We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“The folly and immorality of the “stimulus” plan passed today can be attacked on many fronts. For one thing there’s the awe-inspiring irony of a Democrat-dominated Congress and a Democrat president spending taking nearly a trillion dollars from the hardworking middle class people of this country and giving it to corporations and businesses—and precisely as a result of the apparent improprieties in which those same businesses were engaged! Honest liberals who resent corporate welfare must really have a headache at this point.”

Timothy Sandefur.

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • One of the things I find so interesting about the current situation is that the quote would have worked every bit as well a couple of months ago, with the appropriate substitutions of Republican and conservative. I’m not big on the idea that there are no differences between the parties, but at the moment the biggest difference is that whoever lacks a majority complains about their opponents doing things that they were doing when they had the majority.

  • David Crawford

    And yesterdays vote in the House of Representatives was:

    Voting in favor:

    244 Democrats
    0 Republicans

    Voting against:

    11 Democrats
    177 Republicans

    I know the republican house members had various reasons for voting against it, but damn, 100% solidarity. That’s the Republican party I remember voting for. I just hope they hold their mud in the upcoming fights they have as the democrats try and shove their terrible agenda through congress.

  • tdh

    The “honest” (presumably the writer instead meant having-integrity, or an oxymoron would result) liberal in the modern, Orwellian sense presumably would be mollified by the fact that a good part of the loot is to be given to political allies, most egregiously ACORN, for political purposes.

  • Michiganny

    This piece either comes from a small worldview and/or is intentionally bombastic.

    How disappointing.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Michiganny, you say the quote is “bombastic”. Why? Do you disagree with it? Timothy is no water-carrier for the Republicans or the Dems. He’s just noticing a certain degree of congnitive dissonance on the part of those demanding a huge bailout package.

  • Michiganny

    This is bombastic because the premise is sophomoric. It is also disappointing because of the sloppy execution.

    We have a monumental mess on our hands and all this guy can do is provide a high school newspaper editorial.

    Here is a caricature from our pundit: “according to the “theory” of this plan, it doesn’t really matter what the government spends the money on, so long as it spends.” This is his defense of Citi’s purchase of a $50 million plane. Then, down the page, he states now that a plane is a political purchase by government (bad) while a car is an economic one (good). He can’t even keep himself straight. Or hold the reader’s attention.

    I’m with Paul: This could be either a Republican or Democrat themed story. That’s because reality is a lot messier than our philosophical certainties. And it shows the average US voter is further along the curve than this pundit.

    And let me strike out on my own here: Let’s get better topics and writers to kick off a discussion.

    For instance, we’re all interested in economics here. Would there be no benefit in comparing and contrasting what the big guys in this field are saying? Isn’t Krugman versus Stiglitz more worthy of debate than this guy?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Isn’t Krugman versus Stiglitz more worthy of debate than this guy?

    Not much of a debate between those two. I’d be rather more interested in a debate between say, a complete free marketeer and a Keynesian, rather than two centrist economists who probably only differ on details.

    I still don’t understand your response to the SQOTD, Michiganny. Sandefur was making the point that there is a lot of hypocrisy surrounding the bailout from its supporters, both on the right and the left. That’s a good thing to point out. It needs to be done over and over. There is nothing “sophomoric” about that.

    We have a monumental mess on our hands and all this guy can do is provide a high school newspaper editorial.

    I read the rest of his article, which is a long analysis of the perils of such bailouts and what happens when politicians get to decide the allocation of capital. Far from being a “high-school” editorial, it is a substantial piece.

  • RRS

    Precisely – There is NOGovernment Money.”

  • tomwright

    Question to all those who voted Democrat to protest Republican profligacy:
    Are you happy now?*

    *(Not that voting LP like I did would have changed things)

  • Subotai Bahadur

    I’m sorry. I admit that I have been watching the disaster unfolding that is the combination of a Democrat Congress and Hussein Pasha’s “leadership” all day. That has, perhaps, biased my viewpoint. But given what we have seen and can expect to see coming; I have difficulty conceiving of even a remote possibility of a connection between the words “honest” and “Liberal”, at least in the American context.

    1984 is the training manual for this collection of lop-eared duds, along with the personal notebooks of Felix Dzerzhinski.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • Subotai – you’re attibuting this to the Dems, which is obviously true, but I saw no evidence when there was a Republican president that things would be substantially different. He seemed keen enough to authorize $700 billion with essentially no oversight.

    I agree that this is a mess, but it’s a mess of politicians and the desire to be seen to be doing something. The difference between Reps and Dems is just *how* the money is wasted, not *whether* it’s wasted.

  • Paul Marks

    Neither Stiglitz or Paul Krugman can correctly be called a “centerist” J.P.

    Contrary to both Michiganny and Paul, there are many Republicans in the House and Senate who really do oppose the bailouts – although, yes, many (although far from all) of them were scared by “the sky is falling” stuff from the elite into giving in last year.

    But let us not forget those 11 Democrats.

    I do not care what their motives were. They voted against this vast government spending binge – this contiunation and extention of Bush policy (so much for “change”) and they deserve praise and support for their action.

  • Paul Marks

    I made a special point of praising the 11 Democrats because many establishment journals (such as the “Economist” – I have to hit that one, it is a tradition of mine) ignored them, and just sneered at the evil Republicans for not going along with the vital “stimulus” – when “everyone” agrees that some such plan is needed.

    The Cato Institute produced a signed list of economists (far from all Austrian School madmen like me) who opposed increasing government spending at all – let alone by the insane ammounts that President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Whip Durbin (Harry Reid just being an absurd puppet) want to increase it.

    But this is ignored – by the “everyone agrees” “no economist opposes” crowd. They really do sound like followers of Antonio Gramsci.

    As for “what should be done”.

    Government spending must be cut.

    I am not a person of the centre (such a person would propose doing nothing) – lots of things must be done.

    The opposite of what is being done.

    There must be deregulation of the labour market – not more power for the unions (as promised today by Obama and Biden).

    There must be much less government spending – not vastly more government spending.

    And the endless increase in the money supply must stop – if the banks go bankrupt, they go bankrupt.

    “But that will mean the end of the financial system”.

    Either the idea of fractional reserve banking (and so on) can get along without all this support or it can not.

    If not – good riddance to it, and to the politically connected corporations who depend upon it.

  • Subotai Bahadur

    Paul @ 4:13 pm

    Please, do not mistake me for an apologist for the RINO party. Until the entire House caucus [and 11 Democrats] actually made the surprising discovery that their testosterone count was in fact measurable without use of an electron microscope, I expected total capitulation. The leadership of the party seeks to pretend that there is no one more conservative than Rosa Luxemburg at the grassroots level, and deserves the appellation Vichy Republicans.

    The only saving grace is that the $700 Billion shoved out of the Treasury by a Democrat Congress and Republican President was intended to deal with the banking problem. Countering that, no one has any idea where the money went, and it has been wasted/stolen. The current “Trans-Generational Impoverishment” bill has no relationship to the economy, and every possible connection to looting the Treasury a’la the Sack of Rome and rigging what little political activity that will be allowed in the future to Democrat victories.

    Wait for another one in about 3-4 months.

    After having spent the day over at BELMONT CLUB reading [and writing] about the various swindles, the arrogance, the lies, the creation of a shadow government outside of the supervision of Congress, and the literal mobilization of the “Obama Youth” against Republican Senators over their coming vote on the looting of the Treasury; the Democrats and Hussein Pasha were the primary targets of my ire. I went back this morning and found out even more disgusting news.

    Short of an internal revolution, the Republican Party is only a temporary foil against the Socialists. I do not consider them as part of any sort of solution.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • Paul Marks

    I agree – but it must be real Republicans, not RINOs

    I am an outsider – I have worked for American interests for a long time (going back to 1980), but I am no more a citizen than I am an eagle. And whilst noncitizens can work and fight and bleed for the United States, citizens must play their part also.

    America has terrible problems – but it is not Britain. For example ordinary people have a say on who the Republican candidate for a given election is.

    That candidate will only be a RINO if you let him or her be a RINO.

    You can choose candidates who have always been against the bailouts (and, be in no doubt, there will be more and more bailouts – this is not over) and that is what you must do.

    If you let RINO candidates be choosen, their defeat (or pointless victory) is your fault.

  • Paul Marks

    “But the House and Senate Republican leadership….”

    If most of the members are decent – so will the leadership be.

    And the way to make sure that most of the Republicans and Senate are decent is to Primary Challenge any of them that try and make deals with Obama and co.

    Anyone who supports more government spending or regulations (with the argument “it would have been even worse if I had not made a deal”) must get a Primary challenge.

    Including the war hero from Arizonia.

    They must be politely but firmly told that the line “if you do not back me you will get a Democrat” does not work anymore, as it has been proved that probailout Republicans can not defeat Democrats at election time.

    It is up to them – if they want to stay in Congress they must fight Obama, not say what a “good man” he is and make deals with him.

    He is not a “good man” he is a far left scum bag who never gave much (of his own) money to the poor before he started to run for President (neither did Joe Biden) – instead using the poor as cannon fodder for the “Community Organizer” path to power.

    Nor is Obama a “reformer” – as you know he is a corrupt 20 year Chicago Machine man (fighting AGAINST any effort, by Republicans or Democrats, to fight against the cancer of the corrupt machine that controls Chicago).

    Married into the machine – and got millions of Dollars in earmarks for interests that employed machine members (such as his wife whose salary for her nonjob at the University of Chicago hospital was doubled just after then Senator Obama stole four million Dollars as a subsidy for the hospital).

    These people are scumbags and must be openly presented as scumbags.

  • I agree that this is a mess, but it’s a mess of politicians and the desire to be seen to be doing something. The difference between Reps and Dems is just *how* the money is wasted, not *whether* it’s wasted.

    I would have to agree with that 100%. Until (and if) the Republican Party has ripped itself apart and, to use a strong word, purged the most egregiously statist elements from within it, there is no meaningful difference which party is in power.

    Changing THAT is the most important task I can think of in the world today. If the Republicans did nothing but reduce the size of the state (as opposed to simply grow the state ever so slightly less quickly than the other guys) by a mere 5% per year in real terms every year they were in power, that would be a major triumph.