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October 05, 2008

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A survey of academic economists

a.k.a. The Town Council of Elitistville, MA !


a.k.a. The Town Council of Elitistville, MA !

Say it ain't so, joe...

..and yet those numbers are not so very different from how Obama and McCain poll on the question "How well would he handle the economy" with the regular ol' America people. So maybe we aren't so dumb after all, dontcha know, you betcha. [wink].

Economists to Obama: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Adlai_Stevenson>"Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!"

who are those eleven economists (7.8% of the total) who think McCain has a better grasp of economics than Obama?

People who hope to get a job in the McCain administration.

*shudder*

Warren, that's the thing about America. Those elitist "thinking persons" don't have a majority.
OK, that's true in most places but the US takes pride in being the #1 of anti-intellectualism.

Warren, that's the thing about America. Those elitist "thinking persons" don't have a majority.

Hartmut, I think that's precisely the point Warren was trying to make. The Wiki link he provided gives more details about the quotation he cited:

* That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!

Response [of Adlai Stevenson] to a woman who called out to him: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" during his 1956 campaign, as quoted in Anatomy of the Cuban Missile Crisis (2001) by James A. Nathan, p. 156

The fact is, here is proof that the Economist is biased Eurocentric communist crap. They are in the tank for Obama and do not talk about his ties to global terrorism or his suspect racial background. I asked my local library to cancel the subscription and get Human Events instead and the director laughed at me. They will be sorry when there levy fails and the people speak about bias and fairness.

You know one of the worst parts of this election? I'm no longer able to distinguish between sarcasm and talking points.

I asked my local library to cancel the subscription and get Human Events instead and the director laughed at me.They will be sorry when there levy fails and the people speak about bias and fairness.

Well, you know librarians are all ChiComms, and in the tank for Obama, too. They wouldn't even ban books for Mayor Palin, and she was the Decider of Wasilla! They'll be sorry indeed.


I'm with Cyllan; Gary Ruppert's comment is either somewhat funny or deeply troubling. I'll try to believe the former. Andrew's response to it reminds me of all the conservatives now demanding that McCain "Unleash Palin!!", a refrain that in turn reminds me of the old conservative refrain that the US must "Unleash Chiang Kai-Shek!!" - or, more accurately, reminds me of Molly Ivins's delicious mockery of that absurd refrain, decades after it was popular among belligerent and ill-informed anticommunists. Political drama and especially political farce make me miss the writing of Molly Ivins. My god, what she could have done with this campaign.

I suspect you'd see a similar response from international affairs specialists, both inside and outside the beltway, were they to be polled. In fact I hope the Economist does this. I've felt for a long time that the Palin pick would cost McCain among even conservative foreign policy types, and the recent Krauthammer piece seems to support that.

One the one hand, pragmatic/realist type conservatives have probably long preferred Obama to McCain (and for this reason I find rumours of a Powell endorsement credible). On the other, I could even see Neocons like Krauthammer bailing ship for a few reasons:

1) Palin is simply not credible
2) McCain himself, while strongly advocating neocon ideas these days, is not that impressive intellectually or strategically, and too convinced of his own expertise to give others a strong voice
3) Now accustomed to being in power, the neocons will be reluctant to return to (as LBJ would say) p*ssing inside the tent from the outside. They see which direction the wind is blowing
4) Many neocons are themselves acknowledging their excesses, if not totally abandon their tenets (eg Kagan, Fukayama)
5) They recognise the idealist in Obama, and neocons are after all supposed to be realists mugged by reality. Thus they can hope that Obama might be convinced, given time. The precedent for this is Jimmy Carter, who by the end of his administration was a Brzezinski-trained super-hawk (most of the arms build-up and hawkish policies Reagan is credited for were actually initiated by Carter).

My only question: who are those eleven economists (7.8% of the total) who think McCain has a better grasp of economics than Obama?

Chicago School or Austrians. The Chicago School are followers of Milton Friedman without his insight (Milton Friedman was a useful dissent who was then unfortunately taken as the mainstream). And the Austrians are an older group of free-market lunatics.

I wonder what would have happened if they asked about the plans directly without the candidate's name on them? Would even the republicans have supported Obama's plans?

Gary Ruppert's comment is either somewhat funny or deeply troubling

"Gary Ruppert" is the resident troll over at Sadly, No!

Warren Terra,

Molly is a hero of mine, and others miss her too.


“AUSTIN - Watch the House pass a bad bill. Watch the Senate make it worse. Watch the banking industry dig its own grave. Watch supposedly smart people set up a financial disaster. Can we see President Clinton veto this mess? Veto, Clinton, veto.

Not since Congress passed the Garn-St. Germain bill in 1981 - the one that deregulated the S&Ls and unleashed a half-a-trillion-dollar disaster, which the taxpayers of this country wound up paying for - has there been a move to match this for pure folly.

In May, the House passed (by one vote) a bill to eliminate barriers between banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies. This sets up financial holding companies that can offer all three types of services simultaneously. The most obvious risk is that a blunder in the insurance or brokerage end of the business could bring down a bank, putting insured deposits at risk. The taxpayers, of course, then wind up with the tab, as we did with the savings-and-loan mess.

The bill contains some requirements to mitigate this risk; each branch of a financial holding company will have to maintain a separate cushion against losses, which cannot be used to shore up the other branches. Although this provision somewhat lessens the risk, it does not eliminate it.

The purpose of this bill, long sought by the financial industry, is to legalize such mergers as the proposed Citicorp-Travelers Insurance mega-merger. Many experts believe the effect will be the emergence of nine or ten enormous institutions after the consolidation of hundreds of insurance companies, banks and brokerage firms.

Even before this consequence comes to pass, it is apparent that the bill will harm consumers. Last week - on a straight party-line vote of 12-10 in the Senate Banking Committee, all the Republicans against all the Democrats - consumer protections were stripped out of the bill….

The Senate committee … weakened House-version provisions to (1) ensure that customers are informed when financial products are not FDIC-insured or they are subject to risk and (2) to require some clear separation of insured-deposit activities from non-insured-deposit activities. And the Senate created more exemptions from securities laws that help guard investors.

In addition, Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas is on a jihad against the Community Reinvestment Act, which is designed to make more loans available to low-income borrowers. He’s trying to strip those provisions out of the bill.

Now, see if you can follow this bouncing ball of news, because it’s a triple carom shot that sets up the aforementioned financial nightmare.

According to a report released Friday by federal banking regulators, banks are lowering commercial lending standards, even though the risk that business borrowers will default on a loan is rising.

According to The Washington Post, “The four-year trend is causing concern among regulators that the nation’s banks will be hit by a wave of sour domestic loans over the next 18 months.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported: “Projecting risk over the next 12 months, credit risk is expected to further increase in all commercial portfolios. Banks are leaving themselves with fewer options to control the risks associated with commercial lending should the economy falter. “

Next step: Will the economy falter? According to reporting in Friday’s Christian Science Monitor, to cite just one of many such warning articles: “Concern is growing in the top echelons of Wall Street and Washington that cheap exports from overseas may drive down the American economy. The R word — recession — is now being heard more often. “

So what we have here is (1) increasing likelihood of recession dead ahead, (2) banks already looking at serious trouble because of stupid lending policies, and (3) a bill that effectively further deregulates the banks and hurts consumers, making it even more likely that banks will get themselves into serious trouble. And we’re telling other countries how to fix their banking systems?

Veto, veto, veto.”

Clinton didn’t veto."

Molly Ivins — Sept. 23, 1998

Oh, come on. Surely no-one uses "suspect racial background" non-satirically.

... Right?

I thought Obama was an antisemitic islamist Jewish Hindu atheist with connections to radical pseudochristian black sects (and of course he is also a pinko commie nazi). Nothing suspect* about his racial background. He is the product of miscegenation and everyone** knows for a fact(oid)that this is the worst kind possible.
The "he has sired 2 black children" has (to my knowledge) been actually used against Obama non-satirically already and there have been no-too-subtle moves to use "uppity" and (images of) white women in connection with him in the South. At the moment there is nothing too low or too absurd for use by the GOPsters in this election (and I expect it to get even worse in the remaining month***).

*i.e. one just strongly surmises evil
**well, every dyed-in-the-wool racist does.
***the "Obama is Hitler" meme has been dormant fo a while for example


You know one of the worst parts of this election? I'm no longer able to distinguish between sarcasm and talking points.

Actually that is a good sign - it means the fever has broken and the body politic is now on the road to recovery. Because sarcasm doesn't work if you have to explain it, and it is only appreciated if a wide enough circle of people recognize the absurdity of it to see the humor.

If you examine the mish-mosh of unrelated and mutually contradictory slurs being thrown at Obama (admirably satirized by Harmut at 12:45pm above) one thing becomes clear: the McCain camp is just throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping that something will stick. That's the bad news.

The good news is: they seem to have forgotten that you have to cook the noodles first, before you fling them against the wall.

This election is looking more and more like 1980 with the roles reversed.

Ruppert, the communists are coming! Run for the bunker!

Germany just guaranteed all private savings accounts.

First Ireland, then Greece, now Germany. This is a chain of dominos - there will be capital flight from every country which does not extend similar guarantees. What we are seeing is the global nationalization of depository banking, and it may continue until the only countries left out are those with governments too insolvent to offer a plausible guarantee. After that, the solvency of the participating governments will come under very close scrutiny, and capital flight will occur from those which appear unwilling or unable to tax their citizens sufficiently to back up these guarantees.

As I said on the MtM thread, this is a tightly coupled system.

"What we are seeing is the global nationalization of depository banking, and it may continue until the only countries left out are those with governments too insolvent to offer a plausible guarantee."

I'm buying up Zimbabwe dollars.

Thinking of wallpapering down the road.

Thinking of wallpapering down the road.

Clearly the time to invest in wheelbarrow stock.

Can't answer the question directly, but found 29 NBER 'family members' who signed on to McCain's latest lies. List is now posted at AngryBear.

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