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Posts posted by jryan

  1. The government trying to take this thing over too early would have almost certainly resulted in supreme backlash from the people who are mad as hell about size of government. The same people who are pissed off about the bank and auto bailouts would have been burning signs of Obama as Hitler and Stalin in effigy had the government stepped in too soon here with the oil spill. I can hear it now, "Now Obama is taking over the oil business, too!1!! Don't you people realize he's a socialist nazi communist illegal immigrant who hates america?!?


    So they didn't jump in too soon because they were afraid of their feelings being hurt?

  2. I don't see that the data during the Regan era points to a support for Keynesian Economics at all, because you simply can't take any presidency in a vacuum. Indeed, the stagflation that Regan inherited from Carter was the result of Keynesian economic policies of Carter.

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    Oh, and as a matter of full disclosure, I am aware that Volker played a large role in pulling the country out of stagflation. But the recession that followed should be expected as inflation dropped from double digits to 3.2% in a year.


    But what Krugman does here, as Krugman does everywhere, is ignore all data that doesn't support his claim. He ignores the existence of large tax cuts in the same time as Volker's clamp down on inflation simply to claim a false victory for Keynesian economics. Volker's work didn't happen in a vacuum either.


    Krugman has always rubbed me the wrong way as his explanations have always been far too static. If X+Y=Z, he will argue that raising X raises Z... which makes some sense on casual review. But if X and Y have inverse correlation then you can't assume that raising X raises Z... but this reasoning is the underpinning of almost all of Krugman's arguments while he rarely bothers to look at the relationship between X and Y.


    Here is one particular refutation of Krugman on that count.

  3. Interesting thoughts, but I'd prefer this thread not go down the immigration and amnesty rabbit hole. ;)


    Well, that's true. I was just pondering a situation in which we would see the kind of huge influx of workers and wage equalization as we saw in the women's liberation or equal rights movements.


    Putting that aside, I just don't find that Krugman's analysis was sufficient as it ignored the dramatic changes in the American work force in the 50s and 60s.





    Well, "median household income" would also reflect the surge of two income households and a drastic rise in household income parity during that same time period. The marginal rate tax cuts of the early 60s fueled the influx of new people into the workforce then, and it had the same effect under Reagan... except rather than being a massive influx of liberated work force it was buoying a rising number of newly unemployed.


    As such, the effect of the tax cuts was magnified in the 50s and 60s, but more mundane in the 80s and 90s.... as there was no dramatic flood of new workforce in that time.


    As an example: if you were to grant all illegal aliens amnesty, and cut the top marginal rates, the added cash and the sudden explosion of legal work force would likely cause a dramatic rise in media household income similar to what we saw in the 1950s and 60s, but it would eventually reach equilibrium as it did in the late 70s and early 80s, at which point tax cuts would seem to have a less dramatic effect on MHI but would help sustain normal growth in the employment base.


    So that leaves me with two conclusions: Raising taxes will have an adverse effect on employment rates, and if any congressman wants to discuss amnesty for illegals they will have to also discuss cuts in marginal taxes so that employers can afford to hire them at a legal wage.

  5. Well, I do have one serious question about the BP response, and it does lead directly to the difference between a Government response and a business response.


    It seems to me that the "Kill Shot" being attempted today, as reported, has the best shot at closing the pipe of all the efforts tried so far. Why is it being tried a month later rather than week later? Early on BP appeared to be still hoping to salvage this well. but packing it with concrete pretty much kills that hope.


    Had the government been the one making the decision I have to think they would have gone for the "Kill Shot" first rather than throw a bunch of experimental fixes at it.

  6. I think abhorrent speech is defended in general because it causes no material damage. If speech causes material damages then it's often the case you can sue for damages through defamation. Assembly has an obvious material component so it's not an analogous situation to me.


    It doesn't have to have a material component, though. In the case of hiring practices it would be zero sum anyway as any challenge on a discrimination basis would invariably hurt some other potential or current employee materially.


    But I do understand your point. We don't defend shouting fire in a movie theater for good reason.

  7. Could you elaborate on this? Libertarian ideology actually just requires you to let go. Stop controlling everyone else's behavior. Stop pitting ideological classes of people against each other to force one, central, standardized output.


    Because the real world isn't as easy as that. You can't erase our instinct to horde and dominate with the wave of a magic wand.


    You're free to be as you want to be so long as you don't hurt others and their property. You don't get to control them and they don't get to control you. Each gets to live your respective lives the way you want. And with 50 states, you can each have, essentially, the government you like. Without all the centralization, you can have the variety of state governments that can accomodate the various types of people here.


    Well, again, it isn't as easy at that. A starving child in a prison camp in Sudan may want to be a U.S. Astronaut, but it almost certainly won't come to be. We are still working out the cooperative skills needed to feed ourselves much less expect some universal achievable dream.


    As such Libertarianism is a lot like the book "The Secret"... for those who fortune smiles on it seems to work, ignore those left behind in the gutter. I do tend to care about the ones in the gutter as well and think there is a very real need to cooperate rather than insulate ourselves from such people.


    We have tried a fairly libertarian period in this country and the results were not surprising. We can not help but hurt ourselves, and we find ways always within the confines of law, and without the confines. "Harm" itself is a word that is easy to say but even easier for a lawyer to define as it suits their client.



    At the end of the day, I want you and I to both be happy. I'm less inclined to convince you of living life under my kind of government, and more inclined for to enjoy the kind of government you want - just give me the same respect. That's libertarianism.


    I can't seem to unravel this statement. It seems like it is making a point, but the ideas don't seem to mesh. Rather than grasp at the intent, could you rephrase that? Not a knock on you, more of a knock on me.


    I was listening to Walter Williams at lunch time, and he asked a question in a way I really appreciated, although I didn't get to hear his answer: If you have one group of people that want government in their lives, safety nets and etc and you have one group of people who want liberty, and the government out of their lives, should they be made to fight each other?


    That is too simple a question, I think.


    What I hear in his question is more like...why do we require they fight and antagonize each other? Why is it so important to make one group submit to the other, or even both groups compromise at all - when they could each just have their way? Why are we so convinced every freaking issue that comes up needs to be fought and reconciled at the federal level with winners and losers.


    Because throughout history these two ideologies have been implemented with varying degrees, and the nanny nations invariably go broke and become envious of the wealth of those who are more free.


    But on the other side of that we have the industrial revolution as an example of too much freedom ending in far less freedom for the majority of citizens. You and I both benefit daily from the protections provided us by our state and local and federal governments and I am not so quick to assume that absent those government organs we wouldn't revert back to late 1800s exploitations, many of which failed to meet the criteria for "harm" because they were easily categorized as "choice".


    Too much federalism. Way too much federalism in our culture.


    I don't disagree, but I see the libertarian knife cutting far to deep as it takes a wickedly cold and actuarial approach to individual success -- in that it cares only for the success and little for the individual.

  8. It's amazing what happens when you break through the thick layers of crap covering the mainstream's ideology, jryan. My advice is to continue thinking that through, and you will find excuse after excuse, exception after exception to their tired old arguments of legislating morality. Of course, then you see the conservatives doing it too...


    Well, I am not wiling to let go of my immediate beliefs just yet because I know that historically such reasoning, while logically sound, is monstrous in practice. I still value actual individuals above the concept of individuals.


    I still think the libertarian ideology (actual libertarian, not the billion pretender off-shoots) is an impractical ideology as it requires mechanical thought processes that analogue humanity is simply incapable of as a species.


    It seems to me that the libertarian social proposition is something like replacing your automobile's breaks with more comprehensive auto-insurance.

  9. An interesting question I heard elsewhere and want to share here:


    I was listening to a defense of the Rand Paul's position which was mostly boilerplate, but it had an interesting aspect to the defense that I have never considered before.


    The speaker first stated the old adage that you can only judge your dedication to freedom of speech when the speech in question is abhorrent to you. He then asked whether that same rule applies to freedom of assembly, and by connection to discrimination.


    My first thought was a resounding "No", but his argument only became more compelling. He theorized that discrimination is simply an aspect of freedom of assembly, and while we all discriminate every single day, racial, sexual and religious discrimination would qualify as those practices of assembly which most of us find abhorrent, but that we must defend if we truly wish to defend freedom of assembly.


    It is an interesting argument. One I am not entirely sold on, but I must admit it is the closest anyone has come to convincing me to rethink my position on the topic.

  10. I know you want steak for dinner, Pangloss. But I really want you to eat wall paper paste. Surely we can compromise... :D

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    By the way, when discussing compromise between conservatives and progressives, I like to point out that given the progressive view of America's borders it would seem that they can't even agree with me on the SHAPE of the country. ;)

  11. But why would they be suspicious, in a non-profiling way, if they were here legally?


    They don't need to profile at that point because the law requires the police to check the residency status of all people stopped for other reasons.


    See bascule's quote of the law here:




    If they must verify everyone then where does the profiling start?


    A problem can be solved by more bureaucracy, and a larger government? Interesting.


    If it is a replacement for the Social Security card then it doesn't add any bureaucracy it simply moves the technology to the 21st century.

  12. You've just outlined this specific case, rather than a general case. In general this isn't going to happen with all government subsidy. There may be situations, say the government subsidising agriculture then buying food for its military grown at a profit, where this churn occurs but in most cases the government isn't exposed to the private sphere to the extent its going to have much of an impact.


    Yes, but the Government is dealing with the financial sector which deals heavily in Government bonds, especially in times of uncertainty in the stock market. There is nothing unexpected about this cycle.


    As I said, if the Government handed out TARP on the grounds that the banks couldn't buy bonds then both the Government and the banks would be screwed in that deal.

  13. And I think you are wrong. When the Government spends trillions in deficits and raises that money largely through bonds they can't help but have their bonds purchased in part through money gained through previous deficit spending that previous bonds are meant to cover.


    The banks were given that money with the assumption that they would make money on tat money and become solvent again. That is what they are doing. This will always be the case until all debts are repaid.... unless you want to limit the banks to only investing is the stock market until all debts are repaid.... but if they were required to do that they would be in dire need of a bail out right now.


    Finance is complicated and Jon Stewart isn't.


    In short, it isn't the viscous cycle of TARP, it's the viscous cycle of deficit spending.

  14. In most cases a law officer can apply the law effectively without breaking the law. In this law, it seems almost impossible to apply it effectively without racial profiling.


    It's also worth noting that in many situations laws and policies exist to protect citizens from police that don't follow the letter of the law.


    The way I see it, there is a good chance that it will APPEAR like racial profiling even when it isn't. There is no doubt that the vast majority of illegal aliens in Arizona are Hispanic, and even if the request for citizenship status is applied evenly it will catch predominantly Hispanic illegals.


    The numbers of challenges of this law, the ones that make it to the news, will therefor be predominantly Hispanics. The majority of the rest of those who are asked for proof of residency will provide their proof and be on their merry way.


    But just because a law will catch mostly Hispanic law breakers doesn't mean it will involve racial profiling.

  15. The danger, as I see it, is that the police already do not follow very clear laws. That despite the warning that racial profiling is not to be used, that it will be used anyway. This is not a hypothetical or manufactured fear, because profiling already happens. So no, voluntarily providing this information for a security check for certain specific activities does not fall under the same scenario. The police routinely violate peoples' civil rights*. To think it will not happen here is, IMO, fantasy.


    *just read this latest example today



    (Followup should probably go to a new thread)



    Well, if your argument is that the law will lead to occasions where a police officer won't follow the law then I would ask you what law does that argument not apply to?

  16. All I meant is as far as tools go, negotiation, debate, that a boycott isn't designed to build consensus with the opposition. It's designed to pressure the opposition into accepting your terms, without necessarily agreeing with them on their merits.


    It does take a "consensus" in the manner that it takes a lot of people all doing a boycott for it to be effective, but I was referring to the settling of disputes between parties.


    When a boycott is used to achieve an agreement, it usually doesn't involve an actual consensus between the two parties, just one of them saying "uncle" and bowing to pressure.



    That's true. But the idea of compromise in this case is as strange as a boycott, anyway. Arizona has every right to do what it is doing. Any compromise from that position is simply giving up some of that right. It is not a position subject to compromise.


    California, we should remember, has at least some boarder fence in place. I would guess that the real worry in California is not for the poor illegal aliens... it is the fear that the law would mean more AZ illegals drifting into CA.

  17. What are you basing this on? Do you have a copy of the email in it's entirely so we can examine it? I understand you feel like some authority on the matter, but I need more than your assurance.


    So are you asserting that there is actual statements making fun of Spratt's Parkinson's that he failed to mention while accusing them of making fun of his Parkinson's? Your burden-of-proof-o-meter needs some calibration.


    Again, would like to see the email in it's entirely. I'm not exactly ready to just call it that Spratt is making it up, since based on what I read already I can see how he got that impression. I suppose I could call that "definitive proof" too if I wanted, but I know it isn't. It's an opinion based on a small amount of information. :)


    Again, you are assuming that Spratt didn't include any of the offending verbiage in his complaint about the offending verbiage but included verbiage that isn't at all what he claimed it to be. Which would make him stupid.


    Given that I don;t think he is stupid I simply assume that everything that he was offended by was in the complaint. As such, he has failed to meet his responsibility when making such a serious allegation. I have no choice but to judge his claim by the information offered.


    I judge him to be a completely wrong in his assessment based on the information provided. If you are suggesting we need to consider information that is NOT provided and that you only assume exists then ... I want us to consider the emails that Spratt sent to his staff informing them that he was going to spin this non-issue into a victimization based on his medical condition.


    Since we are in fantasy land I might as well....



    I see, so Spratt has to prove the intention behind the Republican message before we can consider the possibility, but we can all assume Spratt's intentions are exploitative and he's making it up.


    YES HE DOES! Criminey. How is that so hard to understand? If someone makes a claim and provides no compelling evidence to support their claim then rejecting their assertion is your only logical conclusion.


    It works both ways, if you insist we need to keep the jury out on Spratt's allegations against the RNC, then we can't just jump to judge Spratt either, can we?


    Sure we can. Because this isn't a case for CSI or Criminal Minds. This is a guy claiming that he was ridiculed for having Parkinson's and he provided no compelling evidence to support that claim when, we can only assume, he had access to all pertinent information.. Indeed, he would have to have access to be offended at all!


    The only logical conclusion is that he has provided what offended him, and I judge him to be either very mistaken for seeing offense -- other than standard political offense -- where none could logically be derived.. or an opportunistic slime ball. Since he IS a politician I am leaning towards the latter.

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    I know I'd see the connection, and I'd consider weighing the benefit/loss ratio. I'd consider how an obtuse connection would probably backfire, especially for those that actually know what Parkinson's does, and what level of subtly would be needed to dial it in to have an impact while not overdoing it.


    What does my weight have to do with this discussion??!?!?!1


    Heck, if I was working for a campaign against Cheney in '04, I know I'd weigh how to seed a candidate with phrases like "I really respect the man, I'm glad he's feeling better and am looking forward to the debate tonight" to constantly and innocuously embed doubt about his health. Entirely deniable of course - you're just glad someone is in good health - who could see that used to twist opinion?


    How dare you bring up that affair I had in Reo! That has nothing to do with this discussion!!!1


    Would I decide to use those tactics? I sure hope not, I don't believe I would. But connecting the dots is a simple automatic process, it's impossible not to see how to arrange things for maximum impact.


    This is a back handed smear about my erectile dysfunction isn't it? Does your slime know no depths?!


    Palin's approval ratings are still 60s amongst Republicans aren't they? The same woman that writes "Energy, Budget cuts, Tax" and "Lift American Spirits" on her hand at a speaking engagement?


    I can't believe you outed me! I thought you said it was just between us!


    Aren't we always bothered by how much politicians get away with on both sides Pangloss? Apparently Democrats are stupid enough to overlook the fact that Spratt keeps forgetting his own stances on issues, and it takes the GOP to drive the point home. Are Republican's any sharper?


    My affiliation with the Soviet Union was only briefly in the mid-70s in Vietnam... how dare you call me a Communist!


    To be precise though, I am not suggesting an obtuse bullying tactic would be beneficial, or were they accused of using one. To be successful, you'd want to use phrasing just ambiguous enough that people who don't know the full effects of Parkinson's may think there's a connection, and those that do know better would assume there's no way people would connect that.


    Oh so you're pulling the race card again?! Racist!


    It's really not hard to apply layers into a statement.


    Back to the erectile dysfunction again? Typical....


    Pangloss, Jon Stewart does not exist in a vacuum, he couldn't have done it without eight very long years of Bush being himself, McCain's descent from a respectable candidate to circus sideshow, and of course the indomitable Mrs. Palin.


    Well, sure Jane Fonda sat on my canon. But those were different times and I have no idea what relevance that would have to the South Carolina congressional race.


    And so on.


    I figured I might as well take Spratt's tactic on this debate. Let's assume that the we don't have the full context and that my offense is completely founded. I await an apology!

  18. That's the same gambit George Will tried recently, when he said that you have to show ID to enter a federal building. (You generally also give up your 4th amendment rights when doing so.)


    Shaking the president's hand is not a right, it's a privilege (as you say), and it is also a voluntary act taken by the individual. They can choose not to participate, and not supply the information. The comparison is not apt.



    That is not a compelling argument as the police have a long standing right (and duty) to search people when they have reason to suspect they are breaking the law. The rules regarding search and seizure are well established, and in the vast majority of cases the legal system maintains a fair administration of the law.


    In the case of this law, requesting identification is no different, and can only be done when the person is suspected of another crime first. The law is very clear.


    So the hand wringing being done over this law makes no sense. In the case of the car full of people: if it is pulled over for speeding the police have the right to ask the driver for ID, but if the rest of the passengers are doing nothing wrong then the officer has no cause under this law to request ID. If they are all in a stolen car, or there is a smell of drugs, or something else occurs that makes the passenger a suspect in a crime then they would come under scrutiny as per this law.


    I am truly mystified by how otherwise clear thinking people can spin this very clear law into Nazis and Concentration camps in their head.

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