Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm A Moocher, Looting The Work Of Others

As no one here got to this Mega-item (I've a vague memory of scanning it, noticing that my hair was starting to hurt, & moving along) why not enjoy it from the perspective of the sort of person who is an "adult," has written books on, if not the economy, then right-wing presentation of economic issues, & gets TNR to pay him to do this sort of thing?

So McArdle's comparison -- some countries have cut taxes and thereby raised revenues, some countries have controlled costs with universal coverage -- turns out to be true if you replace the first "some" with "zero" and the second "some" with "all." Other than that, great comparison!

There does seem to be a pattern here of McArdle trying to explain away the influence of supply-siders on the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Two years ago, in response to me, she huffed that Laffer Curve devotees amounted to no more than a tiny fringe within the GOP. ("This motley collection of names is hardly proof that the Supply Siders Have Taken Over the Building.") Shortly after, in a hilarious bout of karma, McArdle had a book review spiked by a major conservative publication because, in the course of her otherwise orthodox argument, she noted that the Laffer Curve does not depict present-day tax rates in the U.S. (I would say better evidence of McArdle being wrong was the fact that the last Republican president and every GOP primary candidate in the 2008 election asserted that tax cuts could revenues to grow.)

So then, in the course of issuing a mea culpa, McArdle asserted that the same dynamic exists on the left with regard to unwillingness to criticize teachers unions. It was quickly pointed out that criticizing teachers unions is not only common but practically de rigeur among liberal columnists, magazines, think tanks, and even elected officials. So now, in her quest to show that it's not just conservatives, everybody does it, she's reaching for an even more preposterous comparison.

--Jonathan Chait
We'll scout about; perhaps Ms. McA. responded. Well, no. Not only no response, but the very next day runs an item about that ol' Laffer & his curve that makes no mention of Mr. Chait's rebuttal or takedown or vicious blog slam or whatever.

No comments: