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claymisher
08-23-2010, 06:13 PM
Dave Weigel reports (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/08/23/a-purge-at-the-cato-institute.aspx):

The libertarian Cato Institute is parting with two of its most prominent scholars. Brink Lindsey, the institute's vice president of research and the author of the successful book The Age of Abundance, is departing to take a position at the Kauffman Foundation. Will Wilkinson, a Cato scholar, collaborator with Lindsey, and editor of the online Cato Unbound, is leaving on September 15; he just began blogging politics for the Economist.

I asked for comment on this and was told that the institute does not typically comment on personnel matters. But you have to struggle not to see a political context to this. Lindsey and Wilkinson are among the Cato scholars who most often find common cause with liberals. In 2006, after the GOP lost Congress, Lindsey coined the term "Liberaltarians" to suggest that Libertarians and liberals could work together outside of the conservative movement. Shortly after this, he launched a dinner series where liberals and Libertarians met to discuss big ideas. (Disclosure: I attended some of these dinners.) In 2009 and 2010, as the libertarian movement moved back into the right's fold, Lindsey remained iconoclastic—just last month he penned a rare, biting criticism of The Battle, a book by AEI President Arthur Brooks which argues that economic theory is at the center of a new American culture war.


I keep telling you guys, all the professional libertarian outfits are really just front organizations for the plutocracy.

stephanie
08-23-2010, 06:36 PM
I'd missed Brink Lindsey's review referenced by Weigel, and it's worth reading:

Another Culture War? No thanks. (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11957)

What gets me is that if people really care about the arguments Lindsey is talking about, one will address the merits as he does. If you want to score political points, perhaps you try and pretend it's a culture war. We see that in the current political climate. But then you end up not with a libertarian paradise (few Americans are really much interested in real libertarianism, as opposed to rhetoric), but with a different set of interferences in the free market.

rcocean
08-23-2010, 08:34 PM
Dave Weigel reports (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/weigel/archive/2010/08/23/a-purge-at-the-cato-institute.aspx):



I keep telling you guys, all the professional libertarian outfits are really just front organizations for the plutocracy.

Wasn't that always obvious? And isn't it obvious that "Libertarians" themselves are either plutocrats or paid supporters of plutocracy**?

So, Will and Blink landed well paid jobs somewhere else- not much of a purge. They no doubt will be re-hired by CATO after the Republicans come back to power in 2013.

** Or unpaid useful idiots.

Whatfur
08-24-2010, 09:14 AM
Some of the same at The Corner. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-recovery-summer-stimulus-projects-fail-yield/story?id=11463344)

stephanie
08-24-2010, 10:45 AM
Some of the same at The Corner. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-recovery-summer-stimulus-projects-fail-yield/story?id=11463344)

Hmm. Not from The Corner, not about the topic of the thread.

graz
08-24-2010, 02:00 PM
Hmm. Not from The Corner, not about the topic of the thread.

Hey, no harm in him planting propaganda seeds, even if unintended ... not that he needs admit to it. Par for the course. Bhtv approved and welcomed!

Whatfur
08-24-2010, 02:08 PM
Hmm. Not from The Corner, not about the topic of the thread.

Oops sorry...this was the deal. (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/244537/liberaltarian-purge-cato-daniel-foster)

Whatfur
08-24-2010, 02:09 PM
Hey, no harm in him planting propaganda seeds, even if unintended ... not that he needs admit to it. Par for the course. Bhtv approved and welcomed!

Wow...graz with another highly cerebral contribution. With a little Kidneystones flare at the end to boot. Bravo! Bravo!

stephanie
08-24-2010, 05:01 PM
Oops sorry...this was the deal. (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/244537/liberaltarian-purge-cato-daniel-foster)

Thanks. The Daniel Foster piece linked is a good example of the sort of thing Lindsey was talking about, actually. He says:

Reading Wilkinson it becomes clear that he is a classic rationalist. He derives his libertarianism a priori — a set of propositions on a chalkboard.

Probably true, but this does seem to me to be actual libertarianism. (I'm not a libertarian, but I think it's worth discussing.)

Contrast with, for example, the average tea partier, who gets his as a uniquely American historical inheritance — a full-blooded tradition.

This seems to me to be nonsense -- whatever Foster is talking about, it's not libertarianism, and libertarianism as "a uniquely American historical inheritance" is nothing but the substance free effort to mix a few aspects of libertarian rhetoric with more traditional elements of the so-called populist right, basically the effort to make up a new culture war, rather than to make the real arguments (since those aren't especially popular in the US when it comes to making the significant changes that would be required).

Like most rationalists, Wilkinson thinks this is not just silly and sentimental but pernicious (one of his biggest bugaboos is patriotism).

Seems consistent with him being a libertarian.

ledocs
09-07-2010, 06:40 AM
I just want you to know, claymisher, that I read a post of yours about Cato being a front for the Koch Bros. a fair while ago and that I took it to heart. Subsequently, of course, Jane Meyer has written this article about the Kochs in "The New Yorker." It can't be just by chance that the two people purged by Cato were also both diavloggers. David Frum says on his blog that this was an ideologically based purge (bjkeefe took me to Frum).

BHTV has been filled with "libertarians" who countenance huge amounts of government interference. First they announce their "libertarianism," which means only that they would prefer a market-based solution to any problem, but then it turns out that they don't have a market-based solution that is politically feasible. We won't know if the proposed solution is feasible in and of itself, because it will never be tested.

My big gripe is this. People on the right appear to believe that people on the left are pushing government or unions because people on the left love bureaucracy and incompetence. No, that's wrong. I recoil from incompetent bureaucrats as much as the next guy, and I am just as aware of their existence as the next guy. Moreover, my antipathy for bureaucracy per se is probably as great or greater than that of anyone here. It's pretty much like democracy itself -- democratic socialism is just the best of a lot of bad options. And I have nothing in principle against instituting more market-like incentives within bureaucracies, changing the rules of tenure, and so on. The other gripe I have, of course, is that people on the right seem to be largely blind to the degree of corruption, incompetence, conflicts of interest, and market failure that is inherent in the advanced market capitalism of America.

I've been reading and watching Thomas Sowell of late. One can watch an old interview he did on "Booknotes" at www.booknotes.org. There is an oddity about his biography that might be important. He transfers from Howard University to Harvard after 1.5 years at Howard. I assume (he does not say) that he did that because he got a scholarship of some sort to go to Harvard. That was a form of affirmative action. And Sowell admits that he had a hard time coping with the work at Harvard. But he does not seem at all anxious to admit that he profited from a form of affirmative action. At the same time, a lot of his critiques of affirmative action at elite universities strike me as having the ring of truth to them. Similarly, Sowell has this job as Senior Fellow at Hoover because he is black, not because he is a great social scientist. I'm enjoying his book, "A Conflict of Visions," which he says is his favorite of his own books in this old "Booknotes" interview, it's a good book, but there seems to me to be a certain amount of self-delusion on his part about his place in the world and how he came to be in that place. I bring all this up because Sowell describes himself as a "libertarian." Whether he wants to privatize Social Security and abolish Medicare, I don't know.

Whatfur
09-07-2010, 08:08 AM
...
My big gripe is this. People on the right appear to believe that people on the left are pushing government or unions because people on the left love bureaucracy and incompetence....

There is much that is wrong-headed in your post but the above stands out as extremely stupid. Your whole post tells me that you really have little clue about how others outside your own sphere think.

graz
09-07-2010, 09:18 AM
There is much that is wrong-headed in your post but the above stands out at extremely stupid.

Your inability to construct even as simple a sentence as this correctly confirms your stupidity.


My big gripe is this. People on the right appear to believe that people on the left are pushing government or unions because people on the left love bureaucracy and incompetence.

Appear to believe is the operative phrase. That would also be your cue for disabusing him of the notion, if as a "rightie" you could offer an alternative.
But your a "wrongie" as much as a "rightie." Therefore, you have nothing to offer save insult ... whatfur the moron ... catchy, huh?

stephanie
09-07-2010, 12:46 PM
Appear to believe is the operative phrase. That would also be your cue for disabusing him of the notion, if as a "rightie" you could offer an alternative.

Indeed. I'd say "purport to believe" rather than "appear to believe," but that's because I've become cynical about how political dialogue in this country works.

However, I hardly see anything in ledocs' quoted comment to upset a good faith proponent of rightwing (or libertarian) views.

Whatfur
09-07-2010, 01:42 PM
Indeed. I'd say "purport to believe" rather than "appear to believe," but that's because I've become cynical about how political dialogue in this country works.

However, I hardly see anything in ledocs' quoted comment to upset a good faith proponent of rightwing (or libertarian) views.

First, please do not feed the trolls.

Second, Really? Sorry being one of those proponents on the right I can tell you with all honesty, and actually to the left's credit, that few if any believe the left loves bureaucracy and incompetence. Bureaucracy can be a result of your love (see Obamacare diagram) and incompetence often overlooked on the left if they say the right things (see Ed Schulz or graz) but No, we do not label you as lovers of such. A idiotic attempt at a straw man.

stephanie
09-07-2010, 02:10 PM
Really?

Yeah, really. He seems to be accepting at face value what some rightwingers claim. Or, more precisely, he is saying that rightwingers "appear to believe" what some certainly claim to believe.

Sorry being one of those proponents on the right I can tell you with all honesty, and actually to the left's credit, that few if any believe the left loves bureaucracy and incompetence.

I'm not surprised, except pleasantly so that you'd acknowledge that. (That's why I said "purport to believe," rather than simply "believe.")

Getting past dumb cariactures of the other's position to the real areas of disagreement seems to me a step forward. Admitting that the left (and liberals too) aren't interested in bureaucracy and incompetence for their own sake thus seems a step in the right direction.

Bureaucracy can be a result of your love (see Obamacare diagram) and incompetence often overlooked on the left if they say the right things (see Ed Schulz or graz) but No, we do not label you as lovers of such. A idiotic attempt at a straw man.

Some most certainly do use that as an argument, so not a straw man. Pointing out a rightwing straw man, instead. But just say that you agree that that's not a good argument and if no one tries to defend the argument, it can be dismissed for the sake of discussion here, certainly.

Moving on, what does "bureaucracy can be a result of your love" mean? Love for what?

Whatfur
09-07-2010, 02:39 PM
Yeah, really. He seems to be accepting at face value what some rightwingers claim. Or, more precisely, he is saying that rightwingers "appear to believe" what some certainly claim to believe.

I have never seen such a claim. Maybe one of you can produce and example.


I'm not surprised, except pleasantly so that you'd acknowledge that. (That's why I said "purport to believe," rather than simply "believe.")

Then why would you be surprised that I would say the idea was stupid.


Getting past dumb cariactures of the other's position to the real areas of disagreement seems to me a step forward.

Watch your spelling, graz may be watching...oh wait he is a one man man. Just like getting past implanting dumber caricatures as the position of others is a step forward.


Admitting that the left (and liberals too) aren't interested in bureaucracy and incompetence for their own sake thus seems a step in the right direction.

Again...never said they were...so I guess we were already standing in that direction.


Some most certainly do use that as an argument, so not a straw man.

Again, an example will set you free.


Pointing out a rightwing straw man, instead. But just say that you agree that that's not a good argument and if no one tries to defend the argument, it can be dismissed for the sake of discussion here, certainly.


Good, lets dismiss the stupid insinuation.


Moving on, what does "bureaucracy can be a result of your love" mean? Love for what?
I already gave the example of Obamacare. I assume those in favor of it do so for more honorable reasons (discredited or not) than the increased bureaucracy it carries.

handle
09-07-2010, 02:55 PM
First, please do not feed the trolls.

Second, Really? Sorry being one of those proponents on the right I can tell you with all honesty, and actually to the left's credit, that few if any believe the left loves bureaucracy and incompetence. Bureaucracy can be a result of your love (see Obamacare diagram) and incompetence often overlooked on the left if they say the right things (see Ed Schulz or graz) but No, we do not label you as lovers of such. A idiotic attempt at a straw man.


Pretty obvious who's feeding and who's a troll.
Hint: "Obamacare" is a troll word. It's known as the "health care bill" by the non-troll community . If you really wanted to have a serious discussion, you might want to drop the inflammatory rhetoric.

stephanie
09-07-2010, 03:09 PM
Again...never said they were...so I guess we were already standing in that direction.

Whatfur != all rightwingers. I'm sure there are any number of arguments that rightwingers have made that you haven't. Similarly, there are numerous liberal arguments that I have never made. Big whoop.

Good, lets dismiss the stupid insinuation.

No one made an "insinuation." No one insulted rightwingers, even. Jesus.

I already gave the example of Obamacare. I assume those in favor of it do so for more honorable reasons (discredited or not) than the increased bureaucracy it carries.

That does not answer my question. It's stated clearly just above in this thread. I think your sentence in the post was missing a word, so I asked for clarification.

Whatfur
09-07-2010, 04:27 PM
Whatfur != all rightwingers. I'm sure there are any number of arguments that rightwingers have made that you haven't. Similarly, there are numerous liberal arguments that I have never made. Big whoop.

Exactly, which is why I asked for someone/anyone to provide me an example of any one of them suggesting what ledocs "purports" they suggest.


No one made an "insinuation." No one insulted rightwingers, even. Jesus.

Excuse me. Take a step back. It would be ludicrous/stupid for a rightwinger to purport that a lefty loved incompetence and bureaucracy. To purport that a rightwinger does so is to insinuate this stupidity. It ain't that difficult Steph.



That does not answer my question. It's stated clearly just above in this thread. I think your sentence in the post was missing a word, so I asked for clarification.

Sorry, no I did not miss a word. You are just not following. If I were a lefty with a great medical plan willing to take a less great plan so as to supposedly help 40 million others without plans at all to have Obama healthcare...I am doing it for love. That was the love of which I spoke. Yes, I was being a bit facetious. So I would be doing it for love at the expense of the increased bureaucracy inherent in Obamacare.

stephanie
09-07-2010, 05:26 PM
It would be ludicrous/stupid for a rightwinger to purport that a lefty loved incompetence and bureaucracy.

I don't think Ledocs was suggesting that it was stupid, just that it was wrong, but I'm glad to hear you admit it. I'll perhaps pull it out the next time the argument gets made here.

Sorry, no I did not miss a word. You are just not following.

I am confident that based on what you wrote that is to my credit.

If I were a lefty with a great medical plan willing to take a less great plan so as to supposedly help 40 million others without plans at all to have Obama healthcare...I am doing it for love.

You don't really think that, and in the context of the discussion it makes no sense for you to say it. Is it that hard to admit that you screwed up a sentence? I'm happy to admit I'm a crappy speller and skip words on occasion, etc.

Whatfur
09-07-2010, 05:43 PM
I don't think Ledocs was suggesting that it was stupid, just that it was wrong, but I'm glad to hear you admit it. I'll perhaps pull it out the next time the argument gets made here.

I am confident that based on what you wrote that is to my credit.



You don't really think that, and in the context of the discussion it makes no sense for you to say it. Is it that hard to admit that you screwed up a sentence? I'm happy to admit I'm a crappy speller and skip words on occasion, etc.

We can be done. Thanks. bye.

handle
09-07-2010, 06:22 PM
We can be done. Thanks. bye.

copied

Ocean
09-07-2010, 06:46 PM
copied

Some people dislike saying goodbye, but not everybody. ;)

http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/rma/lowres/rman3548l.jpg

claymisher
09-07-2010, 09:30 PM
Heya ledocs. I'm pretty sure you meant social democracy. Democratic socialism is for the birds.

A lot of the criticism of the Kochtopus is off the mark. I don't much doubt that they're sincere. I think they the $100 million they've spent on libertarian projects over the years has probably paid for itself, but I don't think they're in it for the money, and it doesn't make much sense to criticize them for self-interest. The best reason to criticize them is because they're wrong. They're wrong about economics and they're wrong about what makes a decent society.

And yeah, the Koches are behind every major libertarian outfit (Cato, Reason, Tyler Cowen and the Mercatus gang at GMU, you name it), and have been since the 1970s. The non-Koch groups are tiny, weird, and nobody pays any attention to them: the actual Libertarian Party, the Mises Institute, people like Kevin Carson and Justin Raimondo. It's only the Koch dough that lends professional libertarians any authority. People ought to stop calling them libertarians and call them Kochists, Kochians, agents of Kochism, etc. Let the non-corporate weirdos keep the name libertarian.

As for Sowell, don't you think he's an incredibly boring writer? He'll duller than the phone book.

ledocs
09-08-2010, 11:07 AM
I don't distinguish between social democracy and democratic socialism. I don't shrink from the word socialism, I'm not in elective politics. To me, every program that is designed to redistribute wealth and/or income from those with more money to those with less is socialistic, and I'm generally in favor of such programs. If you mean that democratic socialism implies a more centrally planned economy than does social democracy, then I'm happy to go with social democracy. But this sounds like the distinction between "liberal" and "progressive," it's more about marketing than about substance.

I am not inclined to agree that the Koch brothers are pursuing their libertarian idea agenda independently of their economic interests.

And I don't find "Conflict of Visions" unusually boring. I like the style. It's direct and clear. There is no flash and not much flourish, that's true.

kezboard
09-08-2010, 02:57 PM
Reading Wilkinson it becomes clear that he is a classic rationalist. He derives his libertarianism a priori — a set of propositions on a chalkboard. Contrast with, for example, the average tea partier, who gets his as a uniquely American historical inheritance — a full-blooded tradition.

OK, aside from the violation of Lambchop's Law there (suggesting that hating the welfare state is a uniquely American historical inheritance is surely as illegitimate without at least a bookful of evidence as stating that "the American people hate the welfare state"), doesn't this make the average tea partier a conservative, not a libertarian?

ETA: I didn't realize how old Stephanie's post was!