Tag Archives: Economic “Logic”

Matthew Yglesias is an Idiot

Today, I’ve decided to highlight more economic stupidity.

Here is something from one Matthew Yglesias (whose name I always want to spell Yggdrasil). He is the economic “expert” for Slate magazine. In other words, he is paid solely to “think”* and write about economics. Some of you may also know that Matt is a vulgar Keynesian of the Krugmanite variety. You could almost call him a lesser Krugman.** Because of his vulgar Keynesian, Yglesias has never met a government program and government spending he does not support (except when it inconveniences him personally).***

With that small introduction to this professional master of economics, we can turn to what he wrote recently on Amtrak:

In the main part of the country where people actually ride intercity trains and where intercity trains form an important part of the transportation infrastructure, we have operating profits. In a decent national rail policy, those operating profits could finance infrastructure improvements in the northeast corridor where rail is important and useful. Everyone knows that the Acela is a joke version of high-speed rail by European or Asian standards, and there’s a lot that could be done incrementally to improve that with upgraded rolling stock and targeted improvements to straighten tracks or improve tunnels and grade crossings. Instead we’re stuck in a dynamic where all these trains are running in places where nobody rides them and the local voters and elected officials aren’t supportive and Amtrak ends up sigmatized for its dependence on federal subsidies. But operating passenger rail where people want to ride intercity trains turns out to be perfectly viable without huge subsidies. And it could do a much better job of serving the needs of the communities where rail is useful and valued if those operating surpluses were used to cover infrastructure costs rather than soaked away covering operating losses elsewhere.

It’s almost like the train system could benefit from being put in places where people value it and not put in places where people do not want to use it.

This train system would make excess operating surpluses from extracting fares from people who value it. These fares could then go to whomever decided to provide the trains as an incentive to provide trains where needed. The provider of trains could use these surpluses to profit himself and to reinvest in more and better trains for greater surpluses in the future.

If only we could think of a system where people with resources, incentivized by the possibility of profiting off of providing trains, would invest those resources in providing trains in places people valued them in exchange for being able to take an operating surplus from collected fares. It would solve all our train system problems and the government wouldn’t even need to subsidize the train system, saving those tax dollars for something more important, like buying homeless people heroin.

Where, oh where, could the government possibly find a system like this?

What kind of system could possibly cause people to invest resources in providing valued services to others in an efficient manner solely so they can profit from operating surpluses?

A system that utopian must be impossible to create. I guess we must all suffer by paying taxes for trains no one uses.

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In case you’re oblivious, that was sarcasm.

There wasn’t much of a point to this post, but this: Matthew Yglesias is an idiot.

I would generally use some superlatives here, but I don’t think my limited writing talents could possibly do justice to his ignorance, as his stupidity is positively Krugmanite.

If his head wasn’t rammed so far up his vulgar Keynesian ass, the supremely obvious solution to this supposed quandary might be able to penetrate his inordinately thick skull and he might actually be of some use other than as a paid stooge of the internet wing of the Cathedral press corps.

On the other hand, if his head wasn’t buried so deep in his rectum that methane and anaerobic bacteria were his primary means of subsistence, Slate wouldn’t hire him for the cushy job of confirming idiot liberals’ a priori emotional beliefs with a few hundred daily words of scientific-sounding economic nonsense.

So, maybe he’s smarter than I thought.

I wish I got paid for the nonsense I write and the Cathedral probably pays better than anonymous blogging.

Maybe I should start writing academic-sounding blather that validates the unthinking prejudices of the economically illiterate and makes them feel smart.

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* In this case, the word ‘think’ is used in the loosest definition of the term possible.

** Yes, I know you’re wondering if it is actually possible for there to be a something intellectually lesser than Paul Krugman since he became a paid shill for the Cathedral in the NYT. In this case lesser refers to popularity with fools and usefulness to the Cathedral rather than to any intellectual or analytical (in)abilities.

*** Hint: The definition of a bad government program in the Coocooland of vulgar Keynesianism is any that is personally inconvenient to a liberal shill. The definition of a good government program is any that increases the power of government but does not inconvenience a vulgar Keynesian or a friend of the same.

Lightning Round – 2012/10/17

Read this post. Ian knocks it out of the park on Happily Ever After.
Related: The boomers destroyed traditional society, now, they reap the consequences.
Related: Childless women are miserably happy.
Related: Twu Wuv and game.

Feminist realizes traditional courtship is pretty good.
Related: 5 dates; what a lucky guy.
(Dude, if you somehow come across this: RUN NOW).
Related: Said feminist was a fraud.
Related: Feminist sex is a fraud.

Manosphere news: In Mala Fide has returned as an archive. It starts well.
More News: Congrats to the Captain.

When civil society dies, people will vote for their own self-interest.

Men are trained to be more afraid of fighting than of being hurt.

Violence is ok if it’s anti-ideological. Only sick people have ideology.

“One wonders if there’s a high correlation between “Angry Radical Leftists” and “Folks Who Don’t Get Math” ?”

Educated women’s contempt for men.
Related: Another article on snark; humour for the mentally enfeebled (when used in excess).
Related: A women mistakes feminist snark for humour.

Florida gets itself race-based academic goals.
GL Piggy comments.
Elusive Wapiti comments.
Related: I agree with France on the no homework thing, but their reason is idiotic.
Related: Education is not scalable.

Men struggle in marriage; the MSM is almost catching on.
Even the NYT notices it (in Italy).

How the destruction of marriage effects the welfare state.
Related: Bread and circuses.
Related: Is it really a win if the other team forfeits?

40% of every small business dollar goes to regulations.
Related: Thank you ADA.
Related: This guy is a total bastard.

“Nagging begot the Nanny State on Steroids.”

Women spend more on health care. Am I ever surprised.

The moral case for capitalism.
Related: An economics experiment.

Oh California

The MSM, only a few months behind the Captain. Some day they’ll catch up.

Society is of women, civilization is of men.
Related: Cliques are for high school girls, not men.

The manosphere loves women by saving them from themselves.

SMP is harsh for both men and women. You can’t always get what you want.
As this guy exemplifies.
So does this women.

A man’s virginity is worth 1/100th of a woman’s. Colour me surprised.

Confidence in self-destructive choices.

What she doesn’t see, is that women enjoying womanly things is anti-feminist.

Amanda Todd was the result of a sick society. No legislation or anti-bullying will rectify this.
Related: How our schools train narcissists.

Why some parents hate parenting.

The purpose of psychiatric medication? No riots in DC.

What happens when you screw over a generation.

Science: This is kinda cool. Wonder what Koanic would say about the Denisovans?

Slowly, but surely, the MSM is coming to accept the science.

Fat is not only unhealthy, it will lower your testosterone.

The drug war explained in a single chart.

Only an over-educated, intelligent idiot could possibly believe the deficit is too small.
Only a liberal could believe we have too little debt.
Related: Krugman is a dishonest liberal shill, just like most “Keynesians”.
Related: Keynesianism just means spending.

Some thoughts from Nassim Taleb, an intellectual I actually respect.

Thomas Sowell, another intellectual I respect, shreds Obama.

That is hilarious. How do some people function in society?

Remember, Southerners, Republicans, and conservatives are racist.

4% of Americans get a “free” cell phone from the government.

Oh, for when Britain was free. How far she has fallen.

There has been no warming since 1997.

The UN needs to go.

Walmart gets into banking. Could be a game-changer.

How libertarians and alt-righters feel about the election:

(H/T: Maggie’s Farm, Instapundit, SDA, the Captain, Save Capitalism, Mojo, Patriactionary, Dalrock, the Hunt, GLP)

Lightning Round – 2012/10/10

A salute to conventional wisdom.

Destroying our kids, one drug at a time.
Related: John Dewey is one of the worst Americans ever.

If she’s had sex before marriage, she’s probably had better sex before she married you.
Related: Ruined by 5 minutes of alpha.

Debasing marriage.
Related: Peter Pan Manboys.
Related: Mark Minter on marriage. Nihilism in action.
Related: The importance of marriage. Part 2.

Feminist responds to Aurini. Can’t handle red pill; calls him a monster;.
Aurini responds.

The Bible: the original Red Pill.

Some brides are just disgusting.

Most women aren’t worth chivalry.

No dating relationship should last 9 years.

Game Theory: The Axioms of Game.

The misandry bubble has popped. The anti-feminism bubble is beginning.

Boomers and the War on the Young.

SAT Data: Boys score better, even though girls do better in school.

The manosphere is for men.

The good guys win one.

Female doubts about a marriage lead to divorce (men’s don’t).

Science: Slowly destroying egalitarianism brick by brick.

Better strength than smarts.

Frost contemplates being back home.

As I’ve written before: child care is not economical.

Cool. I hate the phone, but I hate texting even more.

Why liberals are ugly redux. The original.

Society requires old men to be dangerous.

The decline occurs because society is corrupt at every level.

Liberal economics. We trade “leadership” for stuff.

Estonia: Austerity works. Screw you Krugman.
So did Reagenomics. Screw Keynesianism.

Producer tells the truth. Leftists freak out.

Alternatives to tough luck for libertarians.

Socialism in action. Good food banned in schools.

I hate the phrase “correlation doesn’t equal causation“. It is almost always used as an intellectual cop-out by people who don’t understand it.

The miracle of photoshop.

Hehe… Tolerant leftists and dating conservatives.

Striking is for ignoramuses without self-respect.

How it feels to be smart. I’m not quite as smart as the writer, but his observations seem about right.

(H/T: SDA, Maggie’s Farm, Bitter Babe, 3MM, the Captain, Instapundit, Shining Pearls, RWCAG)

Lightning Round – 2012/10/03

The science of the rationalization hamster.

Dalrock takes the enemies of marriage in the church to task.

Penis size and science.
The important point: am I bigger than average for my country?
Answer: yes. Boo-yah!

Wow. A good look into the mind of the unhappy modern feminist if you can stomach the entitlement, pointlessness, and poor writing quality. It reads like she just vomited her stream of consciousness on the page.
Wouldn’t she make the best wife?
Aurini administers the truth pills.

A leftist swallows a red pill.
He just needs to swallow some more.

The manosphere is growing. I’ve noticed a lot of new blogs popping up since my relatively new blog started.

Bill is encouraged.
I offer more encouragement.
So do Matt and Aurini.
Bill responds.

Better to have guts than brains.
Related: Sometimes you have to ignore the big picture.

Taking away the rights of women is affirmative action for betas.
A response. The game has been rigged, but most men don’t deserve marriage.
Related: Men today are soft.

Up the Alpha.
Related: The Perfect Man.

She’ll be happier if she does the housework.

The heart is deceitful above all things.

Sheltering your children may leave them as prey.

There is hope for the future.

What love is.

How to end up with a frigid cow of a wife.

Some science: concealed ovulation.

Some freedom pills are dolled out to those who wish to partake.
Related: Remember when dissent was patriotic.
Related: This guy does.

What’s wrong with the Koch brothers?

Maybe libertarians are aspies.

Former Obama Administrator for the NYT: We need death panels.
No kidding. You mean someone has to decide how to ration health care or costs will become unsustainable? Really? Are the people at the NYT retarded? Or am I insulting retards? We all told them this would happen. Idiots.

Calling this guy a jackass is an insult to jackasses.

Hmmm

Female economists are more likely to support government intervention. Surprising.

What this election is about.

The tribe of liberty needs to stand united.

Why leftists are ugly.

Which colour-coded tribe do you support?
Related: A funny video.

There are probably some lessons to learn here.
There have to be lessons here somewhere. (Irony).

All that spending sure helped those kids. Glad our tax dollars were well spent.
Related: You could buy two houses in Detroit instead.
Related: “the youngest children among U.S. kindergartners (those born in August) were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and twice as likely to take ADHD medications as the oldest kindergartners studied (those born in September)”
Related: One guy realizes the damage he did much too late.

Resurrect the Kalmar Union.

(H/T: Instapundit, SDA, the Captain)

Lightning Round – 2012/09/19

SSM comments on the search for the male unicorn. Also, comment of the week.

Elihu studies sex and the Bible. He then tries  attempts to rationalize fornication, but Pode thoroughly rebuts in the comments.
Related: SSM thoroughly studies the matter.
Related: Roissy discovers that abstinence leads to marital happiness.
Related: MGTOW and the Bible.
Related: Another classic MGTOW article. (Link for closed blog).

The psychology of the nanny state.

The insanity of the those dependent on the state.

Bill writes on envy.

Rather than be envious, learn how to succeed.

The failings of conservatives.

University: Sheer nonsense.

A rare moment of truth.
Related: It’s offensive to point out the truth.
Related: It sure is.
Related: 1/16 people is on disability.

The federal debt is designed to keep you in chains.

The finances of a dying superpower.
Related: The foreign policy of a dying superpower. Related.

No one is safe from family court.

The mortgage cops can come for you as well.

Even letting your kids play outside can lead to being jailed.

Krugman’s a jackass.

Speaking of poor economics, the poor are not as poor as assumed.

Most food allergies are fake. Surprising.

Greenpeace should be tried for crimes against humanity.
Related: That’s a nice pic.

Don’t trust “experts“.

(H/T: Maggie’s Farm, the Captain, Instapundit, SDA, Vox)

Liberal Economic Stupidity

Today, I am going to comment on two pieces of economic stupidity from liberals.

The first piece is from a Democracy Now! interview with Matt Taibbi (h/t: Clarissa), in which he writes:

Well, Mitt Romney is really the representative of an entire movement that’s taken over the American business world in the last couple of decades. You know, America used to be-especially the American economy was built upon this brick-and-mortar industrial economy, where we had factories, we built stuff, and we sold it here in America, and we exported it all over the world. That manufacturing economy was the foundation for our wealth and power for a couple of centuries. And then, in the ’80s, we started to transform ourselves from a manufacturing economy to a financial economy. And that process, which, you know, on Wall Street we call financialization, was really led that-sort of this revolution, where instead of making products, we made transactions, we made financial products, like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. We created money through financial transactions rather than building products and selling them around the world. And that revolution was really led by people like Mitt Romney. And the advantage of financialization, from the point of view of the very rich and the people who run the American economy, is that it was extremely efficient at extracting wealth and kicking it upward, whereas the old manufacturing economy had the sort of negative effect of spreading around to the entire population. In the financialization revolution, you can take all of the money, and you don’t have to spread it around with anybody. And Mitt Romney was kind of a symbol of that fundamental shift in our economy.

Now, this kind of argument is made all the time by liberals: that evil businesses and bankers are destroying the manufacturing sector and traditional blue-collar jobs.

The problem is its wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, the traditional blue-collar model is dying in North America, but the left has the culprit wrong. If they want to see why it is dying, they only need to look in the mirror.

The manufacturing economy is dying because of government overregulation, pushed by liberals. Between an increasingly harsh regulatory environment, brutal taxation levels, the manipulation of local zoning regulations, corrupt unions, political interference, etc., etc. the left has made it all but impossible for blue-collar industry to thrive.

As the Captain has written: capital flight is a built-in feature of socialism.

If you make it impossible for industrialists to create industry in North America, do not be surprised when no industry is created in North America.

As just one example of the war leftists are engaging on blue collar industry, we can look to the Keystone XL Pipeline. The US recently had a perfect opportunity to create thousands of traditional blue-collar jobs. Canada was practically begging the US to allow this pipeline to be built through the US and TransCanada had plans drawn up and was ready to build. XL would have created 20,000 jobs and huge revenues for both Canada and the US. It never happened. Why?

Because a bunch of idiot leftists protested it and the government killed it.

This is not an isolated event.

I lied earlier; I’m going to provide more than one example,  to show it’s not just oil pipelines. Let’s look at a few examples of random blue-collar industries:

I could go on forever, but why bother. The simple fact is, at every step, across every industrial sector, leftist ideologues are trying their damnedest to destroy any industry here in North America.

These ideologues have created a government of over-regulation and over-taxation that is destroying blue-collar industry. The programs these people have put in place costs the economy $1.75 trillion a year.

After the huge swath of destruction they have wreaked across the North American industrial landscape, I can hardly believe they have the gall to turn around and complain about disappearing blue collar jobs.

Are leftists so stupid that they can not see the very visible side effects of their ideology or are they just plain evil?

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As an almost completely irrelevant aside, there is at least one major company (the second-largest private company in the US) I can name of the top of my head that manufactures most of its products in the US. It’s called Koch Industries. Unsurprisingly, it is the target of constant attacks and smears by the left.

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The second piece of idiocy I’m going to comment on is from Slate. Michael Moran writes:

Are we getting back to normal? Well, of course not: times were not normal to start. To get back to that normal would be national suicide – an asset bubble fueled normal more unsustainable than anything either of our political parties is flirting with today.

Do we really pine for the bubble years? Remember, folks, the “prosperity” now implied by those who as about “four years ago”  were fuelled by a runaway financial system that treated peoples’ homes, jobs and lives like so many chips in a casino.

Would we be “better off” if the bubble loomed over us again?  No, we’d be walking toward an even deeper cliff.

I agree with this, an economy based upon a bubble is stupid, and not something we want to return to.

In the same article he also writes:

First, the view that President Obama wants to emerge from Charlotte: Four years ago the country was sliding over the edge of an economic cliff. Today, we’ve got one leg back on top, and even with the Republican congressional caucus holding onto the other leg and screaming “I’d rather fall to my death than climb back onto that debt-strewn precipice” – we’re clawing our way to safety.

Ironically, his economic policies are not the real problem. Again, this was always going to take a long time to solve. We can argue whether there should have been more stimulus (I think so). But on the finer economic points, the general direction has been correct.

Recessions, as Europe demonstrates every single day, are no time to cut government spending: the result is a vicious circle in which austerity kills growth and deficits become nearly insurmountable (especially in countries that have to fund them on the open market). So even if deficits rise during a recession, the idea is to hasten the return of growth that, in the end, is the only real solution to such gaps.

It is very clear he is in favour of Keynesian stimulus and against reigning in government spending.

Somehow, he doesn’t see the contradiction between these two positions. One can not be against a bubble economy and be for economic stimulus, as economic stimulus is the creation of a bubble economy.

Government spending inherently creates economic bubbles.

An economic bubble occurs when the nominal value of something is inflated far beyond its intrinsic worth.

Government spending, particularly stimulus spending, is spending on goods or services individuals are not willing to spend on and invest in on an individual level.

In other words, stimulus is spending on goods and services more than its inherent market value.

Anybody advocating Keynesian stimulus is advocating the government creates a bubble by investing where the free market is unwilling to invest.

(There is one difference though, bubbles on the private market will generally pop at some point in the short-medium term when someone realizes its idiotic. On the other hand, government supported bubbles can be propped-up almost indefinitely through tax-payer funding, at least until the state runs out of money).

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Anyhow, that completes today’s round of liberal stupidity.

The Internal Contradiction of Liberal Ideology

Here’s a post I’ve been planning on writing for a while, but haven’t got around to. CR at GL Piggy wrote a post that touched on it, so, now’s a good a time as any to finally get it out.

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There is a fundamental contradiction within modern progressivism* between its economic beliefs and underlying philosophical beliefs.

North American liberals hold to Keynesian economic theory; all the standard-bearing liberal economists, such as Krugman, Ygglesias, and Stiglitz, are Keynesian.

Keynesianism is demand-side economics, where economic health is determined by aggregate demand for goods and services. A main goal of Keynesian economics is to keep demand high, so more goods are produced, which leads to increased employment, full-employment being a primary aim of Keynesianism. The government is required to interfere in times of low demand (ie. recessions and depressions) by spending money (it doesn’t really matter on what) to raise demand. Too much savings is harmful to the economy as it prevents spending.

This opposed to demand-side economics, where economic health is determined by the supply of goods and services. It calls for low barriers to production, to lower prices so consumers can purchase goods at the lowest cost. The government is required to remove themselves from interference so individuals can best optimize savings and consumption for themselves.

Essentially, the main theoretical difference between the two is whether the economy is driven by creation (production and investment) or by consumption (demand and spending).

On the other hand, liberal political philosophy is strongly opposed to consumerism. It is also strongly environmental in nature and oppose what they refer to as over-consumption. They’ll complain of artifical demand created by mass media, rage against planned obsolescence, and have their Buy Nothing Days.

Now, if you are more intellectually acute than the average occupy protester, you may have noticed something from my descriptions of Keynesianism and progressivism: they contradict each other.

The economic theory that the economy is driven by consumption and that the government must work to keep demand high is essentially a call for over-consumption. A theory where economic health depends on demand for consumption while aiming for full employment, is a call for people to buy things they don’t need so they can work more so they can buy things they don’t need.

Keynesian economics is consumerism.

Liberal economics necessiatates and prizes everything liberals claim to hate about capitalism.

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So why does liberal economic theory contradict liberal political values?

It’s simple: government control.

Earlier I told you the main theoretical difference between supply- and demand-side economics, but that’s just theory and nobody cares much about theory. Much more important to why (most) people choose which economic theory they prefer is the practical implications of the theory.

The main practical difference in application between the two theories is the level of government control of the economy.

Liberals like Keynesian economics, not because they believe in the theoretical underpinnings of Keynesianism, but because it allows more government control over the economy.

The capability of free-market capitalism to produce goods and services is so obvious to see, that no one with any pretensions to intellectual seriousness can completely discard capitalism. The superiority of free-market capitalism is so undeniable that (most of) the left has given up fighting capitalism as a whole.

But progressivists are unwilling to give up their desire for control, so instead they have adopted mixed economic theories which use free-market capitalism as a substructure, then put a government regulation superstructure over the substructure so the elites can still feign control over the economy.

That is why their economic belief in Keynesianism (which is ideological consumerism) can so blatantly contradict their supposed values of anti-consumerism and environmentalism.

Keynesianism is only a superficial belief, a mere ideological tool to justify liberals acquiring what they really value: the expansion of the state.

* I use liberalism, progressivism, and new left interchangeably as there has been no real difference between them in North America since the McGovernite takeover of the Democratic Party (and Trudeaumania in Canada).