Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The morning after


Notice that the commentors who endorse Obama never actually defend his policies. They don't argue that his economic policy or his foreign policy have been successful in any meaningful way, because obviously they can't.

As far as the "let's show some class" stuff, what can I say. I won't lie. I think that this is a catastrophe. Actually, Obama's victory is a symptom of a catastrophe, rather than the catastrophe itself.

The real catastrophe is the emerging majority of takers. They just want stuff, and they'll vote for anyone who promises to take it from people who make it. It's the root of the economic collapse of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc. 

It is socialism, and it works, until you run out of other people's (and China's) money.

What happens when socialism in a democracy collapses, which it must, because it is a parasite that kills its host? We don't know yet for sure, but the riots in Greece suggest that civic disintegration begins. 

So what happens after civic disintegration from economic collapse? Weimar and the Kerensky government found out. You get more socialism, without the smiley face.


  1. I am sure Limbaugh's charge against Fluke were very helpful in this campaign. The GOP is the party of stupid.

  2. Don't be surprised. We all know that Obama is a Muslim atheist.

  3. America did not go into debt giving our people Free Stuff; we went into debt to pay for wars and bank bailouts. Obama did this to us, but so did his predecessor.

    I'm assuming that what you're upset about is Obama's tax plan. (I can't find much else, policy-wise, to distinguish him from Romney.) And curious as to how you would respond to bachfiend's suggestion (in an earlier thread) that trickle-up makes more sense than trickle-down, given that the poor tend to spend a greater portion of their income, and thus stimulate economic growth more effectively.

    1. Wars and bank bailouts didn't help but we're spending about a trillion a year on handouts. The real unfunded mandates are medicare and social security which amount to more money than exists on the entire planet.

      You can't find much else, policy-wise to distinguish him from Romney? Wow, you're not very astute.


  4. Our debt is not the same thing as out deficit. Our debt is 16 trillion dollars, and it will lead to economic collapse. The responsibility belongs to many of us, but Obama is an exemplar of a demagogue who promises us all sorts of stuff while letting our country go bankrupt.

    The deficit was not caused by war. Iraq didn't cost $16 trillion. And the unfunded liability of medicare and social security is in the range of 100 trillion. Ryan offered a solution to the pending catastrophe. Americans told him to go to hell.

    I don't know what bach is talking about with his trickle up crap. I don't believe in class warfare of envy or socialism, on which "trickle" metaphors are based.

    I believe in free markets and capitalism, with some modest protections to prevent monopolies. Government is the biggest monopoly, and we are surrendering to it.

    1. What he's talking about is that you have to have people who can buy the stuff that other people make, or the stuff just sits there. Stimulating demand is how you end a recession. But since you know nothing about science, history or politics I guess it's not suprising you didn't know that either.


    2. In the USA, $16 trillion divided by 314,724,000 gives $50,838 per capita.


      In Canada the dept per capita is $17,057. In Quebec, province of Canada, the dept per capita is $32,240.
      $17,057 + $32,240 = $49,297 per capita.


      Help, I am being Euronize!

  5. Ryan offered a solution to the pending catastrophe.

    No he didn't. He offered a "plan" that wasn't a plan. It was a plan to make a plan. It promised large volumes of cuts, but was completely silent as to what he would actually cut. And while on the campaign trail, Romney and Ryan proceeded to put "off the table" every aspect of Federal spending that could plausibly serve to make those promised illusory cuts real.

    As far as defending Obama's policies, I'll go with The Economist -

    "On the economy, the most powerful argument in his favour is simply that he stopped it all being a lot worse. America was in a downward economic spiral when he took over, with its banks and carmakers in deep trouble and unemployment rising at the rate of 800,000 a month. His responses—an aggressive stimulus, bailing out General Motors and Chrysler, putting the banks through a sensible stress test and forcing them to raise capital (so that they are now in much better shape than their European peers)—helped avert a Depression."

    "Two other things count, on balance, in his favour. One is foreign policy, where he was also left with a daunting inheritance. Mr Obama has refocused George Bush’s “war on terror” more squarely on terrorists, killing Osama bin Laden, stepping up drone strikes (perhaps too liberally, see article) and retreating from Iraq and Afghanistan (in both cases too quickly for our taste). After a shaky start with China, American diplomacy has made a necessary “pivot” towards Asia."

    "The other qualified achievement is health reform. Even to a newspaper with no love for big government, the fact that over 40m people had no health coverage in a country as rich as America was a scandal. “Obamacare” will correct that, but Mr Obama did very little to deal with the system’s other flaw—its huge and unaffordable costs."

    Now, for anyone who thinks Romney would have repealed "Obamacare", you're just living in a fantasy land. Romney promised to repeal the portions of the AHCA that pay for the program, but leave intact all of the portions that hand out benefits. Exactly how would this have been fiscally responsible? Romney proposed vast amounts of spending - a larger Navy for example - but at the same time proposed policies that would reduce Federal revenue. How would that have balanced the budget?

    You say that Iraq didn't cost $16 trillion. That is correct, but insipid. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the U.S. between $3.5 and $4 trillion. The financial bailout cost about $3.3 trillion net after repayments are accounted for. That's almost half of the current Federal debt. Pretending that the debt is the result of giving people "free stuff" is mendacious. But then again, that's pretty much par for the course for you.

    1. Michael,

      I don't actually agree with 'trickle up', certainly not 'trickle down' economics. The point I was making in the previous thread was that Romney's policies, as far as were known, would have been a disaster in the current economic situation.

      The New Statesman noted that if Romney cut government spending by a quarter and welfare by an even larger amount, it would be exactly what David Cameron did in Britain in 2010, which precipitated a double dip recession. And actually worsened the government's financial position and increased the deficit.

      America's economy has been growing, albeit slowly, for two years. Romney would have put this into peril. You will need to do something about spending and taxation at some time in the future, but not now, while the economy is in a dire state.

      If you're trying to stimulate the economy to get growth and pay down the deficit, the best way of doing it is to distribute some money to people who are going to spend it locally ie the poor and less well off. Australia managed to come through the GFC reasonably well. One of the government's measures was to 'give' 'everyone' a credit of $700 or $1000 (I don't know how much it was, because it was means tested, and my income was too high) to be spent as desired.

      I laugh at your concern at the amount of tax you pay. Last financial year, I paid $42000 income tax on a taxable income of $146,000 (around 28%), and I personally consider myself to be extremely well off. How much tax do you pay?

  6. Replies
    1. That's rich...

      And excuse me while I look through those images of gorgeous women to the right of that article...

  7. As an outsider, one cannot help but be struck by the images of the electoral map.
    The sheer size nature of the regions that supported Romney compared to that which supported to Obama. When one looks at the individual riding/districts it becomes even more pronounced.
    The North East and California RULE the United States; and they rule from afar (ideologically).
    But even within the NE you can see a mass of red with a thin strip of blue running through it. The bastion of the blue seemed to be the West Coast with it's extremely high votes (55 for California), but again in the districts this becomes less distinct.
    Crazy stuff, folks. But I suppose this game of chess is what you folks call politics.
    For my own part, I wish you all the best on moving ahead.
    I hope compromise is in the wind, and that your President means what he says about 'reaching across the aisles'.
    Two things I will be watching very closely: Israel and the pipeline.

    1. The North East and California RULE the United States; and they rule from afar (ideologically).

      That's because That's where most of the people live. The big square states in the middle of the country, the ones with 3 electoral votes, they are even emptier than you think.

    2. >>I hope compromise is in the wind, and that your President means what he says about 'reaching across the aisles'. <<

      He doesn't.


    3. Anon,
      I have driven right across the US heartland more times than I can remember. I have family in the SE and SW of the US. They are nowhere near empty and deserve MUCH more of a say.
      Some damn big towns, huge agriculture, energy industry, and military installations.
      Mark my words: This is an issue that will polarize the US people in a way not seen since the 19th century, and NEEDS to be addressed.
      Nothing pissed people off more than being told their vote is worth-less.
      Hopefully Mr Obama sees this and is willing to work with the states to fix/update it. Time to get into the 20th century, at least....
      As a side nice to see Colorado and Washington vote to abolish prohibition on Cannabis. It was a dumb idea from the start.
      Let's just see how the feds react.

    4. They are nowhere near empty and deserve MUCH more of a say.

      Any state that has three electoral votes already has much more of a say than a direct count of their population.

      Why? A state gets a number of electoral votes equal to their total Congressional representation. Two of a state's Congressional representatives are Senators. Every state gets two. The rest of members of the House, which are divided by population, and every state gets at least one. Every state that has three electoral votes has three electoral votes because they have 700,000 or fewer inhabitants, and as a result get only one representative in the House.

      California has 45 electoral votes because it has enough population to have 43 representatives in the House. Wyoming gets three electoral votes because it only has a population of 540,000 people. In fact, the voters of Wyoming, on a per capita basis, already have a greater say than the voters of California, because of the impact of the Senate-based electoral votes.

      Those states that occupy a huge area but have only a tiny handful of electoral votes are big and empty, no matter what your anecdotal experience tells you. California has a population of about 37.5 million. That's three times as much as the population of Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, Utah, and Kansas combined.

    5. Keep on telling yourself its working fine, Anon.
      Keep on calling the breadbasket and industrial heartland 'empty'.
      Keep on flying over the 'fly over' states.
      Let's just hope they don't fly off on their own or your urban experience will become a very hungry one.
      Now I know what Romney meant by 'takers'.

    6. California is the "breadbasket". It has twice the agricultural production as any other state. Number two is Texas. Both seem to get plenty of attention.

    7. Keep on calling the breadbasket and industrial heartland 'empty'.

      Which part of the U.S. do you think is both that strip of red running through the middle of the country and the "breadbasket and industrial heartland"?

      The industrial heart of the U.S. is more or less Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and to a lesser extent a few other states like North Carolina. Those are the states that derive a substantial percentage of the state GDP from manufacturing. Those states were all "blue" in this election except North Carolina. They were all heavily campaigned in by both candidates. How is their voice not being heard? Not only that, they don't fit anywhere in your "red states dominated by the Northeast and California" scenario.

      What do you think is the "ignored breadbasket"? The top three states in agricultural production are California, Texas, and Iowa. Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida are all in the top ten. All were heavily campaigned in. Most went to the Democrats. The four in the top ten that didn't go to the Democrats were Texas, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Kansas. Of those four, North Carolina was heavily campaigned in, and Texas is a dominant force in Republican politics. Explain what you mean when you say the "breadbasket" is being ignored.

      Now, let's pretend that you didn't just make a fool out of yourself talking about the "ignored red states" that make up the "breadbasket and industrial heartland" and look at the actual red states in the West. States like, say Nebraska, which has five electoral votes and a population of 1.8 million. Doing a little math we find out that Nebraska has one electoral vote per 360,000 citizens. California has 45 electoral votes and 37.5 million citizens. That means that California has one electoral vote per 830,000 citizens. In a presidential election, a Nebraska voter counts 2.3 times as much as a California vote. The Nebraska voters already have "much more of a say" than California voters. How much more of a say do you think they should have?

      It's even worse in the Senate. Both California and Nebraska have 2 Senators. That means California has one Senator per 18.75 million citizens. Nebraska has one Senator per 900,000 citizens. In the Senate, a Nebraska voter's voice is twenty times as powerful as a California voter's voice. And you sit there and claim that the Nebraska voters need "MUCH more of a say". To which I say, you're simply nuts.

      Now I know what Romney meant by 'takers'.

      You mean like those "red" states you think deserve a bigger voice? The ones for whom the federal government provides more than it takes out? Those "red" states that you think need a bigger voice are dependent upon handouts from the government: cheap leases of federal land, agricultural subsidies, and other programs.

    8. Anon,
      Looks like the spam filter took out my original and somewhat curt (if precise) response.
      Let me be clear: I owe you no explanations.
      In fact, the specific reasons for my feeling like a critical mass has been reached are not for public consumption.
      But I will respond in a small measure for the benefit of other readers.

      1. By ignoring the central states (and worse), I mean ignoring the central states. Your language is pregnant with contempt for these regions and the people who live in them. They are not deaf to that, and they know you are not alone in your sentiments.

      2. Bread is not made from grapes, winter strawberries, tomatoes or citrus. Cattle and hog farms do not use sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, guacamole, or grapefruit for feed.

      3. Your population argument self negates your California-feeds-the-world argument.

      4. Lastly your invective is not only ineffective, but boring and juvenile.
      Perhaps impotent would be the correct descriptive.

      Any points I have not responded to are either a)a subject I am not at liberty to discuss or b)utterly irrelevant to my original point.

    9. In fact, the specific reasons for my feeling like a critical mass has been reached are not for public consumption.

      Your specific reasons are likely completely idiotic, as evidenced by the ignorant nature of your responses.

      1. By ignoring the central states (and worse), I mean ignoring the central states. Your language is pregnant with contempt for these regions and the people who live in them. They are not deaf to that, and they know you are not alone in your sentiments.

      Which central states are being ignored? Ohio? Iowa? Wisconsin? Most of the states with substantial manufacturing or agricultural output (which seems to be the shibboleth you are waving about) get plenty of attention.

      Let me put it to you this way: Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin each got more attention in the election, and get more attention generally, than California or New York or Texas. Because they are states that could go either way. But that's more or less beside the point, because the "industrial heartland" and "breadbasket" of the country is comprised of some red states, and some blue states. And the big strip that runs up the middle that consistently votes "red" has a much greater say than any other system of government would.

      If you want to see those states sink to complete irrelevance, abolish the electoral college. There aren't enough voters living in those states to make it worth a candidate's time to fly over them in a popular election. Or switch the U.S. to a parliamentary system and watch them all disappear in national elections. The current U.S. system ensures that those states remain relevant, despite their minimal populations, by giving them a voice vastly out of proportion to their numbers.

      2. Bread is not made from grapes, winter strawberries, tomatoes or citrus. Cattle and hog farms do not use sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, guacamole, or grapefruit for feed.

      Right, it is made from wheat, and sometimes corn or other grains. Corn is grown in places like Iowa and Illinois. Cattle and hog farms are not exclusive to places like Wyoming and Montana. The largest producers of livestock in the U.S. are California and Texas. Five of the top ten livestock producers in the U.S. were "blue" states (California, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado), and five were "red" (Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, North Carolina, and Arkansas). Notice something there? Only two of those states were in that "red" group in the middle of the country that you erroneously think doesn't have enough of a voice.

      And wheat? The top ten wheat producers in the U.S. are all over the electoral map: Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Washington, and Texas, for example, are all in the top ten. Do you think Minnesota isn't getting enough say for some reason?

      3. Your population argument self negates your California-feeds-the-world argument.

      California produces $31 billion of agricultural produce annually. Montana produces $2 billion. Who is doing more to feed the country again?

      And I see that you seem to not understand math, because if you did, you'd understand that those people you are worried about have a massively disproportionate say in the running of the United States.

      4. Lastly your invective is not only ineffective, but boring and juvenile.

      Your claims that the "center of the country" isn't getting a big enough voice is demonstrably untrue. I am always amused when people who don't know what they are talking about whine when their ignorance is exposed.

  8. Anti-Mormon bigotry far exceeded the non-existent problem of anti-black bigotry.

    22 percent of Americans declare openly that they would not vote for a Mormon.

    I'm only half serious here.


    1. What's the problem? Why would anyone vote for a guy who lives in an alternate reality?

  9. All right liberals. In 2008, the national debt was about ten trillion. Obama called this immoral and promised to cut it in half in his first administration. It's now 16 trillion. If he halves it during his next administration (ha! ha! ha!) it will be back down to eight trillion. I expect he'll add another eight trillion or so.

    What are we going to do about this? Any ideas?


    1. Pay attention, Joey.

      Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, not the debt. He cut the deficit from $1.4 trillion down to $0.9 trillion. Not quite in half, but close.

  10. Relax, folks.

    In the state Mitt Romney governed, it's now legal to smoke medical marijuana at your same-sex wedding (so long as you buy health insurance).


  11. Don't you wish you could take some kind of morning after pill that would make it like last night never happened?