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Guest Post: Quite Possibly The Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard An Economist Say

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Simon Black, author of Sovereign Man

Quite Possibly The Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard An Economist Say

In the mid-1800s, a cousin of Charles Darwin by the name of Francis Galton wrote a series of works expanding on an old idea of selective breeding in human beings.

Galton’s theory became known as eugenics. At its core, eugenics was underpinned by an assumption that talent and genius were hereditary traits, and that deliberate breeding could improve the human race.

Within decades, intellectuals were spending their entire careers studying these ideas, quickly spawning a number of different fields dedicated to ‘racial sciences.’

Scholars began closely examining racial differences and building volumes of statistics on everything ranging from intelligence to reproduction to genetic effectiveness in combating disease.

‘Scientists’ would scurry about taking cranial measurements, sizing up jaw lines, calculating forehead slopes, and estimating nose angles… all of which became ‘evidence’ of racial superiority.

 Quite possibly the dumbest thing Ive heard an economist say

It became clear that one race was superior to another because the science of the day said that it was true. And they had the statistics and equations to prove it.

This faux-science became the moral justification for racial segregation and imperialistic expansion.

After all, one could hardly feel bad about conquering and enslaving an entire nation if the science proves that they’re an inferior race.

Nazi officials took these ideas and perverted them even further, wrapping horrific crimes in a blanket of science.

Today, it’s nice to know that human beings are a lot more enlightened. We know that the dimensions of someone’s skull or nose don’t matter much in the way of intelligence or integrity.

And we can wonder with absolute incredulity how anyone could have passed off such nonsense as science.

Here’s the irony, though. In the future, they’ll wonder the same thing about us. The difference is that our faux-science is economics.

In the future, they’ll wonder with utter incredulity how these ridiculous assertions about conjuring money out of thin air and borrowing your way out of debt could possibly pass as science.

They’ll be mystified at how political leaders listen to these modern day soothsayers, directing national policy and robbing wealth from hundreds of millions of people based on this faux-science.

And they’ll be completely floored when they see that we actually award our most esteemed prizes to these men who tell us that we can spend our way out of recession and tax our way into prosperity.

To give you an example, I’ve just finished Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s new book The Price of Inequality in which he writes something that may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard from an economist:

“[T]he success of [Apple and Google], and indeed the viability of our entire economy, depends heavily on a well-performing public sector. There are creative entrepreneurs all over the world. What makes a difference. . . is the government.”

Yes, in the eyes of our most decorated ‘scientists’, the brilliance and guile of Ingvar Kamprad, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Asa Candler, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and millions of others are far less important than an effective government bureaucracy.

His entire book, in fact, is an impassioned argument for even more government control and redistribution of wealth. Right… because it’s been working so well.

These ideas are totally absurd. Yet this what passes as science today. And because it’s science, society simply believes it to be true.

No doubt, people in the future will look back, and they’ll wonder… but they won’t understand one bit.

 

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Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:10 | 2625282 reader2010
reader2010's picture

Fractional Reserve Banking  has become the new religion after 1913, and the prists work in the districts are those fucking economists. 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:21 | 2625344 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

Why are the most "socialist" countries also the wealthiest ones?

Denmark
Finland
Norway
Sweden
Canada
New Zealand
Netherlands
Germany
Switzerland

Compared to the most infamous country with no central government - Somalia - it would appear that anarcho-capitalism, survival-the-fittest, sink or swim ideologies are totally ruinous to mankind.

You wanna live in Somalia or Sweden? If neither, you wanna live closer to one system or the other?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:24 | 2625359 0z
0z's picture

Ahahah! There is an embargo on Somalia! Dumbass!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:32 | 2625423 0z
0z's picture

Did Canad just come out of a military occupation ?? Go hide under your bed, kid, cause the Somali Evil man will eat you brains! Ahahahah!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:36 | 2625445 0z
0z's picture

"Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia in December 2006 to crush the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a broad-based group that had ended warlord control in the capital, Mogadishu, and expanded its influence across south and central Somalia. Together with the US, which gave approval and logistical backing for the invasion, Meles accused the ICU of terror links, as well as irredentist motives that threatened Ethiopian sovereignty."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/26/ethiopia-ends-somalia-occupation

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:42 | 2625491 redpill
redpill's picture

Economics has never been, and will never be, science.  It is philosophy with an understanding of psychology.  The reason some have insisted on trying to turn it into a science is because they knew they would lose the philosophical argument.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2625630 Big Slick
Big Slick's picture

I want to live wherever the tulip bulbs are prettiest

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:02 | 2625893 sitenine
sitenine's picture

@Simon Black
That was seriously the dumbest thing you've ever heard an economist say? Dude - they virtually all say that. For a real treat, maybe you should check out some of what Krugman has to say, then get back to us with a real article. Thanks.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:42 | 2626056 striving4simple
striving4simple's picture

just expanding on redpill's comment

modern Economics has a fatal flaw that prevents it from being a valid science

Science is based on Observation and Measurement

Useful Measurement requires a rigidly defined unit of measurement

Economics has no such unit

Thus modern economics is doomed to fail

And people wonder why economists are always wrong - duh!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 18:56 | 2626266 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

sci·ence

  http://static.sfdict.com/en/i/dictionary/newserp/Sprite_Serp.png); background-attachment: scroll; background-color: transparent; width: 20px; height: 19px; cursor: pointer; display: inline-block; padding-left: 3px; background-position: -619px -478px; background-repeat: repeat repeat;"> [sahy-uhns] http://static.sfdict.com/en/i/dictionary/newserp/Sprite_Serp.png); background-attachment: scroll; background-color: transparent; height: 16px; width: 16px; position: relative; top: 2px; display: inline-block; background-position: -622px -429px; background-repeat: repeat repeat;" href="http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html" target="_blank"> Show IPA noun
1.
a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of factsor truths systematically arranged and showing the operationof general laws: the mathematical sciences. 2.
systematic knowledge of the physical or material worldgained through observation and experimentation. 3.
any of the branches of natural or physical science. 4.
systematized knowledge in general. 5.
knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained bysystematic study. Economics more than meets this definition you moron.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:30 | 2626339 Fox-Scully
Fox-Scully's picture

You are the moron.  Science tests hypotheses/theorems etc.  If it does not work (hence economics doing the same thing and expecting a different answer), the hypotheses/theorems are discarded and a new idea is formulated to be tested.  That is what science is--it is a discipline and a way of thinking!

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:35 | 2628598 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Obviously, you have never studied economics. Economics does the exact same thing. Read a real study for a change. Moron.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 22:36 | 2626760 Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

Science begins with an hypothesis and then sets about testing in order to prove or disprove it. Economics start with assumptions that are posited as fact so that the argument always leads to the preconceived notion.

Economists gained undeserved recognition when the Nobel Committee, perhaps out of pity, added a prize for them decades after the establishment of prizes for real science.

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 12:37 | 2628611 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

When did a hypothesis stop being an assumption? 

Morons everywhere.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:07 | 2625638 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

"It is philosophy with no understanding of psychology."

I spotted an error in your post. Fixed it.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:28 | 2625744 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

'Why are the most "socialist" countries also the wealthiest ones?'

Maybe you'll understand a picture:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg

67% of Norway's exports are energy related, so including them on the list is like including Qatar.

New Zealand? Canada? Switzerland? Where do they lie on the chart?

And you forgot to mention a few in the Top 10:

Luxembourg

Singapore

Hong Kong

 

 


Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:26 | 2625870 Doña K
Doña K's picture

{Why are the most "socialist" countries also the wealthiest ones?}

Irespective of government and/or despite of government, countries are wealthy from a combination of: natural resources, hard productive work, low wages, exports and low taxation. Not necessarily all of these or to any specific ratio.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 22:48 | 2626784 Cosimo de Medici
Cosimo de Medici's picture

To be fair, Singapore is tiny, and it is a monarchy in every way except name. They also have one of the most intrusive governments in the world, though the sheeple accept their lord and master without question.

Hong Kong is the Mecca of crony capitalism, and is blessed with natural resources, which is why it can run the occasional budget surplus. The natural resource is land, and the government revenues come from "auctioning" it off to the same people, time and again. They let just enough newly rich mainlanders in to keep prices high and fill the coffers of the Li, Lee, and Kwok families.

Note that when land prices tumbled a few years ago, and a government auction had taken place right at the peak, the "winning" bidder (Li Ka Shing) was able to get a refund to cover the difference in what he paid freely and fairly at auction and what the post-crash market value of the land was. Sounds like TBTF, yes?

Also, the Hong Kong Government was one of the first governments to actively engage in stock market manipulation, pouring billions of government dollars into the market after the 1997 Asian Crisis.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:07 | 2625914 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

<<<Economics has never been, and will never be, science.  It is philosophy with an understanding of psychology>>>

It is more of a religion than science. Science uses theory and learns from experiments and proves or disproves with experiments. Economists use experiments over and over again getting the same results, but still looking for the pony.

Keep trying you blind idiots.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:12 | 2625935 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

They mainly use thought experiments because they are so darn good for dissociating themselves from reality.

I think a better description than religion would be 'political ideology masked with math'.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:32 | 2626026 Doña K
Doña K's picture

By math, I bet you mean sum, divide and distribute.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:02 | 2625878 AAA21
AAA21's picture

@MARX FISHER - Hey Bird Brain: In case you haven't noticed Europe is IMPLODING - and that includes the countries that you mention.  Once the PIIGS collapse, Germany and all your other favorite Socialist countries will fall flat on their Asses too! 

To put it in perspective: The collapse of the USSR and the abandonment of Communism by China were the FIRST Collapse of Socialism.  The Second Collapse is the ongoing mess in Europe, and then it will the US and Japan's turn to demonstrate that SOCIALISM DOESN'T WORK!   2+2 doesn't equal 5, and it is impossible to have a functioning society when you have more than half of the population living off of Big Government "benefits"!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:24 | 2625373 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

You forgot the US as the least efficient socialist country on this list.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:59 | 2625595 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

Goddam Socialist USA! Derivatives floggin' socialists. Federal reserve that opertaes for profit. Big Banks runnin' the show! Corporate socialism and individual capitalism? All of wall street's money straight to Wall St... Right? RIIIIGGHHHTTT....

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:26 | 2625380 CCanuck
CCanuck's picture

Can you elaborate on what makes Canada Wealthy? Debt?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:51 | 2625836 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

natural resources (oil, timber, gold) are a big part of it. they also provide a convenient "off shore" for US firms.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:06 | 2625910 Catch-22
Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:11 | 2625932 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

There's "Gold IN THEM THAR HILLS".  BC has a lot of low-grade deposits, which, with gold at $2500 are VERY economical.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:50 | 2626070 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Canada is wealthy because it's commodity base pays for its socialist system/entitlements.   When oil, gold, ags/the CRB fall, their tax base will disappear and a harsher reality will come to life.

 

Canada's economy will remain in depression long after the US is on the road to recovery.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 22:35 | 2626759 57-71
57-71's picture

Not really. You don't know much about the CA tax system. Will a downturn hurt? Sure, but not to the extet of other countries.

Unlike the US where 50% of the population pays no tax, only people who have incomes of less than $6000 a year pay nothing here. Unlike Greece where taxes are voluntary, Revenue Canada is quite stingy and mean about taxes due.

And there are not many with that.

Collect Canada (Un) Employment Insurance? Pay tax on it.

Collect disability payments? Pay tax on it unless it is worker Compensation or your private plan prepaid the tax with the premiums.

The commodities markets may slip and slide from time to time, but there is a building program yet to be experienced in countries like India, Pakistan, much of Africa.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:26 | 2625383 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

The problem is that you make a strawman argument. There are no capitalist countries which have strong private property protection. You are comparing one socialist country to another vs one socialist country to a lawless society with no private property protection.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:28 | 2625393 stkboy
stkboy's picture

Excuse me Max Fischer but Canada is not a socialist country. We do have a health care system that you lot think is a form of socialism but that is about it. What about the USA bailing out GM, banks? Is that not a form of socialism? It certainly isn't capitalism, that is for sure.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2625484 0z
0z's picture

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

I live here, and this is one of the most socialist countries in the world!

I can walk to the corner store and get a wellfare check, fresh money stolen from my (still) hard working fellow citizens! Queen's land as far as the eye can see. State-owned sub-soils. Public transportations, railsystems and roads as big as you can imagine them. And to top it all, engineered genocide of the native populations with subsidized abortion programs.

Why dont you shove a God damn cyanide pill up your ass you fucking clueless donkey!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:51 | 2625552 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Canada is socialist, whereas the US are more fascistic. In the end, both are not capitalistic, and both are collectivists, centrally-planned trainwrecks in the making.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:30 | 2626020 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

The burning question is what are we going to do about it??? At some point its put up or shut up. We can no longer grade other countries on what they have become and ourselves as what we are SUPPOSED to be.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:08 | 2625642 Crabshack
Crabshack's picture

You can't get a welfare cheque at a corner store.  It is fairly easy to get if you are starving.  

Yes, Queens land everywhere, but 30Million people on a land mass larger than the States with its 300Million citizens, doesn't cover a lot.

Public transport, rails and roads just making doing business easier.  No roads, no business.

What did the Gov do when its biggest and best company Nortel was headed for bankruptcy?  Did it toss money at it and bail it out or let it just die on its own?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:45 | 2626063 0z
0z's picture

What the hell are your arguments?

No roads, no business? Maybe, hard to tell since every damn dictactor in the world feels like he has to sunsidize roads, and so there is nothing to compare it to. The railway system was indeed destroyed in the US by State intervention, and since trains are both more fuel-efficient and less maintenance, I cant see why roads would do better. State roads actually incentivised suburbia, and the whole family home cult.

Roads, if you ask any intelligent and sensible economist, are a complete fucking waste of energy. Why, when we have high speed trains?

The State always grabs on to yesterday's novel idea; and so it will never compete with real entrepeneurship.

Ohh and the Queen should then own anything above and beyond the 2 square meters everyone needs to sleep.

Ridiculous. Im impressed you know how to read.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:33 | 2625759 deez nutz
deez nutz's picture

What about the USA bailing out GM, banks? Is that not a form of socialism? It certainly isn't capitalism, that is for sure.

If the USA didn't bail out the auto industry Canada wouldn't have any jobs left? 

What gave Canada it's wealth the last 30 years was a cheap Canadian dollar which attracted investment looking for cheaper labor as well as bolstering exports to it's southern "friend".  It has been a "beggar they neighbor" policy for 30 years! and nobody noticed, eh?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 22:40 | 2626772 57-71
57-71's picture

You can forget the cheaper labour, I defy you to find anywhere in the US that pays blue collar jobs more than Canada.

And most white collar too for that matter, with the exception of executive pay

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:51 | 2625835 Piranha
Piranha's picture

I would consider telling your centralbanker on live tv to "GO PRINT" being kind of a socialist thing.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:28 | 2625401 DeadBeat
DeadBeat's picture

There is an interesting article from Bloomberg on Canada being wealthier than the US. The journalist's opinion is that they have resisted de-regulation and preserved benefits to individuals while simultaneously cutting corporate tax rate and cutting the benefits to lower levels. He left out the fact that they have boatloads of commodities and few people... but it's still almost like someone there bothered to try to provide a safety net AND do the math on what is practical. US government is neither smart enough nor willing to do that.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-15/hardheaded-socialism-makes-canada-richer-than-u-s-.html

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:20 | 2625979 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

Here is why:

Most of your wealth is in your house… they are at the very peak of their housing bubble and we are at the very bottom.  In 5 years they wont look so smug…

BTW Vancouver is down 11% year over year… it’s starting

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:30 | 2625408 same old story
same old story's picture

Interesting point you raise.  You think the fact they are socialist countries is why they are wealthy?  care to explain?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:30 | 2625414 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Max Fischer said: You wanna live in Somalia or Sweden?

Uh... some folks who live in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark might inform you that due to the idiotic immigration policies of their leaders, there's not much difference. Have you read about the drastic increase in crime in these countries, especially rapes?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:41 | 2625419 akak
akak's picture

 

Why are the most "socialist" countries also the wealthiest ones?

Maxine,

You forgot to mention a few more in that cute little list of yours:

the USSR (with their chronic "weather related" poor harvests and famines)
Maoist China (with their centrally-planned "Great Leap Forward" into mass starvation)
Hoxha's Albania
Cuba
Belarus
Burma
Khmer Rouge Cambodia
North Korea

 

Thanks for playing anyway.

 

PS: Why are the most socialistic statists also the most idiotic ones?

 

PPS:  Who the FUCK has already given ten "up" arrows to Maxine Fischer's disingenuous bullshit comment, and on ZeroHedge no less?  Can you say "sockpuppet"?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:54 | 2625575 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

Those countries aren't socialist -- they're totalitarian, Stalinist.

Totally different animal.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:17 | 2625687 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

And where do you think socialism leads exactly?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:09 | 2625922 pcrs
pcrs's picture

Indeed in all his socialist countries the few rule the many. The elites dabble with the hard earned money of their tax slaves. You can already see the elites put up camera's everywhere, demand biometric passports, their police dressed up as soldiers of an empire. Their EU rulers are not even elected anymore and can with the ESM grab whatever they want.

This can only lead to where socialism has always led:death and totalitarianism

democide:governments are based on violence and killed over 200 million people worldwide in the past 100 years. Most of them by socialist/national socialist governments. There is no pretty exit to selling your population off as debt slaves.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:33 | 2625770 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Yes but their ideologies are merely separated by degree of brutality - on a sliding scale of tyranny. It's no coincidence that the nordic and european socialist countries have access to credit and debt markets, or that they developed as (nominally) capitalist economies, or that they are not nearly as far down the socialist road as the others (non-european). It's like comparing the RSFSR under Lenin or Stalin to the RSFSR under Yeltsin, or China under Mao to China today. As with all productivist-statis ideologies, more wealth means less need for overt mass brutality.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:07 | 2625913 AAA21
AAA21's picture

Right Hamster Brain - So Socialism works if you implement it half-way, but not if you implement all the way, like Stalin?  What a bunch of crap!  That's like saying that a little bit of Libor Fraud is Good, but a lot of Libor Fraud is Bad.  Fraud is fraud - and Socialism is Socialism, whether it is practiced by Stalin, Obama, or Hugo Chavez.  It is immoral and it simply DOESN'T WORK!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:00 | 2625584 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Hamster's correct that your list leans a bit more toward totalitarianism than socialism.  They all were terrible attempts by governments to control their economies, though.  Heck, the first two on your list are enough for hours of discussion...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:05 | 2626286 malek
malek's picture

If you believe highest levels of socialism can be achieved without totalitarianism, then you have been successfully brainwashed.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2625632 koaj
koaj's picture

there are no isms...no socialism, fascism, communism, capitalism...there is only freedom and tyranny; very little government and lots of government

 

its all bullshit. divide and conquer...you are free or your government has enslaved you

 

the most free country in the world right now is Iceland

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:13 | 2625665 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

"the most free country in the world right now is Iceland"

I'm not saying you're wrong but Iceland is a socialist country. "Scandinavian welfare socialism" to be exact. So why is it free and what does that say about the US?

Maybe it has something to do with the people?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:14 | 2625675 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

The only reason Iceland is doing relatively well is because their central bank jacked up interest rates to 18% to attract capital when everything was imploding.

Without that, all capital would have left the country and they would be in ruins today.

Basically, the success of Iceland proves the necessity of central banks, whether you realized that or not.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:19 | 2625698 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Or it proves the value of saving capital. Twit.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:36 | 2625451 oklaboy
oklaboy's picture

great comment, if it wasn't for the stupidity, basically a liberal gest. Let's look at the facts

                 population IN MILLIONS

Denmark      5.5
Finland         5.4
Norway          5.0
Sweden         9.1
Canada         34.8
New Zealand  4.4
Netherlands    16.8
somalia         10.0   ( NO GOVERMENT)

 

ALL OF YOUR RICH COUNTRIES TOTAL DO NOT have the population on the US. Think size might be a factor?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:27 | 2625741 Zeilschip
Zeilschip's picture

You handily left out Germany 80 mln people.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:01 | 2625890 pcrs
pcrs's picture

I don't think size matters, it is just that the rulers of these socialists tax farms borrowed and sold the future income of their young of their serfs. Have a party now and present the bill to the unborn. If you are young you have to get out of these countries. Your future is a job as a hired killer in the army if the plunder elites, or a cleaner of some asian's toilet.

They dump their nuclear waste for the coast of Somalia and call the backlash: pirates

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:40 | 2625474 barkingbill
barkingbill's picture

youve got a point. the socialism hating that goes in on in america and on this blog is counter productive....its corruption that is the problem, not socialism per se....

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:41 | 2625478 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

As always when someone lists these countries they fail to list a huge point- their ability to cut military spending and have minimal defense forces while pumping up social spending is due to their peace existing in the shadow of the American sword paid at great cost by the US.

When gravity finally catches up with the US, the bloated military is reduced as it must be and the Pax Americana ends (and please let it be soon!) these countries will find that it is in fact dangerous to have little to no military at all and will struggle greatly to meet those costs. The unrealistic promises of yesterday will collide with the cold, hard math of today and the promises will lose.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:59 | 2625598 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Some(most) of these countries have huge natural resources that would be ripe for plucking if they had to defend themselves. They suck uncle sugar's dick for defense. When uncle sugar can no longer provide that defense, they will have a new line item in their budgets. If the muzzies haven't taken over by then

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2625516 MrTouchdown
MrTouchdown's picture

Somalia is doing better than Fiji:

http://www.photius.com/rankings/economy/gdp_purchasing_power_parity_2012...

... and Somalia has the Muslim Brotherhood, the UN and locals all battling over whether or not the place is going to have a gov't. If all these foreigners left them alone, they might actually grow to the point where piracy is the least productive use of time for them.

Also, they don't have a massive central bank to borrow money from like the countries you listed. If they did, I'm sure they'd be just like France - looking very wealthy and just about to implode under the weight of their debt.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2625528 redpill
redpill's picture

Curiously those countries also relatively homogeneous in culture and race, and either are geographically remote or have strict immigration controls to prevent a flood of outsiders.  Are you reasserting the theory of a master race described in the blog post, Max?

More specifically, most of those countries actually rate quite well on the economic freedom scale, which means they limit their attempts to centrally plan their economy.  That they advocate a social safety net and more importantly, don't fiscally cheat like the Mediterranean periphery of the Eurozone is so fond of doing, does not make them socialist.  Some of their policies may be described as such, but others contradict socialism quite notably.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:24 | 2625725 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Your ability to reason without acrimony is most likely pissing off a lot of people.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 23:44 | 2626905 Knobbius
Knobbius's picture

That's the smartest post on this thread.  Sadly I can only give it 1 up arrow.

Monocultures have a lot of advantages, and of course having a small population and squeaky-tight immigration rules helps you build a great deal of social cohesion.  With it you can get people to tolerate fairly high tax rates, and of course get people to buy into your political system.  A lack of sectarianism and racial animus, a single unifying language, and a common day-to-day cultural framework nullify a lot of potential governance problems.

Most of these wealthy countries also possess a cultural history of work, invention, and productivity.  Almost without exception they also rate very highly on international indexes for transparency and corruption, i.e. they aren't culturally pre-disposed to theft and fraud.

So don't mistake the outwardly socialist nature of most of those societies as the cause of their wealth.  The modern socialist tendencies might be correlated in some ways to wealthier societies, but they are not causative.  Success is a cultural phenomenon more than it is a result of government policy-making, and the culture of success in these places has enabled the creation of socialist welfare states, not the other way around.

 

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2625529 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

the biggest reason is that they are all similar in that they are mainly homogonous northern countries that get dam cold in the winter and you either work hard or freeze to death. Those societies by nature dont laze around and expect handouts. Socialism works when everyone has a drive to work and most everyone is of the same culture.

too many dipshit americans blast socialism before they know what the fuck they are talking about. They just visualise a bunch of inner city welfare recipients and get pissed off that they pay for them.  

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:00 | 2625604 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

kind of like North Dakota

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:56 | 2625582 ATM
ATM's picture

It's called creative accounting. Since your list is not in alphabetic order I am assuming you believe that Denmark is the wealthiest country on the planet.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:57 | 2626095 pcrs
pcrs's picture

Lichtenstein is, which is also one of the freeest. This whole correlation means causation reasoning is foolish anyway. There are plenty ways in which wealth accumulated in the past can be spent now and even wealth borrowed from future generations can also be spent in the present. Lenders will lend you money, if they get the idea your tax catle is indoctrinated, enslaved and stupid enough to work like crazy for someone else his goals. The poster of the above message obviously qualifies. Lenders will draw their pocket books immediately when the see a country of sheep and borrow money to their owners.

A big mac in Denmark is most expensive in the world

http://most-expensive.net/big-mac

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:03 | 2625620 Nels
Nels's picture

These countries were wealthy before they went socialist.   And, for the most part, are mono-cultural, and all have a strong work ethic.

It's easy to be socialist when all the folks work hard and don't need many hand outs.  Greece is more socialist than the other European states on your list, with a much lower retirement age, but somehow socialism isn't workng out that well for them.

Note to self: Stop responding to trolls.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:27 | 2625714 Max Fischer
Max Fischer's picture

On the topic of work ethic, every single country listed has a population that works LESS hours per year and has more average vacation time than the US.

Especially after the Great Robbery of 2008, the productivity of US workers has been thoroughly maxed out. Huge hours per week, less benefits, less sick time.... and corporations are swimming in money.

Meanwhile, the right-wing media has convinced everyone that unions (otherwise known as organized groups representing workers' rights) are destroying this country. Apparently, the worker needs less representation and the corporation needs more power over them. lol

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:16 | 2625957 pcrs
pcrs's picture

unions are indeed a bunch of criminals, not because they are organised workers, which they are not, but because they lobbied the state for violent interference on their behalf in their relationship with others. If you do not stick to their law, their bogeyman is coming to get you. That is why you have to wait 2 hours before some union protected asshole is prepared to plug your computer in the wall socket for 200 $, which you could have done in 5 seconds. Because this bully has the biggest bully of all behind him to throw you in jail if you do not agree.

That is why everyone hates them, like you would hate a partner you had to have sex with because refusel would make him call in a violent gang of criminals to teach you a lesson.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 21:56 | 2626678 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

' has a population that works LESS hours'

It's FEWER hours, nitwit.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:40 | 2625799 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Lets check your list in a year or two, Max.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:57 | 2625867 pcrs
pcrs's picture

The state is a criminal gang, it kills an murders in its death struggle. It sold the income of the children of it's tax serfs and spent it all and calls it whealth.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:02 | 2625894 Ol Man
Ol Man's picture

Actually, after the US departure in the early 90's, Somalia had the fastest growing economy in Africa.  They had the most modern communication systems and free trade amoung the clans.  All without government.  The trouble started in the early 2000s when the Us government began backing certain clans in an effort to force a government on the people.  Since then the US has completely messed up clan relations and free trade.

So yeah, once again government is the culprit...!

;)

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 18:25 | 2626171 steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

Max, The responses you have received make me laugh.  You are right of course, but the true believers in free market theory, simply cannot allow facts to cloud their minds.  In point of fact, what we are discussing is matters of degree.  Few modern socialist thinkers believe there should be no markets, no price discovery, no supply and demand.  And few capitalists believe there should be no governmental regulation of the marketplace.  But instead of recognizing this greyness, the true believers see those who espouse even a scintilla of socialism as dangerous, perhaps even evil.  It would be funny if it weren't so damned sad.  I'll end with this:  Hear this you true believers, if the day ever comes that you get your way and government does nothing more than protect your individual rights and you property interest, you will be enslaved by the plutocrats.  Of course, if you are a plutocrat, go for it!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:03 | 2626278 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Max, you are so stupid, yet never cease to amaze. Every country you mentioned is in debt, debt in proportion to GDP, exceeding up to 200% (Germany). 

Somalia has no debt, except that required by the IMF and World Bank, to buy weapons and uneeded infrastructure. You measure wealth by how much debt you have? How you can't pay your taxes? 

Somalia is not an anarcho-capitalist country. They are a pastoral society that uses social credit and limited capital exchange.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:34 | 2626355 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Very well said.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:33 | 2626353 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Do you think if Somalia copied all of Sweden's laws that Somailia would become just like Sweden?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:39 | 2626364 GernB
GernB's picture

This is the kind of nonsense that passes for rational thought. You just picked countries out of the air without any respect to whether they really are deserving of the label you've given them. On the Heritage Foundation list of most economically almost all of the countries you listed are at the top of the list or near the top, counting as "mostly free" countries:

Denmark #11 - score 76.2

Finland #17 - score 72.3

Norway #40 - score 68.8

Sweden #21 - score 71.7

Canada #6 - score 79.9

New Zeeland #4 - score 82.1

Germany #26 - score 71.1

Switzerland #5 - score 81.1

A conservative group counts these as some of the most economically free nations. Who are the top ones:

Hong Kong

Singapore

Australia

New Zeland

Switzerlan

How do the "troubled" nations of Europe fair:

Italy #92 - score 58.5

Greece #119 - score 55.4

Spain #69 - score 69.9

Portugal #68 - score 63.0

France #67 - score 63.2

There would appear to be a relationship between economic freedom and prosperity. Go figure.

I have to add, I cannot fathom why you would pick Somolia as an example. I can only assume because you're trying to make your argument complete nonsense.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 21:07 | 2626565 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

I see you have the Statist talking points committed to memory.

  • These nations have far more homogeneous populations than the US.
  • How many devaluations has Sweden experienced in the past 20 years?
  • Norway, Canada and Finland are oil funded like Saudi Arabia. They have resources and they are not afraid to drill for them.
  • Somalia is an example of the cluster fuck known as US foreign policy. Remember Tomahawk happy Billy Bob Clinton??

Enjoy the two hr bread lines, and 2 week wait for that life saving "elective surgery"

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:38 | 2625463 The They
The They's picture

Economics is not science. It is philosophy. It concerns the way we interact with each other. The way we choose to view our economic social relations dictates and is dictated by what kind of economic philosophy we follow.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:54 | 2626385 GernB
GernB's picture

I disagree on every level.

First, there is truth in economics. The problem is because it is based on human behavior, it's rules are more akin to behavioral science than a hard science like Chemistry. Because it is a chaotic system with many variables predicting economic activity is like predicting the weather. Even so, people follow well defined behavioral rules, and so do markets. Thus questions of what creates the highest standard of living for the most people is not a phylosophical question, it is a matter of fact. It's just incresdibly hard to discern the truth.

I also discree with the asserion about viewing our sconomic and social relations. It implies there is a monolityhic view of sociaital relationships to which we all subscribe. There are certainly people who want to force their view of how society should function on everyone else, or at least structure society to benefit the majority. The desire to see all of society bent to the will of the majority is how we have wound of with some of the most tragic and despotic societies in history.

The fact we don't all agree and we don't all want the same things, should cause any person of conciounce to advocate that individuals be allowed to be free to associate freely and form the kinds of communities they want for themselves, so long as they do not hinder other people's ability to do the same.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:38 | 2625790 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

During his asinine press conference today It sounded as though dumbass barry must of taken CliffsNotes from Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. This guy's a f'ing joke! You know how ignorant those Nobel winners are. i.e. Stiglitz, Bernanke, Krugman, Obama... need I say more?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:15 | 2625949 JebusKhrist
JebusKhrist's picture

Where true freedom in banking has prevailed, as it has on numerous historical occasions, "warehouse banks" (which aren't really banks at all, by any standard definition) have never succeeded, their potential clients having generally preferred to patronize fractional reserve banks, despite the extra risks involved, for the sake of avoiding storage fees whilst gaining interest and free payment-related services.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:12 | 2625286 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Scientists?  More like Pseudo-scientists.  I wouldn't be surprised if these idiots started touting magnetized crystals or some such nonsense to cure the economy's ailments. 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:36 | 2625434 knukles
knukles's picture

And pyramids. 
Don't forget pyramidal power.
They use pyramids in Ponzi schemes and commodities trading, too.
In commodities there are stable and unstable pyramids.
In Egypt the Muzzies are talking about tearing down the Pyramids.
Lots of pyramid stuff going on.
Not to mention globs.
Amorphous globs.  Like economic ideas and theories that are just really amorphous globs such that if one wants to really dig into the dogma, one reaches out the other side into a vaccuum, a never never land.
The only real role most of these globs and vacuums play are to serve as cyphers and shills for dogmatic less than illuminated individuals to argue aimlessly over in an attempt to achieve nothing more than winning a pointless amorphous glob of an argument which never ever like never never land itself, never get defined.
Vacuums are big, too.
Like the vacuum of the insatiable Leviathan's Maw's quest for additional unending revenues raised by taxation.
And the funds swept up into the infinite vacuum of taxation are likewise spent in another vacuum similar to the never never land where nobody but a select few really know who the recipient is unless they're one of the select few who participates in the collection and distribution vacuums.
Which are all generally done under the guise of collectivization, centralization of authority for the greater good which participants being vacuumed generally agree to proactively as they've been distracted by the vacuous meaningless arguments into which they are willfully seduced by those running the vacuum madness machines.
When in the end, there is nothing left for anybody as its all vaporized in the vacuum. 

And next week kiddies, Uncle Knuggies will talk about rehypothecation and vaporization....

 

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:35 | 2625439 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Simon Black makes two glaring errors in this article.

And they’ll be completely floored when they see that we actually award our most esteemed prizes to these men who tell us that we can spend our way out of recession and tax our way into prosperity.

No, these men don't receive esteemed prizes. They receive the Sveriges Riksbank prize in memory of Alfred Nobel. It is not a Nobel Prize. It is a gimmick created by the world's oldest central bank in 1968 in an attempt to buy legitimacy for the pseudo-scientific field of economics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sveriges_Riksbank_Prize_in_Economic_Science...

To give you an example, I’ve just finished Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s new book

Stiglitz is not a Nobel Laureate. He a recipient of the Swedish central bank's economic trophy which was named after Alfred Nobel in a deliberate attempt to ride on the coattails of the prestige of the Nobel Prize.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:43 | 2625503 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

There is Nobel prize for economics.

There is none for Math either,as his first wife ran off with a mathematician.

Our Dear Leader, being awarded the peace prize,has discredited the

whole Nobel foundation anyway.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:34 | 2626349 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

There is Nobel prize for economics.

That's what they'd like you to think, they being the global syndicate comprised of central banking, global finance, and the economics "profession". (The economics craft is probably a more accurate description; the science of economics is right out, though.)

It is commonly referred to as the Nobel prize in economics, but it isn't one of the Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel. It was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, who then set up an annual payment in perpetuity of around a million dollars to the Nobel Foundation to cover administrative expenses.

According to the wikipedia article, it is, "the only non-Nobel prize that has ever been associated officially with the Nobel Foundation."

During his speech at the 1974 Nobel Banquet, Friedrich Hayek said he would have advised against the creation of the prize because it, "confers on an individual an authority which in economics no man ought to possess."

Our Dear Leader, being awarded the peace prize,has discredited the whole Nobel foundation anyway.

Well, yeah, they really screwed the pooch on that one. They should have at least waited until they could determine the degree of correlation between his promises and his subsequent actions. Instead, they based his prize on what he said he was going to do.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2625512 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Quite correct, this is a critical and factual distinction that is generally ignored.  If you try to tell people that the so-called Nobel in Economics is only a central banker prize many do not believe it and argue about it.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:11 | 2625291 Mister Ponzi
Mister Ponzi's picture

It's quite harsh to talk about the dumbest thing an economist ever said in light of Paul Krugman's columns in the New York Times...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:13 | 2625311 Real Estate Geek
Real Estate Geek's picture

Indeed.  Perhaps Simon should nominate it as "dumbest statement du jour."

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:17 | 2625337 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

+55

 

True, Stiglitz is just one more shit for brains lefturd with a PhD in Economics, ansd his bullshit is incredibly stupid, but a match for the K-man? I think not.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:41 | 2625480 knukles
knukles's picture

Don't both of them have beards?
Beards in the olden days when people were crucified in front of the McCarthy Committee on All Sorts of Subversive Shit were considered Commies (shudder) if they had beards.
But beards are acceptable in cornucopia land today so maybe they're just too cheap to shave their faces.
Which is probably also a good hint that they don't shave their ass cracks.
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww...............

That's even worse than their economics!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:38 | 2626362 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

But beards are acceptable in cornucopia land today so maybe they're just too cheap to shave their faces.

It's just a carryover from their previous profession, for which they were far more eminently qualified: artists' models for illustrations on the boxes of cigars and cough drops.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:29 | 2625746 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Every time I hear the name Stiglitz, I reflexively watch this again (God bless Pavlov, at least in this case):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4MAifsp-8E&feature=player_embedded

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:52 | 2625843 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Ha! Good one.  Krugman is one focused (on the wrong thing) fella.  As for Stiglitz, one should read his bio to appreciate where he is coming from.   We always advocate working from the inside to change a system, if one wants to avoid bloodshed that is.   I think that Stiglitz is doing that.

From the article:

I’ve just finished Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s new book The Price of Inequality in which he writes something that may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard from an economist:

“[T]he success of [Apple and Google], and indeed the viability of our entire economy, depends heavily on a well-performing public sector. There are creative entrepreneurs all over the world. What makes a difference. . . is the government.”

Yes, in the eyes of our most decorated ‘scientists’, the brilliance and guile of Ingvar Kamprad, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Asa Candler, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and millions of others are far less important than an effective government bureaucracy.

I'd have to point out that the bureaucracy in the times of those revered names was different from the governmental atmosphere we have now.  Less regulation and all that it entails.   Some backwardation in rules and regs might yield us some more of those spirited pioneers.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:11 | 2625292 risk-reward
risk-reward's picture

So...let's see.  One of the (if not THE) fastest growing segment of our population is the group of "Baby Boomers".  These folks are either retired or are staring retirement in the face.  What else they are looking at is a longer life span and NO return on their assets unless they are willing to take risks that they KNOW they shouldn't take.  What is the best course of action?  Conserve, Conserve, Conserve.  The Fed, by its ZIRP, has scared the crap out of a significant segment of America and kept them from spending.  Way to GO, Bennie !!!!!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:17 | 2625299 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

The old "you can't borrow your way out of debt" argument, somehow wrapped up to group Keynesians with the Nazis.  Is there a triviality level below which the discussion here WON'T stoop?

"You can't fix debt with debt" is false, and the reason is that it depends on the category of debt; private versus public.   After a private debt bubble (aka, Minsky moment), public debt can step in and provide demand until the private debt is deleveraged, and private demand picks back up again.  America did it after 1938, and that's also how the world has gotten out of most recesssions since then. 

America has been deleveraging private debt at the fastest rate since the early 1950s, and America's total (public and private) debt/GDP ratio has been dropping since 2010.  We ARE borrowing our way out of debt.  Again.

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-06-08/commentary/32103077_1_debt-pr...

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:18 | 2625343 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

You learned your Paul Krugman handbook perfectly! Now, check the Austrians to learn why private debt bubbles happen in the first place.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:24 | 2625371 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Hardly a mystery; we de-regulated the big WallSt banks, and they immediately got way over-leveraged.  Virtually same as what happened in the 1920.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:31 | 2625420 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

Incorrect. The centrally planned interest rates, corrupt regulators, and lack of free markets insured this outcome was inevitable. Let the banks fail, let depositors set interest rates based upon risk of banking with said foolish lenders. Free markets reduce systemic risks from corrupt and centrally planned economies.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:33 | 2625429 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Please document the actual "de-regulation". Point me to it please.

And just in case you would want to talk about the repeal of glass-steagall... Most banks which got over-leveraged and needed a bailout were not retail banks...

So, waiting for details...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:48 | 2625537 AlmostEven
AlmostEven's picture

Citi was not a retail bank? BofA was not a retail bank? And, no, it wasn't just the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. The Clinton administration also gave us the Financial Services Modernization Act and the all-out, guns-a-blazing fight against regulating credit default swaps and other "innovations" of the FIRE sector. On top of that, the USA experienced widespread regulatory capture, where the regulatory agencies becaming subsidiaries of the banks, effectively making much of the remaining regulation impotent, unenforceable, and unabashedly ignored...for example, Tim Geithner's actions regarding LIBOR manipulation, to name just one obvious elephant in the room.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:09 | 2625648 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

I'm glad you forgot to talk about Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merryll, AIG, Fannie, Freddie... you know, all the pieces which took the system down and which were NOT concerned by the glass-steagall story. Then you mention Citi, whose problems came once everything else imploded. Good job a la Krugman sir.

Then you regret that CDS were not regulated, when you should know that CDS exist because there are excessive risks in the system in the first place. But you won't talk about the nature and the source of those risks wont you...

Finally, you lecture about the capture of regulators, a necessary consequence of central planning and corporatism.

I rest my case.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:46 | 2626371 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AlmostEven asked:

Citi was not a retail bank?

It depends on what you mean by Citi.

Citigroup is a multi-tentacled denizen of shadow banking.

Citibank is a retail bank, one of the many tentacles of Citigroup.

Hope that helps.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:01 | 2625609 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

"Most banks which got over-leveraged and needed a bailout were not retail banks..."

TRUE!  It is more complicated than re-instating Glass-Steagall (another way of saying that what worked in the simpler 1930s doesn't precisely map to today.).

More later...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:41 | 2625483 AlmostEven
AlmostEven's picture

Not sure why you got junked for saying deregulation of big Wall Street banks was devastating to the economy. And for future reference, you're supposed to answer those who disagree with you here by calling them a F#cktard or something similar.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:21 | 2625710 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture

and then follow it with:  ,bitchez!

Gone are the days...esteemed fake-nobel economists couldn't even post here at ZH because they couldn't figure out the captcha...bitchez.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:57 | 2625605 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Hey Pulpfiction thanks for the history lesson Now go home and get your fucking shinebox.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:19 | 2625345 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Your troll-fu sucks, dude. An MDB you are not.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:23 | 2625365 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

troll-fu

lulz +1

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:05 | 2625626 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

+1

I've sometimes wondered how well I'd fare if I set up a tandem "troll" logon and tried to stir the waters here a-la RoboTrader or MDB.  Then I remind myself...why try to imitate the classics?

By the way, where IS RoboTrader, anyway?  Haven't heard from him/her/it for a long time now...I need some entertainment.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:22 | 2625357 akak
akak's picture

Go back to cutting pulp --- at least you MAY be good at that.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:26 | 2625378 Mister Ponzi
Mister Ponzi's picture

Welcome to ZeroHedge, Professor Krugman!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:41 | 2625481 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Nothing you said made any sense.  Do you realize that?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2625506 TheCanadianAustrian
TheCanadianAustrian's picture

You overlook one crucial point: Public debt is far more cancerous to an economy than private debt.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:42 | 2626017 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

The old "you can't borrow your way out of debt" argument, somehow wrapped up to group Keynesians with the Nazis.  Is there a triviality level below which the discussion here WON'T stoop?

 

Ha!

 

"The theory of aggregated production, which is the point of the following book, nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state [eines totalen Staates] than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire." -- J.M. Keynes, Introduction to the German edition of The General Theory, 1937

 

Also note that Keynes was a director of the British Eugenics Society.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:13 | 2625303 Cranios
Cranios's picture

Sounds just like Komrade Obama. "If you have a business, you didn't make it happen, someone else did..."

And actually, Global Warming junk science will be the Eugenics of our day.

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:15 | 2625323 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Well, so much for your credibility. For whatever reason, the globe is warming up.......man-made or not. Your political leanings do not change this very well documented fact.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:21 | 2625355 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

"For whatever reason,..."

The reason is the Sun.

- Ned

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:22 | 2625360 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

How did you manage to check the true temperature of the globe in order to know with such certainty that it is warming up? I looked everywhere for the Earth's thermometer and could not find it...

And besides, if the globe is warming and the warming is not man-made, why all the laws and regulations and science-backed governmental programs enforcing various behaviors?

Think, think...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:32 | 2625387 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Right - the polar cap is melting, the glaciers are melting, and this guy is figuring it's just a problem with his thermometer.   ROFL.

Check out the chart on this summer's arctic ice coverage - http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/.  If it's just a lie some scientists cooked up, why are the oil companies, and Canadian and Russian militaries all expanding up there?

-------------------

A new study is showing that viewers who watch only Fox News are the least informed people in the country.  In fact, the study is showing that those who watch Fox News are more uninformed than those who don’t watch any news at all.

Researchers at Fairleigh Dickinson University had originally done a study in 2011 that found the exact same statistics. They recently updated the study to find out if they would get the same results nationally that they got in the first study which was only conducted in New Jersey, where the University is located.

The poll interviewed participants about their knowledge of international news (Iran, Egypt, Syria and Greece were included) and news that is strictly for domestic consumption (Republican primaries, Congress, unemployment and the Keystone XL pipeline).  The pollsters found that people were usually able to answer 1.8 out of 4 questions on foreign news, and 1.6 of 5 questions on domestic news, and that people who don’t watch any news were able to get 1.22 of the questions on domestic policy right.

Then the study found out that those who watched only Fox News fared much worse than the average.

The study found,

    “The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly.”

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/241677/study-fox-news-viewers-less-informed-tha...

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:35 | 2625437 bobnoxy
bobnoxy's picture

It's niche news. Retard T.V.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:38 | 2625467 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Oh yes, I'm a Ron Paul voter, thus I LOOOOVE Fox News!

What I'll give to most Fox News watchers though is that most of them don't pretend to be intellectuals. Gullible liberals with low IQs who read the NYT do pretend it though, and that's the funniest part - like reading their sophisms such as "you don't believe in global warming, thus you must watch Fox News mouahahahah".

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2625495 bobnoxy
bobnoxy's picture

Liberals have higher levels of education and I.Q. Documented fact. Which helps explain why they tend to be liberal in the first place. Less gullible, less fearful and more open to new ideas. But you have to be born with it, and conservatives missed the gene pool lottery. Someone has to do the grunt work though, so it all works out!

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2625523 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

What's interesting is that it used to be the other way around.  Up until the 1960s, the more-highly-educated people in the country tended to be Republican and conservative.  Nixon's "Southern Strategy" and Reagan's "trickle-down (aka, voodoo) economics" started the change; and Fox, Palin, Huckabee, etc. completed it.

Today's conservative has very little in common with Barry Goldwater and George Romney.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:49 | 2625544 bobnoxy
bobnoxy's picture

I know at least one overwhelmed right wing doofus will ask for evidence, so as usual, let a liberal do the heavy lifting and furnish some.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/high_iq_liberal_atheist_monogamous_/

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:01 | 2625607 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Who knows, maybe Maxine Waters is smarter than Ron Paul, or Peter Schiff, or Nassim Taleb?

I don't suppose I should have to explain, so I won't.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:18 | 2625695 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Sure as F wouldn't take much to be smarter than Peter Schiff.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:26 | 2625732 Nothing To See Here
Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2625631 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Better list of REAL conservatives: William McChesney Martin, others?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:07 | 2625635 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

like the UAW guys?

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:35 | 2626041 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

Liberals have higher levels of education and I.Q. Documented fact. Which helps explain why they tend to be liberal in the first place. Less gullible, less fearful and more open to new ideas.

 

If liberals are not fearful then why do they scream so much that ratty old safety net? I would think that the folks who do not ask for cradle to grave assistance would be classified as being more brave by any objective standard.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2625530 PulpCutter
PulpCutter's picture

Maybe it's just that water has changed it's melting temperature.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:26 | 2625733 mathdock
mathdock's picture

This observational study suffers from selection bias--those who choose to watch Fox outnumber those who watch other sources and therefore are more likely to represent a different slice of the population.  COnrols have to be put in for education level, income, demographics like age and gender, etc.  Those who listen to NPR tend to have college degrees, and for that difference they can correctly answer 0.5 questions more than the lunchpail draggers who watch the news AFTER working all day.  You know there is NOTHING worthy on NPR after about 3PM, when most profs go home--it's as "interpretive" of the news as Fox is after their last national news with whatzisname. 

The news is the news, in about the same sequence, with about the same depth.  THat is actually the control, and the treatment groups are the watchers of said news delivered by the Big Three, the PBS Newshour headline segment with Gwen Ifill, and The News with Whatzisname during the dinner hour.  It almost came to me.....

4 questions on foreign news:  YGTBKM.  5 questions on domestic news, and neither segment had mean values for any group reaching 50%.  Geniuses, I say.....And, the info you culled refers only to domestic news, such as it is.  Since you make no reference to the foreign news, may I assume there was no statistically significant difference?

To be fair, I need to get my butt into the article before I castigate further.

Besides that, what an interesting study!

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 03:28 | 2627208 Revert_Back_to_...
Revert_Back_to_1792_Act's picture

SPIN!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7344181953466797353

Here is an animation of Arctic Sea Ice from 1978 to 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8SGs_gnFk

There was an even longer animation but it seems to have disappeared from the web.

Anytime they are showing you dramatic pictures of glaciers melting and cleaving off, etc, you should ask yourself what time of the year those pictures were taken.

The answer will almost always be the summer season.  It is too damn cold in most of those places for cameras or other electronic equipment to work in the winter..not to mention that there is no sunlight there in the Winter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_night

Research Enron and the Carbon Tax.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH0Ryek7rHk#t=3m

and...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZS6cA_kRqE#t=30s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Skies_Treaty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzEEgtOFFlM

http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

 

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 19:53 | 2626384 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

How did you manage to check the true temperature of the globe in order to know with such certainty that it is warming up? I looked everywhere for the Earth's thermometer and could not find it...

It's a deep rectal thermometer. TSA inspectors are really the most qualified to locate it.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:27 | 2625385 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

HAARP, and a Gulf full of oil does wonders to our climate.

But mums the word.....

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 16:24 | 2625720 ZaphodBeeblebrox
ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

My thoughts exactly. Obama must have just got done reading the synopsis of the book. Ughh.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 17:07 | 2625789 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Komrade Obama actually said this:

" If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you did not build that–somebody else made that happen. The Internet did not get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off of the Internet. The point is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Note that the antecedent to the pronoun ("you did not build that") is the infrastructure, not the person's business.  Failure to understand simple declarative sentences has resulted in a warped interpretation of what he said.

Your quote: "If you have a business, you didn't make it happen, someone else did..." is incorrect. 

I only bring this up in the effort to put things back into context.  Just today I listened to a Romney speech in which he said that an internet entrepreneur has done all the work on his own.  Say what?  All this finger-pointing works two ways.

Regardless of a person's opinion of Zuckerberg, without an established internet he'd just be another unknown nerd with his glasses taped together.  On the other hand, it could be said that a guy that smart and driven would have found some way to make a fortune.   In any case, he would have needed help with an established infrastructure... period.  The really smart entrepreneurs are the ones who find an untrodden path, free of government (the bureaucrats just haven't found it yet), and exploit it.  My final point: Fortunes can be made in spite of government and its onerous regulations.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:13 | 2625305 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Since when, and by whom, is economics considered a science? It is about as much of a science as astrology, which is a tad bit more of a science than archaeology.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:24 | 2625374 RSloane
RSloane's picture

I can solve the "by whom" question. Economists are considered scientists when they express a belief in a political ideology held by others of that same ilk, and that the political ideology in question is failing miserably. Political ideologies that are succeeding do not require 'sidekicks'.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:26 | 2625384 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Economics and climate science have more in common than economics with astrology. Shams grounded on mathematical equations pretending to represent reality out of things too complex to be modelled accurately.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:38 | 2625427 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Economics falls under "Social Sciences" like Psychology and Sociology.  None of these are science because there is no way to apply the rigors of the scientific method to how one human behaves much less 3 billion.  IMHO, these studies are about as scientific as Theology, Philosophy or Rhetoric.  That doesn't mean there is no value in studying them if it interests you but don't claim that you can accurately predict anything based on knowledge of the subject.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 15:13 | 2625307 notadouche
notadouche's picture

Isn't it obvious the liberal/political elites desire wealth redistribution and the welfare state in the sole attempt to quash any need for change to the status quo and or revolution.  It's the safest path for them, though the PR they get makes them come off as compassionate and caring of the less fortunate. 

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