Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I don't know why, but you're wrong

you might call that a bad argument, but what if I told you Megan is the one making it? Do you dare doubt her?

Now suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Senator . . . but I repeat myself.

There's a good chance that this is what the speculative premium in the marketplace is doing now--forcing us to hoard a resource that is about to get even scarcer. There's also a good chance it's not, of course. But my guess isn't any better than theirs--and at that, my guess is a lot better than the idiots in Congress sponsoring this legislation, since they aren't even trying to make a reasonable estimate. They're simply pandering to constituents and consumer groups who think cheap gasoline is a civil right. Pandering is only what I expect, of course, but in this case, their proposed reforms are aimed at making the market work less well--making it less liquid, and blunting the valuable information that high prices are giving us.
Y'know what, say, James Surowiecki would do in a situation like this? Take a paragraph or two to explain both sides in depth, with the jargon digested into normal vocabulary. Then he'd explain his own views with a carefully constructed argument expressed in non-dogmatic terms, allowing non-economists room to disagree insofar as they follow. Megan gets indignant that something in the world would dare displease her, and basically argues Congress shouldn't be willing to offend her sensibilities.
The first thing I think is that my liberal friends should stop saying their party is more credible on economic issues. Because this is even stupider than McCain's doubling down on the gas tax holiday--and McCain's gas tax mania is plenty stupid. At least McCain's gas tax manipulations won't actually do something except give a small amount of additional money to oil companies and loathesome [sic] governments. This monstrous bill, on the other hand, might actually do some damage.
She explains that final claim by actually praising the speculators in the American Confederacy, those grand folk who helped produce hyperinflation and made those necessary staples unaffordable for those who actually needed them by the end of that era.
Up next, a post celebrating those noble Indian Agents of the American frontier, who dared to make markets more efficient back when all they had to justify it was racism.


clever pseudonym said...

She called her liberal friends "stupid." What ever happened to those calls for civility? Can't she say she believes they are mistaken and state coherent reasons why? Something gentler like that?

Why am I even asking anymore?

NutellaonToast said...

Also, it passed 94-0. Doesn't that make EVERYONE stupid?

Anonymous said...

nutellaontoast - the patriot act passed 99-1.sometimes, yes, everyone in the senate is stupid.

besides, it's a win-win vote - if, on the small chance, the legislation makes a dent in prices, yay! new terms for everyone! if it doesn't, you can always blame "price gouging" or "illegal" speculation or some other goofy thing. its exactly because the jargon of oil prices and speculation needs to be explained (but isn't) to the average population that the voting public won't be able to tell if legislation on speculators is actually working or not.

Anonymous said...

It took exactly one comment for some lucid Interwebber to pwn Megan's ass.

She's like the Wilt Chamberlain of stupid!

- jim

spencer said...

Also, I love how she thinks (or claims to think) that the gas tax holiday would only give oil companies a "small amount" of extra revenue.

She's not an idiot, but she sure thinks everyone else is.

M. Bouffant said...

brad, you must cease reading the New Yorker. It hones your critical skills to an excessive sharpness, & you may actually hurt Ms. McA. w/ them.