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Robert first tasted a passion for studying the economy during his participation in the National Fed Challenge, where he studied macro economic analysis and the inner workings of FOMC policy. He attended Clemson University and graduated with a B.S. in Business and Economics. After beginning his... More
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  • "Ignorance is POLICITAL Bliss" 0 comments
    Jul 2, 2010 11:54 PM


    The following is a response to the below linked article in The American Spectator
    , which I was asked to read by a close friend :

    "Ignorance is Liberal Bliss"


    Dear Friend,

    I apologize for taking some time to respond to your email concerning the article in the American Spectator, but I will say I wanted to wait until I had time to read the full article and respond to it in breadth.

    First, I like the title a lot, "ignorance is liberal bliss"... It's definitely witty. I know that you might expect for me to have taken a clear stance defending Barry, but I promise you I am very critical of Obama, Tiny Tim, and Benny Boy on a regular basis in my analysis of the U.S. economy. However, I also don't fit into the camp that lambastes liberals for their ignorant or economically unintelligent platforms.

    I'm the guy that hates the game, not the players. My article title might read, "Ignorance is Political Bliss (Referring to the Ignorance of the Constituents & Representatives if Any Are to Remain in Office)". I think that this is the stance of most young people these days, but unlike most I have reasons for my stance. Perhaps the slogan of the juniors in my demographic, should read "Ignorance, Youth, Unemployment and Engaged to be Married is Bliss"... That seems to be the route many of my peers are championing.

    Before raising my flag and claiming ground here, I'd like to bring up this quote again (I really like it):

    "In relation to social questions, the concept of an interdependent system has two important implications: that things are the way they are for some powerful reason or reasons, which have to be understood if effective social solutions are to be devised; and that any social solutions so devised and applied will have repercussions elsewhere, which will have to be faced and which ought to be taken into account."

    Basically, my takeaway from this is that (a) things are the way they are for a reason, and (b) when we screw around with those things, we're likely to change stuff we didn't want to in the process of reaching our goal. Furthermore, that other stuff (externalities) can be really frustrating and many times cause equal or greater damage than intended good. Now I realize the past +/- 15 months have been choppy, and that we are likely to re-enter a global recession. I think that the basic laws of physics are equally inherent in financial markets and global economies than any other field. The truth of our current global predicament is very simple and even more scary... THERE'S NO QUICK FIX! This is something that isn't even proposed behind closed door meetings with cabinets, administrations, and capital hill interns... It's the death sentence to any politician.

    I will concede that on average liberals can come off looking economically dumber than conservatives because they try to manipulate their spending plans mixed with smoke and mirror tax raising schemes. Nancy Pelosi aught to be shot between you and me... I'm fine with Mrs. Clinton jet setting around the world and doing photo ops, but I would sigh in relief if she were absent from the U.S. political spectrum. Barny Frank is clinically retarded... I've watched the tapes of Frank proposing all of the regulations that were enacted at Fannie and Freddie where they adopted higher caps on the percentage of Sub Prime ARM mortgages, which led to their decline. Then I also watched as he criticized the leaders of Fan and Fred for their devious management practices and poor risk awareness. So YES there are liberals who are more than guilty of Economic Retardation who still serve in office and probably will for years to come.

    Still there's a boatload of Republicans, mainly Congressmen, whose political platforms could also use a bit of waterboarding. The Republican strategy has worked very well so far, despite failing to block healthcare, which basically aims to block anything proposed by Obama or the Left and stay as far out of the spotlight as possible while doing so. Republicans come out to play whenever there's a batch of CEO's in industries uncommon among their constituents and give 'em a good lickin, but otherwise they are keeping their heads down and voting "no" to every bill. We'll see if it works in the midterm elections...

    Okay, now I hate to live in the past, but this quote SCREAMS President Bush...

    "Another important reason for the left's disregard for economic understanding is their almost exclusive focus on intentions rather than results."

    Coming from the guy who started a war in Iraq using incomplete evidence and leveraging the emotional fear of his country to band behind the effort. We've spent nearly a trillion bucks on Iraq, and during that period Bush lowered taxes. First time in modern history that's happened I believe. Now Bush was a feisty one, always liking to add hybrid minorities to his cabinet with conservative souls (i.e. Condy), but he did appoint Bernanke (The Jew From South Carolina). And his Treasury Secretary started this spending fiasco with 600 Billion USD TARP Fund.

    I understand WHY an economist with a conservative agenda would publish an article like this, because it's an easy target. Obama's in office and the National Debt is around 60% of GDP in the U.S., looking to reach 80% by 2035, and should we keep the Bush tax cuts we would reach 185% GDP by 2035 according to the Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e99df8c-8499-11df-9cbb-00144feabdc0.html).

    Furthermore, U.S. States are all on the brink of bankruptcy. California, which is indeed a very liberal state, but has been managed by the Governator for the applicable past years, and is still in a state of disrepair.

    So my response is, "Yes for liberals [and conservatives] economic ignorance is bliss [in Washington]." I like what maybe 5% of politicians have to say and the rest is just noise. I really like a lot of what representatives from both of our states, Graham and McConnell, stand for, but am ashamed that they refuse to step outside party lines to pass effective legislature. The entire system is so damn ineffective.

    The moral of the story, which transcends the article in question, is that in economic recessions "career" politicians spend money. Conservatives spent money on TARP and liberals finished up with a stimulus. But I can guarantee that McCain would have enacted a stimulus plan. Sure tax cuts proposed by Mccain are by definition more efficient, but they're equally unsustainable, because we DO have deficit issues and the Bush tax cuts are IMPOSSIBLE to be made permanent, unless we pull out of the middle east and stop spending so much on Defense. Thus the same end game... the same results...

    It's not just W though, it's Clinton, Big Bush, the whole damn modern era that became founded on money made out of nothing and calling it the free market. We as a country have refused to believe that the charade will end. It's been going on for so long that we forgot what an honest wage felt like. Greed and Excess are the name of the game, and until we shut up and take our medicine to start fresh, we'll continue in the boom bust cycle.

    We would be right smack dab where we are at this moment under either political party, because the damage was already done when liberals took the reigns. I agree with the underlying argument of the article, that we should not mess with the free market economy. But we did. And this time it was Hank Paulson that started the merry go round that liberals now ride. No one is innocent and the potential devastation that waits around the bend will be merciless and unrelenting, because the global economy is refusing to concede defeat.

    The market is fair, most people are ignorant, and politicians are snakes.

    I hope this satisfies your query,

    Rob



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