June 11, 2012

Reagan was wrong; it is opposition to Government that is the problem … [Darleen Click]

… because Government is the Solution.

Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created. […]

It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth.

Yet the drumbeat of propaganda against government has made it impossible for the plain truth about the stimulus to break through. […]

So when conservatives say, as they regularly do, that “government doesn’t create jobs,” the riposte should be quick and emphatic: “Yes it has, and yes, it does!”

One really has to give E.J. Dionne of WaPo props for being brutally honest about the Left’s principles and aims … ever bigger Government to run our lives. Because, let’s face it, our fatness, clinginess to godbothering and incorrect thoughts prove we can’t be trusted on our own.

So maybe someone can ask Dionne, or any statist-Liberal apparatchik “Well, why have a private sector at all? We can have 0% unemployment with the Gov running everything and making being unemployed a crime.”

Like, that hasn’t been tried before, right?

JeffG:

A good question to pose: why should we rely on the morality of politicians? Why should we hand over our rights to pandering temporary politicians?

Posted by Darleen @ 8:28pm
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Comments (25)

  1. the drumbeat of propaganda

    Once more to the beautiful [propagandistic!] passage in Bob Higgs’ new book, Delusions of Power:

    John Maynard Keynes persuaded his fellow economists and then they persuaded the public that it makes sense to think of the economy in terms of a handful of economy-wide aggregates: total income or output, total consumption spending, total investment spending, and total net exports. . . .

    In fact, “the economy” does not produce an undifferentiated mass we call “output.” Instead, the millions of producers who bring forth “aggregate supply” provide an almost infinite variety of specific goods and services that differ in countless ways. Moreover, an immense amount of what goes on in a market economy consists of dealings among producers who supply no “final” goods and services at all, but instead supply raw materials, components, intermediate products, and services to one another. Because these producers are connected in an intricate pattern of relations, which must assume certain proportions if the entire arrangement is to work effectively, critical consequences turn on what in particular gets produced, when, where, and how.

    These extraordinarily complex micro-relationships are what we are really referring to when we speak of “the economy.” It is definitely not a single, simple process for producing a uniform, aggregate glop. Moreover, when we speak of “economic action,” we are referring to the choices that millions of diverse participants make in selecting one course of action and setting aside a possible alternative. Without choice, constrained by scarcity, no true economic action takes place. Thus, vulgar Keynesianism, which purports to be an economic model or at least a coherent framework of economic analysis, actually excludes the very possibility of genuine economic action, substituting for it a simple, mechanical conception, the intellectual equivalent of a baby toy. . . .

    Because the vulgar Keynesian has no conception of the economy’s structure of output, he cannot conceive of how an expansion of demand along certain lines but not along others might be problematic. In his view, one cannot have, say, too many houses and apartments. Increasing the spending for houses and apartments is, he thinks, always good whenever the economy has unemployed resources, regardless of how many houses and apartments now stand vacant and regardless of what specific kinds of resources are unemployed and where they are located in this vast land. Although the unemployed laborers may be skilled silver miners in Idaho, it is supposedly still a good thing if somehow the demand for condos is increased in Palm Beach.

    Russ Roberts too has seen fit to comment on E.J.’s article.

    No one has a model of the independent impact of these different factors or a way of measuring them accurately and reliably in a way that can be tested and confirmed or rejected. No one. That means everyone, on the left or the right, who claims to have evidence for the impact of one of them or who cherry-picks one of those out of the myriad to choose from and blames that one factor for the lousy pace of the recovery is either fooling himself or fooling you. Don’t be a fool. So when the E.J. Dionnes of the world tell you that government creates jobs, just ask them how they know. Their answer will be that someone with exemplary credentials says so. But there are those with exemplary credentials who say otherwise. Where does that leave us? It should leave us in ignorance and doubt. No certainty. No exclamation points. More humility.

  2. E.J. seems to steer far clear of any concept of statism, don’t he? Smart fella, avoiding an insoluble problem like that in favor of a lie he can sell.

  3. - Up is down, black is white, and Chachie loves Ritchie.

  4. - The interchange of materials,support, and sub-products makes up the vast majority of production.

    - Thus the collectivist fallicious construct of an amorphos “output” is the economic equivalent of the Unicorn.

  5. Milbank:

    The AP asked about the president’s unfortunate private-sector-is-fine remark. The Reuters correspondent asked about the economic “head winds” from Europe. Ed Henry of Fox News Channel asked about the looming contempt-of-Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News asked about the Supreme Court striking down Obamacare. Norah O’Donnell of CBS News asked about calls for a special prosecutor to probe leaks. Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News asked about the stalled talks with Pakistan.

    Carney sought relief by calling on TV correspondents from swing states, but the one from Wisconsin asked about the failed attempt to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the one from Nevada asked about her state’s unemployment rate, the nation’s highest.

    Mostly, though, questions veered back to the commerce secretary’s motoring.

    It’s hard not to laugh. No. It’s wrong not to laugh. These progressive thugs are a stitch. They’ll do anything for a diversion, even including focus on an unimportant Commerce Secretary’s misfortune, so long as they can move on from Obama’s (and their own) ineptitude.

  6. - And to think we’re still 5 months away from election day. If things get much worse Carney will have to start doing press gaggles from the WH bunker.

  7. I’m beginning to see the outlines of a plan – since they can’t do anything well, they are screwing up everything all at once, in the hope that people will think it’s the new normal.

  8. On the subject of Ronald Reagan, Peter Robinson prints a piece of Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech, and NSC edits of the same, which fortunately, Reagan determined himself to ignore.

  9. So do these fucking press idiots think they are practically government themselves? (Except when a Republican in in the white house).

  10. Some of the comments on the Dionne page are pretty depressing. One of the memes appears to be that society is created and sustained by government, so without those nice folks in Washington (especially the Democrats) we’d all be living in trees.

    About “screwing everything up at once”: During the Clinton administration I seemed to see the outlines of a similar plan. The idea was that if you’re going to do something wrong you should do a lot of it– that way your critics look like they’re exaggerating, and anyway it would be such a big job to comprehend and fix it all that it’s easier just to let it slide.

  11. E.J. Dionne’s soulmate, Norm Ornstein, debates Stephen Hayward at AEI on the topic (thesis of Ornstein’s book) “Is the Republican Party too extreme?” It is to laugh, but does provide yet another example of the fundamental premise of contemporary progressivism: “We are right, and only we should rule.”

    Hayward has his fun with Ornstein’s absurdity, as you might imagine. However, he also reflects seriously on his thoughts about the Tea Party movement and the looming fractures on the political right.

  12. “Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created.”

    The answer is as obvious as the point on top of Mr. Dionne’s head. The Democrats do not say that out loud because they know that statement doesn’t pass the giggle test. The Democrats know that they need more votes than just their base to get elected. And the Democrats would rather just collect money and power and don’t feel the need say out loud something that will keep them from getting that money and power.

    Does getting a column at the WaPo require a lobotomy?

  13. That or a traumatic head injury, Mikey.

  14. Does anyone else notice that James Piereson’s article for the New Criterion series Future Tense, The Fourth Revolution is beginning to make inroads into the common daily discourse, at least among thinkers of a conservative bent? I think I’ve encountered three or four citations or references to Piereson — today alone — in the course of reading or listening to various other matters and conversations. Seems to me to be a building thing.

  15. Yes, sdferr, it seems to be making its way around. There are so many portents that point to major change. Look at the way the O-Administration seems to be unraveling – Holder putting on his Anti-Bus clothes, Big Dawg Clinton lobbing hand grenades, public unions on the ropes, “private sector doing fine”.
    Even the press is getting less timid. Blood is in the water.
    America hates a loser.

  16. Hi, Red. I have a legal question for you regarding Eric Holder; can Congress remove him temporarily for contempt of Congress while they are investigating or is there no provision for that? If your chief of police is suspected of malfesence, he can be put on paid leave while the investigation is pursued, same with teachers and other public employees.

    Worse yet, is Lanny Davis then acting AG while Holder is theoretically cooling his heels?

  17. There’s a deeper background too, I think, RI Red, against which we could abstract Obama altogether (as though he never existed, so to say) wherein I believe we’d still be facing a necessary contradiction — as a nation, not as proponents of this position or that, this ideology or that — demanding a fundamental reevaluation of our business of politics. Namely, the proposition that over time, barring any change to current law, the entire Federal budget will be subsumed by “entitlement” programs, leaving nothing at all for the other functions of government. And this propositions has been forwarded not solely by or merely by governing conservatives of the Ryan or Daniels ilk, but by ostensibly independent agencies of the Federal government itself.

    Things are objectively off the rails, I think, and in a sense we’ve reason, we citizens, to look to ourselves as cause. Hence the greater frequency with which people like Piereson arrive at the fundamental questions as of necessity. I believe none of us will be able to avoid such questions in time. The difficulty is to identify the correct questions among the many. Apart from a species of confirmation bias (which I fear I myself may commit), that is. None of it is simple.

  18. Good question, leigh, and I believe that the New York Times has addressed this:

    Op-Ed Contributor
    He’s Impeachable, You Know

    Published: May 3, 2007
    Columbia, Mo.

    IF Alberto Gonzales will not resign, Congress should impeach him. Article II of the Constitution grants Congress the power to impeach “the president, the vice president and all civil officers of the United States.” The phrase “civil officers” includes the members of the cabinet (one of whom, Secretary of War William Belknap, was impeached in 1876).

    Impeachment is in bad odor in these post-Clinton days. It needn’t be. Though provoked by individual misconduct, the power to impeach is at bottom a tool granted Congress to defend the constitutional order. Mr. Gonzales’s behavior in the United States attorney affair is of a piece with his role as facilitator of this administration’s claims of unreviewable executive power.

    A cabinet officer, like a judge or a president, may be impeached only for commission of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But as the Nixon and Clinton impeachment debates reminded us, that constitutional phrase embraces not only indictable crimes but “conduct … grossly incompatible with the office held and subversive of that office and of our constitutional system of government.”

    United States attorneys, though subject to confirmation by the Senate, serve at the pleasure of the president. As a constitutional matter, the president is at perfect liberty to fire all or some of them whenever it suits him. He can fire them for mismanagement, for failing to pursue administration priorities with sufficient vigor, or even because he would prefer to replace an incumbent with a political crony. Indeed, a president could, without exceeding his constitutional authority and (probably) without violating any statute, fire a United States attorney for pursuing officeholders of the president’s party too aggressively or for failing to prosecute officeholders of the other party aggressively enough.

    That the president has the constitutional power to do these things does not mean he has the right to do them without explanation. Congress has the right to demand explanations for the president’s managerial choices, both to exercise its own oversight function and to inform the voters its members represent.

    The right of Congress to demand explanations imposes on the president, and on inferior executive officers who speak for him, the obligation to be truthful. An attorney general called before Congress to discuss the workings of the Justice Department can claim the protection of “executive privilege” and, if challenged, can defend the (doubtful) legitimacy of such a claim in the courts. But having elected to testify, he has no right to lie, either by affirmatively misrepresenting facts or by falsely claiming not to remember events. Lying to Congress is a felony — actually three felonies: perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.

    A false claim not to remember is just as much a lie as a conscious misrepresentation of a fact one remembers well. Instances of phony forgetfulness seem to abound throughout Mr. Gonzales’s testimony, but his claim to have no memory of the November Justice department meeting at which he authorized the attorney firings left even Republican stalwarts like Jeff Sessions of Alabama gaping in incredulity. The truth is almost surely that Mr. Gonzales’s forgetfulness is feigned — a calculated ploy to block legitimate Congressional inquiry into questionable decisions made by the Department of Justice, White House officials and, quite possibly, the president himself.

    Even if perjury were not a felony, lying to Congress has always been understood to be an impeachable offense. As James Iredell, later a Supreme Court justice, said in 1788 during the debate over the impeachment clause, “The president must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.” The same is true of the president’s appointees.

    The president may yet yield and send Mr. Gonzales packing. If not, Democrats may decide that to impeach Alberto Gonzales would be politically unwise. But before dismissing the possibility of impeachment, Congress should recognize that the issue here goes deeper than the misbehavior of one man. The real question is whether Republicans and Democrats are prepared to defend the constitutional authority of Congress against the implicit claim of an administration that it can do what it pleases and, when called to account, send an attorney general of the United States to Capitol Hill to commit amnesia on its behalf.

    Frank Bowman is a law professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

  19. Shoot, sdferr, gotta go back to work. But what you said – Fundamental reevaluation of the business of politics that brought us to the point where we have to address fundamental questions before they squash us flat.

  20. “. . . can Congress remove him temporarily for contempt of Congress . . .”

    I think the simplest answer is no.

  21. Thanks, Red. I had to run some errands and it turned into an odyssey.

    sdferr, that’s what I figured.

    Impeachment it is!

  22. I don’t think there’s any reasonable chance that impeachment is pursued though leigh.

    OT: didja see that Angela Corey arrested Zimmerman’s wife on perjury charges? Mob’s gotta have it’s pound or two of flesh, one way or another.

  23. Yes, I saw that . $1000 bond? She has to come up with $100 and promise to show up in court.

    This would be a farce if it weren’t so tragic.

  24. I think the simplest answer is no.
    sdferr, doncha know that lawyers never give simple answers?
    So Angela Corey is doubling down. I’m sure there are no other crimes in Florida that need her attention.

  25. Thant’s funny, Red. I said exactly the same thing about Angela Corey just moments ago.

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