27 Oct 2009

More Luv From San Diego

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UPDATE below…

In response to this op ed, another love letter:

I have to remind you of a famous quote I will paraphrase for you, “just because you think something you write is a fact, doesn’t make it a fact”. In your column titled “Is the Recession Really Ending?” You do exactly what every right wing hate and failure talker on AM radio and Fox News does to discredit President Obama. You make up things that support your phony conclusions and attribute them to the people you are criticizing.

First your unemployment numbers: Now where and when exactly did the Obama team warn that if the government did nothing unemployment would rise to 9% or if the stimulus passed this would not happen? That’s like quoting anonymous sources and is total BS.

Yes unemployment is close to 10%, but there is real factual evidence that the early stages of the stimulus package just starting to work is creating jobs and most important saving jobs. And the “Obama team” including the President has said many times that the full effect of the stimulus won’t be visible until sometime in 2010. One can only guess what the unemployment rate would be had Tarp and the stimulus not happened, probably nearing the Great Depression numbers of 20 to 25%.

Your words “A simple look at the facts suggests that the interventions have been abject failures…”

The only thing simple in this statement is your analysis of what happened! I guess a global credit crunch, global stock markets dropping up to 40%, financial panic, and potential failures of worldwide and domestic, multi-billion dollar companies such as AIG, Citi bank, and Fannie and Freddie, saved by TARP and Obama’s federal intervention were just figments of the world’s imagination. And your so called free- market approach, which I guess meant stay the course (since you never define it) would have corrected this crisis better then the emergency government interventions around the world that a consensus of economists (many nobel prize winners) agreed
worked and kept us out of a severe depression.

It’s interesting that you never even mention the rebound of the US stock market to over 10,000 last week. Had the government done nothing to restore confidence and prop up the banks, and did as you suggest let the market run free ( which got us into the mess, a de-regulated market that is), we’d be looking at a Dow Jones average of around 2k or 3k, unemployment of about 25% and breadlines.

I think you owe the Union Tribune, and it’s readers a column either apologizing for your short memory of the crisis and Monday morning quarterbacking, or a better attempt defending and most important of all DEFINING a free-market approach and how that would have saved the economy.

I’ll be looking for it. regards, [Bob Murphy fan] san diego

I first sent a response saying that I couldn’t find the original paper, but sent a link to the graph from somebody’s website. Then I managed to dig it up and sent this email to my fan:

Found it, bottom of page 4:


I realize there are plenty of people on talk radio etc. who would be upset if Obama rescued a kitten from a burning building. (“That’s something Karl Marx would have done! He liked cats too!”) But if I may be so bold, you are overreacting yourself. You confidently accused me of making up things when I wasn’t.

Bob Murphy

UPDATE: Here is the guy’s full response to my email above. (Then he sent me another email asking me about other things I had refused to answer.) It’s good to see that I am changing minds.

It said without the stimulus unemployment would be 8.8% in Q4 2010! That does not support your accusations in your attack piece.

What about “abject failure” and defining somewhere a free market solution? Sorry, but you write from the Glen Beck school of journalism. regards, [name]

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