02 Nov 2009


All Posts, Potpourri No Comments

* Mario Rizzo deconstructs the “contributions” to the 3Q GDP figures: “[A]t least 2.5 percentage points of the 3.5 percent increase are suspect on their own terms. And then there are the future costs to bear.”

* Not only did Paul Krugman (or his lackey) approve my comment on this post, but it was the first one! That actually concerns me that I managed to get in the first comment on a Krugman blog post. Surely that means I check his blog far more than the optimal frequency.

* Speaking of that Krugman post, Scott Sumner does a great job blowing up Krugman with his own petard (or something). Namely, Krugman is complaining about the slow recovery (and the need for more stimulus), by comparing our present recovery with previous episodes in which the economy bounced back quickly with much smaller deficit spending. This is the flip-side of the point I always make: When people say, “The government hasn’t done this since the Great Depression…” why is that supposed to inspire confidence?!

* Tom Palmer vs. Tom Woods.

* An interesting idea from one of the blogs you readers suggested in the other thread: Mencius Moldbug says:

Here at UR [Unqualified Reservations], we deal with the sacred-oath thing by shifting our words slightly. Instead of USG, we use the slightly more neutral name Washcorp. This reminds us that USG is no more than a corporation in the strict sense of the word, ie, an organization with a virtual identity. In a slightly more outré move, we translate the old Viking word for USG’s continent as Plainland, its subjects thus being Plainlanders. Thus rather than trying to free the US from the evil clutches of USG – an almost oxymoronic task – we are trying to free Plainland from Washcorp.

Perhaps you remember how confused you were in high school when you read Hamlet, and found Claudius being called “Denmark”? Did a little lightbulb go off in your head when you realized how nice it is for a monarchy, if its subjects use the same word for both king and country? And when you saluted the flag that morning, which were you feeling? Warm ties of love and loyalty to Plainland, or warm ties of love and loyalty to Washcorp? It’s these little Jedi mind tricks that hold the whole thing together. They’re small, but they add up.

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