Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

09/14/2008 (7:32 am)

Proletarian Palin

At last, some actual insight concerning the introduction of Sarah Palin to the presidential race.

Stephen Hayward at the Weekly Standard discusses the impact of Palin’s nomination on the political class in terms of Adams’ and Jefferson’s debate concerning aristocracy in politics. Do we still, he asks, believe in the citizen’s capacity for self-government, or have we accepted a political aristocracy that demands membership as a qualification for holding office? I highly recommend you read it; it’s brief but entirely relevant.

It struck me as I was reading that Gov. Palin understood the points he’s making (and so did the folks who wrote her convention speech) before she was introduced. In the acceptance speech, she deflected the vicious assault on herself and her family by observing that she’s considered unqualified, first, simply because she’s not a member of the Washington elite. She also introduced herself with a reference to Harry Truman, the one US President in recent history who had no college education (sending younger listeners scurrying to the dictionary to discover what a “haberdasher” was). The “Washington elite” line is a sound bite, but it’s not only a sound bite; there’s relevant content behind it, and that’s what Hayward discusses, and what Palin evoked. She may be inexperienced, but she’s far from unaware.

A tip of the blogging cap to Power Line for the link.

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13 Comments »

September 14, 2008 @ 7:59 am #

I have had a sneaking suspicion all along that the conventional wisdom that “John McCain cannot possibly beat Obama because he is so old and slow” was utterly false. Especially with the recent “surge” by McCain in the polls. It has reminded me of the old fable of the “Tortoise and the hare” except that not only was Mr. Turtle slow and steady he is also as crafty as a fox and wise as an owl.
The most recent is the kerfuffle over McCain not being able to email. Over at Little Green Footballs, Charles links to a Forbes Mag. comment from 2000 where it becomes obvious that Big Mac is just toying with Obama.

September 15, 2008 @ 12:34 pm #

I can’t understand why it’s become commonplace that we shouldn’t want our MOST intelligent and experienced people to be running the country. Haven’t we seen what happens when personality wins out over substance when Bush was given the reigns?

I don’t want candidates to have a beer with me. I want them to tackle problems that are too complex for the non-intelligent people to figure out – ‘How the hell are we going to get away from oil?’ ‘What are we going to do to improve our broken health care system?’ ‘What are we going to do to improve the standard of living for those who can’t afford to live while making minimum wage?’

If McCain thinks that Bush was right 90% of the time, yet 70% of the people say the country is on the wrong track, what exactly are they expecting McCain to do to turn the country around? Are they expecting him to force Big Oil to somehow cut oil costs? Are they expecting him to stand up to the healthcare industry?

I’m very curious what the Republican endgame is. I mean, according to McCain, we’re headed in generally the right direction, we just need to tweak a few things. So, do we need MORE tax breaks for the rich so they can invest overseas and take more money out of the economy? Do we need ANOTHER war in order to justify our failed foreign policy?

When exactly will the American people finally recognize that the Republican strategies are complete, catastrophic failures? Do we actually let the Republicans lead us into a Depression before they see the light?

And when will the GOP finally own its failures?

September 15, 2008 @ 2:04 pm #

Zanzibar,

I know you’re sincere, but it’s really pretty alarming the number of places where you and most Republicans simply disagree about the facts. I counted 11 such disagreements while reading your impassioned argument.

1) MOST intelligent and experienced people to be running the country.

First off, we wonder how you have the gall to say this while running Barack Obama as your candidate against John McCain.

We disagree with your emphasis on intelligence, which we recognize as part of the elitism that seems to infect urban liberals. Not that there’s anything wrong with intelligence, mind you, but given the liberal habit of calling their opponents “unintelligent” simply for disagreeing with them, we understand that by “intelligent” you generally mean “Democrat,” and we disagree with your assessment criteria. We’re more apt to say that we think the most capable leaders should lead, and while both intelligence (properly measured) and experience are components in that assessment, so are things like virtue, candor, achievement, and wisdom. Thus, the intelligent, experienced, but sociopathic Bill Clinton ought not lead a GARBAGE TRUCK, whereas the intelligent but inexperienced Gov. Bobby Jindal seems to be doing a masterful job of taming the corruption in Louisiana.

2) personality wins out over substance when Bush was given the reigns?(sic)

Reins.

While most Republicans would give President Bush a C on his presidency, it would not be because they think he has no substance, but because they think he capitulated on too many issues to Democrats, in a fruitless attempt at bipartisanship.

3) get away from oil?

I don’t believe most of us would agree that getting away from oil is a priority. We would agree that getting away from dependence on foreign suppliers would be a good idea, but that’s a different thing. And while we might agree that eventually we should get our energy from other sources, I think we understand that fossil fuels are going to supply our economy its energy for about another 50 years — and we don’t regard that as a bad thing.

4) improve the standard of living for those who can’t afford to live while making minimum wage?’

I think most Republicans would point out that nobody is actually attempting to live on minimum wage. It’s pretty much impossible to find a job that only pays minimum anyhow, and those who do take them are not primary bread-winners, almost without exception. There is a real need for entry level jobs for new entrants into the job market, and attempting to make these pay a “living” wage rather than a wage commensurate with their true economic value results in worse conditions for the poor, not better.

5) If McCain thinks that Bush was right 90% of the time

He doesn’t. As you know, that 90% figure includes votes on resolutions to adjourn and resolutions to honor veterans, and such. By the same measure Obama agrees with Bush 40% of the time — for which reason you can only assert McCain to agree with Bush on perhaps 50% of substantive issues, which is about right. McCain bucked the Bush administration on campaign finance, education, health care, energy policy, military policy, you name it.

6) 70% of the people say the country is on the wrong track

Liberals tend to see this figure and read “70% of the people think like liberals.” This is inaccurate. A large chunk answer “wrong track” and mean “government too powerful,” “social liberalism too pervasive,” or “Washington too corrupt.” They’re disappointed with the selection of McCain, but thrilled with Palin, who represents a possible future turn in a more conservative direction.

7) Are they expecting him to force Big Oil to somehow cut oil costs?

Most Republicans would probably say that government interference and taxation is more responsible for the high oil prices than is Big Oil. They’d be correct, but neither really explains the high cost of oil all that well. That distinction goes to supply and demand, and to the balance of payments.

8 ) according to McCain, we’re headed in generally the right direction

I’d be interested in hearing where you got this assessment. McCain’s message seems to be “Washington is broken,” not “Washington needs a tune-up.”

9) do we need MORE tax breaks for the rich

Most Republicans understand at some level that “tax breaks for the rich” is simply a slogan, not an analysis, and does not describe anything that occurs in the real world.

10) our failed foreign policy

Whereas most Republicans would regard Bush as a mediocre President, most regard his foreign policy as, on the whole, successful.

11) When exactly will the American people finally recognize that the Republican strategies are complete, catastrophic failures?

Republicans who study the past understand Democratic policies to be complete, catastrophic failures, and Republican policies to be eminently successful whenever they’re actually tried — which is unfortunately rare. We take credit via Reagan’s deregulation and business-friendliness for recovery from the malaise of the 70s and the incredibly strong economy of the 80s and 90s, we take credit via the Contract For America for rescuing the poor from permanent enslavement to the government dole, we take credit via Giuliani for rescuing New York from a wasteland of crime and decay and making it a clean, functioning city again, we take credit via numerous programs for training young men and women to put of sexual excesses, we take credit via the Bush administration for preventing significant terrorist attacks against US soil these past 7 years, etc.

I don’t think your reasoning is all that bad, given your assessment of the facts. I just think your facts are wrong, on pretty much everything.

September 15, 2008 @ 3:19 pm #

I don’t have a lot of time to go through your dissertation point by point. I’ll summarize by saying that, just today, John McCain said that he believes that the economy is sound, and just needs a bit of tweaking. If I’m understanding you correctly, the problem with the economy is that there’s not enough Republican policies being enacted…? Honestly?

How exactly did you come up with that? The three things that people are being hit hardest by the unexpected increases over the past 8 years – energy prices, health insurance costs, and bank mortgage loans – are being governed by EXACTLY WHAT THE REPUBLICANS WANT, which is ‘nothing.’ The Free Market is supposed to govern itself, and in the absence of strong regulation, you get exactly this kind of economy.

And, fine, if you want to parse various shorthands that I have – like ‘tax breaks for the rich’ being defined by me as lowering the tax rates on the top earners when they aren’t the ones being affected by the day-to-day cost increases that the working poor are, thus they are free to invest in any area they see fit INCLUDING OVERSEAS which doesn’t help our economy one damned little bit – because you don’t feel like addressing the meat of the issue, then I suppose that’s what I have to live with.

One of the things I’ve noticed about GOP supporters is that they’ll nitpick the smallest details and get you bogged down in them. Straw Man arguments abound.

Fine, Phil, if you feel like the country needs MORE of Bush’s policies to be enacted in order to fix us, just come right out and say it. You feel justified in blaming the Democrats for everything, and so you’ll stand up for that.

The economy is really, truly in trouble. The Clinton economy (which you’ll undoubtedly not let me get away with calling it the ‘Clinton economy’ even though it was Clinton’s EITC expansion and targeted incentives for those companies investing in the inner cities that rebuilt our infrastructure and gave needed capital to the poorest areas of the country) was built in making sure the working poor had more capital so they could buy luxury items (PCs, etc), thus everyone actually contributed towards the economic recovery.

Gah, again, outta time. No time to edit this to make more sense, but it’s worthless anyways.

You apparently think the country is on the right track, just needs a few alterations. I really couldn’t disagree more, and I’m wondering how in God’s name you could see the state of the country and think we’re ‘close’.

September 15, 2008 @ 4:08 pm #

Ray,

I really was not trying to start an argument with you, just pointing out the different places where we see the facts differently. I’m sorry if you took offense.

energy prices, health insurance costs, and bank mortgage loans – are being governed by EXACTLY WHAT THE REPUBLICANS WANT,

This is completely false.

1) Energy prices — the result of excessive demand in the Asian rim and a weak dollar, the weak dollar being mostly due to the housing crisis and to our enormous balance of payments deficit.

1a) If we’d been permitted to develop domestic oil supply the last 35 years instead of letting it sit as the DEMOCRATS DEMANDED, both world supply and the balance of payments problems would arguably not exist — we’d be a net exporter of oil, and world supply would be much larger.

1b) Even the housing crisis is, arguably, the result of federal intrusion into housing — Fannie Mae and leftist critics forced markets to relax loan criteria in order to reduce de facto segregation by “redlining” — meaning, of course, that banks were not permitted to apply common-sense criteria to loans, but were forced by threat of civil rights lawsuit into widening loan criteria to allow marginal borrowers. Check this article and related links for support.

Corruption also plays a role here, as does investor greed and some dishonesty among both mortgage brokers and ordinary house buyers, but the main thing is the forced lending to marginal borrowers, backed by $1 trillion in funds from Fannie Mae.

2) Health insurance costs — the medical industry is by far the most heavily regulated industry in America, especially if you consider health insurance to be part of it. Health care providers are forced to accept nonsensical amounts of money for treatment of indigent patients from medicare schedules, and have to make up the difference on other clients. Insurers are forced to carry high-risk clients at normal rates, and cannot differentiate on the basis of conditions that any actuary can tell you make an enormous difference in cost to the insurer pool. Employers are forced to offer plans that nobody would even offer before the federal government required them. Drugs are artificially inflated to cover the artificially low costs forced by foreign governments. And so on and so on. There are other problems in medical care — notably, malpractice litigation needs to be brought under control, and the AMA forced to stop restricting the supply of doctors — but the first one that needs to be solved is to get the government to get it’s hands OUT OF THE MEDICAL BUSINESS.

3) Bank mortgages — see 1b above.

All three of these problems have been caused by brainless government interference.

I also don’t have time to parse the whole argument, but I want you to acknowledge the difference between “All existing governmental matters are fine, and just need tweaking,” and “The economy is sound, and just needs tweaking.”

And for the record, I think McCain is wrong about this — I think the productive capacity of the nation is fine (and that might be what McCain meant), but I think the financial markets are anything but fine. However, the correct answer to the problem is for the government to get the hell out of the way and let the stockholders who invested in crap take their losses.

Oh, yes, your EITC argument. I recall that. Ray, come on, what the HELL does the EITC have to do with INFRASTRUCTURE?????? You may have an argument in saying that the credits helped inner cities (I have my doubts) but you have no argument at all about this being the cause of the economic boom of the 90s. Credits of that sort do not create investment, they redirect it — so at best you claim that the development took place in inner cities rather than suburbs. The parts of the boom that were sound were continued from the 80s, which was Reagan’s doing, and a great deal of meaningless air was added by the inflation of internet stocks that had no value and smoke and mirrors from the Clinton administration. Elmer Fudd could have been President in 1994 and would have had a good economy.

September 15, 2008 @ 4:35 pm #

The EITC doesn’t have anything to do with infrastructure, there were dual-pronged approaches sought by the Clinton team to give tax incentives to companies that invested in the inner cities. You can read about it here, along with the obligatory whining about how it would bankrupt the economy:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n20_v45/ai_14752490

In looking for it, you’d be amazed at how many articles I found that basically said that Clinton’s policies were a recipe for disaster.

As for Elmer Fudd – that is simply crap. Clinton’s plans WORKED, by helping those poorest Americans to help the economy recover. Trickle-down can only HOPE to achieve the kinds of results Clinton did. You can stick your head in the sand and claim that Clinton had nothing to do with the economic recovery, but you’d be sadly wrong. I can’t count the number of times where they point to economic indicators when Clinton took office and say ‘See, Clinton was inheriting Bush’s economy!’ and then turn around and credit Reagan instead of Carter. Having it both ways, eh? Have to take credit for both? What a load of crap. Take a stand, either admit that the President has a direct effect on the economy, or admit that he doesn’t.

Y’know, Republicans claim to trust the people, but their policies seem to only trust the wealthy to help out the less-wealthy. And we see how well that’s working right now.

September 15, 2008 @ 7:37 pm #

I can’t count the number of times where they point to economic indicators when Clinton took office and say ‘See, Clinton was inheriting Bush’s economy!’ and then turn around and credit Reagan instead of Carter.

There are guys who do this mindlessly, but there are some of us who actually understand a little about economics, and can tell (sometimes) when a President is having an effect and when one is not.

The Reagan turnaround after the Carter administration was one of the most explicit changes in modern history, and impossible to misattribute unless you weren’t reading the newspapers. Businessmen where audibly heaving sighs of relief as Reagan took office, and expectations for the economy immediately changed for the better — not as a result of specific policies, but just because the business community expected better from Reagan. They were not disappointed, though, and his policies pretty soon had the economy ripping along and the interest rates down to sane levels. You can say “Voodoo Economics” as many times as you like, but tax cuts, deregulation, the abandonment of governmental economic fiddling (you may not remember when the government attempted to “tune” the economy through monetary and fiscal policy,) and a general “hands off” attitude produced a growing economy that did not let up until around 2001, when the dual shocks of the WTC attacks and the auditing crisis took us down. Before Reagan, it was thought that growth must always be accompanied by inflation; Reagan tossed Keynesian Economics out the window and proved that was not true.

That the success was due to Reagan’s policy is proved beyond doubt in that similar changes produced nearly identical results at the same time in Britain under Thatcher, and as a result, several European countries (and China) began privatizing their economies. This is indirectly to blame for the current oil crisis, as China was among those nations that privatized, and their economic growth is largely responsible for the inflated oil demand.

The fact that Reagan achieved this does not, of course, give one leave to attribute every economic event to Presidential politics, and certainly not to the immediate President. Reagan made watershed changes that had effects lasting 20 years; nobody’s really made such drastic changes since.

My sense of the Clinton years is that he probably lost some economic steam through tax increases, but was hamstrung enough by Congress after ’94 that he really couldn’t do much damage. My greatest complaint about the Clinton years (aside from the overt criminality, of course) is that he squandered an opportunity to make real changes in Social Security and other out-of-control spending programs, choosing instead to make the problems worse in order to create the appearance of reducing the national debt. With the economy in such good shape, we had a golden opportunity to fix SSA (as most European nations did during that period); Clinton simply blew it.

September 16, 2008 @ 12:32 am #

Phil, it seems like your extensive writings on the Oil Companies, and your replies to those like Zanzibar above, would lead me to believe that there really is no chance in the underworld that any executive in the oil industry would ever do anything wrong – the invisible hand will take care of everything.

Can I ask you an honest question…did Bush/Cheney ever reveal openly what Cheney’s “Energy Task Force” did, who was involved, and what decisions were made there? A non-partisan link to an explanation would be appreciated.

Another honest question – if an oil executive could find a way to manipulate prices on the American market, and do so without threat of prosecution or exposure, would he/she be likely to do it, sooner or later? I’m going after your willingness to admit that power corrupts, Phil.

Another question, in light of all the talk about drilling – how completely have the oil companies implemented their refining abilities and current oil fields? Is there a lot more they could do, in light of their huge subsidies they receive, with the resources they have? Nonpartisan sources, if you could.

And, on Windfall Profits – it appears that for at least 3 years running, the oil companies have been reporting record profits, while those stretched to the limits of their resources are forced to pay more at the pump. Would it be fatal to the profit motive to tax a large chunk of those profits and grant progressive relief to taxpayers, starting with the largest amount on the lowest end? Even if big oil did absolutely nothing wrong, hasn’t their fortune been akin to winning the lottery, which we approach the same way?

I really mean these questions honestly, Phil.

September 16, 2008 @ 10:53 am #

I really mean these questions honestly, Phil.

But they’re genuinely stupid questions, Jim. Nothing I’ve said, either here or anywhere else, suggests that it’s impossible for an oil executive to do anything wrong. That’s a completely unfair and illogical inference on your part.

The position I defend is that executives of any and all companies behave on the whole in a manner that’s economically sensible. This is the assumption every economist makes. Is it possible they might throw their humanity to the winds and engage in criminal activity? Sure. That’s what the SEC and the FBI are there for. That’s what auditors are there for, in fact. But we assume they do their jobs, because that’s what most people do.

What I refuse to engage in, for any reason and regardless of how deeply you attempt to disguise your false accusations and repeated violations of the 9th commandment, is assuming that oil executives are criminals. I treat them as I treat everybody else — I assume they’re of good will and good intent, and change that assessment only when I see evidence of ill will or bad intent.

You will never, ever, hear me objecting to the prosecution of an executive of any company when there’s evidence of wrongdoing. But you have to show me evidence. And no, the fact that they held a meeting behind closed doors does not constitute proof of wrongdoing, except to the extent that the closed doors themselves are wrong.

You seem intent on making me ASSUME that oil executives are guilty. I will not. Not now, not ever. It’s EVIL to do so. They’re human beings too.

And to be frank, Jim, your repeated insistence that I “admit that power corrupts” when it comes to oil executives, coupled with your repeated insistence that I accept “somebody’s got to do it” with regard to government, is a hard contradiction. Power corrupts governments, too — a great deal more reliably than it corrupts business, as it happens, because there’s no competitor to the government — but you seem immune to that possibility. Why is that?

September 16, 2008 @ 11:48 am #

I’ve worked on this idea for probably ten years, and I still can’t find anyone to disprove it.

Picture your local city, and you get a sense of where the rich and poor people live. Take a bunch of tax breaks and give those to the highest earners. Where in that city will that money be spent to help the economy? Where do they shop? And will their buying habits change? My guess is likely ‘no,’ because the highest earners HAVE NOT BEEN HIT by the economic slowdown the same way that the rest of the population has.

Now, take that same amount of tax breaks and give them to the POOREST parts of the city. (No, not ‘handouts’, so stop that argument there. If they have a job, they should get a tax break) First off, they’re more widespread, as more people take a smaller share. Now they spend that money locally. That means more profits for the mom and pop stores, and maybe they’ll be able to venture into the slighter upscale neighborhoods to purchse goods. That spreads the profits outwards from the poorer areas into the not-so-poor areas, and so on, and so on – plus, the MANUFACTURERS and CEOs will see increases as well, which brings it all the way up to – you guessed it – the SAME AREAS as the first example.

‘Trickle down’ has no way of reaching the poorest areas, while ‘bottom-up’ reaches EVERYONE.

Ask any CEO – would they rather have tax breaks for themselves, or would they rather have higher profits as more people buy their products? Higher profits means that the economy is working the way it should.

I’m no economist, but I can’t see why making a tax system that helps those who have no buying power to HAVE buying power can’t help the economy.

I’m sure we’ll hear Phil trot out the tired old ‘redistribution of wealth’ catchphrase, but I really think we’re wise enough to realize that it’s in our economy’s best interests to give people who are struggling to make ends meet a little help so they can contribute to the economy (with a scant amount of buying power) instead of taking from it (welfare/food stamps). There ARE shades of gray here, you can’t just dismiss an entire system that would undoubtedly help the ENTIRE COUNTRY’S economy because some people *might* get an extra tax break that’s disproportional to their minimum-wage earnings.

September 16, 2008 @ 12:44 pm #

Can I ask you an honest question…did Bush/Cheney ever reveal openly what Cheney’s “Energy Task Force” did, who was involved, and what decisions were made there? A non-partisan link to an explanation would be appreciated.

Honest question, my ass.

This is a prejudicial question, on the order of “when did you stop beating your wife?” It presupposes that there’s a need for the ETF to broadcast openly what it did. It plays along nicely with the 7-year political game of which this “contraversy” (in quotes because it’s one of those manufactured “scandals” which the Democrats have been inventing for 7 years as part of their efforts to do whatever is possible to ensure that Republicans never govern) is clearly part. There have been literally tens of thousands of meetings, maybe hundreds of thousands, between government offices and related businesses over the years, and the only reason we’re hearing about this one in particular is that it fits a Democrat meme regarding the Bush administration being “owned by the oil industry.”

This is partisan political CRAP, Jim. The US District Court has long since resolved the question, brought up entirely because of the anti-constitutional power games of Democrats, regarding what the Executive branch has to disclose of its normal operations, and whether the Congress is entitled to an unspecific fishing expedition. If you can’t live with their decision, go live in some nation where you’re dictator and get to make up the rules as you go along, which is what Democrats have been trying to do for the last 7 years.

Would it be fatal to the profit motive to tax a large chunk of those profits and grant progressive relief to taxpayers, starting with the largest amount on the lowest end? Even if big oil did absolutely nothing wrong, hasn’t their fortune been akin to winning the lottery, which we approach the same way?

You’re a TYRANT.

Jiminy Freaking Christmas, Jim. The oil companies make a profit, so they have a MORAL OBLIGATION to pay THE TAXPAYERS something?????????

Here’s one for you: the government has made almost TWICE AS MUCH MONEY OFF OF OIL AS HAVE THE OIL COMPANIES during the same period. Do THEY have an obligation, in your mind, to return some of their WINDFALL TAX REVENUE to the taxpayers?????????

To answer your question:

Not only would it be fatal to the profit motive to create a special tax for profits just because they seem too big to some arbitrary judge (who clearly doesn’t know jack shit about the industry), it would be fatal to liberty. It’s not your place, not Congress’ place, not the President’s place, not the Court’s place, to decide what’s too big or too small a profit to make. The government should not come running to give back the money I lost in my failed business attempt a few years ago — and it likewise should not come running to take away profits made in a cyclical business.

The profits about which you’re hyperventilating are the result of the sale of crude oil. The price of crude oil is set by the markets. The oil companies do not control crude oil prices; they’re not large enough, and do not control enough of the market. They make “windfall” profits some years, and practically zero other years, entirely at the whim of the market. A FAIR socialist plan would take windfall profits in the good years and PAY THEM COMPENSATION in the off years. What you’re proposing isn’t even fair for a socialist scheme; it’s just theft. I’ve written about this extensively elsewhere. I’m not going to repeat myself further.

September 16, 2008 @ 12:52 pm #

‘Trickle down’ has no way of reaching the poorest areas, while ‘bottom-up’ reaches EVERYONE.

I disagree, but since this is raised in the context of your comments about the impact of the EITC on the economy during the Clinton years, my only response will be that the EITC shifted a total of $3.5 billion in spending from one part of the economy to another. That’s not large enough, by at least an order of magnitude and probably two orders of magnitude, to have affected the overall growth of the economy. The source of the 90s prosperity has to have been something else.

I’ve been reading over the last 24 hours to see if I could come up with a reasonable theory of what actually produced the good economy of the early 90s. Truly, the Clinton administration did not do anything that could plausibly be credited with that success. The only thing I could come up with was that they chose not to put on the fiscal brakes when unemployment dipped below 6%, which was considered the theoretical floor up ’till then. This was a decision made by the Fed (Greenspan,) although I suspect Robert Rubin may have had a few words in the discussion. MAYBE that had a strong positive effect — but unemployment was already dropping for some reason, and I can’t see anything in the Clinton policies that account for it. NAFTA and other free trade activism — which seem like good policy choices to me — came later.

September 16, 2008 @ 1:43 pm #

“Honest question, my ass.”

If I ever step foot back in this little universe of yours again, I promise you I will do you the favor of taking your words at face value. I very much doubt you will see my example through your apparently irremovable lenses.

I honestly have never heard if the administration had revealed what it was doing with the ETF – only “none of your business.” That, and a lot of innuendo from BOTH the left, and those distrustful of government in general.

Have fun here.

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