Yelping Cormac McCarthy Open Thread

TGI Fridays

 

Two stars.

 

Watts strode into the restaurant smelling of horse and woodsmoke and all the patrons turned to watch him as if he had called out to them but he had made no sound save the whispering of his leathers and the jangle of his spurs. He sat at the bar. A bartender in a vaudevillian striped shirt approached smiling like a grifter. Can I help you cowboy, he said.

 

Double rye.

 

I’m afraid we dont have rye.

 

Dont have rye.

 

Sorry.

 

Well what do you have?

 

The bartender slid a glossy menu toward the him. He regarded it with great suspicion. Held it at arms length. He sighed heavily.

 

I reckon I’ll have a Blue Razzberry Mojito Freezer.

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It's a sad day in the NFL

(#270083)

When Tim Tebow has a good outing and single-handedly rushes for more yards than the opposing team. 

It is a Tragic Day in the NFL when Palmer can Throw for 335...

(#270084)

...three touch downs, no pics and can still lose to the likes of Tebow...

 

Traveller spits on the ground and kicks the dirt hard.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

If you caught the Ravens and Steelers game however

(#270092)

they did not disappoint. In fact they rocked another great rivalry battle.

By this time after the S&L crisis

(#270079)

more than 1000 bankers were in jail. 

 

The Obama DoJ? 2.

 

 

Here's another unbathed hippy with poop stuck to his boxers down at Occupy Wall Street, who was a central figure in the Reagan and Bush I admin's prosecution of fraud:

Obama IS an enemy of capitalism I say

(#270080)
brutusettu's picture

Seriously though....it's kinda hard to have massive fraud and an effective free market. Laissez-faire does not equal hands completely off.

Should the Colts get sent down to play college ball?

(#270073)

Good God they suck.

Hmmm

(#270071)
M Scott Eiland's picture

This looks familiar.

Oh, right--I remember now:

No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 10

Hat tip for Instapundit for the link.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Hahaha! Instapundit!

(#270076)
HankP's picture

The guy who rails at the evils of government and unions from his tenured position at the University of Tennessee.

I blame it all on the Internet

Are they unwashed hippies or enterprising capitalists?

(#270075)

Inquiring minds want to know

Perhaps you should rewind the story, just a tad.

(#270072)

Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer-except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.

 

As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones's expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now. Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse-hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.

 

Conservatives should be particularly reticent to quote Orwell in brief.   They clearly haven't actually read him.

Didn't you know that George Orwell, Martin Luther King Jr.

(#270074)

and every other revered person in history were actually conservatives?

 

Conversely, Hitler, Mussolini, and every hated person in history were actually liberals.

It fills me with bitter mirth to see a Conservative quote Orwell

(#270077)

as if the administration of the paltry financial support of OWS, conducted out in the open, can be compared to the magnitude of the hidden mischief of Wall Street.

 

I will say this, though.   If pigs have evolved over time and become indistinguishable from men, it's not on Wall Street.   It's in the regulatory bodies.  

Or...

(#270078)

The corporate support of the Tea Party.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

RIP, Andy Rooney:

(#270042)

gone too soon at 92.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

That's OK...

(#270013)

...apparently someone else in some other part of Oakland was mean to a cop, so assaulting and nearly killing someone else is okey-dokey.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Tell It To The Mayor

(#270016)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Or the DA. Meanwhile, the protesters are vandalizing businesses in Oakland, and the mayor is too afraid of what her moonbat friends will think of her if she cracks down to actually do anything.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Good baby Jeebus, Scott:

(#270020)

What a few protesters are doing has nothing to do with what happened in this case:
[quote]Before he went into surgery, Sabeghi told his sister that he was walking to his home near Frank Ogawa Plaza when he was stopped by police, hit in the abdomen four times and then arrested and taken to jail where he could not receive medical treatment.[/quote]

The goddam Oakland PD is out of control, and heads need to roll. I would think that as a conservative, Scott, you would be the first to condemn this sort of behavior. Every time this sort of nonsense occurs, the authorities look like loons, and the OWS protesters look more and more reasonable.

Fortunately, there are other police departments in more civilized parts of the country capable of dealing with this movement like grown-ups, instead of thugs.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

So. . .

(#270022)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .the vandals and other criminals aren't representative of OWS, but this incident somehow reflects the whole Oakland police department? Yeah, that's a convincing argument.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I'm trying to remember who are the group of professionals

(#270028)

who are supposedly are trained, and who are payed salaries from tax receipts to allegedly keep the peace.

 

Relatedly, given that there are 10s of thousands of protesters vs. 100s of police, the bad apples are a much higher percentage amongst the Oakland PD.

 

You're actually holding the police force to a much lower standard than a diffuse group of protesters. 

 

It's pretty obvious that this same set of standards would've pitted you solidly against Dr. Martin Luther King and his followers, your invocation of his name notwithstanding.     

You forgot unionized

(#270046)

You shouldn't forget that.  Don't worry though, I'll remind you if you do. 


I can't speak to the accuracy of the article below but if groups like this are tolerated by OWS it doesn't excuse the Oakland police but it does point out that OWS isn't doing a lot to help themselves here.  And if this quote is a common sentiment...


"we respect people's freedom to act they way that they feel they have to act to make the changes they wish to see."


...there really should be little surprise when that sword cuts the other way.  Disclaimer: The typo is directly from the text and I'm prepared to accept that the quote, as so many are, is taken out of context.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57319036/is-black-bloc-hijacking-occupy-oakland/

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I agree OWS should not hold hands

(#270058)

with groups that explictly embrace violence.

 

I'm missing your point about unionization of the police force.

 

Is there some causal link between belonging to a union and purposely beating unarmed veterans?

There was a big discussion of the Black Bloc

(#270047)

at the Great Orange Satan yesterday. The Black Bloc seems to be pretty universally despised: the debate was mostly over how far the OWS movement should go to neutralize them.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

They should report them to

(#270050)

They should report them to the police for vandalism.  In my opinion, they are a bunch of middle/upper class kids who think they are Banksy.  "Anarchists"?  Whatever.

How far should they go?

(#270049)

As far as they want.  How can they lose?  Man, if there was a video of a bunch of dudes hopping up out of their drum circle to pound the piss out of a clown in a Fawks mask it would do nothing but get respect for the movement.  OTOH, claiming neutrality while hijinks is going on in the OWS demonstrations does nothing but work against them.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

The little fantasies of violent retribution are defining.

(#270051)

Fact is, any perceived threat to the status quo always excites authoritarians to such brutal fantasies.   Think carefully ere you wish harm on the anarchists:   you are just a fish in the water of a free world, oblivious to the nature and origin of that freedom.   Respect is earned and freedom comes at a cost of which you seem only dimly cognizant.  

 

The Right Wing is defined by its defense of the Second Amendment, the mythical cowboy, living in the stark vaccum of lawless anarchy, wielding his trusty Peace Maker.   Like little children, gawping and shrieking at the villains of a Hollywood cowboy movie, you want a nice tidy ending, a morality play.   It is an ancient myth, the knight in shining armour, bringing justice to a dark world.   Only one problem, this isn't justice.   It's just retribution.   There isn't a scrap of justice to this vision.

 

The Right Wing always smirks and jeers when anyone brings up the idea of Fairness.   But there is a measure of fairness in the world:  fairness varies with the summa of freedom.   Anarchists are the flip side of Libertarians, not their opposites, just a different vision of the same domain.   You lot, running around with your guns, you're an implicit threat.   The Anarchist, he's a reaction to you and your guns and your bravado, because at the end of the day, there's no practical difference and this scares the living doo-doo out of the Right Wing.   You with your guns, in your uniform?   You're a force for good, so you say, but you're smart enough to know this isn't true.   You don't fight for liberty.   You fight on the orders of your betters, so did I, and woe betide you should you disobey them.   Different laws apply to you:  you're subject to UCMJ in the course of what you do.  

 

The Anarchist says the rules don't apply to him.   But the rules don't apply to you, either.   You get to shoot people when the ROEs call for it, but you don't make those ROEs.   So, soldier boy, just you keep your violent fantasies about pounding the piss out of a clown in a Guy Fawkes mask to yourself.   Such fantasies are a bigger danger to the health of this nation than you might realize.

Blaise, that stuff at the end is over the top.

(#270060)

One warning, then we'll have to block your account for a few days.

 

For the record, I think Darth was being flip...as I read it, his comment was that people who wear Fawkes masks are pretentious nitwits, not that anybody needs a beatdown. I don't think he meant what you think he meant.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That's one interpretation. Then there's the literal one.

(#270062)

.

Sorry Blaise.

(#270055)

But you're full of sh*t here.  Your 1st and second paragraphs are just hot air.


3rd paragraph 'You're a force for good, so you say...'  I did?  What? Are we drinking buddies or something where I just said 'Y'know Blaise, I'm a force for good.'  Bah, just crap.


I mean really...


'But the rules don't apply to you, either.   You get to shoot people when the ROEs call for it, but you don't make those ROEs.'


What's the 'R' in ROE stand for, Blaise?


Generally I don't respond to you but you decided to make this personal.  That's ok, really it is.  Go ahead and get your last word in, you and I both know you need it.  I doubt I'll read it, I know I won't respond to it, no sense in making the mods work for their pay.  Have a nice day.


 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I've said what I had to.

(#270057)

Don't like it?   Get over it.   Violence is its own crude reward.   Enjoy playing with fire, if that's your idea of fun.

Posting Rules -nt-

(#270052)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Let's get this straight. Advocating beating the piss

(#270053)

out of someone, with the implicit point that such an action might earn respect, well, is that's good for this place?   Is that really what you want, MSE?   I haven't seen much of this around here before.   It needs to be stopped, pronto.   And don't you come back with some high-horse BS about personal attacks.   The guy's advocating physical attacks.

Then Make The Argument Without Personal Attacks

(#270054)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Although the whole OWS movement seems to be operating on at least the implied threat of violent uprising, so the argument that somehow thinking that violent anarchists could use a beatdown is somehow beyond the pale seems an odd place to draw the line.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

what implied threat?

(#270059)

Again, it looks like you could made these same criticisms against the civil rights or Indian Independence movements.

 

I think you need to keep the following question in your head - "Am I writing something that someone critical of MLK or Ghandi might've also written?"

Oh spare me. Violence only begets violence.

(#270056)

The day this place becomes yet another RedState, beset with blackguarding and teeth-baring, you can count me out.  Even dKos will kick you out for that sort of crap.  

Pretty much all the lefties I know

(#270048)

detest the Black Bloc folks.  Your'e trying to peacefully protest and draw attention to, say, the problems of global capitalism and some asshat shows up and puts a brick through a store front and starts a fight with the cops.

 

Generally, people tend to not find it endearing when you turn a peaceful protest into general mayhem.

This is not a "peaceful protest" though

(#270068)

This is not a "peaceful protest" though.

 

If you have been paying attention, this OWS movement has been very determined not to make demands, as you would expect of any other protest. This has been bewildering to some, but I think I understand it. An occupation is not a protest. If you want to limit yourself to a peaceful protest, demanding this or that, then you have every right to resent the brave actions of the black bloc. In an occupation however, it is the occupied zone that you need to protect, from black bloc, police, or anyone else, and outside that is another matter.
Some burning of cars, breaking of windows, battling with police is justified. Such actions inspired the masses of Egyptians to lose their fear of authority. Fear is the enemy. A little violence is all it takes to defeat it.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

You are right.  Nobody is

(#270025)

You are right.  Nobody is responsible for anything, especially the cops.

And my god

(#270039)
brutusettu's picture

did you see what the Vandals did to Rome? That vet surely deserved it or at least you should look [i]over there[/i]!!!!

Felonious assault = vandalism

It's the same argument you've been using nt

(#270024)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

feels familiar

(#269986)
TXG1112's picture

I have no idea if there is any relationship, but those reviews have a similar literary feel to some of the stuff posted at Tim McSweeneys. It even has a similar visual style.

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

The Jobs Bill War: I have a new strategic idea.

(#269975)

Republicans have hit on a way to turn the President's endless, bludgeoning series of job creation proposals for them to reject into just another "pox on both houses" story. Now, each time the Senate votes on a jobs proposal that finances several hundred thousand new jobs by placing small incremental taxes on incomes over $1 million, the Senate GOP counters with a similar offer, only instead of financing the new jobs with a tax, they cut the federal budget somewhere else.

 

This could go on for the next 12 months.

 

I have a better idea. White House staffers who read this blog take note: get the CBO to score bills, not on budget impact but on their employment impact. The Democrat bridges & tunnels bill will add 350k jobs? Well if you run the numbers it turns out the Republican bill only adds 150k jobs...because new hires resulting from new infrastructure projects would be offset by layoffs in some other sector. 

 

Now the question for our idiot press becomes: should Congress pass a bill creating 350k jobs, or the same bill creating only 150k jobs? And so on down through the American Jobs Act provisions taken piecemeal.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"Saved Or Created"

(#269981)
M Scott Eiland's picture

All Republicans need to do is to bring up the Obama Administration's ridiculous embrace of that new bit of Orwellian nonsense language to discredit any job numbers Obama claims.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Let's moot the proposition "saved or created"

(#269989)

is nonsense.   It seems to me improving the US economy, let's take a step back, the world economy, is based on the premise of stability and the flow of money through the pipes which make up that economy.    I don't propose to Keynes-ify any solution, I merely observe there's loads of money on the sidelines:  companies have plenty of cash lying around but they're in no mood to hire without some increase in demand.

 

Governments can create demand.    That's not Orwellian nonsense.   Roads and bridges are a fairly good investment.   I've been told one in four bridges is in some state of disrepair.   Now I'll tell you what's a Ridiculous Bit of Orwellian Nonsense, that's believing we can improve the economy and continue to ignore bridge repair.   Right here in the Twin Cities on 35W, one of those "structurally deficient" bridges collapsed.   

 

And that's the problem with the Conservatives and their insistence on reducing the size of government.    Y'all seem to think bridges don't need repairing, that they just sorta grew out of the riverbanks like so many sumac trees, that they'll renew themselves every spring as God intended.   Well, no.   Takes money to build them and money to repair them and every solution y'all have proposed is just more of same:   got a problem??? Cut taxes.    It's insane,  it's as if y'all are still living in the era of Reagan, when taxes were a problem.   They're not anymore.   We're in a serious bind here and those who are doing well can afford to pay more taxes.     Job numbers, my ass.   

 

I'm sure, when the next bridge collapses, and it will, that someone will take Boehner, truss him up and make him walk the plank off the end of it, into the canyon below.    Obviously, we can't have any meaningful progress on the jobs front, not when his chief priority is to get a Republican in office.   No matter how much the country suffers, no matter how nervous the markets get because these Congressional jackasses refuse to do their goddamn jobs,  GOP ideology shall trump all.

Let's not moot it

(#269993)
HankP's picture

job losses in 2009 were ~500K per month and GDP contracted ~8% in 2008 - 2009. That's disastrous, and slowing it was a major accomplishment. Don't let Republican propaganda disguise that fact.

I blame it all on the Internet

Well, yeah. But let's take this "Orwellian" business apart.

(#269998)

What would actually improve the jobs situation?   The solution is neither Conservative nor Liberal, Keynes-ian nor Austrian.   Corporations and private individuals will hire on more staff when there's demand and not one minute before.    See, the Conservatives aren't all wrong here.   We can't sprinkle money all over this proposition and hope things will get better:  we need to invest in the country.    I believe roads and bridges are a good investment:  without them, we can't get goods to market or commuters to jobs.   As I understand it, the GOP's all about Cost Cutting -- except they aren't.   The same nogoodniks now preaching Fiscal Conservatism all have their hands out for money for their districts and the sorry fact of the matter is, those districts need that money, badly.

 

The thing which annoys me the most, from the Liberal side of the fence, is all this talk of Fairness.   Taxing the rich isn't a matter of fairness, it's a matter of taxing the people who have grown enormously wealthy when taxes were cut under the Bush Administration.   That wealth isn't turning into jobs.   It's just the height of folly to think cutting taxes is going to result in more people getting hired:   cutting taxes does not increase demand for goods and services.   It can't.   Anyone who thinks it can, well, we've had a good long run since the Bush Tax Cuts.   Where are the jobs?   Yeah.   I don't see them either.   I do, however, see the nation's finances in ruins.  Now sit down and shut up and don't say cutting taxes creates jobs again.

 

The Democrats have offered bitter concessions.   The Republicans won't respond in kind with tax reforms.   The GOP assert, with absolute correctness, spending 40% more than we collect in taxes is ludicrous.   What they refuse to admit, every fact to the contrary, is our inability to capture sufficient taxes to support their own requests for federal dollars.

Building infrastructure is Keynesian

(#269999)
HankP's picture

Keynesianism isn't just "spend money", it's the idea that the government is the only entity that can increase demand in the economy as a whole when demand is lower than the optimal rate (it also means that the government should run surpluses in good years, which is why Republicans hate it). Increasing demand by spending on infrastructure during a recession/depression is pure Keynesianism. It's all about government increasing demand when the private sector can't or won't.

 

Fairness and equity have nothing to do with Keynes, but there are a lot of empirical studies that show that economies perform better with more equality than with less.

I blame it all on the Internet

Ecch, sorta. Point taken, but only so far.

(#270002)

We collect taxes, expecting them to serve the public good.   Infrastructure is a fine investment.   I contend we shouldn't expect the government to spend with the sole expectation of increasing demand:  Richelieu and the Rope.   Think I've said this before, maybe more than once.   France was competing with Great Britain for supremacy on the high seas.    Ships needed miles of rope for rigging, so Richelieu set the poor of France to making rope.   In the process he damned near bankrupted all the legitimate ropemakers of Europe.   They petitioned the King, who summoned Richelieu.   Richelieu realized to his horror -- for every worthwhile job created in such a manner, it would eliminate that same job in the private sector.   That's what we /don't/ want here.

 

Government can create demand, but it must be of the right sort, and it ought to result in some net gains, independently of what Keynes had to say about government's role in kick-starting market demand.   Keynes was a good economist for his own times.   While some of his principles still hold true, the ground rules have changed somewhat.    The USA didn't really emerge from the Great Depression until investors gained enough confidence to invest the hoards of money which had remained squirreled-away for all those years.    Some of the most opulent houses ever built in the USA were built during the height of the Depression.   Not everyone suffered.

 

That confidence is what's needed now, in our times.   This latest game of Chicken over the budget did nothing to restore any confidence in the markets.   Look at the market now, reeling up and down, hundreds of points on the news from Greece.    Get the guts of this market settled down, give the investors some breathing space, the hoards of money in our time will re-emerge, as they emerged in the wake of FDR's market reforms and regulations.

The US only emerged from the Great Depression

(#270005)

after switching to a total war economy under the direction of the War Production Board. With 90% top marginal tax rates, entire industries temporarily nationalized, and government spending dwarfing every other form of investment, WWII was the largest full-employment Keynesian spending project ever launched in this country before or since. It worked, much as it had worked in Germany, Japan and to some degree Italy several years earlier.

 

Confidence is a product of information. Where there's good information, investors will lay down money. When nobody knows what's going to happen in the global markets, nobody can trust the ratings agencies and other assessors of "risk," nobody knows which institutions/governments are solvent and which are not, and nobody knows how to value current assets or predict their future value, and nobody knows who the liars are or if they will suffer any consequences for committing wholesale fraud, they won't. Simple as that.

 

Today's markets are suffering from a drought of information. Who can supply information and stability?

 

But today's markets are also suffering from a massive credit overhang/hangover. This is not an illusion borne of lack of confidence, it's not a product of fraud. It's not an information problem. Lenders and borrowers alike are massively overleveraged worldwide, and investors are plenty well-informed on that score. The solution to credit hangover is simple Keynesian spending.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Not much argument there, yet consider: the Depression

(#270006)

had begun to turn around in 1932 or 1933, well before the opening salvos of WW2.   Your interpretation would be considerably stronger, or at least clearer, if the fascist governments weren't the first out of the recovery gate.  Mind you, I'm not saying you're wrong, yours is a standard reading.  There were more factors at work, some more important than others.    I've been holding gold for a while now, so my interpretations ought to be taken with a grain of salt or a flake of gold....

 

Now, I'm no scholar of the Depression, but I've heard several interpretations of 1933 and what followed.   The Keynesian New Deal had many enemies, some of whom bet, correctly as it happened, on what the New Deal would bring to pass.   As the economy strengthened and the Keynesian stimulus dollars flowed through the once-dry pipes, FDR instituted bank reforms in 1935, which tended to slow down the appearance of recovery, but it would set the stage for a meaningful reformation of the entire banking industry.   I contend the Banking Reforms of 1935 did more to put the recovery which began in 1933 on a sound footing.  

 

Even Hoover had wanted to clean the banks up and increase reserves and get the big banks to help out the smaller ones but the money had all fled into gold and other instruments of paranoid investment and the big banks saw nothing but an opportunity to scoop up the little banks' assets at fire sale prices.   Many people don't realize how much Hoover actually did in the wake of the crash:  much of it dead wrong, but he was trying, and much of it looks exactly like what the GOP is proposing today:  balancing the budget, no bailouts for the little guy, get the Mexicans out of the country.   It's all been seen before.

 

I'm not sure we're reading Keynes in the light of his own times.   We want to apply his solutions without a complete understanding of the problems he faced at the time.   Different times require different solutions.    The government can't just pour out money and expect the economy to create demand.   That can only happen when the markets come back to life, in a reasonably well-regulated environment where they can make meaningful predictions.    Perversely, only when we'd regulated the banks did the hoards re-enter the bank depository network.    The money was there, all the time.

It sounds like we already know what kind of Keynesians

(#270040)

we are, and are now just haggling over price. :)

 

I mentioned the fascist governments specifically because they organized large-scale government spending (and indeed began the switch to a war economy before everyone else). One of Hitler's first moves in office was to appoint Fritz Todt to blow the dust off of the Weimar plans for an autobahn network and actually build the thing. Finance minister Dr. Schacht financed that and dozens of other massive public works projects via large-scale deficit spending, taking advantage of the new floating currency. This was in 1933. German industrialists (and Schacht) began begging the Nazis to ease off on the government spending by 1936, but Hitler of course had other ideas. By 1938, Todt had 500,000 workers (and forced laborers) building up the Siegfried Line and the German war economy was for a time the largest on earth.

 

In the US, the New Deal indeed had enemies. And those enemies won a major victory in 1937, when Roosevelt agreed to slash WPA funding, tighten monetary policy, allow Treasury to raise taxes, all in an attempt to tighten fiscal policy and close up the enormous deficits. The result was one of the worst recessions in US history, other than the Great Depression itself. An 18.2% GDP drop, peak to trough, and 19% unemployment...it was pretty much a disaster. Naturally conservaconomists have tried to claim that it was inflationary policy and over-regulation which blew up the recovery, but rarely has the elusive cause & effect from policy to consequence been so plainly visible to the naked eye. A child would say slashing federal employment without adequately preparing a transition to private investment is what caused the US to hemorrhage jobs and dollars, and that child would be friggin'-a right.

 

Nobody's saying we should transplant Keynes' specific recommendations in The Means to Prosperity into the 21st century. But the general principle of countercyclical spending quite obviously still holds true, and meanwhile conservative faith in "expansionary austerity" and "the confidence fairy" remains just as stuck on stupid now as it was in 1937. The conservative idea is basically to take a massive credit overhang created by market failures, then ask the same market to magically fix its own mess. "The confidence fairy" is especially egregious, kind of an underpants gnome recovery plan whereby one implements conservative policy X (tax cuts, deregulation, slash social insurance spending), ??? happens, and then voila confidence returns to the market. 

 

Which is not to say confidence is irrelevant...it's just that confidence has specific, measurable drivers and those drivers have nothing to do with ludicrous conservative fantasies about what makes the markets work. And of course as you say, countercyclical spending is pointless without meaningful regulatory reform to fix the problems what created the crisis in the first place.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's a relief to read Keynes' specific recommendations

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won't work today.   Returning to the Guns or Butter proposition:  the Third Reich obviously chose Guns and to a very considerable extent, so did the USA and Great Britain.   Looking at Chamberlain's term as PM, the standard reading says Chamberlain capitulated to Hitler over Czechoslovakia but another reading says he was furiously building up GB's war footing, clearing out moribund old factories and replacing them with modern ones, buying time for the inevitable battles to come.

 

As you say, 1937 was yet another attempt to screw up the New Deal.    By my lights, the inflation of the period is what some economists call reflation, the salutary side effect of a depressed economy on the rise again.   Depression-era prices were exceedingly low.   If prices rose, well, if the merchants can charge more for their goods and actually sell them, gosh, this can be nothing but good, for salaries were on the rise, which is to say, the working man was getting a paycheck where once he was eating squirrels and garden greens.

 

Socialism has become a dirty word in the USA and I'm not sure why.   But reading your latest comment, I'm pretty sure I know why.   For all their talk about God and Country, the American Conservative has little faith in either.    I'm not sure they're even conservative, by anyone's definition.   They're schizophrenically divided between a fatuous populism and a deeply ignorant libertarianism.   In point of fact, they're not even good libertarians, for they have the wisdom to understand the definitions of Force and Fraud and want government to confine itself to attenuating them.    Fraud can only be put down by effective regulation, driven by the fundamental truth of markets, that winners must be separated from losers.    If only they would decide which philosophy they really wanted, the populists and libertarians are both baying for blood these days.   I think these GOPers are actually a particularly effete strain of Tories.   

Hummm...Smart Stuff as per Usual...nt

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Traveller

I don't understand.

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Job losses are bad. Stopping job losses is good. This is easy concept. Much unlike "expansionary austerity."

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

it's not new and it's not Orwellian

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other than that, your description was accurate.

Very good. Why hasn't he got the Nobel, anyway?

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mmghosh's picture

I like this.

[quote] Union Square - San Francisco, CA

Cormac M. | Author | Lost in the chaparral, NM

Three stars.

Victoria bore a secret unutterable and incomprehensible as if she carried with her the dessicated corpse of some creature from beyond the borders of the earth which no language could describe. A secret hidden for a thousand years and of such proportions that it existed not among the mountains and the barren plains but resided in each stone and paperthin grassblade in that dead country. It could not be destroyed by fire or death or confession but was branded in time and would remain there always and Victoria struck mute and condemned would carry the secret to her death and under the ground in that pauper’s grave it would await its next tattered palanquin.[/quote]

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency