Arnold Kling  

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Debate Reactions?... If a Libertarian Gave a Sermon...

My talk in North Carolina. During the Q&A, I get attacked from the right.

Michael Elsby, Bart Hobijn, and Ayseful Sahin discuss what is happening the labor market in the current recession. Recommended.

Anne Applebaum argues that now that health care legislation has passed, opposition to it will lose the center. She counsels Republicans not to wind up looking angry and arrogant by fighting a lost cause against the legislation. She joins David Frum in what I would call the surrender caucus. My op-ed that probably will never see the light of day makes the opposite case.

Peter Boone and Simon Johnson on whether Canadian's concentrated banking system refutes the argument against breaking up big banks.

Finally, Niklas Blanchard takes some artistic license with our name.



COMMENTS (6 to date)
Eric writes:

I suppose I could have put this under the post where David Henderson says he considers the Republicans allies, but it's here in response to the Anne Applebaum op-ed. I'm sending a letter to the RNC pledging to vote for their candidates for national office for the next 4 years and if this bill isn't repealed by Dec 31, 2013 voting consistently third party from then on.

I think where Applebaum is wrong is that I don't care about the electoral success of the Republicans (or, if I lived in England, the tories). I care about freedom and rational approaches to health care. If the Republicans become the Tories, I don't care if they win or lose anymore.

david writes:

Eric:

"I think where Applebaum is wrong is that I don't care about the electoral success of the Republicans (or, if I lived in England, the tories). I care about freedom and rational approaches to health care. If the Republicans become the Tories, I don't care if they win or lose anymore."


Yup. The problem with the "pragmatic" right is that they seek to govern for its own sake rather than governing for the purpose of achieving a desired external objective.

A related problem is that they assume the electorate cannot be persuaded to shift along the political continuum or to change its views and so they never try. They just try to remain what they think will be perceived as "inoffensive". However, that often backfires - either because the electorate suspects the pragmatists are disingenuously obscuring their true agenda or they are uncertain what the pragmatists stand for. The result is uncertainty and suspicion, at least among swing voters. Further, passively following public opinion reinforces the view that the pragmatists have no "vision".

Sure sounds like a winning strategy.

david writes:

Good:

http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/03/25/hugh-mcintyre-the-battle-for-the-right-libertarians-versus-neo-conservatives.aspx

MernaMoose writes:

discuss what is happening the labor market in the current recession.

Gee, sounds interesting. But I really, really don't have time to read 45 pages!

Quick shot -- if labor readjustments are a big part of what's going on, then the housing market is killing the recovery. Because it's hard-to-impossible for the professional white collar class to change jobs and move. Nobody wants to put their house on the market today.

MernaMoose writes:

Anne Applebaum argues that now that health care legislation has passed, opposition to it will lose the center.

Then I argue that Anne is out to lunch. Get a clue woman.

My op-ed that probably will never see the light of day makes the opposite case.

Good. What does it take to get it out into broad daylight? Because fighting it is what must be done.

It's bad enough to tax and redistribute wealth. It's worse to put the nation on the path to bankruptcy.

What's utterly inexcusable is the precedent that Obamacare sets, in requiring every citizen to buy insurance. Obama has become the Czar that the media always accused Bush of being.

If no other part of Obamacare is revoked but that one, at least fight that one to the very last inch.

Money can, maybe, be repaid. The loss of rights and freedoms that this represents, we will never recover from. It will simply move the meter on what's acceptable. Let this stand, and you can bet that we will see more dictatorial commandments coming out of D.C.

The cry that America as we know it has died, is not wrong, and this is exactly the reason why. The money and all the rest of Obamacare, is business as usual in Washington, just on a much larger scale and scope. But the insurance mandate is something entirely different.

I fear there will be no leadership, Right or 3rd party, that will take up this, the very center of the political and rhetorical war that must be fought.

MernaMoose writes:

btw, the money flows in Obamacare are mind boggling but remember. The government has raised taxes and consumed an ever larger fraction of the US GDP for decades on end. Somehow, the US economy has always managed to grow faster than the government consumed it.

It's not impossible that in the long run, this would happen again even in spite of Obamacare.

But the insurance mandate is an entirely different kind of creature. It must not be allowed to survive.

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