Perry uses state "investment funds" to direct state taxpayer money to his campaign backers's businesses as "grants"--that qualifies as fascism."

I agree, pretty much. But how about when your boyfriend pours over half a billion dollars down the toilet on behalf of some shady "green jobs" operation like Solyndra? Any different? Obama's sins in this regard are so much more massive,and federal, yet you don't even acknowledge it.

Because you are an immense douchebag.

"And when Perry calls for Texas to leave the union, that is sedition. Clearly."

And when you parrot the lies of the liberal media, that makes you an uninformed jackass highly succeptible to Alinskyite propaganda campaigns of Hopeandchange. Clearly.

"Ergo, Perry is a fascist, anarchist, seditionist."

Oh Benji, actively convincing yourself to fall in love all over again. Perry's been massively more successful in his role than your boyfriend, there's no disputing that.

"I bet we are in another war within one year of a Perry presidency."

And, once again, you have absolutely zero evidence for that.

 
At 9/05/2011 4:38 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Paul: Once again, you cannot be a declared socialist in the US and have political influence. So a socialist calls himself something else in order to gain power. Obama's history, his voting record, his Alinskyite training, is proof of that.

That's an interesting conspiracy theory that has no relevance to real politics.

 
At 9/05/2011 4:52 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"That's an interesting conspiracy theory that has no relevance to real politics."

It is real politics. You cannot dispute anything I said about Obama's background. His ties to SEIU,the Industrial Areas Foundation, the New Party, Frank Marshall Davis, Reverend Wright,Bill Ayers, Mike Klonsky, Van Jones, etc., etc., etc.,

 
At 9/05/2011 5:06 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

PHILADELPHIA — President Obama raised more than $1.2 million at two campaign fundraisers here Thursday night, the last events of his money-raising blitz in this early stage of the 2012 campaign.

Campaign officials said about 800 people, each giving at least $100, attended the first event, at a Hyatt hotel. Later in the evening, Comcast’s executive vice president, David L. Cohen, hosted about 120 people in his home for a dinner, each of the attendees giving at least $10,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.

Cohen, a longtime Democratic operative, has successfully sheparded the regulatory review of Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal earlier this year.

Washington Post


"I am a socialist" -- Lawrence O'Donnel, MSNBC host

 
At 9/05/2011 5:09 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

For George Soros and ProPublica’s other liberal backers, it was again proof that a strategy of funding journalism was a powerful way to influence the American public ... It’s a strategy that Soros has been deploying extensively in media both in the United States and abroad. Since 2003, Soros has spent more than $48 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news – journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations. -- FOXNews

One of the FCC stipulations of the Comcast – NBCU merger was the incorporation of non-profit journalism centers into NBC newsrooms ... There’s just one problem with this: Voice of San Diego is a member of INN (Investigative News Network) which is funded by the Open Society Institute, the URL of which is “www.soros.org.” Yes, these “non-profit” journalism centers are funded by George Soros. -- BigJournalism

On Sunday, October 17, the New York Times reported that NPR had accepted a $1.8 million grant from George Soros’s left-leaning Open Society Institute ... of the 55 board members (50 directors plus the five “public” members of the NPR board) ... 48 members, nearly all have demonstrably liberal political sympathies, with heavy support for the Democratic party, pro-abortion-rights groups, and environmental activism in particular ... Then, there’s the NPR Foundation ... There are a few exceptions to the rule of unadulterated liberalism among NPR and Foundation board members ... NPR public board member Lyle Logan was one of Barack Obama’s major donors as early as 2000 — before it was cool.

The Foundation’s board members have been incredibly supportive of liberal causes. Judy Z. Steinberg has given about $40,000 to Democrats and EMILY’s List (a pro-abortion-rights group) since 2007. Jane Katcher has given Democrats and EMILY’s List more than $64,000 over the past decade. Roselyn Swig has already made more than 40 separate political donations this year, amounting to over $93,000 total. She donated over $100,000 to Democrats and pro-abortion-rights groups in both 2008 and 2006. Sukey Garcetti is director of the Roth Family Foundation, an organization whose “mission is commitment to progressive social change.” Bryan Traubert is one of Barack Obama’s very own White House Fellows and husband of Penny Pritzker, who was the national finance chair of Obama’s presidential campaign. The couple hosted a fundraising dinner for Barack Obama in 2008, with a $28,500 price of admission, leading to a Wall Street Journal profile, “Money Maven: Billionaire raises record amounts of cash for Obama.” -- National Review

 
At 9/05/2011 5:18 PM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

and in other news....water is wet

 
At 9/05/2011 5:21 PM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

"Of course some people are socialists, but virtually none of political influence."

ridiculous comment, pretty much anyone of note on the D side the last 4-6 years can be considered to have very socialist tendencies (Obama, Biden, Pelosi, FRank, Dodd, Reid, Waxman, Boxer, etc).

Isn't that scary? And remind me again what party they consider the party of "radicals"?

The D's have moved so far to the left they couldn't see the middle with binoculars.

 
At 9/05/2011 5:24 PM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

'A common complaint from the Left is that conservative commentators are overrepresented on radio, but there's nothing stopping liberals from operating stations and broadcasting liberal views also. Maybe they just can't maintain a large enough audience to attract sponsors."

Another fundamental structural problem is that radio "drive time" often involves going somewhere on a daily basis (ie, work, school, familial responsibilities) and none of these things are anywhere near the core competencies of those that exude far left tendencies (ie, target markets).

 
At 9/05/2011 5:28 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"If you were to somehow poll the political orientation of everybody in the NPR news organization and all of the member stations, you would find an overwhelmingly progressive, liberal crowd" -- Bob Garfield, NPR News, "On the Media" host.

Obama, Democrats got 88 percent of 2008 contributions by TV network execs, writers, reporters ... Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. -- Washington Examiner

ABC News's deputy political director, Teddy Davis, emails that he's leaving the network to join SEIU's already-muscular communications and politics operation ... He'll be Assistant Director of Communications at the giant union, he said, "working with the SEIU team on their political campaigns and policy agenda." -- Politico

Give Mika Brzezinski credit for candor. She has stated that during her 10 years at CBS, every reporter, producer and anchor she knew, with one exception, was a liberal ... The Morning Joe co-host made the disclosure today in the course of discussing with Joe Scarborough the White House's attack on Fox News. -- NewsBusters

 
At 9/05/2011 5:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If we do not even believe in the EPA--and we know that free markets fail when it comes to pollution--then GOP'ers qualify as "anarchists.""

Not liking the EPA makes one an anarchist? Who knew?

"When a Gov. Perry uses state "investment funds" to direct state taxpayer money to his campaign backers's businesses as "grants"--that qualifies as fascism."

This is normal behavior for politicians of all stripes. One of the worst offenders is your boyfriend. Is he a fascist by your definition?

"?And when Perry calls for Texas to leave the union, that is sedition. Clearly."

Sedition is a charge one makes against one's political enemies. It is bogus. Notice how seldom such laws have been enacted in this country, and for what purposes.

Actually, if I lived in Texas, I would be all in favor of secession, so more power to them. I wish them luck.

How would you compare political speech threatening secession with a campaign statement that "We are just 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America!"

"Ergo, Perry is a fascist, anarchist, seditionist."

You may want to refresh your understanding of those terms. You like to use uncommon words in your rants, but you should make sure you understand what they mean.

If you are so quick to apply those labels to those on the right, why do you have trouble applying labels of socialist or communist to those on the left, or object if others do so?

"My point stands: We never hear from people who are communists or socialists in our mainstream media. They are x'ed out."

You must not be reading other's comments today. Just because someone doesn't self identify as a socialist, doesn't mean the label can't be applied.

Perry doesn't identify himself as an anarchist, seditionist, or fascist, either, but you have no problem applying the labels for him.

"I bet we are in another war within one year of a Perry presidency."

You mean in addition to the 5 your boyfriend has us in?

Now, now, don't blame Bush. It's been Obama for too long to use that tired canard. These are now all Obama's wars.

 
At 9/05/2011 5:44 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Howell Raines, who worked at the New York Times for 25 years and eventually served as the paper's Executive Editor from 2001 to 2003 before leaving amid the Jayson Blair scandal, describes himself in a column today as "liberal to radical on most issues."... not exactly the kind of label you would expect to be affixed to a man who ran the most influential newspaper in the world. -- RealClearPolitics

Never accuse the Associated Press of being hidebound by journalistic tradition ... Earlier this month, the 163-year-old news cooperative announced it would distribute "watchdog and investigative journalismÓ penned not by its own staff or that of member papers, but by four outside groups: the Center for Investigative Reporting in Barkeley, Calif.; New York-based ProPublica; and two D.C. outfits, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University ... A cursory glance at the "independentÓ news shops reveals their reliance on left-tilting patrons such as the Knight Foundation and leftist donors such as financier Herbert Sandler and currency speculator George Soros. Sandler and his wife, Marion, founders of ProPublica, are generous givers to Democratic candidates and left-wing causes including the Center for American Progress and ACORN, the ethically-challenged radical action group. Soros, an early backer of CPI as well as the radical MoveOn.org ... -- Washington Examiner

As it turns out, the preponderance of journalists are Democrats. And socialism, with its idyllic, “progressive” programs, has formed an increasingly important role in Democratic policies ... Most journalists take a number of psychology, sociology, political science, and humanities courses during their early years in college. Unfortunately, these courses have long served as ideological training programs ... these disciplines ram home the idea that troubled behavior can be fixed through expensive socialist programs that, coincidentally, provide employment opportunities for graduates of the social sciences. Modern neuroscience is showing how flawed many of these policies have been ... This type of teaching makes the Democratic Party and its increasingly socialist ideals seem naturally desirable, and criticism about how those ideals will supposedly be met less likely. It’s no wonder that journalists enter the profession as Democrats, then keep their beliefs intact through all-too-common tendencies to conform. -- PsychologyToday

 
At 9/05/2011 5:46 PM, Blogger pkd said...

A few years ago, I took a test that recommended Ralph Nader as closest to me; this one's putting me in bed with tricky Dick Nixon!

 
At 9/05/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Another fundamental structural problem is that radio "drive time" often involves going somewhere on a daily basis (ie, work, school, familial responsibilities) and none of these things are anywhere near the core competencies of those that exude far left tendencies (ie, target markets)."

Hmmm. I hadn't thought of that, but you're absolutely correct. Radio just isn't a good medium for leftist audiences.

 
At 9/05/2011 5:57 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth said today she was canceling plans for an exclusive "salon" at her home where for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record access to "those powerful few" — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper’s own reporters and editors. -- Politico

No bias here.

Take the Google “bombing” issue. Google “bombing” is when a group of website owners and techies get together and attempt to link up a search term with a particular website at the top of Google’s rankings. For four years, lefty techies amused themselves by making sure the search term “miserable failure” returned a link to GWB’s White House website. The “glitch” allowing it to happen was fixed in 2007. When Barack Obama came into office the results reverted back to the White House website and Obama’s own biography. In fairness it isn’t clear whether some conservative-minded byte-warriors did it or Google made a mistake with their algorithm. What is clear, is that this time Google stepped in within days and fixed the issue. It took Google four years to link away from GWB’s biography on WhiteHouse.gov, but five days for Google’s preferred President? Google denies that the quick response had anything to do with Obama. Suspect. Besides, Google removing the “bombing” in either case proves that politics and being favored by Google can influence search results. -- BigHollywood

The curious case of 200 nearly identical MSM headlines‏

 
At 9/05/2011 6:34 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Your point doesn't make sense. The Groseclose/Milyo study is based on the correlation of cited experts, and the objections raised are several"...

Hey Zach, you interested in buying a bridge I have for sale?

The 'claim' was made that study was based on cited experts...

Nyhan didn't even bother with citing any so called experts but tried to weave some silly logic he dreamt up...

Would you take the following study at face value?

At best sans any further investigation it could possibly be considered indicative at of certain leaning of journalists...

 
At 9/05/2011 6:53 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Zachy,

You are deeply confused.

As an immigrant from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I'll try to help you out.

First of all there are plenty of calls for nationalizing this industry or that - from banks to car manufacturing. And several elected politicians threatened to do as they wanted or they won't hesitate to nationalize the industry. But, you're mostly correct that there is no loud calls to nationalize the means of production . American socialists know that's not politically viable.

The socialists in this country have chosen the fascist track instead. This suites Socialists well. Under Fascism, the means of production are nominally privately owned but controlled by government. The difference between direct ownership and control is miniscule. Control comes in the form of government regulation that limits every independent decision of business. Obama is a socialist, but his economic policies are fascist. As were Bush's.

The remainder of socialism has to do with redistribution of wealth. From each according to his ability to each according to his need is very much a plank of American Socialism. In fact, politicians like Nancy Pelosi sound very much like V.I. Lenin railing against the Kulaks.

So, Zach is right. We do have a mixed economy. It's part socialist and part fascist. There's small fraction in its death throes known as "capitalism".

If you don't think we have prominent socialists in this country, it's only because you don't know very much about socialism and what it looks like. To those of us who lived in full on socialist countries, the socialists in the United States are pretty obvious.

Call them what you want, dear. A pile of dung by any other name still smells as putrid. You will only be able to convince wide-eyed, innocent americans that socialism isn't socialism.

One other thing about this discussion of Socialism and Communism. Neither China nor Russia were ever anything approaching Communist. The ruling party was called "communist", but we were a socialist country that was working and sacrificing at gunpoint to reach a state of Communism - which was the next level.

What collapsed in the Soviet Union was socialism. What kept China in poverty was socialism. What is destroying the economies and cultures in Europe is Socialism.

This is obvious to everyone in the world except the people who don't want to face what socialism is. Zach.

 
At 9/05/2011 8:03 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: The 'claim' was made that study was based on cited experts...

You either didn't read the study, or didn't understand it.

Methinks: First of all there are plenty of calls for nationalizing this industry or that - from banks to car manufacturing.

Having the government step in when businesses go bankrupt has been a standard part of the economic system for generations. The problem with the banking sector was that the bankruptcy courts were not capable of winding down such large concerns without exasperating the economic meltdown.

Methinks: We do have a mixed economy. It's part socialist and part fascist.

Sorry. Your extremist position has no merit, and won't be taken seriously outside the right-wing echo chamber.

 
At 9/05/2011 8:41 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/05/2011 8:41 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

In addition to being a anarchist, fascist and seditionist, Perry is a closet homosexual, according to Ron Paul backers.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail?entry_id=95718

Boy, would that not be a laff-and-a-half if Perry turns out to be gay?

Imagine the consternation on the GOP!!!

PS Karl Rove, who should know, is very leary about Perry being in the race for this very reason.

I wonder, if elected, if Rick Perry will travel about in jodhpurs and jackboots?

 
At 9/05/2011 9:09 PM, Blogger Stephen Purpura said...

What really strikes me about the survey is that all of the polices mentioned in the questions are awful compromises that I never want to vote 'yes' or 'no' to. It seems the survey using my willingness to vote on a policy is an extremely noisy single because it's based on a false selected agenda instead of my agenda.

 
At 9/05/2011 9:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Having the government step in when businesses go bankrupt has been a standard part of the economic system for generations."

But is it legal? That matters, doesn't it?

Who can decide what businesses should be allowed to fail, and which ones shouldn't?

If you favor that type of intervention, I recommend you learn more economics.

"The problem with the banking sector was that the bankruptcy courts were not capable of winding down such large concerns without exasperating the economic meltdown. "

Who told you that? Do you have a reference? I believe I've heard politicians say ridiculous things like that, please don't quote them.

I assume you meant to write "exacerbate"

 
At 9/05/2011 9:22 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"In addition to being a anarchist, fascist and seditionist, Perry is a closet homosexual, according to Ron Paul backers."

What possible difference could his sexual orientation make to anyone but you?

When weighing a candidate's qualifications for office, sexual orientation ranks right up there with eye color, and favorite movie.

I see you haven't looked up those new words you're using, or you would know that no one can be both a fascist and an anarchist on the same day.

 
At 9/05/2011 9:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What really strikes me about the survey is that all of the polices mentioned in the questions are awful compromises that I never want to vote 'yes' or 'no' to. It seems the survey using my willingness to vote on a policy is an extremely noisy single because it's based on a false selected agenda instead of my agenda."

I would think that voting no on something you don't like would generally be a good idea. If a bill isn't well written or is an awful compromise, vote no until it's reintroduced in a form you like.

Another good rule of thumb might be to always vote no on spending money or expanding the role of government.

 
At 9/05/2011 9:34 PM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

Dr. Groseclose calls himself a "leading political science professor." Could someone explain what makes one that? Is there a vote? Are there specific criteria? Or is it the sort of self-flattery that gets one face time on TV?

At the end of his 40-question survey, I, a rigid libertarian, found myself in the company of Richard Nixon, who signed the EPA into law and tried to develop NixonCare. Ron Paul doesn't appear on the Groseclose list. One suspects that Dr. Groseclose has his own bias, and in the direction of neoconservatism.

 
At 9/05/2011 9:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"At the end of his 40-question survey, I, a rigid libertarian, found myself in the company of Richard Nixon, who signed the EPA into law and tried to develop NixonCare. Ron Paul doesn't appear on the Groseclose list. One suspects that Dr. Groseclose has his own bias, and in the direction of neoconservatism."

Did you notice that too? I seem to be Jim DeMint. I didn't notice many questions for libertarians, and I voted straight no for spending money or expanding the role of government.

 
At 9/05/2011 9:44 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"And when Perry calls for Texas to leave the union, that is sedition. Clearly"...

What absolute drivel pseudo benny! Why shouldn't Perry protect Texas from the wildly expensive machinations of your boyfriend?

"My point stands: We never hear from people who are communists or socialists in our mainstream media. They are x'ed out"...

Still working under the bizzare impression that if you repeat a lie often enough it'll somehow morph into a fact, eh pseudo benny?

"But we do hear from fascists, anarchists and seditionists. Like that bilious knave Perry, a vile excretum from the southern portal of Texas, who may be our next President"...

Coming from someone who voted for the moonbeam... LMAO!

"I wonder, if elected, if Rick Perry will travel about in jodhpurs and jackboots?"...

Maybe so pseudo benny but unlike you I'm pretty sure Perry will also wear pants...

 
At 9/05/2011 9:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"You either didn't read the study, or didn't understand it"...

LOL!

Geez Zach, you really do have some problems...

My condolences dude...

 
At 9/06/2011 2:52 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/06/2011 2:58 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

With few exceptions, anyone who buys the economics the media sells has been ripped-off (swindled, cheated, exploited, defrauded).

 
At 9/06/2011 6:31 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: But is it legal? That matters, doesn't it?

Bankruptcy laws have been around since before the U.S. was founded. It's in the Constitution.

Ron H: Who can decide what businesses should be allowed to fail, and which ones shouldn't?

In a representative democracy, through laws enacted by elected representatives.

The problem with the banking sector was that the bankruptcy courts were not capable of winding down such large concerns without exasperating the economic meltdown.

Ron H: Who told you that?

“You're thinking of this place all wrong. As if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house...right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Macklin's house, and a hundred others.” — George Bailey c. 1930

The banking system was in seizure. A bankruptcy in the courts would have taken years. As each bank failed, it would have caused the failure of other banks. The system would have collapsed, taking good businesses with the bad. You do understand that the money is not actually in the bank?

As bad as it was, it could have been far worse. The system had to be stabilized, which is why the Bush Administration took the immediate action of infusing the system with cash.

There needs to be new regulatory structures with the power to dismantle large concerns when they fail.

Ron H: Do you have a reference?

You could try,

Andrew Fight, Understanding International Bank Risk, Wiley 2004.

Gary H. Stern, Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts, Brookings Institution Press 2004.

Evanoff & Kaufman (editors), Systemic Financial Crises: Resolving Large Bank Insolvencies, World Scientific Pub Co 2005.

Benton E. Gup, Too Big to Fail: Policies and Practices in Government Bailouts, Praeger 2003.

Note that these treatises were all written before the financial crisis. The danger was well-recognized. The problem was finding politically acceptable solutions.

 
At 9/06/2011 6:35 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Nicolas Martin: Dr. Groseclose calls himself a "leading political science professor." Could someone explain what makes one that? Is there a vote? Are there specific criteria? Or is it the sort of self-flattery that gets one face time on TV?

An appeal to authority is valid when
* The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
* The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
* The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
* There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
* There is no evidence of undue bias.

The proper argument against a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence.

-

In this case, he is not stating a consensus, so his authority is irrelevant. What matters is whether his evidence stands up to scrutiny.

Nicolas Martin: At the end of his 40-question survey, I, a rigid libertarian, found myself in the company of Richard Nixon, who signed the EPA into law and tried to develop NixonCare.

Even a cursory look at the methodology shows that Groseclose is fitting the evidence to his preconceptions.

 
At 9/06/2011 6:38 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

exasperating = exacerbate

 
At 9/07/2011 3:16 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I just watched the first video so far. Your perfect liberal is Nancy Pelosi? Seriously? Pelosi, who spearheaded the FISA Act of 2008 which gave retroactive immunity to major corporations for violating the 4th amendment. Ever the advocate of Israeli violence against Palestinians and the continued occupation. Always for war funding in Iraq and Afghanistan. Going along with all the additional wars Obama has started. I think she helped Obama kill the public option and single payer health care to create the corporate give away that is Obama Care.

You can like these positions or hate them, but is this perfect liberalism? If he had said Kucinich was your pure liberal maybe we could take this ratings system seriously, but I think what we're dealing with is what Benjamin is saying. Real leftists are outside the spectrum of discussion. You define the range of debate very narrowly. To the right is advocates of total violence against Iraq. On the left you have those, like Obama, that claim the war in Iraq was wrong in that it was a strategic blunder. In the same way a Nazi general that claimed opening an eastern front was a strategic error would be called a principled opponent of Nazi aggression. It's an absurdity.

The people that actually say it's wrong to invade a country and kill hundreds of thousands of people when they haven't attacked us and aren't threatening us don't even enter the discussion. That's too extreme to even talk about. Though it's probably the majority view of Americans.

Has anyone here heard of the Propaganda Model? Google it if you haven't. There's a serious media analysis not discussed. Incidentally the model itself predicts that it wouldn't be discussed because it is dysfunctional, though the model is explicitly advocated by policy elites, is prima facie true based on a basic understanding of who the media is and who their customers are and finally, though less conclusively, is a model that is accepted by a majority of Americans. We never hear about it. If you understand the Propaganda Model you know why.

 
At 9/08/2011 1:06 AM, Blogger Charles Platt said...

The "quotient" is useless. The whole issue is framed in two-party terms, and the 20 questions on his web site are extremely limited in breadth. The man seems totally ignorant of the concept that personal liberty transcends political labels. A more useful study would reveal the incidence of pro-statist bias; the assumption that big government is useful.

 
At 9/12/2011 2:27 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

A thought: The largest shareholder of most large companies are public employee pension funds. Second is likely private pension funds -- most in unionized companies. Both sets of owners are avidly pro-Big Government.

In essence, the means of production is now owned (and surely controlled) by government owners and regulators. It's the back door that is leading to/(has led to)the nationalization of the means of production -- a.k.a. socialism.

 

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