Shorter Megan McArdle:
No Substitute For Saving: If you wanted money in your old age you should have saved.
How to Get Serious About the Budget: If we don't eliminate Social Security now we'll just have to eliminate it later, only harder.
The Political Failure of Keynesian Economics: We'll never be able to stimulate the economy so end Social Security.
The Ever-More-Desperate Health Care Budget Gimmicks: Thanks to Obamacare we'll have to cut Medicare.
Time to Get Serious About the Deficit: Enact austerity or we'll end up in the poorhouse.
Own a Second Home in New York? Prepare for a Higher Tax Bill: How dare they raise taxes on the rich?
The elite sure are getting their money's worth.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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Every Defense Budget I've ever worked on or studied shows that Republicans/Conservatives very much believe in Keynesian economics.
Also, they believe in cutting funding for things that primarily benefit voters who are likely to vote for Democrats.
What gets me is that Megan, in all her contrarian nature, tends to ignore articles that oppose her worldview.
But we can't know anything about anything ever right? There are no villains.
I clicked through to the first link. She is right about one thing. Securities brokers (and politicians and pundits and...) have been telling people comforting lies for as long as I can remember. "Just put away a few hundred a month, and assuming constant growth at 6/8/10/whatever% over the next thirty years, you'll be a millionaire when you retire!" There is no such thing as constant 6/8/10/whatever% growth and it is deliberately misleading to pretend there is.
BUT, then she goes and blames working people for their spendthrift ways, spending all their money, unlike their allegedly frugal parents, who saved for retirement. I suspect the truth, more likely, is that if their parents are well-off in retirement today, it's because they had defined-benefit (ie: actual) pensions included as part of their employment contracts, so they didn't have to worry about where their retirement was coming from. Of course, Megan thinks defined benefit pensions are a madness that must be eliminated from the universe, even if that requires violating allegedly sacrosanct contracts, so she can't say it quite that way.
dlgood, I wonder how this will all work out. I suspect that America will be perfectly happy with a large underclass of potential servants but it's going to be strange to see it happen.
I don't know if this has ever been pointed out, but back when I first started reading Megan circa 2003, this is the first thing that came to mind:
From Chapter 5 of Douglas Adams' "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish"
"Do you want to have a good time?" said a voice from a doorway.
"As far as I can tell," said Ford, "I'm having one. Thanks."
"Are you rich?" said another.
This made Ford laugh.
He turned and opened his arms in a wide gesture. "Do I look rich?" he said.
"Don't know," said the girl. "Maybe, maybe not. Maybe you'll get rich. I have a very special service for rich people ..."
"Oh yes?" said Ford, intrigued but careful. "And what's that?"
"I tell them it's OK to be rich."
Gunfire erupted from a window high above them, but it was only a bass player getting shot for playing the wrong riff three times in a row, and bass players are two a penny in Han Dold City.
Ford stopped and peered into the dark doorway.
"You what?" he said.
The girl laughed and stepped forward a little out of the shadow. She was tall, and had that kind of self-possessed shyness which is a great trick if you can do it.
"It's my big number," she said. "I have a Master's degree in Social Economics and can be very convincing. People love it. Especially in this city."
"Goosnargh," said Ford Prefect, which was a special Betelgeusian word he used when he knew he should say something but didn't know what it should be.
almost every financial galtian overlord uses keynesian models to do their jobs. they just pimp hayek on the side when it suits them.
Criminy, it's the constant egregious errors that are so galling. The idea that the top marginal rate is what actually gets paid, even on the income above a stated $ amount and so that's the denominator for an increase in the FICA puts my teeth on edge, well, the ones that are remaining.
I've been in banking and finance for 30 years and I usually don't read her, the synopses are sufficient, but the woman is a stupid tool.
BTW, digood, you hit the prize but left out the essence of the GwBush economic plan albeit the bizarro version. It's supposed to save in the good times not spend. But the GW never did anything right.
You missed her latest opus about companies not wanting to hire the unemployed. All her cretin fanbots have come out of the woodwork on that one.
Of course McArdle one of those parroting the idea that income inequality is A-OK as long as low saving/high borrowing amongst the poor results in something approaching consumption equality. Why am I not surprised she pulls the football away at retirement?
To echo what Susan said at 10:34, there's a great comment over on alicublog's post on the Wisconsin teachers' union thing. I've touched up a word or two but it really captures how I'm feeling:
"The [Republicans] know their enemies. They've always been good at making lists of them perceived or real. In this case, it's the middle class. A strong, unionized middle class doesn't vote [R] very often. So it must be destroyed. And, systematically, this is what republicans have done for forty years. They want a gulf in the classes in this country, a small ruling class and a large, mostly impoverished service class who are more than happy to take the crumbs of shitty, no security jobs and, once in a while, [crappy] 401K programs."
I am truly starting to fear where this is headed.
I wonder if she practices what she preaches? She was all gung-ho about putting down a lot of money on her house, but then spent it on a 3 week honeymoon in Hawaii. Does Atlantic have a trustworthy 401k or Pension plan? Are ArgleBargle & husband putting aside moneys for their old age, since they're trying to dismantle SS and Medicare?
I won't be surprised 20 or 30 years from now to hear She's POOOOOOR! and living on Government handouts.
I think McArdle has it all figured out and has carefully planned for her future (and P. Suderman's, of course).
True, her plans depend on nothing ever going wrong, like if both of them lose their jobs or if one of them becomes very ill or is hurt badly in an accident, or if they have a child with special needs.
It's amazing that McArdle can say the same thing so many times with so many words. It's like she's artificial intelligence.
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