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February 10, 2009


Nice. Agree. Oregon should not have to lay off teachers so others can get tax cuts to buy houses and cars.

Dear Brian,

Interesting fantasy of what you want. I believe Bush and Cheney had a similar one - about themselves.

Robert Paul Howard

Robert, the difference -- and it's a big one -- is that Bush and Cheney were incompetent, and Obama knows what he is doing.

Following a leader out of danger isn't a bad thing. Democracy can be paralyzing and ineffective in times of danger.

Having a crowd of confused people mill around arguing about the best course of action, as Congress is doing, is a bad approach when a decisive "We need to go here, now!" is the path to safety.

So I don't agree that Obama = Bush/Cheney. Leadership doesn't equal dictatorship.

Dear Brian,

Goodness! Please point out to me where I made that correlation of equivalence. I don't see where my words indicated it.

Robert Paul Howard

I just don't understand this unsubstantiated belief in Obama's capabilites. True, he is intelligent and an articulate speaker that inspires confidence in people. His bearing is presidential, but this ridiculous stimulous package that he has rammed down our throats is a travesty. 1100 pages that I doubt one congressman had time to read before voting on it. INsane.

I hit the post button before completing my comment above.

This stimulus package is likely to:

-Hurt economic recovery by elbowing aside private borrowers and consumers as the government goes to the front of the line to borrow adequate funds to cover its deficit.

-Invite massive inflation in the future as consumers and businesspeople sit on most of the money until times improve. Then, when confidence begins to return — no thanks to the stimulus package — they will deluge the economy with money, triggering massive inflation.

-Expand government and spend borrowed money on projects that may have some long-term merit but are scarcely our top priority right now.

Fasten your seatbelts.


Having clicked on the Wikipedia link I was interested to see the "criticism" section's reference to Karl Popper.

I would have added Cambridge don Michael Oakeshott's "Rationalism in Politics" to the "References" list. Have you ever read that essay? I'd be interested in your reaction.

Idler, I'm not familiar with "Rationalism in Politics." I read a few summaries of the guy's essay, including this one:

In my opinion, we need more rationalism in politics, not less. Married of course with practicality and political realism. One review I read said that Oakeshott feels that liberals live in a theoretical world disconnected from reality.

Well, it sure seems like the same criticism could be directed at conservative thought. Notions of free market capitalism haven't been working very well in the real economic world lately.

And every time I hear Republicans mindlessly repeat "tax cuts, tax cuts" as the answer to every problem, it seems obvious that they are simply parroting an abstraction, not a reasoned response to our actual economic problems.

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