Thursday, February 26, 2009

This Week In Stupid, Part the First

'scuze me while I skip the intro.

Post-finance New York:

Likewise, it's hard to overstate just how far left and economically illiterate most of New York City's council members and state representatives are. The politically powerful head of the transit union was, the last time I checked, an actual communist. The financial industry was the closest thing that New York now has to a vibrant business community, and with its power ebbing, so is the only remaining natural check on the left's worst instincts. [Emphasis in original]
OOOOOOoOoOoOooOOOOOOeeeeeeeeeeeeeeOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The commies are gonna ruin Mayor Mike's perfect Manhattan, where it's just like Vegas only without the legal gambling. There's five banks on every corner, glass yuppie enclosures everywhere you look, and assholes like Megan just LOVE IT.
In my grimmer hours, I wonder how much of the broad urban renaissance can be sustained absent the credit bubble. Easy money makes even distressed property look good, and brought an influx of young urban homeowners who put pressure on the political system. As they flow out, will we be back into the territory of the ungovernable city?
To translate, Megan worries black and latino folk will get all uppity and burn down Park Slope. We should be so lucky.

Everything you always wanted to know about the banking bailouts but were afraid to ask:

Once upon a time a couple friends and I were spitballing movie mashups we'd like to see. I came up with "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex*, *- But Were Afraid To Ask Forrest Gump". (Tagline, "Thu vah-GI-nuh is like a box of choc-colates.") Somehow, I think that's more relevant to the bailouts than anything Megan said in her post.

Festina lente:

In response to someone mentioning Norm Coleman isn't being a benefit to Minnesota by dragging out his legal challenges as long as possible in an obvious political play to deny Obama a Senate vote for as long as possible, Megan sez,
To state even more obvious facts, the reason that this is in litigation is that half of Minnesotans did not vote for Franken--indeed, the measurement error being what it is, there is a decent chance that more Minnesotan voters desired Norm Coleman in the senatorial seat.
Given that, it is not good politics to get snippy at people because they're not giving up soon enough to suit you. Moreover, I seem to recall that the Gore campaign's endless new plans for lengthy recounts polled pretty well. As, of course, does divided government. The state Democrats would be very, very foolish to complain that Norm Coleman needs to knock off these challenges because Obama now has to get two whole Republican votes to pass legislation and we deserve to have the whole Senate to ourselves, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Megan almost deserves credit here. She's pretending Coleman has a principle to his plainly obstructionist/bad loser tactics while mocking Gore's "endless" challenges which ended in December of that election year. We're about to hit March, the Senate is in session, and no one seems to actually believe Coleman can find enough votes to change the certified results of this election. There's no legitimate comparison to Florida in 00 to be found, Megan's just being an asshole. She probably doesn't like Franken for helping to start up the left wing snark machine.

The problem of administrative costs:

*sigh* Should I even mention the font/spacing/margin issue? No? Ok. Then let's jump right in, without getting into the quote from Hilzoy Megan is responding to.
This seems to presume that we will spend more on administrative costs than we will save on disallowing bailouts for those who took cash-out refis. That's unlikely. The average mortgage is $150,000 and the average US government subsidy is $20,000. Once your hypothetical expensive administrator has disallowed 5 subsidies, he's paid for himself. Everything above that is pure cash to the taxpayer.
Quite the unintentionally revealing moment, no? Megan would much rather someone make $100k disallowing people from government benefits than 5 people receive $20k in government benefits. But she's against make-work programs. Woof.

Back with more soonish.


Dhalgren said...

The financial industry was the closest thing that New York now has to a vibrant business community, and with its power ebbing, so is the only remaining natural check on the left's worst instincts.

Megan's quite a believer in the FIRE economy. I love hearing non-liberals rave that the USA has a $14 Trillion GDP. But if 10% of that is entitlements spending, and another 25% is (or was) the FIRE economy, it certainly brigs us down to earth.

But back to Megan's point, New York never had a vibrant business community until the early 20th century when the 'White Shoe' firms built the modern Wall Street?

I think she meant to say 'powerful' instead of 'vibrant.' The FIRE economy was not just what kept New York's housing market afloat in recent years, it was also a powerful lobbying force, and the industry that made it possible for Bloomberg to become Mayor for 8 years. Powerful, indeed.

Chad said...

economically illiterate

I can't be the only one who laughed aloud when Megan wrote that.

And I know I'll remember it the next time Megan asks her readers to do economics-related research for her.

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