Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Late night shorters

Let's catch up with Megan's day.

The Bellows » More Housing, cont.:

This dovetails with the fact that many of the most problematic loans hit trouble even before their teaser rates reset, meaning that there was never any realistic possibility that the borrower would repay the money.
Which only goes to show, it's all the borrowers' fault for taking on loans beyond their ability to pay, regardless of whether they could comprehend that.

So how can I support [Obama]? Well, I wouldn't, if there were better alternatives. But my choices are Hillary Clinton and John McCain, whose goals may be slightly more moderate, but whose instincts are for regulating the hell out of any market outcome they don't like. McCain is not a classical liberal; he's the product of an intensely hierarchical honor culture that he seems to think would substantially improve the rest of us if we adopted more of its values. I have no shortage of respect for the military, and their willingness to place their own lives between the rest of us and war's desolation. But that doesn't mean I think America would be a better place if we had a more martial state. His record bespeaks little respect for spontaneous order and individual freedom. What free-market instincts he evinces seem to have come as part of the conservative ideas combo-pack he bought because it was cheaper than buying the parts individually--all he really wanted was the national greatness and the moderately conservative social structure.
According to Megan, liberty = the ability of corporations to act without regulation. This is fucking stupid, and only stillborn idiots believe this.
As libertarians go, I'm not a tax nut; I think deadweight loss is relatively low, and taxation is among the least intrusive actions the state can take. I'm far more concerned about regulation. The economic cost tends to be higher; it lacks the natural limits imposed by citizen resistance; and it doesn't so extensively accustom the citizenry to taking orders from the state.
You're a corporate shill, Megan, not a libertarian.
(I know I'm not being wittily snarky in this, but fuck. This isn't funny.)

Cuba libre: Castro retiring totally might mean something, or not. There aren't many vegan options in Cuban food, are there?

Killing capitalism softly: Note that the top of the page for this post adds (Econ 101) to the title, implying you might learn something. This implication is false.
To a first approximation, everyone in the 1930s and 1940s seems to have believed that capitalism, and quite possibly democracy, were headed for the ashbin of history; the hope (or fear) appears in the writings of everyone from Orwell to Hayek. The question I have is, given this near-perfect consensus, how did we manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Or did we? We are, it seems, gearing up to nationalize an industry that accounts for 16% of national output--and even libertarian bloggers have been known to speak out in favor of that most socialist of institutions, the Federal Reserve.
Everyone together, with me. The fact is, it's the DUSTBIN of history, dammit! Megan can't even steal from Gary properly. Pfffft. As for this claim of "everyone" feeling this way, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what about the folk fighting for the Allies in WWII? They, just maybe, still had some belief in capitalism and democracy. Maybe. But it's obvious she's simply empirically wrong on this, innit.

"Even the libertarians . . . ": Poor Megan, she picked a political ideology she thought would give her cover for being a corporatist conservative, and no one is falling for it anymore.
Maybe if she gets blindly self-righteous about how she's being treated while continuing to ignore the erosion of private rights by this admin, we'll give in so she'll shut up. It's not like libertarians should be concerned about personal liberty and privacy, as opposed to corporate regulation.

Megan's been taking her dumb pills this week, no doubting that. Urgh.


spencer said...

It's funny she got that wrong, because "dustbin" just sounds so British - you'd think Megan would have worked it into her everyday vocabulary by now, as part of her I-habitually-use-British-English-without-even-realizing-it affectation.

Anonymous said...

And since I don't agree with them on national health care, naturally I must disagree about every single other thing they hold dear, from foreign policy to the eternal question of whether thank you notes may properly be started with the words "Thank you".

Megan's self-importance and attempts at humor are actually starting to become painful. The Atlantic is in a sad state of affairs when I have to come to a site like this, where it's obvious that the effort to maintain it is minimal (nothing personal. I think that's a good thing for a blog of this type), yet the posts and comments are funnier and more informative than those of a professional writer like McArdle.

rickm said...

I thought 'dustbin of history' was Trotsky.

M. Bouffant said...

I think it was actually Marx, but I don't know jack.