Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, September 12, 2014

Conservative Cults and Selfish Shills

Paul Krugman via Mark Thoma:

[A]nger against “takers” — anger that is very much tied up with ethnic and cultural divisions — runs deep. Many people, therefore, feel an affinity with those who rant about looming inflation... I’d argue, the persistence of the inflation cult is an example of the “affinity fraud” crucial to many swindles, in which investors trust a con man because he seems to be part of their tribe. In this case, the con men may be conning themselves as well as their followers, but that hardly matters.
This tribal interpretation of the inflation cult helps explain the sheer rage you encounter when pointing out that the promised hyperinflation is nowhere to be seen. It’s comparable to the reaction you get when pointing out that Obamacare seems to be working, and probably has the same roots.
But what about the economists who go along with the cult? They’re all conservatives, but aren’t they also professionals who put evidence above political convenience? Apparently not.
The persistence of the inflation cult is, therefore, an indicator of just how polarized our society has become, of how everything is political, even among those who are supposed to rise above such things. And that reality, unlike the supposed risk of runaway inflation, is something that should scare you.

 Megan McArdle must believe that any group that includes her is superior and invariably right. She simply denies that Obamacare is anything but a disaster because she supports the people who oppose Obamacare. She uses social studies to try to prove that we can't believe social studies, because she refuses to believe her side includes lazy, bigoted thinkers.  It seems that every decision she makes is ideological and then she supports alimony, to her readers' disgust. But it appears her mother is divorced--and one can imagine why she would side with a moocher in this case.

Con, cult or greed--or all of the above. No matter what the motivation is, the results are a horror show, and civility and respect only encourage their illogical, erratic, callous, dangerous course.


Clever Pseudonym said...

"But I don’t know how common either situation is, or how you’d even go about collecting the necessary statistics."

Scoop McArdle strikes again. I used my sophisticated research skills on this obscure thing called "Google" and found about 10,000 websites devoted to cataloging divorce and alimony statistics.

Kathy said...

ArgleBargle: My opinion is:________ but I am much too stupid and lazy to even try to support my opinion with verifiable facts and figures.

Scientific Method? What's that?

Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland, Ohio said...

ArgleBargle seems to forget that even people like her have "pull dates". The wingnut welfare system really expanded during the Clinton years. That's 20 or so years, a career for many people in certain fields, and time to consider retirement or be de facto retired, and at some point it could happen to her. At some point, people lose their value to wingnut system. Look at Dinesh Dzousa (ok, don't look at him, but consider his case)--he's well on his way to the pokey without much of an outcry (some, but only perfunctory). The former wingnut guv from Virginia, also is not being made into much of a martyr. That one man "league" of Catholics--no one seemed to care when he railed against the Hibernians decision to join the new century.

ArgleBargle has always been a useful idiot for the wingnuts--someone who bafflingly crosses over into non-ideological media. The token conservative, a Brooks-like "respectable" conservative, if one with a less intellectual patina. She's not Barbie doll blond, so she'll never be on the tube, which will help her career. But the wrong kind of faux pas, too many of them, or the wrong kind (and ugly marital spat with Suderman ala McDonnell) and she'll find herself on the curb with her food processor. There are plenty more like her and I would guess that much like the heroine in "All About Eve", she's already insinuating and inventing herself for Megan's niche.

Susan of Texas said...

Every generation wants its own Brave Young Things. We can see McArdle and Jonah Goldberg, for example, gliding into Elder Statesman status as they enter their forties and can no longer get away with being young and hip.

She gets more conservative as time goes on and I assume she will be forced to go that direction for employment. The Koches are very old and who knows what will happen with libertarianism when they die.

If there's a way to screw up she'll find it, but I am confident that someone who is such a clever liar will always be in demand. The question is if the position will be prestigious enough for McArdle.

Kathy said...

Sippy Cupp is nipping at ArgleBargle's heels.

Susan of Texas said...

She is doing very well, isn't she? Unfortunately for McArdle, Cupp is more telegenic and even has the currently popular look. The right doesn't need very many intellectual women pundits. They know their audience thinks with their ids. They will go with the one woman whom they think will get better ratings. And the proof is that Cupp is on CNN and McArdle is giving imitation TED lectures to the aspiring upper classes.