October 4, 2011

"The Obama Stimulus Should Have Been More Manly."

The Atlantic paraphrases something I said on Bloggingheads:
In the new book Confidence Men, Ron Suskind reports that President Obama initially wanted the stimulus plan to focus on generating infrastructure jobs so that it would address the economic and psychological needs of males in particular. Now blogger and law professor Ann Althouse argues that Obama was diverted by his female constituency into creating a jobs plan that failed because it wasn't male centered and infrastructure heavy. Here, in a Bloggingheads.tv debate with Amy Sullivan of Time Magazine, Althouse makes her case that the stimulus wasn't manly enough...
The embedded video at the link cuts off the set up, in which I tell you what's in the Suskind book that supports my hypothesis. So I recommend watching the video segment clipped here. And note that I'm suggesting a theory to be contemplated and studied in further depth. I'm not simply making an assertion that Obama was diverted by his female constituency and that the stimulus plan failed because it wasn't male centered. Obviously, I don't know that, and I don't purport to know things I don't know. It's a theory.

27 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

I noted most of the stimulous money went for busy work like asphalt chip repair project and painting. Granted roads need to be repaved occasionally and bridges painted, but the opportunity to build things big was squandered.

It was like we dealt with a debt crisis by spending and spending on useless hunks of plastic and crap.

Sort of like most consumers.

bagoh20 said...

My god, I need coffee.

Your theory suggests that your vote was foolish. Which one do you want to cling to?

David said...

"It's a theory."

You think so, but everyone who wants to make a point or attack you or advance some interest will treat what you say as asserted fact or firm opinion. Theories are out. Beliefs are in, the more passionate and unsupported the better.

bagoh20 said...

Bush was hit with 9/11, closing of all air traffic and a recession soon after taking office. I don't remember anyone making all kinds of excuses for him and coddling him, and treating him like our child instead of our leader.

In fact, quite a few Democrats openly envied him for having such challenges. They said it was unfortunate that Clinton didn't get such "opportunity".

The soft racism of low expectations. Obama's enemies are the people who most respect him. It's the Tea Party that treats him like a man.

EDH said...

Obviously, I don't know that, and I don't purport to know things I don't know. It's a theory.

It's more hypothesis than a theory.

Hypothesis: A tentative explanation or idea about how things work. A hypothesis guides you in further work to get a better answer.

Theory: A theory is an explanation of the general principles of certain phenomena with considerable facts to support it. A theory remains valid only if every new piece of information supports it. If a single piece of available information does not support a theory, then the theory (as proposed) is disproved.


___________

wv - "potsi" = sit on it, Fonzi

G Joubert said...

The stimulus wasn't going to work, however manly. Keynsian epic fail. And epically corrupt Keynsian economics at that, which I believe was the real object.

Fred4Pres said...

G Joubert said...
The stimulus wasn't going to work, however manly. Keynsian epic fail. And epically corrupt Keynsian economics at that, which I believe was the real object.

10/4/11 9:36 AM



Correct-a-mundo!

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

The problem was never how much money was spent or what it was spent on. The failure is thinking that these people, with no experience in creating jobs, would know better than the millions of experienced Americans from whom they took the money to do it. Besides, since it wasn't their money, how motivated are they to do it right. The whole idea of it is ludicrous. It's another example of the "big lie" - too incredible to just be simply stupid, except that it is.

madAsHell said...

Obviously, I don't know that, and I don't purport to know things I don't know. It's a theory

Hey....if this law school gig doesn't work out, then I'm pretty sure your theories could be headlines at the NYT

Christian Southwick said...

Judge Posner stated much the same thing about the stimulus. See Richard A. Posner, The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy 116 (2010) ("As the stimulus bill wended its way through Congress, the amount of money allotted to transportation infrastructure (mainly road and bridge construction, and repair and building projects such as the painting of schools) shrank, possibly because of political pressure: few women are employed in such projects. Yet that is the class of expenditures that comes closest to satisfying the conditions for an effective stimulus.")

Scott M said...

the amount of money allotted to transportation infrastructure (mainly road and bridge construction, and repair and building projects such as the painting of schools) shrank, possibly because of political pressure

You know the identity politics of the left are impeding the nation when...

edutcher said...

What Fred said; I mean, I saw a lot of Stimulus signs (no actual work was ever done, but, hey...) at road construction sites.

What's more manly than road construction?

Everybody's all hot and sweaty and muscular and sun-tanned...

(I think I hear Titus coming...)

Scott M said...

(I think I hear Titus coming...)

Irony?

edutcher said...

Among other things...

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... What's more manly than road construction?

Everybody's all hot and sweaty and muscular and sun-tanned..."

Let's be honest now. Have you seen a road construction worker that didn't look like Larry the Cable guy?

Bender said...

The more manly spendulus plan would have been to not rely on mommy government in the first place. The more manly plan is for government to get the hell out of our way.

Bruce Hayden said...

Of course, the whole "stimulus" was a scam in the first place. Not sure if Obama was in on it, nor Pelosi. Indeed, the later is still a bit problematic, or at least until her brother got that $3/4 billion "green energy" loan guarantee last week.

I figured that some of them had no clue, and were engaged in wishful thinking economics, when they got into that bidding war on Keynesian multipliers, won seemingly by Pelosi. She was up to some 4 to one at one point, despite research that it had been less than one in past attempts of Keynesian stimulus.

So, they all figured that government spending would increase demand for goods and products, with more money in people's pockets. Then, they figured that government spending was government spending, so might as well send the money to their friends and supporters. And, all of a sudden, a big chunk of it was now going to prop up government union members' pensions. Each dollar of which was supposed to create $4+ of new jobs. Don't know how propping up pensions was supposed to do that, but that was the theory, and the President is sticking with it.

Bruce Hayden said...

What is hilarious about these manly jobs is that the President is still pushing for them in his (DOA) "jobs" bill that is still waiting on a co-sponsor in either House of Congress, despite admitting that he didn't know that there wasn't any such thing as a "shovel ready" project. How he thinks that all these infrastructure projects that he wants will hire anyone before the next President, is beyond me - and in some cases, even if he wins reelection.

The facts were out there at the time - I remember seeing charts about when the infrastructure money would be spent - and it was over a period of years, some of which extended beyond the next election (and this was several years ago).

The Dems, of course, can take credit for much of this delay, with such legislation as Davis-Bacon on the books, plus all the contracting and environmental hurdles that these projects must overcome, made worse by Obama putting environmental-wackos in charge of these things in his Administration.

So, that may be why the Democrats wanted to short circuit spending stimulus money on manly projects, because some of them knew how long such projects would take, and that if this had been a normal recession, we would be well on the way out of it by the time that much of the money was spent, and that was why they squandered so much of the money on other things.

Or, you could take the cynical view, that they used the "stimulus" bill and its supposed Keynesian effects to fund their pet projects, supporters, friends, relatives, etc. and to permanently grow the federal government by 4-5% of GDP. And, that all that manly infrastructure was in the bill primarily for window dressing.

Bender said...

Obama's whiny crybaby routine, beyond getting real old real fast, is hardly manly.

27183 said...

At the time of the stimulus, Valerie Jarrett was definitely quoted as talking about increasing pink jobs, that was echoed by Robert Reich.

27183 said...

Also Larry Summers was against infrastructure jobs, he didn't believe they would work.

Bender said...

At the time of the stimulus, Valerie Jarrett was definitely quoted as talking about increasing pink jobs, that was echoed by Robert Reich.
___________

You must have heard them wrong. They were talking about increasing pink slips, and not the kind that are permissible post-DADT.

kmg said...

Ann Althouse,

Christina Hoff Somers wrote about this in the Weekly Standard in 2009 :

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/659dkrod.asp?pg=1

Funny how 'feminism' has gone from wanting to help women get jobs, to demanding that jobs instead comply with what women *want* to do, rather than construction, drilling, or manufacturing jobs that are actually needed.

kmg said...

Weekly Standard Article : No Country for Burly Men.

Also, no discussion of feminism is complete without The Misandry Bubble.

Whiskey said...

Obama's key members of his anti-White guy coalition are White Women. Who yes HATE HATE HATE those Beta White Males.

Of course there was going to be no spending whatsoever on anything that might remotely employ more men than women. Period. That is the whole point of the Democratic Party: Against Straight White Guys since 1965!

frank said...

Bozo's woman problem and Ann's 'political actor' conspiracy will be solved in North Carolina next year when Joe Biden is 'pushed/jumps' under the bus to make room for HRC, thus satisfying the DC's on Emily's list and assuring an AWESOME re-election.