Ok, I am an idiot. I took basic economics at University and have a vivid memory of using the bubble fill in the blank final to make butterfly designs. Hey I got a C, so who cares;~J It is just now I simply have a visceral reaction to anyone suggesting that economics is an actual science.
Let’s Make a Deal. Friday June 10, 2011 with Martin Bashir
No wait, not that Joe Walsh. This Joe Walsh
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June 11, 2011, 8:41 AM
Yesterday on MSNBC, Martin Bashir interviewed Representative Joe Walsh, a Republican from Illinois. I was working on other things and had the TV on in the background, but this interview got my attention. Joe Walsh is a nice looking and well spoken man who talks in reasonable tones, in other words a very convincing demeanor. But what was coming out of his mouth was absolute nonsense, the kind of nonsense that is part of what is destroying this country.
The interview started (sorry I could not get a transcript without paying a yearly service fee) with Martin pointing out that even Wall Street see catastrophic fallout if the House doesn’t pass the extension of the debt limit and he did not see much progress in the Congressional talks. Walsh countered by saying the catastrophe was our debt and if we can’t get it under control by passing massive cuts, a balanced budget amendment, and reducing taxes, then extending the debt limit would be fruitless. The people have spoken and their number one concern is the debt.
Oh where to start? First you can see that the Republicans are not in a giving mode and they will extract, if the Democrats let them, major cuts in spending. That will further depress our economy. Second, the people don’t give a rat’s ass about the deficit, most want jobs. I won’t even go into the idea of a balanced budget amendment, since if you operate a business like that, there would be no investment in the future and it would be a short ride to bankruptcy, not from overspending, but from underspending and not investing in infrastructure and new products.
So Martin countered with why if everything is on the table, isn’t the Bush Tax cuts also on the table? Walsh countered with he wished they were because he would lower the tax rates even more. Martin raised the obvious arithmetic question, but won’t that make the deficit worse? And here we got got the Republican free ride theory from Walsh. Businesses are not investing, according to him, because they lack confidence in the future and with lower tax rates assured, they will start hiring (the confidence fairy), and the flow down will solve our economic problems.
Again, oh where to start? The Bush tax cuts are the major long term contributor to the deficit and our rates are the lowest in 50 years and nothing is happening. The economy did fine and the deficit was not an issue under the rates during the Clinton era. Additionally, there is no realistic, non-partisan massaged data to show that flow down works, and as Martin asked him why with our historically low tax rates enacted under Bush, didn’t and isn’t the economy booming? Walsh resorted to the confidence fairy on this one.
One other data point that Martin did not raise to refute Walsh: Studies show that 70% of large business income is now derived from international trade, and the Aid Council of America did a study and recommended that advertising in the U.S. be focused on the over $150,000 earners. That tells you all you want to know about U.S. demand. It is non-existent for the majority of people who don’t have sufficient incomes to increase demand, which totally refutes the confidence theory of Walsh. They are not investing in America because the demand is not there and the markets are overseas.
Oh, but it gets better. Martin asked Walsh what we should do about unemployment insurance benefits, and Walsh replied that they should be cut. Unemployment benefits, according to Walsh, just encourage laziness and unemployment. I read this as make the serfs hungry enough and we can get them to work for slave wages. By the way there is no data that shows that for the majority of our workforce that has been laid off from good jobs, unemployment even keeps their head above water.
So there is the Republican plan for your future. He seems like such a nice man and he seems to know what he is talking about so he must be right, right? Only if you want to totally destroy this country and turn it over to the very rich and the serfs. It is like Global Warming. They will ignore the preponderance of evidence to find that one carefully manipulated study that supports their economic theology.
Oh, and did you read the report today that formaldehyde and styrene used in common products such as plywood, particle board, styrofoam cups, and hair salon products can cause cancer (The Daily Beast)? The article noted, “The report was delayed for several years because of intense lobbying from the chemical industry.” Don’t you worry about a thing. We need less government and more business to keep us safe, right Joe? Cut that government interference. Besides if they get sick they probably deserved it, the lazy buggers. Right Joe?
One other failure to connect the dots item. Tamron Hall, in an earlier MSNBC segment, was interviewing a climate scientist from Stanford. She asked if this weather pattern we are seeing is indicative of Global Warming. The scientist explained that yes, what we are seeing is predicted by every model we have of the effects of global warming and could well be an indication of the new normal. He took one caveat in that the tornadoes could or could not be an effect because their science is much less understood.
Tamron countered (you know, fair and balanced) with a scientist at the University of Colorado who thought that we should be seeing cooling and that viewers would have to choose for themselves whether they believed in climate change. I love it. Find one heretic and you can ignore the majority of scientific research. Science is still an opinion poll to these people. That is what is wrong with our media today. In an attempt to be fair and balanced, it grossly misleads. A nut job has as much credence as the rest of the scientific community. Pick for yourself what you want to believe. Reality is not important. We are oh so screwed.
Note: I will be on vacation for a few days so posts may be a little erratic. I will be seeing my son who is one of my few readers so I can just blovate in person.
Tags: Climate change, congressional negotiations, debt ceiling, insanity, Joe Walsh, Martin Bashir
, Republican economic theory, tamron hall
Category: Politics and Current Events, The Press | Comment
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I do find it interesting that Newt Gringrich went on cruise through the Greek Islands. Is he going to give us his interpretation of the EU’s treatment of Greece.