January 19, 2010

Brown wins!

By a lot. Coakley has conceded. Astounding. What does it mean? What will the Democrats in Congress do now? What will Obama do?

Poor Obama! It's the eve of the anniversary of his inauguration. The State of the Union was supposed to be very grand. And now what? He has been repudiated! He made this election a referendum on the Democrats agenda, and the people of Massachusetts, the most liberal state, gave him a resounding no.

Now, I think that could be good for Obama. He's a man of change. Let him change. I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him. With the midterm elections looming in the fall, he can readjust, set himself apart from Congress. Take the people seriously.

236 comments:

1 – 200 of 236   Newer›   Newest»
Paul said...

Obama readjust? AYSM?

TMink said...

I do not think that Brown is the male Palin. I think Obama is the new Nixon.

Trey

davis,br said...

It ain't about right or left, its about up or down ...

...seems to be the meme amongst the gracious, at least.

kwood said...

I voted shortly after 7am this morning. I waited and then got on with my life. Now...

...I dance.

(cue Euro Techno music)

TOUCH MY MONKEY YOU EFFING SUCKAS!

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm smiling.

Gahrie said...

Obama show hubris and admit he might be wrong?

What have you been smoking Althouse and how do I get some?

Obama and the dems are going to double down and move farther left.

Quayle said...

Obama is a classroom pseudo-intellectual that doesn't have a clue how to run a country and unite a people.

His instincts are bad.

His advisers are corrupt.

His party's congress is out of control.

Out - out - out you go!

Seven Machos said...

I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him.

I am not optimistic. The whole mindset among these people seems to be to enact a big-government social and environmental program.

Obama clearly does not understand economics. He does not understand foreign policy. What makes you think he understands politics?

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

Obama: last seen disappearing into his bunker.

Anyone naive enough to think this hard left punk will find the middle still doesn't get what makes him tick.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

You really must think MA voters are idiots, Althouse. They voted for Brown because Coakley was a disaster, not to blindly repudiate Obama. Give them some credit. If anything, this election proves that Democrats have integrity and didn't vote for Coakley just because she had a D behind her name.

Maguro said...

Not gonna happen. Barry already has a "combative response" to tonight's results in the works.

It all sounds like great fun. Pass the popcorn.

Bruce Hayden said...

Right now Brown is ahead by 110,000 votes and 5 percentage points. BUT, Cambridge hasn't come in yet (1/33 precincts reported). So, I expect the totals to tighten a bit before the end. Of course, even if Coakley were to get all of the remaining votes (about 8% right now of the precincts), she couldn't win. But I do think that it will tighten just a little before the end. So, not as big a win as we are seeing right now, but still huge in effect.

PatCA said...

I would have to disagree. I don't think he's a man of change at all. He's an ideologue stuck in the '70s and hasn't had an original thought since then.

Maybe he should bring back his Roman pillars, and maybe some dancing girls, for his SOTU speech. Worked last summer.

Seven Machos said...

If Obama doesn't get the message now, though, it's a lost cause for him. Now would be the time to be conciliatory. It's not in the left, though. They are too convinced not only that they are right, but that they are the intellectual superiors of the country.

Obama will now double down on his program.

I await what I predicted all along: blacklash (TM) -- the left's desperate charge that Americans are motivated to by racial animus to destroy Obama.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Obama change?

I don't think so. Look, you can lead a leopard to water but you can not make him poop his spots in the woods.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think Obama is the new Nixon.

When he isn't the new Carter.

Deborah said...

I think Obama is the new Nixon.

Obama is the new Jimmy Carter, don't you think? One term (hopefully) massive presidential failure?

Brad said...

Obama is what his record revealed; a radical leftist with little or no real world experience outside of Chicago politics. To date, he has given no indication that he can differentiate between the Harvard faculty lounge and reality. Only those who voted for him in the first place can hope that he will change.

lucid said...

The Democratic Party leadership appears to be in a state of denial. Steny Hoyer has just said that Brown's election is a vote against Republicans!!!! Obama is letting it be known that he is going to double-down. Pelosi is saying the health care bill is going through one way or another. They are rejecting the voters. As Bertolt Brecht once said of the East German government: the voters having elected a new governent, the government chose to elect a new people.

The Dems appear to be unable to take in what is happening and to adjust. Their reactions are going to ENRAGE voters. It will fall to peole like Evan Bayh to talk about the reality of the situation.

But the Democratic leadership is maintaining the same posture that has gotten them into this mess. They are in a hole and digging deeper. With this attitude, Obama is toast.

Seven Machos said...

Zach -- Three major races, three major losses for Democrats since Obama began pushing his hard-left program. All disastrous candidates, natch.

How many candidates will you throw under the bus before you admit that it's the program?

Triangle Man said...

Will he do as Clinton did in 1994? That seems to be the smart play for reelection.

AJ Lynch said...

Dittos what Quayle said!

Althouse, you are wrong because Obama's most dominant trait is being stubborn.

And dittos what Seven said!

Alex said...

I'm enjoying the pain of libtardo trolls right now!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Think outside the established Republican and Democrat circles. This says to an outsider "yes, YOU can!". Watch for some new people to try to get into the game for the 2010 midterms. It would be good for either party to encourage this new blood-- but will they?

Kirk Parker said...

"I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him."

The chances of that happening are pretty close to zero, as you really had no basis whatsoever for thinking that. Other than his empty assertions, I guess, but the few things he'd actually done since leaving college gave not even the slightest hope of thoughtful moderation.

Rialby said...

Where is Jeremy?? Come out Jeremy.

El Pollo Real said...

You really must think MA voters are idiots, Althouse. They voted for Brown because Coakley was a disaster, not to blindly repudiate Obama. Give them some credit. If anything, this election proves that Democrats have integrity and didn't vote for Coakley just because she had a D behind her name.

Zach:
Trouble is, a few little disasters like Coakley add up to repudiation.

Let's see what happens next in California.

Peter V. Bella said...

Coakley and her people are already doing damage control- for her. It was not her fault, you see (typical Democrat). It is the Democrat Party's fault, the White House's fault, the Haitian earthquake's fault, the Central Committee's fault...

I am surprised she hasn't yet blamed the Trilaterals, Bildenbergers, and Council on Foreign Relations along with the international Zionist bankers. Maybe she will tomorrow.

Alex said...

Peter - let them be in denial. Denialists make easy opponents.

David said...

Clinton was floundering at the start and came back but I think he was smarter and had more talent than Obama. We will in the next year learn if O is really an empty suit or has some ability. The problem is that he does not show much adaptability--a teleprompter mentality.

Seven Machos said...

How can the party of super-smart, effective intellectuals have so many dumb, mistake-prone candidates?

I don't get it. I'm sure this is because I'm just a dumb conservative. But an explanation of this gyrating spin would be helpful.

Zach.

Balfegor said...

Althouse, you are wrong because Obama's most dominant trait is being stubborn.

I don't think it is, though -- he was flexible on the campaign trail. He'd say something dumb, and people would make fun of him for a while, and then he'd come out with 180 degrees the opposite, and pretend he'd been saying that all along ("let me be clear!" etc. etc.) And he's done that with the health care bill too -- he's ready to sign onto the House or Senate bills, even though they involve a mandate, which he was (or at least pretended to be) strongly against during the Democratic primary.

To the extent he is stubborn here, I think there are two reasons behind it. The first is that the healthcare bill is personal. It's not "health care reform." It's "Obamacare" now. And the second is that he's probably making the same political calculation that leftist political commentators have been making, namely that he's gone too far with this bill to back out now. If he does, he looks like an idiot and a fool in front of his most slavish supporters, and risks alienating his core constituencies. In return, is it really like the voters who are hardening against him will reward him for giving up? They'll still remember what he tried to do to them. It's sort of a "strike at a king, you must kill him" situation. And we're the king.

rhhardin said...

As Belmont Club put it, Obama lives where you cannot go.

DADvocate said...

Wow! Never dreamed this would happen. I can see by Mr. Sire that the libs are crying big time already.

Juan Williams, on FoxNews, agrees with Gahrie. Obama will double down. (Williams used that term.) The Dems are hell bent on self-destruction while they try to destroy America.

1jpb said...

Peter,

Seems like you mixed in some Cedarford flavor when you came up with the list of folks to blame. Is Caoakley of the C-4 clan?

Balfegor said...

Clinton was floundering at the start and came back but I think he was smarter and had more talent than Obama.

Clinton also had centrist promises to fall back on. Like welfare reform. What's Obama got? The war in Afghanistan, I guess. And some heavy-duty saber-rattling against Pakistan.

Seven Machos said...

David -- Here's the thing about Clinton. He believed in free trade. He promoted welfare reform and he did follow through on it (even if it took serious political pressure).

Obama has never given any indication that he favors working with conservatives to enact policies they want. If he starts now, it's going to look awfully incongruous.

Alex said...

I hope Obama triples down on socialism. The GOP will win the Congress with huge majorities!

Bob_R said...

Divided government, here we come! Gridlock is our friend. The less the federal government can do, the better I like it.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Michael Steele:

“The Democrats, of course, have engaged in scurrilous name-calling and scare tactics in this race, trying to take the focus away from the issues and attempting to divert attention,” Steele wrote. “One of their hopes was to make an issue of ‘national Republicans’ interfering in this race. For this reason, we have stayed out of the limelight, while supporting the Brown campaign and the Massachusetts Republican Party.”

“President [Ronald] Reagan was fond of saying there is no limit to what can be accomplished as long as you don’t care who gets the credit,” Steele went on. “If we succeed tonight, this will be a victory for our ideas, for our principles and for the people of Massachusetts.”


"Of course"?? What hubris! Like you had anything to do with this victory, you fucktard. Brown won despite your same-old same-old style bullshit.

And, Mr. Steele, you are completely unworthy of invoking Ronald Reagan. When you find one member of your party-- ONE!-- that can speak with the moral clarity and personal force of a Reagan or a Thatcher, then we'll talk. Until then you better fucking remember that you are still the minority party. You need to discard the dead weight (those fat crusty old white men) and start building a real opposition movement.

AJ Lynch said...

Teddy Kennedy is spinning in his grave!

Youngblood said...

ZPS wrote:

"If anything, this election proves that Democrats have integrity and didn't vote for Coakley just because she had a D behind her name."

Pre-election polling suggested that somewhere around 80% of Massachusetts Democrats would be voting for Coakley.

So it looks like about 20% of Democrats in the Bay State have integrity, at least.

Almost Ali said...

Doesn't look like MLK's "dream" exactly worked out. Which makes one wonder, are all dreamers congenital Marxists?

Obama is now a lame duck until he's rendered a footnote to a dreamy history in 2012.

Which suggests that at this moment at least, Michelle must really, really pissed off. I mean, the White House staff is probably taking cover in the basement.

phosphorious said...

Hooray!!

The Obama era is OVER. Now it's just a matter of time before he's impeached or recalled or something and the nation can go back to being conservative!

Gee. . . do you think if we asked nicely, W would consent to be our president again?

i mean. . . we don't deserve it but. . .

Seven Machos said...

Obama's presence is going to be a bad omen from here on. As in:

Obama was here. We're gonna lose now for sure.

Stay away from my favorite sports teams, Barrack!

Balfegor said...

Doesn't look like MLK's "dream" exactly worked out.

Hey! We're judging the man not by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character. What more do you want?

1jpb said...

"Here's the thing about Clinton. He believed in free trade."

What is free trade? Is that what China does to us?

I'm not for that.


BTW, I've personally heard a former CEO of Boeing tell me that the Chinese insisted on him giving them technology and manufacturing or else they wouldn't buy Boeing planes. Is that free trade? I'm not for that.

john said...

Remember Obama's "So I'd think long and hard about getting in that truck with Martha's opponent."?

Well, a lot of people did think long and hard. A toast to the most American mode of transportation.

Cedarford said...

I imagine no people are happier in Massachusetts, besides the Brown Family - than the Amirault family members.
Outside Mass, I think Dorothy Rabinowitz is jight now writing something very good, very skewering - with a little smile the whole time.

===============
Will Obama change? I don't know. He has a thin-skinned, brittle, haughty pride in himself, an undue self-reverence in the glory of his TelePrompter reading skills. Maybe an arrogance in seeing the Congressional majorities and his narrow victory over an abysmal rival as some Mandate for an aging baby boomer 60's Left having a warmed-over McGovernite resurrection sweep the nation...

TMink - "I do not think that Brown is the male Palin. I think Obama is the new Nixon."

Both my parents are Nixon defenders, even after Mom went Democrat over the Religious Right's power. Both are centrists, we had debates about him...
They eventually turned me around on Nixon - as a moderate, a flawed man who nevertheless a visionary that supported needed change in policy.

The Turnaround of the Republican Party after the Goldwater Debacle.
Detente.
His shifts in Vietnam war-fighting policy.
China.
EPA,EEO.
Etc,

The biggest problem with Obama is he ran as a "Uniter" then failed to run his Presidency as such - becoming a self-righteous San Fran progressive. Harry Reid also was drawn to the lure of San Fran politics, the money and glamor. Now Reid is far to the Left of his Nevadan constituency and Obama is in similar danger with his national constituency.

He may wish to reflect on Clinton and Clinton's ability to look himself in the mirror and say Ooooops! after the 1994 Debacle and move quickly to the center and save his Presidency in the next two years.

Balfegor said...

BTW, I've personally heard a former CEO of Boeing tell me that the Chinese insisted on him giving them technology and manufacturing or else they wouldn't buy Boeing planes.

Of course! They're not idiots. It's a case of "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," except the man is China, and he is making you teach him how to fish.

Mark said...

ZPS, everyone assumed that the Democrats could run the village idiot and still win. Turns out they couldn't. What's the reason they couldn't?

It might be that voters HATE Congress and what it's doing, and saw Coakly as being more of the same.

My grand hope is that none of the incumbents in Congress feel safe come November. That would be sweet.

Palladian said...

"You need to discard the dead weight (those fat crusty old white men) and start building a real opposition movement."

Can you cut the racism already?

campy said...

I've personally heard a former CEO of Boeing tell me that the Chinese insisted on him giving them technology and manufacturing or else they wouldn't buy Boeing planes. Is that free trade?

If the CEO can say "no" and go looking for other buyers then yeah, it's free trade.

As free as it gets, anyway.

Seven Machos said...

What is free trade? Is that what China does to us?

If you knew anything about economics at all, you would know that numerous empirical studies demonstrate that free trade works for nations who engage in it even when trading partners do not. Every serious economist agrees that limiting free trade is economically detrimental.

But, anyway, if you'd like to cut ties with one of the USA's largest trading partners, goo luck with that and the military campaign that will follow.

G Joubert said...

Obama will double down now because it's now or never. They've got the numbers now, which they won't have next year

Big Mike said...

I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him.

The trouble is, he thought he already was.

El Pollo Real said...

The biggest problem with Obama is he ran as a "Uniter" then failed to run his Presidency as such - becoming a self-righteous San Fran progressive. Harry Reid also was drawn to the lure of San Fran politics, the money and glamor.

San Francisco progressivism is not not playing well throughout California. After the primaries, expect a little political earthquake to build centered around the other City on the Bay. There is absolutely no stable reason why we are represented in the Senate as we currently are.

Cedarford said...

Oh, and speak of other happy people? Somewhere Bill Clinton is pulling his zipper up as a grateful young Haitian hottie fetches coffee for him putting a question mark on a 2012 calender and writing on the margin "Hillary saves the day..takes over".
While somewhere else, in another house, Hillary has been cackling for hours.

=================
No, Kennedys did not call Obama tonight and say "Heck of a job, Brownie!" after his failed rescue mission.

1jpb said...

Do we have official Chinese gov sock puppets in the comments?

Do these Chinese apologists think that the Chinese gov would allow our corporations to swindle away any Chinese competitive edge. The answer is: HELL NO!!!

But, we have the so-called free traders who eagerly push the un-reciprocated (I repeat; unreciprocated) liquidation of America's competitive edge because their ideology tells them this is good.

Odd.

Peter V. Bella said...

This is the power behind the throne

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, 48 precincts to go, and 32 of them are in Cambridge. Still 52/47. Can't close that much this late.

Seven Machos said...

Who is compelling Boeing to sell airplanes to China or share its technology with China?

It's the opposite, 1jpb. You apparently want a law that says that Boeing can't sell what it wants.

Almost Ali said...

Balfegor said...
Hey! We're judging the man not by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character. What more do you want?

A little common sense would be nice - accent on common.

traditionalguy said...

I see The Light Worker standing outside lighting up a new cigarette from the last one while staring towards Boston. In his mind he can see the counter-revolutionists there rejoicing his defeat. And he is plotting to arrest and shoot the Big Bankers and all of the gutsy capitalists who dare to try to stop his Hugo Chavez style plan to eat up of all non-government owned commerce in the USA. The GOP had better be remembering Ben Franklin's advice to hang together or they could all be hung separately. To think that he could lose all of his gift to smile big and enchant the USA because of one damn facebook post from a fearless woman. Arrrgh!

Titus said...

Let's hear it for the independents-

Maguro said...

I've personally heard a former CEO of Boeing tell me that the Chinese insisted on him giving them technology and manufacturing or else they wouldn't buy Boeing planes. Is that free trade?

The former CEO of Boeing told you this personally, like it was some kind of big secret, did he? You're such a poseur.

Seriously, anyone that follows the aerospace industry knows that Boeing cuts these deals and have been doing so for years with many countries. And yes, it is their prerogative as a private business to do so. Airbus does the same thing, it's just the way things are done in the aerospace industry.

Almost Ali said...

Oh, and another thing: It's obvious now that Ted Kennedy had worn out his welcome, and not just in his home state of Massachusetts.

(((Uh oh, I just heard Senator Brown paying homage to Ted. God, I hope he's not a stealth liberal.)))

Seven Machos said...

Boeing must be forced to sell when the government says it is okay and the government may prevent Boeing from selling when it wants. That's free trade in fantasy land.

Seven Machos said...

I expect Scott Brown to be pretty liberal. We're a big-tent party. Give us your tired, your liberals...

Bruce Hayden said...

Cambridge just came in 84%/15% for Coakley, and the overall is still 47%/52%. Over 2.2 million votes so far, which equates to over 55% of registered voters. Excellent turnout.

Mark said...

Ali, my guess is Brown was being gracious. And love him or hate him, Kennedy was one of the most significant Senators of the 20th century.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

Take the people seriously?

Take the people seriously??

Are you serious?

Screw the serfs. He is the vanguard of the revolution! He knows what is best for everybody. He is the One! You are going to take it in the a** and like it.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Hopefully the Dems will get the message about their Marxist-Leninist agenda!

At the same time, the GOP needs to learn a lesson too: the only way to win is to elect strict conservative Tea Party candidates. No RINOs!

Who knows: maybe one day we might even see a president who supports the Ayn Rand agenda! President Glenn Reynolds, anyone?

AJ Lynch said...

I disagree C-ford.

The biggest problem with Obama is he has made nothing but bad maybe dumb desicions. For example:

He saved the auto companies by giving them $100 Billion and Obama then shut down 1,000 dealers which threw at least 75,000 people out of work and created 1,000 vacant properties in a crappy real estate market!

He let Pelosi write the Epic Fail Stimulus bill which was his first big important decision.

Taking 3-4 months to decide on his 2nd new Afghan strategy.

Picking so many Clintonites for key spots in his administration especially the little punk Rahm.

Calling the Cambridge cops stupid.

Failing to understand economics and basic human nature.

Demonizing the CIA, doctors, surgeons, insurance companies, bankers, Fox News, and others.

Almost Ali said...

Cambridge just came in 84%/15% for Coakley

Demitasse.

AJ Lynch said...

Man that Ayla Brown is a hottie!

jag said...

Remind me never, never to ask Obama to fly in and rescue me from impending disaster.

DADvocate said...

I was watching Brown's acceptance speech on MSNBC and Olberman broke in saying, "Before we get to the family clam chowder recipes..." and then went on to talk about Coakley's "crappy" campaign.

Olberman is the biggest turd in the world. And, the Dems can't wait to demonize their own. Truly, today's Dems are incredibly cannibalistic. Who would want to stay with them when they attack their own worse than their opponents attack them.

Skyler said...

Our wonderful, no longer in Austin Hostess wrote,

I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him.

Geez. Talk about a slow learner.

flenser said...

If you knew anything about economics at all, you would know that numerous empirical studies demonstrate that free trade works for nations who engage in it even when trading partners do not.





If trading partners do not engage in free trade, then how exactly does "free trade work"?

We're not engaging in free trade with China. We're engaging in mercantilism. Perhaps you think that mercantillism is a good thing. If so, make that argument. Don't try to claim that it is actually "free trade" just because you like it.

Almost Ali said...

Mark said...
Ali, my guess is Brown was being gracious.

I expect you're right. I don't know the man, but I like what I see. So far.

And frankly, I'm amazed Brown, running as a republican, unseated the Kennedy legacy.

(((Oh, gees! He's going after Obama on lawyering-up terrorists. Now I REALLY LIKE HIM!)))

(Move over Sarah, no mangled syntax here)

Juba Doobai! said...

Wishes were unicorns Obama might ride! Thing is, he ain't all that fond of change. He's very inflexible. Doesn't personally like to say he's sorry cuz he doesn't like to admit he's wrong. You wasted your vote, Ann of Meadhouse.

edutcher said...

There is a word for this - schaudenfreudelicious.

I agree with those who think Barry will dig in. He strikes me as another Woody Wilson, a man who may not have been always right, but was never wrong. Like Pelosi Galore, he is a pure ideologue and, if he has to take the Democrat Party down with him, he'll do it; see Hitler, A.; conclusion, World War, Second.

Those who want to live in LaLa Land and say this was a repudiation of Republicans are partly right. It's a repudiation of RINOs, just like '06 and '08. It's an endorsement, however, of traditional Republican principles. Steele and Newt are in deep tapioca.

As for Willie, he didn't change in '95. He just did whatever Dick Morris told him to do because he wanted to be re-elected and then didn't want to be impeached. The Clinton of '93-4 is the same as the one of '99-'00, but vastly different from the policies of '95 - '98.

Maguro said...

We're not engaging in free trade with China. We're engaging in mercantilism.

No. The Chinese may be engaging in mercantilism but we're certainly not. Those who obssess about current account deficits would like us emulate China and to move towards mercantilism ourselves, but fortunately we haven't gone there yet.

rollingdivision said...

Just a good start in combination with New Jersey and Virginia. We have lots of work to do to get the statists out of office.

Roger J. said...

my going in position is that the only thing polticos care about is getting relected--I ama guess there are suddenly a whole bunch of congresscriters wwetting their pants in light of the reported obama reaction to double down on the current agenda.

Frankly I hope they do pass the HC bill--it will mean more dem losers in the fall--and the comments on Nelson were priceless.

As for the good professors hopes for Obama? you were delusional when you voted for him and remain delusional.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

"Pelosi Galore," love it!

Webb said the Senate shouldn't consider further healthcare votes until Brown is seated! The backlash is not just in Massachusetts and maybe other Mild Democrats and RINOs will start to feel it.

Balfegor said...

Do these Chinese apologists think that the Chinese gov would allow our corporations to swindle away any Chinese competitive edge. The answer is: HELL NO!!!

Of course they wouldn't! Why would they? There are some restrictions on technology transfer by US corporations (e.g. through ITAR), but for the most part, companies and individuals are allowed to make their own decisions about who they sell to and what they sell, without massive interference from the US government. That's what makes "free trade" "free." It's not always reciprocal. You may think that's bad policy, but it is free trade.

mike said...

Just keep being Hopey about that whole Changey thing.
You & 10's of millions of voters are learning what it's like to be the last wife/husband of a serial adulterer.
LoL!

1jpb said...

Maguro,


I'm sure the Boeing and Chinese folks would appreciate knowing that they were wrong in believing that these particular transfers were illegal because of the WTO (post China's inclusion).

You're sooooooooo smart. You know more than they do. There's so much wisdom in your basement as you bang away at the keyboard: if only the rest of the world could see that you know everything... then things would be great!!!

[Or, is it possible that you don't know as much as you think you do?]

Henry said...

...companies and individuals are allowed to make their own decisions about who they sell to and what they sell, without massive interference from the US government...

Google being a very good example. They weren't stopped from dealing with China. They aren't stopped from pulling out.

Maguro said...

1jpb - You're talking gibberish, man. Pull yourself together.

Also, tell Phil Condit I said hi.

flenser said...

That's what makes "free trade" "free." It's not always reciprocal. You may think that's bad policy, but it is free trade.




If it's not reciprocal, then it's not free trade.

It may be trade that you approve of. It may even be trade which is, by some objective measure, beneficial to all concerned. But it's not free trade.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall."

exhelodrvr1 said...

AJ Lynch,
"Teddy Kennedy is spinning in his grave!"

If only someone had wrapped him in wire, that would make one heck of a generator!!

AJ Lynch said...

Can't wait to hear how NPR spins this in the morning. I bet they will be up all night and by dawn, they will make it sound like this was a victory for Obama.

t-man said...

To sum up Althouse's post, after a full year in office, all that Obama offers to her is the HOPE that he will CHANGE.

But that was all he ever offered, and it is all he ever will offer.

flenser said...

The Chinese may be engaging in mercantilism but we're certainly not.



We certainly are. We enjoy the mercantillist trade relationship almost as much as China does. So every once in a while we pretend to be upset about it, but everyone knows we are not. We make a little noise about how they should let their currency float, but not so much that they actually take us seriously.

Cedarford said...

Maguro and Machos - If you want to be Free Trade ideologues, feel free.
But you fail to heed the "rules" have completely changed, and changed in a way that screws the US worker.

We have our government spend tens of billions of dollars on R&D each year in medicine, aviation, C3, computer apps, energy. We have government as the initial purchaser of much new technology in programs that are sent out to bidders who are heavily subsidized in contracts by taxpayers to "work out the kinks, create the learning curve."

Post WWII, this worked well, part of our success was that we rapidly took that huge R&D investment and gave it to the private sector to work with. That was translated into jobs everywhere across the US as well-paid workers made new things and sold them to the world - more than justifying the taxpayer outlay for R&D and building rockets that blew up the fist 20 tries and making computers that cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions. In 1975, America still had dominance in 18 of 20 critical high tech industries.

Then the rules changed under Free Trade for Freedom Loving corporations! They still got the basic research free from America, still got the heavy startup subsidies....but had begun abandoning the idea that they were American or owed any loyalty to anyone other than the bankers and boardroom crowd who wanted the money.
So all the domestic jobs began going away, America's dominance has now shrunk to having that 2 of 20 present critical high tech industrial sectors. And the corporations take the idea that any technology or industry is worth giving away from the USA as long as it makes the bankers and boards big bucks in the short term - and provided there is no law against it.

And if there is a law against it, the multinationals have lobbyists hard at work to derail the laws if it means big boy bonuses. The successful petitioning of Clinton by lobbyists to allow them to sell ICBM missile reliability technology to China so execs could pocket tens of millions in options was a fucking classic of this genre.

The public growingly knows the scoop. Any breakthroughs, new intellectual property is exploited to benefit only a few well-positioned Americans of the Ruling Elites. The rest is offshored under "Free Trade for Freedom Lovers" Dogma.
They see we are now reduced to a position where we make almost nothing that goes back in the shipping containers to China but paper scrap. And the few things we still make, well, China wants to soon establish dominance in them too.

Balfegor said...

If it's not reciprocal, then it's not free trade.

We face a simple problem of definitions then. Well, there is no definition that is authoritative, once you define your terms. However, you should note that unilateral free trade is still considered "free trade" by many commentators and economists. For example, here is Paul Krugman:

"The economist's case for free trade is essentially a unilateral case - that is, it says that a country serves its own interests by pursuing free trade regardless of what other countries may do."

And here is some commentator writing in the Wall Street Journal:

"Hong Kong is essentially irrelevant to trade talks because it practices unilateral free trade, with virtually no tariffs or other barriers. People here understand that imports, exports and the rigors of comparative advantage create individual opportunity and wealth. Enough, in Hong Kong's case, for it to have evolved under almost pure free trade from a rocky harbor into one of the wealthiest places on earth."

prairie wind said...

No, Kennedys did not call Obama tonight and say "Heck of a job, Brownie!" after his failed rescue mission.

My husband and I are still laughing.

Beta Conservative said...

Clearly the effect of Althouse's Boots On The Ground cannot be over emphasized here. I thank Titus as do all his fellow Republicans.

peter hoh said...

Good. I hope everyone learns from this.

And I hope someone has a plan for actually governing between now and the next election.

TmjUtah said...

Obama? Change?

Don't be silly. He won.

His entire upbringing, education, and professional career was predicated on the bedrock assumption that office equaled power - and that that power has been oppression from the first DWEM to hold office right up until Mr. Obama said "Give me the keys".

Silly dumb ass dorm room commie.

In a Republic, office is about responsibility and duty. Not that he, or really anyone who hasn't taken a personal interest, would know that based on our sad state of public education and the history of the nation since 1918.

A lot of that ignorance has been by design; don't pretend it hasn't been. It takes a special kind of stupid to support a politician based on his published intent to destroy a system that has worked spectacularly well for over two hundred years... but up until tonight, that little club house on Pennsylvania Avenue was just chock full of hopey changey Maoist morons all pulling hard on the traces. They are still Maoists, and morons don't get much sillier until you get to select Senate and House districts, but the hopey changey is just about done with.

All they can do now is hunker down, keep on regulating and mandating and pontificating and pray the collapse still comes. That was their plan, and without the cover of the Democratic majority, it is very much in danger of dieing on the vine.

Obama change... nope. Steel ball bearings and strawberries. That's the path he's on now.

I've seen it before.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let him change. I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him. With the midterm elections looming in the fall, he can readjust, set himself apart from Congress. Take the people seriously.

Are you serious? You want him to change to be what you THOUGHT he would be. You want someone who is like the sifting sands and who will morph into what you THINK he should be even if that isn't who he really is. Really?

'Scuse me but I want to vote for someone who IS who he IS. Not just some ephemerial thought projection that will change based on what is the popular sentiment of the day.

I like the what you see is what you get philosophy. That's what has worked for me in my marriage and in my life.

I don't want to have a person/politician who will "readjust" in order to maintain the upper hand or political power.

If you want to have a chimera, a puff of smoke, someone who will shift and tap dance.....I'm very disappointed in you.

M.E. said...

Maguro: Yes, pass the popcorn! This will be awesome to watch. Did you see how the Dems pulled out the long knives on each other before the polls even closed today?!?! HA!

OK, now back to work. This was the first victory of the free American people in the Second Revolution. Time to get back to work.

Who's campaign is next? I'm proud to say I supported Brown from here in WI with donations, time, and prayer.

How about we help retire Feingold next?

We need a Brown.

PierreLegrand said...

Let him change. I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him. With the midterm elections looming in the fall, he can readjust, set himself apart from Congress. Take the people seriously.

Living example of why women should not be allowed to vote. Women believe anything a smooth talker tells them...

Maguro said...

C4 - Great rant. If this was 1990, you could have written the exact same post and just changed "China" to "Japan". Asian invincibility is always just around the corner.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même.

Gabriel Hanna said...

There are two sides to the free trade coin.

The first, as cedarford noticed, concerns those whom free trade hurts. Everybody can see a product that used to be made in America now made in China.

The second, which few people see, is that while free trade hurt a few people who made that product, everybody who gets to buy that product at a lower price benefits. This means they have more money for other things that they didn't have before, which means that new jobs are going to come into existence.

As Bastiat pointed out long ago, everyone can point to one individual who's hurt, but no one can point to one who benefits.

That is why it doesn't matter what policies China has, if we buy there products cheaper than we can make them, we are benefiting more, and poor people proportionally more, than if we made it ourselves.

If we want to create jobs, we can do things more expensively than we have to. We can abolish email and hire millions of private couriers. We can pay people to dig holes and fill them in again. Protectionism is more of the same--force everyone to pay higher prices to benefit a few.

Paul said...

Roger J. said...
my going in position is that the only thing polticos care about is getting relected
<<

You would think so, but both Bush and McCain pushed immigration amnesty when they KNEW it was a political loser. McCain is more interested in moving Mexico's population into the US than he is in being elected to anything. (I know he tried to pretend he was concerned about border control in 2008, but who believed him?)

bagoh20 said...

Ann said: "He's a man of change"

When did he ever change anything in himself or his environment. He has the same mind he did in college. If he was a man of change he would have already made some.

You really don't know who you voted for. This is what remains of your commitment? Maybe he will become completely different than what he has always been? You have a lot of company in that sweat lodge tent, but some are getting out. They finally see the scam.

HelenParr said...

He changes his underwear.

I hear there's a Brown skitter in the back of Obama's shorts.

bagoh20 said...

C4, I agree with all that, but what to do about it is the question. These developments in trade and intellectual theft were always unavoidable eventually. We may lament it, but honestly it was always it was unrealistic to expect one nation could remain so far advanced in the world competition. We wanted a safe life with safety nets and they make you less competitive. We are stuck with them now. The kind of crap Clinton pulled in China was preventable and reprehensible, but the General leveling of tech and industry was inevitable once information tech became fully global. It's like gravity and we don't own it.

John Lynch said...

Well, conservatives are OK with RINOs again! Good!

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

So the question is: What's the message sent by the Mass. voters. The party that figures that out will do well in the 2010 elections. The answer I've got is the Democrats are in trouble if they don't change.

Also, the Republicans will be in trouble too if they cannot come up with a coherent answer well before the elections and right now that's not happening.

John Lynch said...

The message:

Jobs, and national defense.

Reliapundit said...

YOU:

I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him.

BWAHAHAHAHA!

YOU WERE DUPED!

STOP WISHING AND START VOTING GOP!

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

JL: Partly, yes. But there's more to the message yet I don't have answer!

AJ Lynch said...

Bago said:

"He has the same mind he had in college".

True that which shows Obama is not disposed to learning new things or adapting.

John Lynch said...

BTW a Republican Congress would probably get Obama reelected.

Just sayin'.

JAL said...

Change is coming.

Our Blue Dog congressperson here is in for a surprise. There is a good Republican challenger who has agreed to run last week.

Our waffling BD -- who Pelosi apparently lets vote "no" from time to time -- is going to have to work hard to keep his seat.

When he had 9 to 1 calls to his offces telling him to vote "no!" on crap and tax his office didn't think the calls were an accurate reflection of his constituency ....)

He'll regret that crap and tax vote. And no town hall meetings last summer ....

And I am so glad it is 2010.

:-)

AJ Lynch said...

John Lynch:

I'd add small govt and fewer laws/ regulations to your list.

flenser said...

That is why it doesn't matter what policies China has, if we buy there products cheaper than we can make them, we are benefiting more, and poor people proportionally more, than if we made it ourselves.




That my well be true. For the sake of argument I'm willing to assume that it is true.

The point is, that's not free trade. And saying that it makes poor people better off does not somehow convert it into free trade.

It's an argument for wealth redistribution (which is what's going on) and not for free trade.

bagoh20 said...

The message:

America does not need transformed - it needs freed.

John Lynch said...

AJ Lynch (my family is from Texas)

No, I don't think so. The public elected Democrats who were clearly for big government.

The public wants security. There's an economic holocaust happening, with millions of people either without work or afraid of being fired.

That's THE big issue. When I see upper middle class liberals in safe jobs going on about the problems of this country, they don't understand that this is the ONE thing that they need to be working on, 24/7.

It's the economy, stupid.

And that recession wasn't half as bad!

How soon we forget.

bagoh20 said...

The truth is that Americans will want cheaper products even if it cost them their jobs eventually. It's the same thinking that gets you to buy a house you can't afford, or to run up your credit card. We have a cultural problem, that leads to a trade problem. Some of us any how.

"Teach, your children well.
Their father's hell,
did slowly go by ."

JAL said...

Professor.

I don't see that Obama and his crew have it in them to Change.

Sorry.

You need to focus your bullshit detector and flip the "on" switch of your radar.

Like the purloined letter, Obama's true self was there to see -- hidden in plain sight.

The Chnage is your job. Not his.

former law student said...

He made this election a referendum on the Democrats agenda

Sure, just like the vote for the 2016 Olympics. But you can't gild a turd. Our gracious hostess brought us many examples of Coakley's turditude. A turd remains a turd no matter how much it is blessed by Obama. His fatal flaw is loyalty to the undeserving.

It's obvious now that Ted Kennedy had worn out his welcome

Yes, Martha was clearly the heiress to Camelot, the Fifth Beatle a la Murray the K. No ignorant party hack she, she represented the heart of the Democratic dream.

bagoh20 said...

"The Chnage is your job. Not his."

I held back on that part, but it needed said.

ic said...

"That is why it doesn't matter what policies China has, if we buy there products cheaper than we can make them, we are benefiting more, and poor people proportionally more, than if we made it ourselves."

Not if you send your FDA inspectors to guarantee the safety of their drugs, and gut our own; not if you gave them high tech to compete with our high tech. It's ok if their large population could make things cheaper than our labor. But I would stop at technology transfer.

Balfegor said...

Re: flenser:

The point is, that's not free trade.

You're talking past everything else -- your definition of "free trade" requires that there be bilateral reduction of trade barriers. This definition is clearly not universally shared, either by the laiety in this thread or by professionals. See my response above at 10:27 pm. To the extent that your objection is premised on nothing more than a difference of definition, I'm not sure this is a particularly fruitful discussion. As you seem to grant, it can provide the advertised benefits regardless of what we call it. Similarly, on the other side, I don't see that Cedarford should particularly care whether it is called "free trade" or not, so long as it leads to the particular harms he sets forth. This definition debate is entirely nonsubstantive, and largely beside the point.

Cedarford said...

Gabriel Hanna - The second, which few people see, is that while free trade hurt a few people who made that product, everybody who gets to buy that product at a lower price benefits. This means they have more money for other things that they didn't have before, which means that new jobs are going to come into existence.

As Bastiat pointed out long ago, everyone can point to one individual who's hurt, but no one can point to one who benefits.

That is why it doesn't matter what policies China has, if we buy there products cheaper than we can make them, we are benefiting more, and poor people proportionally more, than if we made it ourselves.


=====================

Gabriel, that is the classic old theory that economists are now conceding along with "liberating bankers to be bankers for all's benefit free of economically inefficient regulation" --hasn't quite panned out like they thought it would.

Say you are a middle class family with 40,000 in discretionary income. The 2,000 you save on cheap China clothes is of course freed up - to then buy your China plasma TV screen - the savings for which help you buy more China Toys for Christmas. 80% or more of the money ends up in China.

Ideally, this would self correct like the Haitian currency would be debased if they printed it and sent it abroad to spend on foreign things with a huge current account since it would soon be worthless scrip because nothing of value could be bought.
The US currency however, has great use to the Chinese, enough they prop it up, because a great wealth transfer is underway. We give China US jobs, they give a destitute government starved for deficit funding easy money in T-Bill purchases.

But that eventually bites the middle class family revelling in all the cheap good stuff they can get at ChinaMart with higher taxes. Their discretionary income goes down with the taxes that have to be pushed to make up for loss of US jobs, payroll taxes..

And the middle class family bitches that their healthcare bill goes up to pay for America's jobless indigents - and that pay has been flat for 10 years, given zero net job creation (Actually negative over 10 years in the private sector - made up only by abundant new Gov't jobs created by Bush and Obama funded by China IOUs.)

While China's GDP has grown 6-fold since 1992, Standard of living has doubled, 110 million jobs have been created, and China's government has the highest satisfaction level of any people on the planet (73% strongly support China's leaders).

NO, we don't benefit more the cheaper our competitor's products are. If our jobs and industry go overseas, as does most our money, we have 0 growth, 0 job creation outside new gummint jobs, and lotsa, lotsa trillions that used to be ours now in inscrutable hands.

Or, more simply put, classic economics trade theory is inoperative, and free trade is sorely brokedicky..

Balfegor said...

A turd remains a turd no matter how much it is blessed by Obama.

Certainly true of the health care bill. His popularity still outstrips the popularity of the bill he's pushing by a considerable margin. Doesn't seem to be rubbing off.

Freeman Hunt said...

Has anyone said "I need a cigarette" yet?

Freeman Hunt said...

Not even close. And it's Mass. And it's Kennedy's old seat. And Kennedy pushed for changing the rules to fill the seat.

The whole thing is delicious. I wish I could bake it into a cake and eat it.

peter hoh said...

One might do well to remember how the previous president reacted to the 2006 midterms.

Liberals thought the midterms expressed the people's desire to pull out of Iraq, but not a lot of them expected that Bush would take that course.

Bush got rid of Rumsfeld (finally) and ignored the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (which advocated a phased withdrawal) and pushed forward with the surge.

On the night of the midterms, I don't think many of us predicted that would happen.

Of course, the president has broad foreign policy powers. Not so on the domestic front.

Seven Machos said...

Economics in one easy lesson, by Seven Machos.

First of all, who are our biggest free trader presidents? Answer: Coolidge, Reagan, Clinton. When have our biggest economic expansions occurred? Under them.

Now, what is economics? Economics is goods and services and property bought and sold. How do you buy and sell those things? You trade them, using money as a medium.

What is economic growth? Economic growth is when more goods and services and property are bought and sold? How do you have such an increase? By selling and buying more.

How do you have a decrease in goods and services and property bought and sold (and, thus, economic contraction)? By restricting buying and selling of goods and services and property.

Think about it.

By the way, China will go the way of Japan and South Korea except worse because the government is too involved in the local economy. It's either corruption or misallocation of resources that will be the trigger. Probably both.

John Lynch said...

The 2006 elections had the effect of getting W to change Iraq strategy.

I've been waiting for the Democrats to claim credit for this.

peter hoh said...

Yes, Freeman, that the rule change was instituted to prevent Romney from appointing Kennedy's successor makes this all the more delicious.

Petards and hoisting and all that jazz.

flenser said...

You're talking past everything else -- your definition of "free trade" requires that there be bilateral reduction of trade barriers. This definition is clearly not universally shared, either by the laiety in this thread or by professionals



This is gobbldygook. It means nothing more or less than "Nyah, nyah, I'll believe whatever I want".

If you purchase a CD player made in Slave Labor Camp N. 12 in Chengdu, you're not engaging in "free trade". I don't care if your or your so-called "professionals" think otherwise or not. This is not free trade as understood by any free market economist from Smith to Friedman.


I'm not sure this is a particularly fruitful discussion.


Talking with dimwitted statists is rarely a fruitful pastime, but it's something thing I feel has to be done in any case.

peter hoh said...

flenser, are you suggesting that only the Dems favor trade with China?

bagoh20 said...

Again C4, thats all true, but it is unavoidable. The U.S. was very successful when we were doing the newest jobs which at the time were steel making and car building etc. We cannot continue to do them when they become old school, because that work always goes to the lowest bidder, always has.

It is of course stupid to give away hard earned intellectual property, but the vast majority of this is done voluntarily by companies who do it to start production over seas, where they can save money and hassle. We will never match those labor rates in our lifetime, but we can make it close enough to be competitive on quality and speed to market.

To do that we need to reduce job killing regulation, and tort expense. Add to that a restriction on or tax to prevent technology transfer and the bleeding could be tamed.

We won't do either.

Just a very small example: At my company, I'm constantly begged by my employees to break the law and let them work longer hours or flexible work schedules that violate state rules. Everyone would benefit and there are no losers, but the state does not allow it.

Seven Machos said...

Flenser doesn't know what he's suggesting. He thinks that it's not free trade when our companies are allowed to sell in China and Chinese companies are allowed to sell their stuff here.

He thinks we're getting the raw end of the deal even though our GDP per capita and standard of living dwarf theirs.

Balfegor said...

his is gobbldygook. It means nothing more or less than "Nyah, nyah, I'll believe whatever I want".

If you purchase a CD player made in Slave Labor Camp N. 12 in Chengdu, you're not engaging in "free trade". I don't care if your or your so-called "professionals" think otherwise or not. This is not free trade as understood by any free market economist from Smith to Friedman
.

Milton Friedman? Look what he writes there:

Ever since Adam Smith there has been virtual unanimity among economists, whatever their ideological position on other issues, that international free trade is in the best interests of trading countries and of the world. Yet tariffs have been the rule. The only major exceptions are nearly a century of free trade in Great Britain after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, thirty years of free trade in Japan after the Meiji Restoration, and free trade in Hong Kong under British rule.

Obviously, he thinks the ideal would be universal free trade. But he is perfectly happy to describe unilateral free trade policies as "free trade." That is the only way to make sense of what he is saying here. It is not, after all, as though Hong Kong's free trade policies caused trade barriers to drop anywhere else. When Friedman writes "free trade in Hong Kong" (or Meiji Japan or Victorian Britain) he can only mean unilateral free trade. It certainly wasn't bilateral.

flenser said...

Obviously, he thinks the ideal would be universal free trade. But he is perfectly happy to describe unilateral free trade policies as "free trade."


"Obviously"? He says nothing about unilateral free trade policies in that excerpt.

Why don't you take a stab at the example I gave you? Show how the purchase of that CD player is too free trade.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

Now, what is economics? Economics is goods and services and property bought and sold. How do you buy and sell those things? You trade them, using money as a medium.

What is economic growth? Economic growth is when more goods and services and property are bought and sold? How do you have such an increase? By selling and buying more.


And how do you pay for these goods and services when your job has gone to China?

Reagan's tax reform created the HELOC -- home loans being essentially the only loans whose interest was deductible.

Soon, a culture of paying off one's mortgage as soon as possible was eliminated in favor of treating one's house as an elastic piggy bank. Want a new SUV? Don't be a chump, borrow against the value of your house. Kids need braces? House again. Tired of your hand-me-down furniture? House house, house.

So this economic growth 7 boasts about was built on debt, debt, debt. Clinton's second term had the additional feature of the dot.com bubble making us feel much wealthier than we were -- as if we would all abandon the malls to receive all of our goods -- first Mexican, then Chinese -- by UPS.

And W.'s housing bubble was the biggest bubble of them all. When it deflated, we should have realized that we were all flat on our asses.

Seven Machos said...

The entire excerpt was about unilateral free trade.

FLS -- You are conflating an entirely different problem -- massive government spending on entitlements -- with free trade. Furthermore, you suggest that jobs that go away are never replaced. Obviously untrue, or all countries would eventually face 100 percent unemployment.

flenser said...

The only major exceptions are nearly a century of free trade in Great Britain after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846



Uncle Milty was off base on that one. The British Empire was, of course, an empire. And like all empires, it's trade was not based on free market principles. That's rather the point of having an empire.

Beldar said...

Prof. A, you wrote: "I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him."

He is what he is.

You either see that (now), or you're deluding yourself (still).

Revenant said...

When Friedman writes "free trade in Hong Kong" (or Meiji Japan or Victorian Britain) he can only mean unilateral free trade. It certainly wasn't bilateral.

Unilateral free trade is still better than tariffs. If all countries have import tariffs and country X removes them, country X benefits -- substantially. The great myth of tariffs is that they protect the country and punish foreigners. This is the exact opposite of the truth.

Suppose you have three countries: X, Y, and Z. Each has a 100% tariff on goods imported from the other country. Then country X repeals the tariff.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, the cost of imported goods drops sharply. So does the cost of any good or service which relies, in whole or in part, on imported goods (and almost every good and service does). Which, in turn, means that the cost of producing the goods country X was EXPORTING drops, too.

So suddenly country X's exports to country Z enjoy an enormous cost advantage against country Y, and its exports to Y enjoy a similar advantage against Z. Country X sells more than it did before, without losing ANY of the profit from each sale.

All it misses out on is government revenue, which is enormously wasteful to the economy.

Seven Machos said...

Uncle Milty was off base on that one.

How influential have you been in economics? Please list your scholarly contributions.

P.S. Adam Smith was part of the British Empire.

John Lynch said...

FLS-

I don't get it. Weren't there a couple Presidents between Reagan and W? And hasn't there been another one for the last year or so? What's been done to fix the problems you point out?

I'm fine with identifying problems, but I remember "irrational exuberance" and people worrying about the housing bubble even before 2000.

There's plenty of blame to go around. We're in a hell of a fix because of too much borrowing, and it's going to take something other than more borrowing to get us out. Any ideas?

peter hoh said...

Oops. My bad. The rule change was run though to keep Romney from appointing Kerry's successor.

As if.

It's still pretty damned funny.

John Lynch said...

I'm for unilateral free trade with countries other than China. Lots of places need the help without having to compete with Asia.

flenser said...

You are conflating an entirely different problem -- massive government spending on entitlements -- with free trade.




But we don't have free trade with China.

Even Balfegor is admitting this, if obliquely, when he says that we don't need "bilateral free trade".

bagoh20 said...

"And W.'s housing bubble was the biggest bubble of them all. When it deflated, we should have realized that we were all flat on our asses."

First calling it W's is disingenuous, you know who made that possible and it was no one man.

Second, we did not all take the bait. 90% of us pay our mortgage and are keeping our jobs The question is whether current policy is making that worse or better.

Knowing what mistakes were made in the past, I have to say bigger government will make bigger mistakes. and vise versa.

peter hoh said...

So who do you two think is going to lead the effort to curtail trade with China?

flenser said...

How influential have you been in economics? Please list your scholarly contributions.



Do they have some bearing on the question of whether Britain was or was not an Empire? I'm pretty sure that that's a matter of historical record.


P.S. Adam Smith was part of the British Empire.



I know. Was there a point there?

Seven Machos said...

Dude, we have free trade from China. Get it?

What are you? A college sophomore?

To the extent China restricts our trade to China, China is screwing itself. This is what people are trying to explain to you.

Also, slave labor camps are not our problem. And I'm typing on a Dell. You?

Seven Machos said...

Flenser -- You have no idea about the context of Smith. One of his primary motivations was to demonstrate that empire is not effective for...The Wealth of Nations.

But, go forth. Spout idiotically some more. Don't let facts stop you.

flenser said...

It's curious that people who would scoff at the notion that the US should engage in unilateral military disarmament are such suckers for the idea that "unilateral free trade" is wonderful beyond question.

kent said...

He's a man of change. Let him change. I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him.

With all due respect, Professor: you sound disquietingly like a young, doe-eyed Tina Turner, resolutely championing the very same Ike who gave her that brand new shiner, just five minutes previously.

flenser said...

You have no idea about the context of Smith.

You base that claim on what, exactly?


One of his primary motivations was to demonstrate that empire is not effective for...The Wealth of Nations.


And? Is this supposed to be a rebuttal to something I've said?

peter hoh said...

Flenser, who do you think will lead the effort to limit trade with China?

Seven Machos said...

Flenser -- Many people have tried to explain to you now that it is categorically and demonstrably true that economies that engage in free trade are more successful than those that do not. The logic has been given to you. The empirical evidence has been shown to you.

Seven Machos said...

Peter Hoh -- Maybe "libertarian" Ron Paul? He and "liberal" Dennis Kucinich could team up to create a set of laws proscribing massive amounts of human action.

Cry freedom!

flenser said...

What are you? A college sophomore?



I guess not, as I'm not the towering genuis saying such things as

Dude, we have free trade from China. Get it?

Trade is like sex, to use an analogy which you can perhaps grasp. It takes two people to do it, and it's not "free sex" if only one of them is free.

If you walk into a brothel and screw some sex slave you find there, you're not engaging in "free sex" - even though you yourself are free! Shocking, I know, but true.

You make say, "But it is too free sex! It's unilateral free sex!"

That's the point where some adult is supposed to slap you upside the head.

peter hoh said...

Flesner, we get it. You think our trading with China is unfair. But can you point to any credible effort to change the way we trade with China?

flenser said...

Many people have tried to explain to you now that it is categorically and demonstrably true that economies that engage in free trade are more successful than those that do not.



I don't what what "many people" have done. I know you've done jack except act like some goofball adolescent. Perhaps thats what you actually are.

If it is indeed true that "economies that engage in free trade are more successful than those that do not", then we're in luck. We're not currently engaging in free trade, which means we have an easy way of improving our economy.

peter hoh said...

Seven, we've found yet another thing we can agree on. Hell must have frozen over.

flenser said...

Flesner, we get it. You think our trading with China is unfair




It's like arging with a liberal ..

Well, it is arguing with a liberal.

No, I do not think that our trading with China is "unfair", whatever that means. I'm pointing out that it is unfree, which is a different matter.

And the only response I get when I point this out is "But we're better off!"

As I said in the beginning, I'm open to the idea that we ARE better off. But that's an effort to change the subject, because the question was not whether we're better off, but whether we have free trade.

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm smiling.


Not until that piece of dried dog shit, Barney Frank is bounced on a rail without him screaming "Oh my!!!" and thinking he just got a freebie. Once the Elmer Fudd of the House is gone, then I'll smile. Now let's see Brown put up or shut up. I'm tentatively waiting to see if he does what I think he will do and pull a 180.

flenser said...

proscribing massive amounts of human action.




Pretty funny stuff, from the guy with a crush on a totalitarian police state.

peter hoh said...

Jon Stewart, at the start of his Jan. 18 show, concludes his comments about the Massachusetts special election with this observation:

See, it's not that the Democrats are playing checkers and the Republicans are playing chess, it's that the Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurse's office because once again, they glued their balls to their thighs.

Or as Will Rogers put it: I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.

Seven Machos said...

This is easy, Flenser. Our policy is free trade. We are a sovereign nation. Our policy is also to have a high standard of living. We do it very largely through free trade.

China's policy is not free trade. China is a sovereign nation. To the extent that China's policy is to have a high standard of living, it will never get there without free trade.

The key here is sovereignty. We don't get to set China's policy. We have negligible ability to influence it. The best we can do is to do our thing and wail with it, the way we always have, and hope other countries catch on.

Now, here's your assignment. Go count the stuff in your house that was made in China. Call yourself a hypocrite. Repent, and burn all that stuff. Then come back when you have a computer made from scratch.

Seven Machos said...

Peter -- You and I probably agree on about 95 percent of everything. But that other five percent, man...

Hector Owen said...

Flenser: are all your fragments within earshot?

wv= duongle Double-secure hardware copy protection for your software. By occupying both your RS-232 serial ports, the duongle assures that no data can leave or enter your computer! (Users with only one RS-232 serial port will need to install another.)

Ric Locke said...

flenser, the only thing you have managed to establish is that you are thick as a brick.

We don't have bilateral free trade with China.

We have unilateral free trade with China -- it's (relatively) free on our side and restricted on theirs.

But the only thing you will allow as "free trade" is the bilateral version. Say so and be done with it. Every economist since Adam Smith, including Karl Marx, disagrees with your definition, but hey, we're all entitled to our delusions.

What several of the above posters were noting is that we have both theory and strong empirical evidence that even unilateral free trade benefits the free trader vis-a-vis countries restricting trade. The correct example isn't Hong Kong, it's Singapore. Both used to be almost totally free trade, and when the Chinese took over Hong Kong they kept most of that policy. Singapore under the present Government has moved to restrict trade -- very mildly, mostly in sumptuary laws against the population -- and has seen a corresponding loss in wealth despite sitting astride one of the world's tightest trade bottlenecks.

I repeat: we have multiple instances of direct, confirmable, repeatable, in-your-face empirical evidence that even unilateral free trade benefits the free trader. Yes, bilateral free trade is much better; the United States itself, still the world's largest free trade zone, stands as evidence for that. But stubbornly insisting that only the bilateral version is "free trade" and that unilateral free trade is a net detriment just makes you look like an idiot worthy of a Kos diary. It ain't so.

Regards,
Ric

amba said...

Even Bayh is running for president, don't you think? And maybe he has the right idea.

vw surlyz

amba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

I would be elated to see a President Bayh and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress. That might be just about as close to Utopia as we'll see in my lifetime on Planet Earth.

amba said...

Bob_R!

Divided government, here we come! Gridlock is our friend. The less the federal government can do, the better I like it.

WORD!!

amba said...

Seven:

Sounds good to me, man.

SH said...

"I hope he becomes the President I thought he could be when I voted for him."

I'm picturing that guy from SNL doing his impersonation of Bush Sr.

"not gonna happen"

amba said...

Balfegor:

Doesn't look like MLK's "dream" exactly worked out.

Hey! We're judging the man not by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character. What more do you want?


Perfect! Comment of the night

SH said...

flenser said...

"for the idea that "unilateral free trade" is wonderful beyond question."

You’re not working it through. If people want to sell us stuff below cost long term... ahem...

Short term, its bad.. they put domestic producers out of business and then raise prices. On the other hand, long term, the buyer profits.

Ric Locke said...

On point to Ms. Althouse's post: I simply don't see how that delusion can continue to be supportable. Obama is not flexible; he is facile, an altogether different quality that can sometimes simulate flexibility in limited cases, just as aspartame can substitute for sugar as long as you don't try to bake cookies with it.

His core philosophy is sophomoric pseudo-Marxism, as learned at the teat of his hippie mother. SPM is a "closed" philosophy -- it cannot, by definition, be added to or subtracted from without becoming something else. It can, however, be talked about (or around) using different terms to make the listener think it's something else, if the speaker is facile enough. Obama definitely is sufficiently facile, especially if he has time (and a little speechwriting help) to prepare. Off the cuff? Not so much.

SPM is "sophomoric" because of precisely the effect we are seeing. Obama's philosophy tells him he knows everything about everything because he's letter-perfect on sophomoric pseudo-Marxism. He has now trotted it out and laid it on the table, in toto, and has nothing else to offer. Like any sophomoric person, he expected that that complete understanding would overwhelm the world and be taken up immediately; and, like any sophomoric set of ideals, SPM is extremely limited even in the few places where it isn't wrong -- people who actually do know what they're doing look at him and go "WTF?" when he expected gushing admiration for solving all their problems in one go, by revealing the TRVTH. (cf. flenser on "free trade").

He can't get out of it, either, because it is a closed philosophy. Admitting new ideas or concepts into it modifies it into something else, and since it declares itself complete and any modification impossible, a person holding it is stuck. (The similarity to Islam should occur to you at this point.) What he can, and will, do is try to get the TRVTH across to us by using different terms and words -- being facile -- and by getting louder and louder, like an ignorant person trying to talk to a person who doesn't know the language.

It's actually rather amusing, when you get right down to it. The proper response to anything he says from this point on is "BUUUUUWAHAHAHA!", and it will confuse the Hell out of him.

Regards,
Ric

Seven Machos said...

Guy sits in his heated home -- probably a couple bedrooms -- with a computer inches from his face. Television. Microwave oven. Full refrigerator. A car or two, or access to a cheap ride any time. Could travel 3000 miles roundtrip for probably a few days pay.

But because somebody, somewhere is suffering, the very principles that caused such easy luxury are suspect.

Dude, listen, because I gotta go to bed so I can't say this more than once: China is free to adopt free trade any time China wants. To the extent that China doesn't, and to the extent Chinese people wallow in misery while you live in gloriously cheap luxury -- this causes me no guilt whatsoever.

MC said...

Oh god, it's protectionism.

If the value of the goods imported are greater than value of the money spent on them (and in general they are because otherwise consumers wouldn't continue to exchange money for those goods) then the economy has gained value overall. Adding value to the economy doesn't destroy jobs! Of course, jobs might shift from sectors where imports are more competitive because they are cheaper to sectors where imports aren't competitive, but that just means the economy is allocating labor more efficiently which means the economy, workers and consumers will be better off.

Note how none of this depends on whether or not the other country has decided to harm its consumers by denying them cheap imports or make its economy less efficient by having its workers make goods that could be imported cheaply.

Multilateral free trade is more beneficial than unilateral free trade because it creates more opportunities for mutually beneficial trading but either is beneficial so drawing a distinction between them like one is bad and one is good is rather silly.

peter hoh said...

What prevented Bayh from running in 2008?

John Clifford said...

Ann, Obama will never change because he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong. No... he thinks that the American people are bitter, stupid clingers who are unjustly taking out their 8 years of Bush-inspired hatred on him in their stupidity. If he can just get ObamaCare passed, then the Great Unwashed Masses from Redneck Flyover Country will appreciate his benificent genius.

Re free trade and jobs, free trade is a good thing but that is not what we have today. We (USA) have established rules for the home team that preclude us from being competitive on the world stage. As a result, manufacturing jobs have largely moved overseas and the trend is increasing. If we don't make things, we'll turn into a continental version of the UK and we'll drown in our own debt as we borrow money from China to buy the Chinese-made rope that will be used to hang us. And, if we don't change the regulations, laws, and policies that prevent us from being competitive... then our days are numbered.

Revenant said...

It's curious that people who would scoff at the notion that the US should engage in unilateral military disarmament are such suckers for the idea that "unilateral free trade" is wonderful beyond question.

Unilaterally disarming while our rivals do not puts us at a disadvantage.

Unilaterally removing all tariffs while our rivals do not benefits us.

So, yes, it is indeed "curious" that people who oppose something which is bad for America would also support something which is good for America... I guess. :)

Guy Average said...

When I researched barack H. Obama, everything I found pointed to him being a socialist with marxist leanings.

That is why I did not vote for him.

Paul said...

Ric @1:42

Excellent description of BHO (and all the Sophomoric Pseudo Marxists that populate our campuses, media, and the Democrat party).

I will add that his inflexibility is further hardened by his deep narcissism which simply will not allow him to admit mistakes.

Anthony said...

If Obama takes away from this what Clinton took away from 1994, it may actually help him. Namely that people thought they were electing a thoughtful centerist, not giving a mandate for a radical agenda. The difference is that Clinton really believed in a centrist agenda. Can President Obama, the former Alinskite radical, recast himself as a moderate in deed as well as image?

AllenS said...

Marcia! We hardly knew ya!

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