July 21, 2008


Is there any empirical evidence that it's even bad? Isn't Phil Gramm right, that it's mostly just whining?

We Can't Handle the Truth: The surest way to create a campaign controversy (Andrew Ferguson, 07/28/2008, Weekly Standard)

Former Texas senator Phil Gramm ran for president in 1996. He raised $20 million, spent nearly all of it, and won zero delegates. Political observers had long thought such a feat was impossible, and it remains astonishing even in hindsight. Recently we were reminded how he managed to pull it off.

Earlier this month, Gramm gave an interview to the Washington Times in which he asserted that the U.S. economy wasn't in a recession. We are, however, in a "mental recession," he said--a loss of consumer confidence, stoked by hysterical media reports, that threatens to tip the economy into a real recession.

This is all true. You could look it up: A recession is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, and the economy didn't contract last quarter. But Gramm was pilloried for his factual statement. Before his interview with the Times, it was assumed (by professional assumers) that Gramm would be offered a high-ranking economic-policymaking job in a McCain administration, maybe even secretary of the Treasury; now assumers are assuming he'll never get such a cool job--especially after he made matters worse by insisting a day later that the fact he had asserted was, in fact, a fact: "Every word I said was true."

To which the general reaction was: So what?

Both Brothers voted for him anyway....

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 21, 2008 4:39 PM


As a blogger who has at least referenced the "I can't believe Nixon won, no one who I know voted for him" quote at least once, you must see the similarities in this post.

Why, if everything in idyllic NH is fine, how could any one else be suffering?

When every financial benefit for the very wealthy is privatized at the same time that all of the risk is sloughed off on the tax payer, (Fannie and Freddie bailouts being only the latest example of stupification) one need not be a leftist nutjob to argue that things are off kilter.

When some one calls my show and tells me they are being badly squeezed, I don't need to revert to rank Democrat populism to "feel their pain."

It fascinates me that the person who posted the excellent piece on the effects of going to an Ivy league school is the same person that posted this.

But it isn’t just a matter of class. My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright. I learned to give that little nod of understanding, that slightly sympathetic “Oh,” when people told me they went to a less prestigious college.

Posted by: Bruno at July 21, 2008 10:21 PM

We can't fill all the jobs in a growing economy. It takes massive self-absorption about a little hike in gas prices to think this a bad economy. It's just middle class whingeing.

Posted by: oj at July 21, 2008 11:00 PM

Bruno, socializing the losses are one thing.

Lobbying regulators and funding campaigns to the tune of $200 million to achieve the availability of cheap money, highly leveraged and off loaded (off balance sheet) is entirely another.

Posted by: Perry at July 21, 2008 11:07 PM
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