The “Anarcho”-Capitalist Conundrum

In the wake of September 11, 2001 and continuing through the lead-up to the Iraq War and into 2003, I was involved in an intense debate on several political Usenet groups (my involvement in political Usenet, actually, goes back to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of 1997-1998), in which there was a clique of rabidly right wing libertarians holding forth on what they called “anarcho-capitalism.” Many believe that the only logical conclusion to right libertarianism (and to history, actually) is capitalism completely unfettered by government. In a sense, they’re right (except for the history part): If you think government is bad for business and you think business is the best way to distribute resources, then the best government is no government at all.  Of course a lot of Libertarians believe government is necessary to provide for the defense of business interests, but the anarchos would argue that if businesses need to be defended, they should do it themselves. Abolish government, they say, abolish borders, open all the world to capitalism. Let the market determine the value of everything. Continue reading

NYT: Americans’ Long National Free Lunch Daydream Is About to End

David Leonhardt very helpfully explains why Republicans are so single-mindedly pursuing what turns out to be a very popular idea, to keep the debt ceiling right where it is and force the government, come hell or high water (or both and worse), to get its financial house in order: Continue reading

Schadenfreude: Cantor’s Can’t Do Attitude Showing Him Up As an Amateur

I’m not a fan of this ridiculous deficit obsession and wish Obama and the Democrats and even Republicans would rise to the historic occasion in front of them and pass meaningful demand-side legislation, but I can’t help but enjoy the game Obama is playing with the little mouse from Virginia:

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What Makes Obama So Sure Independent Voters Want a Referee Daddy and Not a Roosevelt?

"Eat your peas."

Jackie Calmes in the New York Times today, in analysis pretending to be a news report, actually does seem to be telling a truth about what lies behind President Obama’s words at his press conference yesterday. I know Bob Somerby, one of my original Internet heroes, would be annoyed by any presumption to know what’s in the mind of a politician beyond what’s in his words, but I’ll explain what I mean after the quote after the jump. Continue reading

The Journal of the Ultimate Entitled Class Cries Buckets over ‘Entitlement Society’

The Wall Street Journal seems to mistake President Obama’s fumbling around with revenue fixes for the irrelevant deficit problem for what he should be doing, which is energetically rekindling a stimulus, with real spending on jobs programs to nourish the nation’s weakening demand-side.   Continue reading

Spread the word: #Demandside

Three articles in today’s New York Times have only reinforced my determination to get the word #Demandside into the national conversation. I have little faith in anything, let alone American politics or the national discourse, but I do have utter faith in the notion that if our political so-called leaders do not return to pre-Reagan-era demand-side economics, we can kiss the prospect for shared prosperity good-bye. Continue reading