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Sulla the Dictator 11-04-2011 08:54 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 230418)
That's what you might call having a narrative and finding a way to fit into that every fact you don't ignore.

Oh, I think that the narrative fairly fits this case, where miceelf took exception at me finding the puppeteer at OWS to be worthy of ridicule. Do you believe it is ridiculous for someone like that to complain?

AemJeff 11-04-2011 09:02 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230423)
Oh, I think that the narrative fairly fits this case, where miceelf took exception at me finding the puppeteer at OWS to be worthy of ridicule. Do you believe it is ridiculous for someone like that to complain?

Because you don't like his profession? Was Jim Henson ridiculous? Would an unemployed engineer have greater justification for complaint?

Diane1976 11-04-2011 09:04 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230390)
I would like someone to tell me when all of this entitlement stuff became such an issue. I realize there have always been murmurings about hating the rich and wanting to take advantage of government largesse but it has now become sanctioned in a way I have never seen it before and I am very old.

I can't help but feeling this whole thing reached a zenith during the debates around the Affordable Care Act. I certainly felt a shift at that time. But, maybe it was an earthquake and I am very old.

I feel frustrated with the OWS protesters because they don't have a great and noble cause, as far as I can tell, something idealistic and greater than themselves and their own situation, something noble, and romantic. Something like a civil rights, peace, environment, womens' movement. Why isn't there a manifesto, or at least some songs and poems. I can't imagine Bob Dylan singing about credit cards and loans, or jobs that aren't as good as a person might have expected.

I guess I'm old too.

Sulla the Dictator 11-04-2011 09:15 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 230426)
Because you don't like his profession?

Correct, it is fundamentally unserious.

Quote:

Was Jim Henson ridiculous?
Not at all; the Dark Crystal is an excellent primer for children. But Jim Henson didn't go to college to play with puppets. I don't think he went to college at all.

Quote:

Would an unemployed engineer have greater justification for complaint?
Yes.

AemJeff 11-04-2011 09:19 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230429)
Correct, it is fundamentally unserious.



Not at all; the Dark Crystal is an excellent primer for children. But Jim Henson didn't go to college to play with puppets. I don't think he went to college at all.



Yes.

Henson attended the University of Maryland and studied as a Studio Arts major, took puppetry courses while enrolled and graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics.

I have been an unemployed engineer from time to time. I complained. I don't grudge a puppeteer his complaints; and I certainly don't think I have any greater gravitas than Henson.

badhatharry 11-04-2011 09:31 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230427)
I can't imagine Bob Dylan singing about credit cards and loans, or jobs that aren't as good as a person might have expected.

I guess I'm old too.

I've been looking for a musical accompaniment for a video I'm going to be putting on my website. I rediscovered this last night and was so taken by the sincerity with which it talks about good, honest and humble work. Good old Van Morrison.

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide.
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows.

Sulla the Dictator 11-04-2011 09:44 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 230430)
Henson attended the University of Maryland and studied as a Studio Arts major, took puppetry courses while enrolled and graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics.

In that case, I do find Jim Henson to be ridiculous.

Quote:

I have been an unemployed engineer from time to time. I complained. I don't grudge a puppeteer his complaints; and I certainly don't think I have any greater gravitas than Henson.
It isn't for me to define your gravitas, but I think that is a sad way to view yourself. Engineering is a noble trade. Puppeteers are a pretty shoddy group even within the despicable category of artists.

badhatharry 11-04-2011 10:05 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 230430)
I have been an unemployed engineer from time to time. I complained. I don't grudge a puppeteer his complaints; and I certainly don't think I have any greater gravitas than Henson.

I agree that puppeteers have every right to complain as much as engineers.
We all complain when things don't go as expected. It's part of the process.
But here's what the Nation reporter wrote Like a lot of the young protesters who have flocked to Occupy Wall Street, Joe had thought that hard work and education would bring, if not class mobility, at least a measure of security (indeed, a masterís degree can boost a New York City teacherís salary by $10,000 or more).

What would entice someone to generalize one's personal bad luck or bad decision making to the point where you feel justified marching in the streets about it? It seems like the best thing to do would be make the best of it. Hell, maybe he could figure out a way to make some good money doing puppetry instead of holding a useless sign.

And then all this handwringing about shattered dreams. It's ridiculous and certainly not a prescription for making things better.

thouartgob 11-05-2011 02:54 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 230398)
Indeed. The weird mating ritual conservatives have of trying to impress each other with their lack of compassion and their contempt for other people is just ... creepy.

Well it isn't just to impress each other, there is money to be made if you manage your lack of compassion correctly ( see rush and coulter or beck ) the bigger the lie ...

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 230398)
Yeah, again, the thing I consistently have the hardest time understanding is how such a large group of people -- tens of millions of conservatives -- can be so morally depraved. So morally stunted. Their hatred is what defines them.

My arterialy spurting bleeding heart compels me to say that it is FEAR that defines them more accurately. Mind you fear is still a dangerous thing and can lead to hate more often than not, still I feel the need to separate the two.

Now in either case the cerebral cortex is bypassed when fear and or hate reigns. I give you as an example, the recent tomfoolery surrounding the bill to reaffirm the "in god we trust":

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...en-not-at-work

thouartgob 11-05-2011 03:17 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230352)
I thought Cain was likeable until I listened to this diavlog. Now I find Perry likeable, after watching the video of his speech Bill and Matt discussed.

I have to agree. Even though I only saw edited version I found him to be a bit more authentic and somewhat engaging. Although this older clip from a Byron York diavlog popped into mind regarding Perry's manliness and Byron's interest in the interest in it:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/381...3:35&out=03:55

sugarkang 11-05-2011 07:54 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230433)
And then all this handwringing about shattered dreams. It's ridiculous and certainly not a prescription for making things better.

You had me at puppets.

http://marginalrevolution.com/wp-con...onTabarrok.png

Or herp, derp -- as the kids may say as they mutter nonsensical about capitalism.

osmium 11-05-2011 10:18 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230357)
Heh.

Mathematically, proof by example is a fallacy, and invalid.

Maybe BhTV should try to scrape together a Science Saturday on that.

Ocean 11-05-2011 10:27 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by thouartgob (Post 230439)
Now in either case the cerebral cortex is bypassed when fear and or hate reigns. I give you as an example, the recent tomfoolery surrounding the bill to reaffirm the "in god we trust":

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...en-not-at-work

I don't think that knowing how Congress spends its hours in useless deliberations and topics about nothing is good for our health. How much money (via each Congressperson's hourly salary rate, their staff, and other related expenses) is being lost to this kind of nonsense? Can representatives with common sense just say they refuse to participate in such nonsense and move on to other matters?

And the superidiotic Fox News Gretchen gal doesn't help a bit, does she?

Hume's Bastard 11-05-2011 10:54 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230408)
You keep making this basic assertion, that the economic pain felt by people in the OWS movement is just the result of their own stupidity in wasting money on useless college degrees in frivolous areas. And while there is some truth to that in some cases, there's no reason to think that it represents the protesters writ large. And even if it does, then that doesn't change the fact that there is a very real unemployment crisis, one that is compounded by, yes, student loans. You might not want to admit this, but the implicit bargain in a college education is that it will let you get a better job. When you graduate into crippling unemployment that hits young people the hardest, that isn't some made up yuppie problem.

And of course this is all particular galling when the standard riposte to arguments about inequality and stagnating wages hinge around the information economy and the increasing returns to education. Many of the people hurting today listened to that argument, took it to heart, piled on student debt in order to take advantage of this grand new economy, and now have graduated into an economy that doesn't keep any of the promises that were made.

And, why aren't these commenters and the media heaping ridicule on the banks that made bad loans to some of these people they are so willing to ridicule as self-evident failures. I'm talking about the German and American banks that resisted banking reforms that would have required they maintain capital for emergencies, as well as the Chinese banks making rotten investments too. There are two sides to every loan, the fool who took the money and the idiot who gave it, should have known better, and was supposedly educated precisely to know better. Instead we give the idiot the benefit of the doubt and society's forgiveness, laud him as a job creator, and HOPE he will not screw up again. Should we treat the fool and the idiot any differently? What good is to let the idiots heap capital in private accounts, that isn't being invested, and also to keep mortgage and loan debt inviolable?

And, what's with the attitude? Just because you follow the leader doesn't mean your paltry savings can survive if the bottom falls out. You're not going to get saved just for being a good boy. The fool, the idiot, and a whole bunch of chumps....America!

osmium 11-05-2011 11:00 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230411)
Hopefully you don't think that these debt obligations should be forgiven.

Also with AIG and Goldman Sachs

thouartgob 11-05-2011 11:24 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 230449)
How much money (via each Congressperson's hourly salary rate, their staff, and other related expenses) is being lost to this kind of nonsense? Can representatives with common sense just say they refuse to participate in such nonsense and move on to other matters?

I listened to John Dickerson on a different political podcast comment on this article:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...kdays-in-2012/

from the article
Quote:

There are just six scheduled working days in January. Three in August. And five in October. In all, the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session 109 weekdays next year, and will be in recess 151 weekdays - meaning recess days will outstrip working days by nearly a 3 to 2 margin.
He went on to do a quick calculation that for their time in DC representitives get paid $200 and hour. Now of course to many a conservotarian this is a feature not a bug.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 230449)
And the superidiotic Fox News Gretchen gal doesn't help a bit, does she?

Of course when did anybody on FOX news actually help anybody understand anything other than they are a right-wing Pravda. How long until the word FOX in the dictionary is considered and antonym for NEWS ?

badhatharry 11-05-2011 11:53 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by osmium (Post 230451)
Also with AIG and Goldman Sachs

As I have said many times, yep!

And yet folks of all stripes believe that if these bastions of the economy hadn't been bailed out the whole thing would have collapsed. I think this is the big lie. Surely there would have been some pain but the folly of letting these folks think that they will always eventually get bailed out just encourages further recklessness.

badhatharry 11-05-2011 12:10 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard (Post 230450)
And, why aren't these commenters and the media heaping ridicule on the banks that made bad loans to some of these people they are so willing to ridicule as self-evident failures.

It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
Caveat emptor is wise because it instructs the consumer. That is where the power lies in a potentially catastrophic transaction.

The lure of huge gains will always be with us. Look at the recent MFGlobal debacle, headed by the very liberal Jon Corzine. This is in the wake of Dodd-Frank. It is a feature of human nature to take risks. It is up to the consumer to pay attention and pull out when the risk is too high.

But instead we like to create bandaids. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a cost of 3 billion this year, is now going to school the American public about how to read a contract and apply for a credit card, I assume because American schools and parents aren't up to the job.

Quote:

The fool, the idiot, and a whole bunch of chumps....America!
yeah, and it's so sad.

osmium 11-05-2011 12:16 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230457)
As I have said many times, yep!

And yet folks of all stripes believe that if these bastions of the economy hadn't been bailed out the whole thing would have collapsed. I think this is the big lie. Surely there would have been some pain but the folly of letting these folks think that they will always eventually get bailed out just encourages further recklessness.

I don't know if it would have been disastrous or not, but I do think things should not be too big to fail in the first place. If Goldman is too big to fail, then the CEO of Goldman is, not figuratively but literally, the highest paid bureaucrat in the government.

Don Zeko 11-05-2011 12:18 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230458)
It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
Caveat emptor is wise because it instructs the consumer. That is where the power lies in a potentially catastrophic transaction.

Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them. Particularly with consumer banking, applying this moralistic language to the debtor but not the creditor is silly, since there's a substantial information asymmetry in the creditors favor. Either we shouldn't be deploying this moralistic language at all, or we should be heaping at least as much scorn on banks for making stupid loans.

eeeeeeeli 11-05-2011 12:28 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Steyns quote about the relationship between state and citizen being redefined is interesting. But it is essentially meaningless. You could say the same thing about the opposite: that small government biases people against government. It could also just as easily be the case that people's preference for maintaining established government simply means it works; i.e. they are happy and satisfied with it. (Unlike, by the way, much of our current system, going by polls.)

badhatharry 11-05-2011 12:35 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230460)
Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them. Particularly with consumer banking, applying this moralistic language to the debtor but not the creditor is silly, since there's a substantial information asymmetry in the creditors favor. Either we shouldn't be deploying this moralistic language at all, or we should be heaping at least as much scorn on banks for making stupid loans.

I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.
And...my language is not moralistic. It's practical. Something people like you can never seem to get your head around as you busily try to think up ways for the government to protect us from ourselves.

Don Zeko 11-05-2011 12:45 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230463)
I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230458)
It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.

How do these statements even begin to make sense? Also, I can't for the life of me understand why you're dead set against bailouts, since you seem unconvinced that the banks actually did anything wrong.

miceelf 11-05-2011 12:49 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230416)
It means that the guiding impulse of people on the left seems to be to increase the authority and reach of the state; largely because they distrust community to govern itself through yes, things like stigma.

Funny how you trust community to socially punish people for making poor educational choices, but not to socially punish people for being racist.

miceelf 11-05-2011 12:51 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 230423)
Oh, I think that the narrative fairly fits this case, where miceelf took exception at me finding the puppeteer at OWS to be worthy of ridicule.

I took exception to kicking someone when they are down.

badhatharry 11-05-2011 12:52 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230464)
How do these statements even begin to make sense? Also, I can't for the life of me understand why you're dead set against bailouts, since you seem unconvinced that the banks actually did anything wrong.

You might try to actually read what I say some day. And what does being against bailouts have to do with not thinking the banks didn't act unwisely and unprudently and should bear the consequences of their actions? This isn't about right and wrong. It's about people bearing the consequences of their actions which is the way things in life get sorted out.

PS if the banks violated laws on the books they should be prosectued for criminal action. Apparently, either the Justice Department is in bed with them or they didn't violate any laws.

Don Zeko 11-05-2011 12:53 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230466)
I took exception to kicking someone when they are down.

Matt Yglesias has a post about this anecdote pointing out that the puppeteering degree doesn't reflect poor choices on the part of the puppeteer so much as it demonstrates bad incentive structures in the way that public school teachers are paid.

Quote:

But the ďJoeĒ in question was a New York City public school teacher who wracked up $35,000 in debt over three years to obtain an MFA in puppetry from the University of Connecticut and is now frustrated that he canít get his old job back. This is not what I would make my lead example for a story about the perfidy of the 1 percent or the collapse of the American dream. If anything, itís a much narrower story about the perfidy of the University of Connecticut MFA program. To a small extent, itís also a story about a misguided public school teacher compensation system. Joe wound up getting screwed, since between the time he left to get his MFA and the time he got it, the labor market for teachers collapsed. But had he done this earlier in the decade, his three years getting an MFA in puppetry would in fact have qualified him for a $10,000 a year pay bump even though thereís no reason to think getting the MFA would make him a better teacher.

miceelf 11-05-2011 12:55 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230463)
I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.

Just like laws against drug dealers.
Who not only sell drugs, but do so fraudulently.

Don Zeko 11-05-2011 12:57 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230467)
You might try to actually read what I say some day. And what does being against bailouts have to do with not thinking the banks didn't act unwisely and unprudently and should bear the consequences of their actions? This isn't about right and wrong. It's about people bearing the consequences of their actions which is the way things in life get sorted out.

I can read you perfectly well. You wrote a post defending banks by pointing out that they can only issue irresponsible loans if people are willing to take them out. I responding by saying that it goes both ways, and that people can only take out stupid loans if banks are willing to make loans to them. You then said that my statement was ridiculously stupid. I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly have been going through your head.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230467)
PS if the banks violated laws on the books they should be prosectued for criminal action. Apparently, either the Justice Department is in bed with them or they didn't violate any laws.

Plenty of actions are wrong and harm others but are not illegal. I can't believe that I have to spell something this obvious out to you.

badhatharry 11-05-2011 12:58 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230468)
Matt Yglesias has a post about this anecdote pointing out that the puppeteering degree doesn't reflect poor choices on the part of the puppeteer so much as it demonstrates bad incentive structures in the way that public school teachers are paid.

Yeah. let's kick bad incentive structures!! That'll hurt.

He might not have made a bad choice but the choice he made didn't result in the outcome he desired. I know! Let's guarantee that everyone's choice results in a good outcome!

Don Zeko 11-05-2011 01:00 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230472)
Yeah. let's kick bad incentive structures!! That'll hurt.

He might not have made a bad choice but the choice he made didn't result in the outcome he desired. I know! Let's guarantee that everyone's choice results in a good outcome!

Wait, I thought you guys hated public employee unions and public schools. Why isn't this alternative explanation catnip? Every time I think I've figured out the set of Pavlovian cues you're following, they change up on me.

badhatharry 11-05-2011 01:02 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230471)
I can read you perfectly well. You wrote a post defending banks by pointing out that they can only issue irresponsible loans if people are willing to take them out. I responding by saying that it goes both ways, and that people can only take out stupid loans if banks are willing to make loans to them. You then said that my statement was ridiculously stupid. I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly have been going through your head.



Plenty of actions are wrong and harm others but are not illegal. I can't believe that I have to spell something this obvious out to you.

I didn't defend banks! I pointed out that the best way to insure that the banks don't make stupidly structured loans is for people not to take them out. And, yes it does go both ways. When banks structure loans in such a way that people don't take them out, the banks will withdraw the product. Unless what the banks did was illegal it doesn't do much good to handwringingly say that what they did was wrong, morally. And the morality of offering loans is quite debatable.

Please don't bother spelling anything out to me. You do much better when you're chatting with people who totally agree with you.

Hume's Bastard 11-06-2011 12:38 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 230458)
It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
Caveat emptor is wise because it instructs the consumer. That is where the power lies in a potentially catastrophic transaction.

The lure of huge gains will always be with us. Look at the recent MFGlobal debacle, headed by the very liberal Jon Corzine. This is in the wake of Dodd-Frank. It is a feature of human nature to take risks. It is up to the consumer to pay attention and pull out when the risk is too high.

But instead we like to create bandaids. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a cost of 3 billion this year, is now going to school the American public about how to read a contract and apply for a credit card, I assume because American schools and parents aren't up to the job.



yeah, and it's so sad.

The banks would never have lobbied for for extending mortgage loans to marginal customers if they had not devised a way to securitize debt and seemingly profit from misery. A simple tweak of the tax code and mandating capital requirements can restore incentives from bonuses to reinvestment.

I don't think there's a single person of any ideological stripe who thinks Dodd-Frank is a solution. Corzine's example just illustrates what incentives those who lobbied for that law wanted and what they think playing with money means.

And yes, because Congress can't make law, only hand out selective sweets to the cutest whore it finds, someone has to do the second-best thing: regulate. Don't worry - in another generation, banks will figure out how to corrupt it too.

By your argument, South Koreans who are using savings for consumer goods and education are also virtuous. Smartphones are an excellent investment for retirement and long hospital stays, I didn't realize. 30% unemployment for college grads is also a decent return on educational investment, I guess. But, don't worry, it's really easy to start up a college and charge excessive tuition.

Congress should have just written off certain loans made after a certain date, to warn the banks that bad loans would not be legal in the future, and consumers' credit ratings restored. Delinquent properties could then have been auctioned.

eeeeeeeli 11-06-2011 11:38 AM

Re: (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis) Republican Horse Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by basman (Post 230367)
To save all a lot of time and trouble from all this Republican horse race bull shit, which bull shit I kinda' love, I'm here to tell you Romney will get the nomination.

So relax on that and feel free to apply your minds to more estimable subjects and objects.

(Tell everyone you heard it first.)

Itzik Basman

I think this is right. Primaries are always about indulging the base, but at the end of the day most people realize that all that matters is not who best articulates the party line, but who is electable, in other words a compromise.

What I do think is interesting is this cycle's Republican party being so loathe to embrace this reality, and instead go with someone more representative of their true feelings, someone to "send a message". The Democrats did this with the Nader exodus in 2000, costing them dearly. Did the party "get the message"? I think not. I think that's a basic misunderstanding of the political realities of the electoral process.

I don't think Bachman, Perry or Cain are electable. But maybe this is wrong, and Republicans are more cohesive than that. Maybe independents are really that dissatisfied with Obama. I don't see it though.

badhatharry 11-06-2011 12:27 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hume's Bastard (Post 230506)
The banks would never have lobbied for for extending mortgage loans to marginal customers if they had not devised a way to securitize debt and seemingly profit from misery. A simple tweak of the tax code and mandating capital requirements can restore incentives from bonuses to reinvestment.

I would argue that there was a whole lot going on in Washington that encouraged banks to lend to marginal customers. So are you saying that the push for home ownership, the Community Reinvestment Act, was championed only by banks? I would say that there is plenty of blame to go around and targeting banks' actions tells only part of the story.

Quote:

I don't think there's a single person of any ideological stripe who thinks Dodd-Frank is a solution. Corzine's example just illustrates what incentives those who lobbied for that law wanted and what they think playing with money means.
agreed

Quote:

And yes, because Congress can't make law, only hand out selective sweets to the cutest whore it finds, someone has to do the second-best thing: regulate. Don't worry - in another generation, banks will figure out how to corrupt it too.
I thought making law was the purpose of the Congress. If not the Congress who would, in fact, regulate? Are not regulations laws? This goes to what I said about the consumer having power. An educated public is essential in avoiding the machinations of the elite.

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By your argument, South Koreans who are using savings for consumer goods and education are also virtuous. Smartphones are an excellent investment for retirement and long hospital stays, I didn't realize. 30% unemployment for college grads is also a decent return on educational investment, I guess. But, don't worry, it's really easy to start up a college and charge excessive tuition.
I'm not sure how this addresses my argument.

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Congress should have just written off certain loans made after a certain date, to warn the banks that bad loans would not be legal in the future, and consumers' credit ratings restored. Delinquent properties could then have been auctioned.
I don't think any of this is what, in the US, is considered legal. If bailing out banks is outrageous what sort of moral hazard would take hold in this country if suddenly no one had to honor their contracts? Your proposal is entirely unrealistic.

badhatharry 11-06-2011 12:41 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 230470)
Just like laws against drug dealers.
Who not only sell drugs, but do so fraudulently.

So much to balk at here. The banks who made the loans in question were not operating outside the law. If you doubt this, please tell me who has been sent to jail?

It is certainly reasonable to say that the laws which were in place were not sufficient to prevent this mayhem. It is also reasonable to say that the watchdogs which we taxpayers employ were asleep or anesthetized by their power and paychecks. It is also reasonable to say that ratings agencies who hold so much sway in the financial life of our country are improperly structured.

What would have been a better set of laws? I would say that the best law would have been prudent banking practices, which until a certain time were firmly in place because banks didn't want to fail but instead, thrive.

This argument is all around why and where prudent banking practices gave way to imprudent ones and that is a very complicated subject. It seems to me that the simple answer that the banks are evil and need to be punished won't solve anything but the kind of victim mentality which is on display in the OWS movement makes for great election cycle rhetoric.

badhatharry 11-06-2011 12:51 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230473)
Wait, I thought you guys hated public employee unions and public schools. Why isn't this alternative explanation catnip? Every time I think I've figured out the set of Pavlovian cues you're following, they change up on me.

What in the world is new about any of this? People habitually try to set up systems that they think are going to be great and they end up being bad ideas. Why point that out again? To tell the truth, I didn't read the article but if it's typical, there is some sort of prescription at the end which will solve everything... for now. Again, what's new?

Hopefully, as the austerity measures which are currently necessary are enacted, some of that top heavy, get an advanced degree to increase your pay grade nonsense will go away. But not if your side continues to want to feed the beast.

badhatharry 11-06-2011 12:57 PM

Re: (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis) Republican Horse Race
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 230528)
What I do think is interesting is this cycle's Republican party being so loathe to embrace this reality, and instead go with someone more representative of their true feelings, someone to "send a message". The Democrats did this with the Nader exodus in 2000, costing them dearly. Did the party "get the message"? I think not. I think that's a basic misunderstanding of the political realities of the electoral process.

If anything is true, it is that the leaders of the Republican party are aware of the electoral process.

kezboard 11-06-2011 01:11 PM

2004 vs. 2012
 
Matt and Bill did a good job of making the comparison between Romney in 2012 and Kerry in 2004, in terms of both of them being seen as the most acceptable candidate and staying "above the fray" during the primary, which ended up hurting them because by the time of the general election there were still some fresh attacks on them which hadn't been thought of by their primary opponents yet. There are even more obvious comparisons to make between Romney and Kerry about both of them being uncharismatic, standoffish, rich guys from Massachusetts with a reputation for flip-flopping (although I agree with Bill that this isn't necessarily bad, as long as they're flopping your way, and I'd argue that Romney would stick pretty closely to current Republican orthodoxy if he got into the White House). I think there's another, maybe deeper comparison to be made, and that's between the Iraq war and healthcare. If the Democrats had nominated someone who was against the Iraq war, this candidate could have laid out a foreign policy and national security vision that differed sharply from Bush's, which is something Kerry was never able to do. The actual policy positions probably wouldn't have been particularly different from Kerry's -- no Democratic nominee in 2004 would have supported immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and almost certainly most Democrats wouldn't have either -- but they would have had a lot more trust among Democrats and independents who were souring on the war and on Bush's foreign policy.

The issue of the social contract and the relationship of the government to the people and the economy is shaping up to be as important as national security and foreign policy was in 2004, and Obama's healthcare reform is the centerpiece of this issue. Romney can say that a mandate to buy health care is acceptable on a state level but not on a federal level when he's asked about this during interviews, but this means that he can't say that the mandate is the beginning of the road to serfdom, and he's going to have to incorporate his policies from Massachusetts into his vision for social policy, which means that it's going to seem to differ from Obama's in degree rather than in character.

This is kind of why I thought that Perry was a bigger threat to Obama than Romney when he entered the race. Of course, at that time I didn't really know anything more about Perry than that he was the governor of Texas and beloved of Matt Lewis, and seemed affable. I certainly didn't know what a genius he would turn out to have for kicking himself in the ass.

badhatharry 11-06-2011 02:14 PM

Re: 2004 vs. 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kezboard (Post 230539)

I certainly didn't know what a genius he would turn out to have for kicking himself in the ass.

Yes, and that's unfortunate. However, we Americans don't seem to have a problem electing people who make ridiculous mistakes. And, it's kind of hard not to in the 24/7 environment.


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