President Romney?

It is a strange choice.

President Obama is a hopeless advocate for a lot of things I believe. Governor Romney has just demonstrated that he is a capable advocate for everything I despise.

It will therefore be a closer election than we previously thought, although whether one, poorly moderated Debate can do anything more than make Americans realise how even it is…….thats a good question.

Frankly we put too much faith in President Obama. Well to be fair to myself…..I didnt put that much faith in him. He is after all the President of the United States of America and it follows that he will act in the interests of USA. Despite the fact that too many Americans believe that their President is “Leader of the Free World”……frankly he isnt.

So all those Europeans (and we prefer Democrats because we think Republicans are mad) who were giving Obama approval ratings of 80% were simply insane……or caught up in the “history” of it all. Even Americans ……..including honourably Senator John McCain ……were caught up in it all.

But Europeans really lost the run of themselves when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for………er……..being President Obama.

Really only justifiable fear of Romney is the only thing which can prevent Obama losing this Election and suffering the disgrace of being a one-term President. Those who sought to represent would deserve better. Obama wouuld not.

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13 Responses to President Romney?

  1. sammymcnally says:

    It may be that we in the West (USA and Europe) are actually bankrupt – ie cant pay our debts and that for (soft) lefties like myself the horrible truth is that the horrible Republicans and Tea Party et al plus the Terrible Tories – are actually right and public expenditure needs to be slashed.

    Most/All people and I include most/all economists know next to feck all about economics so we have to assume an ideological position on something in the absence of proper predicability the Americans just have to follow what their hearts say (Democratic) or what their pockets say (Republican).

    The Western ‘left’ doesnt really have any moral superioirty over the Western ‘right’ – as both have left the ‘3rd world’ to fester and disease itself for decades and trade unions defend ‘theri member interest’ ie their chances of having a 2nd car or 3rd holiday.

    • I think its easier to be a “lefty” like you and me when things are going well for everybody.
      And we probably have not yet caught on to just how much the world has changed over the past five years.
      For example last nights Panorama on the misuse of the NHS by “health tourists” and the whole underbelly of illegal workers paying middle-men to get registered at GP surgeries is as likely to anger decent people as mindless bigots.
      And I thin theres anecdotal evidence….even in Norn Iron and the Republic….that people who were tolerant enough of migrants five years ago are less tolerant when resources are more scarce.
      But I do think that right-wing people play to these insecurities. Are they really more competent? Do we really need to pay them vast sums and tax them less because they are the only people with the skills that can get us out of this mess? Are they initiating and developing policies (tuition fees) which just happen to turn the clock back and make their class interest stronger and ours weaker?
      The answer is…..I just dont know. Im glad I am 60 and not 30.

  2. sammymcnally says:

    It is easy to find parallells depending on what you are trying to prove/justify BUT there is a somewhat Roman style end-of-empire feel to Western (American) decline as the rise of the East and particlulalry China a country and people largely dismissed by Westerners as thirld worlders incapable of indpendent thought and beleived to be dependnent on the western capitalist role model. The Chinese have an apalling health care system and amazing growth – a bit like Britain in the 19th century – and it is probably true that Capitalism is at its best (ie highest growrth) when no consideraton is given to anything other than maximising profit.

    The social democratic model, long assumed by Europeans (and yankee democrats) to be the best option morally and economically is not looking so good – with the periphery Iceland, Greece and Ireland beginning to fray.

  3. A few points:

    i) Yeah, bad night for POTUS but the numbers in the key swing states (8 out of 9) are with him, we will need another week of polling but so long as he carries these he’s good to go (Florida, Ohio and Virginia are all that really count and the 2nd he is way ahead) http://www.politico.com/2012-election/swing-state/ .

    ii) Debates in the US and everywhere else are usually for partisan geeks like ourselves, they mean little or nothing. After all, if they did, Nick Clegg might be PM.

    iii) ‘Most/All people and I include most/all economists know next to feck all about economics so we have to assume an ideological position on something in the absence of proper predicability the Americans just have to follow what their hearts say (Democratic) or what their pockets say (Republican).’ Jesus actually wept. I like you Sammy but this ‘anti-intellectualism’ of yours is baffling to say the least. If you don’t want to do the reading and learning regarding economics then why provide an opinion based on voodoo economics such as your post above.

    Whilst economics is a social science as opposed to a science, we do have enough tools at our disposal to figure out what we should be doing. The post WW2 Keynesian consensus was largely broken when a certain Thatcher and her ideological partner Reagan both thought it a good idea to run large budget deficits, lower the standard of living for many and privatise large parts of the economy. However, this has not brought about the improved efficiencies to our previously public utilities as a whole host of professionals are needed to be employed in order to audit, review and evaluate whether the private sector are fulfilling the terms and conditions of employment and whether we’re getting value for money.

    We have had unnecessary austerity now for 3/4 years and we need only look around and see whether that’s working (hint, more unemployment, ongoing slump that’s lasted longer than the Great Depression).

  4. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    “this ‘anti-intellectualism’ of yours is baffling to say the least.”

    I’m not a follower of astrology either – people who put their faith in ‘disciplines’ that are not based on scientific principles and whose main ‘experts’ cant predict economic catastrophe that is as plain as, and right under their nose – are either naive or in your case simply picking the theory and the facts that best suits their ideological outlook.

    This has been a shocking few years for the credibility of economics – it has taken one hell of an intellectual beating and your blind faith in it is more an indication of ‘anti-intellectualism’ than (my) well founded scepticism.

    • Hmmm,

      ‘I’m not a follower of astrology either – people who put their faith in ‘disciplines’ that are not based on scientific principles and whose main ‘experts’ cant predict economic catastrophe that is as plain as, and right under their nose – are either naive or in your case simply picking the theory and the facts that best suits their ideological outlook.’

      Two words, Nouriel Roubini. It may come as something of a surprise to you but I have always practiced what I preach and that is buy low, sell high, hence why I missed buying my own home when the craziness was happening here a few years ago and why I will be buying something before I’m off to Aus at a considerable mark down, about 70%.

      Not based on scientific principles? Jeebus. It’s not, nor ever was, a science but a social science. It is not the ‘truth’, but tools, theories and sciences are used to help us search for the ever elusive truth, that’s what happens with social sciences, or are you advocating we merely do away with everything that is not a science?

      Further, had it ever occurred to you that my ‘ideology’ (what precisely is it btw, I would love to hear) has been dictated to me more due to my reading of economics as opposed to the other way around?

      Again, you don’t actually like to debate facts or theories when it comes to economics as that would leave you at a distinct disadvantage as you have no real interest in them and you don’t know what you’re talking about. Instead you come out with the anti-intellectual nonsense above.

      ‘This has been a shocking few years for the credibility of economics – it has taken one hell of an intellectual beating and your blind faith in it is more an indication of ‘anti-intellectualism’ than (my) well founded scepticism.’

      Blind faith in economics? Are you joking with me and trying to wind me up or are you serious cos that’s perhaps the single most ridiculous thing I have heard/read since I was at a party and someone said she didn’t believe in philosophy. Economics exists, it won’t be going away somewhere anytime soon, ok? Your sentence ‘This has been a shocking few years for the credibility of economics’ should have ‘neo-liberal’ before the final word ‘economics’, as economics has existed since time begun and will be around long after both you and I.

      So, I have a question for you, what do you propose we do instead of relying on economics? Just give up reviewing information gathered on the economy? Also, you seemingly overlook that there are different schools of thought in economics, that we are having a debate within the sphere of learning and that nothing is actually settled, but of course, that would not allow you the opportunity to lump ALL economists into one big group and tar all by association.

      I for one am a Keynsian. however, I argue with someone like yourself who believes in what precisely, feudalism? Oddly enough, even an economy that had feudalism at it’s heart would still fall under the remit of economics, as absolutely everything does.

      We have had neo-liberalism and people in charge for the past 30 years who were schooled in Friedman (another school of thought, one I disagree with btw) and we are able to highlight to them what the effects of some of their policies are (see the last 10 years for instance) and what they are when applied to a recession (it creates a depression).

      What’s amazing is that a situation like this has happened before and what’s more, we know what needs to be done to turn things around. Unfortunately, those in charge are not willing to do what it takes to turn the economy around and continue to add more and more leeches to the patient.

  5. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    ‘there are different schools of thought in economics, that we are having a debate within the sphere of learning and that nothing is actually settled’

    That is why I suggested you had an ideological attraction for one branch – 90 of Nationalists in Ulster who expressed an opinion prefer Keynes and 90 of unionists prefer Friedman and ALL of them claim they studied the facts before making up their minds – just look at how the votes go in Westminster, SDLP with Labour and Unionists with the Tories. (Four legs good 2 legs bad.)

    You shouldnt put your faith in something unless it is reliable – collection of economic data and studying it is sensible – devotion to a particular theorist is not. I caught the last episode of the BBC program on economic theorists in which ecnomists are again turning to the long debunked Marx (I’m personally quite a fan of the boy Marx’s take on wealth creation) to help their ‘understanding’ of what the feck is going on.

    i hadnt bothered trying this before (as I knew what would appear) but just type ‘Economics in Crisis’ into Google – there are more economists indulging in self-flaggelation – than you can shake a stick at.

    This is a ‘discpline’ in deep intellectual crisis.

    • I dont believe in Astrology…..Im a typical Taurus. 😉

    • Sammy,

      1) ‘That is why I suggested you had an ideological attraction for one branch – 90 of Nationalists in Ulster who expressed an opinion prefer Keynes and 90 of unionists prefer Friedman and ALL of them claim they studied the facts before making up their minds – just look at how the votes go in Westminster, SDLP with Labour and Unionists with the Tories. (Four legs good 2 legs bad.)’

      OK, let’s go over this one little bit at a time. Essentially, you are accusing me of confirmation bias with regard to my choice of economic doctrine, right? A fair accusation, however, there is a slight flaw in that I can actually point to a system that has worked (Keynesianism when adopted in the mid/late 1930s and through to the 1960s) as opposed to a system that is not working and has largely failed us on nearly every level and number (neo-liberalism) unless of course the point of the adoption of this change in economic theory was to enrich a select few while impoverishing the vast majority of the population due to stagnating real wages and making them accumulate debt in order to keep up with a standard of living their parents had become accustomed to, then the implementation of neo-liberalism has been a resounding success.

      Perhaps the reason that Unionists go with the Tories in votes in general is because, traditionally, the Tories happen to be the largest and loudest unionist party of them all? That consideration would not have anything to do with it? No, simple economics? Likewise, Nats at Westminster also have a greater affinity with Labour due to the latter usually being seen to be more sympathetic to the cause of Nats in general? In the North, as has become clearly apparent over the past few years, I would not accuse many of our elected reps of intellectual dexterity when it comes to anything outside constitutional matters.

      All of them claim to have read Keynes or Friedman? I sincerely doubt that. In Upper Bann the MP is one David Simpson and if you ever had to listen to him you would never have accused him of having read a book of any kind in his life, never mind Friedman or understanding it. These people think they are something or the other when they have no idea what it is they are for. At least read the books and then come up with an opinion, I can take that and I will debate the bit out, but taking at face value something is bonkers. Also, have you surveyed our MPs their beliefs re economics? Please, share your findings.

      Further, of this 90% of Nats expressing a preference for Keynes, I would note that Shinners wouldn’t have much time for Keynes seeing as they are supposed Socialists, something that Keynesianism most definitely is not, neither something that I am, I am a capitalist (boo! hiss!) and believe that a market needs to have some regulation in order to make it more efficient and help my fellow man, while a ‘free market’ (there is nor has there ever been one) or anything approaching this is liable to wild, hysterical distortions (lots and lots of bubbles) which eventually lead to massive corrections effecting all and making our lives miseries ( see the early to mid 1930s and right about now).

      2) ‘You shouldnt put your faith in something unless it is reliable – collection of economic data and studying it is sensible – devotion to a particular theorist is not. I caught the last episode of the BBC program on economic theorists in which ecnomists are again turning to the long debunked Marx (I’m personally quite a fan of the boy Marx’s take on wealth creation) to help their ‘understanding’ of what the feck is going on.’

      Again Sammy, I have read many different theorists, Friedman, Keynes, Marx, Hayek etc as well as philosophy, or history books concerning economics in general (I cannot recommend enough Niall Ferguson’s ‘The Acsent of Money’ btw), I merely look at what is happening now and see that neo-liberalism and the unnecessary pursuit of austerity during a near depression is sucking demand out of the economy. Lets take myself for instance as a practical example. I hardly spend my money nowadays and just squirrel it away; why? Because I don’t know what the future may hold and I do not feel positive about the future short to medium term prospects for the economy. As I am unwilling to spend money this means that someone is not getting it in their store, cafe or more than likely pub/off licence. The more people like me who do this, the less business shops get, the less money they earn, then they start letting people go who have no money to spend and spend less money and are afraid to spend their money, so they squirrel it away and are unwilling to spend money in stores, cafe or more than likely pub/off licence, meaning even less business, meaning less money, meaning more job losses and so and so on.

      Keynesianism is reliable in instances when we have such a concerted slump like this. It’s worked before (see the mid to late 1930s and also WW2 and thereafter), we know this, so why are we not doing seeing concerted action like this? Best ask our Tory masters. When we have a recovery, as I was a few years ago during the ‘good times’ I will be all for less spending to try and cool things down for the inevitable recession to follow any boom, but by sucking demand out of a hot economy it allows us to make sure that whatever dip there will inevitably be will be mild and we will have the tools available to us to

      Neo-liberalism applied in stagnating economies does not work. Let’s set aside the cliche of the 30s for an instance and come up with examples more recent. How about the 90s and Argentina and Mexico needing IMF assistance due to the pursuit of neo-liberal policies and then massive austerity afterwards that only made things worse? How about the currency crisis in Asia in places like Thailand and Indonesia in the late 90s? Again, neo-liberalism was pursued there and while initially it proved a great way to lure in DFI it eventually turned sour and the IMF would come in and largely ask them to pursue the same kind of action we are being asked to pursue today in Greece or Ireland. Argentina was only able to break this cycle of problems with debt and devaluations by actually reneging on paying back the IMF.

      3) ‘i hadnt bothered trying this before (as I knew what would appear) but just type ‘Economics in Crisis’ into Google – there are more economists indulging in self-flaggelation – than you can shake a stick at.
      This is a ‘discpline’ in deep intellectual crisis.’

      Again, which ‘economists’ are we speaking of? If you are like me and you believe right about now we need a very large stimulus whilst I tell people with a big grin on my face ‘I told you so’, then I am looking quite good and intellectually, not in any kind of a crisis.

      If, however, I was a neo-liberal who believed in ‘trickle down’ economics (otherwise known as getting pissed on by the rich) then you may have a few problems right about now.

      Place the word ‘discipline’ in inverted commas all you wish, until you actually identify which economics it is that is in ‘crisis’ you’re merely shouting abuse at any one and everyone who passes by whilst sitting on a wall like a school kid.

      Further, I note you still haven’t answered my questions, what would you replace economics with? What would you have us do instead of gather data and try and figure out what the hell to do?

  6. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    ‘crisis’ you’re merely shouting abuse at any one and everyone who passes by whilst sitting on a wall like a school kid’

    if you doubt the crisis in economics – then you must not be paying any attention to the British/European/American debate on how to escape recession. Have a look at the populist BBC economic program ‘Masters of money’ which highlights the confusion and muddle at the heart of of the economis debate.

    I’m not suggesting ‘replacing’ economics just reflecting on its intellectual difficulties obvious every time the current global economic plight is discussed.

    Repeating your own views on Keynes doesn’t alter that – they are as it turns out largely in tune with my own.

    • Sammy,

      I think you are confusing a crisis in political ideology with a crisis in economics in general. There is no crisis in Keynsianism at the moment, merely in Neo-Liberalism and it’s attitudes in relation to a recession and the stimulating of demand. On BD’s blog where you and I discussed Greece and I posted a Newsnight debate between Paul Krugman on one side and a Tory MP and a hedge fund manager on the other this was noted by the former with regard to the latter’s opinions. I must further note that Krugman is no ideologue in any way, shape or form, he has even worked for the Reagan White House administration and would be generally agreed to be a ‘centrist’ in most things.

      Are you ‘not suggesting ‘replacing’ economics just reflecting on its intellectual difficulties obvious every time the current global economic plight is discussed.’

      OR

      ‘most/all economists know next to feck all about economics so we have to assume an ideological position on something in the absence of proper predicability ‘

      With all due respect Sammy, you seem to be somewhat backtracking from your open hostility to economics earlier. I have no problem with your latter statement, but I find it somewhat infuriating (you may have guessed that :)) that economics ‘in general’ can be called into question. It’s like calling into question politics in general, and not particular ideologies but it’s actual existence and my points above should be viewed in the light.

      I will debate the bit out with regard to certain economic schools of thought, by all means, but you have to admit, you were calling into question economics in it’s entirety.

      ‘Repeating your own views on Keynes doesn’t alter that – they are as it turns out largely in tune with my own.’

      Are you a Keynsian largely because of your constitutional politics or because you have seen it in action and believe it works? Sorry, I have to ask in light of our discussion. I’m also intrigued as to why you settle on it, for me it was largely from reading Paul Krugman (pure man crush on him) every Monday and Friday in the NY Times.

      I am left leaning, we all know that, but most importantly for myself, I believe that if people like myself want these social services for our country and for others it is required to be based on solid economics, the numbers have to add up. I am willing to say to others ‘I’m sorry, but that tax loop hole to encourage you to invest in a certain sector is not permanent’, or at worst, ‘apologies, but your 85 year old mum will probably have to sell her 8 bedroom house on the Malone Rd that her father built and she has lived her entire life as we’re upping the rates for places of that size and she does have enough money to meet the rates’

      Something to lighten the mood, it is after all a Friday.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/video/2012/oct/04/james-richardson-european-football-papers

  7. Pingback: Crisis of, in or with ‘Economics’? Why are we not learning of and from Economic History? | footballcliches

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