Morning Ed: World {2016.05.02.M}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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65 Responses

  1. Murali says:

    Well, to be fair, Bartholomew does concede that government is necessary for some things, just not for as many things as people imagine. That said, I did not imagine an article from this side of the pond sounding like it came from Reason or Cato.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Murali says:

      There are a few Libertarians in the United Kingdom because it is where a lot of the underlying philosophy came from. It just grew out of fashion for most of the 20th century so they were comparatively rare.

      The article and the commentary were less than convincing. While it is true that that Belgium and currently Spain did not and do not have a national government, there was still a bureaucracy to carry out previously decided policy. There were and are regional and local governments to pick up the slack in both countries. Bartholomew’s invocation of Switzerland was fairly unconvincing because Switzerland is a unique place with a unique history. You need a relatively small area with a small population to pull off Switzerland.

      There was a sort of smugness in the article that is not unusual in right libertarian arguments that assumes all right thinking people would of course see the obvious truth.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

        LeeEsq: There was a sort of smugness in the article that is not unusual in right libertarian arguments that assumes all right thinking people would of course see the obvious truth.

        Isn’t it weird how specific that is to right-libertarians?Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Right libertarians have the highest anybody who disagrees with me never acts in good faith and is an idiot arrogance factor. Most people on LGM thinks poorly of conservative policy ideas but at least a plurality assumes some good faith on the conservative part.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

            I can’t tell whether you’re reading different leftists than I am, or just oblivious to the reek of your own side’s shit.Report

            • Damon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              Well, given I LIVE in liberal-topia of the mid atlantic, the Vox article is pretty much what I experience, oh, say every day.

              “I can’t believe you think like that”.

              I heard one version of the Vox comments, or another, all the time, or the above comment, and it’s pretty much the assumption that only correct thinking people think a certain way. Maybe if Iived in a conservative state, I’d hear the opposite.

              “We can’t let those rubes take over the country”.
              “Don’t even mention his name” (Trump)Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Damon says:

                Maybe if Iived in a conservative state, I’d hear the opposite.

                To be fair, Lee lives in NYC and Saul lives in San Francisco (or is it the other way ’round?); so no doubt exhausted navigating conservative bullies all day. Their ears hunger for the sweet reason of LGM where a “plurality” assume at least some “good faith” in [absotively horribad] conservative ideas. So we’ve got that going for us. {hugs}Report

              • Damon in reply to Marchmaine says:

                One does wonder if folks are deaf to the snobbery/arrogance of their own side.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Damon says:

                I know I am. 🙂Report

              • pillsy in reply to Damon says:

                They are, and they’re also prone to seeing (for example) someone on the other side simply having a strong opinion as “snobbery” or “arrogance”. People don’t engage in sustained advocacy for a set of policies if they aren’t pretty sure they’re right, and thus that people opposed to those policies are wrong.Report

              • Francis in reply to Damon says:

                I try not to be. The smug style among liberal internet writers is there to be seen. But the Democratic coalition is much larger than LGM, Atrios, Kevin Drum and Ballon Juice.

                And to disagree sharply with LeeEsq, talking about the writing styles of a whole community — like right libertarians — is worse than useless; it’s actively offensive. I certainly have a smug style (although I’m working on it) but the liberals who comment here no more deserve to be dumped into a smug-style bucket defined by me any more than the right libertarians who comment here deserve to be defined by the worst of their coalition.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Francis says:


              • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine says:


                How have I been participating in this conversation in a way that warrants dragging me in for criticizing purposes?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                @saul-degraw purely for fraternal solidarity.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              The condition of academic institutions (and the appellate courts) would suggest that the bigotry of libertarians is not a cultural problem of much importance.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              Well, to use a more concrete example. In the comments section of the linked article, many of the commentators spoke quite approvingly of Hong Kong as good example of light government leading to economic prosperity. What they ignored was that Hong Kong was seized by the British in war to push drugs on China, that Hong Kong had light government because the British did not institute much in the way of democratic institutions until very late in the colony, and that China is also acting in an anti-democratic manner in Hong Kong.

              Even if we assume that light government does lead to economic prosperity, the only way to consistently get light government is to rule in an anti-democratic manner because you will have to deal with competing visions of government. Many Right Libertarians seem to assume that if people should favor economic prosperity and light government over democracy but most of us would prefer democracy.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              If I had to summarize the different forms of smugness that can emerge among the different ideologies, I’d do it thusly:

              Left/liberals: “Our beliefs are enlightened and informed. Others are either callous and/or unthinking.”
              Right/conservatives: “Our beliefs are genuine and authentic. Others think they know better but they don’t; they’re often just posturing.”
              Libertarian: “Our beliefs are the best considered and only ones backed up by reality as it should be. If others truly understood them and assessed them dispassionately, they would agree.”Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to Kazzy says:

                I think this is about right.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy says:

                I think this is a really good comment. Perhaps I’d tweak it a bit like this:

                Left/Liberals: “Our beliefs are informed by the latest studies and constantly evolving with new and better information; others are simply behind on what current scientific knowledge shows to be the best path forward.”

                Right/Conservatives: “Our beliefs are based on years of practical reasoning and experience; for each new study that comes out and confirms the left’s assumptions, two others are ignored; for each problem “fixed” several new ones are introduced. The left never circles back to nor admits its mistakes, so we are left to live with the distortions, or try to fix them.”

                Libertarian: Assume a spherical cow as head of Treasury. {I kid, I kid…everyone knows Treasury should be abolished}

                [And, for the record, I’m not any of the above, but I love taxonomies]Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Marchmaine says:


                I think that assumes a consistency of approach/methodology that simply isn’t present. And this is less about the ideologies themselves or their common follows, but the smugness that can emerge at the fringes.

                Liberals write books like, “What’s The Matter With Kansas?”
                Conservatives talk of “true Americans” and vehemently disagree with “political correctness.”
                Libertarians start organizations called Reason.

                Take any of these to their extremes and I think you get the smugness I outline.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, I’m not sure I disagree… but mostly I think my comment was elaborating on how despite how fair you were trying to be to conservatives, you basically sold them out.

                Liberal beliefs are Enlightened and Informed by something… in this case, science and reasoned studies.

                Conservative beliefs are Reasonable based on something… in this case, practice and experience.

                Both sets of beliefs can be assumed genuine and authentic.

                But, to state that one side thinks their beliefs are genuine and authentic as a “reason” for their beliefs is really to show that we don’t know “what” they value as authentic.

                And that’s kinda the point of this sub-thread… to say that one cohort is merely “authentic” and “genuine” is simply insufficient vis-a-vis Reason, and possibly condescending (though I don’t think you were trying to be so).

                The three examples I give might not withstand scrutiny (well the Liberarian one is self-evident), but they are at least parallel and put the ball at mid-field.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Interesting point, @marchmaine .

                I suppose what I meant by emphasizing “authenticity” with conservatives is that their smugness often seems rooted in a belief that others would recognize the rightness of their views if they weren’t trying to “signal” or pander.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

                Not precisely. The contention is that their political advocacy itself is thoughtless and contextually silly and driven by signaling imperatives. The complaint about signaling is a complaint about displays, not a complaint about failure to adopt starboard views.

                I’ve only ever seen it used in your sense when someone who presents themselves as starboard seems to be posturing.Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Left/Liberals: “Our beliefs are informed by the latest studies and constantly evolving with new and better information; others are simply behind on what current scientific knowledge shows to be the best path forward.”

                That’s an occasional self-presentation. More commonly you see contentions which boil down to

                1. You are stupid meat; we’re not.

                2. You raaaaacist.Report

              • This is a place where it definitely pays off to separate “Liberal” and “Left.” The “smug style” afflicts a far greater portion of one than the other. I left a comment once along somewhat similar lines:
                Left: You don’t care.
                Liberals: You don’t understand reality.
                Libertarians: You don’t understand theory.
                Center: You’re both wrong.
                Center-Right: You might understand if I explain it again using different words.
                Right: You are ruining everything because that’s what you want.Report

              • Heh… well played, Will. Yes, I was lumping into VERY broad categories.

                FWIW, I think left/liberal/whatever smugness is both real and a real issue. I remember as far back as high school the elitism, holier/better-than-thou attitude I saw amongst my most liberal friends was really offputting and, to me at least, seemed to run counter to true liberal ideals.Report

              • [-p0’p-000000000000000000\\\\\\\\\\\Will Truman

                Hmmn… Will Truman, Twitter Parody Will Truman, or 4chan Will Hacker Truman?Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Let us dispel with the fiction that I know what happened there.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

                Cat-like typing detected.Report

              • aaron david in reply to Will Truman says:

                Has someone Lain in wait for this?Report

          • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

            What sort of libertarian? There’s a Baskin & Robbins selection.

            1. von Mises Institute: trading in fringe monetary economics, isolationism tending to functional pacifism, and (more intermittently) neo-Confederate historiography. Critics of the decay in standards of personal conduct (or quiet on the subject). Not enthusiasts of mass immigration.

            2. Reason Foundation / Libertarian Party: cancel the gold standard. Generally isolationist, but not pig-headed about it. Technophiles. Advocates of open borders. Advocates of sodomy and user-defined human relations. Despise law enforcement. Ann Coulter’s description of her dealings with the Connecticut Libertarian Party: “I discovered the only thing they gave a damn about were the drug laws”. Richard Leonardi, quondam director of the Buckeye Institute, on why he departed the libertarian fold: “It occurred to me one day that the movement’s luminaries generally had one thing in common: no children”.

            3. “Policy” libertarians: have a general bias against state intervention but are most inclined toward exploring solutions to posed dilemmas which make use of choice and markets. Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell would be examples. Are at home with the nightwatchmen, often skeptical of immigration, and not invested in libertine behaviors.

            4. Faculty libertarians: highly other directed and at pains not to advocate things which would lower their professional status so never critique academic institutions or anything that the provost or the dean of students would regard as non-negotiable. Typically vociferous advocates of anything which would put them right with the provost, especially open borders. Otherwise focus on twee curios or things no one much cares about (e.g. occupational licensing). Examples would be Tyler Cowen or Scott Sumner.

            5. Soft libertarians: a variant of number 3, but working outside academic institutions and not professional economists. See Megan McArdle (who occasionally votes Democratic) and Glenn Reynolds (who does not).Report

            • Francis in reply to Art Deco says:

              Reason is an advocate of sodomy? In California, sodomy is any genital-anal conduct (Penal Code section 286). Many states include oral-genital and oral-anal conduct in their definitions of sodomy, without regard to the sex/gender of the participants. Many straight people thus regularly violate their State laws on sodomy.

              I’m curious to read the Reason articles advocating for sex acts beyond m/f genital / genital. I thought it left that kind of writing to Cosmo.

              And libertarian bigotry isn’t of much importance because there really aren’t all that many libertarians.Report

              • Autolukos in reply to Francis says:

                As a sort of Reason libertarian, I’m definitely pro-sodomy. Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s archive would be the place to start if you’re looking for Reason’s recent sex writing.Report

            • Morat20 in reply to Art Deco says:

              You seem to think about sodomy a lot lately. Got something on your mind?Report

      • Art Deco in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Switzerland is unusual among European countries in that it’s common identity came into being before national identities organized around language solidified. Agricultural systems in upland areas tended toward more pastoralism, consolidated landholdings rather than open-field villages with strips, and an absence of serfdom.

        Switzerland has a population of about 6 million. About 90% of the indigenous population favors Swiss German dialects or French. The principal cities (Zurich and Geneva) would be 2d tier cities in the United States, capable of supporting a university hospital complex and comprehensive research university. Zurich is of a size similar to the national metropolis of prosperous free-standing countries elsewhere (see Auckland and Oslo). It’s not a peculiarly small country. It’s of a threshold size.Report

  2. Brandon Berg says:

    Venezuela is staying remarkably faithful to Ayn Rand’s source material.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    I was about to be very surprised that the WaPo was giving Uncle Steve a platform, but reading the whole thing, Gelmen is doing the exact opposite and pushing back at that. (with Science!)

    Was the Barro comment about terrorism? Because France had terrorism too at about the same time, and are up to their eyeballs in government (and French speaking people).

    re:Rwanada – how ethical is it to lock people in to multi-generational near subsistence agricultural using only hand tools?Report

  4. Kolohe says:

    They make a series of critical assumptions, namely no immediate collapse of North Korea, no cross-border labor mobility but complete intersectoral labor mobility, capital controls can slow the adjustment of the real exchange rate, and both the North and South have independent central banks and fiscal agencies

    Hey, look, the legendary spherical cow.Report

  5. notme says:

    First ESPN fires Schilling for his personal opinions and now it edits him out of a documentary to shorten it for time. Coincidence, maybe?

  6. notme says:

    It looks like Puerto-Rico is going to default on it’s debt. The question is will the Congress bail them out? Sadly, they probably will.

    • Art Deco in reply to notme says:

      There isn’t any candy for the Chamber of Commerce in resisting a bail out, so McConnell will cave.

      Any kind of bailout is worse than useless unless the territory is put under a conservatorship which restructures its finances and a selection of its institutions. Obama and the Democratic Party of Rackets would never countenance that.Report

    • LTL FTC in reply to notme says:

      It’s a little more complicated than the standard deficit-scold morality play script.

      Most of their debt was issued before a change in the tax treatment of the debt and the revocation of subsidies for the pharmaceutical industry. Just like DC, they are subject to the whims of Congress without any voting members accountable for their interest. In addition, that status means that some bankruptcy laws don’t cover them.Report

      • notme in reply to LTL FTC says:

        It’s true that the expiration of Section 936 hurt them. However, it was clear that jobs would leave the island and that fiscal reform was necessary 10 years ago. Instead of governing wisely and cutting the budget they chose to borrow. I fail to see why we should reward them for incompetence. Kind of like bailing out Flint Mich.Report

      • Art Deco in reply to LTL FTC says:

        Unless I’ve misunderstood badly, their public pension system does not get within a country mile of being actuarially sound.

        Giving Puerto Rico’s delegate a floor vote would do little. He and the other delegates get committee seats and that’s where the work gets done.

        What Henry Paulson said of Congress applies here: they accomplish nothing unless there is a crisis. The sheer destructive thoughtlessness of Congress (and especially the Democratic contingent thereof, who are forever pushing certain regulatory schemes) is noticeable here. Defining the minimum wage to be a fixed % of compensation per worker in a given geographic area, doing the same re federal welfare benefits for those neither elderly nor disabled, repealing the Jones Act, and amending the architecture and rate schedule of federal income taxes to provide for a high general exemption would have aided Puerto Rico a great deal.Report

    • Francis in reply to notme says:

      Sovereigns that cannot meet their debt payments default. It happens on a regular basis. Municipalities can declare bankruptcy. It’s always seemed to me that the non-voting protectorates should be seen more like cities than like states, due to their lack of voting representation at the federal level. So I think the bankruptcy code should be amended to include Puerto Rico.

      If the Congress won’t do that, then it goes into default and the bondholders end up with a huge haircut, as they should. Truly risk-free investments are thin on the ground.Report

  7. aaron david says:

    Reguarding Koriea, North and South. I have a feeling it will work out much like a certain part if the German speaking world did, resulting in Austria and Germany. Seperated by faith in that case, but I think you see my point.Report

  8. I think the Republican Party is doing just fine without a government.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Hey! Everybody! The New York Times wrote an article about Millennials!

    The title alone is worth the price of admission:
    What Happens When Millennials Run the Workplace?

    But check out the opening:

    Joel Pavelski, 27, isn’t the first person who has lied to his boss to scam some time off work.

    But inventing a friend’s funeral, when in fact he was building a treehouse — then blogging and tweeting about it to be sure everyone at the office noticed? That feels new.Report