Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Nobel Prize in Economics for Maddow?

I know she's way too easy a target to bother with really, but check out what passes for economic argument on cable television. It's from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC; an excerpt selected by a sympathizer who found it "especially compelling." (I won't inflict the video on you, but it's here.)

Cutting food-stamp funding to attract Republican support is proof-positive that the Republicans are not trying to come up with an effective stimulus here. If your house is on fire, and you call your fire department, and your fire department tells you to pour gasoline on the flames, they're not actually making a good-faith effort to help you put out the fire. They're not a good fire department.

If you're working up policy to fix an economic crisis, which is characterized by there being no spending in the economy, and someone in that debate says, 'OK, but cut the spending out of the rescue plan,' they're bad at making policy.

And you know what? It matters when you're wrong. A whopping proportion of the Republican rhetoric about stimulus is wrong.... It's just wrong. The time is now to take the radical step, as Americans -- as civic-minded Americans concerned about our future -- it's time to take the radical step of privileging correct information over incorrect information....

If you are wrong, from here on out, you should lose the argument and you should lose your political potency. Form a flat-earthers club or something, where you talk enthusiastically to each other about your made-up economic ideas that aren't based in reality. But get out of the way of the people who are actually trying to save the country.

Let's play Find the Fallacies. (A better game might be "Find the Argument.") Here's one to begin with: Just because Republicans are hypocrites about deficit spending doesn't mean they are wrong. It may only mean they should have practiced what they now preach when they were in power.

Cross-posted at Anything Peaceful.


Anonymous said...

I like the analogy: "If your house is on fire" because you (the government) and your "children" have been burning through money like crazy, then you should burn through even more of your family's money, so your grandchildren will have even less.

Sheldon Richman said...

By George, you've got it! I think there may be an opening on the Council of Economic Advisers.