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Mar 21 2014

Perkins: Gay Rights Will Kill the Economy!

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is a deeply ignorant man and a first class bigot and he puts both of those traits on prominent display in a recent diatribe on his radio show in which he claimed that gay rights is going to destroy the American economy. See if you can follow this breathtakingly moronic screed:

We don’t deal with the social issues. We let this president redefine the military through pushing the military, forcing the military to embrace open homosexuality, redefine the definition of marriage, we’ve weakened our military and he’s pushed his radical health care policy draining our government of the resources it needs to perform its constitutionally mandated duties, and so Russia makes a move.

As I’ve talked with General [Jerry Boykin, FRC’s vice president], the US currency being the world standard, if that’s taken away, if Russia convinces China and others to move away from the US Dollar as the international standard, here’s what happens: America is no longer able to just print money. See, no other country has been able to do what we have done in terms of $17 trillion in debt because we can just monetize the debt; Greece, their financial problem wasn’t as bad as ours but they couldn’t print more money.

We have the benefit — because everybody uses our standard, our dollar — we’re able to print more money. But as soon as people start to back away from that and there’s no confidence in the dollar, this house of cards that has been built comes tumbling down. So there goes the economy all because we ignored the morality of the issues of this administration.

So. Much. Stupid. First, he confuses two different subjects — monetizing the debt (which we do by selling treasury bills, about 25% of which are bought up by other countries, including China and Russia) and the dollar as a reserve currency (some of which is done by owning those treasury securities, but only some). And none of that has anything to do with whether we can print money or not. Second, does he really think if Russia and China did decide to stop using the dollar as a reserve currency, it would have anything remotely to do with whether we respect gay rights or not? Seriously?

And this man is running for Congress, for fuck’s sake.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Second, does he really think if Russia and China did decide to stop using the dollar as a reserve currency, it would have anything remotely to do with whether we respect gay rights or not? Seriously?

    Seriously, yes he does. But he probably thinks that his god plays a middle role, in that he will harden their hearts against holding US currency because he hates fags almost as much as Phred Felps did.

  2. 2
    Travis

    Second, does he really think if Russia and China did decide to stop using the dollar as a reserve currency, it would have anything remotely to do with whether we respect gay rights or not? Seriously?

    Of course, his opinion on this matter is stupid and they would not drop the currency due to that, but even making this argument disgusts me. I am sick and tired of people that place the economy above the rights of others. People that vote Republican because of their economic views and ignore their stance on the rights of others frustrate me to no end. Especially when in the US at least, neither party is particularly radical or likely to have policies that are anything but pro-business.

  3. 3
    sheikh mahandi

    He may be just trying to get his rubes (sorry listeners) to move to gold, so he can offload his load of worthless certificates onto them.

  4. 4
    Travis

    Actually, I should not have said neither is radical, the Republicans do have some pretty radical people in their party. But in the end both are very much tied to business. It is not as though one is actually going to radically overhaul the economy, or implement some sort of Maoist inspired Great Leap Forward despite the rhetoric some would use.

  5. 5
    D. C. Sessions

    You left out the fact that foreign purchases of US debt is currently substituting for foreign purchases of other things from us (exports) and keeping the dollar at artificially high levels — increasing unemployment.

  6. 6
    Randomfactor

    What would they move to…the ruble, which plummeted when Putin invaded Crimea?

  7. 7
    thalwen

    It’s pretty clear that the anti-gay laws in Russia are used by Putin to keep Russian minds and media away from focusing on the rather dire economic problems Russians are facing(rampant corruption, non-existent regulation, lack of jobs and housing outside the capital that border on Hunger Games level bad). But yes, Russia… and China? (really? why China?) are going to stop using the U.S. dollar as currency… because gays… yeah makes perfect sense.

  8. 8
    Synfandel

    The US dollar is clearly the favourite reserve currency worldwide, but it’s not the only one. About two thirds of allocated foreign exchange reserves are denominated in US dollars, but about a quarter are in Euros and most of the rest are in Pounds Sterling and Yen.

    This is a mixed blessing. It gives the US a slight interest rate advantage when borrowing from other countries, but at the cost of an artificially inflated dollar that tends to inhibit exports.

  9. 9
    Synfandel

    @6 Randomfactor wrote:

    What would they move to…the ruble, which plummeted when Putin invaded Crimea?

    More likely a mix of Euro, Yen, Yuan, and Rupee.

  10. 10
    sigurd jorsalfar

    Randomfactor, it’s estimated Russia has recently dumped $104.5 billion of its $139 billion holdings in US Treasuries. So it’s obviously moving to something.

    But it had an obvious reason to do so that has nothing to do with gay rights – fear of the US freezing Russian holdings of US Treasuries as a result of the Ukraine/Crimea situation.

    Note that Russian holdings pale in comparison with the $1.274 trillion held by China. Moreover China’s holdings have been increasing, so they may have been the buyers of Russian holdings.

  11. 11
    sigurd jorsalfar

    This is a mixed blessing. It gives the US a slight interest rate advantage when borrowing from other countries, …

    Japan has even lower rates. Reserve currency status has absolutely nothing to do with interest rates, which are set by the central bank of each country.

    … but at the cost of an artificially inflated dollar that tends to inhibit exports.

    Exports are a cost, imports are a benefit. The US gains massively by this arrangement.

  12. 12
    eric

    Sometimes I just love the dichotomy of Ed’s posts. Or more to the point, the inconsistency in the fundie political position as demonstrated by Ed’s posts. Back to back, we have:

    Countries moving to another currency! Obama weakening military! (This post.)

    and

    Obama consolidating power! Big US government! (Last post.)

  13. 13
    eric

    Oops, I mixed the order. Those examples refer to this post and the next post, not the previous one.

  14. 14
    ShowMetheData

    Analyzing things with “Bonkers” Boykin?? That choice will end – not so wisely.

  15. 15
    sigurd jorsalfar

    eric, why, come to think of it, it’s almost as if, in the hivemind of the fundies, Obama is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t!

  16. 16
    Synfandel

    @11 sigurd jorsalfar wrote:

    Exports are a cost, imports are a benefit.

    I’m not even sure what that means. Exports keep people employed, companies profitable, and economies prosperous. Imports drain a country’s resources.

  17. 17
    sigurd jorsalfar

    I should have clarified a bit and said it is net exports that are a cost and net imports that are a benefit.

    Net exports are a cost because the exporting country gives up its labor and raw materials to a foreign country in exchange for pieces of paper. Net imports are a benefit because a country is receiving the labor and raw materials of a foreign country in exchange for pieces of paper. Under the current system the US gets the fruits of Chinese labor in exchange for pieces of paper and electronic data entries that the US makes up out of thin air.

    Net exports keep people employed on behalf of foreigners.

    Now, exports are perfectly fair and reasonable when a country is exporting products that it does well in exchange for foreign products that it can’t make, i.e. when there is a net balance of exports and imports. But when there is a persistent imbalance, it is the exporting country that loses and the importing country that wins.

    Ultimately, since people are really just working for pieces of paper, they can be employed doing things other than manufacturing exports, and be rewarded with this work with bits of paper that the government just makes up anyway.

  18. 18
    Synfandel

    Gay rights didn’t kill the Canadian economy. We got a nice boost, starting in 2005, from same-sex-marriage tourism—Americans coming over the border to tie the knot. Rental halls, caterers, bakers, wedding planners, etc., made out like bandits.

  19. 19
    Al Dente

    Of course gay rights will kill the US economy. Think of all the bakers who won’t bake wedding cakes, all the florists who won’t deliver flowers, the churches which won’t get fees for conducting gay weddings. It’ll be ruinous.

  20. 20
    chilidog99

    So how are gay rights causing this economic meltdown again?

  21. 21
    smhll

    The quote would make just as much sense if the words were arranged backwards. Or at least if the sentences were numbered in reverse order.

  22. 22
    colnago80

    This just in, federal judge in Michigan strikes down the marriage law in that state restricting marriage to 1 man and 1 woman.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-strikes-michigans-ban-gay-marriage-23012280

  23. 23
    Trebuchet

    Gay rights didn’t kill the Canadian economy. We got a nice boost, starting in 2005, from same-sex-marriage tourism—Americans coming over the border to tie the knot. Rental halls, caterers, bakers, wedding planners, etc., made out like bandits.

    But what of the poor bakers, being forced to make gay cakes at gunpoint? Lavender guns, at that!

  24. 24
    jba55

    @6 Randomfactor:

    “What would they move to…the ruble, which plummeted when Putin invaded Crimea?”

    New Yen.

  25. 25
    dingojack

    Due to the Chinese economy softening the Yuan has dipped too. Not what I’d call a safe haven.
    Dingo

  26. 26
    Hershele Ostropoler

    I understand, sadly, why he thinks opening the military to LGB people (not trans* people yet, but hopefully we’ll get there) weakens the military. But SSM? Obamacare?

    Unless he thinks Tricare has lost its value as a recruitment tool, but … that seems to miss the real problem.

  27. 27
    Crudely Wrott

    Thank you, sigurd jorsalfar, for the most concise and easily understood explanation of international trade I have ever read. Really, thank you.

    It is much as I had thought. Human labor, including imagination and innovation, turning raw material into useful products that are useful and needful for people all over the place. Offered in exchange for pieces of paper with little numbers scribbled thereon.

    I think I understand now. What I had long suspected without educated insight turns out to be pert ‘near spot on.

    Gee. Imagine . . . Say, can we eat them papers?

    [no snark, just agonized acceptance]

  28. 28
    khms

    #17 sigurd jorsalfar

    I should have clarified a bit and said it is net exports that are a cost and net imports that are a benefit.

    Net exports are a cost because the exporting country gives up its labor and raw materials to a foreign country in exchange for pieces of paper. Net imports are a benefit because a country is receiving the labor and raw materials of a foreign country in exchange for pieces of paper. Under the current system the US gets the fruits of Chinese labor in exchange for pieces of paper and electronic data entries that the US makes up out of thin air.

    Net exports keep people employed on behalf of foreigners.

    Now, exports are perfectly fair and reasonable when a country is exporting products that it does well in exchange for foreign products that it can’t make, i.e. when there is a net balance of exports and imports. But when there is a persistent imbalance, it is the exporting country that loses and the importing country that wins.

    Ultimately, since people are really just working for pieces of paper, they can be employed doing things other than manufacturing exports, and be rewarded with this work with bits of paper that the government just makes up anyway.

    So that’s why the economy of Germany (which is very export-oriented) has been hurting so much, recently.

    Oh? It hasn’t? It has, in fact, been paying for the rest of the EU? It’s been giving us record employment figures?

    #27 Crudely Wrott

    Thank you, sigurd jorsalfar, for the most concise and easily understood explanation of international trade I have ever read. Really, thank you.

    Just be careful before you rely on it …

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