Badass Quote of the Day


David Post, who teaches law at Temple University and is a regular contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy, a group of very intelligent conservative and libertarian legal scholars, gives his two cents on the two major candidates in the presidential election. He gives Obama “a B or B+” for his performance as president, noting the economic disaster he faced when coming into office. And he has this to say about Romney:

And finally, there’s Romney. I guess there are people who think that he would have managed the last 4 years better than Obama did, but I’m sure not among them. The guy’s as light a lightweight as I can imagine – he makes Bush look like Schopenhauer. I shudder to think how he reacts when, say, Israel bombs Iran’s reactors, or Iran bombs Israel, or both, or when someone figures out how to shut down the Grid, or when war breaks out in northern Mexico, or when any of the terrible things we can’t even imagine happening actually happen. My guess is that he reacts the way Bush reacted when something he couldn’t imagine happening actually happened — Hurricane Katrina springs to mind – and it’s not a comforting thought.

Makes Bush look like Schopenhauer. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Comments

  1. says

    “Makes Bush look like Schopenhauer. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.”

    Considering Bush’s lack of intellectual curiousity, probably not.

  2. dingojack says

    In other words, Rmoney is like something conjured up during some tweenie sleep-over: ‘Light as feather, stiff as a board‘.
    Dingo

  3. Rodney Nelson says

    The thing that surprises me is not that Post is unimpressed by Romney. It’s quite obvious Mittens is not one of the intellectual lights of the political scene. Rather I’m surprised that Post gives Obama “a B or B+”. The Volokh Conspiracy is not known for holding liberals or even moderates in high regard.

  4. Michael Heath says

    President Bush 43 was obviously inept in his setting the stage for Katrina and managing through the aftermath. However I think Mr. hBush revealed himself as totally clueless when it became clear we were in a monumental financial crisis in the second-half of 2008. The books I read about this time reported he didn’t believe presidents, or even fiscal policy at the federal level, had much of an impact on the economy. So he was startled that his Treasury Secretary and other economic advisors were informing him of his obligation to act in a big way to mitigate the looming liquidity threat.

    What Mr. Bush did next was a perfect illustration of Lee Iacocca’s truism, “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way”. In this case the president prudently followed the counsel of his Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who he was lucky to have given how he’d abused his previous Treasury Secretaries – sacrificing them and the country’s interests at the altar of conservative ideology and partisan ambitions.

    Mr. Bush could have done far worse in his reaction to this crisis. Instead his Administration, working mostly with Congressional Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and The Fed, including Tim Geithner playing a key role as President of the NY Fed, actually did the right thing with TARP and some practical short-term actions like helping GM and Chrysler. That provided the next president both momentum and political space to take more long-term expansionary actions, which we know were mostly obstructed by Congressional Republicans and Republican voters.

    However this laudable reaction by the Bush White House doesn’t negate the fact we needed stimulus in Q1’08 where it took more than 15 months to get that at the federal level while state conservatives had been spending the pas couple of decades creating non-discretionary triggers that demanded the exact opposite state policies needed at the start of and during a recession – implementing austerity measures like state employee lay-offs rather than expansionary policies like a boost in infrastructure spending.

    Back to Mr. Romney; what is one to think about someone who reveals almost nothing about himself? Except that he holds all the false premises of someone living in a plutocratic Ayn Rand bubble, including the false conflation that business practice equals economic policy and is demonstrated avoidance, denial, or ignorance that economists do have a good grip on how to act in certain conditions. Conditions which are continually repeated in market economies such as ours and many others. Including lessons from this past recession both here, in China, and Europe, all of which validated economic theory as it was understood prior to the Great Recession.

    I’d argue he’ll do what he’s been doing. Whatever furthers his personal interests, which he repeatedly reveals are directly tied to a handful of business sectors and conservative Christian political objectives. Where I think these groups objectives, like ‘business as usual’ energy policy as if global warming doesn’t exist, can be predicted to be catastrophic for the entire human race, with high confidence that prediction is valid. In fact his avoidance is so deep that damage has already begun and yet he and his allies still deny that reality.

  5. slc1 says

    Re MH @ #5

    But here’s a link to a web site that lists a substantial number of economists, including 6 Nobel Prize winners in economics, who claim that Rmoney is better for the economy then Obama and are thus supporting the former. This was posted as a part of a comment on Jason Rosenhouse’s blog by someone calling himself Todd.

    I must say that the only one on the list that I happened to recognize was Prof. James Buchanan of the Mercatus Center of George Mason Un., who most economists consider something of a joke.

    http://economistsforromney.com/

  6. says

    The problem with the Nobel Prize in Economics is that I don’t think it’s by the group that deals out the other Nobels.

    And remember Milton Friedman won a nobel… Doesn’t mean ANYTHING since what followed was not acceptable…

  7. Michael Heath says

    Avicenna writes:

    The problem with the Nobel Prize in Economics is that I don’t think it’s by the group that deals out the other Nobels.

    And remember Milton Friedman won a nobel… Doesn’t mean ANYTHING since what followed was not acceptable…

    I can think of few economists of the 20th century more deserving of a Nobel than Milton Friedman, besides John Keynes.

    Monetary theory properly applied not only optimizes economic results, but also helps mitigate dysfunctional fiscal policy as we currently observe at the federal level and those states which employed austerity policies as a response to this past recession.

    While Mr. Friedman favored an over-reliance on monetary theory over fiscal policy since the latter requires an activist intervening government, we now empirically understand that monetary and fiscal policy are complementary where his prescriptions in the various parts of the business cycle were keys to our recovery in both the early-80s recessions and this last one and all the ones in-between. We can also observe Alan Greenspan’s 2003 – 2004 violations of Friedman’s explanations and the resulting catastrophe as further validation of the efficacy of monetary policy; policy prescriptions which were largely helped along by Friedman though he developed those ideas on the shoulders of previous giants.

    Isaac Newton also had some crazy ideas. To humanity’s credit we’ve abandoned Newton’s ideas on say, alchemy, while building upon both his best ideas – gravity, the laws of motion, along with his approach to finding the facts and explaining his resulting ideas.

  8. whheydt says

    Re: Michael Heath @ #5:

    So the conclusion would be that Romney would another Calvin Coolidge? Via the apocryphal quote, “The business of America is business.”

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Makes Bush look like Schopenhauer. Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

    Not for someone who (with >99% probability) doesn’t know what a Schopenhauer is.

  10. Chiroptera says

    Rodney Nelson, #4: Rather I’m surprised that Post gives Obama “a B or B+”. The Volokh Conspiracy is not known for holding liberals or even moderates in high regard.

    Has Obama been governing or taking policy positions that could be considered “liberal” by any reasonable definition of the word? ‘Cause if not, then they might be looking past the labels the nuts give him and are noting that he is taking postions that fit in their own ideology.

  11. says

    Michael Heath “Isaac Newton also had some crazy ideas. To humanity’s credit we’ve abandoned Newton’s ideas on say, alchemy…”
    Hey! Alchemy’s due for a comeback.

    Pierce R. Butler “Not for someone who (with >99% probability) doesn’t know what a Schopenhauer is.”
    He was that guy who kept a living/not living cat in a box, right?

  12. Michael Heath says

    whheydt writes:

    So the conclusion would be that Romney would another Calvin Coolidge? Via the apocryphal quote, “The business of America is business.”

    I do not perceive Mr. Romney to be pro-business. He merely poses as being pro-business and would most likely support only some business interests, probably those who would support his personal objectives.

    An authentic supporter of business at the level of president would seek to implement expansionary economic policies here and globally. They’d also work to remove barriers to entry established by those companies nearing the end of their product life cycle against competing business sectors in the early stages of their product life cycle, coal vs. solar and wind energy. They’d also be an ardent leader in the areas of education and government research. From my perspective Mr. Romney is little better than Sarah Palin on these matters, which is about as bad as you can get with the exception of Michele Bachmann.

    Fareed Zakaria regularly hosts CEOs or global investors on his Sun. morning show, GPS (“Global Public Square”). These CEOs frequently represents companies which are both global and complicated. You’d have a tough time squaring what they advocate regarding fiscal and monetary policy with the policies put forward by Mr. Romney. And the distance between what they advocate with the platform the GOP offers continues to widen.

  13. caseloweraz says

    Slc1 wrote: “But here’s a link to a web site that lists a substantial number of economists, including 6 Nobel Prize winners in economics, who claim that Rmoney is better for the economy then Obama and are thus supporting the former.”

    I was surprised to see the name of George Schultz on the list. I would have thought he was wiser than that. To me, “economists for Romney” is equivalent to “climatologists for fossil fuels” — i.e., oxymoronic.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    I guess there are people who think that he would have managed the last 4 years better than Obama did.

    Well, that’s not the choice we were given, nor does the “are you better off now than four years ago?” trope reflect our past choices. What you should ask yourself is: “are you better off now, after four years of Obama, than you would have been after four years of Grampa McCain and Sarah Barracuda?
    .
    Yes. Oh FSM, yes.

  15. says

    “Makes Bush look like Schopenhauer.”

    Love it.

    “I can think of few economists of the 20th century more deserving of a Nobel than Milton Friedman”

    Oh great, Michael Heath at it again.
    Friedman has caused a lot of economic destruction, and it’s getting worse. I doubt history will be kind. It’s an ideology, not a science. Nobel prizes for ideology are not a good idea.

    An interesting read concerning the fallout from Friedman’s ideas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shock_Doctrine

    Persusing that wikipedia entry just now, I went through the criticisms to see if there was something credible. I love this one:

    In the London Review of Books, Stephen Holmes criticizes The Shock Doctrine as naïve, and opines that it conflates “‘free market orthodoxy’ with predatory corporate behaviour.”

    So, Klein is guilty of confusing the ideology of free markets with what corporations actually do when left unregulated. Splitting that hair makes no difference down on the ground.

  16. Michael Heath says

    dsmmcoy writes:

    Friedman has caused a lot of economic destruction, and it’s getting worse. I doubt history will be kind. It’s an ideology, not a science.

    Monetarism is merely an ideology? Where did you get your formal education in economics and finance? Did that university concur with your assertion? Do you assert Paul Volcker and Ben Bernanke are merely ideologues and also not practicing economic theory?

  17. slc1 says

    Re caseloweraz

    I didn’t actually look at the entire list, concentrating on the Nobel Prize winners in economics. I responded to Mr. Todd by noting that 68 Nobel Prize winners in science endorsed Obama. He brushed that off by stating that economists were more expert in economics then biologists, apparently ignorant of the fact that there are no Nobel Prizes in biology. At this point, I saw nothing to be gained by engaging in a pissing contest with Mr. Todd, who is quite obviously a Rethuglican troll. However, I could have argued that physicists are more likely to understand economics then are economists likely to understand string theory.

  18. slc1 says

    Re dsmccoy @ #16

    We could also point out the late Prof. Friedman’s association with the Fascist regime of Pinochet in Chile, for whom he provided economic advice.

  19. comfychair says

    Michael Heath @ #17:

    Yes, an indictment of Freidman’s ideology is exactly the same as calling all of monetarism an ideology. Sheesh.

  20. Michael Heath says

    comfychair writes:

    Yes, an indictment of Freidman’s ideology is exactly the same as calling all of monetarism an ideology. Sheesh

    A careful reading of what I responded to and what you do here has me comfortable you’re the one avoiding how Friedman relates to Monetarism and exactly what was written which I rebutted. So I find what you write here is a misrepresentation of what was both written by others and what I wrote in response.

    I never claimed the two were the same, in fact I pointedly argued we can accept Friedman’s enormous accomplishments towards Monetary policy and discard what he argued which is defective. But the people who disagree act towards him here, just like so many in this forum act towards Ronald Reagan, though laudably – not Ed. And that’s the idea that they’re both evil all the time. That we can never recognize the fact, and it is a fact, both actually had some successes that benefited humanity. No, we must always relentlessly change the subject and point out their failures and defects, we must continuously deny the reality both did some great good as well.

  21. slc1 says

    Re comfychair @ #21

    Let’s examine MH’s comment about Reagan and Friedman. German dictator Frankenberger also had some positive accomplishments in the 1930s in Germany. He built the autobahn, set up the Volkswagen company, and greatly reduced unemployment in Germany (he did a lot better in that regard then Roosevelt did in the US).

  22. dingojack says

    SLC (#19) – “…However, I could have argued that physicists are more likely to understand economics then are economists likely to understand string theory”.

    ‘Messieurs Dunning and Kruger to courtesy phone please…’

    :D Dingo

Leave a Reply