Courtesy of the Great and Mysterious billmon:
Thanks to GWPDA
God has betrayed AMERICA, in that he/she allowed the brown/dusky vote to over power the pure, white, AMERICAN vote.
That’s how I read these vignettes. Though the salty, bittersweet, delicious tears of the melainin-challenged AMERICANS.
The problem for many of these folks is this: there is no place left in the world that is still white enough and Christian enough: Canada is the home of teh gays; Mexico is the home of teh brown; Europe is the home of teh socialists; Beyond that, the world is simply full of barbarian hordes anyway.
What is a Bible-American to do?
That’s not a Bubble! It’s a Bunker!
Browndusky, Ohio? Nice place. Good chili.
Potbellied Uncle Sam has a sad.
I had to wear shades. The glare from all that white was blinding.
Let me get this straight: Their god sent a hurricane slamming into the Eastern Seaboard, cuz of Teh Gehs.
But this same all-powerful diety can’t swing a fucking election to the Great White Dope by juggling a few hundred thousand votes in achandful of key states?
No wonder they’re always so pissed off. God seems to be screwing with these wingnut lunatics.
Go tell the Spartans, thou who passest by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.
I don’t want to meet those poor little cheesehead boys when they’re older. They’re gonna be some mean sumbitchez. It’s what you can get with a loving, xtian, two-parent, suburban, entitled, I’ve-got-mine-fuck-you family.
You know, I love that song and I have a lot of sympathy for the people whose perspective it’s from, poor white Southerners in a natural disaster feeling like the whole world just wants to get rid of them. People trying to elect a plutocrat to further pillage the economy and deny people rights based on their bigotry, and failing to do so, I have a whole lot less sympathy for. Weird application of the song, for me, but then I’ve known it for a long time.
“To this poor crackers land.” With a shot of Bill O’Reilly. Priceless.
How excellent to know he’s still out there pitching. Awesome.
Thought about ya round 11 yesterday, GW.
What to do? Hunker down and await the Rapture. Meanwhile, they haz a sad, so I haz a happy — all is good, all is well. I might have to watch the whole thing again.
Can’t wait for the Hitler learns Romney defeated video.
It’s very comforting.
…and some day, probably a very long time from now, no one at all will need to remember, it’ll be nothing but a long-ago sadness. That will be best.
Watching that video, I almost felt sorry for those people…
Then I remembered that in 2000 and again in 2004, any questions on the legitimacy of Bush’s win were generally met with taunts of “get over it”, and any subsequent questions of Bush’s leadership skills were met with “traitor”, “9/11″, and “war on terror”.
So fuck them.
Sadly tho we can’t use “Elections have consequences” because it’s looking like Obama is going try to prove that he is still the most accommodating motherfucker in the room!
I’m not big into schdenfreude about this election. billmon’s diary on Daily Kos sorta get at why. I know a lot of these people. They are friends, family, neighbors, co-workers. Otherwise responsible, caring people–who have bought into the rightwing narrative they immerse themselves in on radio, on TV, and at church.
But…there is one big huge exception. The lady who in 2004 was the poster girl for the purple heart bandaid display at the Republican convention. That still is the most sick and foul stunt the GOP ever pulled, not to get punished for it. Her prideful contempt for one for a war hero who had committed the “treason” of running against their incumbent draft-dodger and fuckoff deserves the humiliation of a Mourning in America portrait.
I know. There’s a tragic quality to these people. So divorced from changing realities and unable and incapable of recognizing that and adapting. A frightened, intolerant, myopic and isolated people.
They may be “caring people” one on one but collectively they are indifferent and callous to the plight of those who are less fortunate or “different.”
I feel sorry for all those people. They are our neighbors, Aunts, Uncles, cousins and friends that despite politics, we encounter and get along with for the most part, every day. You’ve tried to talk them through the doubt and confusion, but get nowhere. They are glued to god and faux news and Rush. Changing their outlook has become near impossible. And still, they are our brothers and sisters, and still, I feel sorry for them all.
The Democratic Party has morphed into Republican Party of Reagan’s day.
So, good luck to the Republicans in coming up with a kinder, gentler, more diverse Republican Party that is appreciably different from today’s DLC Democratic Party.
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
I know we’re being invited to laugh at these people, but they make me sad. We’re going the way of all the settler colonies, but the passing of white supremacy doesn’t necessarily bring justice or equality–we’ve moved further from that.
And all those people in the pictures who are poor or unemployed attest to the Democratic Party’s failure to reach them on issues that should unite us. The fact that most liberals don’t get that at all–just get the willies and laugh a little too loudly at people who are so much like them–is REALLY to cry for.
Ha Ha. I’d forgotten about that one.
It’s not as good as the Santorum picture but it’s good enough: Bristol Palin ghostwriter Nancy French and family.
Okay well reading the diary at DailyKos helped, billmon’s post presenting the video says this:
And in a way I can’t quite explain, that fact lends a measure of dignity to their grief — to the point where their faces almost begin to resemble old photos of Geronimo in captivity, his sad eyes looking past the camera to a vanished world that no white man can conquer.
So it’s more a sympathetic message than just pure gloating, thus more (in his mind) in keeping with the song. I still see the 1927 flood victims as so much more pitiable, being guilty of nothing but trying to live, than people who’ve failed to impose their brainwashed bigoted Bain-fodder unthinking zombie will on the rest of us that it’s hard to put the two together, but that’s just speaking for me.
Also the whole idea of “defeated enemies” may be a bit premature. They ain’t going nowhere, believe me.
Last night, some watched a football game, where one team winning, gloated and taunted the other side. It went into over time and guess what? Neither side won.
It’s kind of amusing to see them deal with their disappointment, and with the realization that the US is simply not a ‘center-right’ country despite what their echo chamber tells them.
HOWEVER, some… maybe many… of these Beck-following nutters really feel like their country is being taken over by an internal enemy, and I’m concerned that they simply don’t have the faculties to cope with that in a rational manner. When I see these images of their despondence, I’m genuinely concerned about violence.
Man, I hope I’m wrong… and I hope that they can finally put country over party and help get things moving again.
Shorter sad purity trolls: What’s most important here is that we bash the winning Dems mercilessly because we have more in common with teabag losers.
Awwww…poor fuckin’ racists and white supremacists.
The shorter anti-purity trollers: getting their nut laughing at people who look just like them. Getting their nut the HARD way, on the internet.
Calling themselves “Bro” and stuff. Because seeking common cause or opposing bombing is. . . just. . . too. . . PURE for them. Nice. And braggin about it! Prizes for them all! Your mirror images can use you in the lower reaches of Free Republic when you’re done.
I was just going to read this morning and visit the sites to see what is happening but your comment deserves a big “thank you” for what you said.
Your idea of a portrait of Mourning in America deserves a collage of all those pictures.
Again, thank you. That purple bandaid thing really pissed me off at the time and i still get mad thinking about it.
You are making your priorities very clear: there are winners and there are losers and you want to be with the winners. The actual policies are secondary, if they count at all.
The triumphalists and tribalists stand for nothing, defend nothing, and win nothing.
It takes all kinds of fucking effort to be as ill informed as the jack-offs have made themselves.
That and an arrogance that refuses to admit how much the rest of society has take care of them while they wallow in their moronic and delusional “Rugged Individualism.”
I was mildly ashamed at laughing so hard at this video, but then I remember that these are the people forwarding emails and snickering at racist, lying jokes, and then, I’m not so sorry after all.
I remember feeling that sad on Election Night 2004: “How can we, as a country, re-elect someone so obviously an incompetent, overprivileged asshole?”
Except in 2012, we re-elected someone who was not at all incompetent or overprivileged. And who didn’t allow one of America’s major cities to drown from a hurricane.
And as a white-American, I too want “stuff” and “things”. Like repaired roads and bridges, clean air and water, safe food, and the knowledge that my crappy 401k won’t be stolen by a bunch of entitled shitheads without consequences. So all them white folks in that video can wipe their tears away with copies of Paul Ryan’s “budget” and Obama’s long-form birth certificate.
Was just talking with my mom about this idea of “purity trolling.” She’s a lifelong Dem party activist who got arrested climbing the Pentagon during the 60s, local school board member, just received a lifetime achievement award from the local NAACP for her devotion to civil rights. . .
What interests me, I told her, is how she and my Dad and liberals like them used to routinely hold their noses and vote Democrat, then go out in the street and shout, “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” In other words, they were capable of political nuance. I don’t see that today, and I wonder whether this is a matter of the discourse being SO alienated that you’re a “purist” if you’re against drone-bombing innocent Pakistani children? Or if you want to criticize the President’s policy moves? In the end such charges just seem like a kind of policing of the edges of a discourse that’s already so narrow. . . a purposeful blindness. Do people really think you get change by acquiescing?
Can. Not. Get. Enough. Schadenfreude.
Apparently so, since that’s how Obama does it.
Matthew Detroit: They do not think about it. They utterly ignore any statement or question they dislike. They simply state that the change will happen and then the dismiss it from their minds. You can ask them a hundred times to tell everyone how we can push the Democratic Party to the left and one hundred times they will pretend the question was never asked.
Getting change was never the goal; change requires risk and possible loss. Obeying their leader was their goal and they achieved it brilliantly. They did their job by following and now the leader is free to do his job, which is to lead. There is a mental wall that many will never go over or break through; they come to a complete stop and dismiss the matter from their mind. The wall is obedience to authority. Questioning their authority is not a choice to them. It does not exist. A purposeful blindness is exactly what they develop.
in reply to matt detroit @38
Meant to add my mother’s response: she told me that she had just had lunch with an old friend’s daughter, who happens to have been the first Black woman admitted to MIT. They got to talking politics, my mom began to express her disappointment with Obama and his failure to help the poor. Crickets, followed by stony silence, followed by an early end to lunch.
So which weapon do you support using to deal with religous nuts who dream of being mass murderers?
Or maybe you could focus on the laws currently written that make the President Judge, Jury, and Executioner?
Obama’s choice of drones appears to me to be using the least amount of high explosives necessary.
Obviously, you buy in. When we’re turning all that other hardware into ploughshares, let us know. Obama hasn’t challenged the military-industrial complex in any way, shape, manner, or form. He looks less awkward saluting, I’ll give him that. And I hear he has improved his golf game. As for mass murder, WE are the only ones who have yet to use the bomb, twice. As the world’s judge, jury, and executioner (but of course, supremely sane) we continue to reserve the right to do it again. Where will be first? Maybe nuking Iran to keep them from having nukes? That would carry a certain symmetry.
So you completely run away from the question of how to deal with religious nutbags bent on killing lots of people.
Obama doesn’t have that luxury…
All too white. I hope these people can find their way out of the deep end of the pond. The water could be rising there. .
I wonder whether this is a matter of the discourse being SO alienated that you’re a “purist” if you’re against drone-bombing innocent Pakistani children?
Who isn’t against drone-bombing Pakistani children?
Where will be first? Maybe nuking Iran to keep them from having nukes? That would carry a certain symmetry.
Do you believe this is the sort of thing the Obama administration is likely to do?
Don’t be silly.
You’re joking, right? I have friends in Pakistan and call tell you a dirty secret: drone bombing makes them hate us more. And if you think that a sitting President should be spending his Tuesdays personally deciding who to kill (messy from an ethicas as well as Constitutional standpoint, no?), then YOU are a little twisted. But. . . hate’ll do that to people.
When you have taken care of the religious crazies here–same Abrahambic fundamentalists, really–THEN maybe we can talk about initiating a new round of military adventurism like that through which me created and armed Al Qaeda.
Hillary Clinton has REPEATEDLY said that “no option is off the table.” Direct quote. Bone up. This is what “bunker buster” (TM applied for) nukes were devised for.
I live in a deep red area of Indiana, the northern most southern state. I regularly meet with a group of retired old men, all white. They too are good people and I like them. But they are sold into the far right conservatives. They think Obama is a socialist and if you object they mock you. I am out numbered ten to two. I find their politics to be obnoxious for many reasons. It is unfortunate that I am transplanted from NYC, via LA.
Lets play a game, Matthew. You are commander in chief. You have intelligence about a group you have been following. They intend to attack in the US. They have spotted them and our spy satellite has eyes on them . It’s Tuesday. You have at your disposal F-16s, a battery of missiles at sea, seal team six, the 82d airborne and drones. If one of these;guys sets off a bomb in Penn Station many will die or be maimed and you will have to explain it.. So thems the facts. Your move this fine Tuesday. Lets make it more interesting. Say these guys are amongst civilians. Any difference in your decision?
Hillary Clinton also said:
But the issue itself, I think that what has actually happened over the last three years is that President Obama has forged a consensus in the international community, including China and Russia, to a much greater extent than was ever done before. You get no argument now from anybody that, uh, we want to work together to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
And I think we’ve made progress. The sanctions are really, having an impact and there will be, you know, more to come if necessary. And what we are looking at is what’s going on inside Iran. There’s a lot of discontent. A lot of political upheaval and some of that is due to the pressure that is being brought to bear from the outside.
There’s no reason any option should be off the table, in the context of the remarks above. Without that context, however, the isolated “no option off the table” is meaningless, and to translate that into a desire to nuke Iran is deeply dishonest, or ignorant– your choice.
I really wish Pakistan could handle its own religious fundamentalists. But due the politically unstable triad of their Military, the civilian government, and ISI locked in a constant power struggle, they can’t deal with the religious militias in any effective way.
I don’t think the President should be the one making the decisions, but congress has abdicated their responsibility and dumped it on the Executive branch. The laws need to be changed. Using drones to fight terrorism is one hell of a lot less destructive than any of the other options.
And as repugnant as the fundies are in this country, they aren’t sending mass murderers out to kill people. (At least not yet.)
That’s right we the people of the United States of America created Al-qaeda. I think that makes us responsible for dealing with them…
I have friends in Pakistan and call tell you a dirty secret: drone bombing makes them hate us more.
And then there are people actually in Pakistan, who poll for the answer to this question and do not come up with the same result you and your “friends” did. Who has more credibility, do you think?
Again, dishonest, or ignorant– your choice.
And if you think that a sitting President should be spending his Tuesdays personally deciding who to kill (messy from an ethicas as well as Constitutional standpoint, no?), then YOU are a little twisted. But. . . hate’ll do that to people.
As you have no doubt repeatedly been told, this is not a unilateral decision, but the President has said that his will be the last word on whether to go after those on the list of terrorist actors identified by the FBI and other agencies.
Again, dishonest or ignorant, your choice.
Take for example the high profile case of Anwar al-Alwaki. Against Yemeni law to extradite him to the US for trial. Wanted dead or alive by the Yemen gov as well. In hiding. Still planning mayhem. What to do.
A drone strike seems to make sense in this case, and I’m sure you’d find it does in the others for which this approach has been chosen, but you won’t– you simply do not want to listen, or learn, or honestly weigh decision and alternative, instead preferring to snipe away like a petulant child about something you haven’t bothered to educate yourself about.
Better luck next time, Ratatosk.
I can’t believe this guy didn’t make it in the video:
Hartsburg’s tattoo covers a 5-by-2 inch space on the side of his face, and he did it after raising $5,000 on eBay for the effort. He didn’t even tell his wife he planned to get the tattoo until about an hour before.
I actually didn’t laugh at the sad losing Republicans in the clip, but I’m under no delusions that these are the same people if they had their way who would provide no government assistance to the poor or unemployed, would make the Koch Bros taxes exactly zero, would deny abortion rights in all cases and would deny me and millions of others marriage equality rights. So yes, I’m glad I’m on the “winning side” and they are not. Thanks purity trolls for showing who you WANT to side with. You’re puzzled by the purity label when that’s what mattered to you most. So own it, please own it.
heavens to joe christmas
White People Mourning Romney
The tears, the cheesies, the tears, the cheesies!
No, the purity label is easily understood. It means that you see the world as a binary choice, them or us, and anything that questions the unity and supremecy of “us” is a threat that must be supressed. It means that you are willing to give up everything you supposedly believe in to preserve the rewards that come from belonging to a group.
Obama does not and never did beieve in marriage equality.
Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment which would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman, but stated in a 2008 interview that he personally believes that marriage is “between a man and a woman” and that he is “not in favor of gay marriage.” He supports civil unions that would carry equal legal standing to that of marriage for same-sex couples, but believes that decisions about the title of marriage should be left to the states.
Obama would not allow Plan B abortions in cases of incest and banned the use of federal funds for abortions which means most state health programs do not offer it. 87% of US counties have no abortion provider.
Obama wants to cut military health benefits and Social Security and Medicare.
Obama says the we have to cut the deficit, which is a lie. He is pursuing an austerity program by cutting federal spending, which will crater the economy just as it did in 1937.
Yes, the Republicans are worse. But UI eventually ends and if there are no jobs you’ll starve. The left might not lower the Koches’ tax rate to zero but it will not lower their influence. You are trading a cow for a handful of beans and they are not magic beans.
The divide is not and never has been between the left and right; it is between the powerful and the powerless.It is very amusing to mock the right–I do it all the time–but it is not enough. We have to fight for what we want in this life. Why do you believe the powerful when they tell you to trust them and obey?
In general, I haven’t laughed so hard since the Giants beat the Pats on the way to Perfectville. And before that, it was the ’86 Series. It occurs to me that both those events had their locus in Boston as well.
Seriously, a lot of those people are friends of mine and I’m sad for them, even though their endless insistence that Obama is turning the U.S. socialist and is a Muslim is deeply irritating. I wish they didn’t think that way and I’m certainly glad my side won this time.
The saddest part of the video is in the end whenthat man had to carry Romney because he had stopped functioning. What? That was a foamboard? Really? Huh. Any how, I must be a bad person because the whole video I was wishing I could have been at all those events, onstage, and mooning all those folks with a big Obama sticker on one cheek and a Biden on the other.
Yes, the Rs are worse, much worse. No need to cut the deficit. In fact it is stoopid. But why so angry? Did you really think Moneybags was going to give you all your heart desired and now you are pissed he lost? GEt over it, at least for now. I’m pretty sure there will be more shit coming at you later. Stay cool.
SoT, you sure have a hate on for me when all I expressed are opinions on issues you said I didn’t care about but presumably you agree with. I don’t hate you. Yes, it was a binary choice no matter what I wanted, wished for, imagined, dreamed. Whatever. I can live with that without being mightily offended that The Perfect wasn’t one of the available choices.
When I see pictures like this, the first thing I think about is what the Hell ever happened to LSD? What a great drug and so many of these people would benefit from just one little tab. I’m for a party that runs on solar panels, birth control and psychedelics. How about that for the new Republican Party?
There is no anger or hate or offense on my part and it’s very interesting that two people would respond to a list of the facts with these accusations. My posts did not demonstrate anger or offense and I did not demonstrate any hate towards RWW, just a statement that (s)he was binary.I also never have (and never would) express allegiance to Romney. But by accusing me of anger and hatred and making up imaginary allegiances they are able to dismiss what I say at the words of a hater and thus were able to continue ignoring the facts, thereby retaining their positions of trust in and good standing with their group.
The facts don’t care if we acknowledge them or not. We will suffer the consequences of others’ actions whether we acknowledge those consequences or not.
LOL, I’ll take binary whether you take purity or not. We both say no to hate. That’s something.
I feel bad for them because looking at those photos calls up in my gut the weight of dread and sorrow that descended on me and everyone in this house in 2000 and 2004.
Then during the Iraq build-up and catastrophe and Katrina, when the anticipatory dread turned into hideous fact.
The most despairing of those people, I believe, think the socialist, Islamist equivalents are going to be visited on them. They’re frightened. A lot of them are laced with race-based anger, too. But fear comes first. And since Romney and Ryan scared the bejesus out of me (when I could bear to contemplate them at all), I can relate.
Jeez, either I’m way behind the curve on this, or you’re bit ahead of it, Susan.
I can find no stated intent to cut any of these three things by Obama.
On the subject of Military Benefit cuts, I found a spate of articles from early 2012 about this, which implied cuts to military benefits under the defense reductions umbrella (under the sequestration scenario), but this was refuted by observing that the agreement exempts these benefits from the cuts.
Something new since then?
On the subject of Social Security, I found a spate of articles from previous years saying that SS cuts were (on the table) without any specifics, and citing Obama’s support for Simpson-Bowles as proof. But Obama said he supports the S-B “framework”, which leaves an awful lot of wiggle room and does not commit to any specifics of the plan. And then there’s Biden’s guarantee:
Joe Biden said in the strongest possible terms that there will be no cuts to Social Security in a second Obama administration. He repeated the statement with the additional line that “I guarantee it.” This would seem to be a pretty clear contradiction with President Obama’s support for Bowles-Simpson.”
Again, what’d I miss?
On the subject of Medicare cuts, I found a number of articles describing the $716 Billion figure which the ACA strips from Medicare, but these cuts are described in several “fact-check” style articles as coming from the “elimination of a massive subsidy to private insurers and gradually reducing the rate of growth in payments to some providers.” and it is further pointed out that there are no changes to to the benefit package.
Again, has this changed?
So, that’s the three claims all piled up in one sentence. I’d be interested to hear what I may have missed, in this one small section of your blizzard of complaints.
As a last add, it’s not absolutely necessary to reduce the deficit, but it of course is most definitely desirable, for the same reason you wanna pay down the debt on your credit cards: because if you do not, the interest alone will sooner or later come to be most of your monthly budget, greatly reducing your actual spending power. Same with the Gov, isn’t it?
Everything you wrote sounds right to me except for the last paragraph. That 716b was composed of,three roughly equal parts as I recall. One was elimination of subsidies to Medicare advantage plans, another was reductions In payments to hospitals and then other various amounts. The hospitals agreed to the cuts since they will have fewer people coming to the emergency room with no insurance. None of the reductions will reduce what Medicare pays.
On the deficit there is utterly no reason to reduce it. I want to say that as strongly as I can. It,has to do with economics as taught by the MMT economists. The reason, simply put, is the Feds own the right to create money in unlimited amounts. No one else can do that. Interest rates on the debt is fully under the control of the federal reserve. The government is nothing at all like a household or Greece or Spain or the state of Indiana.
I think this is the problem: I’m still pissed that Guantanamo is still open. I’m still pissed that the government can spy on anyone at any time with no warrant or probably cause. I’m still pissed that Obama might be even thinking about cutting Social Security or Medicare to have a ‘Grand Bargain’ with sociopaths. But:
If you are a black person who has seen your state government trying to keep you from VOTING for God’s sake, then it becomes binary.
If you are a woman and you see what state governments are doing to your right to being an autonomous human being, then it becomes binary.
If you are Hispanic and this is the vote of your life because your cousin or your wife or your brother might get rounded up, imprisoned for years before a hearing or put in a truck and driven to the Mexican border…whether actual citizens or not, it becomes binary.
If Medicare, Medicade or Social Security means life or death to yourself or someone your love and it’s targeted the way Paul Ryan has targeted them, then it becomes binary.
Well, you get the drift. When a person feels they are directly threatened by neanderthals who don’t even know when they are being used and lied to and laughed at (I know Ralph Reed laughs at them, I know Rove laughs at them, I know the preachers who would grab a starving person’s last dime laugh at them), then it does become binary. At least for that ‘survival’ moment.
Now that the threat has been dealt with, we can start protesting those things that piss us off. But at least we are dealing with sentient beings who actually listen to arguments and will make a case. Let the petitions, marching, emails, Occupy protests begin. I’m all for it and I do think the Occupy movement helped A LOT. But the monster is dispatched for now.
[Obama] supports civil unions that would carry equal legal standing to that of marriage for same-sex couples, but believes that decisions about the title of marriage should be left to the states.
Not sure who is talking here, but I’ve gotten the sense over the years that Obama feels marriage to be a religious sacrament, and inasmuch as the constitution forbids law tangling with religion, instead supports civil unions, which the constitution is mute on the subject of.
As a Christian himself, this may also account for his personal beliefs on the subject of marriage– again as opposed to civil union, where we find him not so dogmatic.
And for those that think Romney and Obama are Tweedle Dum – Tweedle Dee, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Everything you wrote sounds right to me except for the last paragraph. That 716b was composed of,three roughly equal parts as I recall
Quite right, the quote I provided from the article streamlines the parts, but does in fact acknowledge the three of ‘em. The Medicare Advantage option is being tossed because it didn’t work: beneficiaries wound up paying more under it than otherwise.
On your second point, if there is no need for concern about a federal debt because the government can simply “print up money” whenever it likes, why have an income tax? Why have any revenues at all? Why did Clinton concern himself with deficit reduction?
And why bother to borrow at all?
So 2003 through 2009 never happened?
If we stopped using drones today, they would all of a sudden start liking us all over again?
All options are on the table means that all options will be considered.
It doesn’t mean that all options are equally probable or that the worst option is the one that will be used.
The main reason to reduce the debt is to avoid the inflation that would result from just printing money.
There are at least two scenarios that I can think of if we just start printing money.
1) We can become addicted to the idea of free money and create hyper-inflation, and we all lose.
2) Or we can print a rational amount of money, just enough to stimulate the economy, not go crazy, which will also increase inflation (A moderate amount of inflation will act like a hidden tax on hoarded wealth).
The big question is, do we have the political will to increase the money supply by just running the presses.
And how will all that cash enter the economy? The current method is through the Fed, do we want to give the “Banksters” that much power?
I found this to be a helpful examination of the ramifications.
Simple enough for a guy who flunked Econ 101 to understand [laughing], thank God.
I’m still pissed that the government can spy on anyone at any time with no warrant or probably cause.
I don’t know if you’ve read The Shadow Factory by James Bamford. One of my take-aways from that book was how nearly impossible it will be to unwind/shut down these programs because there is too much fucking money at stake. The vested interests will fight tooth-and-nail to keep that from happening, all the while screeching ‘national security’.
The spying is here to stay. The drones (part of the spy program) are here to stay. A read through The Shadow World and Top Secret America pretty well confirm that reality.
A moderate amount of inflation will act like a hidden tax on hoarded wealth
Unlike ChrisV (#81), I didn’t even sign up for any Econ courses, so I am particularly econ-ignorant. But when I first heard that line (that I quoted from your post just above), it was the key for me in understanding why all the powers-that-be – including our Millionaire Media Corp – have been so vocally gung-ho about deficit reduction. Within their respective professional positions, they’re not acting on guidance from their technical staffs, but rather from their personal financial advisers. It certainly illuminated the ‘WTF?!?‘ moment I had back in 2008, when man-of-the-people Charlie Gibson – at the time, ABC News anchorman – brought up the topic of capital gains taxes while moderating one of the Democratic Presidential primary debates.
Mind you I am no Economist, this is just what I remember from my Econ Classes while I was in the MBA program at NYU.
The really sad part about my time at NYU was that a lot of the Wall Street “Masters of the Universe” were my classmates and they thought that Econ was a bunch of Ivory Tower BS and couldn’t be bothered to pay attention.
I’m not sure how to lift a link from You-Tube but if you search for a video titled
“The Watson Institute at Brown presents Mark Blythe on Austerity”
I’m sure you will find it illuminating (Econ with a Scottish accent).
You’re right, that video (5:35) is very good, and offers a very down-to-Earth explanation.
The video* is also at his Watson Institute Website (*Vimeo).
I agree about the song not being quite right for the occasion. Randy Newman’s “Rednecks” would have made a better soundtrack, IMHO.
Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
I’m with you, Spud. Borrowing a thought from another Randy Newman song: “They may be fools, but they’re our fools. If we think we’re better than them, we’re wrong.”
Great question. Income taxes are used to regulate demand and to redistribute income. The demand regulation aspect is for inflation. At the moment we don’t need taxes. And Clinton’s surplus likely caused the recession Bush faced when he came to office. A deficit can be a concern when there is inflation. That occurs when we are at full capacity. We are not there yet with over twenty millon underemployed. So why do we have taxes? Damned if I know other than to take some back from the one percenters.
You can check out Warren Mosler’s book: The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economics Policy. There are many other readings there and other sites on Modern Monetary Policy (MMT). The book is free.
( I tried to post the link but it failed ???, but it is mosler.com)
No need to “borrow” at all. And the debt is no problem for us since we create our own money unlike you or me or Greece.
I would quibble a little with that. Deficits are printing money. But deficits will only cause inflation when all resources are being used. that would include the unemployed. There are economists who will say that as a general matter we should always run deficits. A government deficit, as some say, is merely the accounting record of how much has been transferred to the private sector – you and me and firms.
I should say I am not an economist. So I am saying only what I believe the MMT people are saying. Good place to start is mosler.com or neweconomicperspectives.org. In fact there is an excellent piece up at the later one now that is a good primer by Joe Firestone.
From the linked review of “The Shadow Factory”: These are the kinds of details, or coincidences, that Bamford loves. In “The Shadow Factory” he piles one on top of another — events, addresses, room numbers — in a slapped-together text that often blends facts with speculation to evoke a pervasive atmosphere of conspiracy.
I stopped reading the review, and your comment, at this point. Can you see why?
Clinton’s surplus likely caused the recession Bush faced when he came to office
Could you flesh this out a little bit, please?
The spying is here to stay. The drones (part of the spy program) are here to stay.
Do you know, there was in the sixties a television show called Bewitched, which featured a knockout Liz Montgomery playing a witch who was frequently observed by her neighbor across the street, Gladys Kravitz, peering thorough the blinds, to be practicing acts of witchcraft.
Gladys Kravitz was never charged, and for good reason. It is simply not illegal to observe.
As the number of public surveillance cameras increases, you might as well get used to it, and might take some solace in the fact that it is very, very difficult to kidnap a child in a shopping mall as a result.
And know this: “Scopophobia” is the clinical name for the irrational fear of being observed.
Which begs the question: Why borrow at all?
Because we can print money, we can service our debt, unlike Greece, but still, this does not mean that there is not a debt. The ability of the US to print money does not mean that it can create money– it means that it can create debt.
Look, Blue, we’re coming out of a real estate bubble in which it was believed that no matter how much money you threw at a house purchase, it was not a problem because there would always be another person behind you who would fork up more money for the thing, in a never-ending upward spiral of wealth.
See, this is why I flunked econ 101, because this seemed to be a fundamentally flawed view.
I was right, and I guess, in a sense, econ 101 flunked, not me.
A last add on surveillance cameras, an anecdote.
In the seventies, the print shop I worked for installed a bunch of cams in the various areas of the shop, and it was very new, and sort of startling. The boss was a technogeek, and thought it was the shit. At the time, I did not agree, I felt violated.
I am, or was, a competent graphic artist, and spent some time creating a very faithful pen-and-ink rendition of the classic “Indian Head” TV test pattern, which I hung in front of the camera in the art department.
It took the boss three days to track down my mischief, after first enlisting the company which installed the cams and berating them for their lack of competence.
Good times, good times.
My local pub has surveillance cams, and I’m glad of it. Using them, I and the owner of the bar were able more than once to track down a theft within the bar.
And in an especially memorable instance, the offspring of a local bigwig started some shit in the bar and got clocked for it. Next, his Dad, the bigwig himself, was down the pub threatening lawsuit for failing to protect the offspring, and it was wonderful to say “would you care to see video of your drunken son throwing the first punch?”
I guess I’m saying that surveillance vid does much, much more good than harm.
Also, probably oughta draw the shades when you’re having sex.
Chris, we really don’t borrow at all. We don’t need money from anyone, including China. Now the way congress has constrained the governemt, the treasury has to issue bonds, which are purchased by a consortium of banks.
Then the fed buys the bonds from the banks.
We are actually doing China a favor by selling them bonds. If we did not their money would just sit in a bank account or at the fed not earning any interest. (although these days we don’t pay much interest anyway.) US Treasuries are the safest investment on the planet. One exception, congress saw fit to impose a debt limit, which could cause us to default. So S&P downgraded us for the political risk associated with that. But it is self imposed, not economically imposed.
Actually, money is debt. It is a claim on the government. The government agrees to take it in payment of all debts you owe. (strange I know but there it is.)
The housing bubble is just that- a bubble. Capitalist economies regulary have boom and bust cycles. We have throughout history. In the housing bubble it was not the government but private people and banks who loaned money to all comers. That eventually busted. You may recall the dot com bubble in 1999. As I recall Csco was selling for something like 50x earnings or some ridiculous number. Actually, the bubble at that time enabled the Clinton people to “think” their surplus was ok. Bubbles typically burst when the last man “in” can’t pay either the interest or the principal on his debt and then is forced to sell. You know the rest. A fella name of Hyman Minsky described it all pretty well. You could blame the bubbles on lack of regulation or the regulators sleeping at the wheel.
You have a lot more common knowledge on this thing than you let on. I begin to think you are just funning with me.
PS anyone, including you or banks can create money. You could issue a promissory note and see if the local liquor establishment will take it. The difference with the government is when a bank makes a loan there is a loan and offsetting liability, which net to zero. If the fed runs a deficit there is a net gain in financial assets in the private sector. It does not net to zero. Deficit in governemt = surplus all other sectors to the penny, the exact penny.
That occurs when we are at full capacity. We are not there yet with over twenty millon underemployed
Look, take the following as an observation, rather than anything else:
Set the waybac for 1950, Sherman, and the science fiction I read then, as a kid: the wonder of a projected future in which machines would perform the dreary tasks then performed by humans, freeing them from the drudgery of manual work. Sounds swell, huh?
It came to pass.
I have personally been replaced by machines a handful of times. A veteran of the printing industry, I acquired a handful of talents which are simply no longer of any use: typesetting, platemaking, process camera, press operation, etc., and I could go on and on. I’m probably the only guy you know who can operate a Linotype machine. See Vonnegut’s Player Piano or Serling’s The Brain Center at Whipple’s” if you want drama, but fact is:
Fact is, there’s more humans than there is jobs, and that’s not gonna get anything but worse as we get better at making things better and simpler.
As a final image, imagine a welder on a Detroit assembly line struggling to keep up with a programmed welding machine kicking his ass on welds, or a machinist trying to keep up with a computer-driven laser, or a fifties era phone operator trying to keep up with the switching skills of chip-driven telephone service.
I think it’s time to say it out loud: there aren’t going to be more jobs. There are going to be less, always, and increasingly so. And, there are going to be more humans, always, and increasingly so. So, conundrum.
I’m pushing retirement age, and won’t live to see how you all deal with it, and I sure as hell don’t see a solution.
But even an old fart like me can see that you better start looking.
“no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory of whiteness” — wcw
On the NewsCorp, Rove’s word is law and it is this which paralyzes resistance….He never speaks but in the imperative mood. He commands even the sun. For when the noon observation is taken, it is officially twelve o’clock only when the captain says ‘Make it so.’ Rove will smash the quadrant and denounce the whole procedure and all science included. — hm
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues- every stately or lovely emblazoning- the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge- pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt? — hm (the whiteness of the whale)
Deficit in governemt = surplus all other sectors to the penny, the exact penny.
I am not funning when I say that you have posted here the biggest load of unintelligible hooey ever. There is not in any sentence in any paragraph of what you’ve written the remotest agreement with reason or reality, and I reproduce this, your last sentence, as evidence.
Sorry; I just don’t get it.
Interesting obeservation. But today, we could productively employ those people or at least I think so. During Clinton’s years we got unemployment down to under 4% I believe. Today I read an estimate of us needing over two trillion dollars of infrastruture improvements. That does not count the need in NY and NJ after the hurricane. There are any number of projects right around my home town. Our country can use any number of health care workers. And if we are flush with plenty, the rest of the world is not.
I also think if that world ever gets here, it still means we have to do away with poverty and poor health care. Maybe people retire earlier. But I am not as pessimistic as you. I think there will always be something to do, even if it is something as wild as space exploration.
So, there is always some danger of inflation. But I doubt we are anywhere near it. And if we were we have the tools to stop it, called taxes and spending. What we lack is the will to go forward and get the country back on the path to prosperity IMO. Instead we want to talk about the fiscal cliff or something. Why don’t we talk about those twenty million looking for work or a better life? Or the fifty million in poverty?
Yes, as I said.
But today, we could productively employ those people or at least I think so. During Clinton’s years we got unemployment down to under 4% I believe.
Yes, back when I was gainfully employed in the number of printing industry tasks I described which are now simply obsolete.
A new societal model is needed, and again, you better start looking.
Perhaps you could tell the Feddle Gummint to ship a suitcase fulla Franklins to every resident of the country, since money can be invented, according to your extremely odd view of what money is.
Hang on…pause it at 1:15. Isn’t that Banjo Boy? Or maybe one of his kids? Just sayin…
I also think if that world ever gets here, it still means we have to do away with poverty and poor health care. Maybe people retire earlier. But I am not as pessimistic as you. I think there will always be something to do, even if it is something as wild as space exploration.
As I said, a new societal model is needed. There is no reason anybody on this planet should go hungry or without health care, though millions do– it’s a matter of contemporary logistics, indifference, and economy that they do.
Maybe we just need better humans, you know?
I’m a little pissed off at your characterization of me as a pessimist, because Pollyanna, the optimist to beat all optimists, understood that it was first necessary to point out a wrong, as I’ve done, though Pollyanna herself was not capable of solution.
Speaking as Chief of Engineering [fanfare] of a company that rents video and computer equipment to film and television production companies, I can guarantee you that pointing out that something is broken is not in itself pessimism– it enables us to do our job.
Thanks for bringing up space exploration, which response to I’ll delay for another comment, so everyone can go out to the kitchen to get another cup of coffee, or take a bathroom break.
I grew up with pulp Science Fiction, and knew Heinlein at least as well as know you by the time I was seven or eight. Yeah, he turned out to be kinda wack, but then again he did say [paraphrasing from memory]:
You can drive any animal crazy by putting too many of them into too small a cage. Humans are the only animal that does this to themselves voluntarily
And on space exploration:
It’s raining soup out there
I agree, on both. As an aside, the last time I was up at JPL, as a guest of a friend for a symposium, named ID badges for the invitees were laid out at the reception table, and one of them caught my eye:
Delos David Harriman.
Oh, man. See, that’s Heinlein fictional character from the “The Man Who Sold the Moon”, and this is JPL’s nod to his contribution.
I’ve never given up, and am recently re-energized by the promise of private enterprise into space, and still believe that it is, in fact, “raining soup out there.”
I can only suggest that you read up on MMT. There are tons of info out there, nearly all free. On employment, it has to do with sales or what they call aggregate demand. People have unlimited wants and needs. When they spend for “stuff” the increased sales result in hiring more people. No space exploration needed. No wars needed either.
You should not be “pissed” about being called a pessimist. There are many others who figure there is nothing we can do about unemployment. I am not one of them. And obviously many believe our debt will bankrupt us and we are out of money. I am not one of them. And many also think we need to cut SS and Medicare. Not me. Same for education and so many more things i like to call the public purpose. So lets just say we have different perspectives.
You’re right though. This has gone on long enough. Catch you on another thread.
My bad, I didn’t intend to link deficits to printing money.
I was just pointing to an interesting video that I thought would be interesting to somebody who claims to not know a lot about econ, on another hot topic that we will undoubtably be hearing about very soon.
Well, then I don’t get it.
Premise: Mankind has increasingly created machines to performs the tasks formerly performed by mankind.
Premise: Mankind is increasing in number.
Conclusion: Mankind is therefore less likely to have work.
If there is a flaw in this simple syllogism, I invite you to point it out.
You better start looking.
No space exploration needed.
Noooooooooooooooooooooo! There are times, like this, when I think the “explorer gene” [laughing] has simply died out.
A big part of the problem is that all of the productivity gains have been reserved for the top 1%. Wages have been stagnant for decades due to consolidation and collusion.
A good way to deal with the unemployment problem is to cut back on the standard work week, like they have done in Europe. More free time to workers and living wages will help a lot.
Pessimist is the name given to a Realist, by an Optimist.
Hee hee, and optimist is the name given to a realist by a pessimist.
Look you [laughing], I am in fact an optimist, it’s a matter of faith, and therefore inarguable.
Good call on the reduced work week solution; it fits with not only current economic realities, but also the promise of fifties sci-fi.
And many also think we need to cut SS and Medicare. Not me. Same for education and so many more things i like to call the public purpose. So lets just say we have different perspectives.
I think you just implied that I advocate cutting SS, Medicare, and Education.
You wanna back the fuck off.
Wildly OT: Our host has decreed TWO adjectives for Billmon. I bow and tremble [after watching the clip].
Also too, despite some early promise, this thread has become boringly substantive and not uncivil.
And to Chris Vosburg – I’ve found The Levy Institute a good source of analysis on debt, deficit vs. surplus, and recession dynamics, though pitched at a > Econ 101 level.
Are you an Orthodox Optimist, New Reform Optimist or Evangelical Optimist?
An optimist, a pessimist, a realist and a pragmatist walk into a bar…..
No I didn’t mean to do that. Poorly worded. Sorry.
Here is something on MMT.
And here is another source.
For anyone interested.
Nae, I dinna ken thae clapperclaw.
Hunt, I had to walk away and ponder, and then watch again, three times, which is the reason for the late response.
I tried, oh God how I tried to find some sense here, but ultimately couldn’t. I just don’t have the econ smarts I guess.
So it shouldn’t be a total loss, having an historically frugal Scot lecture me on the lack of need for austerity is more fun than I’ve had in years; it’s like having a Nazi telling me to loosen up: live and let live, dude.
Thanks for that.
Cheers, and apologies for my bristly response.
What’s the difference between a realist and a pragmatist?
From its opening sentence, this “study” is combative and editorial in nature, rather than explanative.
Sorry, need data, not opinion.
I guess I like their brand of kool-aid.
I’ve been reading them off and on since the irrational exuberance era, though, and found their deconstruction of aggregate demand and the hydraulics of the tech bubble, the surplus, and (after the fact) the direction of the U.S. economy more helpful than the economics play-by-play on the news.
Well, they have different first names.
Are you an economist? A good deal of that stuff at Levy seems pretty dense to me. I’d rather the more popular stuff so I can remain partially sane.
I am (heh-was). I could never get macro to stick in my head, and a few of the articles I read a Levy made at least a little more sense to me. I also read Brad DeLong, a former Clinton Admin economist now at Berkeley, who’s often lucid to the rest of us.
A day without a Thermopylae reference is like a day without sunshine.
60′s TV was waaay before my time, so I’m not sure if email/telephone/smartphone/text messaging/twittering/credit card transaction/internet surfing/blog commenting/Navstar car technology/home electrical usage/etc/etc tracking was part of that 60′s TV program or not….
SORELOSERMEN the bunch.