Question of the Day


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Aaron says:

    Perhaps he’s a huge fan of Nixon, Ford, and/or Carter? Seriously, depending upon your politics, you can push back the start date for “bad government policy” pretty much to day one.

    If I were to guess, I would venture that his choice of time frame is largely inspired by the national debt.Report

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for the link (and the question). Yes, 30 years is pretty arbitrary, and part of me is still not remembering it’s actually 2010 and 1971 (when Nixon closed the gold window) was actually 39 years ago, not 30. That was the final nail in the coffin of any reasonable restraint on money creation, and was a major enabler of the big-government of Nixon and beyond.

    Bear in mind, I don’t choose that as the beginning of the end of limited government (I’d say that was battered during the progressive movement of 1910-1930 and finally destroyed by the New Deal). But I do think the current debt-fueled insanity of easing money creation every time the economy got a case of the sniffles largely grew out of and was enabled by Nixon’s actions.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    When you don’t limit it to 30 (or 50) years, you begin to start to sound crazy.




    • Avatar JosephFM says:

      I dunno, that last one still has some oomph.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      “Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.”Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Interesting how that statement — limited to just what is quoted — would probably be agreed to by about 95% of the electorate right now. Maybe liberals even more vehemently than libertarians (maybe not — not try to start a pissing contest here!).Report

    • Indeed. Alas, 95% of the electorate doesn’t live inside the Beltway, and it’s probably too much to ask for the folks who do live inside the Beltway to acknowledge that they, collectively, have caused these problems, not just George Bush, not just Barack Obama, etc., and that as such no one person or small group of persons is going to fix things.Report

      • Avatar North says:

        Ultimately though haven’t we all caused the problems? I mean sure the beltway folks are bastards, but does no blame fall to the people in general who scream for lower taxes and then scream for more goodies and then elect the politician who panders to them the most?Report

        • According to some people, the answer to that is “no, people who vote for Republicans have no responsibility for these problems, it’s the people who complain about the Republicans who actually imposed these policies and then stop voting the GOP party-line that are the problem.”Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Uh but the republicans have deficit spent worse than the Democrats in the last 40 years! For heavens sake look at Bush Minor. He threw down the cash for two wars in the Middle East and Asia as well as a huge unfunded prescription drug benefit. Do I make him pay for my hobbies?

            Now of course the Dems wrote the book on spending in the beginning. There’s no denying that. I’m just saying that bad fiscal governance is very much bipartisan and more over it’s national. None of these bums have been thrown out for fiscal misbehavior yet by the voters. Hmm except perhaps Bush senior.Report

            • “Donny, you’re out of your element!”

              This was meant as a tongue-in-cheek reference to another thread.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I’ve been following it but I’ve kept out, good on you for keeping your temper. He really is a true believer; I can almost admire it in a perverse sort of way.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              I blame gun control laws.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              Now of course the Dems wrote the book on spending in the beginning. There’s no denying that. I’m just saying that bad fiscal governance is very much bipartisan

              That is, the pre-Reagan Republicans were teetotalers, Democrats social drinkers and Republicans since Reagan raging alcoholics, so clearly drunkenness is a bipartisan problem.Report

        • North,

          What is this “we” that you speak of? I scream for lower taxes and less goodies, and in general for the government to leave me the hell alone. In fact, I spend a good portion of time blogging about the unintended consequences of actions our government is proposing, and how they will be ineffective and/or damaging.

          Unfortunately, the policies that Republicans and Democrats vote for are also applied to me, regardless of whether or not I wanted them. This is true, even when the unintended and damaging consequences of those policies that I myself predicted become reality.

          The only “we” here is the sad truth that what “you” vote for is also thrust on me, whether I like it or not.Report

          • Avatar 62across says:

            Sorry, until you are elected God and thrust the policies you want on everyone else or you move to an island to form your nation of one, you are still part of the “we”. That’s how democracy works.Report

          • Avatar North says:

            Brad, the “We” was a very very broad we. Please don’t feel it’s directed specifically at you. But the facts are unkind. The beltway folks do not elect the politicians. They do not control public opinion. The rest of the country can’t blame the whole mess on the beltway. We elect them. We punish them for telling hard truths (they don’t get elected). We reward them for mouthing vague platitudes but we penalize them when they get specific.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I can’t remember the last time a politician pandered to me.

          Maybe Jeff Flake.Report

        • Avatar JosephFM says:

          Well, sticking with those of us in this thread, we’re a bunch of overeducated weirdos. Pandering to any of us is useless.Report

  5. Avatar Art Deco says:

    We began running up large balance of payments deficits on current account in 1981/82. The habit of running public sector deficits in the absence of general warfare or economic recession dates from 1961.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    The habit of running public sector deficits in the absence of general warfare or economic recession dates from 1961.

    Except that there was a recession in 1961, and the Kennedy tax cut was intended to counter it.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      The recession was in 1960. IIRC, the tax cut to which you refer was proposed by Kennedy but not enacted until 1964. Recessions induce a reduction in tax revenue and increased claims for unemployment compensation – i.e. deficit spending. I would not assume that discretionary tax cuts were advisable.Report