Friday, November 14, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings:

It seems appropriate to note before the tide of the msm orgasms about how thanks to the election that we are about to be "led out of Egypt" and to a "land flowing with milk and honey" precisely what sort of failed policies have been promoted under the banner of "change." One is the idea of another "New Deal" under the rubric that the first one actually saved the country from the Great Depression when in fact it made matters much worse and turned a recession into a depression that it took the Second World War to extricate us from.{1} This is something we have spoken of before on this weblog at sundry times and in divers manners but it bears reiterating anew at this time. Ergo, we will do so with some examples from the archives before moving on so here goes in order from oldest to newest:

The myth of liberals that FDR's "New Deal" took us out of the Depression continues I see.[...] The truth is, the "New Deal" prolonged the depression as a result of FDR not having a coherent economic plan but instead trying a hodgepodge of things which were often contradictory -this is not difficult to demonstrate if not for wanting to avoid writing a tome on the matter and getting a laugh out of Kevin in the process. (Due to a reputation I have for expository cogitations that he is aware of.) [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 3, 2008)]

The solution is not federalizing things as that always has historically made things worse. (Such as the New Deal prolonging the Depression which we only went out of by going to war and ramping up military production.) The solution is letting the market work and not trying to coerce it -including not trying to force banks to lend to people who are high credit risks at the risk of federal lawsuits. That is after all how we got into this mess to begin with. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 1, 2008) ]

That is why after the depression deepened in 1937 that The New Deal gang was strongly rebuked in the election of 1938 presumably??? (Look it up, this is not even debatable.) And as the above comment is mere wishful thinking and does not reflect what actually happened; no more needs to be said about it at this time...

Of course the efficacy of the programs created is merely presumed by the author but they do not bother trying to substantiate it. This is what happens when people buy into a myth and there is a lot of mythology surrounding the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa October 28, 2006)]

In case any of the readers are wondering what We at Rerum Novarum happen to think about this very unconventional thesis; for the record your humble servant has not a shred of doubt that it is correct - conventional wisdom be damned. Indeed I have made the argument many times in political discussions that on the whole the New Deal prolonged and made worse the Great Depression.

This created a "need" to go to war to fix the problem via the industrial activity required to rebuild and rearm a nation whose military equipment had become run down and (in some cases) rather obsolete. Obviously this is a very simplistic outline of a rather complex subject but I submit that it is true to form and perhaps sometime I can explain my reasons for seeing things this way. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa April 22, 2003)]

[H]ow many people like my late grandmother were depression era strugglers who thought that FDR and the Devilcrats ...er... Democrats were their economic saviours??? More than we will know but people of those generations are passing away or some of them are wising up to it now. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa November 6, 2002)]

Along the same theme as massive government intervention in the economy is massive government intervention in health care which will inexorably have the same result as proven by experience in nations where this is the practice amply demonstrates.{2} Having touched on those matters briefly, I want to focus on one more thing and reiterate a principle we have long followed at this humble weblog. For one thing, the rush of many to report on anything they can in order to try and "scoop a story" is something I almost never have done and with good reason. Or as I noted over five years ago when touching on this principle in another context:

For my part, being ahead of the curve in my commentary on issues is a delicacy kinda like a pre-Castro Montecristo or a bottle of Chateau '61 - though not that rare of course...But anyway, this is a delicacy my friends, an exception to our normal protocol.

That is correct gentle readers, you read just what you thought you did. While many blogs may claim to be the next "Woodward and Bernstein", We at Rerum Novarum are not among them. For you see, We prefer to generally let others take the bounding steps forward to be skewered by arrows...Essentially this normative policy means that we can sit back, watch others drop with arrows sticking out of every orifice, and solemnly intone a "there are Indians that way" proclamation.[...] Usually this means we will not be ahead of the curve...

The benefits are (i) there is greater longevity (ii) it allows for better overall musings (iii) we seldom err in our predictions and (iv) I cannot think of a fourth or subsequent advantage offhand. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 28, 2003)]

And the reason for this approach was noted in another posting linked to the above one but omitted from the referenced quote to avoid unnecessary repetition. But here it is for those who are interested:

[T]here is a reason that you will seldom see breaking stories at this humble weblog.[...]

I tend to prefer to let others bring up breaking issues and then I respond to them. There are tactical reasons for this as well as practical ones. Part of the reason is that I am too critical of journalism in general of rushing to print anything they think can make a story and then if they err on A1 - which happens more frequently than most people would believe, they correct themselves on Q14 where no one sees it.[...]

I find if I let others break the story, I can benefit from their efforts and also circumvent the problems that can come with seeking to "break" a story before anyone else. And of course letting others hash out the main points provides an opportunity to approach the subjects in a way that is to some degree different than anyone else. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 11, 2003)]

Now with many who are not concerned because they gamble either on the distractions of a 24/7 media cycle and/or the short memories of others, they can make these sorts of leaps all they want but it affects their overall credibility as far as we are concerned. And perhaps no example of recent vintage illustrates this as well as the claim that even FOXNews fell prey to about a supposed "unnamed McCain campaign staffer" who was purported to have said that Gov. Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent. I knew the moment I heard it that the whole thing was a pile of horseshit yet look at how the msm and many bloggers from the self-identified "progressive" side of things jumped on that one and broadcast it far and wide.

As I said already, I knew it was horseshit from the get-go and it is nice to see The New York Times expose this hoax for what it was -even if the exposure took place after the election. It is better late than never of course but let this serve as a lesson to those who are too quick to believe whatever is reported in the msm without stepping back and engaging in a bit of critical discernment first.

And finally, as far as the previously mentioned commentary on the election results and manifested trends, I am working on it bit by bit and anticipate it will be posted before November 21st as of this writing -hopefully as soon as November 17th. I have realized though before that can be done a concept we have covered directly and indirectly over the years needs to be revisited first if that commentary is to be kept to the reasonable length to which I hope to keep it as we have previously promised. (And that posting will be put up at some point in the next two days time-willing.)

Notes:

{1} Five Myths About the Great Depression (Andrew Wilson)

{2} Public Health Insurance under a Nonbenevolent State (Pierre Lemieux)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace (Jeffrey Scott Shapiro)

Though there are plenty of legitimate criticisms that can be made against the manner in which President George W. Bush and his administration handled various issues, at the same time, it is also undeniable that the outgoing president has been handled overall by not a few persons in the media and elsewhere quite disgracefully. For that reason, we at Rerum Novarum recommend the above article which was written by someone who was affiliated with the Kerry campaign in 2004.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Points to Ponder:

You cannot survive if you do not know the past. We know why all the other civilizations have collapsed--from an excess of welfare, of richness, and from lack of morality, of spirituality...The moment you give up your principles, and your values . . . the moment you laugh at those principles, and those values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period." [Oriana Fallaci]

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