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Proofs of the Failure of Conservative Political and Economic Theory

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"By their fruits shall ye know them." Jesus said that in his Sermon on the Mount. Of course he was referring to false prophets and not to politics, but his wisdom does apply in many walks of life, and we can certainly apply this to modern politics.

True patriots do what is best for the country The only problem is, there is always disagreement on what comprises what is best. Fortunately, we now have tools to help us decide the better way to go. We can now see the results of both conservative and liberal policies by comparing the general condition of red and blue states. Please bear in mind that these are generalities, an exposition of how well the policies of conservative and liberal politicians have served their respective constituents, the American people, as a whole, and will not apply in every single case.

Let's start with my personal favorite: health care:

MSNBC pointed out today that there are fourteen states where at least twenty percent of the workforce now has no health insurance. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas. Even a casual glance will show that the great majority of these are red states. Here is an interactive map that shows what states have more uninsured workers, and it weighs heavily against red states.

But there are those who scoff at health insurance, so let's include this list of states ranked by life expectancy. Again, the blue states are much more likely to rank highest, and the red states dominate the bottom of the list. Lowest on the list is the District of Columbia at #51, but #37 through #50 are red states.

Of course, health insurance doesn't tell the whole story. So here's another list of healthiest states. This list was compiled by considering many factors including the rate of high school graduation, the violent crime rate, the percentage of children in poverty, the per capita public health funding, ready access to primary care, the disparity of mortality rates within the state, the premature death rate, the obesity rate, the preventable hospitalization rate, and rate of infectious disease. Once more, the top of the list is almost completely blue, and the bottom of the list is almost completely red.

Clearly, there is a correlation between having health insurance, a longer life expectancy, a healthier life, and whether one resides in a red or blue state.

Now let's look at education:

Here are several national maps showing states' educational levels by county. Some areas of blue states are bad, and some areas of red states are very good, but overall the results are heavily weighted against traditionally red states.

Clearly, there is a correlation between achieving a higher level of education, and whether one resides in a red or blue state.

Next we'll check on median household income:

This page on Wikipedia includes three tables of state rankings: by median household income, by per capita income, and by number of places with per capita income above the national average. As in the above references, blue states dominated the top of the lists, and the bottom of the lists were mostly red states.

Clearly, there is a correlation between achieving a higher level of education and whether one resides in a red or blue state.

"But we all know this is all because the red states pay so much in taxes that the politicians send to the blue states!" One could just hear the right-wing pundits taking such a line, but this table from the Census bureau clearly shows that the top ten recipients of federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are almost all red states…and the ten states that receive the LEAST federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are almost all blue!

Not only that, but this table of states ranked by combined state and local taxes paid as a percentage of per capita income once more shows that the blue states generally pay higher taxes and the red states pay generally lower taxes; one must also compare the health, life expectancy, and educational level of those blue states at the top of the list, and those red states at the bottom of the list.

Clearly, there is a correlation between having health insurance, living longer and healthier lives, having a higher level of education — paying more taxes to have these benefits — and whether one resides in a blue state or a red stat

But what about crime? Surely the soft-on-crime Democrats have brought the criminal justice system to its knees, right? Consider this quote from Wikipedia's page on crime in the United States:

 

With few exceptions, there also seems to be a strong correlation between median household income and crime rates. In addition to having the country's lowest crime rates, New England states also had the country's highest median household income, while the Southern states have the lowest. Almost all of the nation's wealthiest twenty states, which included northern mid-western and western states such as Wisconsin and California, had crime rates below the national average. The nation's more dangerous states, such as Texas, Arizona and Arkansas in turn ranked among those with a household income below the national median.

Blue states generally have a higher median income; thus, they generally have a lower crime rate.

 

I found a news publication stating that the high murder rate in the South is a key factor behind America's high homicide rate in comparison with other democratic, industrialized nations; states topping the murder rate were: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.

But the article was posted in 1998 – perhaps it's no longer accurate. So, I checked the FBI's most current statistics. The South still had the highest violent crime rate. In fact, while the national violent crime rate per 100,000 stood at about 466, the ONLY region that was above the national rate was the South. The South's rate? It was just over 549, or about fifteen percent above the national average. And the same thing applied to the murder rate; the South was the only region higher than the national average, at about sixteen percent above the national average.

And then there's the death penalty. This table shows that every year since 1990, the states that do not have the death penalty have had lower murder rates than the states that do; this page from the same site shows that almost all of the states without the death penalty are blue states.

What part of the country is the reddest, the strongest against gun control, the strongest for the death penalty, and has the highest murder rate? The South.

Clearly, there is a correlation between living in a safer place, and whether one resides in a blue state or a red state. It's not true in every case, but generally speaking the correlation is true.

But the conservatives stand for family values! We hear this all the time from the right-wing pundits and Republican politicians, so I checked the divorce rate by state;  once more, we find the numbers show something different. The divorce rate in red states is generally higher than in blue states, even if we don't count traditionally red-state Nevada.

Clearly, there is a correlation between the success of marriages within the population, and whether that population resides in a blue state or a red state.

Good grief! Are the liberals better for America than the conservatives in every case? Maybe not. I checked this site concerning illicit drug use, and it seems that, generally speaking, drug use is more prevalent in blue states than in red states.

Clearly there is a correlation between the likelihood of use of illicit drugs, and whether one resides in a blue state or a red state.

So there we have it. Those who live in blue states generally live longer, healthier lives, have higher levels of education, pay higher taxes to afford those benefits, live in safer communities, have more stable marriages — and are more likely to do drugs. That last seems like a small price to pay when compared to all the rest that clearly add up to the strong indication that liberal policies are better for the health and general welfare of the American people. Any conservatives who have read this entire article must see the numbers, and must see that conservative policies are NOT what is best for America. LIBERAL policies are what is best for America, as the overall data clearly show.

Seems to me that it's better to live where the people are healthier and live longer, have higher levels of education, make more money, have more stable marriages, and have safer neighborhoods, even if they generally have a somewhat higher rate of drug usage. At the risk of diminishing the effect of this article, I've just got to say that maybe Dylan was right after all: "everybody must get stoned!"  But even this statistic (and much of our world's-worst prison population) would go away with the legalization of marijuana!

Again, "by their fruits shall ye know them."

To the conservatives, seeing the above proof that liberal policies are better for the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of Americans, I ask each of you how you can possibly call yourselves true American patriots if you continue to support the conservative policies that are clearly causing the red states to be left behind the blue states?

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Clavos

    This entire article is a logical fallacy:

    “Correlation proves causation.”

    As any student of logic can readily recognize, correlation does not in fact, imply causation.

    This is a simplistic and totally erroneous dissertation.

  • zingzing

    who says the world is logical? and how does logic change facts?

  • Clavos

    Nobody says logic “changes facts,” zing; in fact, it doesn’t. What it does do is point out that facts in and of themselves do not prove that there is a connection between a circumstance (“fact”) and a result.

    But you knew that.

  • zingzing

    you see maggots crawling on rotting beef enough times, you know that flies come from cows.

    of course, given a little more thought, you know that rotting beef doesn’t create maggots, but that maggots a certainly going to thrive in rotting beef.

  • Clavos

    Put it any way you like, zing.

    It’s still a fallacy, and this article proves (a claim made in its title) nothing.

  • zingzing

    “maggots aRE certainly…”

  • zingzing

    well, put it any way you like, but a logical fallacy doesn’t necessarily mean that the conclusions reached are false.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    zing, even if you’re right, it’s no merit of the argument, then. Sorry. But I haven’t read the article yet, so I’m speaking prematurely no doubt.

  • Clavos

    well, put it any way you like, but a logical fallacy doesn’t necessarily mean that the conclusions reached are false.

    Ah but it does. For, if they’re not proven to be true, they are false until proven otherwise.

  • zingzing

    eh? because something is not proven true, it is false? i’m pretty sure that doesn’t follow.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, it may be true but it doesn’t have the status of a conclusion. You may insist on its truth as a premise.

  • zingzing

    and that’s the point i’m trying to make. even if there is a logical fallacy in the argument presented, it doesn’t mean that it’s false.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correct, except that it doesn’t follow from the argument. Many things may well be true on intuitive or another level (like axioms, for example); the question of “proof” is another matter.

  • Clavos

    A logical fallacy in an argument by definition invalidates the argument.

  • Clavos

    Or put another way: a logical fallacy in an argument by definition makes the argument fallacious.

  • Clavos

    From merriam-Webster Online:


    fallacious
    One entry found.

    Main Entry:
    fal·la·cious Listen to the pronunciation of fallacious
    Pronunciation:
    \fə-ˈlā-shəs\
    Function:
    adjective
    Date:
    1509

    1 : embodying a fallacy 2 : tending to deceive or mislead : delusive
    — fal·la·cious·ly adverb
    — fal·la·cious·ness noun”

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Despite the inherent logical fallacy in this article, the weight of evidence brought to bear is extremely suggestive. It’s a like a whole lot of circumstantial evidence brought against an accused criminal. It’s not ironclad proof, but it might be good enough.

    The challenge posed by all the evidence amassed in the article should be taken up by conservatives. The challenge is: if conservative policies do NOT cause all these failures, then what DOES lie behind the correlation? Seems to me that morality would require conservatives to address this, even though logic does not.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And morality, Jon, should be the conservatives’ strong point, so we’re told.

    By the way, my lawyer friend tells me that many cases are decided on circumstantial evidence – many more, at least, than we’re led to believe. But we have a resident attorney on the premises, so we might solicit his opinion.

  • Edward Lunny

    Interesting crime data, those states,or districts, that have higher than average violent crime rates also tend to have particularly violent urban areas. Look at Washington, DC for instance, a rate more than triple the national average. Included in the south as well, and pumping up those southern numbers. But, surely not a conservative locale by any stretch. I wonder what would happen to your assertions if we removed the violent urban areas from their respective states. Particularly since urban areas tend to be liberal bastions. Remove Chicago from the Illinois numbers, Detroit from the Michigan numbers, New Orleans from the Louisiana numbers etc. Would your analysis stand ? Look thru the data at the more violent states and it becomes apparent that violent states tend to have violent cities, Boston, Massachusetts and Baltimore, Maryland compared to Charleston, West Virginia or Louisville, Kentucky. I think that you need to look closer than state numbers to get an accurate, or more accurate, perspective on crime versus state of residence correlation. In your rush to assign specifics to ideological viewpoints I think you haven’t analysed the data closely enough. You have also, it seems to me confused correlation and causation ,as posted above, a mistake that can be catastophic in effect.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correlation does not imply causation (from Wiki).

    If you read further on: “Correlation is not causation, but it sure is a hint.”

    Or, to put in in other words, it suggests a relationship and initiates the search for causes.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Even if these are ‘only’ correlations, they are certainly interesting correlations. Particularly the death penalty ones.

    They don’t ‘prove’ anything specific about politics. But they are suggestive about the fallaciousness of some conservative assumptions.

    And saying, in effect, the thesis is wrong, therefore I will find the logical fallacy that led to this self-evidently wrong conclusion; then I don’t even have to discuss the evidence and facts cited — well, saying all that is less an argument than it is a conversation-killer.

    Glenn has provided some interesting items to talk about. I don’t agree with his conclusion either, but we can still talk about the material in the article.

  • Clavos

    And saying, in effect, the thesis is wrong, therefore I will find the logical fallacy that led to this self-evidently wrong conclusion; then I don’t even have to discuss the evidence and facts cited — well, saying all that is less an argument than it is a conversation-killer.

    Did I say that, handy?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    Very interesting argument, and I didn’t put it in quotation marks because it is an argument, in a manner of speaking, logical fallacy notwithstanding. Besides, I did not notice, on first read, that you were particularly insistent on suggesting a causal effect. Leaving it in the realm of correlations is the safe mode. But you do suggest (or at least hint at) a cause (see my #20) – namely, conservative policies. Which, in effect, has the status of posing a hypothesis (just as we do in hard or soft/social sciences). The rest is up to the empirical observations – whether your hypothesis is sound or not. And the correlations you do cite argue to the effect that you have the makings of a strong case.

    In short, a very sound social research procedure, and no one can fault you for that. The misunderstanding arose on account of misreading your “argument” as though it were some kind of logical/deductive argument – in which case the charge of logical fallacy would apply. But since that wasn’t the nature of your article, I believe you’re on safe ground.

    I would look, however, more closely at the objections raised by Edward in #19, which may or may not affect the “crime” dimension/factor of your presentation (but that’s only one out of six, I believe). Other than that, great job and plenty food for thought.

    Roger

    PS: Questioning the patriotism of the conservatives would be one thing I’d personally abstain from. The matter of what is in the country’s best interests – not to mention in the individual’s best interests – is something Socrates devoted his entire life to, and with mixed results I might add. You don’t need that.
    Let the facts speak for themselves.

  • Arch Conservative

    Ed Lunny?

    Sounds like the name of a serial killer to me.

  • zingzing

    roger: “Correct, except that it doesn’t follow from the argument.”

    my god, you must be kidding. i never argued about the word “proof” in the title. i argued that a logical fallacy does not make something false. a logical fallacy has no bearing upon reality. i agree that this article doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but for clavos to dismiss the entirety of the article based on that fact is fairly silly.

    what next, o.j. was innocent?

    “Many things may well be true on intuitive or another level (like axioms, for example); the question of “proof” is another matter.”

    exactly.

    clavos: “A logical fallacy in an argument by definition invalidates the argument.”

    an an argument does not change reality. you’re invalidating glenn’s essay, but not the actual facts that he presents.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    zing, read #23; it explains it. I was only trying to moderate between you and Clavos.

  • Clavos

    i agree that this article doesn’t necessarily prove anything, but for clavos to dismiss the entirety of the article based on that fact is fairly silly.

    zing,

    Check out the title.

    The author is claiming he offers “proofs” for his thesis. The logical fallacy which is literally, the entire thesis of the article invalidates the “proofs.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That, I admit, was unfortunate on Glenn’s part. A silly mistake, which opens him to otherwise quite avoidable criticism.

    Technically, however, no thesis is ever “proved” in the hard, logical sense. It’s a matter of how the empirical evidence stacks up.

  • Clavos

    Roger sez,

    The misunderstanding arose on account of misreading your “argument” as though it were some kind of logical/deductive argument – in which case the charge of logical fallacy would apply. But since that wasn’t the nature of your article, I believe you’re on safe ground.

    Ah, Roger, but it is presented as a logical/deductive argument. Here is its conclusion:

    That last seems like a small price to pay when compared to all the rest that clearly add up to the strong indication that liberal policies are better for the health and general welfare of the American people. Any conservatives who have read this entire article must see the numbers, and must see that conservative policies are NOT what is best for America. LIBERAL policies are what is best for America, as the overall data clearly show. (emphasis added)

    Sorry, guys, but as I said in #1, “[t]his is a simplistic and totally erroneous dissertation.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn, perhaps you can contact the editor(s) to allow you to change the title?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, it’s a matter of wrong formatting. As I stated in #20, he should have started with a hypothesis and then provide the correlations in support.

    So in effect, he was following correct methodology of social research – the problem is, he wasn’t aware of it and fucked it up by presenting it as though a logical argument.

    In short, the article could easily be re-written to eliminate all these defects and make it nice and sweet.

    “A” on instinct and gut reaction; “D” on presentation/formatting.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Personally, I believe the editor should have been the one to step in here and correct these logical flaws. So Glenn’s faulty presentation here is to some extent, IMO, to be shared by his/her editor.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, it was sharp of you to notice it in the first place. I don’t know whether I would have picked up on this on first read. But since you did make the initial observation, it was easier to see what the article in effect was/ought to be and how to set it aright.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To all –

    ‘Gravity’ is not proved either, but it sure as heck exists.

    What Clavos is doing is detracting attention from the wealth of evidence at hand. If I have indeed engaged in a ‘logical fallacy’, then I’ll take the constructive criticism and try to not make that mistake again.

    That said, I challenge all conservatives – like Clavos – to explain why the statistics are so strongly weighted against red states and for blue states. What, exactly, is the difference between those states – other than general political leaning – that could explain the disparities in health insurance coverage, life expectancy, income, educational level, violent crime and murder rates.

    Clavos, you were so quick to use ‘logic’ to try to negate the evidence…but the evidence is still there. Explain the disparities, please.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    Don’t be a hothead. Technically he’s right and you know it. You’re right in your conclusion but you fucked up the presentation.

  • pablo

    Your dough still in the stockmarket Clavy? hehehehe, I bet it is. Hard to teach an old horse new tricks, particularly right wing horses. :)

  • Cannonshop

    Um…but Glenn, using Zing’s “Maggoty beef” example-your data and analysis are about as good as the analysis that once held that Beef spawned maggots when left out spontaneously. (Disproven, btw-it turns out beef left out gets maggoty because of an organism known as the Fly…)

    When you parse your violent crime areas by locality, and look at the predominant politics of the violent AREAS, they’re generally to the LEFT of centre, not the right.

    Further, Urbanization tends to carry with it sufficient markets to have enough economic slack to generate insurance-requiring it by law doesn’t make affordable providers appear, you have to have sufficient providers competing to lower cost enough that a mandate doesn’t shut down the entire industry. Alaska’s got the population of a decent-sized suburb in California, and few of the businesses there generate enough money to support an insurance industry sufficient to provide service for 100% of the potential employee workforce…or even 80%, or 50…

    you have to have the providers present, for there to be enough insurers to insure your workforce…and likewise, your workforce has to have sufficient after-eating-and-paying-rent income to make their payments, or businesses have to have sufficient in-flow of cash to make the state payments before a mandate could survive.

    This is possible in places with strongly developed local economies with a great deal of economic slack (Say, Manhattan, or Boston), but not possible in places where the main industries are on a margin, or have an uncertain cash flow (think “Feast or Famine, Rarely in-between”).

    Most of the States you list, are low-industry states reliant on businesses like Agriculture, mineral extraction, and energy production-all fields with lots of regulations and very volatile pricing and demand structures, where the bulk of employers run close to the margin and fail frequently.

    Notably, these are also industries that are heavily impacted by what Government decides to do in any given year-environmental regs, land-use decisions, water-rights decisions and such can turn a moderately prosperous farm into a bunch of fallow fields owned by the same banker that flushed your 401(k) down an unsecured derivative toilet, while foreign sources, Land-and-environmental laws will put that fifty-barrel driller into the poorhouse and get his hole plugged this year, or make him moderately successful last year. Federal “bag limits” on fishing, and adding specific runs of a given fish to the “Protected” list, well…you’ve just put a lot of folks out of work and handed those fish to people who don’t have to obey U.S. laws on fishing.

    Urban people have a violence problem, and it’s deeper than violence or drugs or anything else-they have a problem with the concept that what makes them feel ‘good’ and ‘moral’ has consequences-particularly “Left” Urban people. This is why Detroit, Gary Indiana, New York, Washington D.C., Tacoma, Los Angeles, Miami etc. push up regional numbers.

  • pablo

    Wow, did you write that yourself Cannon?

  • Clavos

    Clavos, you were so quick to use ‘logic’ to try to negate the evidence

    Wrong again. I never addressed your “evidence.”

    The logic I presented refutes your conclusion.

    Explain the disparities, please.

    See Cannonshop’s comment.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Causation is a funny thing. Post hoc ergo propter hoc is sometimes a fallacy, sometime not. If A shoots B through the head with a pistol, and B dies immediately thereafter, the shooting is probably the immediate cause. Other causes may be that A and B were both in Sacramento, that A mistook B for C, that A was not confined to bed with a broken leg, etc. Rain which comes soon after rush hour ends probably is not caused by the end of rush hour. If a place with really unpleasant rush hours has more rain than a place where there are no rush hours, it would be silly to draw a conclusion that really unpleasant rush hours cause rain.

    Sometimes, cause and effect can get confused. That more cars costing in excess of $100,000 are owned by rich people than by poor people (per capita) does not necessarily mean that lots of poor people are poor because they lack $100,000 cars. Ownership is, probably, the effect rather than the cause in most cases.

    Some correlations are not only intuitive, they can be demonstrated empirically. For example, there is a clear and demonstrable correlation between temperature and the transformation of liquid water into ice. Hence, it seems reasonable to assume that very cold places will have more snow than only moderately cold places — other things being equal, which they often are not. A very cold but very dry place may well have less snow than a moderately cold but very damp place.

    There may well be a causal relationship between the percentage of people with health insurance and the overall average age at death: the average age at death may be greater for people with health insurance than for those lacking it. However, the relationship may not be as compelling as one might imagine. If sick people are declined coverage, it seems likely that average age of death in the pool of insureds is higher than in the larger pool from which the insureds are selectively drawn, simply because the larger pool has more sick people. Should sick and healthy people be provided insurance on identical terms, the average age at death for the expanded pool of insureds might decline rather than increase.

    It was once thought by some that the higher percentage of Black people than of White people in jail demonstrates that Black people are more inclined to commit crimes than are White people. This thesis is no longer given much credence, because there are numerous factors quite unrelated to race, each of which contributes to the observed result.

    Glen claims to have provided proof that liberal policies are better for the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of Americans. . . . (emphasis in original). This is quite a sweeping assertion, and the “proof” cited does not appear to support its weight.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Would all the apologists and defenders of the status quo please get off Glenn’s butt.

    You keep on harping on faulty presentation rather than the real issue: the evidence he cites in support. It should have been presented as a thesis: you know it, he knows it, so give it a rest. It’s as much the editor’s fault as Glenn’s for not catching it before publishing it. Glenn would never get away with this format as part of the masters thesis requirement in any social science department; he would have been set straight. So why don’t you own up to it, Glenn, just to shut these fuckers up.

    As to the rest, have the balls, like Cannon above, and discuss the correlations and whether they are or are not significant rather than dismiss an otherwise ingenious and thought-provoking article on a technicality.

  • Clavos

    It’s not a “technicality,” Roger, when the author purports to “prove” the thesis of his article and then emphatically does not — whatever the reason for his failure to do so.

    It’s the whole point of the discussion, initiated by the author’s original assertion.

    I don’t recall anyone appointing you Moderator of this or any other thread.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    If I have data showing that the average depth of the Chesapeake Bay is three feet, and attempt on that basis to walk across it, it seems rather far fetched to contend that my drowning was due to a technicality.

    Actually, the average depth is not three feet. It is 21 feet . Hence, any ship with a draft in excess of 21 feet will clearly run aground, on a technicality. QED.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Further to my Comment #43, I don’t rightly know at whom Mr. Moderator’s otherwise arguably perceptive Comment #41 was directed, but on the slim chance that I may be one of the “fuckers,” I vigorously reject the notion that I support the status quo. Indeed, as my recent articles on BC clearly suggest, I don’t think very highly of the status quo. To the contrary, I think that in may respects, it sucks.

    Now the status quo ante, say a century or so ago, is a different matter. Even as to that, however, my enchantment is selective. Think “Modern Dentistry.”

    Dan(Miller)

    Dons top hat, takes riding crop in hand, and marches off to the sound of a distant drum and bugle corps. Or was that the huntsman? No matter.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #42,

    Well, if he refuses to back down, then he’s just as petty and stubborn as the rest of you.

    And for your information, Dan, it was just a form of address. I had to address you and the others one way or another – even if the description didn’t exactly fit.

    And secondly, I didn’t appoint myself to this position, only pointed out some obvious flaws. If you choose to ignore it and harp instead on peripheral matters, that’s your business.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But I guess you’e right. If Glenn refuses to back down, then why let how him get away with it.
    I was proceeding on the assumption that he would own up to the fact. I assumed too much.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    To all – as I said above, if my presentation was faulty then I’ll not make that mistake again…and I AM grateful for constructive criticism.

    THAT SAID, again, the arguments against the evidence presented to support the correlations are what we in the Navy called ‘tap-dancing’…and in at least one case (C-shop, are you listening?), an erroneous use of the facts at hand…but I’ll get to that later.

    Dan tried to use the disparity of jail populations between white and black as an example…and that example would be valid were the correlations I presented of a similar scope and scale, but the scope and scale are totally dissimilar. He’s not comparing apples and oranges, but comparing an apple to a truckload of oranges. That study tried to make comparisons about race, whereas the correlations I presented were based on differences of political philosophy.

    It is a FACT that different philosophies of government will lead to different results. If this were not so, then there would have been no difference between democracy and communism.

    C-shop pointed out how the violent crime rates for a region can be skewed by the higher rates of urban areas within those regions…and for examples he gives urban areas within blue states. However – and perhaps he didn’t realize his error – the blue states, even counting the higher violent crime rates within urban areas, have generally lower violent crime and murder rates than less-urban red states.

    BE THAT AS IT MAY, I’ve found that in most long-running disputes both sides are right in at least some areas, and both sides are wrong in at least some areas. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to admit their error even when it’s pointed out to them, and rare is the man who will admit error when he is the only one who sees it. I try to do this, although I’m not always that strong.

    Despite the single error in his post, it was C-shop who began touching on the edges of the proper rebuttal in his comparison of rural and urban areas. I began considering the matter a bit more deeply since the more urban areas tend to be more liberal, and I realized that the level of education – while it can certainly be and IS affected by the prevailing political philosophy – is even more affected by the density of the population. Having grown up in the backwoods of the Delta, I should have been the first to remember that in all cultures and all history, the greater the density of the population, the greater the general level of education driven – if for no other reason – by simple competition.

    Which takes us to the next step – income. The greater the general level of education, the greater the general level of income…and greater levels of education and income brings more stable marriages comes a lower general crime rate and a longer general life expectancy…and there goes my oh-so-carefully-constructed bastion of unassailable logic falling like a house of cards.

    I still believe that the prevailing political philosophy of the region will play a part, but I cannot prove it – I have not the patience to sift through the data to find that proof…and even if I did, I run the risk of unwittingly skewing the data to prove my contention.

    In other words, I wasted a lot of my time – and yours – because I cannot prove my contention. Some might feel that I had a good point and folded before the pressure from the minions of the Red Side, but that’s not the right thing to do. My apologies for my error and obstinancy – I’ll do better next time. More importantly, my thanks to everyone for the constructive criticism.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    and that’s the point i’m trying to make. even if there is a logical fallacy in the argument presented, it doesn’t mean that it’s false.

    It means that it is an assertion rather than proof as claimed in the title. Because proof carries a great deal of weight it requires a logical argument and a basis in fact. An assertion can be correct, but it requires nothing behind it but hot air.

    Dave

  • Dan

    I don’t mind your presentation Glenn. I think I could probably debunk or challenge most of your reasoning for the correlations. And I might take some time to do that.

    I’ll give you one for now that comes readily to mind.

    The per capita income, whether household or individual, is not as meaningful a statistic as would be the standard of living enjoyed. Although Democrats tend to live in higher income states, they also live in higher cost of living states. When you control for these factors California, Hawaii, and even New York sink to the bottom in overall standard of living. Many of the low income red states go to the top in terms of the lifestyle they can afford with their fewer dollars.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    I have to disagree strongly with you, because:

    (1) I don’t see a list states ranked by standard of living by a reliable source,

    (2) any measurement of ‘standard of living’ requires not just measurement of income versus cost of living, but also social services available, cost of health care, level of education, crime rate…in other words, just about the whole list I posted in the original article, and

    (3) Hawaii is by far the most expensive state in comparison to income, but it’s the second happiest state in the union…and frankly, I think happiness is a better metric than money to measure a state’s standard of living. In fact, if you’ll check this link, you’ll see that the happiest states are a mixed bag of red and blue…but the six unhappiest are four VERY red states and two ‘purple’ states.

  • zingzing

    dave: “It means that it is an assertion rather than proof as claimed in the title.”

    and for the hundredth time, i’m not talking about the damn title. really, i’m trying to point out that clavos’ dismissal of the entire thing is just a cover up. he can’t deny that the overall quality of life in blue states is higher than it is in red states. also, the parties are better cuz we got all the drugs. (you can keep your meth, you hicks, that shit is nasty.)

    maybe it’s not the political policies that breed this disparity. maybe it’s that being a healthier, higher individual leads you to want to live in blue states. who knows. still, the difference is there.

  • Dan

    “(1) I don’t see a list states ranked by standard of living by a reliable source” –Glenn

    If reliability means it agrees with your thesis, I see your problem.

    “any measurement of ‘standard of living’ requires not just measurement of income versus cost of living, but also social services available, cost of health care, level of education, crime rate…in other words, just about the whole list I posted in the original article” –Glenn

    Why unnessecarily complicate the analysis? Your lists of per capita income were only about income. Not social services, health care etc. An apples verses apples comparison would be to consider that income with the goods and services those dollars will buy.

    “Hawaii is by far the most expensive state in comparison to income, but it’s the second happiest state in the union”

    What’s the reliable source here? The Hawaiian state chamber of commerce?

    Hawaiians do live longer. But mostly that is due to race. Life expectancy has a much higher correlation to race than to political ideology.

  • Dan

    “Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972.” –Pew Research Center

    I think Conservatives are happier than Liberals because they are more capable. They control their lives more and aren’t as dependent on corrupt politicians to steal for them.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Dan,

    I don’t completely disagree with your analysis, but how does one quantify “standard of living enjoyed?” Not only does it vary from person to person, but also from time to time for any given person; I can’t even think of a reasonable way to assign a useful numerical value to it for one person at one time; any such value would be grossly subjective.

    Income and living costs are, I think, part — but only part — of the equation. There are many intangibles and I can’t think of any satisfactory way to identify, much less to quantify and compare them, them. Mr. A may be very happy and satisfied living in a small town on $25,000 per year, attending church with his friends, and reading mystery stories in his easy chair every evening until it is time for evening prayers. Mrs. A – living on the same family income in the same place — may be miserable, for the very same reasons leading to Mr. A’s happiness.

    It is, I suppose, possible to quantify such things as average cost of living (whatever that is defined to mean), average income, average educational level achieved and the like, and to compare them. I simply don’t see what useful purpose can be served by doing so, even on a micro scale. I remember once being asked how to calculate confidence limits for daily rainfall data collected for an extended period of time at a single location. It might be possible to go through some of the motions, but the result would be gibberish: confidence limits pertain to comparable data collected from large numbers of sources after random selection of those sources.

    There are some things that can be quantified and compared meaningfully, and some which can’t. Unlike iron ingots, humans are far from fungible, and to assume otherwise can lead to silly notions. Or, it can lead to reasonable notions. The problem is that the analysis does not suggest which are silly and which are reasonable.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn,

    I’m glad you came forward. I didn’t mean to fault your presentation. It’s an easy mistake to make and I probably wouldn’t haven’t noticed it or made a big deal out of it if it weren’t for Clavos who brought this to light. And since you weren’t responding, I sort of took it upon myself to clarify this on your behalf – i.e., that what you did, in effect, is to offer a hypothesis with the correlations serving as proof.

    So I hope you understand my intention for doing so. I wasn’t meaning to be critical.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “maybe it’s not the political policies that breed this disparity. maybe it’s that being a healthier, higher individual leads you to want to live in blue states. who knows. still, the difference is there.”

    Very good point, zing, making a contribution to Glenn’s interesting hypothesis. There’s definitely the process of natural selection at work. The “healthier” and saner individuals make it a point to leave the Red States and run for their life – like to California, for example, leaving the morons behind. (Just kidding!)

    Of course, one can also argue that the Red States encourage this migration of “undesirable individuals” – the misfits – by fronting them one-way bus ticket; and so they go to San Francisco, and do what the hippies in San Francisco do. But the funny part is – very few of them ever come back. I’m certain you know that, but if you’ve got to be homeless, there is no place like California (although even there they’re cracking down on it). Everywhere else, you’d be just a scum.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I think Conservatives are happier than Liberals because they are more capable. They control their lives more and aren’t as dependent on corrupt politicians to steal for them.”

    This is as biased a statement as can be – to associate human ability/capability with their political ideology. I hope you’re aware that one could cite example after example to disproof this proposition (which of course you’re subscribing to as a credo).

    Besides, your concept/notion of happiness as deriving (mainly) from “having things under control” also leaves a lot to be desired. On your view of it, it comes awfully close to “having things your way.” I’m certain you’re also aware that there are contending views.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I took no offense at anyone’s criticism of my article, least of all yours. I meant it when I said that I am grateful for constructive criticism…and if I’m going to be homeless anyplace, it’ll be Hawaii! Free showers on the beach, walk among millionaire tourists in flip-flops, and an honest-to-goodness Aloha spirit among the Kama’aina (the people who actually live there I did)….

    Dan –

    You question my sources, but apparently you didn’t check the link I provided.

    And apparently you didn’t check the links in my original article in this thread or you wouldn’t claim that I didn’t include any statistics about health care.

  • bliffle

    I wonder where Dan gets these ideas?

    “#53 — Dan

    …I think Conservatives are happier than Liberals because they are more capable.”

    ?

    ” They control their lives more and aren’t as dependent on corrupt politicians to steal for them.”

    ?

  • Doug Hunter

    There are alot more factors than political persuasion at work with the numbers. Race, religion, and cultural factors play roles. In fact you can line up alot of those same statistics with those on race and find another large correlation. On most of those measures blacks lag whites in general and are more represented in the band of southern red states.

  • Franco

    #57 —roger nowosielski

    Dan sez…..“I think Conservatives are happier than Liberals because they are more capable. They control their lives more and aren’t as dependent on corrupt politicians to steal for them.”

    Roger sez…..“This is as biased a statement as can be – to associate human ability/capability with their political ideology. I hope you’re aware that one could cite example after example to disproof this proposition (which of course you’re subscribing to as a credo).”

    I think you may have misunderstood Dan. He can correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe when Dan stated Conservatives are happer then Liberals because they are more capable and “having things under control” I see that clearly as meaning taking personal accountability and responsibility for ones own life (away from, and apart from government services/handouts) as a general rule.

    This does in fact make for more confident happier people when they are in this control of the lives. So under this meaning it would be interesting to see what you can cite as examples to the contrary.

    “Besides, your concept/notion of happiness as deriving (mainly) from “having things under control” also leaves a lot to be desired. On your view of it, it comes awfully close to “having things your way.” I’m certain you’re also aware that there are contending views.”

    Taking on personal accountability and responsively (apart from the government) has absolutely nothing at all to do with “having things your way”. But it has everything to do with individual freedom. Because until you do that (apart from government) you and not free.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I see that clearly as meaning taking personal accountability and responsibility for ones own life (away from, and apart from government services/handouts) as a general rule.

    You’ve just dug up a bigger hole for yourself than Dan did (because he at least had sense enough not to say what you just did). Because now you’re suggesting that the main dividing line between the Left and the Right, of however you care to label the division, rests mainly on dependence on the government and handouts; and that’s an ever more bigoted statement than the one I was referring to.

  • Franco

    roger, it it the left or right that like bigger government in our lives, as a general rule?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, to protect the innocents from criminal abuses by corporations which were allowed to run rampant and brought this country and the world to near disaster.

    Which says nothing about the character of the Left thus described, least of all to say that it’s on the dole. If anything, it tells more about its character as being more concerned about what happens to the least of us rather than always thinking of number one.

  • Cannonshop

    #49 Yup. I’ve talked to guys at Wichita who make about what I made in ’98, they own houses and aren’t in debt because housing costs about a third what it costs here-on what I make, if I made it there, I’d be able to live a HELL of a lot better, as people measure things, because the Cost of Living is that much lower.

    Unfortunately, what I do, I’m pretty much stuck in the Puget Sound region if I want to work in the Production side of the industry with any regularity.

  • Cannonshop

    Something else to consider in your Urban/Rural split, Glenn-most of those places (California, the Northeast, upper midwestern cities like Chicago) that have all that ‘education’ got rich under those same economic theories you decry, then used their financial muscle to stunt growth in the western states. More than eighty percent of the land west of the Mississippi and east of California is still under Federal Control, much of it lock-boxed away from development, and in some cases, that ‘lock-boxing’ included Federal Courts awarding water-rights to the wealthier, and NOW more Left-leaning states (For example, the western slope watershed of the Rockies-California owns the water-rights thanks to the 9th Circuit Court.)

    Alaskans largely don’t have control of the state’s mineral rights-most of the STATE is under Federal control-kind of kills development, doesn’t it?

    The cycle’s kept self-perpetuating to favour the old-coast and the Left-coast, areas that were settled and exploited/developed before all this ‘consciousness’ and stuff got popular. Compare percentages of land-ownership (relative to state-size) between New England, California, and, say, Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana. When you rig the system to keep people poor, well…they’re going to be, and with that, you’re going to get Rural poverty-which, for some strange, unknowable reason, isn’t the violent brand you see in, say, Watts, or South Central, or Hilltop in Tacoma (or Washington D.C.) Strip the top 1% of educations off your numbers, and I’ll bet you’d find that literacy rates and educations are on-parity or slightly higher on average between the Blue states and the Red ones. It’s only when you include the MBA’s, Doctors, and others whose professions require a big seat of Capital to generate a decent income, that your “Greater Educations” in Blue States beat out the ones that can’t afford it, because the money’s just not there, and can’t be there, because the Industries have been kept out, and local ones kept from growing.

    In many of the Mountain states, industries are kept out by people who want a nice retirement/vacation area. These places don’t generate the kind of jobs and incomes that allow one to pay for things like good State colleges, and the old system of granting land to private schools with the understanding that they would be counted on to educate Officers (which is how you got about half or more of the Ivy League institutions) isn’t there, and the money for research facilities to draw the OTHER useful class of college isn’t there either. The problem is that the economies of many of these states are crippled by people who already have their pile, and still have friends on Crapital Hill to help KEEP development out of these places, so that the natives are basically kept poor, and the places themselves made difficult for those that want better than a career serving tourists, or farming to serve the Bank (usually owned by some old-money in California or New York).

    This is part of the reason that things like Tenth-Amendement resolutions are popular in Red States.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zing, the dismissal of the entire article can be made on many bases. It’s a transparent reiteration of the talking points which characterize the War on Capitalism. It’s based on the false premise that because there was corruption and incompetence in the regulation of the markets that the free market and capitalism itself are at fault, rather than individuals and regulators.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    I’m a little late to this party and did nor read the comment thread, except for Clavos’ hitting-the-nail-on-the-head comment about “Correlation proves causation.” – or rather not proving causation. But that has been chewed to death and the maggots are crawling round the arguments….

    My problem with this article is calling states which tend to vote Republican “conservative” and states that tend to vote Democrat “liberal” and then generalizing from there that since the Republican states are governed “conservatively”, and the Democratic states are governed “liberally” – that therefore this indicates a failure of “conservative” politics and values as opposed to “liberal” politics and values – whatever the hell they are.

    You simply seem to indicate that the states that tend to vote Democratic tend to be more prosperous – and that therefore they have better education levels, crime rates are lower, health levels are better and that their marriages are more stable. That is what your recitation of data indicate to me.

    There is no real correlation between voting Republican or Democratic in a general election and the condition of a given state. That is not proven, because the internal economics and governance of the supposedly “liberal” and “conservative” states is not gone into at all. So this entire article is nothing more than and exercise in pasting labels on packages; the equivalent of pasting “kosher for Passover” labels on cans of Spam.

    Mind you, this is not some conservative trying to defend two dozen years or more of Republican maladministration. I’m a socialist with contempt for most political parties, both in the States and in my present home, Israel.

  • Ma (rk Ede)n

    Studies show that liberal republicans are 2.72915 times as happy as conservative democrats.

    I read that somewhere or other, I think.

  • Clavos

    LOL, Ma (rk Ede)n,

    But those studies obviously didn’t factor in a number of variables, including eye color, shirt size and number and breed of pets.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    Let’s be clear about all this. The carter boys started digging a hole in the keel of the Good Ship America that the Reaganauts, in their ign/arrogance, managed to open and the Good Ship America started taking on water. Mr. Bush Senior paddled the water for four years while Clinotn actually tried to patch the hole up. Then the Shrub came along and blew the hole open with TNT, and now the Good Ship America is going down like the Titanic did in 1912. Obama doesn’t hav a fuckin’clue as to what to do and no bucket is big enough to hold all the water the Good Ship America is taking on. You and Pablo are lucky enough to be watching from the Phillipines, Stan is watching from Down Under, Kenn Jacobine is watching from his perch in Africa, and I’m watching from my roost in Samaria. Clavos can always sail away to Mexico (for all the good it’ll do him) and Dan Miller can always ride his pony up to whatever mountains Panama affords to get away from the disaster….

    Everybody writing from the States is going dowwwwwnnnnnnn…..

  • Dan

    “I don’t completely disagree with your analysis, but how does one quantify “standard of living enjoyed?”” –Dan Miller

    I wasn’t very clear here. Glenn was using per capita income as a measure of success for blue states over red. If average income is truly a measure of ideological success, as Glenn seems to suggest, then it seems logical that a significantly higher cost of living that effectively negates the income adjustment would just as logically suggest ideological failure.

    I’m with you though. I think things like weather, and congestion are huge factors in overall “standard of living”. And, people certainly agree and argue over what is preferable.

    “now you’re suggesting that the main dividing line between the Left and the Right, of however you care to label the division, rests mainly on dependence on the government and handouts; and that’s an ever more bigoted statement than the one I was referring to.”–Roger

    Or perhaps the main dividing line is to identify a considered, generalized, opinion as reasonable assertion, or “bigoted statement”.

    I think Glenn hit on an interesting subject. One that should be more explored. I don’t think there is a nit to pick with his ‘correlation as proof’ methodology. When people set out to prove things, they look for correlation. The stronger the correlation the more likely the components are related. It’s all sound.

    We mostly don’t get to have the founders intention of individual political laboratories embodied by strong emphasis on States rights. So we’re unable to make stark comparisons of ideological consequences.

    We do know which ideological side is responsible for this inability. It’s the side that favors strong central government.

    Other ways to compare ideological success might be more insightful than red vs blue state comparisons. Like the Pew Research survey.

    Some other considered, generalized opinions/bigoted statements about differences between conservatives and liberals:

    Conservatives are more charitable. Across the board, at varying levels of prosperity, C’s give more. Obama is working to eliminate some of this charitable giving by reducing the tax advantage.

    Another endeavor commonly considered to be noble and selfless is military service. Service members vote conservative about 3 to 1. This is why Al Gore’s team sought to have military ballots thrown out when attempting to keep Bush from stealing the 2000 election in Florida.

    C’s are more satisfied with their sex lives. I think I understand some reasons for this. I won’t say what they are though. It upsets people and lowers the general tone of discussion.

    Glenn did acknowledge that blue states have more drug involvement. I think C’s are generally more satisfied with, and in control of their drug use. I’ve known Conservative working men who used cocaine to be more productive in their manual labor intensive jobs. They would’ve considered it a waste to just party with it.

    Leftists are certainly more politically violent. Just have a look at protesters at Rep. vs Dem. conventions to confirm. During the recent election there was some talk from liberal media about concerns of assasination attempts on Pres elect Obama. Virtually every assasination attempt or succesful assasination in the history of the USA has been carried out by persons of leftist ideology.

    Liberals are more likely to turn conservative than C’s go L. This is maybe the most convincing test of all. If after many years of life experience and reflection, the trend is for liberals to abandon their indoctrinated ideology and embrace an ideology that their now more reasoned sense of justice and good faith dictates they should, then that would seem to support an ideologicol superiority.

  • zingzing

    dave: “Zing, the dismissal of the entire article can be made on many bases. It’s a transparent reiteration of the talking points which characterize the War on Capitalism.”

    dave, don’t capitalize the “war on capitalism.” it’s tacky and really, really silly. psh.

    “It’s based on the false premise that because there was corruption and incompetence in the regulation of the markets that the free market and capitalism itself are at fault, rather than individuals and regulators.”

    which article are you reading? i’m sure there is something about the free market and corruption in the article, but there’s plenty more than that. you’re doing the same thing clavos did. you take one thing you find to be false and make a blanket statement about the entire article.

    “War on Capitalism”

    it is to laugh. war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terrorism, war on christmas. you know it’s nonsense. what are you trying to do, create a catchy new war? for fuck’s sake…

  • Cindy

    dave, don’t capitalize the “war on capitalism.” it’s tacky and really, really silly. psh.

    “War on Capitalism”

    it is to laugh. war on drugs, war on poverty, war on terrorism, war on christmas. you know it’s nonsense. what are you trying to do, create a catchy new war? for fuck’s sake…

    zing inadvertently starts: the war on capitalization

  • M a( )r k

    lol, Cindy.

    If capitalism weren’t inherently fucked up, I agree with Dave that the problem really is capitalists.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Zing, the dismissal of the entire article can be made on many bases. It’s a transparent reiteration of the talking points which characterize the War on Capitalism. It’s based on the false premise that because there was corruption and incompetence in the regulation of the markets that the free market and capitalism itself are at fault, rather than individuals and regulators.”

    Very unfair, Dave, as well as inaccurate. Glenn’s thesis, in a nutshell, is that republican/conservative policies are (relatively speaking) “more dangerous to your health” that those of the opposition; and he cites a number of correlations (as empirical evidence) in support of his thesis. Now, that’s the proper restatement of Glenn’s argument regardless of his somewhat clumsy use of the word “proof” (as though it carried any logical connotation) – which is forgivable since we all know that the term “proof” can be used in common parlance rather loosely to connote all kinds of things: from the strictly mathematical/logical model, to inductive “proofs” in mathematics, not to mention a whole bunch of other things. But all this should be a moot point by now – and this is for your edification too, Ruvy, for although you say you’ve read the thread you’re still harping on the correlation-causation issue as if it was relevant here, which it is not, given the scientific model of forming hypothesis on the basis of observations – because Glenn owned up to oversight. In other words, in terms of the scientific model just alluded to, Glenn’s “argument” and the manner of proceeding is a perfectly acceptable procedure and sound methodology.

    So in light of this, Dave, it is not only unfair but also inaccurate, as you say, “just to dismiss Glenn’s entire article (in an offhandish way, as you also imply)on many basis.” It is unfair because Glenn had really come up with a very innovative idea and a way of looking at things. The connection he suggests is a very interesting one indeed – way over the top of most of the things that are being published routinely on the BC political pages – very original, and for that reason alone he ought to be congratulated for it rather than dismissed. I certainly haven’t heard anything as fresh and original from you, Dave, not lately. It is you who keep on harping at the same old points to no end, with a little variation on the theme now and then.

    What also makes your statement unfair (and inaccurate as well) is the reason for your dismissive attitude: Glenn’s false premise, so you say, of faulting the capitalistic model rather than the people.

    First off, I don’t believe Glenn makes that connection. His correlations (used as evidence) do not address this issue, nor does the hypothesis he proposes: different political ideologies. But even if you were right, it’s still not an acceptable statement of criticism. Number one, because now you have to argue that the “faulty premise” (were it relevant or in fact in play) is indeed faulty: but you of course do nothing of the kind besides mere asserting (it as though it were somehow self-evident) and therefore backing it up (to throw your own words at you) with nothing other than “hot air.”

    And number two: the proper procedure to defeat a hypothesis one disagrees with is to offer another another hypothesis to account for the empirical data, or simply to show that the empirical data ought to be interpreted differently. But you of course don’t do any of that, either because you’re not knowledgeable enough about such things (and I can excuse you ignorance, if such is the case), or simply because that would require too much work on your part rather than taking a cheap shot at Glenn’s interesting and original work (in which case you’re either jealous or wrought with envy, or whatever your reason), which makes it unfair.
    Either way, it’s not one of your best comments; and I do hope that you’re in a position to exercise your critical faculties to a better result when you’re wearing your editorial hat (because in that capacity your remarks would disqualify you in my eyes). But as just any commenter on BC, I suppose one is free to say anything one likes, because “anything goes.” Even so, Dave, I am disappointed.

    Ruvy, I really think you ought to tone down this anti-Obama rhetoric – especially when it’s directed against the person, his character, education, knowledge and what not.

    I’m aware that you’re an outsider looking in, plus you’re being moved by what’s in the best interest of your own nation-state. But after a while, you’re not only immunizing everyone with your “message” but in the long run, do yourself more harm than good, meaning that the message becomes more and more a reflection on the speaker. If you want to attack him, do so on particular issues and with a great deal of specificity, but not on generalities.

    Just a friendly suggestion, so don’t take it in a bad way.

    Roger

    J

  • Dan

    “zing inadvertently starts: the war on capitalization”–Cindy

    THAT’S FUNNY.

  • zingzing

    it is an old War, but one worth fighting.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I was of the understanding that the reason zing2 didn’t use capitals was that he’d lost both of his pinky fingers in an unfortunate thresher accident. Apparently he dropped a sandwich in one when he was doing some farm work over the summer while in high school, and reached in to retrieve it without bothering to turn the machine off (because turning machines off is for wimps).

    He got the sandwich back though. It was worth it. It was a good sandwich. Bologna.

    Well, either that was what happened or he developed warts on the pads of both pinkies, and decided to bite them off rather than see a doctor, because his insurance at the time only covered gynecological exams, cat flu and dandruff.

    Whatever it was, don’t mess with zing or he may eat you. Especially if you have a bologna sandwich.

  • Clavos

    I suppose it would not be appropriate for me to say he can eat me any time he wants to.

    So I won’t.

  • historian

    All Obama has to do is burn the Capitol and blame the Jews and you wouldn’t be able to find any difference between him and Hitler.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Let me welcome our newest contradiction-in-terms, for ‘historian’ apparently knows little of history….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn, I happen to think he was addressing some of Ruvy’s remarks.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “I suppose it would not be appropriate for me to say he can eat me any time he wants to.”

    why am i viewing this as a sexual come on? why?

    (and you’re too old for me.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You know, zing, I was of the same mind but wisely abstained myself from commenting until you came out. Well, anything to lighten the mood. It’s been too serious of late.

  • Clavos

    Don’t get your hopes up, zing, I meant it in the sense of “bite me.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    There once was a young girl from Montana … No that’s not it. Anyway, she found offensive the suggestion that one commit a sexual act often considered unmentionable in polite society. She felt that way because she thought that the suggestion dishonored an act which she found very pleasant. Therefore, her favored expression was “unfuck you.”

    Oh well.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Glenn @ #82:

    Give ‘Historian’ some credit: he is the first 21st century American to spell ‘Capitol’ correctly.

    He’s earned a bun.

  • M a( )r k

    …he merely needs to climb into the oven to get it.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Don’t get your hopes up, zing, I meant it in the sense of “bite me.””

    mmm, you like it rough… color me intrigued…

  • Clavos

    LOL, zing.

    But don’t quit your day job…

  • zingzing

    always up for new experiences…

    and while i may be a whore, i ain’t no hooker.

    thank you very much.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    A whore has got a heart. A hooker ain’t got none.

  • bliffle

    Curious that so few, and those weak, counter-assertions have been made considering the inflammatory article title: “Proofs of the Failure of Conservative Political and Economic Theory”

    Are the usual BC rightists chagrined that their beloved corporate system has failed so spectacularly?

    Will they awaken from the drunken stupor of 30 years of faux republican rule with a violent hangover from the resulting military and economic disaster?

  • Clavos

    Let’s see how the government does running the auto industry…

    I think I’ll start buying foreign cars again; how well will the people who have run the nearly moribund postal service into the ground build cars?

    Or maybe we should just surrender to Spain…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Clav, Re #95

    Don’t go postal. It will all work out just fine. Instead of just one lonely Coke(aCola) bottle in the door frame, you can now expect at least two; they will rattle much more pleasantly than just The One one, in perfect harmony.

    Dan(Miller)

  • bliffle

    Pretty weak Clavos.

  • Clavos

    You’re right, bliff.

    I’m holding my best shots for the inevitable fuckups from the government numbnuts.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    But wait! There’s more! This just in, for all who would like to buy a used new car from The One!

    The idea of bankruptcy may be “unsettling,” Obama allowed — so he came equipped with a sales pitch worthy of Madison Avenue. “Some of the cars made by American workers right now are outperforming the best cars made abroad,” Obama declared, tossing in phrases such as “unsurpassed around the world” and “some of the finest cars the world has ever known.”

    No credit? No problem. “We are working intensively with the auto finance companies to increase the flow of credit to both consumers and dealers,” Obama pledged.

    The president had promised car buyers everything but rich Corinthian leather seats — and reporters leaving the Grand Foyer got in the spirit of the day. “Zero money down!” proposed one. “Will he throw in a few oil changes?” wondered another.

    NBC’s Chuck Todd, during White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’s afternoon briefing, observed that “the president stood up there almost like an advertisement.”

    Gibbs responded by supplementing the president’s pitch. “No person that goes out today to buy a Jeep — which I love to drive, I used to have a Jeep — if somebody wants to go buy a Jeep, they should not hesitate to do so, because that warranty will be insured. . . . If somebody wants to go buy, as the president said, the Motor Trend Car of the Year, they can go do that.”

    As the briefing went on, Gibbs tried to close the deal. “You know, Chevy Malibu was the 2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year or North American Car of the Year,” he repeated. “I think it bears mentioning that, in the recent dependability study that was put out, you know, Buick was tied for first.”

    Too late, the president’s press secretary tried to soften the sales pitch. “I don’t want to turn this into an advertisement,” he said.

    Gosh Darn! John McCain couldn’t have done half as good a job.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gee, do I detect a wee bit of bitterness among the BC conservatives? Do they really think McCain would have done better? Do they really think that by letting the auto industry go under, America would have benefited even though the failure of the auto industry would have cost us another 3M jobs?

    Methinks they’ve been drinking the red Kool-Aid far too long, ’cause now in their eyes, apparently, the 19-page budget proposal by the Republicans (which included NO numbers (other than the page numbers)) would have led America back onto the golden path of financial prosperity…the SAME path that led us to the point where we’re at right now….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hm. John I-don’t-know-how-many-houses-I-own McCain is MORE capable than Obama with deciding our nation’s financial stratergery…

    …guess that 19-page budget proposal with NO numbers makes a lot more sense now….

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Our conservative friends apparently find everything the president does objectionable or silly or both. I say, knock yourself out, fellas, if it turns you on. Just please admit that fewer people agree with you than you wish were the case.

    I guess I’m just thick or something, but I took the announcement this morning to mean that the government wanted to get out of the car business, and sooner rather than later. Chrysler was told to merge with Fiat or else. And a court-administered expedited bankruptcy/restructuring seems quite likely for GM in 60 days.

    All the so-called ‘salesman’ talk was just an attempt to soften the blow. The impending failure of these two big companies still spooked the market today, which is why the government has been trying to find some kind of soft landing for GM and Chrysler for several months now.

  • Clavos

    Chrysler was told to merge with Fiat or else.

    Yeah, that was quite a sight: an american president forcing an american company to merge with a foreign company. Wonder if that will be before or after Obama subsumes the Dollar into the all-new world worldwide currency, the Yuanwonruble.

    Wonder which will disappear first — the USPS or GM?

  • Clavos

    The impending failure of these two big companies still spooked the market today…

    Bull. The markets discounted that inevitability months ago.

    What spooked them today was the government firing the head of a corporation.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos is magically transforming from occasionally-cranky libertarian to ranting Glenn Beck clone before our eyes.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The Bush administration fired the head of AIG and replaced him with Ed Liddy in September. Is the [overdue] firing of Wagoner more objectionable?

    From Reuters:
    U.S. stock indexes tumbled on the harsher-than-expected government stance, which could push GM and Chrysler closer to a bankruptcy court restructuring that could threaten equity holders and force deeper losses on creditors.

  • Mr. Dock Ellis

    This is all about keeping the unions employed with taxpayer money, so they can kick a chunk back to Mr. O in 2012. Auto bailout is one big Dem kickback scheme. Good luck Dems playing defense, but enjoy the honeymoon because next year will be a nightmare when stagflation explodes on the scene. We are all royally screwed. Obama is going to make Bush look like Churchill. That’s a tough accomplishment, but he’ll do it.

  • ME2

    Dock,

    Come on, Sir.
    Do you really think that us liberals are dumb enough to think we will get anything out of this auto bailout?
    The reason I assume was because it will annihilate Detroit and the workers in it. Again, we’re do you guys think these union workers will work? I don’t think anyone is happy with throwing good money after bad, but it is the last industry we have to compete in. So you think once we let that go, we can and will survive on tourism and a service industry?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right, Metoo. Our last stand. Besides, there’s a sentimental reason. If GM goes, so does America.
    Bey, bey, Miss American Pie.

  • ME2

    There seems to be a repeating theme within the Republicans and that is either you all don’t care about all the unemployed, displaced workforces that would result from your spending cuts and no bailouts or you have not thought through the ramifications of letting all the big corporations fail at this point in our downturn.

    We do not have jobs to replace the ones we’ve already lost and you want to add more by shutting down mass employers?

    Yeah, we’ll see stagflation but what’s worse- ‘flation’ and jobs or no jobs and a depression? My hope is that they move into other types of “machinery” for green technology and diversify.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    ME2, what are you gibbering about? You seem to take as a given that stopping the stimulus will result in job loss. There’s no evidence to support that argument at all. Right now we’re losing $600K or more jobs a month. That’s with out of control spending. The conservative argument is that uncontrolled spending will delay recovery and that it is recovery and only recovery which will produce substantial job growth.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Roger 76 You said:

    “Ruvy, I really think you ought to tone down this anti-Obama rhetoric – especially when it’s directed against the person, his character, education, knowledge and what not.”

    I think that Ruvy should step up his tone frankly. This guy in the white house is probably the biggest actor in the history of american politics. I do not agree with Ruvy’s assessment that Obama doesn’t have a clue however. He has a clue alright, and doing his part in this choreographic charade.

    The current tab according to Bloomberg is 12 trillion and counting. We are witnessing the biggest theft in the history of the world. Soon there will be just one main central bank of the world, more than likely called the IMF, that will indeed dictate to the rest of the world economic policy as well as taxes.

    Thats what the sheople get for falling asleep, and forgetting about, and not demanding what freedom really is. The people are not masters anymore, nor have they been for a long long time, but the vested interests are. Consolidation and liquidation are the name of the game now.

    Anyone could see that credit defalut swaps, and all unregulated derivatives would fail. Similarly anyone could see that has half a brain that fiat currency, coupled with the FED sooner or later would funnel all of the wealth into these same vested interests.

    The money is fake, the economic model is fake, and indeed the rule of law (the common law) has been replaced by the law of equity and corporations.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo,

    I well understand where YOU are coming from, and I don’t really have a quarrel with that.

    You’ve heard, e.g., of Gordon Brown (in the aftermath of the G20 meeting) speaking openly of “the New World Order.” It’s in the cards. And because of that, my contention is that if it weren’t for Obama, it would be somebody else.

    I view this as a consequence of the conditions the world finds itself. (Whether it’s also by design or not is something we can argue about, but under the circumstances, I think it’s a moot point.)

    But Ruvy, insofar as I read him, doesn’t comes from this perspective. He’s just being negative without considering the possibility that such were the cards that have been dealt.

    Do you get my point?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thankfully every time Gordon Brown gets up and says something globalistic Daniel Hannan and Nigel Farage are standing by to slap him down and make him sound like the tranzi fool that he is.

    Check out this video.

    Dave

  • pablo

    Roger,

    You said:

    “I view this as a consequence of the conditions the world finds itself. (Whether it’s also by design or not is something we can argue about, but under the circumstances, I think it’s a moot point.)”

    I could not disagree more. The point is not only not moot but vital for coming to a understanding of what the problem is and how to tackle it. I am one of many or perhaps a few (it does not matter) that sees it by design.

    If you do a google news search for the last week alone, you will find thousands of hits on The New World Order. I did not name it that, they did. It is the preferred name by the following fascist globalists, kissinger, brzenski, rockyfeller, cheney, osama, bush sr, gary hart, Time Magazine quite recently, the CFR of course, Chatham House, Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, and of course last but not least, who seems to use it on an almost daily basis, the current Fabian Socialist Gordon Brown.

    Many folks, particularly of the liberal bent, seem to think that it is inevitable and perhaps even desirable, it sounds like a nobel idea, all men living under one rule of law in peace. To others like myself it is not nobel, but will be the most tyrannical, orwellian, and taxed earth, that the world has ever known (i like that, i mean the play on words).

    There will be no declaration that human beings are born with rights but rather that they are granted them, whether democratically or oligarchically. It will be despotic and there will be one coin of the realm, a fiat coin. It will become in short order completely biometrically controlled, with gps thrown in for 24/7 locating ability.

    That’s not science fiction, it is heading down the pike, at about 80 miles an hour currently.

    Some people, and I happen to be one of them, do not wish to live in a world where my every movement is tracked by government, as well as most if not all of my purchases are also. There is no dignity left, but that of the serf. The one that is willing to bend over just a wee bit father to take it up the keester. Those folks I call serfs. Obviously the reciprocator is even more despicable in his role as oppressor, thief, boss, and father.

    So I do not believe that is is a moot point as to how we got here, because the next moves are crucial to the survival of freedom loving humans everywhere.

    ,

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo,

    I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments you’re expressing. I just think it’s unstoppable.

  • pablo

    Should we just give up and take it Roger?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I really don’t see what one can do. History marches on.