Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Most Radically Disruptive Force

Greg Mankiw gives us this snatch of a C-SPAN transcript of an interview with Hillary Clinton:
LAMB: There's a quote here. I want to ask you if you agree with this. This is from Alan Arenhault, author of "The Lost City" -- you put it in your book. "The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation."

CLINTON: I believe that. That's why I put it in the book.
Mankiw provides a quote from Milton Friedman:
"What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself."

-- Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1961
That’s Senator Clinton all over. She feels that she knows better than the common man what is good for him. She feels this because her intentions are altruistic. Wanting to do good for the collective is the ultimate proof that one is moral and right.

But the will of America’s welfare state philosopher-kings has been thwarted by profit-seeking businessmen. These businessmen have worked with Republicans, who are morally inferior because they do not want to do good for the collective. The result is “the most radically disruptive force in American life for the last generation” -- the unenlightened spending their own wealth, unregulated and uncontrolled by those such as Senator Clinton, who have goodness in their souls.

I’ve said it before: the woman is a nightmare. She could be the next President -- and I very well might vote for her!

11 comments:

Darren said...

Ok, I have to ask: Why would you vote for her?

Mike N said...

Someone needs to keep sharp objects away from Myrhaf for awhile. But I'm curious too. Why would you?

Myrhaf said...

If the Republican were someone like McCain, who exalts service to something greater than yourself, I'd vote for Clinton. If the Republican is particularly religious, I would vote for Clinton. The gridlock of the last Clinton presidency was not bad for the country. So those are the two major factors: the Republicans are getting worse and more religious, and gridlock would keep Clinton from doing anything TOO insane. I hope.

Now, give me back me sharp objects.

Billy Beck said...

"The gridlock of the last Clinton presidency was not bad for the country."

Myrhaf? I generally think very well of you, but that is just sheer nonsense.

Look, man: I could take up this whole premise of "gridlock" and demonstrate that what it really means is simply abiding the running destruction of American culture at the hands of government without accelerating it -- which only means that the whole thing will just take a bit longer: a slower death.

It's more work than I'm interested in, though, and besides; I'm pretty sure that you're smart enough to understand it, and that this "gridlock" thing is actually a metaphor gone completely out of proportion to its proposed referents, to the point where most people in the country simply don't bother to think their way through it to the reality of things.

However, I could start with the acceleration of the militarization of police and all kinds of administrative agencies during The Ozark Long March, in order to illustrate just how far things (ahem) "progressed" in those years. And it would only be a start.

Here is the plain fact that must be faced by all serious people:

The next election is going to be a disaster, no matter which way it goes, and only the next in a long line of disasters leading to the next one.

It never pays to ignore reality and I completely believe that you know this.

Let's not pussy-foot around.

Myrhaf said...

The Republican Congress stopped the Clinton administration from going hog wild expanding the state. That's all I mean by gridlock. The less government does, the better. Gridlock is the government not getting much done. For awhile spending slowed during the Clinton presidency and the government ran budget surplus.

I agree that things got worse anyway, but it would have been a lot worse if the Dems had held the Senate and House all eight years of the Clinton presidency.

I'm hoping the philosophy of Ayn Rand spreads through America before we become a dictatorship. Slowing down government growth buys time.

I do believe we're heading for a nightmare president from either party in the near future. Whether the nightmare is a Democrat or a Republican, I hope the opposite party stifles the worst in the president. A few crises, domestic or foreign, could make things worse fast.

EdMcGon said...

Myrhaf,
There are two things wrong with your example of the GOP Congress during the Clinton administration: First is how it came about and second is WHAT that Congress was about.

First, there was the Perot campaign in '92 which sucked off votes from the highly ineffective Bush campaign. This woke up the GOP to the fact there were enough votes there which demanded their attention, or else the GOP's presidential aspirations were voided.

Second, this led to the GOP's "Contract with America", which gave the GOP Congressional control. More than that, the "Contract" woke up Bill Clinton to the fact that if he didn't become more moderate, he ran the risk of losing the '96 election.

I am no fan of Clinton, but I respect his political savvy.

All that said, this was unlike previous examples of gridlock during the Bush I and Reagan administrations, where Congress was, for the most part, business as usual.

Tom Rowland said...

The Republicans are no slouches in the "I know what's better for you" and altruism departments. The idea that they are -- or ever were -- defenders of freedom in any principled way should be seriously questioned. For me, their inability to properly handle the Goldwater run was proof enough.

Yep, it's going to get worse for a long time, before it gets better

Myrhaf said...

Ed, I think all this about Perot and the Contract For America is beside the point I am making. Maybe this discussion is about defining gridlock.

I take the word to mean that with a President in one party and a Congress in the other party, nothing gets done. I suspect that the word was coined by the liberal media as a way of attacking the right for stopping the expansion of the state, and in this context I can sympathize with Billy Beck's scorn of the word.

The broader point, not to get hung up on the word gridlock, is: it is good when one party stops the other from passing laws that violate our liberty. Hillary Clinton was prevented from radically restructuring health care in America by the Republicans in Congress. I would hope the Republicans might prevent some things like that in a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Myrhaf said...

Tom, you're right that the Republicans do not stand for freedom. But both parties hate each other and sometimes that works to stifle the advance of the state. As the Clinton and Bush presidencies have shown, the state grew faster under a Republican president than a Democrat president opposed by a Republican Congress. The Republicans in Congress won't defy a Republican president, but they can make life hell for a Democrat president.

Inspector said...

Billy,

"I could take up this whole premise of "gridlock" and demonstrate that what it really means is simply abiding the running destruction of American culture at the hands of government without accelerating it -- which only means that the whole thing will just take a bit longer: a slower death."

I'm pretty sure that's the definition that we're all working with. And frankly, that's the best we can hope for, isn't it?

"Here is the plain fact that must be faced by all serious people:

The next election is going to be a disaster, no matter which way it goes, and only the next in a long line of disasters leading to the next one."

Yeah, pretty much. As I put it on me bleg, "But one way or the other, things are going to get worse before they get better. It's just a question of where rock bottom is and if we will be able to bounce back from it."

Kriegsgefahrzustand put it better than I, though.

Inspector said...

I should qualify my comment for the general audience: "Get worse before it gets better" was a reference to Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons, with his tie stuck in a hotdog roller, which was itself a reference to a comment made by LBJ on Vietnam. In both of those scenarios, things could only in fact get worse.

So I don't mean for it to sound as optimistic as it might, even if I live by the slim hope that, as Myrhaf put it, "the philosophy of Ayn Rand spreads through America before we become a dictatorship."