« Secrets of the workhouse revealed | Main | Lemme at 'em »

Stop the presses

By Owen Paine on Tuesday August 3, 2010 05:16 PM

Bobby Reich has returned from the mountaintop with a message for us pwog dwellers-in-the-valley:

"Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The president may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he's already achieved..."
Comes then some driftwood:
"The administration's original sin was not spending enough and focusing the stimulus more directly on job creation."
Gee, that's news, Bobby. I suspect even the Austrians at castle Ron Paul secretly share that insight these days. But listen to this:
"In fairness, no one knew how sick the economy was in February 2009 when Congress approved the initial stimulus."
No one knew?! Are you shittin' me, Bobby?

Comments (28)


"Activist phase"? WTF?


This "No one knew" ranks right up there with the all-time "No one knew" whoppers of the last hundred years.
Numbers 1-10 are easy, from the "no one knew" about the concentration camps to the "no one knew" about smoking to whatever other post-modern horror you wish to list.
Bobby, you knew, you knew then when you occupied the throne next to corporate America's favorite Democrat, you know now. They all know, and are laughing heartily while we re-post their Friar's Club howlers.

This would be why I heap so much disdain on "economics" and "economists," op.

It's been clear to me for my whole adult, working life that the American system of commerce and employment is feeble and is built on making money by making nothing of durable substance.

I've never even taken a college Econ class.

How did I see that, while Stubby Reich says "nobody knew"?

Was I not seeing what I thought I saw?

Or was I simply not seeing it in the lingo, buzz-phrases and "framing" used by "economists"?

Michael Hureaux:

The amusing part of all this is that these people are always lecturing teachers on the quality of public education in today's public schools. But if they are, as they insist, the best and the brightest, than those of us who never taught at the institutions they came through are not responsible for the current plight of public education, given that they are obviously stupider than bricks. A blind cat could have seen any of the disasters they claim no one could have seen coming.


In fairness, no one knew was willing to admit, even to themselves, how sick the economy was in February 2009 when Congress approved the initial stimulus."

The more educated, the more indoctrinated, as a rule. A similar mechanism was at work when Bush "lied" the Congress into the Gulf War II.

I can remember a time when I actually liked this guy. God, I feel so dirty even typing that out loud.


Hey, this is good news. After what I've seen of Obamadmin "activism," I'll take "passivism."

Seriously, MJS. Speaking of what no one knew, when was that activist phase?

Seamless spectacle depends on non-stop nonsense.

This guy is what the ladies, I believe, call a "pinner."

Obummer is a supply-sider, a vacuous neoliberal robot, as Adolph Reed noted in 1996. His original sin is his prevaricating self.

@ CF Oxtrot | August 3, 2010 6:06 PM:

Even though I was majoring in Fine Art/Illustration and Design, part of my degree requirement was a semester of Econ 101 -- or, as my pals and I called it, "Capitalism 101".

To give you an idea of the regard in which I held that class, I used to use it as an extra two hours for sketching editorial cartoon ideas for the student weekly. I'd show up stoned, sit in the back of the room near a window, and sketch for the entire two hours, or until I'd sketched out every idea I had for that week's cartoon, after which I'd gaze out the window and check out the chicks walking across the quad.

I mean, c'mon, man; what's to know? You make/buy something, sell it for more, and shaft the people working for you. That's pretty much it.

Hell yeah, Mike!

I've always liked calling Econ "Sociology from a money perspective." It's the same exact thing as sociology, though you can't tell the Econ-heads this, because they're too busy reinforcing the insular lingo, jargon and "framing" they've created to continue the appearance of something unique and special.

Of course, as a lapsed litigator, I would also argue that we can distill the American "justice" system to a few basic principles:

1) In civil litigation, the best liar wins.

2) In criminal litigation, the non-white loses, and if it's white-on-white crime, the poorer white loses.

3) In both civil and criminal litigation, the whiter your collar, the more innocent you are.

More like Just-So-Ciology, Oxie. Homo Economicus is the the most partial fiction in all the social sciences, and that's a stiff contest.

I don't have any deep admiration for Sociology, not as a science on par with mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology.

However, I do find meaning in the ways people study the behavior of their fellow human, and in the products of such study.

What I'm really saying is that there's redundancy in Sociology and Economics being taught at the same time. If we stripped away the peculiar catch-phrases, jargon and "framing" of each "field," we'd find at bottom they both concern themselves with human whimsy in action, and in anticipation of action. One of the two "fields" thinks higher of itself than it ought, probably because it has gained high stature in America and other "advanced" capitalist, materialist societies. But it has gained such stature through apology for capitalism and materialism, not through uncovering immutable truths.

I realize that many a human spends his or her time focused on the details of "economics" and a good number of them make a fine income at it. Stubby Reich is a great example; Li'l Timmy Geithner is another; jug-eared Alan Greenspan yet one more. So much money in the sale of snake-oil!

I think that more ground could be gained by criticizing "economics" as a fraud, than by "fixing it from within" from a capitalist-critique perspective.

But what do I know? I've never taken an econ class, so obviously I'm just another monkey banging keys at random, another prognathic dirt-eater questing for fire.

I agree with you, Oxis. I was just trying to add on.

Sociology is my own trade and avocation, to fess up. I agree that it's much more slippery that math, chem, etc. But much of the reason for that is that raw material, which is the most complicated stuff in the universe, so far as we know. The human animal, plus its 7-billion multiply patterned interconnections.

After much tussle, I've ended up agreeing with Chomsky (sorry for the ref). Social theory is important but vastly over-rated. The main task is to learn where to look, then keep looking.

This is a bit tangential (pun intended) to what I was saying earlier:


Especially the focus on over-complexity being used to mask the simple solution that nobody wants to entertain.


so't's true: bobby doesn't read krugman.

Al Schumann:

When it comes to The State, I get a small ontological hiccup every time its sunset, dissolution, etc. is discussed. The State isn't an institution separate from society. It's the institutional expression of it. An unjust state doesn't capture society. It's grounded in it. It's working pretty much the way the most powerful elements in society want it to work.

Agree with you completely there, Al. What you said reminds me of the oft-repeated claim of "incompetence" or "mis-management" when someone is discussing a policy implemented or action taken by Our Noble Leaders. I think it's working as intended, and the "incompetence" is in assuming that the Leaders want a level playing field and universal happiness.

But I also think there's wisdom in that video Molyneux created.

What a childish piece of crap that video is. What wisdom? Pretending that "free exchanges between free individuals" have ever taken place? When was that? Or that if we just shut down all the governments, all 7 billion of us would somehow act better? That Social Security is a "non-existent Ponzi scheme"? That everything the state does is a crime, and everything "free individuals" do is angelic and different?

There's delusion and danger in that video. No wisdom whatsoever.


"But what do I know?"

if one answers with lugnutz here:
"what's to know? You make/buy something, sell it for more, and shaft the people working for you. That's pretty much it"

well ...
there's such a thing as necessary but insufficient
and i'd contend frugglebuck is somewhere on the road between bare necessity
and carpet bombing

lets pick up this hitch hiker:

hey its Al !!!

"gee electric Al give us guyz
a way to find out more about legalized theft "

lord Al:
"The State isn't an institution separate from society. It's the institutional expression of it."
heads nod "wow man kool "

" An unjust state doesn't capture society. It's grounded in it."

head's ponder in muddlement

" whaaaaah ??"

okay so do this
all you amateur human liberation fans

using Prince Al's
lightening sharp
two part conjecture

try to investigate this question:

"why do states exist"?


obviously they aren't
just a rip off
sustained 24/7
by might makes right brutalization

so then
what the fuck more is there to it all ??

enter social science
prepared to make the case
on all sides of this issue

cause social science in its ovaries
is all about just what that "more"
the raison d'etre of the state might be

just precisely why
class cloven societies
like ours
have not just any old state
but more or less
the states they have


Ah stuff it, op. At least watch the video first.

Your ideas are complicated because they are wrong. Libertarianism is right because it is simple.

Go Ron Paul.



my living doll bobby R
tries to rally the troops

"Tea Partiers are getting all the press. But the anger on the left, including much of the Democratic base, is almost as intense.

The pattern isn’t new. I remember a gloomy fall 16 years ago when as secretary of labor I traveled around the country trying to rev up the base for the 1994 midterms. I found anger and disillusionment then, too. Of course, Clinton hadn’t accomplished nearly as much as Obama. In fact, he’d pushed initiatives like NAFTA that infuriated the base.....

With the election of Barack Obama, many on the left found comfort in the belief that a single man could make transformative change without powerful tailwinds behind him. But that was a pipe dream. No person can do it alone.

I can understand your disillusionment with a president and representatives that seem to bend to the prevailing winds from the right. But if you and David and other progressives wallow in your cynicism we’ll be in much bigger trouble as a nation than we are now.

Here’s what I learned during my years in Washington: Nothing good happens there unless Americans outside Washington are sufficiently mobilized, energized, and organized to make sure it gets done.

Be angry, but channel your anger toward constructive change. This fall, work for the reelection of politicians, or for candidates to replace them, who support a genuinely progressive agenda. And lend your hand to the creation and continued sustenance of a powerful progressive movement in America."

who knew

Dude's nothing if not schizo.

...This fall, work for the reelection of politicians, or for candidates to replace them, who support a genuinely progressive agenda...

Bobby can't actually say "3rd Party" 'cuz then his tongue would turn black and fall out.

Dawson, Molyneux's video is useless?

Sweet. That's brilliant. It's bad because you say so! Your conclusions are everything, we don't need to know what supports them! Hell yeah!

My eyes roll back so far that they're peering at the back wall of my cranium.

I wouldn't be surprised if you thought you were fishing for my comments, and thought you landed a big fish.

Harumph, and all that.

/further eyerolling

response to Dawson, Part 2:

1) Molyneux doesn't suggest free exchange exists now, nor that it ever existed. The purpose of the video is to imagine what could be. Molyneux 1, Dawson 0.

2) Molyneux doesn't suggest that if we "shut down all governments" everything will be peachy keen. He is suggesting that governments commonly exceed their charge/charter. In this he is correct. Molyneux 2, Dawson 0.

3) Molyneux does indeed suggest Soc Sec is a Ponzi Scheme. Every bit of evidence I've seen suggests it is; there isn't enough to go around. He's not talking about the privatization urge, he's talking about the boondoggle that it has become. Molyneux 3, Dawson 0.

4) Molyneux doesn't suggest that everything the state does is a crime, and that everything done by non-state actors is benevolent. Shit, this is your 4th red herring. What he is saying is covered by (2) above. Molyneux 4, Dawson 0.

Game over. You never scored a single goal.

Bet you feel triumphant though! Wheeeee! What fun!

I'm not even a fan of Stephan Molyneux, but in this case, based on your wheezing distractions pretending at rebuttal, I'm even less a fan of Michael Dawson.

Please feel free to ad hominem your way to another self-satisfied post of victory! Wheeeeeeee!

Oxie, one of us has an ad hominem issue, that's for sure.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Tuesday August 3, 2010 05:16 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Secrets of the workhouse revealed.

The next post in this blog is Lemme at 'em.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31