Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Brilliant Financial Analyst Strikes Again!

There is a very good reason we devote so much time to examining the role Megan McArdle occupies in the media. It's not that she's transparently obsequious and gives us a valuable window into the world of authoritarian leaders and their sycophants. It isn't her lack of curiosity, her obliviousness regarding professional ethics and standards, or her carelessness regarding her craft, all of which inadvertently reveal her true role of propagandist and not journalist.

It's the funny. She's hysterical.
Defaulting does not, so far as I can see, make it easier to collect taxes from the rich--indeed, insofar as they own those bonds, or shares in the banks that will be severely hurt when those bonds are not paid, or businesses that will be hurt by the resulting financial crisis, it makes you less able to collect taxes from the rich. Cracking down on tax evasion would be a very good thing to do. But it is a very good thing to do whether or not Greece defaults, and it will not be done instantly.

Commenter dmcgregor writes:

But the tax evasion is not uniformly distributed. According to estimates from a paper (Distributional Implications of Tax Evasion in Greece, Matsaganis and Flevotomou) I read salaried employees are estimated to only under report their income by -0.6%, while farmers are around 53% and other self-employed 25% (which of course makes sense, much more room for underreporting in those areas)...but also importantly, the under reporting is strongest at the bottom and top of the income scale. So a middle class government worker who has by and large paid the taxes owed, is the one suffering because the rich can get away with under reporting their income significantly? I know life isn't fair and all, but that seems worthy of getting a little pissed off about.

Sure, but who do you think is taking the bribes to let the rich people and the farmers out of their taxes? That's right, salaried civil servants (who I guarantee are not paying taxes on their bribery income.) The wealthy, the poor, and the self-employed have the most scope for jiggering their income statistics, but you won't solve tax evasion without pretty radical changes to the way that Greece's civil service operates. Changes that the civil service has vigorously and effectively resisted at every level. Or so I understand it.

You read it here first, America. The rich are evading taxes by bribing civil servants, who also evade taxes--on their bribes!

Civil Servant: Number 294!
Millionaire: It's about time. I've been waiting for two hours and those chairs were hurting my back. Now. I would like to avoid paying my taxes and therefore hope you will accept this large bribe.
Civil Servant: Of course, sir. I'll just put it right here in my desk drawer with all my other bribes from millionaires.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You're Next

The elite will not be satisfied with gutting the middle class. The upper class is next.

Less than three years after receiving $10 billion in bailout money from American taxpayers, Goldman Sachs informed its employees recently that it will fire 1,000 workers in the United States and elsewhere, shifting their jobs to the cheaper Singaporean labor market.


Goldman Sachs has also worked to protect itself by hiring former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (NH) as an “international advisor.” It is not unreasonable to assume that Gregg’s 26 years in Washington will help the investment firm’s attempts to placate critics.

The move to shift 1,000 jobs to Singapore is part of an overall effort by Goldman Sachs to cut $1 billion in operating costs over the next year. However, Goldman is firing American workers at a time of record profits for the company, which raked in $2.7 billion in profits in the first three months of 2011 alone.

Goldman’s plan is helped by conservatives in Washington who have prevented Congress from discouraging corporations from outsourcing. Last fall, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against a bill that would have ended tax breaks for companies that shift American jobs overseas.

Many conservatives justify outsourcing by arguing that not only would companies be more profitable by shifting low-skilled work to developing countries, but laid-off American workers would be forced to re-educate themselves for new, high-paying industries. However, this move by Goldman Sachs is particularly troubling for that theory because, according to a source with knowledge of the matter, the 1,000 Singaporean jobs are likely to be “high-paying, skilled positions in sales and investment banking.” Whereas highly educated workers may once have imagined themselves immune from the specter of outsourcing, Goldman Sachs has shown that is not the case.

Outsourcing is all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Or until somebody important loses a job.

K-Lo Goes To Confession: Gaypocalypse Now

K-Lo: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been fifteen seconds since my last confession and I don't want to hear it, Father, desperate times call for desperate measures and maybe if I confess enough my soul will become flooded with grace and Jesus will see my pure heart and strike those gay-married activists dead. (Takes deep breath.) Oh my God I am heartily sorry for all I have done in the last ten seconds and all I failed to do. I should have put money in the poor box when I crossed the nave. God would like that, even though Jonah says helping the poor turns them into socialists. Maybe I should have crawled over on the floor. "Only a penitent man may pass." Oh, wait, that wasn't Jesus, that was Indiana Jones. Forget that, Father. Maybe---.

Father: Kathryn Jean!

K-Lo: Yes, Father? Is something wrong?

Father: That's what I was going to ask you.

K-Lo: Everything's just fine and dandy, Father. Now could we just get back to my confession? The gay marriage vote is about to come up and God needs my prayers to encourage His Mighty Wrath. We need Divine Intervention and it's either help or get out of the way. Oh, sorry Father. I don't mean to be rude, I'm just pressed for time.

Father: Very well, Kathryn Jean. Proceed.

K-Lo: Uh, these are my sins. Uh.... Pride. Sloth. That coveting thing. Both coveting things. I've been very, very bad and You need to take out your Terrible Swift Sword and slay everyone in Albany to punish me, just like You did to the Alchemists and the Canaanites. Oh my God I am heartily sorry for my sins and my past sins and my future sins although I'm not actually planning to sin because that would be a sin. Oh, wait. Yes I do plan to sin. (takes deep breath.)

Father:(hastily) You're forgiven, say two Hail Marys. Now will you slow down, young lady, and explain yourself?

K-Lo: Well, as you know, Father, Gay Marriage has attacked New York and put its Gay Agenda on our sacred Legislative Agenda and got it all dirty and maybe even touched it in a bad place. Any minute now Gay Marriage could strike a blow that would destroy our Democracy and go on to destroy all of Western Civilization, the source of all that is good in the world. We can't let this happen, Father! We have to save marriage for the children! What should I do?

Father: Kathryn Jean, I just can't say.

K-Lo: I know you can figure this out, Father. You have God on your side!

Father: No, it's not that. I'm not allowed. The Archbishop feels that at this delicate time we ought to refrain from giving an advice that might be, uh, misconstrued.

K-Lo: Oh. Oh, well, if Archbishop Dolan wants me to be Mary and not Martha, I will be glad to obey. He's a great man, isn't he, Father? I don't know why Sister Paul of Tarsus said he looks like a sack of pudding. Does that mean she's going to hell?

(A buzzing noise is heard.)

K-Lo: (shrieks)

Father: Kath--.

K-Lo: Ahhhhh! (shrieks again)

Father: Ka---

K-Lo: Death! Horror! The children! Dear God, what will we tell the children?

Father: Now, calm down Kathryn Jean! Take a deep breath and calm down!

K-Lo: (takes a deep breath and exhales slowly)

K-Lo: (shrieks)

Father: SILENCE!

K-Lo: (bursts into tears)

Father: That's, uh, better.

K-Lo: They'be be sorry, Father! It's tyranny of the state! We elect people to represent us and what do they do? Take over the government! Pass laws! Where did we go wrong? (whips head from side to side) Did you hear that, Father? The tramp, tramp, tramp of gay jackboots as they force their gayness in your face, forever? Tyrrany of the majority! Liberal Fascism! The arrogance of it, Father! (sobs) Jonah was so right!

Father: Kathryn Jean, while this is a most regrettable turn of events, it's not the end of the world. Right will triumph in the end, and how can we really lose when we have God on our side?

K-Lo: Thank you, Father, your words of encouragement are very comforting, but I want to win now. That would show the gay couple with the married daughter and grandson who live down the street from Mama and Daddy. They keep asking me when I'm getting married, as if I haven't tried! But how can a good girl find a man when they all marry each other instead? Do you know how hard it is to find a nice, Catholic man in DC, Father? It's just not fair! Why should gays be able to get married when I cant'? (sobs)

Father: Kathryn Jean, in times like these we must turn to prayer and God for solace. Perhaps you might want to rethink your position regarding taking vows to become a nun. I think you would be happier living closer to God.

K-Lo: We all have to make sacrifices for God, Father, and joining the Church is mine. It's a heavy burden to have money, independence, travel and the love and respect of my peers, but I bear it willingly for His sake.

Father: Yes, yes. Just thought I'd give it a mention. You never know. Well, it was nice seeing you again, Kathryn Jean, and I hope you feel better soon.

K-Lo: Thank you, Father, and I know that one day God will prevail and He'll tell gays to go back into their closets where we don't have to see them anymore. Except in New York, our closets are all too small for gays to live in them. Father, where do gays live in New York if their closets are too small to live in?

Father: It's a metaphor, Kathryn Jean. Now off you go, people are waiting to confess.

K-Lo: How I envy them. Say, Father, would you mind if I did just one more--Father? Are you there?

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's About Justice

Great minds think alike.

Ann Althouse:

"[D]o you think that a woman like Bradley, who seriously considered calling the cops because Prosser used a profanity about another justice..."

"... would not call the cops if she was the victim of an unprovoked, physical assault in front of witnesses?"

Asks Darleen at Protein Wisdom, noting that Bradley is "now upping the ante by specifically alleging to the press that, Prosser put her in a 'choke hold.'"

I would truly like to know who made the decision to go public with this accusation. Was it one of the judges or someone lower down, with less awareness of the mess it would make, like a law clerk or summer intern?

Megan McArdle:

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
I don't understand why the Wisconsin justice isn't filing a police report against the colleague she says choked her. #professionalcourtesy?
47 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @lakeline She has publicly alleged that he put her in a choke hold.
40 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp Very unlikely that Prosser would go to jail for such a minor assault.
39 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp Liberal judges claim he attacked her; conservative judges claim she attacked him. Seems to me an investigation is warranted.
38 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp I am generally suspicious of people who want cases tried in the press, but not in court.
38 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp But perhaps she is even now swearing out a complaint. At this point, one of them has to go.
37 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp She's accusing him of assault. I don't think that's a matter for the ethics committee.
36 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp Accusing someone of a criminal offense w/o filing a police report casts doubt on your claims, esp. if witnesses disagree w/you
28 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp She has made a very serious allegation. He deserves either punishment or a chance to clear his name.
21 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @TheAlexKnapp Sure, people are funny. But in this case, I think she has to file a report, same as she would in any other workplace.
23 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @drgitlin Um, she was talking about the Chief Justice, who seems to be letting things get out of hand.
17 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @drgitlin It was a different judge who either attacked, or was attacked by, her colleague
16 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @drgitlin Wisconsin is doing an excellent job making the case for appointed justices
15 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »

That's right, McArdle doesn't have the faintest idea why an attack by one state supreme court judge on another is not treated like a random street crime, because she's not very bright.

Or perhaps she's just a good little Koch-whore wingnut who supports the Wisconsin conservatives because Koch Industries has twelve plants in the state.

Missed It By That Much

Shorter Ross Douthat: Female fetuses are being killed by their parents because women have no value in our patriarchal world. I blame feminists.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Megan McArdle's Marriage Is Now Much Less Valuable Than It Was Before

Remember how upset Megan McArdle was at the thought of gay marriage lessening the monetary value of her own (hypothetical) marriage? Let's get into Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine and watch McArdle tell us how she really doesn't care one way or another--she's opposing gay marriage for the little people:

Unlike most libertarians, I don't have an opinion on gay marriage, and I'm not going to have an opinion no matter how much you bait me. However, I had an interesting discussion last night with another libertarian about it, which devolved into an argument about a certain kind of liberal/libertarian argument about gay marriage that I find really unconvincing.

Social conservatives of a more moderate stripe are essentially saying that marriage is an ancient institution, which has been carefully selected for throughout human history. It is a bedrock of our society; if it is destroyed, we will all be much worse off. (See what happened to the inner cities between 1960 and 1990 if you do not believe this.) For some reason, marriage always and everywhere, in every culture we know about, is between a man and a woman; this seems to be an important feature of the institution. We should not go mucking around and changing this extremely important institution, because if we make a bad change, the institution will fall apart.

A very common response to this is essentially to mock this as ridiculous. "Why on earth would it make any difference to me whether gay people are getting married? Why would that change my behavior as a heterosexual"

To which social conservatives reply that institutions have a number of complex ways in which they fulfill their roles, and one of the very important ways in which the institution of marriage perpetuates itself is by creating a romantic vision of oneself in marriage that is intrinsically tied into expressing one's masculinity or femininity in relation to a person of the opposite sex; stepping into an explicitly gendered role. This may not be true of every single marriage, and indeed undoubtedly it is untrue in some cases. But it is true of the culture-wide institution. By changing the explicitly gendered nature of marriage we might be accidentally cutting away something that turns out to be a crucial underpinning.

To which, again, the other side replies "That's ridiculous! I would never change my willingness to get married based on whether or not gay people were getting married!"

Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. "That's ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!" This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can't justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he's only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you--highly educated, firmly socialised, upper middle class you--may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn't mean that the institution of marriage won't be weakened in America just the same.

This should not be taken as an endorsement of the idea that gay marriage will weaken the current institution. I can tell a plausible story where it does; I can tell a plausible story where it doesn't. I have no idea which one is true. That is why I have no opinion on gay marriage, and am not planning to develop one. Marriage is a big institution; too big for me to feel I have a successful handle on it.

However, I am bothered by this specific argument, which I have heard over and over from the people I know who favor gay marriage laws. I mean, literally over and over; when they get into arguments, they just repeat it, again and again. "I will get married even if marriage is expanded to include gay people; I cannot imagine anyone up and deciding not to get married because gay people are getting married; therefore, the whole idea is ridiculous and bigoted."

They may well be right. Nonetheless, libertarians should know better. The limits of your imagination are not the limits of reality. Every government programme that libertarians have argued against has been defended at its inception with exactly this argument.

Exactly! While most libertarians think that being a libertarian means letting others do what they want as long as they don't harm anyone else and therefore don't want the government to declare gay marriages illegal, Megan McArdle is here to remind them that they are terribly wrong, and that she can think of lots of reasons why a gay woman or man getting married would harm her and her marriage.

The argument that gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage because you can't imagine it changing your personal reaction is pretty arrogant. It imagines, first of all, that your behavior is a guide for the behavior of everyone else in society, when in fact, as you may have noticed, all sorts of different people react to all sorts of different things in all sorts of different ways, which is why we have to have elections and stuff.

Indeed. I do stuff all the time that is different from stuff that other people would do when they are doing stuff. And different people believe different stuff. For instance, in Saudi Arabia their stuff says that my stuff can't drive a car. If I drive a car their stuff could suffer. Therefore I should not have to drive people to the the mall, various entertainment venues, jobs, their boyfriend's house, their best friend's house, and their school when their stuff is too lazy to walk home. For we should always listen to people who attempt to foist their religious beliefs on others.

And second, the unwavering belief that the only reason that marriage, always and everywhere, is a male-female institution (I exclude rare ritual behaviors), is just some sort of bizarre historical coincidence, and that you know better, needs examining. If you think you know why marriage is male-female, and why that's either outdated because of all the ways in which reproduction has lately changed, or was a bad reason to start with, then you are in a good place to advocate reform.

So according to Megan McArdle, gay marriage in unnatural because marriage is between a man and woman for biological reasons; that is, reproduction, which is a good thing for society. McArdle has quite a few reasons why marriage is good for heterosexuals but no logical reasons why gays can't marry as well. The best she can come up with is that someone, somewhere, might be offended by gay marriage and that will somehow harm heterosexual marriage.

If you think that marriage is just that way because our ancestors were all a bunch of repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots, I'm a little leery of letting you muck around with it.

No, we think the gays who persecute other gays via political attacks are repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots. The others are merely enabling, vindictive, passive observers.

Is this post going to convince anyone?

Do any of her posts convince anyone?
I doubt it; everyone but me seems to already know all the answers, so why listen to such a hedging, doubting bore?

Too easy.

I myself am trying to draw a very fine line between being humble about making big changes to big social institutions, and telling people (which I am not trying to do) that they can't make those changes because other people have been wrong in the past.

It's not bigotry, it's humility. It's not that they relish persecuting others to advance themselves politically, socially, and monetarily, it's just that stuff happens to stuff and one never knows.

In the end, our judgement is all we have; everyone will have to rely on their judgement of whether gay marriage is, on net, a good or a bad idea. All I'm asking for is for people to think more deeply than a quick consultation of their imaginations to make that decision. I realise that this probably falls on the side of supporting the anti-gay-marriage forces, and I'm sorry, but I can't help that.

Certainly! It's not her fault that people would be hurt if she got her way. It's just the way it has to be, for systemic reasons. So think very deeply and carefully when you are deciding who does and who does not deserve to have civil rights. You, too, may be saddened by what you discover, but what can one do? What is morality, what are Christian teachings, what is empathy and humanity compared to the necessity of preserving marriage as it is, without making big changes?

Look at what divorce did to marriage. And property rights for women. The ending of primogeniture. The selling of women like livestock to any man that wandered by with a couple of sheep to trade. Dear God in Heaven, what have we done by making such big changes to the big social institution of marriage???

This humility is what I want from liberals when approaching market changes; now I'm asking it from my side too, in approaching social ones. I think the approach is consistent, if not exactly popular.

So according to Megan McArdle, gay marriage is unnatural because marriage is between a man and woman for biological reasons; that is, reproduction, which is a good thing for society. Which is why McArdle stays home and bears their many children and P. Suderman, boy hunter-and-gatherer, goes out and brings home the bacon: biology is destiny and nothing should ever change. Except when the change benefits her.

But we do not rehash this old post to discuss McArdle's hypocrisy and lack of empathy. We bring it up to say that we hope Megan McArdle is weeping bitter, bitter tears of misery at the thought of being unable to gang together with her friends and exclude the outliers from her exclusive, straights-only club.

Congratulations to our friends, relatives and fellow travelers, for the breaking down of another barrier to universal civil rights.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Money For Nothing

Many thanks to the people who pointed out this:


IHS [Institute For Humane Studies] 50th Anniversary Dinner
Washington, DC
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Invitation Only

6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner
Black Tie Optional

IHS supporters, alumni, faculty, and friends are invited to join the Institute for Humane Studies as we celebrate our 50th anniversary with a gala dinner in Washington, D.C. The evening will include remarks and stories from notable friends of IHS, highlights of special moments in our history, and a spotlight on new initiatives to boost our liberty-advancing impact.

Invitations to the gala have been mailed to IHS supporters, friends, alumni, and faculty contacts. If you are interested in attending this event and did not receive an invitation, please contact Ashley Schiller at 703-993-9228 or

Remarks - Charles G. Koch, Koch Industries, Inc. & IHS Chairman

Tribute - Walter E. Williams, George Mason University

Stories - A Parade of IHS Alumni

Emcee - Megan McArdle, The Atlantic

Sponsor Levels
Baldy Harper Sponsor ............................................................. $25,000
Table for ten, VIP seating, ten tickets to VIP reception

F.A. Hayek Sponsor ................................................................ $10,000
Table for ten, premium seating, five tickets to VIP reception

Milton & Rose Friedman Sponsor .............................................. $5,000
Table for ten, priority seating, two tickets to VIP reception

Ayn Rand Sponsor ................................................................... $2,500
Priority seating for five

Adam Smith Sponsor ............................................................... $1,000
Priority seating for two

Patron ticket ............................................................................. $500*

All sponsors have the opportunity to be listed in the program.

*A special rate is available for IHS alumni:
$20 for alumni who are still undergraduate or graduate students
$35 for alumni who are within the first five years of graduating (2007-2011)
$100 for alumni who graduated more than five years ago (graduated prior to 2007)

Honorary Host Committee
Helen Harper, Larry Harper, Barbara Keith
Children of IHS founder Baldy Harper
Leonard P. Liggio
From Baldy’s right hand, to IHS Distinguished Senior Scholar

Charles G. Koch
Friend of the founder, supporter since 1964, current IHS Chairman

Jerome M. Fullinwider
Longest-serving IHS Board member

Ethelmae C. Humphreys
Supporter of IHS, with the late J.P. Humphreys, since 1966

James E. Bond
First student fellow at IHS, first alum professor

Dr. Walter E. Williams
Long-time friend of IHS at George Mason University

Dr. James M. Buchanan
1986 Nobel Prize winner & speaker at IHS 25th anniversary gala
← Events Listing
“Liberty is a necessity rather than a luxury, and we can ill afford to be without it.”

– F.A. “Baldy” Harper, IHS Founder

When the Koches are your benefactors there is no end to the wingnut welfare that will pour into your pocket. And all you have to do is sell out your fellow man!

Judas was born far, far too early. If Judas Iscariot lived now he would have a fellowship from the New America Foundation, and a sinecure from the Institute for Humane Studies, just like little Miss McArdle. Forty pieces of silver? That's ridiculous when you can make 400 or 4000 pieces of silver!

Give up everything and follow Jesus? Why? He and his followers were nothing but looters and moochers! Do unto other? Why? It just encourages the lice to keep sucking off of the producers!

Instead we should all get paid lots and lots of lovely money to shill for polluters, to undercut democracy, to screw over anyone and everyone unlucky enough to have been born poor. So what if people die? They should have thought of that before they became poor!

Fortunately for Megan McArdle she will never be poor. She can always find someone to pay her to lie, shill, propagandize, sell out---you get the picture.

The same people who whine and cry about paying taxes are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for cranking out fake scholarship and opinion. And to top it all off, they want respect as well. They want professorships and top media jobs and comment sections full of sycophants. And since they can't get them honestly, they'll get them dishonestly instead.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Everybody Celebrate!


Megan McArdle is on vacation and every nation declares a holiday!

Party on!

Money And Power

The elite are doing what the elite do:

Step 1: Steal all the money you invested.
Step 2: Stop paying any taxes at all.
Step 3: Steal Social Security and Medicare.
Step 4: Force you to work for third world wages.

It is not about the elections. It is about the money.

Via Brilliant at Breakfast, we see the predators are threatening to turn on their own.

Even Goldman Sachs, Wall Street’s most profitable firm, is retrenching. Senior executives at Goldman have concluded they need to cut 10 percent, or $1 billion, of noncompensation expenses over the next 12 months, according to a person close to the matter who was not authorized to speak on the record. The big pullback will cause Goldman employees, who have already been ordered to cut costs, to re-examine every aspect of their business.

The firm, this person said, had not set final targets for layoffs, but Goldman was “certain” to shrink headcount in the coming months. Decisions on bonuses are still months away, but they are sure to come down as well if business does not pick up.

Now that the elite has stolen almost all the poor and middle class's money, they are just doing what comes naturally--going where the money is. The people who think of themselves as the elite are no longer as elite as they used to be. Income equality has moved truly elite status beyond the reach even of the mildly wealthy. Megan McArdle's class is no more safe from the elite's predations than the middle class was.

If the elite are not stopped they will not stop. They have operated under both Democratic and Republican presidents without impediment. They have brought down the economy and not only have they not suffered for their theft, Americans handed them more money. All the while we have sat and let them bleed us dry, immobilized by the fear they created and which they assiduously foster at all times. We let them blackmail and frighten us into acquiescence.

What are we so afraid of? Power is a verb, not a noun. It is action, and if we do not act we do not have any power.

They want to hold abortion over our head? Go ahead and outlaw it. They'll finally have a fight on their hands, the last thing they want. They have been extremely successful slowly bleeding it to death while we sat and watched. Why would they change now?

They want to dangle gay rights before us like a carrot on a stick? Any Democrat who treats civil rights as a bargaining chip is just screwing with us anyway.

Are they going to threaten to start more wars? Done by both parties.

Cut taxes on the rich? Done by both parties.

Cut or threaten to cut the safety net? Done by both parties.

Anything that makes the elite money is done by both parties. Everything else is a sideshow to keep us busy.

In the end we have no idea if we are making the right decisions. There is too much outside our control. The only thing we can control is ourselves and what we do. The only thing we can do is follow our conscience and make the right, the moral, decision.

We seldom know the full effects of our actions and we seldom know if the decisions we make are important or unimportant. All we can do is treat every decision as if it is important and follow our conscience.

Our greatest power is the human heart.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stupid or Evil? Part Of A Continuing Series

It seems Megan McArdle is a little confused about that thing we call reality.

clawback said...
So the solution to insolvent banks is to throw roadblocks in the way of the market clearing? Funny to hear libertarians trying to make this case.

McMegan 22 hours ago in replyl to clawback
You seem to think that being a libertarian means encouraging people to put themselves into insolvency (or forcing them to do same). This is not in the definition of libertarian.

clawback 19 hours ago in reply to McMegan

My understanding is that being a libertarian means, among other things, that you believe markets should be allowed to function. If this means anything at all, it means if you make a bad investment, you lose money. Bad investments would include lending money to someone purchasing a bubble-inflated asset. Thus, attempts to throw either legal or moral roadblocks in the way of this process are indeed anti-libertarian.

McMegan 18 hours ago in reply to clawback

Who's saying markets shouldn't be allowed to function? You're advocating forcing markets to clear at an artificially low level.

clawback 17 hours ago in reply to McMegan

Government, and society in general, can interfere with the market in various ways: debtors' prisons, using police power to enforce recourse loans, making bankruptcy more difficult, and your favorite option: ostracism. And no, eliminating them would not result in artificial prices; retaining them does.

Is Megan McArdle really so fundamentally, monumentally stupid that she does not know the banks sat on their bad loans and that the government bailed them out so they would not have to reveal all those bad loans and send the economy crashing? And does she really, actually, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-get-a-clue think that the government wants to do the opposite; force banks to clear their bad loans at an artificially low level?

The same person who prattles on and on and on about how people always act in their self-interest says that the happy recipient of millions of dollars in Wall Street donations, who is now hitting up Wall Street again for more campaign donations, wants to force banks to lose money out of blind ideology?

How stupid is this woman? The stupidest person who ever managed to bumble her way out of the womb? How is she able to summon up the wit to light a cigarette? Sign her name? Find the right airport in a one-airport town?

Nobody who managed to graduate from University--twice--is this stupid. She is simply a liar, who doesn't care how stupid she sounds because she's not being paid to be sound smart, she's being paid to sound smart to people who are too stupid to know when they are being lied to. And when a commenter who is not stupid manages to find his or her way into her little Bubble of Stupid, McArdle acts even more stupid.

Megan McArdle has discovered that if you are dumb enough, if you show absolutely no evidence at all of even the slightest knowledge of how the world actually works, you can reach an event horizon of stupidity in which the reader is sucked into the gravitational pull of your overpowering stupidity and infinite density is reached. In which McArdle seems so stupid that the reader is convinced that nobody could be that stupid, so the reader himself must be wrong, not McArdle.

Just imagine; you go to the most prestigious high school and colleges you can buy your way into, you base your entire self-esteem on your intellect, you name yourself after a woman who based her entire self-esteem on her intellect, and then you get a job being a drooling, slack-jawed moron who capers and prances before her East Coast Intellectual friends.

Ha! Maybe there is a God after all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Only Fair

Fresh off her in-depth investigation of Anthony Weiner's penis and the outing of her swinger friends, Megan McArdle takes a little time to remind us of the important things in life, such as making sure that no matter what the circumstances, the banks always get their vig.

Before our post begins, let us remember that in Megan McArdle's Randian Mind Filter, definitions often take a very strange turn. For instance, when we see the word "corporation," this is what our mind pictures:

But when McArdle thinks of the word "corporation," a far happier image comes to mind.

When we think of people, this is what comes to mind:

When McArdle thinks of the common man, this image pops into her mind:

So naturally corporations do not have to follow contracts, but people do. McArdle has written no fewer than six posts on the utter importance of ensuring businesses get every dime they want and the shrieking immorality of breaking a contract with a corporation.

Yes, Megan McArdle puts the worth of people below the worth corporations. We hope to heaven that she is never forced, Sophie-style, to choose between her dearly beloved husband and the success of the financial industry, because we know exactly what she would pick.

ConcernTroll 1 year ago

Where's the immorality lecture for Tishmann Speyer that you've been handing out to far less sophisticated real estate buyers?

Don't they have a moral obligation to pay their mortgage? Haven't you been pounding on that theme for months?

How can society continue if people aren't shamed into paying their legal obligations? Won't their reprehensible behavior raise borrowing costs for everyone else?

Is it better to just walk away from a mortgage if the property you have is underwater and you can't afford the note any longer?

Why do you let off huge, connected borrowers ... but save your disdain and column inches of shame for mom and pop real estate buyers?

Megan McArdle 1 year ago in reply to ConcernTroll

The JV is out of money. I am not an advocate of parents paying the mortgages for their children. Creditors knew when they lent the money that hte entities were legally separate.

ConcernTroll 1 year ago in reply to Megan McArdle


You have a serious blind spot when it comes to intellectual and moral consistency.

It is either immoral to walk away from a mortgage when you are Joe Blow Homeowner ... or Tishman Speyer ... or it is not immoral.

For the big fat-cat real estate developers, it's all in a days work walking away from the largest mortgage in history. You offer no criticism of their morality.

Yet, you'll spend hours and hours lecturing people on how Marge Homeowner should continue to pay her mortgage even though she's so underwater her investment will take decades to pay off.

Why should homeowners slit their throats for bankers?

Tishman Speyer walked away.

Why should we send the mortgage check in this month?


Megan McArdle 1 year ago in reply to MattJ

Indeed. As I've said elsewhere, the important distinction is the implicit assumption. Homeowners were getting loans because banks assumed that they would do their best to pay it back--that the were buying a home, not taking out a put option on it. None of the lenders thought that Tishman and Black Rock would pay up if the deal went bust, and there have been commercial real estate bubbles before, so there was less assumption that it couldnt' go bust.

Syz 1 year ago in reply to Megan McArdle

Homeowners were getting loans because banks assumed that they would do their best to pay it back

Banks do not make business decisions based upon people "doing their best." They make them based upon how people actually behave. The reason they were not concerned about homeowners walking away from their homes is because they assumed that home values would rise indefinitely, ie. they vastly underestimated the risk of default. Moreover, since both sides knew the homeowner had an "escape clause" when they wrote the mortgage, it was implicitly priced in.

As long as home prices were rising and banks were making a mint, nobody was insisting that banks refinance every homeowner to share the spoils. Now that their houses are underwater, homeowners have no responsibility - ZERO - to maintain an unprofitable deal. Homeowners have the same right to treat their home as an investment as Tischman does. And if it is more profitable to walk away, then they should.

Yet people are absolutely obligated to repay loans. Unlike banks.

As someone who graduated from business school with nearly $100,000 in student loans, and whose first permanent full-time position paid $40,000 a year in New York City, I feel entitled to say that for anyone with a professional degree, defaulting on your loans is a choice, not something that just happens to you.

Freaking moochers, trying to get out from under crushing student loans. Why don't they just do what McArdle did, live with Daddy until he and her prep school pals could help her get a good job, the kind where you can afford student loans and houses and cars and younger husbands and lots of kitchen gadgets?

Maybe you think there is no moral obligation to keep your promises. Try it in the context of your personal life: it's okay for my boss to stiff me out of that raise they promised, because I can always quit. It's okay for my wife to cheat on me, because I can always get a divorce. It's okay for my roommate to neglect to pay her half of the rent on the first of the month, as long as she's willing to move out. It's perfectly fine for my son to default on that car I cosigned, because the lender has the option to sue me for the balance . . . hey, wait a minute!

Suddenly it turns out that you think promises create a moral obligation--as long as those promises are made to you.

Yeah! Where would we all be if corporations decided that they didn't have to be moral?

Megan McArdle's lesson is clear; laws apply only to individuals, not corporations, since the Free Market Fairy ensures corporations always act ethically.

Thank you, Free Market Fairy! We owe you so much!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Get Well Soon

Best wishes for Fenway's recovery.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Public Morality And Private Immorality

Don't mess with the sex police.

We have always refrained from speculating about the sex lives of Megan McArdle and her so very close little group of DC think tankers and bloggers. It is none of our business, it is irrelevant to our task of fighting mindless authoritarianism, and the very thought is enough to make us cringe and retch a little. Virtually our only comment policy is "Don't mention McArdle's sex life, because there is just not enough mind bleach in the world and oh God I think I'm going to be sick."

But we are also willing to admit when we are wrong. It seems that it is our duty, nay, our privilege, to be moral scolds and point out public immorality, or rather immorality we happen to run across that includes someone who is a public figure, like a politician or member of the media who crosses the country giving lectures on how we don't really need Social Security because of Freedom!!!!1!

And speaking of public figures who enjoy being moral scolds, let's listen to Megan McArdle.

My colleague makes a persuasive argument for ignoring sex scandals--they have opportunity cost, after all, and what business is it of ours? Does it tell us anything about how they do their job?

Allow me to suggest that maybe it does. My take on the Clinton scandal at the time was that it got about the right result. Clinton lied under oath. And while I might ordinarily have been sympathetic to complaints that he shouldn't have had to answer such questions, my understanding is that Clinton himself signed into law the legislation under which his behavior--with, mind you, a state employee--was illegal. At which point, I thought the only person in the world who should have had to answer those questions was sitting in the dock. We impeached him, sending the message that, no, you don't get to lie under oath just because you're the president, and then we didn't punish him, sending the message that no, we are not crazy enough to remove the leader of the free world from office over a minor sex scandal.

But later I read Jeffrey Toobin's rather sympathetic account. And I was shocked. I'd had no idea how reckless Clinton had been, dragging off this girl he barely new for a little, um, grip-and-grin. It was completely, astonishingly irresponsible. For all he knew, she might have walked out of that office and told the world. He was playing around with her while he was on the phone with major world figures. Does that tell us something about how Clinton did his job? I think it has to.

Poor Monica Lewinsky, dragged off by Clinton and forced to submit to his unwanted advances. Oh, wait--Mrs. McArdle made an error, one that she no doubt deeply regrets even if she does not say so. Lewinsky was a very willing participant, not a helpless victim. Oh, well, we suppose the details don't really matter much, do they? We'll remember that for the future--it's just fine to accuse someone of sexual impropriety that didn't happen. The larger message is more important; a person's sex life tells us something about how they do their job and therefore we, the public, need to be informed.

What [Anthony Weiner] actually did is bad enough: sexting from work? With strangers he met over the internet? As with Clinton, this is strange and reckless behavior for a public figure whose inappropriate behavior could be used to blackmail him. I don't think it's somehow out of bounds to point it out, or how much we're losing by having less available air time to report forgettable sniping between Republicans and Democrats over the debt ceiling.

Blackmail! Is blackmail out of bounds?? Of course not! It's essential for national security that we discuss Weiner's sexting. And the private sex lives of journalists, who might be blackmailed into ignoring crimes.

[yap yap yap]

Maybe it's because I'm older and tireder but these days, the "not our business" school of sex scandal seems to function as a get-out-of-monogamy-free card for powerful men who want to behave badly. If Anthony Weiner were to, say, start randomly swearing at a constituent and calling her terrible names, would anyone argue that we should not report this on the grounds that the behavior's legal? How about if he'd been tricking old ladies out of their pension checks with a shady stockbrockerage? Sure it's legal, but we think it tells us something about his character, and that it's actually useful to know those sorts of things about the people we elect.

Or the people that report the news, and might be blackmailed into supporting a policy that is harmful! For instance, just imagine that a bunch of investment bankers were about to unload some bad loans on unsuspecting buyers while making a massive bet against those loans, and politicians knew about it! They might be blackmailed into letting the bankers get away with their shenanigans!

Of course if investment bankers were to do such a horrible thing McArdle would be the first person to call for their heads. Morality is incredibly important to her, and if bankers were shafting the poor and middle class by buying off politicians, or damaging the environment, or making the poor sick with pollution, McArdle would be the first to fight the immoral bastards.

[yip yip yip]

[...]I can't sign up for this. I don't think that cheating on your wife, or lesser betrayals like sexting, are minor marital pecadillos, [sic] of no more public interest than whether you remembered to pay the gas bill or unload the dishwasher. I don't think it's the government's job to punish infidelity, but that doesn't imply that society has no interest in whether people keep their vows. Marriage is a valuable social institution. There are good reasons that society should buttress it. So I'm not sure it's a waste of time, in the face of these sorts of allegations, to use a few of our precious news hours to say, "Hey, not okay!" Moreover, in the age of the internet, you cannot simply decline to report this as a neutral act. Instead, you send an affirmative message: "We don't really think he did anything wrong."

I am fighting a powerful urge to point out that virtually all of the people urging us to move on to something more important are men. But obviously, I'm losing the fight.

Marriage is important and must be bolstered. For instance, when Ross Douthat took Ta-Nehisi Coates to task for having a child out of wedlock Megan McArdle was right there to back him up. It's important for people to police others' marriage vows or people might stop getting married or start getting divorced or some other horrible consequence.

We don't quite understand why McArdle is so concerned with policing marriage only after the couple take vows, however; if one should publicly castigate someone for sexting other women and publicly castigate men for having children outside of wedlock, why is it okay for McArdle to have sex outside of marriage and live with men out of wedlock? Surely it's bad for women to sleep with men before marriage; why get married at all when you can have the cow's milk for free? And indeed, McArdle gave her milk away in the past and the man did not marry her, the poor cow.

It is absolutely essential for the strength of marriage to discuss in detail, preferably with pictures and video, all of these fornicating women who are killing the God-given institute of marriage by sleeping around. Who did Megan McArdle sleep with? Were they fellow bloggers? Are they now married? Which of her DC blogger friends has an open marriage? Who else is living in sin? We need discussion and op-eds, and perhaps a Muckety Map.

That doesn't mean they're wrong, of course. Maybe they're right, and it's pointless. But there's something a little too fifties about the "All men do it, so why should we care?" approach to this. I'd like to think that enforcing the norms which hold that infidelity is really, actually wrong is worth taking a few hours out of a slow news cycle.

Enforcing your tribe's norms, policing it borders and punishing its transgressors, especially when they belong to an enemy political party, is absolutely necessary to preserve morality and our society. Except for bankers, of course. When they do something wrong you must be vewy, vewy careful, for you never know and it's too hard to figure out and there are no villains. Policing Weiner's morals is so important that McArdle writes two more posts discussing how we simply must discuss Weiner's morals, don't you think? But not premarital sex; no matter what the moral police say, that's okay. For certain, better people.

I think we can safely say that premarital sex with more than one person is now normal in our society. That doesn't mean it's okay for a married man to have a girlfriend on the side. If this had happened while Weiner was still single, it would have been embarrassing, but -- aside from the possibility that he used government computers -- not particularly newsworthy. Once he started sexually explicit relationships outside of his marriage, it became an entirely different thing.

Phew! It seems that McArdle's fornication outside of marriage is perfectly acceptable, as long as she isn't Black an unwed parent or married and cheating on her spouse. Some people might disagree, but they are just wrong, as McArdle says at great length.

Society takes a greater interest in marriages than in other relationships because society, as well as the individual, has an interest in strong marriages. Strong marriages support a strong society. And society supports the marriage by encouraging people to do the very hard work of keeping their promises. One of the ways in which society ensures strong marriages is by tut-tutting (or worse) at people who don't keep to their vows: who abandon spouses, treat them badly, or yes, violate their trust by engaging in covert sexual activity. I'm a big fan of sexual privacy. But you cannot have a public institution that rests in part on fidelity, and also complete privacy on those matters.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think that social sanction can be very helpful in assisting us in doing important but difficult things. Marriage is stronger if people who find out that their friends are cheating don't say, "Awesome, is he hot?" but "How could you do that to Jason?" Marriage is stronger if people who cheat are viewed with slight revulsion, and so are the (knowing) people who they cheat with. Marriage is stronger when people who decide not to care for seriously ill spouses are met with an incredulous "What the hell is wrong with you?", not "Yeah, I couldn't handle that either." Of course it would be nicer if we didn't need this sort of help. But we are a flawed species.

This is, to be sure, a bit trickier in an era when people like me and Andrew accept that there can be healthy non-monagamous [sic] marriages. Maybe, folks have suggested, she was totally okay with this! This seems possible, but not really very likely. I know a decent number of people in open marriages, but they are very far from the majority of the people I know. Looking at what polls and research we have on this sort of thing, plus an unscientific survey of my friends and the women who have written me, I'm going to go out on a limb here and speak for heterosexual married women as a class: I'm pretty sure that most of us are not okay with our husbands sending racy photos to strangers, or engaging in phone sex with same within weeks of our wedding day. And if she's totally okay with this, how come she hasn't said so?

That's right. Bankers must always be given the benefit of the doubt, but people's private sex lives must be policed by perfect strangers. It's the American way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cocktail Chatter

Listen, I've been saying for years that the euro was a horrible mistake. You know how Europeans are, they're too insular to go where the opportunity is like Americans. Selfish, the lot of them. And of course their governments are weak and ineffectual. Martin Wolfe agrees with me--you know Martin Wolfe, don't you? I used to read him at the Financial Times when I worked for The Economist in London. He says the PIIGS are cutting their own throats but what do you expect, they're far too self-indulgent and decadent to make the clean decision to abandon the euro.

Speaking of self-indulgent, can you believe all those moochers who try to get their relatives to co-sign a loan? By all means, give them the money if you must but you're not doing them a favor by helping them get credit they don't deserve. Everyone knows better than to ask me to risk my credit for them.

Speaking of incompetents, we tried to call our cable company and you wouldn't believe the hell they put us through. Alyssa Rosenberg-you know her, right? We used to work together, she went to Yale--wants to unbundle cable; who does she think they are, some low-rent operation like Netflix? [laughs] Although one never knows, if they felt like sending me a free subscription I might try it out.

Oh no, don't run off. We haven't seen each other for so long. Oh, very well if you must. But you're not escaping me for long!

Friday, June 3, 2011

You Gotta Dance With Who Brought You

Megan McArdle has written several posts claiming Netflix is making poor business decisions and she is showing no sign of stopping. As McArdle cares about nothing but her purchasing power and how she might leverage that power to greater social status, it might be useful to follow the money in an attempt to explain her inexplicable dislike for the company.

This is where it comes in handy to be a long-time student of the McArdle con game. Past research has revealed that Google is closely intertwined with The Atlantic and the New America Foundation, both of which pay McArdle, of course.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Appointed as Chairman of New America Foundation's Board of Directors
Published: February 7, 2008

The New America Foundation, a nonpartisan ten-year-old think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., announced today the appointment of Dr. Eric Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive of Google, Inc., as the new chairman of New America's Board of Directors.

Dr. Schmidt, who has been a member of the New America board since the policy institute's founding, will succeed James Fallows, the author and national correspondent of The Atlantic. Fallows will remain on New America's board after the transition, which will take place on June 1st; Fallows was New America's founding board chairman.

"New America is a place where first-rate scholars are producing concrete, creative solutions for some of our nation's biggest challenges," said Dr. Schmidt. "I'm proud to be associated with the Foundation and look forward to helping shape its work and future."

"New America's influence and excellence over this last decade exceed what any of its founders could reasonably have expected," said Fallows. "We couldn't be more fortunate than to have Eric Schmidt devote some of his time, intelligence, and public-mindedness to New America's next stage of growth."

Dr. Schmidt's election to the chairmanship coincides with the arrival at New America of a new president and chief executive, the journalist Steve Coll, a staff writer at The New Yorker and former managing editor of The Washington Post who has twice received the Pulitzer Prize. Coll succeeded New America founder Ted Halstead last September; Halstead remains a New America board member.

"New America's success has been built on innovation and the search for promising new voices in scholarship, policy and journalism," Coll said. "Building cultures of innovation and seizing on breakthrough ideas has been the hallmark of Eric Schmidt's extraordinary career in Silicon Valley, and most recently at Google. New America has long benefited from Eric's counsel and support, and everyone here is delighted about his new role, which will strengthen the Foundation immeasurably in the years ahead."

One of New America's priorities during the next several years, Coll said, is to evolve toward a "digital think tank" model that will use new technologies to improve the Foundation's reach; to generate innovative research and develop new ideas; and to create networks of expertise around the most important issues facing the United States in domestic and international policy arenas.

"New America has experienced tremendous growth and success by trying to work outside of the traditional think tank categories and boundaries," Coll said. "We remain focused on our investments in great people, great ideas, and great scholarship and journalism, but we are searching for new ways in which our scholars and researchers can make themselves heard, and make a difference in national life -- and we think new technology can be an important part of these ambitions."

"Generating ideas about public policy is still a very traditional business," said Fareed Zakaria, the author and editor of Newsweek International, and a New America board member. "Eric brings high intelligence and erudition, of course, but also a fresh perspective and focus on innovation that will be extremely valuable."

If you wonder why James Fallows is willing to cheapen his image by associating with Megan McArdle and Jeffrey Goldberg, it is probably because he is too deeply involved with Big Business's capture and selling of information to leave. He's waist deep in the big muddy and not going anywhere.

Google and Nexflix are competitors.

Move Over Netflix, Android Gets Google Movies
By Mike Melanson

While Netflix has been seen in the wild on Android devices, the last we've heard from Netflix itself was last November, when the company explained that digital rights management was holding back an Android version of the beloved streaming movie service.

If you're a Google fan, this has left you largely lacking in the streaming movie world...until today. This morning on stage at the Google I/O developer conference, Google announced a streaming movie service of its own.

Previously, mSpot offered streaming movies on Android, but that was about it. (Surely, let us know if there were others in the comments below.) Now, Google has begun offering movies via the Android Market that are available to stream on both the tablet, the phone and the home computer. The announcement is actually the continuation of yesterday's announcement that YouTube would begin offering 3,000 titles for rent.

According to the team at the Google press conference today, the movie rental feature available on the Android Market is powered by the same back-end as the YouTube rental service and offers the same listing of movies. As a matter of fact, if you rent a movie on YouTube, it is available on all of your Android and Honeycomb devices and vice versa.

Movie rentals start at $1.99 and, once rented, are available for 30 days. Once you have begun streaming a movie, you have 24 hours to complete your viewing. Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios have all been rumored to be involved in the deal.

What a surprise. Megan McArdle throws her reputation (such as it is) behind the people who pay her money. This is a woman who would literally sell your kidney to make a buck. It's amazing that all businesses have to do is simply call their PR flack a "journalist" and people will believe they are impartial. Bradley and his cohorts paid a lot of money for McArdle and no amount of criticism or exposing her lies will make any difference to the world or help our fellow Americans from being milked dry by Corporate America. And most of our fellow Americans Consumers will not care until they are as poor as our permanent underclass.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Less Tall Megan

The skies are blue, the garden is growing, school is ending, and the more Megan McArdle is mocked the more successful she becomes, which is why we have been avoiding her work and cultivating cucumbers, tomatoes and basil instead of snark. Fortunately McArdle does not believe in working on weekends or holidays, so there is not a enormous backlog to go through.

Do Marginal Tax Rates Matter? Raising taxes on the rich is futile. Why bother trying?

The Housing Market Is Not Rapture Ready Here is a link to another blogger who says something amusing.

Feeling Wealthy Vs Being Wealthy The rich aren't as rich as you think they are. For instance, I cannot afford to hire a landscape gardener because I am paying for a lavish wedding, honeymoon in Hawaii, new house and home remodeling. It's just so limiting.

Finding Good Drugs Is Harder Than It Sounds The pharmaceutical industry is just fine the way it is and I will quote a drug company CEO to prove it.

Financial Biological Determinism Professors have too much money. Why should academics have so much money when they hate money? People like me should have more money, not academics. "Besides, academics, like journalists, have developed sour grapes to a high art: they quickly learn to regard expensive possessions as somewhat vulgar."

Once Again, We Cannot Pay For Social Security By Ending The Bush Tax Cuts On High Earners Remember when I lied to everyone about the CBPP and its attempts to keep Social Security solvent? No? Good. Here are more lies.

The Budget Needs To Leave Room For Emergencies Oh noes!! Budget deficit!!!!!1111!! Panic!!!

Talking Points Memo: Do As I Say, Not As I Do Tee hee, those Democrats sure are hypocrites!

Measles Spreading In Massachusetts I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine, except when it benefits me and my prospective children.

Criminals And The Laws Of Supply And Demand I am forced by my inner demons to mention every time someone experiences credit or identity theft.

IRS Wants Access To Small Business Accounting System Leave small businesses alooooooooooone!!!

Crash Victims Lose Big In Auto Bailouts Bush's bank bailouts good. Obama's GM bailout bad.