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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

On Moot Points: “47%” and the Romney Campaign

September 20th, 2012

I know Mitt made a foot-in-mouth statement about the “47%”, something that goes like this:

There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement … And they will vote for [Obama] no matter what …

The liberal faction of the mainstream media has a hard-on over this statement like it’s the writing on the wall, the beginning of the end for the Romney campaign. Even though his base – and that 47% is represented largely by southern “Red” states, I don’t think this really matters to them, and consequently to his campaign.

Taxes by state, percent of non-payers

You have to ask yourself do they give a shit? and more importantly do they even know or understand the difference?

Probably not, to both questions. I’d wager most people with zero tax liability still think they’re getting ripped off by The Man (and to an extent they are, but that’s a topic for another discussion). And the vast majority of people — no matter their party affiliation — are dangerously uninformed on matters of economic principles. They would be shocked, as I suspect Romney would also be, to learn that despite the argument that “the rich pay almost all of the taxes” (which is nominally true), that “the rich” are far greater beneficiaries of (corporate) welfare and redistribution than are the working poor.

Also, there’s the pesky fact that the 47% is basically bullshit.

At the end of the day, whether Mitt implodes doesn’t matter. In the charade of “election year politics” and the quadrennial popularity contest that elects the President, it does. But the point is that doesn’t matter. At all. In the grand scheme of things, your corporate masters don’t care whether you pick Obama or Romney as long as you pick Obama or Romney.

Do Businessmen Make Good Politicians?

February 28th, 2012

I hear a lot of people talking about how Mitt Romney would make a good president because he has been a successful businessman, because he knows how to make profit and turn things around, etc. For example, Pat Burke, a local self-employed entrepreneur says,

You need to vote for the most electable conservative. … We want someone new, someone who has business experience. It’s the economy, economy, economy.

A businessman doesn’t know how to run government. That’s a common fallacy. “Electability” is a different topic, but let’s talk about that business acumen and whether it translates to politicking.

Mitt Romney: businessman or career politician?

Mitt Romney: businessman or career politician?

The right-wing idea of making government “more efficient” or more business-like whatever is a canard. They romanticize “business” and then suppose that because a certain man is a businessman (whose business usualy bears no resemblance to the highly idealized caricature they extoll) that he will be able to bend the apparatus of government more to their liking, more businesslike. But because there is such a divergence between our ideas about government & business, and the reality of government and business, that’s never going to happen.

Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught. — Honore de Balzac

The sort of “successful” businessmen typically presented as political hopefuls are not necessarily savvy entrepreneurs, allocating scarce resources efficiently across a truly competitive freed-market economy. Instead, they are merely those most capable of navigating the spiders’ webs of laws and regulations which they use to browbeat their competition, and they are the most connected to politicians and the lobbyists who convince the politicianss to privilege some at the expense of others.

If businessmen like Romney become “successful” politicians, it has nothing to do with their “business” acumen, it will be because they already know politics. He is successful at business because he negotiates politics and he negotiates politics by fucking some portion of the population in order to appease the others. If they do this long enough, eventually they’ll get to come full circle, retire, get a 7-figure job on K-Street and write those laws.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Mitt Romney’s Lie Face vs. Ron Paul

November 23rd, 2011

I watched a little bit of the GOP debate last night. It was obvious to me that Ron Paul was pretty much owning everyone. I noticed something interesting though.

Sometimes the camera would pan to another candidate while Paul was speaking and this is when I noticed some strange behavior in the other candidates’ body language. When Paul was talking about the fake budget cuts, Mitt Romney’s facial expression was one of incredulity. But it was obvious to me that this was a feigned expression. As far as acting goes, it was awful, like bad daytime soap opera eyebrow acting awful.

Here is the full debate. It’s really long, but I have tried to timestamp a few relevant items for you.

If you fast-forward to about 55:50 this is what I remember seeing. Paul says,

Nobody cares about the budget! We’re in big trouble and nobody wants to cut anything. So if you want to keep sending foreign aid overseas and these endless wars that you don’t have to declare and go in to Libya without going to without consulting Congress. The biggest threat to our national security is our financial condition and this is just aggravating it.

Romney responds, first by introducing the phony $1 Trillion spending cuts, lies about it being all cut from the defense budget and then by deflecting blame to Obama. Clever! Notice that even while Romney is puking out these lies, Paul is attentive to what he is saying. His body language shows he is engaged and although he disagrees he is paying attention and thinking of how to respond.

Ron Paul debates Mitt Romney on foreign policy

This is where I noticed Romney’s lie face. First, when Wolfie says Paul wants to respond, watch Romney shake his head dismissively at about 57:12. Paul’s rebuttal begins around 57:16 and 5 or 6 seconds later you can watch Romney give him the full on eye-rolling, head-shaking you’re-so-crazy look.

Ron Paul debates Mitt Romney on foreign policy

Romney needs to persuade others in to thinking “Oh that’s just crazy Ron Paul with his crazy ideas about sound money and non-intervention…” so he puts on this mask whenever Ron Paul makes a true statement.  If Romney can convince the majority of voters that Ron Paul (or any candidate, for that matter) is crazy, or has crazy ideas, then he improves his chances of winning the election.  As far as his political career is concerned, it is in Romney’s best interest to lie.

I feel like I caught him lying. The expression on his face was supposed to imply “Ron Paul you’re a fucking looney tune” but it was obvious to me that Romney didn’t actually believe this lie he was trying to put forth.

I also noticed Gingrich doing it in a few places, too, like here (timestamped from a different video):

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich the dickhead who cheated on his wife while she was going through cancer treatment

I would like to remind you that in addition to his desire to "strengthen" the PATRIOT Act, Newt Gingrich the dickhead who cheated on his wife while she was going through cancer treatment and then left her.

As far as mainstream political candidates go, Ron Paul is without a doubt among the least-offensive. It is funny to watch the other parasites in the political class react to what Ron Paul says. They don’t know how to react without lying, and it usually shows up in their body language.

Ron Paul has some ideas that  I don’t endorse like his rather unprincipled wishy-washy anti-federalism (which clouds a lot of his prescriptions) and particularly his failure to embrace just a little bit of the left when it comes to things like labor or the environment, etc. But he also wants to abolish a lot of shit that, frankly, needs to be abolished. Like perpetual war in 100+ countries around the globe, and the corresponding export of weapons of destruction that serve only to enrich well-heeled capitalists and government contractors (paid for by our tax dollars) and make the rest of the world less safe for everyone in it.

On balance I think he would be an improvement over the status quo by a long shot. He was certainly better than any of the 6 clowns he shared the stage with last night.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics