John Maynard Keynes

Refuting Progressives: So Easy A Blogger Can Do It

A blogger by the name of Allen Clifton over at “Forward Progressives” has put out a list of “facts” that annoy conservatives and Republicans, supposedly for fun. Allen writes:

I highly encourage all liberals to share this with their conservative friends.  Then watch as they haplessly try and argue against each comment.

It’s irresistible. And, as I expected, it doesn’t actually make us look bad. It just shows that progressives like Mr. Clifton haven’t thought their argument the full way through. I’ll leave the points Mr. Clifton makes in bold and my responses below.

Let’s begin:

1. Nowhere in our Constitution does it say we’re a Christian nation.

2. In fact, no where in our Constitution does the word “Christian” appear even once.

These points are actually true, and I cannot argue with Mr. Clifton. The Constitution does not mention the word “god,” and while many of the Founders were religious, it is questionable whether they were hardcore Christians or rather deists (or, in Mr. Jefferson’s case and the case of others, Christian Deists.) There are mentions to God in the Declaration of Independence, but again, are these references to the Christian conception? The Declaration refers to “Nature’s God”—a deist term, not a Christian one. The only time the Constitution mentions God is in the dating: “ the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.”

That’s hardly grounds for making the Constitution a Christian document. That’s just how you told the date back then. These days, we replaced “Lord” with “Common Era.”

‘Hero’ Ron Paul Knocks Prof. Krugman

Bloomberg News tends to be a slightly more left-leaning economic news source. They often mix ‘green energy’, ‘poverty reduction’ and aid for the ‘third world’ into their news pieces. Normally I do not listen too closely, to these liberal Wall Street syndicate news-sayers. Although they have a neat free radio show in the morning, they do not interview enough American investors for my taste. But this last Monday, I was surprised that good news was again being shown.

A roughly half-hour clip, had Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul squaring economic knowledge against a New York Times columnist: big government Kaynesian, Paul Krugman. The moderator left the debate open to its flow, did not meddle with too many specifics and let the Texan politician play with ‘Krusty Krug’ like a voodoo doll. Paul Krugman seemed ill at ease, and frightfully underprepared. Over and again, Krugman tried to drown Paul in bombast, but his facts and claims lacked historical accuracy.

Contender Ron Paul looked sprightly, fresh and well-off to making his best talking points, Krugman couldn’t make him vascillate. One thing that liberals like to do, when talking about economic issues, especially spending and taxation; is set their own agenda. They do this by single-mindedly picking vantage points from the historical record. Revising history and economics for us all, as though what happened before WW2 carries no meaning. Only those out of touch with reality, make the mistake of thinking they could ‘regulate’ the economy, the world, society or anything else.

Swear on the Constitution

Our U.S. Constitution is a remarkably efficient document. It is our only founding charter. Many times changed, rendered, adumbrated. But it’s essence is unshakable. Written in Thomas Jefferson’s handwriting, edited against his will, pored over, discussed, hushed about, while it lay about some small wooden tables in independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Americans believe, that the Constitution is the link between our government and our lives. Congress and the Executive, can not overstep the harmony that exists, by each American following his path of liberty. Unfortunately, too many harmful minds, want too much power in this country. Power never vested in the Constitution. Power never meant to be handled by bureaucrats or officials or committees. We need to change all this. The oath of office should be sworn on the Constitution. In the Capital Rotunda. Among the historicity of remains from past great ages of the United States.

Drones in our night skies. Unelected lawyers interpreting the U.S. Constition. Surveillance. Internet spying. Blackouts and Stasi-like encroachements. Torturing. Deaths and internment of American citizens. Socialization of medicare for the elderly, and healthcare for those in mid-age. Food stamps and deductibles for people who do not work. Taxation over representation. Data-accumulation. Groping at airports. Fumbling and nefarious Justice Department officials. Cronies. Welfare abuses. War and destruction as an industry, like Hollywood and Corporate America! Blame-games. Undermining of basic civil rights. Monetarism-mongering! Unaccountability and state-sponsored fear. Campaigns of division. Solutions disguised for self-created problems.

Mitt Romney’s American Delusion

Republican voters are being put through the pincers. We are back to 2008. Heaps of strong candidates, but no consensus. Great speeches, but no substance. PAC money spent by the millions, but no conclusive results. GOP candidates are even welcoming Democratic voters, to smear each other, to add to their victories, or to just plainly embitter each other. The Republican race is not going to get any more civil. Once, we see these subterfuges, we can ask the real questions: what will it take to unseat Obama in November, and who can best do this?

In America the conservative movement has been changing. Neo-conservatives, who had for roughly two decades (1980-2000) held the strongarm of the party, are gone with the Bush Administration’s doctrine of “pre-emptive strike” and the PATRIOT ACT. We are in the midst of the dregs. Still trying to find out which direction this country will spill it’s spirit of changelessness.

For all his grandeur, Mitt Romney just has not taken his campaign to the next level. Rick Santorum has peaked, but more likely will not hold his miniscule leads. Newt Gingrinch’s populism and Ron Paul’s constitutionalism, so similar to each other, are self-negating. None is in charge. Marginal candidates can’t win delegates, nor the RNC party’s nomination. Mitt Romney, the ever-chameleon like business mogul, can’t strike a human touch to save his life and political prospects.

If Mitt Romney is the front runner of the wolves, ready to flay Obama; what is his version of the American Dream? How does he see this country, through which prism? Is it a legalistic, rigidly technocratic, institutional approach? It seems, his advantage is not his base, his character, anything as much as his warchest. He won’t run out of steam. Even if the delegate count gets close in Tampa, FL this spring; he’ll be able to resurrect himself, make the necessary promises and sail away with the nomination.

Santorum’s Statism Problem

Let us make fresh.

The reason why Rick Santorum would not oust Barack Obama in November, is not his faith. It is simply that he is running a ‘social message’ of uniform decency against a ‘social message’ of uniform healthcare. Plainly, Obama’s health plan, is vital: but not more pressing than the economic calamity of bailouts, frauds, money-laundering, spending and public debt. These are focal issues of the 2012 election.

Santorum is the politician everyone can super-impose themselves on. He’s no CEO like Mitt Romney, no renowned speaker like Newt Gingrich, not intellectual like Ron Paul. No, he is a regular Pennsylvania lawyer, who argued some weird World Wrestling Federation cases. Somehow he is unspectacular enough, that he could almost be your town butcher, postal deliverer or stockyard piler. You would think this is a strength. But it is not.

Eventually, while trying to keep your political pronunciations to a minimum, to correspond to the widest social base possible, you hit a tollboth going 160 mph. Santorum is earnest, he surely is: means well to families and the elderly, but he has yet to prove his salt. His record is plain: he has taken massive amounts of Washington D.C. beltway funding, voted to raise the debt ceiling, is in cahoots with the (so-called) ‘military industrial complex’  and dislikes many anomalies of our population: young pregnants, migrant-labor, jobless, gays, blacks. He has been able to entrench his campaign in an atmosphere of rustic humbleness and simpletonness.

Reporters Silent on Ron Paul

The more connected you are, within the Washington D.C. circuit; and on the long-stretch between Los Angeles and New York, the more clout you have as a politician. Especially, if you’ve squandered taxpayer money on “bridges to nowhere” (Rick Santorum), Olympic “Games” (Mitt Romney) or have been kick-backed by Fannie & Freddie (Newt Gingrich).

All these, of course, are fine examples of Capitalist enterprise, of leadership and smart capital-management. But what do all these undertakings reveal, about abilities in leadership, necessary to plug the dam of the 2008-unward recession? Not, much.

Ron Paul is the antithesis. He negates almost in it’s entirety, every other issues brought by his opponents in the GOP presidential race. He is not reported on, because those who indeed try to, fail miserably: the way Gerald Seib did, moderating the Republican Debate in South Carolina. Ron Paul is too honest: clear, succinct, philosophically astute. This makes him a slippery fish, to place in the Republican Party, although he is by far the most consequently, stalwartly arch-conservative since that other Gipper, that slipped his way into the White House: Ronald Reagan!

Being less ‘politicized’, in other words by having put his neck out on an execution-block, or guillotine, to amass money, has meant he has to do with less campaign finance. But what Paul has lacked in initial spending, his patriots have donated in turn. No other US politician has ever raised a sum, close to over 1 million, which Paul’s campaign has been able to do in 2011. What this means, is; people base decision on mass-media, pandered bits-and-pieces of evening chatter, boxed soundbites (often misinterpreted) while heading out the door in the morning. Ron Paul is lucky to get 3 minutes airtime, after a debate platform.

Not One of Us - The Fall of Neoconservatism

Some months prior to Rand Paul’s primary victory in Kentucky, a familiar pair of politicians came together in support of his opponent Trey Grayson. Late endorsements by the President of 9/11, Rudy Guiliani and Dick Cheney were trotted out in an attempt to make a dent in a double digit lead that Dr. Paul had held for some months. Cesar Conda also got into the act, writing an article for the National Review the day of Cheney’s endorsement announcement. He also convened an emergency conference call and sent out a panicky email to neoconservative pundits.

These efforts had no effect whatsoever. Rand Paul not only won the primary against Grayson, but crushed his Democrat opponent in the general election.

That the effort failed is a matter of record. However, you may or may not have noticed how little this failure, achieved with the help of the two most prominent elected neoconservatives of the last decade not named Bush, has been analyzed,  much less discussed..

One of the more interesting facts about Conda’s email  was its list of recipients. A desperate cry for help, the list of neoconservative writers was a who’s who list of PNAC advisors.

Politico reported:

The Rise of F.A. Hayek

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” - John Maynard Keynes

With the election of Barack Obama and large majorities in the Congress, many commentators were playing up the resurgence of Keynesian economic theories.

In reality, George W. Bush was a Keynesian. As Bruce Bartlett has pointed out, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were passed under the guise of “stimulating the economy,” and the deficits were certainly there not too long after the cuts passed (and they’ve stayed with us). And certainly the bailouts were driven by that same misguided belief that government could “rescue” by spending taxpayer dollars.

But as there is increased skepticism on the Federal Reserve and the Keynesian-style economic policies advanced by the Obama Administration, it seems that the demise of the free market has been greatly exaggerated.

Even Newsweek, which last year declared that “we are all socialists now,” is noting the rise of the Austrian economic views of Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel Prize winning economist:

Why won’t Paul Krugman debate Robert Murphy?

There is a movement afoot to pressure Paul Krugman, who again yesterday complained that Barack Obama didn’t spend enough money to stimulate the economy, into debating Robert Murphy on Keynesian versus Austrian business cycle theory:

Libertarians frustrated by what they view as the lack of engagement by arch-Keynesian Paul Krugman with their arguments have come up with a clever ploy: they’re promising to donate $100,000 to the Fresh Food Program of if Krugman will debate one of their stars.

The idea is meant to bribe and shame Krugman into debating Robert Murphy, an economist trained in the Austrian school of economics.

Basically, if Krugman refuses to debate Murphy, it will be tantamount to depriving the FoodBank of $100,000. What good liberal would want that on his conscience?

To make the debate even more enticing, the proponents have promised to have it moderated by Ezra Klein, the Washington Post’s liberal policy-wonk blogger.

The libertarian-oriented Austrian school of economics is critical of central banking, easy money and government stimulus spending, which it claims distorts the economy, causes booms and busts and prevents a healthy recovery. Krugman’s views are almost diametrically opposed to those of the Austrians, favoring stimulus spending in conjunction with a looser monetary policy to create a smoother path to economic recovery.

Krugman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the challenge.

If you’re interested in seeing this happen, you can donate money here. They’re just under $30,000, still a long way from their goal. I’m going to throw in a few bucks. This would be worth the trip to Auburn to watch.

Watch “I.O.U.S.A.” online

I.O.U.S.A., a great documentary on the problems with our nation’s debt, has been put online for streaming. I don’t agree with some of the suggestions offered, but it’s well worth watching to get a sense of how much trouble we’re in.

While you’re watching, keep in mind that the national debt has soared since this documentary was released in 2008 to $13.1 trillion.

You can watch it below in its entirety.

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