Charles Koch complains about the character assassination he experiences at the hands of Barack Obama, who he says is acting like the despots of the twentieth century like Hitler and Stalin. But why is he silent about the real character assassination he suffers? For that we have to resort to the archives, and the bemused Justin Fox:
Justin Fox (2009): on the crazed right-wingers who lead the character assassination of Charles Koch: "Update: Lew Rockwell weighs in...
on my taxonomy of Austrians:
The author hilariously sees Austrian economics as divided into two parts: the nice one, entirely in the super-wealthy Koch Brothers ambit, and the mean one, in mine! A little background: when I started the Mises Institute (an organization unmentioned by Time) 26 years ago, the head of the Koch Family Foundation angrily pledged to destroy me if I went ahead. "We have worked too hard to rid Austrian economics of Mises," he said. Hayek, he claimed, was their man, though, of course, he was far better than that, and a good supporter of the Institute. But the real problem turned out to be Murray Rothbard. It was the greatest of the Misesians and the founder of modern libertarianism whom the Koch World Empire longed to smash, and still does. Murray, founder of Cato, was the one man in the ambit to say no when the Kochs decided to jettison Mises for reasons of DC preferment.
Joe Romm: N.Y. Times and Elisabeth Rosenthal Face Credibility Siege over Unbalanced Climate Coverage | ThinkProgress: "Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University,
whom the NYT itself quoted last year as “an expert on environmental communications,” emailed me that the piece is “the worst, one sided reporting I have ever seen.”
When I called him up, he went further saying:
In this article, the New York Times has become an echo-chamber for the climate disinformation movement.
Steve M.: No, Leon, Those Issues Aren't too Lofty to Be Reduced to Data: "I was going to ignore Leon Wieseltier's get-off-my-lawn attack on young whippersnapper Nate Silver's preference for data-driven journalism, but this jumped out at me:
Many of the issues that we debate are not issues of fact but issues of value. There is no numerical answer to the question of whether men should be allowed to marry men, and the question of whether the government should help the weak, and the question of whether we should intervene against genocide. And so the intimidation by quantification practiced by Silver and the other data mullahs must be resisted.
But there is very much a "numerical answer to the question of whether men should be allowed to marry men".... Opponents... say that children suffer harm from not having two opposite-sex parents.... We can look at the lives of children raised by gay couples and compare their well-being to that of children raised by married heterosexuals. If gay marriage were harming the children of gay couples, we'd know it, but it isn't. And it's good that we have studies showing a lack of harm, because if we were high-mided and Wieseltierian and chose to remain above the tawdry collection of data on this subject, the anti-gay right would generate all sorts of anti-gay-marriage data and drive the debate with it.... There is also very much a "numerical answer" to "the question of whether the government should help the weak".... We're not discussing this on the basis of morality, as Wieseltier airily suggests; we don't simply assume that government has a responsibility to help the weak because the right incessantly argues that it can demonstrate the failure of any such efforts -- with data.
And as for genocide: Does Wieseltier seriously believe that we regard intervention as an unquestioned duty? If so, how does he explain the fact that we intervene in some genocides and not others? Why does he suppose that is? I'd argue that our leaders consider morality, but also calculate the potential cost in blood and treasure, while pondering poll numbers for or against intervention. I don't what the hell Wieseltier's explanation would be.
The caricature of Ryan and people like him is that… they talk big about dignity while ignoring the difficulty of getting essentials like food and health care. Well, it’s not a caricature: Ryan says never mind having enough to eat, it’s about spirituality:
The left is making a big mistake…. What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul. People don’t just want a life of comfort. They want a life of dignity, they want a life of self determination…
Um, yes, but how dignified can you be on an empty stomach? How much self-determination do you have? And who is supposed to value dignity over having enough to eat? Children…. Affluent politicians have no business lecturing people having trouble buying food or having trouble paying for health care about dignity, is just stunning. READ THE WHOLE THING
Truly a remarkable crop:
I am sorry. There is just too much of it.
I'm going to move it all, henceforth, over to Loyal to the Group of 17:
Richard Perez-Penafeb: Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study:
For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners.... Former students and staff members who said they had high hopes that the Bob Jones brand of counseling would be exposed and reformed after the university hired a Christian consulting group in 2012 to investigate its handling of sexual assaults.... Last week, Bob Jones dealt a blow to those hopes, acknowledging that with the investigation more than a year old and nearing completion, the university had fired the consulting group, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, or Grace, without warning or explanation....
Jon Chait: Rove: Obama Has Ruined Bush’s Paradise:
Karl Rove is most famous for being architect of one of the worst presidencies in American history and then a Superpac strategist/delusional Romney campaign-night dead-ender. I’m a Rove junkie, and just as a snobbish fan of any popular band must have some obscure album he finds superior to the band’s most popular work, the Rove career function I find most delightful and rewarding is his work as a Wall Street Journal op-ed columnist.... Today’s column begins with Rove’s bizarre belief that the health exchanges in Obamacare are a “single-payer” system, reflecting his apparent confusion about what this term means. (The single-payer in a single-payer system is the government, not the insurance companies in the exchanges.) But the main point is the Orwellian proposition that “Mr. Obama's pattern is to act, or fail to act, in a way that will leave his successor with a boatload of troubles.”
What kind of president would bequeath a boatload of troubles to his successor? Oh, the irresponsibility.
Subscribers to CNN host Newt Gingrich's email list are receiving supposed insider information about cancer "cures," the Illuminati, "Obama's 'Secret Mistress,'" a "weird" Social Security "trick," and Fort Knox being "empty."... CNN has been helping Gingrich build his list by not only employing him, but also by promoting Gingrich Productions and its website.... Gingrich Productions has sent at least 15 sponsored emails for Stansberry & Associates since June 2013. Stansberry is a disgraced financial firm that was fined $1.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in "deliberate fraud" and profiting from "false statements." The firm sells financial products by pushing conspiracies about the Obama administration.... Gingrich's team previously claimed to distance the former speaker from Stansberry after questions surfaced about a sponsored email suggesting Obama would win a third term....
Gingrich is part of a movement where, as MSNBC's Chris Hayes noted, "much of conservatism is a con and the base are the marks."... The New Republic's Ben Adler wrote in a piece about Gingrich and fellow hucksters Herman Cain and Mike Huckabee that they "are pioneering a new, more direct method for post-campaign buckraking. All it requires is some digitally savvy accomplices--and a total immunity to shame."...
The following are the subject line and quotes from some of the sponsored emails Gingrich Productions has sent to its list in the past six months.
"American Doctor Releases Cancer Cure Before Government Spies Find it." An August 29, 2013, email from Health Revelations claims that "cancer was cured back in 1925," and "the annual flu shot is nothing more than a BALD-FACED SCAM." The email takes readers to a page claiming that "Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Alzheimer's" have been "DEFEATED" but suggests the government is covering up such cures.
"The Illuminati [Secret Society] Puts a Deathgrip on America." A December 31, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claims that the "Illuminati was behind every consequential wealth event of the past year" including bitcoin. The Illuminati is a frequent player in conspiracy theories.
"Obama's 'Secret Mistress' Exposed." A December 12, 2013, email from Laissez Faire Club claims that "President Obama has made painstaking efforts to keep his 'secret mistress' hidden from the American public, and he has succeeded brilliantly... until now."
"WhistleBlower: 7 Deadly Drugs the Government Wants You to Swallow." The Health Sciences Institute claimed in a November 19, 2013, email that an "insider near Washington D.C. has just blown the lid off the 7 Deadly Drugs the U.S. Government can't wait for you to swallow." The email assured Gingrich readers that it's not a conspiracy theory since the "whistleblower has concrete evidence 'the powers that be' are shoving pure poison down your throat... and laughing all the way to the bank."
"Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Social Security Checks . . ." A September 12, 2013, Newsmax Media email claimed that they've "stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks." (For more on this email claim, see here.)
"Fort Knox is Empty (the Gold's Missing...)." An August 20, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claimed, "Whispers are swirling around Capitol Hill that Fort Knox is empty" and "the U.S. government has been shipping gold to nations like China (as collateral for a weak dollar)."
"New Scandal in the White House?" A cryptic July 11, 2013, Stansberry & Associates email claimed that there's a "big new scandal brewing in the White House" and "when this scandal is ultimately exposed, it's going to have major implications not only for Barack Obama, but also for our entire country."...
Stephen Williamson: : What's a Central Bank Good For?:
Prescott is quoted....
It is an established scientific fact that monetary policy has had virtually no effect on output and employment in the U.S. since the formation of the Fed....
Everyone else simply says: "Prescott is wrong: that's not an established scientific fact at all."
But Williamson, somehow, cannot say that. He cannot say: "water is wet." He cannot say: "the sun rises in the east". Instead, he says that people like Prescott who say that water is dry or that the sun rises in the west are deep thinkers, serious scientists, and have a definite point--that water is dryish and the sunrise is westish if you look at it from a properly-sophisticated point of view.
This isn't just: "opinions of shape of earth differ". This is: "if you are a deep thinker, the world really is kinda flattish, isn't it?"
Ed... is a very deep thinker, and a serious scientist....
Robert Blackwill @ The National Interest: In Defense of Kissinger:
Kissinger judged that if Washington had mounted an all-out private and public human-rights campaign against then president Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan and the Pakistan government, which was correctly convinced that the future of the state was at stake, such a campaign would not have fundamentally altered Islamabad’s policy toward East Pakistan, and the White House’s China initiative could well have collapsed. However, as will be demonstrated at length later in this essay, that hardly meant that he ignored the plight of the Bengali Hindus. Kissinger, both while in office and in his subsequent writings, rejected the proposition that circumstances inevitably force a crude either/or choice between national interests and democratic values, and during this crisis no other nation except India did as much as the United States to directly address the human-rights tragedy in East Pakistan.
One wishes that the chasm between academic and policy-maker perspectives might have produced a certain modesty in Bass’s treatment of these events. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Instead The Blood Telegram offers a strident, almost willfully biased attack on the personal motives of policy makers whom Bass condemns...
But... But... But...
The University of Michigan's Chris House appears to suffer from the searching-for-false-balance disease.
It's not a big deal.
But it is a neat, clean, and comprehensible example of the damage done by the opinions-of-shape-of-earth-differ disease that Chris House and many others have: the net effect is to excuse the bad faith, ideological partisanship, and failure to do their homework on the part of those working to degrade the quality of our public sphere--and to aid in the drip-drip-drip eroding-away at the influence of those working hard to improve it. Not good. Not good...
Chris House: The Wisdom of Laureates: "Ed Prescott... [has the] most people talking...
is quoted as saying:
It is an established scientific fact that monetary policy has had virtually no effect on output and employment in the U.S. since the formation of the Fed....
Prescott is wrong. It is NOT an established fact the monetary policy has no effect on economic activity. The balance of the evidence suggests the opposite. Monetary policy seems to have clear measurable effects on the economy....
Should we grant Ed Prescott, or Paul Krugman, or Robert Lucas, or Peter Diamond much more credence than other smart observers?... Nobel Prize winners have typically devoted their entire careers to a rather narrow study of a particular area.... They are also often radical thinkers.... Academics are rewarded... for having path-breaking ideas.... An academic who has one or two... might well be viewed as... worthy of a Nobel, even if most of their ideas are crazy.... The price we pay for having unusual insights might be that we often have unorthodox approaches.... Prescott didn’t win the Nobel Prize for having a balanced assessment.... This isn’t limited to Prescott. Even Paul Krugman has been known to say some rather nutty things at times.
The biggest bit that is idiocy is the claim that Nobel Prize winners in general are prone to say "rather nutty things" because saying such is closely linked to what makes them Nobel Prize-caliber. Prescott says nutty things--very nutty things, hugely nutty things, completely nutty things--about what is supposed to be the core area of his expert knowledge on a regular basis. But Krugman? Diamond? Lucas might come within two orders of magnitude of Prescott, but not one (or, if every one, only very rarely). And I see whatever wrong things Krugman and Diamond says as at least three orders of magnitude less than Prescott on the nuttiness scale.
So I (and others) asked Chris House where his ideas were coming from: what evidence made him generalize from Prescott; to the quartet of Prescott, Lucas, Krugman, and Diamond; and then to the quartet of Nobel Prize winners in general?
The conversation did not go terribly well. Samples:
Stephen Bainbridge: The media is ignoring the moral equivalence between Obamajams and Christie's bridge:
So at worst NJ Governor Chris Christie created some traffic jams as political payback.... Democrats... and their allies in the liberal mainstream media [are] all worked up.... But where were the latter when Obama knowingly repeatedly flew into Los Angeles and created massive Obamajams so that he could rake in political payoffs by the billions from his liberal Hollywood groupies.... I've had personal experience of Obama's incredibly deleterious effect on our traffic. To me, the difference between jams for payback and jams for payola is trivial. But because he's a Democrat, nobody in the media cares about the latter.
Is there any way to read Bainbridge other than that he is really, really angry that (a) a Black man (b) is President and (c) dares to visit Los Angeles (d) with secret service protection in order to (e) maintain his political coalition and (f) raise money for electoral campaigns?
Which of these six do you suppose makes Bainbridge angriest?
Yes, it's funny. But the normalization of the crazy is perhaps the most worrisome thing.
Yet More Thursday Idiocy: Outsourced to bspencer: Rod D: "I’m not quite sure how to talk about this Rod Dreher post because it’s so bizarre.
It reads as a whiny appeal for liberals to quit being so mean to creationists and fundies. But if you scratch the surface, you’ll find it’s really a threat. And the threat is basically: “Be careful shoving your beloved SCIENCE down our throats, libs, because SCIENCE also says Black people are stupid.” To make his case, he links approvingly to racist XXXXXXXX Steve Sailer.
One of the things that keeps drawing me to Steve Sailer’s writing is that his beliefs on human biodiversity sometimes lead him to point out inconvenient truths about ideologies informing our common life.
If I’ve given you the impression that Dreher is bullying, racist sxxxhead, I apologize. He’s not. He’s heavy-hearted about what he’s telling us. He’s SAD that black people are stupid and inferior. But don’t you see that he’s left no choice but to be a racist sxxxbag when we insist on forcing our reality down his throat?
“Darwin wouldn’t be surprised to learn which race had invented rap music”–Steve Sailer
I’ve got a few issues.... One... there is no consensus in the scientific community that there are significant differences among the races. Two... there’s a long way to go from acknowledging differences to enacting eugenicist-influenced policies in response to said differences. Three: People are different, period... living full and happy lives.
So, yes, I’m going to call it: Rod Dreher’s post is at threat, and a disgusting one at that.
Once again, Jonathan Chait: Washington Redskins Hire All-Star Villains: "Ari Fleischer, center, presides over meeting of superstar political advisers tasked with saving the Redksins name.
The Washington Redskins, fighting off campaigns to force them to change their team name, have hired not only comically sleazy Washington lawyer Lanny Davis but an entire roster of Beltway super-villains. Dan Snyder... has compiled an all-star team of mendacious sleaze.... Lanny Davis, hapless Clinton hanger-on wannabe and adviser to dictators and crooks.... Ari Fleischer, the face of credibility.... Frank Luntz, crafter of useless focus groups and a spinmeister so sickeningly dishonest he even nauseates Frank Luntz.... And, perhaps most amazing, George Allen. Yes, an organization that’s fighting off allegations of racial insensitivity has decided to consult a man who was remembered as a racist by his high school classmates, remembered as an even more blatant racist by his college classmates, voted against the Martin Luther King Holiday, had a confederate flag and a noose, and then finally lost his Senate seat for being caught on camera using a racial slur.... Who’s really good at fighting off accusations of racial insensitivity? George Allen! Yeah! That guy never loses! Davis, Fleischer, Luntz and Allen — together they will join forces and rule the galaxy take a lot of Daniel Snyder's money, and then eventually lose.
Jonathan Chait: WSJ: Obama Isn’t Hitler But He’s Pretty Hitler-y: "The Journal’s editorial underscores that the widespread mockery of Perkins, far from piling on a bewildered plutocrat, actually understates the broader problem.
Perkins’s letter provided a peek into the fantasy world of the right-wing one percent, in which fantasies of an incipient Hitler-esque terror are just slightly beyond the norm. The Journal editorial defines persecution of the one percent as the existence of public disagreement. Liberals are mocking Perkins, therefore Perkins is basically right. For Perkins to be wrong — for the rich to enjoy the level of deference the Journal deems appropriate — a billionaire could compare his plight to the victims of the Holocaust and nobody would make fun of him at all."
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Tbogg: We were dead before the ship ever sank: "I have written previously about the very distressing, by which I mean ‘high-larious’, legal woes of National Review which is being sued for letting contributor Mark Steyn defame climate scientist Michael Mann for comparing him to child molester Jerry Sandusky on the internet pages of NRO....
Rand Simberg... attacking Mann’s research and, trying to be topical, referenced the fact that he teaches at Penn State as the basis for an oh-so-clever PSU Michael Mann = Penn State football coach/kid rapist Jerry Sandusky analogy.... Mark Steyn... LOL’d and repeated.... When Mann protested, CEI backed down and deleted the offending lines but not the rest of the post.... National Review Editor Rich Lowry... under the impression that he was William F. Badass Jr.... told Mann and his attorneys to pound sand.
Outsourced to Scott Lemieux: We Are All White House Advisers: "Ron Fournier has discovered that everyone now agrees with him:
For months, the White House and its allies mocked critics of Barack Obama’s leadership, arguing that no president has “Green Lantern” superhero powers. Now these same people are predicting that Obama can salvage his agenda by waving a magical “pen and phone.” The contradiction illustrates how far partisans will go to defend a flailing presidency, grasping at slogans and insult…
A contradiction! Who are those people who used to understand how American government works but now think that Obama could get his legislative agenda through a Republican House if he only had the leadership to lead, with leadership? Here’s an exhaustive list of the “same people” who have allegedly changed their minds:
White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer
I don’t recall Pfeiffer ever making fun of Green Laternists, but I’m certainly sure he alone cannot constitute all of “the same people.” But at least he said something really dumb, right?
“He is going to look in every way he can with his pen and his phone to try to move the ball forward,” Pfeiffer said. “We’re putting an extra emphasis on it in 2014.”
So a White House adviser says that Obama will try to do stuff, with no claim at all about whether it will work. But to Fournier, that’s more than enough evidence that everyone agrees with him that Obama could have changed the game by doubling down on the Overton Window, but he didn’t. even. TRY!
Brad DeLong : Chicago Macro: Yet Another Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations Post: I really, really wish Karl Smith would not do this…
Karl Smith writes:
Cochrane, Krugman, Lucas, Wren-Lewis and Sumner: A Very Short Interpretation « Modeled Behavior: I think the response to Cochrane and Lucas should go like this: "When the government raises taxes to fund additional spending then in theory the effect on aggregate demand depends crucially on what the money is spent on…." When Cochrane explicitly and Lucas implicitly thinks in terms of transferring purchasing power from one randomly chosen citizen to another there is no reason to expect that this will have any effect on either the marginal utility of consumption or the marginal product of capital.
As I recall, the big beef at the time people had against against Reconstruction was the "African-Americans can vote" part...
Tim Carney: Bill de Blasio's 'march' to end inequality tramples little guy: "The potential victims of de Blasio... are the small businesses and voluntary associations that make up civil society...
charter schools... [fundamentalist] crisis pregnancy centers... small businesses... [to be forced to] provide paid sick leave... nonprofit conservancies... [that] bankroll... Central Park.... De Blasio’s inauguration set a tone of intolerance for dissent. One speaker painted de Blasio’s win as victory in the Civil War and promised 'a new Reconstruction era'. A century and a half ago, Reconstruction involved disenfranchising the losers and subjecting them to military rule. What would de Blasio’s Reconstruction entail?...
It has never been possible to say that you are against Reconstruction without also saying that you are for Jim Crow. Just saying.
Sociologists Dalton Conley and Emily Rauscher that reported that respondents to the 1994 General Social Survey who had daughters were more likely to identify with the Republican Party.... Economists Andrew Oswald and Nattavudh Powdthavee published a paper with the exact opposite finding.... I took a look at both papers and can’t immediately see a resolution.... The existence of two published results in the exact opposite direction suggest, at the very least, that any effects are likely to be lower than claimed in the published articles....
Michel Boskin: "From the 1960’s and 1970’s on, those writing about the Netherlands often lamented the 'Dutch disease.'
There were so many generous subsidies, grants, and transfer payments--aimed at everyone from the truly needy to artists unable to sell their work--that after-tax wages were often barely higher than benefits. So people rarely returned to work after they lost or left a job, or did so in the underground economy, with its unreported cash payments.
In economics, the Dutch disease is the apparent relationship between the increase in exploitation of natural resources and a decline in the manufacturing sector (or agriculture). The mechanism is that an increase in revenues from natural resources (or inflows of foreign aid) will make a given nation's currency stronger compared to that of other nations (manifest in an exchange rate), resulting in the nation's other exports becoming more expensive for other countries to buy, making the manufacturing sector less competitive. While it most often refers to natural resource discovery, it can also refer to "any development that results in a large inflow of foreign currency, including a sharp surge in natural resource prices, foreign assistance, and foreign direct investment".
The term was coined in 1977 by The Economist to describe the decline of the manufacturing sector in the Netherlands after the discovery of a large natural gas field in 1959.
The classic economic model describing Dutch Disease was developed by the economists W. Max Corden and J. Peter Neary in 1982. In the model, there is the non-traded good sector (this includes services) and two traded good sectors: the booming sector, and the lagging sector, also called the non-booming tradable sector. The booming sector is usually the extraction of oil or natural gas, but can also be the mining of gold, copper, diamonds or bauxite, or the production of crops, such as coffee or cocoa. The lagging sector generally refers to manufacturing, but can also refer to agriculture. A resource boom will affect this economy in two ways. In the "resource movement effect", the resource boom will increase the demand for labor, which will cause production to shift toward the booming sector, away from the lagging sector. This shift in labor from the lagging sector to the booming sector is called direct-deindustrialization. However, this effect can be negligible, since the hydrocarbon and mineral sectors generally employ few people. The "spending effect" occurs as a result of the extra revenue brought in by the resource boom. It increases the demand for labor in the non-tradable, shifting labor away from the lagging sector. This shift from the lagging sector to the non-tradable sector is called indirect-deindustrialization. As a result of the increased demand for non-traded goods, the price of these goods will increase. However, prices in the traded good sector are set internationally, so they cannot change. This is an increase of the real exchange rate.
In a model of international trade based on resource endowments as the Heckscher–Ohlin/Heckscher–Ohlin-Vanek, the Dutch disease can be explained by the Rybczynski theorem.
In simple trade models, a country will specialize in industries in which it has a comparative advantage, so theoretically a country rich in natural resources would be better off specializing in the extraction of natural resources. Other models and theories suggest that this could be detrimental, for instance, when the natural resources begin to run out or if there is a downturn in prices and competitive manufacturing industries cannot return as quickly or as easily as they left. This is because technological growth is smaller in the booming sector and the non-tradable sector than the non-booming tradable sector.
Since there has been less technological growth in the economy relative to other countries, its comparative advantage in non-booming tradable goods will have shrunk, thus leading firms not to invest in the tradables sector. Also, volatility in the price of natural resources, and thus the real exchange rate, may prevent more investment from firms, since firms will not invest if they are not sure what the future economic conditions will be.
There are two basic ways to reduce the threat of Dutch disease: by slowing the appreciation of the real exchange rate and by boosting the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. One approach is to sterilize the boom revenues, that is, not to bring all the revenues into the country all at once, and to save some of the revenues abroad in special funds and bring them in slowly. In developing countries, this can be politically difficult as there is often pressure to spend the boom revenues immediately to alleviate poverty, but this ignores broader macroeconomic implications. Sterilisation will reduce the spending effect, alleviating some of the effects of inflation. Another benefit of letting the revenues into the country slowly is that it can give a country a stable revenue stream, giving more certainty to revenues from year to year. Also, by saving the boom revenues, a country is saving some of the revenues for future generations. Examples of these sovereign wealth funds include the Australian Government Future Fund, the Government Pension Fund in Norway, the Stabilization Fund of the Russian Federation, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan, Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund of Alberta, Canada, and the Future Generations Fund of the State of Kuwait established in 1976. Recent talks led by the United Nations Development Programme in Cambodia – International Oil and Gas Conference on fueling poverty reduction – point out the need for better education of state officials and energy cadres linked to a possible Sudden Wealth Fund to avoid the Resource curse (Paradox of plenty). Another strategy for avoiding real exchange rate appreciation is to increase saving in the economy in order to reduce large capital inflows which are able to cause an appreciation of the real exchange rate. This can be done if the country runs a budget surplus. A country can encourage individuals and firms to save more by reducing income and profit taxes. By increasing saving, a country can reduce the need for loans to finance government deficits and foreign direct investment. Investments in education and infrastructure have the ability to increase the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. An alternative is that a government can resort to protectionism, that is, increase subsidies or tariffs. However, this could be a dangerous strategy and could worsen the effects of Dutch Disease, as large inflows of foreign capital are usually provided by the export sector and bought up by the import sector. Imposing tariffs on imported goods will artificially reduce that sector's demand for foreign currency, leading to further appreciation of the real exchange rate.
In which we learn that that Ross Douthat has never understood Plato's Euthyphro:
Ross Douthat writes that there are three spiritual worldviews in America today... hard-core biblical, soft-core spiritual, and secular. Unsurprisingly, he's bearish on the secular worldview:
The secular picture, meanwhile, seems to have the rigor of the scientific method.... But it actually suffers from a deeper intellectual incoherence... its cosmology does not harmonize at all with its moral picture... a purely physical and purposeless universe, inhabited by evolutionary accidents whose sense of self is probably illusory. And yet it then continues to insist on moral and political absolutes with all the vigor of a 17th-century New England preacher.... So there are two interesting religious questions... the intelligentsia’s fusion of scientific materialism and liberal egalitarianism--the crèche without the star, the shepherds’ importance without the angels’ blessing — will eventually crack up and give way to something new. The cracks are visible, in philosophy and science alike. But the alternative is not...
And Kevin Drum notes:
Here's what I've never understood about the kind of argument Douthat is making: it's not as if secular ethics is a modern invention. Aristotle's ethics were fundamentally secular.... Secular ethics isn't some newfangled 20th-century experiment that's falling apart at the seams and must inevitably be replaced with a deist revival or the return of Pol Pot. It's millennia old, and doing just fine.... Sex and gender roles have changed dramatically over the past century, and that's certainly produced plenty of tension and discomfort.... For all too many devout Christians, that seems to be the real wellspring... not secularism... but changes in sexual mores.... Christian apologists would do well to keep the two subjects separate.
Indeed. The beliefs (i) that the universe has a Creator, (ii) that one sect of priests claim to know the Mind of the Creator actually does, and (iii) that they say that the Creator has Commands for us; get you precisely nowhere in terms of a foundation for moral and political absolutes without the further assumptions that this rather than that sect of priests knows what they are talking about, that it is moral to engage in reciprocal gift-exchange relationships, and that we are engaged in such a reciprocal gift-exchange relationship with the Creator.
Basically, it's turtles all the way down. And at some level the fundamentalists know that, for so many of their injunctions end "...so that thou mayst have eternal life" rather than "...because it is the right thing to do".
As Socrates would say, when "storing up treasure in heaven" is advocated because it is the best-performing long-run asset class to invest in, we are very far indeed from the Good...
And we learn that David Brooks has never understood Plato's Apology:
Outsourced to the inimitable Fourth (Fifth?) Wonkette--somebody should compare Wonkette's regenerations to Dr. Who's...
Wnkette: Maureen Dowd Manages To Make New York Mayor's Pizza Snafu About Bill Clinton's Blowjob: "Hey did you hear that New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, ate pizza with knife and fork, like a total schmegeggie?
Well, NYT supercolumnist Maureen Dowd apparently wandered away from her twitter feed last week and forgot to refresh it, as she has Thoughts about pizza, and Bill Clinton getting a hummer from Monica Lewinsky, wait what? Oh right, it’s Maureen Dowd. Of course she does:
Pizza can be hazardous to an administration. We all remember what happened when a Clinton intern delivered a pie to the Oval Office during a government shutdown.
DO WE MAUREEN DOWD? DO WE ALL REMEMBER?... Then Maureen Dowd started talking about Zosia Mamet and Girls and sporks and limousine liberals and Sandinistas and Stop and Frisk, and it is every bit as vacuous as every single tipster told us it would be, and that’s when we clicked “close tab.”
Jerry Moran Voices Opposition to Janet Yellen Confirmation:
As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Yellen direct questions about her views of our monetary policy. Her answers did nothing to alleviate my concerns about current Federal Reserve policies, including quantitative easing. For five years, the Fed’s asset-purchasing program has masked the true size of our deficit and made it easier for Washington to spend money it does not have. While it has been good for Wall Street, Main Street has been left with limited credit, a higher cost of living, and a lack of job opportunities. We cannot continue on this path without regard to the consequences; massive inflation is around the corner.
How long must "massive inflation" be delayed before Jerry Moran realizes that the economists he has been listening to really do not know what they are talking about, and that neither he nor they are worthy to untie the thong of Janet Yellen's sandals?
Shall we set a date? How about January 2018: If the core CPI inflation rate for 2017 is not 10%/year, Jerry Moran will stand up and apologize, and regret his vote against Janet Yellen, and explain it as a result of his excessive trust in unworthy counselors? How about that?
In my view, there is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace: If the legitimate representatives of two peoples agree to make peace, outsiders have no business condemning the peace as "diabolical". They can say that the peace is unfair, and should be renegotiated. But they should not say that war is preferable--to do so is to use real people who suffer and die as shadow puppets in a play you have scripted to give yourself some kind of emotional satisfaction.
A “framework agreement” will shortly be reached, and a final settlement will probably be signed in the last six months or so of President Obama’s term in office. When the Kerry process was first announced I was virtually alone in predicting that it would actually go somewhere; now, it’s widely assumed. Many respected Israeli commentators now take for granted that an agreement is just a matter of time.
In recent weeks the Kerry talks have apparently focused on Israel’s demands for (i) an enduring military presence in the Jordan Valley and (ii) Palestinian recognition of it as a “Jewish state.” The Palestinians will negotiate some face-saving deal on the Jordan Valley involving a US-Israeli joint presence for a period of time. The Jordan Valley was already essentially resolved at the Annapolis negotiations in 2008. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is raising it now only so he can later claim to be making a “heart-wrenching concession”—Israel is adept at “conceding” things to which it has no title in the first place—by allowing for only a temporary US-Israeli presence along the border. It’s been received wisdom for years—even pro-Israel hack Dennis Ross concedes it in The Missing Peace—that the Jordan Valley has no strategic value.
On the “Jewish state,” the agreement will probably resolve on the formula: Israel as the state of the Jewish people and its citizens, Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people and its citizens. It will afford (legal) protection for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, but will negate the right of return for Palestinian refugees, which is what Israel really cares about. Palestinian President Abbas can then claim it as a victory because he secured the rights of Palestinians in Israel.
The whole thing is diabolical...
Outsourced to David Weigel: Duty: The funniest part of Robert Gates' very serious new memoir:
So: It's the fall of 2010, and Gates is meeting with the president and top brass.... The subject: how to be ready if a conflict between Iran and Israel ignites. Gates... advises the president to deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf soon, just in case. The meeting ends.
I was put off by the way the president closed the meeting. To his very closest advisers, he said, "For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe, you be my witness." I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.
Yes, what would give the president that idea?
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Outsourced to Jonathan Chait: George Will Keeps Getting Nuttier: "George Will hates climate science, and everything that springs from climate science, including any non-carbon-intensive mode of transportation, like fuel-efficient cars, or, heaven forbid, trains.
Will’s column today celebrates his belief that Americans are once again disproving President Obama’s Big Government Social Engineering by flocking to ever-larger and less-fuel-efficient vehicles:
Have consumers thanked him for trying to wean them from their desire to drive large, useful, comfortable, safe vehicles that he thinks threaten their habitat, Earth? The 2013 numbers tell the tale of their ingratitude. In 2013, for the 32nd consecutive year, the best-selling vehicle was Ford’s F-Series pickups. This supremacy began, fittingly, in the first year of Ronald Reagan’s deregulatory presidency.
selling vehicle in the U.S. But the single best-selling vehicle by itself accounts for less than 5 percent of all vehicles sold. The single most popular item on a long list does not, by itself, tell you what all customers want. (To explain this concept in terms Will might understand: If the Yankees have the biggest television audience of any baseball team, it would not prove that most baseball fans love the Yankees.)
Outsourced to Jason Sattler: Bob Woodward Attacks President Obama For Being Right: "Here’s a president who made all the right calls, even though his decisions were often 'opposed by his political advisors' or were 'unpopular with his fellow Democrats'... responsible for 'one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House'.
The Washington Post‘s Bob Woodward read about a president who did these things and decided that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new memoir of serving in both the Bush and Obama adminstrations, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, is a “harsh critique of Obama’s leadership.” Woodward... focuses on the rift with the president over the Afghanistan War. But it’s clear that the former secretary ultimately recognized that there was little hope of a successful outcome in the conflict that began in the aftermath of 9/11 — but not because of any decision President Obama made.
Felix Salmon: NYT vs Pirrong and Irwin: David Kocieniewski responds:
At the end of December, I wrote about the non-scandal of Scott Irwin and Craig Pirrong, a response to a hit-piece in the NYT by David Kocieniewski. Later that week, Kocieniewski offered to answer questions about his article, so I provided some....
The failure of Kocieniewski to answer any of my specific questions more or less speaks for itself; I won’t belabor it, except to note the irony involved in him complaining about Pirrong doing the exact same thing. I will push back against the “friends and colleagues” line, however: I, for one, am a friend of neither Pirrong nor Irwin. To my knowledge, I have never met either of them.... It’s also worth mulling over the idea that Kocieniewski’s article was merely designed to provide “additional information” for readers who might have noticed that the 21st paragraph of a Financial Times article in August 2011 drew a passing connection between an academic, Kenneth Singleton of Stanford, and the Air Transport Association of America. I’m sure that both of those readers appreciated the new light that Mr Kocieniewski shed on this issue from his platform on the front page of the NYT. Still, I can’t quite understand how public records could possibly demonstrate that Pirrong and Irwin were not being singled out for scrutiny, as Kocieniewski avers. After all, Kocieniewski himself was the person singling them out. It’s rather worrying that he now seems to deny that he was doing any such thing.
Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
Outsourced this week to the very sharp Ta-Nehisi Coates: What It Means to Be a Public Intellectual: "Yesterday Dylan Byers, Politico's media reporter, sent out this tweet:
He was then asked to offer suggestions of his own. Byers didn't immediately answer. After being berated for an hour and a half he decided he should:
Andrew McCarthy: Impeachment Lessons :: National Review Online:
The party that controls the House has full primacy over taxing and spending, every bit as much as the party that controls the executive branch has plenary control over prosecution decisions. Constitutional authorities are not contingent on how much, if any, control the party in question has over the rest of government. In theory, then, nothing in government can happen unless the House, with ultimate power over the purse, agrees to fund it. If a corrupt administration uses the IRS as a partisan weapon to audit and harass its detractors, the House can refuse to fund the IRS--or other parts of the executive branch--to quell executive overreach.
Nevertheless, Republicans incessantly tell supporters that, since they control only the House (just 'one-half of one-third of the government', as the tired refrain goes), they are impotent to rein in Obama’s excesses. And when conservatives in the House or Senate urge that Republicans use their command over the purse to stop Obama’s excesses--just as congressional Democrats have historically used the power of the purse to stop Republican presidents from prosecuting the Vietnam War and aiding the Nicaraguan Contras--Republican leadership turns on those conservatives with a ferocity rarely evident in their dealings with the president.
With Democrats energized by Obama’s lawbreaking, and Republicans paralyzed by the prospect of government shutdowns, there is no realistic prospect that Congress will starve Obama of funding. That leaves impeachment as the sole remaining constitutional safeguard....
Surely even the American Enterprise Institute can do better than this?
At times under Podesta, CAP’s lobbying dovetailed nicely with the White House agenda, the interests of CAP’s corporate donors, and the lobbying of the Podesta Group, still under Tony’s control. For instance, Walmart gave large donations (at least $500,000) to CAP. In 2009, CAP organized Walmart and the Service Employees’ International Union in support of Obamacare’s employer mandate. Walmart, of course, can afford the costs of insuring full-time employees more so than smaller competitors can (and is dexterous at moving employees to part-time)...
Does Carney really believe that Wal-Mart thinks an employer mandate will boost its profits? Could he possibly be that ignorant?
And, if not, what is he trying to say?
Now Wal-Mart does have an interest in rational, pro-growth (and also pro-equity: Wal-Mart does not profit when income distribution becomes more unequal--the top 1% do not shop there) policy. Is that what Carney opposes?
UPDATE: T.P. Carney protests:
@TPCarney: That's not what I argued, @delong. Once again, you would benefit from a dose of charity in your reading/blogging.
But if Carney is not arguing that Podesta lobbied for the ACA as a way of boosting Wal-Mart's rivals' relative costs and thus boosting Wal-Mart's profits, what is he arguing?
As I see it, Wal-Mart wants, in this order: (1) low capital gains taxes, (2) prosperity, (3) reduced income inequality to make its customers richer, and (4) freedom from regulations it finds burdensome. And, way behind, (5): if there are going to be burdensome regulations, let them burden its competitors more than they burden it. There are cases in which companies pursue competitive advantage and higher profits by lobbying for regulations that will be highly burdensome to competitors--cough, SEC, cough FDA--but the ACA's employer mandate really is not an example of them.
Wal-Mart has many competitive advantages vis-a-vis its rivals. But running a social insurance scheme is not high among them--it would rather focus its attention and energy on other things.
So why, then, does Wal-Mart fund CAP, if it is not a sinister plot to get CAP to lobby for the Affordable Care Act so that the ACA will then tangle its competitors up in bureaucracy and thus allow Wal-Mart to raise its prices and earn higher profits?
Wal-Mart wants to appear to be and to some degree is interested in being a good corporate citizen--engaged in positive-sum gift-exchange relationships with America as a whole, giving something back in return for Americans' beneficence in patronizing its stores.
Wal-Mart is interested in rational economic policy, because to a large degree what is good for America is good for Wal-Mart--and to an even larger degree what is good for the bottom 50% (at least what is good for those who don't work at Wal-Mart) is good for Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart wants a seat at the table: wants to make sure that aspects of the situation that are bad for Wal-Mart as a productive and as a profit-making enterprise are not overlooked in the center-left policy debate.
But if Carney writes that John Podesta is a bad actor because:
Under Podesta, CAP’s lobbying dovetailed nicely with the White House agenda, the interests of CAP’s corporate donors, and the lobbying of the Podesta Group... Walmart gave large donations (at least $500,000) to CAP... because it (1) wants to appear to be and to some degree is interested in being a good corporate citizen; (2) is interested in rational economic policy, especially in what is good for its customers in the bottom 50%; and (3) wants a seat at the table to make sure effects on it as a productive and as a profit-making enterprise are not overlooked in the center-left policy debate...
then people laugh at Carney.
So Carney has to write, instead:
Under Podesta, CAP’s lobbying dovetailed nicely with the White House agenda, the interests of CAP’s corporate donors, and the lobbying of the Podesta Group.... Walmart gave large donations... to CAP.... CAP organized Walmart and the Service Employees’ International Union in support of Obamacare’s employer mandate. Walmart, of course, can afford the costs of insuring full-time employees more so than smaller competitors can (and is dexterous at moving employees to part-time)...
My advice to Carney? That it was extremely uncharitable of him to write that paragraph. And he should use the strike tag on it.
Rania Khalek says that the Nation "habitually reinforces Israeli apartheid by privileging Jewish voices over Palestinian ones..."
Rania Khalek writes: "@RichardKimNYC Listing the Palestinians who've written for The Nation since 2008 comes across as the "but I have X black friends" defense."
Yes, it's Re/code, with Harry Dent predicting that the Dow will fall to 3300 and that "the next financial meltdown" begins this year...
If you wanted a better illustration of the idea that whatever goes wrong with our dead-tree and broadcast press corps can go wronger faster and more completely on the internet, what would it be?
Dan Savage: Good Grief and Great Tits:
Page 5: Here I learn something I didn't know and, if I were Sarah Palin, something I wouldn't want anyone to know. But Sarah hustles this fact to the front of the book because she sure as hell wants us to know it: Sarah surprised Todd with a "nice, needed, powerful gun" for Christmas in 2012. It was a "small act of civil disobedience," Palin writes, prompted by "the anti-gun chatter coming from Washington."
What was inspiring that anti-gun chatter in Washington in December of 2012? Oh, right: Twenty children and six teachers were shot dead in their classrooms by a deranged asshole with a "powerful gun." And before the grieving mothers and fathers of Newtown, Connecticut, could put their dead children in the ground, Sarah Palin ran out gun shopping. Buying Todd a gun in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was "fun," Palin writes—and, again, an act of "civil disobedience." Because gun nuts are a persecuted minority.
This paragraph about gun shopping in December of 2012—one first grader at Sandy Hook was shot 11 times—ends with Palin bragging about her tits. I'm not kidding.
Okay, I have to put the book down. I'm five pages into Good Tidings and Great Joy and... Jesus F---ing Christ... I have got to put down this toxic little shitstain of a book. I'm going to go wash my eyes out with hydrogen peroxide. Be right back...
Friedman: "Reinventing the consignment shop on the web will save the U.S. economy. Also, PR pitches work with me." http://t.co/9Nq06LLVhs— billmon (@billmon1) December 22, 2013
@douglasstruth Friedman is such a perfect parody of himself, it's a recursive loop. Someday he's going to disappear up his own belly button.— billmon (@billmon1) December 22, 2013
Outsourced to Pro-Growth Liberal: John Cochrane on the 1982 Fiscal Restraint ???:
Stephen Williamson starts musing over this:
So, suppose I am Paul Volcker, and I'm faced with a situation at point A where the inflation rate is high and the nominal interest rate is high.... I can reduce inflation in the short run by increasing the nominal interest rate, thus moving to B. But that won't work to reduce inflation in the long run, so after increasing the nominal interest rate, I have to begin reducing it.
At this point one might be best advised to stop reading.... But silly me had to read Cochrane’s take on this which included:
To be sure, I left the grand Volcker stabilization out of the picture here, where a sharp spike in interest rates preceded the sudden end of inflation. And to be sure, there is a standard story to explain negative causation with positive correlation. But there are other stories too--the US embarked on a joint fiscal-monetary stabilization in 1982, then under the shadow of an implicit inflation target gradually lowered inflation and interest rates.
Did Cochrane and I live on different planets some 30 plus years ago? My recollection was that Reagan’s fiscal policy was quite stimulative, working contrary to Voclker’s tight monetary policy. Which is why real interest rates during the 1980’s shot up dramatically, and stayed high even as inflation and nominal interest rates fell. Yes--there are “other stories too”. Stories that don’t fit the reality...
Talk about people with no control over and no understanding of what their models are telling them...
By the end of the May 2009 NYRB/PEN symposium on "The Crisis and How to Deal with It",, Niall Ferguson was interrupting Bill Bradley to say that he was "not to blame for AIG" and condemning Paul Krugman's calls for expansionary fiscal policy when monetary policy was tapped out at the zero lower bound as "the Soviet model".
None of that made it into the version of the symposium published in the New York Review of Books.
Here's the end of the symposium, with what the NYRB dropped between what was said and what it printed in bold:
Alex Pareene: Hack List No. 4: David Brooks: The Columnist:
It seems a pleasant life to be a Columnist. He writes a few hundred words once, or at most twice a week. He’s paid more to read those words out loud to people at elite colleges and conferences. Naturally, people frequently want to know where a Columnist comes from and how they come to have columns.>The Columnist begins as a Young Conservative Intellectual. It is important for the Young Conservative Intellectual to be a converted radical, so he will have a story of his foolish young radicalism and of his conversion, which he will credit to William F. Buckley and Milton Friedman. He finds meaning in seriousness as a concept. He admires Edmund Burke. The Columnist will be a public intellectual, not a mere pundit. He will be wry, but never funny. Lightly ironic, but never sarcastic. If he mocks, it will always be gently.
Eric Loomis: Tools of the Day:
First we have Larry Summers, for calling for university presidents to not fund faculty who want to attend the American Studies Association meeting. If the ASA had instead pushed to send toxic waste to Africa, Summers would be lauding the organization. It’s hard to see a stronger argument in favor of the ASA boycott than irritating Summers...
What's more idiotic?
It is indeed harder to see a stronger valid argument for the ASA boycott of Israeli academics than irritating Larry Summers: that tells you a great deal about the strength of the arguments for the ASA boycott, doesn't it?
If it is legitimate for the ASA to boycott Israeli academics because you do not like (extremely tenuous) links between Israeli academia and the Likud's settlement policy, is it not much more legitimate to boycott the ASA because you do not like its policies Sauce for the goose. Sauce for the gander.
"We can boycott you, but you can't boycott us!" is, as Dean Wormer says, "no way to go through life, son..."
Andrew Sullivan: Fournier Digs In:
Like many other veterans of the Village... Ron Fournier... never liked... Obama.... [The] repudiation of so much that came before... rankles.... And so Fournier’s dogged and constant attempts to drag this presidency to the low levels of its predecessor.... The latest is a classic, down to its melodramatic title: “This Is The End Of The Presidency”... so preposterous and lazy an argument it beggars belief.
Spare a thought for the poor people of the Hoover Institution, for they have to interact with him every day!
Thomas Sowell on Christmas Day, 2012: At least half of our society's troubles come from know-it-alls…. Some people seem to think that, if life is not fair, then the answer is to turn more of the nation's resources over to politicians…. The annual outbursts of intolerance toward any display of traditional Christmas scenes, or even daring to call a Christmas tree by its name, show that today's liberals are by no means liberal… the totalitarian mindset shows through…. The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew….
If someone wrote a novel about a man who was raised from childhood to resent the successful and despise the basic values of America--and who then went on to become President of the United States--that novel would be considered too unbelievable, even for a work of fiction. Yet that is what has happened in real life…. After watching a documentary about the tragic story of Jonestown, I was struck by the utterly unthinking way that so many people put themselves completely at the mercy of a glib and warped man, who led them to degradation and destruction. And I could not help thinking of the parallel with the way we put a glib and warped man in the White House.
Protip for Thomas Sowell: the next time you write a Christmas message, why don't you study and copy John the Apostle?
Do you think it might help keep you from coming off as a psychotic troll?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying: "This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me."
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ...
An example of classical liberalism's elective affinity with authoritarian politics?
It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error...
So now I have to add Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism to the pile...
“It’s actually a pretty clever system. Take care of the people who can vote and people who can’t vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care, so they can’t vote against you. That’s how it works.”
Speaking at a Young Americans for Freedom event Friday at the Reagan Ranch, Rick Santorum said this:
If we have a system where the government is going to be the principal provider of health care for the country, we’re done. Because then, you are dependent on the government for your life and your health…. When Thatcher ran for prime minister she said — remember this, this is the Iron Lady — she said, ‘The British national health care system is safe in my hands.’ She wasn’t going to take on health care, because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can’t take it away from them. And the reason is because most people don’t get sick, and so free health care is just that, free health care, until you get sick. Then, if you get sick and you don’t get health care, you die and you don’t vote. It’s actually a pretty clever system. Take care of the people who can vote and people who can’t vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can’t vote against you. That’s how it works.