Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Well, we agree on something …

Posted by DNW on 2011/08/02


What we agree on is the the point in contention.

Regarding the budget?  No,  regarding the issue behind the current budget debate.

“With whom?” you ask? Hold on, hold on. Let me, as they say, ‘splain.

Back in January of this year, a somewhat prescient seeming – if you’ve been asleep for the last 40 years – opinion piece appeared addressing this particular issue.

It was mooted by Paul Krugman, the  bearded lady moralizer hired by the New York Times to pontificate on every topic economic and not.  Surprisingly he managed to lay his delicately tapered finger [yeah I know that is stolen from Thomas Mann] on the heart of the matter: A deep moral chasm that separates the sensibilities and ideals of conservatives and libertarians on the one hand,  from the disciples of the religion of humanism, or transhumanism, or “our secular democratic faith”, or whatever rhetorical line it is that the that the collectivist class managers are peddling today in order to justify their habitation of whatever sociopolitical and often tax supported niche they have managed to occupy, on the other.  Long sentence, eh?
Herr Krugman writes:

” … the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations Mr. Obama urges us to expand, about divergent beliefs over what constitutes justice. …

One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.

The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That’s what lies behind the modern right’s fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty.

There’s no middle ground between these views. One side saw health reform, with its subsidized extension of coverage to the uninsured, as fulfilling a moral imperative: wealthy nations, it believed, have an obligation to provide all their citizens with essential care. The other side saw the same reform as a moral outrage, an assault on the right of Americans to spend their money as they choose. “

Now this framing of the issue as one of divergent and irreconcilable moralities, which we happen to agree on, comes loaded with presuppositions regarding their relative virtues and logic, about which we don’t.  Krugman promises to justify the substance of his moral presuppositions by laying out the logic underlying them, and by rebutting the assumptions of the contrary position in future issues, ” In future columns I will no doubt spend a lot of time pointing out the hypocrisy and logical fallacies of the “I earned it and I have the right to keep it” crowd. And I’ll also have a lot to say about how far we really are from being a society of equal opportunity, in which success depends solely on one’s own efforts. ”

But there is no need to wait for further demonstrations of Magister Krugman’s ethical and logical wizardry. Having seen what he is about to do many times before, we know what he – and by extension his ideologically aligned crew – will say and do before he does it.

It goes like this: Your life is not really yours [except in the the event you might wish to have an abortion or express some morbid sexual perversion] because it is contextually generated within a social order. Your talents are not your own to any greater extent; and, insofar as they are biologically particular to you, you have no right to any special benefits derived from their “social exercise”. You are a social element: Part of an ever growing, ever evolving, ever more inclusive circle of concern.

Your failure to express concern and solidarity is in fact what kills the weak.

To quote Herr Krugman once again, but from another piece, “Poverty is Poison“:

“L. B. J. declared his “War on Poverty” 44 years ago. Contrary to cynical legend, there actually was a large reduction in poverty over the next few years, especially among children, who saw their poverty rate fall from 23 percent in 1963 to 14 percent in 1969.

But progress stalled thereafter: American politics shifted to the right, attention shifted from the suffering of the poor to the alleged abuses of welfare queens driving Cadillacs, and the fight against poverty was largely abandoned.

In 2006, 17.4 percent of children in America lived below the poverty line, substantially more than in 1969. And even this measure probably understates the true depth of many children’s misery.

Living in or near poverty has always been a form of exile, of being cut off from the larger society.”

It’s not just lead paint chips anymore. Alienation causes stress, and stress makes you stupid, and therefore the solution to poverty is to end alienation. Love the bearded lady or else …

Now, some of Krugman’s implications in his “A Tale of Two Moralities” seem to contradict inferences which we may draw from his “Poverty is Poison” piece. For example in A Tale of Two Moralities, Krugman writes:

“This deep divide in American political morality — for that’s what it amounts to — is a relatively recent development. Commentators who pine for the days of civility and bipartisanship are, whether they realize it or not, pining for the days when the Republican Party accepted the legitimacy of the welfare state, and was even willing to contemplate expanding it. As many analysts have noted, the Obama health reform — whose passage was met with vandalism and death threats against members of Congress — was modeled on Republican plans from the 1990s.”

Yet in “Poverty is Poison”, as we saw further above, Krugman writes,

” …[Children] …  saw their poverty rate fall from 23 percent in 1963 to 14 percent in 1969.

But progress stalled thereafter: American politics shifted to the right, attention shifted from the suffering of the poor to the alleged abuses of welfare queens driving Cadillacs, and the fight against poverty was largely abandoned.

In 2006, 17.4 percent of children in America lived below the poverty line, substantially more than in 1969. And even this measure probably understates the true depth of many children’s misery.”

So we all yearn for the days of yesteryear when civility and the welfare presupposition reigned. A time until just recently, when even Republicans accepted the legitimacy of and sometimes assisted in the expansion of, the welfare state. Yet despite its 40 years of additional officially accepted life, the welfare state has seemingly done nothing to end the poisoning of the alienated impoverished since 1969.

This outcome and Krugman’s prescriptive ranting in the face of it, leads one to ask what these characters really want, and when is enough enough?

And the answer to that is they want you, every aspect of you, in harness; and enough is never enough. In fact, the question of “you” doesn’t even obtain in their analysis, apart from the aspect of you, interpreted as a means of social production satisfied enough to reach maximal output.
Maximal output? Why?

Because, there is just so much need, don’t you know …

16 Responses to “Well, we agree on something …”

  1. Hoagie said

    DNW, great to read you again. I wondered where you went, now I know. I cruised over here because I got tired of going in circles with one who is an “expert” in every field yet has no notable accomplishments.

    Now, as far as I’m concerned Krugman may have started out as an economist but he sold out for a fat paycheck to the lefitist elite and has become a social propagandist. Noone with a full and complete understanding of economics let alone a full understanding of the human spirit could ever spawn the nonsense he does. But then again, he does make me laugh, cry and curse. Kinda like the Phillies.

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  2. […] Thinker –Does This Deficit Make Me Look Fat? submitted by The RazorTruth Before Dishonor – Well, We Agree On Something submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey James Taranto/Best of the Web Today – “Fine! Call My […]

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  3. It’s interesting that Krugman is one of those “experts” in the field of economics who, upon seeing economic results month after month, is continually declaring the results “unexpected.” You’d think the tool would learn. But from the multiple statements of his former NYT boss, Krugman is the type who will dig his heels in in the face of the truth and never admit he erred on anything. (That’s among other highly negative things his former NYT boss said about him.)

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  4. […] Thinker –Does This Deficit Make Me Look Fat? submitted by The RazorTruth Before Dishonor – Well, We Agree On Something submitted by The Colossus of RhodeyJames Taranto/Best of the Web Today – “Fine! Call My […]

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  5. assovertincups said

    hi hoagie! how you been?

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  6. […] Before Dishonor – Well, We Agree On Something submitted byThe Colossus of […]

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  7. […] Before Dishonor – Well, We Agree On Something submitted by The Colossus of […]

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  8. DNW said

    Hoagie said
    2011/08/02 at 21:07 e

    “DNW, great to read you again. I wondered where you went, now I know. I cruised over here because I got tired of going in circles with one who is an “expert” in every field yet has no notable accomplishments.

    Now, as far as I’m concerned Krugman may have started out as an economist but he sold out for a fat paycheck to the lefitist elite and has become a social propagandist. No one with a full and complete understanding of economics let alone a full understanding of the human spirit could ever spawn the nonsense he does. But then again, he does make me laugh, cry and curse. Kinda like the Phillies..”

    Hi Hoagie. Nice to see you. Now all we need is for Ropelight to show up and we’ll have a quorum.

    Yeah, John shot me an e-mail asking if I’d drop in on his site and make whatever comments I wanted whenever the mood struck or time allowed. Knowing how desperately the world needed my perspective (LOL), and with an offer so congenial, I accepted.

    Dana is listed here too, I am sure you noticed.

    Speaking of which, Dana, like John, has me in awe of his energy and output. And within the parameters Dana’s set for himself, i.e., common sense political thinking, he has managed to engagingly cover quite a range of social and quasi philosophical issues as well.

    The problem with Dana’s site as I see it, is neither in the concept nor the execution, but rather that Dana has become a test case for his own announced principle of extending free speech privileges in a privately run forum, as if they are political or natural free speech rights. Anyone becomes annoyed with Dana or his contributors, and they may, and often do, try to hoist Dana by his own rope.

    When Dana gets so fed up he threatens to set his foot down, they just dial it back a bit, and toss out a few ingratiating overtures. That’s what trolls do; and that’s why the psychologically disturbed, like Phoenician in a time of Romans, are a problem across the entire range of Internet discussion fora.

    I saw that I was not making the situation in any way better myself by arguing with such types, so I moved on, or out.

    No doubt the tenor has since become much more “collegial” as Perry would say.

    Two things I have noticed though, as I looked in several times recently, were: 1st, a counter Dana put up revealed a stupefyingly large number of posts made by me. That, kind of number shows that I was placing way too much attention in that area, whether I noticed it as such or not. 2nd was that a cursory look seemed to indicate that some of the usual leftist suspects who would drop in occasionally to deposit a line or two bemoaning the injustice of border controls or of laying life costs at the feet of those who incurred them, are not showing up much either.

    I would have thought that they would have been encouraged.

    I want to respond to your economics remarks in another comment.

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  9. DNW said

    Hoagie said in part:
    2011/08/02 at 21:07 e

    “Now, as far as I’m concerned Krugman may have started out as an economist but he sold out for a fat paycheck to the lefitist elite and has become a social propagandist. No one with a full and complete understanding of economics let alone a full understanding of the human spirit could ever spawn the nonsense he does….”

    As John showed with his post recently https://truthbeforedishonor.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/msnbc-where-dishonest-gotcha-journalism-goes-bad/, the economics expert game can be played by any number of persons and some of them are pretty shameless in doing so, despite having had their hats handed to them publicly.

    Now, you have a degree in economics from Princeton. I don’t, merely having had Intro, Macro, Micro, and Intermediate Macro; which, excluding “economic history”, comes to only 4 semesters. But what matriculated credentials has the supposed expert you have been arguing with, got under his academic belt? If I recall he was invited to state the texts he used? Were they McConnell’s? Gordon’s? Whose?

    Apparently, his own “expertise” in the field of economic analysis was developed not in the classroom considering MPC curves, but by reading Krugman opinion pieces on the Internet.

    So, when someone who has no credentials whatever in economics, demands someone who has some and more, to explain why he who has more isn’t heeding the advice of the “expert” revered by the person who has none: what academic standard of achievement is the totally un-credentialed person using as a gauge, in order to prove that his opinion as to who is an expert worth listening to or not, is itself worth listening to?

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  10. […] Before Dishonor ‘ Well, We Agree On Something submitted by The Colossus of […]

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  11. Hoagie said

    Hi Assovertincups. Everything’s good, I guess. How about you?

    Well DNW, I found myself getting down in the dirt with Pho and all I got was….dirty. I was just reading CSPT and Pho was calling Dana contemptable and a wingnut. Now what has Dana ever said that he deserves that kind of disrespect? Especially coming from the quintessential moonbat? The number one drinker of the Kool-aide, the Karl Marx of all Marxists? The first person to be on the wrong side of every arguement from morality to economics to law?

    And yes, his economic experience comes from reading Krugman and a snippit here and there. Not from actually studying the subject or employing it’s principles. The sad thing is, Perry buys into his crap because it comes off as “fact”. Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone’s entitled to his own opinion but, it’s just an opinion, not the Law. For example: Pho must have read that our current recession is “demand driven” somewhere. Since it fit his marxist philosophy “demand driven” became his economic mantra for the systemic Command crap coming out of Washington which kills growth. Neither he nor Perry realizes that when uncertanty spurred on by government bailouts, regulations, laws, monetary policy and taxes becomes “the norm”, growth will not occur.

    Hell, I was trying to open an Italian market in Bryn Athyn and I had to surrender. First off the “regulators” (read buracrats) had such rediculous and unbendable rules it was impossible and as June (my wife) said: “So you’ll make just enough to increase our taxes, but not enough to increase our life?” She made the point. Why would I do all that work and take all that risk when guys like Pho or Perry are in charge? Answer: I wouldn’t.

    As I type this the DOW is down 257. That’s what happens when the Krugman’s and Keynesians and the children are in charge. Of course I really believe that the market is like going to a casino, without the comps. However, I did buy a couple hundred ounces of propreitory gold at $1495 so I’m not that bad off now. I did it just to spite Pho after I sold it earlier. I knew whatever he was for, I should go opposite. And it worked! And this time I have no auto-sell in the deal. So I’ll hold for a while. As long as the Pho’s keep printing and borrowing money, I’ll cash in. Idiots.

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  12. Hoagie said

    BTW, I could have put the money I put into gold in a new business. I could have created jobs, paid local taxes, spurred the local economy and helped the local development. But thanks to the Krugman’s (and Pho’s and Perry’s) of the world, it’s easier for greedy, capitalist, unpatriotic a-holes like me to bet against the dollar than to invest a dollar. (But remember, a dollar isn’t wealth)

    Atlas is still shrugging. All around the country. As long as Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Frank et al are in charge, little guys like me will keep up the shrug. If they really wanted jobs, growth and revenue they’d get the phuck out of our way and they’d get it. And that sir, is the difference between a “demand” caused recession and a “command” caused recession.

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  13. Hoagie said

    One more thing before I go. There is a opinion piece on American Thinker today called “Macroeconomics and the Entitlement State”. It’s a good read. Could explain why guys like Pho talk “macro” and the guys in the trenches talk “micro”. You know, the talkers vs. the doers.

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  14. DNW said

    Hoagie said
    2011/08/04 at 10:32

    One more thing before I go. There is a opinion piece on American Thinker today called “Macroeconomics and the Entitlement State”. It’s a good read. Could explain why guys like Pho talk “macro” and the guys in the trenches talk “micro”. You know, the talkers vs. the doers.”

    I’ll look it up. My first impulse though is to say that they focus on macro because they have not figured out how to successfully sell micro-management to their intended victims. LOL

    By the way, regarding the Atlas Shrugged business. After having observed the deluge of sneering references to the supposed libertarian fantasy of going Galt made by the leftist cranks and moral defectives who cruise Dana’s site, I refreshed my memory on the theme they were deriding.

    (I guess anytime you say something like “let them stew in their own juices” or “let them bear the burden of their own stupidity” it triggers an image of Ayn Rand’s character John Galt in their mind.)

    Now, their standard criticism of a disgruntled man’s potential tactic of withdrawing from participation in exchange relationships with cheats and “mooches”, and of allowing the incompetents to stew to death in their own poison-puss juices, is that the disgruntled man has his original position all wrong. The disgruntled man is asserted by the leftist as failing to grasp the “fact” that it takes a village – presumably including the participation of cheats and liars and mooches too – to even give him the opportunity to express his talents in the first place. Basically they recycle old Simon and Garfunkel songs based on Comtean themes and hope it scans as philosophical criticism.

    From the fact that all humans require the society of other humans for a productive and fulfilling life, they stupidly conclude that all men need their association (“associate” taken as a verb).

    Thus, they would have you believe, that any such project, even if representing the concerted effort of like-minded individuals, is bound to fail because it misrepresents reality.

    But of course neither their premise nor their conclusion is true; and moreover, they know it.

    And that is why, ( “why”, here meaning the state of the left’s acute awareness of the speciousness of their own equivocating associative necessity premisses, and the fallaciousness of their conclusion drawn therefrom) that when push comes to shove, “going Galt” won’t work in a polity where it is the only alternative available for a rational man.

    The left know full well what any significant number of people going Galt would mean for them. As a psychological type too physically weak to dig, too proud to beg, they are always anticipating the possibility of simply being cut loose of shunned. They aim to construct a social context wherein that becomes impossible to even contemplate.

    Their antennae continually scan for threats active or PASSIVE. They fully expect a rational man would balk at continuing his labors in support of an irrational and dysfunctional system, once he realized that it is against his rational self-interest to do so, and that his efforts only perpetuated, or, as we say further enabled, the associative dysfunction. To not participate, is as we have seen with Krugman, framed as just as much a crime as to actively and positively wrong someone.

    In fact one could characterize the current lack of small business job formation as many newspapers have already done, as being a kind of quasi-Galtian commentary on more than just the odds of a likely economic return given certain legal premisses, but rather one upon the legitimacy of the burdensome premisses themselves.

    There are hundreds of ways of expressing this dynamic, and millions of people have done so in these various ways.

    Just as you have done.

    The upshot though, is that when you withhold yourself from a needy blood sucker that has convinced itself that your doing so is prima facie “immoral”, its own reaction is not likely to be passive in return.

    (3:25 PM EST: A couple of minor modifications or clarifications made. I’ll let the rest of this reply continue to stand as is. Redundant “to” also deleted)

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  15. Hoagie said

    Boy, did you hit the nail on the head DNW. How many times has Perry called me unpatriotic or (by inferrence) immoral for employing my own self interest in business? How can I be immoral or unpatriotic by not allowing myself and my family to be blugeoned to death by a blood sucking government? How is it that a man who has worked his ass off for 42 years, paid taxes and employed thousands of people is now the enemy? What the hell’s going on around here? Where bums, layabouts and loosers are the “victims” and those of us who work or own small businesses are “exploiters”?

    The condition of our economy this very day is the result of all that leftist claptrap from the last seven decades. And they still persist! We just didn’t piss away enough of other people’s money! Just another two trillion and we’ll have it peged! These people are the true deffinition of insanity. Hell, I remember when the only time you even heard the word “trillion” was in reference to light-years. Now it rolls off their tongues like water off a duck. And as usual, it will fall to us, the workers, inventors, small businessmen, professionals and go-getters to clean up their mess. All created by the “experts”. Gimme a break!

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  16. Hoagie said

    Also DNW, even though I do hold a BS in economis I do not consider myself an expert. However, I do have a firmer grasp of the subject than a librarian or school teacher and yet my opinions (and that’s all they are) are cast aside with talking points by web-surfers picking and choosing talking points from clowns all over the globe. I knew I was in trouble when Perry started quoting Pho instead of Sowell, when he began citing Krugman rather than Friedman and when he bagan confusing “health care” with “health insurance”. I guess it’s (like the proverbial scorpion) their nature.

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