December 21, 2008
— Ace This is actually just a work-in-progress site. It's half-done. Right now it's not used, except as an emergency back-up when the main site goes down.
The actual site is at http://www.ace.mu.nu, or aceofspadeshq.com, which will redirect there.
If you're not seeing pictures on this site, it's because it's not really working yet.
If you've posted comments and no one seems to respond -- that's because most users can't see them. Comments from the real site get posted here, but comments from here don't show up on the real site.
Basically, you should come to the real site. It looks a little crappy right now and it breaks down a lot, but this one isn't quite ready yet.
Sorry.. should have put up this notice long ago.
Note from Pixy: Posts and comments automatically sync from the old site to this new site within 60 seconds, but some authors aren't set up on the new site, and will show up as Open Blogger. We'll get those sorted out soon.
December 11, 2013
— Ace He announces that his great-grandparents didn't all come into America legally. I guess this is Joe Biden's way of saying "Behold, the wonders of illegal immigration."
I'm not taking it that way.
I'm thinking we should have built a Border Wall in 1875, if that's what it would have taken to keep the embarrassing Biden clan out.
I'm also taking it as Biden's desperate attempt at relevance. He's practically begging us, "Please demand to see my birth certificate!!!"
My great-great grandparents came escaping the famine and they didnt all come here legally, Biden said in response to a questioner who said her family came to the country legally from Ireland in the 1800s. They didnt all come legally. And the existence of the system isnt all truncated like it is now. Id check your ancestry to make sure that they did come legally if thats a concern to you.
Biden, who appeared alongside White House domestic policy chief Cecilia Munoz, several times called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill the Senate passed in June.
It was a shift from President Barack Obama, who said last month that he could live with the House passing a series of piecemeal immigration bills.
Pass the bill, John Boehner, bring the bill up and let us pass it, Biden said.
— Ace From @rdbrewer4 in the sidebar.
Now, understand, she's not calling for the repeal of Obamacare, certainly. She's trying to "fix" it.
But her ad begins like an ad you'd expect from a Republican -- alarming news reports of hundreds of thousands of people having their coverage cancelled by Obamacare.
It ends with an admonition to Obama: "You made this promise, you should keep it."
The ad of course is dishonest. It's fakey-fake triangulation, as Landrieu pretends to run against Obamacare. You'd almost think she was the anti-Obamacare Republican candidate in the race.
But it is something to think about: In many states around the country, as we approach 2014, we'll be seeing Republicans running anti-Obamacare ads, and their Democratic opponents running anti-Obamacare ads, too.
And what exactly will that do to public opinion? I don't know of many previous progressive/conservative disputes in which the representatives of both camps condemned a major law. The airwaves will be full of condemnations of Obamacare, and virtually no one speaking up in favor of it.
— Ace The leftist media's perennial attack on conservatives are that they are well-nigh exclusively white and draw their values and political beliefs from a narrow monoculture of shared racial and cultural mores.
Yeah. A lot of that goin' 'round.
Top Ten Things That Are Almost As White As the Huffington Post's Political Team
10. Matchy-matchy group-themed seasonal sweaters
9. A vanilla milkshake infused with white chocolate and cocaine
8. People who are still watching Agents of SHIELD
7. Three quarters of Hall & Oates
6. People who really like Kanye West from that interview they heard on NPR
5. Joan Walsh's entire dating history; also, the periodic bouts of milky smegma occurring over the course Joan Walsh's dating history
4. People who watched that video of the guy faking Sign Language at Nelson Mandela's funeral and became outraged at the racism this man must have faced in Africa to drive him to commit fraud
3. LL Bean's new, ill-advised clothing line, the Kasual Khaki Kollection
2. The victim profile of the many children that Harry Reid has strangled
...and the number one thing almost as white as the HuffPo Politics staff...
— Ace The official sign-language guy at the Nelson Mandela funeral was... a fake.
He just was moving his hands randomly.
Now that I'm informed this was the case, it seems pretty obvious.
The Daily Mail has a funny quote from someone who spotted the guy as a fake: he was merely "flapping his arms about."
He translated Barack Obama's statement that Nelson Mandela was "an unwavering beacon for those seeking the shores of freedom and dignity" by just miming the hand-signals from MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit.
Okay not really. But he is basically just doing hand-jive dance moves.
I don't care who you are, this is just f***in funny. dan-O says this man is now his hero.
I wonder how long he's been getting away with this?
— Ace I hate that I'm even mentioning this fake story. I'm linking the Telegraph here, not Time.
As I said, Time made this call to push their left-wing political agenda, and also to achieve their secondary goal, which is selling magazines and making money.
Their precis on Pope Francis highlights only his usefulness as a spokesman for social justice and wealth redistribution. They claim that he's not interested in the "doctrinal" matters that his predecessors were.
Time's headline and subhed:
Pope Francis, The Peoples Pope
He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century
Time's interest: One part Power to the People agitation, one part multiculti uplift. Sprinkle liberally with a call for Hope and Change.
"What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all," Time magazine said in announcing the winner.
, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.
"In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the churchthe church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh worldabove the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology. Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher."
One of us.
And as I said: Social Issues You Guys.
He is quoted saying of women who consider abortion because of poverty or rape, Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations? Of gay people: If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. To divorced and remarried Catholics who are, by rule, forbidden from taking Communion, he says that this crucial rite is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.
I don't quote Time to knock the Pope, or offer any opinions on his leadership of the Church at all.
I only quote Time to mock Time, to note how predictable they are. I predicted this yesterday, including the reasons they'd offer for their choice.
This is not because I am good at prediction; this is because the leftwing media is so very kneejerk and predictable. They claim to be neutral and objective. And yet someone can predict every single one of their news judgements by proceeding from the rule that they will make whichever judgement best serves the Progressive Socialist Transnationalist Cause.
Suppose I'm in a shady casino. I'm playing craps. I'm given a pair of dice by the pit boss, to throw to determine the results of a particularly large bet. I object and say I believe the dice are loaded, and will come up craps. He insists they are fair dice, and could come up with any dice tally.
If my prediction -- that the dice will come up craps on anything important -- is always correct, that casts a great deal of doubt on crooked house's claim that the dice are fair, doesn't it? They claim any score can come up; I claim it will always come up craps when they need it.
If it always comes up craps, then I am right, and they are lying.
If they're not actually in service of the Progressive Socialist Transnationaist cause, why is it that any moderately-informed observer can predict every single one of their judgements by employing this rule?
Thanks to @daveintexas.
— Ace Or at least a "multifaceted" campaign season PR push.
Senate Democrats facing tough reelections say President Obama has not done enough to fix the botched rollout of his healthcare law and are vowing to repair it themselves.
The Senate Democratic leadership is not on board with lawmaker plans to begin rewriting ObamaCare and have urged for more time to assess the changes made by Obama and his team, lawmakers say.
Landrieu, Shaheen and Udall face reelection next year.
Shaheen wants to extend the enrollment period for the ACA; Landrieu wants to mandate that insurance companies continue to offer plans that people like, even if they dont meet the laws requirements; and Udall wants to expand the pool of people included in the individual insurance marketplace.
The topic [Landrieu's suggestion that people be permitted to re-up on their old policies] came up briefly at a Tuesday lunch meeting, but Reid has urged the group of centrists to be patient and put off action until after Jan. 1.
Bennet and other Democrats have expressed concerns about what many expect to be a wave of new ObamaCare regulations.
Im concerned about the regulations which have yet to be issued, said Angus King (Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
He expressed concern that businesses providing healthcare coverage could be hit by excessive paperwork demands.
This town seems to like issuing regulations, he added. I think the administration should be exceedingly careful about the onerousness of the regulations that are issued.
Bennet said there should be an easier process to repeal ill-conceived rules related to healthcare and other issues.
Reid is committed to the "Buy Time" plan, just like Obama is. What Magical Rescue do they expect on January 1st?
As Drew writes in the post below, only 5-15% of the tiny number of Obamacare enrollees have actually paid their first month's premium. That means the tiny number of these so-called "enrollees" overstates the number of people who have actually purchased insurance by a factor of around 10.
About 36,500 people, or thereabouts, will actually have insurance on January 1st.
Five million people have lost insurance due to Obamacare.
It is usually the case that putting off the realization of a setback results in the ultimate setback being even worse when it arrives. That seems very likely to be the case here.
In twenty days we're going to start seeing the use of the C-word -- Crisis. And this is a crisis of Obama's making, Obama, Reid, Pelosi. All of them. They took people's insurance away and in return gave them a non-functioning website that cost several billion dollars of taxpayer money.
— DrewM That's a slightly different take that the MSM's "OMG, OMG, ObamaCare Enrollments Surging" headlines but mine is more accurate.
Here's the bottom line.
Just about 1.2 million people have gained health coverage through Obamacare, according to new federal data released Wednesday morning.
Approximately 365,000 of those people have purchased private insurance and 803,000 have been determined to be eligible for the public Medicaid program. These numbers count data from both October and November, and show an especially quick growth in HealthCare.gov enrollment.
A couple of things to give that some actual context.
1- At least 5 million people have lost coverage due to policies being cancelled thanks to ObamaCare. So that 365,000 number is insignificant compared to that. There will no doubt be more uninsured on January 1 than there were on October 1. Don't let them get away with pretending "1.2 million people who didn't have insurance have it now!".
Liberals will point to the new "enrollments" (and assume they will pay and become actual customers) while ignoring the previously uninsured who won't get coverage in time or be able to afford the new rates and deductibles.
The are simply redistributing health insurance from those who paid for it to those who didn't. This is a victory in their minds.
2. You can talk about all the "quick growth" from October to November all you want but it's still far, far below the original targets.
The 364,000 people who have signed up through the first two months still fall short of the administration's expectations for October alone. Another 3 million people would have to sign up this month alone in order to hit the initial year-end goal.
HHS had expected 3.3 million people to sign up by the end of December and 7 million by March 31, when the enrollment window closes. Although enrollment will surely miss the mark for this year, HHS officials said they remain confident they will reach their ultimate goal.
The administration and dead-enders in the media want to judge the numbers against the pathetic first month, not the original targets (which the actuarial numbers are based on).
There's no reason other than advocacy to grant this dispensation.
3. There's still no word on the demographic makeup of this new cohort. The death spiral is still very much in play.
Bottom line: The flacks and hacks will cheer but the reality of the numbers is disastrous.
— Open Blogger
- Those Unobtainable Invincibles
- Sebelius Demands Investigation Into Screwed Up Obamacare Website
- Detroit's Bankruptcy Ruling Doesn't Spare The Pensions
- Euphoria Of Obamacare Becomes Nightmare Of Higher Premiums And Deductibles
- Obamacare Hurts Obama In NBC Poll
- No, Conservatives Aren't Always On The Wrong Side Of History
- Paper Application Missing From Healthcare.gov
- Indian Court Reinstates Law Banning Gay Sex
- Uraguay Legalizes Marijuana
- Will Colorado Have Enough Pot Stores To Meet Demand?
- Don't Take Naked Pictures Of Yourself With Your Cell Phone
Sorry for the meager offerings, I have a lot of work to do this morning.
— Purple Avenger OK, I may have made up that part about the invisibility cloak, and the dude seems a bit larger than a Munchkin too.
A Louisiana man flying to California woke up on a dark, empty plane parked at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston after sleeping through the call to exit the aircraft, officials said on Monday...The crew better go with the invisibility cloak excuse. I can't see anything else working.
...Company policy requires the flight crew to do a final sweep of the cabin and the company was investigating how Wagner was left onboard, Harrison said...
— Gabriel Malor Happy Wednesday.
The Obama Admin used to say 7 million Obamacare sign-ups would mean success. Now they're saying they just made that number up . . . because there's no freakin' way they're getting to 7 million sign-ups.
New poll (PDF): most (54%) say Obamacare is having a negative impact on the countrys health care system.
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December 10, 2013
So my work computer decided not to boot this morning which pretty much wasted the entire day and ultimately ensuckened the ONT. But hey it's not like you were really going to read it anyway so we'll just call it a push.
Well it's time for the annual AoSHQ color blindness test so we can see what you can't see. It's not like we ever use this information for say embedding secret messages for the other morons on the web site. Because that would be um...wrong I guess.
Tell me what you see.
Can't see anything? Well there are some new fangled glasses for you people.
Okay you saw some things - now let's see how good your color acuity really is. Take the color sorting test here.more...
— Ace Embarrassing, as usual. Link to Althouse.
Here are the names picked by a dozen editors you couldn't pick out of a lineup:
Bashar Assad, President of Syria
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder
Ted Cruz, Texas Senator
Miley Cyrus, Singer
Pope Francis, Leader of the Catholic Church
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Edward Snowden, N.S.A. Leaker
Edith Windsor, Gay rights activist
Ted Cruz is obviously there for Time's readers to hate at. Several names, such as Obama and Sebelius, and for that matter Miley Cyrus, I assume are either jokes, or Time's desperate efforts to attract differing cultish demographics -- tweener pop music fans, the declining ranks of the Obamanaut Zealots.
They will pick Pope Francis. This is for several reasons. First, and most importantly, it will sell magazines. The Pope is the head of a large church; I can't think of anyone else on earth who is popular and who heads such a large organization, so intimately important in the everyday lives of people.
Picking Pope Francis also allows Time to claim Serious You Guys We're Not Anti-Religion n Stuff.
Of course the reason they would entertain picking Pope Francis (and not Pope Benedict) is that they are anti-religious. I don't mean Pope Francis isn't religious. I mean Time's interest in Pope Francis is entirely political -- they seem him as an ally in their unending political fight with the Right.
Not saying he is that -- I'm saying how that's how the left perceives him. A Polite Company Pontiff, so to speak.
You want proof of that? Time today had to correct a caption it ran with picture of Pope Francis. The caption specified that he was popular because he rejected the teachings of the Church.
No, seriously. Here was Time's first attempt to summarize the importance of Pope Francis:
First Jesuit Pontiff won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of church dogma and luxury.
Yes, the head of the Catholic Church is known for rejecting the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Serious You Guys, the Pope said we need free birth control n stuff.
The Left is repulsively political. On the podcast, I criticized Frank Rich and Jonathan Chait for praising 12 Years a Slave not primarily on artistic merit, but for what they believed to be the film's true importance, its usefulness in swaying the political debate.
Similarly, Pope Francis is not admired for his efforts to bring the Catholic faith to the world.
Time views him only in terms of his potential impact on American politics -- you know, the "social issues" that bewitch them so, and socialistic wealth redistribution.
So that's why they'll pick Francis.
And I'll be over here, not giving a shit, as I don't give a shit every year a collection of mediocrities buy themselves some brief prominence by filling up some TV time during a slow news month.
— Ace "Compromise."
They're announcing it now, live, on FoxNews (and I imagine a lot of other stations).
National Journal laid out the basics:
Budget negotiators were tantalizingly close Tuesday afternoon to reaching a two-year deal that would set annual spending levels around $1 trillion and replace some automatic spending cuts with non-tax revenue, according to aides and lawmakers familiar with the situation.
s set to hold a press conference.
Even as a deal appears certain, significant hurdles remain to final passage. Some conservatives have recently voiced opposition to swapping out sequester cuts for "user fees," while liberals have criticized any deal that does not extend unemployment insurance or protect federal employees from paying more into their pensions.
As I understand it, the actual cuts of the sequester will be replaced by "future cuts," also known as "not cuts at all," and a host of new or increased taxes which aren't called taxes because they don't want to call them taxes.
Drew discussed the deal yesterday, or at least the hints that had been public as of yesterday.
It became clear months ago when the House only passed appropriation bills that increased spending and not the ones that actually cut spending that the fix was in.
And don't buy the nonsense about fees (aka "taxes") or higher pension contributions offsetting some of the spending. First, like almost all stopgap gimmicks they are...gimmicks. Second, in the case of higher pension contributions, that should happen even with the sequester in place to reduce costs, not to offset new ones.
The biggest problem with the "off-set" flimflam is that even if it helps offset hiking the budget and the debt, it does nothing to shrink the size and scope of government. I've said it before and I still mean it, I'd rather a federal budget that takes up 17-18% of GDP and was out of balanced than a budget that consumes 24% and is balanced. Size and scope of government matter more than perfectly balancing the books.
More Details: At the Washington Post.
Yes, you'll be paying more in "non-tax revenue," or, I call it, Ryan Taxes.
Sequester's out, and Ryan Taxes are in:
Those savings would be replaced by roughly $63 billion in other policies, including fee increases for airline travelers, cuts to federal-worker and military pensions and higher payments for federal insurance of private pensions, according to people familiar with the talks.
Ryan and Murray were rushing to file legislation before midnight so the House could vote as soon as Thursday and leave town for the year by the weekend. The Senate, which is scheduled to leave town next week, would vote thereafter.
The agreement would set the budget for the Pentagon and other federal agencies at $1.012 trillion for fiscal 2014 and $1.015 trillion for fiscal 2015, preventing a new $20 billion hit to defense spending from taking effect in January.
Domestic agencies would get a bump up of equal size, according to people familiar with the deal. The $63 billion pricetag would be covered with a mix of policies, roughly half spending cuts and half new non-tax revenues.
— Ace Wow.
Mark Steyn is aghast.
First, she has no idea what Benghazi is.
Then, pleading in mitigation that shes there to talk about the Middle East, she reveals that she has no idea where Benghazi is.
Finally, when her constituents helpfully point out that Benghazi is in Libya, she turns to the side and gives that pitiful look that is the single thing I most loathe about American politics the look a floundering empty suit gives to her minder when she needs him to come and rescue her. Which the minder immediately does.
This isnt an especially partisan point, but Im so weary of post-modern ventriloquists dummies who cant be allowed near their constituents without the protection of a phalanx of aides. In this video, the voters are well-informed, but they have a low-information Congresswoman.
Wonk Gap, yo.
— Ace Yeah, I was actually about to just do my typical "What are these assholes doing?" sort of post but then I watched the trailer.
— Ace 38%, with 57% (!!!) disapproving.
Among Independents, he's at... 30%.
Today, Obama gets negative scores of 6 - 92 percent among Republicans, 30 - 62 percent among independent voters, 31 - 64 percent among men, 44 - 49 percent among women and 29 - 65 among white voters. Approval is 76 - 18 percent among Democrats and 85 - 9 percent among black voters.
This, of course, has impacted the Generic Ballot:
American voters say 41 - 38 percent that they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat for the U.S. House of Representatives, the first time this year the Democrats come up on the short end of this generic ballot. Independent voters back Republican candidates 41 - 28 percent. Voters also say 47 - 42 percent that they would like to see Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate and the House. Independent voters go Republican 50 - 35 percent for each.
On to the personal ratings:
President Obama is not honest and trustworthy, American voters say 52 - 44 percent and is not a strong leader, voters say 51 - 47 percent. Voters are divided 48 - 49 percent on whether Obama cares about their needs and problems.
As for the "good news" for Obama: the public disapproves of the job Republicans in Congress are doing by an even higher percentage, and the public feels, by a 2:1 ratio, that the minimum wage should be hiked.
You can tell they don't really care terribly much about these feelings based on their wish that Republicans recapture Congress. Yes, they're down on the GOP, and yes, they say the Nice Media-Approved Thing with regard to the minimum wage, but if this were driving their voting preferences it would, well, actually drive their voting preferences.
Thanks to @slublog, or, as I call him, The Hot Air Meatball.
— Ace Because the media does not report on Afghanistan anymore -- much less report the Grim Milestones daily -- I believe that most of the American public believes the War in Afghanistan ended years ago. They don't remember precisely when it ended, but most probably think it did end.
It didn't end. Media coverage ended. The war stopped being newsworthy when it ceased being a useful political catspaw by which the media could agitate against a Republican Administration.
So even though three quarters -- 74%! -- of all US servicemen's deaths occurred under the leadership (and I use the term advisedly) of Barack Obama, the public still thinks that Bush, rather than Obama, is responsible for the deaths of our best and bravest.
Using the APs Afghanistan casualties database, Breitbart News calculated that between January 20, 2009, and the end of last month 1,595 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the Afghanistan conflict. The total number of military deaths so far is 2,153.
That means that about 74 percent of all U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have taken place under Obamas watch. During the eight years of the previous administration there were only 558 fatalities, or about 26 percent of the deaths that have taken place from October 7, 2001, the start of the war, to November 30, 2013.
The information in the AP database is gleaned from AP news reports and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
There is some good news:
This year is shaping up to have the lowest death tally of any during Obamas presidency. The 110 fatalities reported so far in 2013 are similar in number to those reported in 2007. Then there were a total of 110 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, followed by 151 in 2008. Those were the two highest casualty counts under President Bush.
So a good year for Obama, in terms of casualties, was a bad year for Bush.
And yet the media no longer asks what we're doing in Afghanistan, or what the plan is, or what all this cost in American life is supposedly buying us. When now is precisely when they should be asking.
— Ace Indeed! Not only is it permitted, it is encouraged.
This is actually an old story, dating from at least July of 2012. But I guess it's getting some new attention this slow-news week.
I don't know what exactly @benk84 was trying to find when this sexy little tidbit showed up in his search returns, and I'm not sure I want to. Let's just say it was a happy little accident. more...
— Ace A few days ago, Kevin Glass wrote a story about the alleged "Wonk Gap" at Meatball Central, aka The Federalist.
His basic observation is this: The Progressive Left likes to flatter itself as a Party of Experts, making rational, scientific decisions about policy without regard to politics or tribal loyalty.
As a hack at the Washington Monthly put it:
[T]he left has an equally lopsided advantage when it comes to a different type of pundit: wonks. The lefts wonk bench is both wide and deep. These folks are ideologically inclined, certainly, but are also dedicated to study, empirical analysis, and informed debate. They argue mostly through evidence-based reasoning, sometimes shot through with a bit of sarcasm or anger, but theyre uncomfortable with abject partisanship.
This is directly contrasted with the Unreasoning Right, a group which has precious few "wonks," low collective expertise, and, to fill in the significant gaps of their knowledge, examines every policy question through the prism of ideology.
Here's the problem: None of that is true. Because the Left's Wonks have an embarrassing tendency to completely ignore all of their previously stated Expert Opinion the moment a political actor, Barack Obama, tells them that the Left's political interests will be served by doing so.
What good is being a "wonk" if you're going to say "F*** You, Science" the moment the Democratic Party needs you to?
Ever since President Obama endorsed a federal minimum wage hike in his State of the Union speech, progressives have lined up in lockstep support. Economists, bloggers, tv hosts all have come out saying that a minimum wage hike is clearly the right move. Youd be forgiven if you thought that its been a very short while since the very existence of a minimum wage was considered controversial.
In the late 1980s, the New York Times advocated for an abolition of the minimum wage. With 25 more years of research, much of it showing that the minimum wage is an inefficient distortion of labor markets, the New York Times reversed position and advocated for a minimum wage hike to historic highs.
Even the Times progressive-and-proud columnist Paul Krugman has earlier had wise things to say about the minimum wage. In 1998, Krugman wrote:
So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment. This theoretical prediction has, however, been hard to confirm with actual data. Indeed, much-cited studies by two well-regarded labor economists, David Card and Alan Krueger, find that where there have been more or less controlled experiments, for example when New Jersey raised minimum wages but Pennsylvania did not, the effects of the increase on employment have been negligible or even positive. Exactly what to make of this result is a source of great dispute. Card and Krueger offered some complex theoretical rationales, but most of their colleagues are unconvinced; the centrist view is probably that minimum wages do, in fact, reduce employment, but that the effects are small and swamped by other forces.
What is remarkable, however, is how this rather iffy result has been seized upon by some liberals as a rationale for making large minimum wage increases a core component of the liberal agendafor arguing that living wages can play an important role in reversing the 25-year decline in wages experienced by most working people in America (as this books back cover has it). Clearly these advocates very much want to believe that the price of laborunlike that of gasoline, or Manhattan apartmentscan be set based on considerations of justice, not supply and demand, without unpleasant side effects. This will to believe is obvious in this book: The authors not only take the Card-Krueger results as gospel, but advance a number of other arguments that just do not hold up under examination.
This earlier version of Paul Krugman had the right idea, writing that what a large minimum wage hike is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality.
The New York Times view has changed. Paul Krugmans view has changed. Jason Briggeman of George Mason University took a dive into why these elite progressives have changed their opinions on the minimum wage. None of the possible reasons speaks well to the elite progressives thinking.
Yes, the sudden reversal on the minimum wage by left-wing academics is so abrupt and startling that other academics are writing papers to try to explain the volte face.
The intertwining of the left-wing intelligentsia with the Democratic Party has compromised the ability of many of these writers to actually think critically....
The result of this bandwagon-circling around the inherent rightness of progressivism is a rejection of the traits that theyve associated with being a wonk. [W]hen the leader of the Democratic Party takes a side on an issue that the wonks may feel conflicted about, they tend to fall in line. When the progressive wonkocracy is a key leg of the Democratic Party, though, theyll discard dispassionate analysis for partisan hackery.
Scott Linciome also discovers other "experts" now claiming to be surprised by the perfectly obvious -- that insurance companies, whose products are now mandated to be purchased, should be set to reap record profits.
And Krugman, meanwhile, continues to discover that all of his previous expertise on matters economic has now been rendered moot by the new discoveries made in the field-- discoveries announced by non-economist Barack Obama in political speeches.
"Here's the world as many Republicans see it: Unemployment insurance, which generally pays eligible workers between 40 and 50 percent of their previous pay, reduces the incentive to search for a new job. As a result, the story goes, workers stay unemployed longer."--former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec. 9
"Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of 'Eurosclerosis,' the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries."--"Macroeconomics" by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, second edition, 2009
I should confess that Krugman does not explicitly endorse the "wide belief" that unemployment benefits cause longer-term unemployment in that quote. Nevertheless, just as he admitted the "centrist" view on the minimum wage is that it reduces employment by a small amount, here he confesses the "wide belief" of economists that longer-term and more generous unemployment benefits lead to, well, a more generous and longer-term spell of unemployment.
That belief is texbook-- literally. Krugman wrote about it in a macroeconomics textbook.
And yet, when he is in his firebreathing partisan loyalist mode -- a mode he has scarcely departed from lately -- he will instruct you that only stupid Republicans and non-wonks could possibly believe these silly little nostrums, and that no self-respecting Wonk could possibly credit them as true.
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