Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Atlas Shrugged Project

will run on Fridays, beginning in 6 days.
In the meantime, for those who didn't see it at McSweeney's or LG&M or in the thread down below, there's this.
Also, there's a movie version planned for next year, rumored to be starring Angefuckinglina Jolie. Thankfully she stopped being hot a long time ago, if she ever was, and just looks sickly these days.
(Yes, I know, lookism.)

Holiday stupid

maybe Megan should work for Hallmark. Same bad writing and poorly developed sense of humor, same underlying idea that a few nice words not really meant show one is a good person at heart, as opposed to the effort of actually being a good person.

Annual holiday gift guide: Kitchen Edition.

3337 words. 6 single spaced pages. This post represents the culmination of a huge amount of work by Megan, and it's all about which 1000 pieces of plastic and metal crap she told her parents to buy her for Xmas this year. This is what she actually works on researching, folks. The only interweb search engine she knows how to use is Amazon's.
And this is just the kitchen crap, the electronics post is still to come. I was an only child of rich parents spoiled brat of an asshole growing up, and even at my most overindulged selfish moment I would have asked if this woman needed all this. How do you even bring yourself to devote the time to learning that all of these things exist? This post is a monument to all that is wrong with Megan.
I'm sure the post itself is a goldmine of stupidity, but I'm not going to read all that, sorry. FFS, she starts off with her own words italicized, so that Santa doesn't confuse her introduction with her actual Xmas list. I guess blockquoting several thousand of her own words didn't look right.

Let us now give thanks...:

Thanksgiving is a time when white people can be extra white. Yay.

Public service announcement:

I know a lot of you are probably suffering from the financial crisis, and others from the general tendency of life to hand you a lot of lemons and no sugar to make lemonade with.
Go fuck yourself. The economy is losing tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, you're blithely writing about how the auto companies should be allowed to fail and put millions more out of work and lying about the compensation received by those workers, and in a post bragging about moving into a more expensive home this is the crust of bread you leave behind for the maid? The one you didn't give a bonus to so you could afford both your new deposit and a $200 knife for cutting onions.*

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly:
Libertarians frequently underweight the long evolution of institutional arrangements that allow us to function without government intervention. And non-local pollution simply hasn't been around long enough for those institutions to evolve. There is no such thing as a free market approach to air quality or water rights.
That doesn't mean we can't have freer market approaches, or that the lessons of markets aren't valuable. But strict property rights simply don't function in those commons.
Don't worry, she doesn't mean the second part, she's just trying to get Yglesias to go back to linking to her. It's not like she was a dirty hippie who was actually right about Iraq for the right reasons, after all.

*- The maker's name is Ken Onion, it's not specifically for cutting onions, my bad. It is $200, tho, on sale from $250.

Friday, November 28, 2008

News Flash!

McArdle links to InstaPundit, who links to...

28 Nov 2008 12:10 pm

Shop online, you might save a life.
In such a hurry she couldn't conceive of a headline.

Moments later update:

The diffference between Megan's commentariat:
Doubt you'd see anyone trampled at, say, Norstrom's [sic] or Neiman-Marcus.
Posted by Peter | November 28, 2008 8:18 PM
& the Daily News' commentariat:
Teachem Nov 28, 2008 4:37:23 PM
Da Bruthas n' Sistas gone wild. See, if B. Hussein hadn't won the election, this would not have happened. The celebration is over, get over it, get a better job, work longer hours, stop being lazy, and shop on an off day. Pay a couple of bucks extra you wanton welfare creatures, and stop living off of treats-treats-treats!
is mostly of degree. Well, one difference would be that the Daily News removed the comment at their site. Megan may be too busy packing to do any policing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for Very Little

I am thankful to have the astonishing Ms. McArdle to abuse. 

I am thankful she didn't post anything today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


If I were to start a reading of Atlas Shrugged in the vein of Slacktivist's Left Behind series, would you read it?
I've never been able to bring myself to read AS, but knowing yer enemies is generally wise, and libertarianism is the new refuge for image conscious conservatives. And I figure I can survive 15-20 pages a week, I hope. But I ain't gonna do it just for my own health, so let me know if you think this would be a worthwhile idea.

Who cares if she's lying?

Not Megan, she's got talking points to mindlessly repeat.

How much is a detroit [still sic] autoworker really worth?:

M. touched on this post earlier, but it's worth noting that Megan basically admits the $70 an hour figure is a lie, then uses empty jargon as 'justification' for repeating it. She's also ignoring the fact that the pay discrepancy between UAW workers and all the rest vanishes in 2010, thanks to the UAW renegotiating their contract in mid contract to try to help their industry survive difficult times.
Whenever Megan talks about unions, she's lying, in some way or another.

Save us, FDR!:

Since Megan's note was entirely in response to a strawbaby, naturally Megan has to defend it by once again not providing any documentation that anyone, anywhere, actually thinks that there should be wealth redistribution because otherwise the poor will eat the rich.
There are serious academic arguments to be made that FDR's policies helped prevent a genuine socialist uprising in the US, but that has next to nothing to do with what Megan is talking about except in her own mind, and obviously she's incapable of participating in serious academic anythings.

I think most of the people who make this argument are, in fact, being sophistic
Heh, indeed.

Unhand that economy, villein!:

Megan's trying to be cute, but villein is not synonymous with "villain". It means a feudal serf, meaning Megan has unintentionally been honest in the title of her post, which is about not blaming the people who fucked up the economy for fucking up the economy. It's gotta be the fault of poor people, somehow.
Apologies if this post wanders. I have rather a lot on my mind.
"Rather a lot". Fuck you.
In general, I think that we're approaching this crisis the wrong way when we look for a villain. One of the things that has really surprised me--so far, anyway--is just how little criminal activity we've uncovered during this crisis.
Hmmmmmm, could this be evidence that financial laws were loosened too much under Bush? Or maybe that finding criminal activity by wealthy financial types has been massively de-prioritized by the Bush Admin? Or maybe we're too busy trying to keep the global economy from imploding to worry about assessing specific blame and uncovering wrongdoing right now? Nah, it means nobody did anything wrong.
By contrast, so far the worst misbehavior I've seen has been the two Bear Stearns executives who told people their fund was okay the month before it went belly up. This was a bad thing, and the people who did it no doubt richly deserve the jail terms they are going to get, and then some. But on the scale of dishonesty generally uncovered during recessions, this wouldn't normally rank high enough to trigger more than a "You boys!!!" and a finger-wag.
This probably has something to do with just how tightly regulated financial companies already are; when the SEC wants to know about every transaction you do, it's hard to get too funny with the books. Still, it's pretty impressive.
Boys will be boys, and besides, our society is now so feminized it's not like boys being boys can really do anything bad these days. Women have self-defense classes, rape is a thing of the past.
Oh, and fuck you, Megan.
But no one wants to hear that. Everyone wants a villain: lefties want to hear that it was greedy bankers, or cold-hearted deregulators (or better yet, both!) who are entirely and 100% to blame; conservatives want to hear that it was poor people taking out loans they knew they couldn't pay off, and a pandering government that leaned on companies and the taxpayer to hand those irresponsible wretches free money.
Nature is not a novelist. Reality does not come packaged in narrative form, and rarely gifts us with either true heroes, or true villains.
"Nature is not a novelist." Neither is nature a commodities broker. Your point? I'd say the folk in actual control of the economy are likely more to blame for its poor performance of late than people with little money and less power, just maybe. You don't blame an army for a general's bad strategy.
It is safe to say that almost everyone involved in this mess, from the borrowers to the bankers, thought that they were getting away with something--at the very least, that they had found a way to get rich without working. It is an old saw that no one can be conned unless they are willing to believe in something for nothing, and the best cons generally get the victim to believe that he is putting one over on the con man.
Once again, fuck you, Megan. Ignoring the reality of how poor people were targeted for predatory loans they could not possibly pay back lets you sleep at night, but it's right there with the 2x4 in terms of hateful ignorance. It's called blaming the victims, and rich assholes like Megan invented it, so that they can avoid the guilt they should be consumed by.
It is trivial to observe that humans are imperfect; that is why institutions exist. One of the most interesting things about the emerging fields of experiemental and behavioral economics is how they contradict, and complement each other. Behavioral economics looks for all the ways that human beings do not act like the textbook rational value maximizers--and then experimental economics goes ahead and shows that when you stick them in a market, they go ahead and rationally value maximize.
These two things seem to contradict each other until you understand that a well designed institution creates things that are greater than the sums of their parts. Of course, when a badly designed institution fails, it can create a bigger mess than the sum of the individual failures. I think it was Daniel Davies, perhaps channeling George Orwell, who pointed out that unless you think that someone thrown out of work in a recession somehow deserves to be unemployed now, but did not deserve to be unemployed four months ago, you have to be at least somewhat skeptical of the rugged individualist school of economic advancement.
And yet, you aren't, Megan.
I'm actually not sure that what we had was bad institutional design; I'm not sure it's possible to design an institution that doesn't fail occasionally. What we certainly have, however, is institutions that have performed badly in the current environment.
So while yes, part of this story has been simple greed, a willingness to believe that we could and should massively increase consumption no matter what, I tend to take this desire as a given.
And that says nothing about the quality of your character, Megan. Everyone is greedy, like you, of course.
What I do not think is a major part of the story is that any simple change, or any handful of people or groups, somehow brought this on the rest of us. Societies, and economies, cannot be brought down by a few people or a few bad decisions--elsewise we'd all still be living in hunter-gatherer tribes eating roast locusts for breakfast. A failure this massive can only occur if massive numbers of people had their hands in it somehow. If you want to find a villain, there's probably one handy at the nearest reflective surface.
How do you respond to that much stupidity? Do I spend half an hour digging up documentation for the fact that hunter-gatherers had much more balanced diets than early agricultural societies, and mention that Megan's vaunted veganism hasn't made her any healthier?
Let's just focus on the overall point Megan is trying to make; don't blame the people who were in charge of the economy for ruining it. Why? Ummmmmm, cuz..... there are poor people in the world. If they didn't exist, or were rich, then everyone would be rich and moral like Megan, and no one would mind that stupidity and greed ruled the roost for 8 years, at least.

Sorry for my absence. Been busy, traveling, a little sick, and living weird hours. I haven't given up the cause, no fears.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Way to Think, Megan

25 Nov 2008 12:15 pm

Another way to think about Paulson

A friend IM's:  "For all those salivating at the thought of a second New Deal, this is what 'bold, persistent experimentation' looks like -- kinda  messy."  Indeed.  My question:  will consumer confidence be bolstered more by confident persistence (possibly in the wrong direction), or by a hypermanic government that seems willing to try anything?  Or will neither work, and we're simply hosed?
Hosed is much too mild a word. I suppose that usage means the only standards left at The Atlantic are FCC standards. 

As I'm so far off the grid, underground, etc., your whole "economy" thing has little or no effect on me, & I haven't been paying the closest attention to capitalism's latest ("It's a natural, boom & bust business cycle") atrocity, but it seems to me that Ms. McArdle is no farther out at sea than any other half-baked pundit/talking point retyper w/ this one. It's pretty much reduced to "Nothing like this ... ever before ... duh!" & at that point it degenerates into econ groupiedom, as evidenced here.
25 Nov 2008 12:27 pm

Deep bench?

I have to disagree with Ezra Klein:  Obama's got a much, much better economics team than Bush started out with.  I agree with his endorsement of Glenn Hubbard.  But Paul O'Neill wasn't exactly an a-lister even before he turned out to have fantastic(ally entertaining!) verbal impulse control problems.  And Larry Lindsay did not match up to Larry Summers in stature, though of course what he got fired for was not being incompetent, but telling the truth.  Bush's second term team has actually been pretty stellar, but his first term left a lot to be desired.  Unfortunately, Bush's second term team--and the incoming Obama team--have had a lot higher hurdles to jump.
In real life sports analogies, there's generally a record involved. This being an entirely new, world-wide situation, everybody's a rookie. 

But if the real issues for McArdle are bolstering consumer & market confidence (in order to get started on another boom & bust cycle) why don't any of these fucks stop to consider that a house of cards, backed by absolutely nothing, finally & completely dependent on such human emotions as greed, fear, hate, pain, rage, resentment & so forth is as stupid an idea as has been concieved by any alleged science short of Mengele's experiments on human beings.

Just One

Per Megan, Pres. Bush has been "entirely classy" during the transition. What the hell does that mean? Isn't "classy" a word mostly used by white trash types in personal ads? Whatever it means to Megan, she then decides it's not enough, & that Bush must work more closely w/ the B. O. people to reassure the markets.

Her commenters, besides getting in a few clever ones at Obama, quickly point out to her how useless, ineffectual & ignored by all Bush is. 

OK, one more, it's short: 


24 Nov 2008 04:20 pm

If you need to support your preferred wealth distribution model with a threat that, unless we give them money, the beneficiaries will riot and kill the people you want to tax, you are not making a good case for the moral worthiness of the recipients, or the justice of your scheme.  Just saying.
That's it. No link, reference, attribution, quote, nothing. Commenters confused as well. No helpful response from Ms. McA., either.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Door Creaks Open. Bouffant Enters, Looks About, Speaks:

"Yo, where all my dawgs at?"

Ah, I suppose the rest of the staff is off to grandma's for the holidays, or something equally bourgeois. (I just bet Ms. McArdle will do the same next wk.) 

Therefore, I'll try the "shorter" thing.

For example

I, & every other hack typist in the United Snakes, have been going on about how greed, consumption & materialism are last wk.'s news, & now we'll all be cuddling by the fire w/ our families as we burn the last of the stock certificates.

Oh, you can just imagine. The free-market concept of a product or service being "worth" just what you can get for it, nothing more, nothing less, of course goes by the wayside when it's labor being valued. Then she's on about GM's accounting & how to calculate what a drain on the profits the workers are.

Key Phrases:
If I understand it correctly, and GM uses standard accounting principles,

So I'm not sure that argument is quite right.
Regrets, she's had a few...Now extending to voting for B. O.

And I'm certainly not going to explain it.

And from someone who bothered to comment:
I officially resign from reading this blog (but rarely commenting). Chalk it up to Megan's regular pronouncements about "If you're not a finance genius, then you have no business commenting about this crisis", only to then admit she doesn't fully understand the same problems, or has been proven stunningly incorrect on so many occasions in the past month. I'll also chalk it up to the progressive dumbing down of comments here. That's what is for people.
Ooooh. We can't top that. So we won't try.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Working Hard or... OMG.. I'm Starting to Sound like HER!

I wanna be informed, let's see what Megan says today!!!!

It's 4pm ET, surely she's pumped out some inspiring piece by now. First up:
The inauguration cometh:

As many as four million people may crowd the mall at inauguration. That sound you hear is 600,000 DC residents dialing Travelocity to make travel plans elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the exciting local question is: do you or don't you rent out a room, or your whole house? The answer for me is easy: my landlord would kill me. But those in larger buildings or houses can attract hundreds of dollars a night for their room--it looks to be pretty easy to make a couple of month's rent during inauguration week.
Wow, I didn't realize that a lot of people would want to see Obama's inauguration! On top of that, how genius of her to point out that a large influx of people would strain lodging demand. I'm sure all of those people who live in large houses are definitely going to open their doors to strangers just to make a couple hundred bucks (which apparently covers mortgage payments on large houses these days).

Ohh, next she asks the thrilling question, "Should WebMD be illegal?"
I bet the answers is "yes!" but let's see what she says:
What most of us already knew . . . reading about drug side effects makes you sick. So does reading about diseases. But as long as it's there, we won't be able to resist checking whether that brain tumor is acting up again.
Oh, drat, she didn't say. Well, I'm going to stick with "yes!"

I'm so glad our giving muse was able to find the strength to forgo the lucrative career that she was never actually offered so that she could tell us these important things. I do worry though. Does she still have enough money to buy new clothes so that she can hold her head up? I'd hate to think that she might spent another 18 months being unable to get a new cardigan.

Let's go over this again

Megan, last Thursday;

In June 2001 when I graduated from business school, I had a management consulting gig that was scheduled to pay over $100,000 a year and had just moved back to New York. Two months later...
For the next eighteen months, I struggled to find a job, in the teeth of a recession that kicked MBAs especially hard. It was awful in a way that is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't been unemployed long term; the thing makes you question everything about your life. I remember going to see Avenue Q on a date, and writhing in humiliation, thinking that my date must be identifying me with the aimless failures on stage. I was 29 years old, and living at home. I had money--I always managed to work. But as far as I could tell, I had no future.
When I finally did get a job, with The Economist, it paid about a third of what I'd been expecting as a consultant. [Emphasis added]
Nevermind the internal whatthefuckery I highlighted, there's far, far worse to get to.

Megan, in April;
Don't I have obligations as a journalist beyond crass money grasping? Haven't I been invested with a sacred trust that shouldn't be held hostage to profit? Indeed I have: to report stories that are factually correct and more importantly, to the best of my knowledge and ability, fundamentally true. But I don't think that I have a duty to lose vast sums of money doing so--I already took quite a hefty paycut when I devoted my MBA to journalism. I gave, as they say, at the office. [Again, my emphasis]
And I give millions to other people every time I don't play the lottery, which is always, so I'm the most charitable person in history by now.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I know, I've reused that title countless times. Hehe.

Monday morning eye-opener: of finance, poetry, and the unseen:

Conor Freihoffer wonders why conservative libertarian strawmen aren't taken as seriously as actual humans when considering policy impact, and Freddie reminds us that all we need are actual humans like Joe the Plumber (who is neither named Joe nor a plumber) to 'embody' our lies for us. Also, Reagan didn't make up his welfare queen, you're wrong to remember anything in the past which disproves Conor's theory.
And now, bad poetry.

Quote of the day:

Pornographers find my rationalizations useful.

Amateur hour:

Believe it or not, some average people now film themselves having sex and sell it on the interwebs. Crazy, huh? I wonder if it will take off.

The fight for the pooling equilibrium:

I really hate the fact that teachers are granted job security in exchange for low pay and a very difficult job. I'm not going to reproduce so what good will they ever do me? I didn't go to public school.

Finally, someone has a kind thought for the journalists:

Qualified journalists are losing their jobs across the country, and The Atlantic is still paying me to produce this crap. What, me worry?

I still can't believe she linked to Dan Riehl.

A new low

Nutella noted the lack of creativity in the title, but there's much, much worse in that brief post.

Dan Riehl asks why, if...
Yes, Megan has approvingly linked to Dan Riehl. If you don't understand how outright disgusting an act that is, well... remember this?
Okay, to summarize - from the time he was a child until he was a young man, I guess, Barack Obama drank whiskey, wrote dirty limericks, read poetry and, um, was counseled by a sexual deviant, child molester, rapist of children? That about cover it? And in his book he said it had a lasting effect on him? Damn. That could actually be very sad.

That may be worse than his having been counseled by Jeremiah Wright.

No wonder he says "Pakit-stan" in that funny way of his! heh!
As most of you know, there's countless more lowlights, but accusing Obama of having seduced an adult and intentionally participated in child abuse is kinda a scummy thing to do, just maybe.
Who knew Dan Riehl was civil?

Here We Go Again, and Again, and Again

She repeats herself so much, she's making me repeat myself. Should I even bother pointing this shit out anymore?

One of today's "writings" is titled "What's sauce for the goose . . ." which is such a classic that a search of her posts for that phrase yields fifteen hits and two of those are other posts with the exact same title. Keep in mind that any search of Megan's blog that doesn't include 16 misspelled and/or mis-punctuated variants is assured to yield but a small fraction of the actually usage.

Megan McArdle, making the word cliche, well, cliche.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quit It! Right Now!!

Stop saying "fascists," you bunch of fasc - oops!

Plus, Megan in school marm mode:

I'm more than willing to listen to your argument about how awful . . . well, whatever you're complaining about is. But shouting and name calling are not arguments.
This brought 136 comments. I'm not going near them, my hazmat suit is leaky.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well now

this is the 1000th post at FMM. *Update* - At my blog control page it says 1000 posts now, but the total count on the left is still a few shy. I've no idea why there's a discrepancy, but oopsies. - I am surprised this blog has maintained enough momentum to keep going, but it's true that Megan, like Ace of Spades for Gavin, just has to be herself for us to have material, so we'll never run out.
And now, a looooong descent into the depths of the stupidest post of the last 3-4 days.

Right to work:

Freddie wants me to talk about the human costs of not having the auto bailout. That's easy: they're terrible. Lots of people will lose their jobs. Those that don't will have their expectations for an upper-middle class life crushed.
Am I glad to see this? No. Am I rooting for the demise of the UAW? No. I don't buy American cars. I don't work for an American car company. I could care less about the UAW.
But she's not rooting against them, nope.
I do think that the UAW is perhaps the grossest example of something toxic about what a lot of American unions have turned into. I don't care, particularly, whether unions use their power to wrest higher wages and benefits from companies. Even if they kill the company with excessive demands--hell, they're the majority of the workforce, they can destroy their jobs if they want. I feel bad for the non-union workers. But I don't want to, say, legally prevent unions from forming or negotiating. (I don't want to legally encourage it, either. I think the government should be neutral, unless companies use physical force.)
How can stupid be packed that densely? Just consider that final qualification, where Megan basically endorses any anti-union activities that don't involve the Pinkertons. Walmart closing a store in Quebec rather than let it unionize? The workers' fault for not being glad to have jobs. But I digress, Megan has yet to explain what actually does bother her about unions.
What bothers me is twofold. First, after the unions have put companies into an untenable position, they come to the rest of us looking for a handout to continue the unsustainable levels of pay and benefits. Almost everyone I know makes less than an autoworker, and has a whole lot less job security. Why should they pay autoworkers for the privilege of making cars no one wants?
Yes, the unions forced American auto companies to put all their eggs in the SUV basket, right after they forced the Clinton Admin to excuse SUVs from mileage standards. The execs tried to object, but were savagely beaten for their efforts.
I also really loathe and despise the way the unions use work rules and featherbedding to make their companies and industries less productive than they otherwise would be. Salary and benefit negotiations seem to me to be neutral; there's a zone of possible agreement, and I don't care if the unions claim all or most of the value in that zone. But the way economic growth happens--the way we become a richer, more productive society--is to produce more stuff with the same amount of people.
Gee, you think she went to business school? The way for the office manager to advance and become wealthier is to squeeze more hours and more work out of his workers, especially the salaried ones who don't earn extra pay for those extra hours. Bosses should be primarily concerned with squeezing their employees for personal gain, as opposed to actually growing their business.
The union goal is to keep the number of people at least even, and if possible increase it, regardless of the level of production. Hence the fight between the west coast port operators and their unions, who wanted to keep exactly as many jobs loading ships as they'd ever had, even when there were vastly more productive ways to do things. I don't think any thinking liberal should support this.
Nor am I a fan of seniority rules and job protection. Most of us function perfectly well without these, and I don't think that advancement solely by time-in-grade, or protecting everyone who does not actually set the plant on fire from being sacked, is either reasonable, or economically desireable. I understand that people want these things, but I would also like to be able to force other people to buy me dinner at will; this does not mean that I should be given that right. I too, would enjoy being protected from ever losing my job no matter what, and having all my raises based on my ability to keep my butt in a chair. But I don't think this would be good for my employers, my readers, or for that matter, me.
Megan? Your employment sure isn't protect by the quality of your work. FFS, your failure to edit your work led to a post where you quoted an entire WaPo article without blockquoting it, then added your own words and a blockquote from a different source. It's obviously completely unintentional, but that's effectively plagarism. You are protected from losing your job no matter what, Megan. It's called wingnut welfare, and David Bradley is your local agency.
But that doesn't mean I don't understand how awful and terrifying it is to have expected a certain life, and have it stolen away from you by a fate you do not very well control. In June 2001 when I graduated from business school, I had a management consulting gig that was scheduled to pay over $100,000 a year and had just moved back to New York. Two months later, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, killing a number of people I knew and leaving the rest of us traumatized. Four days after that, I was working at the World Trade Center disaster recovery site, trying to come to grips with what had happened. Four months after that, the consulting firm, having pushed back my start date twice, called my associate class and told all of us that our services would not be required.
For the next eighteen months, I struggled to find a job, in the teeth of a recession that kicked MBAs especially hard. It was awful in a way that is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't been unemployed long term; the thing makes you question everything about your life. I remember going to see Avenue Q on a date, and writhing in humiliation, thinking that my date must be identifying me with the aimless failures on stage. I was 29 years old, and living at home. I had money--I always managed to work. But as far as I could tell, I had no future.
I hope you all feel as guilty now as I do. Megan's life hasn't gone exactly as she planned it. She had to live in NYC with no rent to pay, money in her pocket, with no major responsibilities, in her 20s. Can you imagine the hell that was her life?
When I finally did get a job, with The Economist, it paid about a third of what I'd been expecting as a consultant. I had about a thousand dollars in loan payments, and of course, I had to live in New York, where my job was. For the first time in my life, I understood what Victorian novelists meant when they described someone as "shabby". Over the years since I'd had a steady income, my clothes had stretched out of shape, ripped, become stained, gone out of style. I couldn't afford new ones. And I wasn't one of those whizzy heroines who can make over her own clothes. Instead, I frumped around in clothes that never looked quite right, and felt the way my clothes looked.
She wrote that without even the tiniest hint of irony, folks. In a way it's quite an achievement to have so little self-awareness.
It took me a long, long time to crawl out of that hole. I'll never make what I expected to make as a consultant. I'll never have the job security that I had learned to expect in the pre-9/11 world. The universe will always seem a potentially malevolent place to me, ready to unleash some unknown disaster at any moment.
That's because you're an authoritarian, Megan, not because of the terrorists' plot to steal your job.
I was in a better position than auto workers in many ways; I didn't own a home in a dying area, or have children who needed to be educated. I'm not trying to claim that I managed to overcome with hard work and pluck, so why can't they? What to do with a fifty year old who pegged his future to a failing industry is a real question.
Nor do I think it's funny to see autoworkers who lived quite a bit better than most of America get their comeuppance. It really doesn't matter what you make; losing everything, most especially your dreams and your sense of security, is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Laid-off consultants don't starve, of course, but neither will laid-off auto workers. They'll just be forced several rungs down the economic ladder. It will be humiliating, difficult, and it will sour a number of them permanently on life, and their country. If I could stop that from happening to people, without making some other aspect of life much worse, I would.
Provided help doesn't come from my tax dollars being diverted from military projects that quiet my psychic demons, of course. Throw em all on unemployment for a bit longer than usual, then forget about em. I pretty much already have. Shit, they aren't me, right?
I understand that this is not what the auto workers want; they want their jobs. But while I am happy to help the auto workers, I am not happy to help them manufacture undesireable cars at massive social cost. I too, would have liked to keep my job as a management consultant. But I didn't have a right to have the job I wanted merely because I liked it. And it wouldn't have been good for America if I had.
Megan's sense of entitlement = a worker's need to feed, clothe, house, and eventually school their family.
Actually, not just a worker, millions. She's just that important, which is why this blog exists and has *almost* 1000 posts.

I turn my head for a minute

and she pours out a huge torrent of crap. Ooof. Let's start with some shorters and see how far we can get.

Save the Rust Belt!:

My mother's experiences growing up in Rochester show that I'm the real victim of industrial decay here. Autoworkers are overpaid and unnecessary, unlike me.

If we only had socialized medicine...:

If I don't mention relative costs to the companies I can pretend the onerous burden the price of health care puts on American employers is comparable to that borne by similar companies in countries where the government bears the cost of basic health care for all its citizens.

Manhattan no more:

We hate most in others what we're least able to control in ourselves, and so here Megan criticizes how other people use the English language.

Placebo, yes or no?:

One day, I'm going to write down all my personal experiences and reactions to them for people to use as a model, like Jebus n the Bible.

Fascist swine:

... Roving wiretaps are not fascist. ...
That doesn't mean that the things of which you disapprove are right. But calling something fascist, when it does not really pertain to the totalitarian ideology which gripped various states during the early-to-mid-20th-century, does not add to the conversation. It's an attempt to short-circuit logic by employing a word with a very, very high negative indice. I'm more than willing to listen to your argument about how awful . . . well, whatever you're complaining about is. But shouting and name calling are not arguments.
As I'm told Rush Limbaugh likes to say, words mean things, and they mean whatever Megan says they mean.
The liberals who think that "Liberal Fascism" is somehow more definitionally stupid than "Conservative Fascism" are, I think, patting themselves on the back a little too hard. They didn't call themselves "National Socialists" for no reason, and pointing this out is, so far as I am concerned, God's work.

Individual looks at a couple of posts still to come.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now More People Know She's an Idiot

Bashing McMegan has now reached print media!

From Jason Zengerle's proflie of Malcolm Gladwell in New York Magazine:

"Gladwell’s description of himself as a parasite serves as a handy defense when his work comes under fire. Two years ago, after the economics blogger Megan McArdle criticized Gladwell for attributing in a New Yorker article Ireland’s success as the “Celtic Tiger” to declining birthrates, he responded on his blog that McArdle had the wrong guy—and did it, rather strangely, in the third person. “ ‘Gladwell’ does not attribute Irish success to falling birthrates,” he groused. “David Bloom and David Canning do. Gladwell is a journalist. Bloom and Canning are two exceedingly prestigious economists at Harvard, who are considered world experts in the field of demography and economics.”

She's a professional troll.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still so far so good

and now, the stupid.

The housing bubble: Dean Baker needs to get out more:

Being completely wrong about an issue only makes you better qualified to discuss it than the people who understood it well to begin with. Megan has to figure out what makes her fuck up for the obvious sake of humanity, and she's determined to get as many major issues wrong as it takes to understand why she keeps getting them wrong.

Credit crunch? Your intrepid correspondent tests the waters:

There is absolutely nothing I can do or say that will cause me to be fired. I could post nothing but the nonsense word "flapdoodlyicousnessacity" in blinking neon pink 45 point font 50 times a day for the next week without anyone noticing. Not that I'd actually put in that much effort, I'd only manage 4 or 5.

Dorothy, get in the storm cellar! Open thread on belt-tightening:

I really like PB&J and ramen
Yes, this is a list that screams "middle class single professional". I'm sorry. I can't help what I am. I was born this way.

Shlaes and the Depression:

I... uh, my dog ate my response to Rauchway, but this one book even I don't really agree with argues something that would be helpful if it weren't wrong in ways that my dog hid my notes on. So.... yeah.

I'd like to vote Republican again, someday:

The Republican Party should give up on the anti-abortion component of its platform and thus the religious right half of its base in favor of wooing libertarians, because flapdoodlyicousnessacity.

Who's in at Treasury?:
Everyone seems to think it's down to Larry Summers or Tim Geithner. I'd be happy with either, though the left wing of the Democratic Party seems to be gearing up for a hate-fest on Summers. The previous two sentences may, of course, be related.
Sure, Summers claimed girls are bad at math, an unfounded stereotype which I pretend to be offended by unless I'm using it myself, but I like his bend over backwards for corporations mentality. And besides, girls who disagree with me are bad at math.

Credit crunch? What credit crunch?:

The NYTimes is not a bank, and thus should suffer for its mistakes.

Invidious comparisons:

Silly proles. The point of government intervention in the markets is to maintain the system of free market crony capitalism, not to help people.

Labor's love lost:

The auto companies would be fine if communist unions didn't demand compensation for labor in the form of money. That generations worth of auto executives decided to spend money fighting innovation instead of investing in it wouldn't matter if their massive work force didn't have unions in positions to effectively demand a living wage.

And we're caught up. I'm so proud of myself.

The Hits Just Keep on Coming!

...and now she admits to being too stupid to put together a box she got from Ikea.

Yes, she not only wasted money on a fucking box from Ikea, but she apparently can't even assemble it.

Puts a whole new spin on the -blanking- your way out of a paper bag joke.

This woman can't even blog her way into an Ikea made box.


Bonus "She's not as clever as she thinks she is":

My life's ambition is to never again put together an Ikea product. I have not yet reached that halcyon plane of existence, and perhaps never will.
A search of her blog for the word "halcyon" yields over a dozen hits. GOD, WHAT A FUNNY WORD!!!!!!

Drawing Comparisons so that We Don't Have To

Megan recounts this typical conversation:

Megan: So, the financial crisis. What the hell?
Smart economist: Yeah, that's what I'm titling my next paper.
Notice how she differentiates herself from her theoretical interviewee by using the descriptors "smart" and "economist." Even she knows that she's neither.

So far so good

tho the next 12 hours or so are still a bit dicey. Thanks for your thoughts.
In the meantime, I'm gonna start digging out of this huge pile of stupid Megan crapped out. I wanted to not do any catch-up and jump right back in, but I can't let these moments go by unremarked. (By me, Susan's taken up a bigger load in my absence.) Marathon shorters.

How much have voters really change? [sic]:

Black people are too lazy for their increased turnout to be repeated.

Note to Democrats:

Bush's victory 4 years ago negates the claim that Bush's unpopularity since that election has pushed the country away from movement conservatism to a slightly more progressive place, as evidenced by Obama more than doubling Bush's margin of victory in the popular vote yet not being credited by me with even a comparable mandate. QED, bitches.

Are there any adults left in the room?:

I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too mature for these dumb middle school parties. My boyfriend is a senior in high school and has a motorcycle and I've let him go under my training bra.


I find it distasteful when poor people and hippies evidence self-esteem.

No one here but us chickens ...:

Now when I dishonestly attack Democrats for not indulging my shallow ideological aims I can pretend I'm speaking truth to power!

Things can only get better ...:

Did I mention I don't like seeing poor people happy?

I don't recall Republicans engaging in this kind of magical thinking in 2000. They, too, seemed to have an unreasonable belief that George Bush was going to improve America a great deal (unreasonable even before 9/11), but as I recall, this was concentrated on intangibles like restoring honor to the white house, not putting an extra $3,000 in everyone's pockets.
Yup, it was only $300. That's not magical thinking, it's retardation.
Also, you don't recall this kind of response in 2000 because at this point in 2000 the election wasn't over.
I don't mean to suggest that all, or even most of the Democrats are filled with impossible dreams of glory. Well, I think they are, but impossible in the ordinary sense that anyone who believes a politician will make their lives substantially better needs to tell me where they get their drugs, because I've never been able to disconnect from reality that completely.
No, Megan, you've just never had any connection to reality. Giving you acid would be like giving a narcoleptic valium.

Rahm Emmanuel:

If I only chimed in on things I have knowledge of my only career option would be writing the recipes found on boxes of Velveeta.

That's enough for now. Up next is the astounding output from yesterday and today. Megan is responding to Obama's victory by getting crazier, which is yet another marker of her underlying conservative authoritarian tendencies. The real question is whether she'll have apologized for her support for Obama before he's sworn in.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Such a Journalist

Amusing fact of the day:

Our muse just "investigated" the credit crisis by applying for credit cards! Yes, that's real behind the scenes work there gumshoe!

You might say "Well, some journalists would only apply for a single credit card, so MM really is going the extra mile" to which I rejoinder "Actually, this moron only MEANT to apply to one but accidentally applied to three because she's retarded."

"She can't be that retarded, can she?" you ask. Well, yes, and also, she forgot that you shouldn't be checking out lots of new lines of credit while you're looking to buy your first ever house.

Our intrepid journalist: stupid enough to do things of no merit to anyone and harm herself in the process. Natural selection at its finest.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another valid delay

my mom is having 'routine' open heart surgery Tuesday, so Megan (again) doesn't rate. I'll be back when I regain the head space to deal with her inconsequential drivel.
My mother isn't in bad condition now or at terrifying risk, but it is open heart surgery.
Hopefully, I'll be back very soon.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh, Jane, You're so Modest

Pat yourself on the back, hun:

My first internet bon mot was Jane's Law: the devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.
WOW! That is quite the "good word" as the French say. Why, it's catching on so fast that a Google search of "Jane's Law" lands a monstrous 1,430 hits. I'm sure the fact that, of the first 30 or so links, all but one have nothing to do with what she said or are links to is just a... typographical error or something.

Someone should email Google about the error in their code.

Are all libertarians dishonest?

Megan is dumb. But before you can re-know that, here's some background between the Rauchway-Tabarrok debate:

Yesterday, Eric Rauchway called the WSJ a liar for saying this (among other things):

"As late as 1938, after almost a decade of governmental “pump priming,” almost one out of five workers remained unemployed."

This isn't true for two reasons. 1) The one-in-five statistic uses unemployment data that doesn't includ relief workers. 2) Unemployment dropped from 32-38, so using the word 'remained' is a flat out lie.

Alex Tabarrok then wrote in response:

"Historian Eric Rauchway says this is a lie [the above quote about pump priming and unemployment], a lie spread by conservatives to besmirch the sainted FDR. Nonsense. In 1938 the unemployment rate was 19.1%, i.e. almost one out of five workers was unemployed, this is from the official Bureau of Census/Bureau of Labor Statistics data series for the 1930s. You can find the series in Historical Statistics of the United States here (big PDF) or a graph from Rauchway here. Rauchway knows this but wants to measure unemployment using an alternative series which shows a lower unemployment rate in 1938 (12.5%). Nothing wrong with that but there's no reason to call people who use the official series liars."

Now, even if the use of the WSJ's & Tabarrok's unemployment stasticis is defensible, the WSJ was still lying by saying that unemployment "remained" at one-fifth. This is obvious to all, so Rauchway's rebuttal contains a cogent defense of why the stastics he uses are better. He writes:

"The problem is, Tabarrok quotes the old, bicentennial edition of HSUS. And in that edition, you find Lebergott’s unemployment data, which was assembled before Michael Darby, Robert Margo, and David Weir’s work."

Megan see's all this, and Tabarrok's obvious stupidity and dishonesty, and writes:

"Alex Tabarrok takes Eric Rauchway to the woodshed and spanks him so hard my butt hurts. As a general rule, it is a bad idea to title an exceptionally misleading and/or ignorant post "Stop lying". "

Eric Rauchway, Ph.d., minted historian, scholar of the great depression whose works have been published by the Oxford University Press, was called "ignorant" by Megan McArdle, dumbass.

She really doesn't even bother to have a pretense of intellectual honesty or seriousness.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A moment of bliss

I know, I said I'd go back to ragging on her today, but I'm putting it off one last time.
Today is for walking around with a goofy grin on your face, listening to your favorite music, n letting your eyes well up a bit.
I'm gonna go by the WTC site and... reflect a bit.
75 days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Megan Says

She says it's in the bag for Sen. Obama.

Seeing that typed by Megatron herself makes me nervous. Her track record, as a voter or prognosticator, is not very reassuring. The Senator's grandmother dies, & she sympathizes, then:

At least his victory is secure enough that he doesn't need to have divided attention at a horrible moment.
Doesn't need to divide his attention, either, what w/ victory being secure & all.

Comments not as vicious as at some RW sites, but there's always one, isn't there?

A Shorter (concept by a couple dudes I forget right now):
Whither conservatism?
Ross ponders the future of conservatism and comes away depressed:
I think the deeper reason for my political gloom has to do with something that Jonah Goldberg raised in our bloggingheads chat about conservatism -
That Goldberg is a prime example of a conservative says whither conservatism is headed.

Then: Anecdotally, the cops are under orders to collect more revenue. So here's what happens in a recession. Choices must be made. Etc.

I'm starting to think that Megan should have become Goldberg's liberal fascist school-teacher from Barnard or whatever bullshit it was he made up, because it's getting like eighth-grade civics in here, when I realized she must've been ticketed lately. Oh, the troubles white people in the big city go through. What a complicated world where one must know to get the eff out of the way of a freaking ambulance/fire-truck, whatever.
And while it is politically easier to step up enforcement of rules no one has ever heard of than to have an onerous debate about the budget, it is corrosive to civil society to make people feel that they can be randomly and unfairly hit up for extra cash. The nature of modern American law is such that no one can know, or obey it, fully; things like stop sign waits and emergency vehicle passage vary from state to state, and time to time, so that no one ever knows exactly what the law is. Cracking down on trivial violations invades the safety zone that allows us to rub along without too much disrespect for the law.
Elements of Style: Read that last sentence.

Uh-uh, I Ain't Puttin' My Foot in That!

No predictions from this (occasional) contributor. What's McArdle have to say, anyway?

And while saying nothing, in reference to the new (to this reporter) web-design at The Atlantic, I can only add: "Whatever, dude."

Because OT Posts are SO MUCH More Interesting than MM These Days

Two things:

First, I was thinking this morning in the shower about how Obama and Bush pare kind of similar in a way.


No no no, NOT LIKE THAT. What I mean is, in 2000 Bush played himself as a "compassionate conservative," essentially trying to say "yeah, I'm conservative but not too far out there" all the while sending signals to his base that he was, in fact, way way out there.

Obama has also presented himself as a left-leaning centrist, but, me, I'm pretty optimistic that he's a lot more liberal than he's been campaigning on and that upon entering the Oval Office Obama will rip the mask off and show the world just how liberal he really is, just like Bush did in 2001. I'm guessing a lot of other people further to the left feel somewhat similarly.

The fact that I hated Bush for pulling that shit but am almost banking on Obama to do the exact same thing is one of the biggest bits of hypocrisy I've ever noticed in myself, and I'm going to spend most of today thinking about it, I guess. (Update: I wrote the draft for this post this morning and then spent the rest of the day preparing my cryostat for a bake-out and pump down, completely forgetting to my early morning revelation. Damn you, grad school!)

Second, in a bid to become the next big "political analyst" I'm going to make this prediction about the election. I STAKE MY REPUTATION ON on the declaration that almost all of the polls will be wildly wrong. It's hard to say in which direction, but I'm guessing that Obama wins by an even larger margin than anticipated. Note my reputation is staked on the first claim. I'm not so sure about the latter claim.

If I'm right, I expect to be hired by the New York Times by the end of the week.

Place holder post

Holy fuck was Megan stupid. She said

some crap about how poor people probably deserve to be poor
This is an outrage against the once proud legacy of the Atlantic the likes of which we haven't seen in at least 10 days.

C'mon, the election is tomorrow. Eff Megan in an entirely metaphorical way.

Ok, there is this:
In case you haven't noticed, The Atlantic has a special feature on the home page: our crack reporting staff is twittering the election. The entire feed, including me, Josh Green, Marc Ambinder, and soon James Fallows and Ta-Nehisi, as well as some names you may not be as familiar with, will be Twittering for the next three days, so check early and often.
Twitter has many valid and interesting uses. This is not one of them.
Anyways, see you Wed.
Just for the record, my prediction is an Obama win, ev total over/under of 300, just barely taking the over. (I see 301-311 as most likely. Or 291.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Holy shit

Sarah Palin gets taken.
This is recent, too.

(Via TPM.)