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September 28, 2011

DOOM: That old voodoo economics has me in its spell....

DOOOOM

Explaining dissent on the FOMC vote ("Operation Twist") from Dallas Federal Reserve Bank head Richard Fisher.

Monetary policy is not Thor’s hammer. It is an awesome weapon. But it has limitations. We must carefully harbor its power. If we deploy it incorrectly, we might level more than interest rates and destroy that which we seek to create. And if we let it fly too far from our grasp, we may never get it back. In conducting policy going forward, we must constantly bear this in mind.

Boomers really screwed Gen X. But X'ers will have their revenge by screwing Gen Y and the Millennials in turn. The Great Wheel of Boning always turns.

You think the economy is bad? You don’t know the half of it, ese.

Sheila Jackson-Lee, in whom stupidity and malice have combined into a gemlike perfection rarely rivaled in the human species, has a retort to conservative bloggers: "Because SHUT UP, that's why!" It's that kind of rhetorical brilliance and rapier wit that has made her the toast of recent Algonquin Round Table gatherings.

Here’s the thing about health insurance: a lot of people who don’t have it, either don’t want it or don’t need it.

His Majesty certainly does have the “reverse Midas touch”. Everything he touches turns to desolation and failure.

Let me understand the logic here: you have a nation of chronic tax-avoiders, a complicated and largely arbitrary tax system, and a tax-collection mechanism that is at best inefficient. You are in the middle of the worst economic storm in decades, and your GDP shrank by almost 5% year-over-year. Ther solution to these sovereign finance woes? Raise property taxes! Brilliant! It can’t miss!

Greece -- France and Germany will not save you. That should be glaringly obvious by now.

Germany isn’t nutty about Timmah’s plan to save Europe. In fact, they said some quite cutting things about it. I believe the word "stupid" was used. Several times.

Default would be worse than civil war? It won’t be any kind of fun, but I think that’s overstating things by just a bit.

Loose lips sink ships! ...and markets.

DOOM is many things...but it’s not boring.

The US is in worse shape than Europe? Nah. We still control our own currency, we still have a growing population (albeit one that grows too slowly to support the entitlement state we’ve built), and we still have vast natural resources and an ocean between us and most of the really bad guys. We’re in bad shape, no doubt, but Europe is way worse off, both in the short term and the long.

Elizabeth Warren’s voodoo economics isn’t even coherent enough be called ridiculous. It's basically a bunch of crazy yimmer-yammer with a thick coating of weapons-grade stupid.

Being poor in the ‘burbs. I still maintain that our definition of “poor” is ridiculous. If you can afford a car, a cell phone, and an XBox, you’re not poor.

Milton Friedman, ever the prophet, on the Euro and QE3. I sure do miss Uncle Miltie, especially these days. (Friedman isn’t calling for heedless money-printing in the linked quote, by the way, so don’t be misled. Friedman was no Keynesian.)

The Chinese economy “teetering”? Could be. The problem with having an authoritarian Communist Chinese government in charge means that you can’t really trust any of the numbers the Chinese publish.

Science and economics meet at the corner of Hayek.

Actuaries: If you’re planning to “fix” Social Security, you’d better get on it. Like, right now.

North Carolina's Governor Beverly Perdue thinks this whole democracy thing is overrated. Tyranny! That's how you get things done! It worked for Sulla, but there's the thing: Sulla was actually a quite capable and intelligent administrator and military leader, not an incompetent party hack. And he gave up the post of dicatator and went back to his farm when his reforms were complete. I wonder how many Democrats would do the same? It astonishes me how often I hear this kind of crap from liberals now that there aren't enough votes in the House to ramrod everything Obama wants through into law. It just goes to show how much respect most Democrats have for the actual rule of law: very little. It reminds me of the Civil War generals McClellan and Hooker (Democrats both) who both privately and openly advocated dictatorial powers for the government. But Lincoln simply replied (to Hooker in this case): "I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes, can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship."

A series of web conferences on the topic: "Is America In Decline?" The New Criterion is a great periodical, by the way. I've been reading it for years, and it rarely disappoints.

Illinois, senior member of the LOTB: still boned.

A big rally for Gibson Guitars is planned for Oct. 8. I'd go if I could; in addition to thinking that Gibson is being victimized by a lawless government, I'd also love to lay my hands on a sweet ES-335.

The problem with gold? It's not backed by anything!. Or, at least that's what this twit (hey, I said twit) says. Sweetheart, sit down and listen to Uncle Monty explain what a commodity is. (Via Lauraw, who got it from ChrisP at The Hostages.)

Cities and states should remove pension and health benefits from collective bargaining with unions. Retiree pension and healthcare costs are driving many municipalities and states into the poorhouse (and their taxpayers with them), so it's clear that something must change. But of course unions will bitterly oppose this move as pension and health benefits are the main perks of union membership.

UPDATE 1: How busted is Greece? They ran out of ink needed to print the tax forms with which they hope to generate more revenue. Tax forms which will be laughed at by the tax-avoiding citizens of the bankrupt Greek state. In Ancient Greece, the King would have considered this a pretty bad omen, perhaps requiring the sacrifice of some comely young maiden. But in modern times, all Papandreou has is middle-aged civil service hacks whom he can't even fire, much less sacrifice to appease the gods.



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posted by Monty at 08:39 AM

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