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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

NESN: White Sox Slugger Adam Dunn’s Struggles Get Front-Page Treatment From The New York Times

Weak in Review.

Most baseball fans know Adam Dunn is having a really, really bad year. They found out Wednesday just how bad it was.

Dunn’s struggles ranked just below the fallout from the recent debt crisis on the front page of Wednesday’s edition of The New York Times, just below the fold on the nation’s newspaper of record.

“As Chicago’s Designated Hero, Slugger Strikes Out,” reads the headline of the story by Sam Borden.

Historians years from now will look back on Aug. 3, 2011, and come away with two conclusions: Averting a default didn’t solve the U.S.‘s economic problems, and Dunn had a putrid 2011 season.

...Dunn seems optimistic he’ll turn around his performance in the final 54 games and that the White Sox will be glad they signed him by the time his contract runs out in 2015.

There are 1,519 days between now and Sept. 30, 2015—roughly the time the White Sox’ regular season would be ending—which is a lot of daily newspaper editions and a lot of front pages for Dunn’s struggles to be publicized.

Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:29 PM | 88 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, media, sabermetrics, white sox

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3891760)
I know the instinct here is to say, "Seriously NESN, this is the best shot you can take these days at the Yanks? By going after the Times?"....but it is pretty odd that it's on the front page.
   2. Mattbert Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3891770)
Aren't the people who own NESN also minority owners of the Times? If that's still the case, then I wouldn't view this as the network "going after" the paper...
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3891772)
Holy crap, I thought Dunn had a three year deal, not a five year deal.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3891776)
Aren't the people who own NESN also minority owners of the Times? If that's still the case, then I wouldn't view this as the network "going after" the paper...


I thought the Times recently sold their stake.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3891777)
Holy crap, I thought Dunn had a three year deal, not a five year deal.


He didn't sign a five year deal. That really should have been checked before this went out.
   6. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#3891780)
Holy crap, I thought Dunn had a three year deal, not a five year deal.
It's actually a four-year deal, so that's a typo. Of course, it's still pretty ugly.
   7. Spivey Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3891782)
Adam Dunn's collapse seems like one of the most epic I can remember in recent baseball. I thought he was a sure bet to be battling Jose Bautista for the HR title, moving to that park.
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 03, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#3891788)
The New York Times recognizes that Dunn is one of the Neediest Cases.
   9. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3891809)
Averting a default didn’t solve the U.S.‘s economic problems


Slashing federal spending by less than 3% over 10 years didn't do it? Who'd a thunk it?
   10. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3891811)
It's bizzare. I was really sad to lose him from the Nats...Does he hate Chicago? Or is he out all night partnering and stuffing himself with Giordanos?
   11. Bob Evans Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3891817)
Does he hate Chicago? Or is he out all night partnering and stuffing himself with Giordanos?

I've not heard that it's either of those things.
   12. Dave Spiwak Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3891822)
It's actually a four-year deal, so that's a typo. Of course, it's still pretty ugly.


Don't worry -- Tony Reagins is still interested.
   13. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3891823)
It's simple. Adam Dunn hates baseball.
   14. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3891840)
I will take Adam Dunn as the most likely player to walk away from his contract after the season.

Still less than 50-50, but not much less.
   15. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3891846)
Adam Dunn is a metaphor for the country. His story is our story.
   16. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3891879)
I just keep waiting to find out he is playing hurt. It's not going to happen is it.
   17. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3891888)
Adam Dunn is signed going forward? I thought the Sox got him in a last-year salary dump. Holy crap.
   18. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3891895)
Adam Dunn is a metaphor for the country. His story is our story.

Our country has had no problem at all hitting lefties this year.
   19. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3891901)
Adam Dunn is signed going forward?


*sigh*

Why, no -- he's signed going backward! It's absolutely incredible!!!!

(BTW, have I mentioned lately how much I hate the horribly vacuous phrase "going forward"?)
   20. Gamingboy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3891951)
Adam Dunn is Casey at the Bat.
   21. DanG Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3891953)
Lowest BA since 1911, 350+ PA

Rk            Player   BA   G OPSHR RBI  PA Year Age  Tm Lg
1          Adam Dunn .165  92   64 10  38 378 2011  31 CHW AL
2       Dave Roberts .167 113   43  5  18 358 1974  23 SDP NL
3      Deron Johnson .171 110   57 13  43 389 1974  35 TOT AL
4       George Scott .171 124   39  3  25 387 1968  24 BOS AL
5        Dal Maxvill .175 132   39  2  32 425 1969  30 STL NL
6           Rob Deer .179 134   92 25  64 539 1991  30 DET AL
7        John Shelby .183 108   35  1  12 371 1989  31 LAD NL
8       Steve ONeill .184 129   47  0  29 429 1917  25 CLE AL
9        Ed Brinkman .185 154   46  5  35 491 1965  23 WSA AL
10       Eddie Joost .185 124   61  2  20 496 1943  27 BSN NL
11   Eddie Zimmerman .185 122   46  3  36 469 1911  28 BRO NL
12      Mark McGwire .187  97  105 29  64 364 2001  37 STL NL
13       Steve Jeltz .187 148   55  0  27 450 1988  29 PHI NL
14     Gorman Thomas .187 101   86 16  36 377 1986  35 TOT AL
15        Ed Gagnier .187  94   30  0  25 360 1914  32 BTT FL 
   22. Tuque Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3891954)
(BTW, have I mentioned lately how much I hate the horribly vacuous phrase "going forward"?)

In this case it's entirely justified. If he had just said "Adam Dunn is signed?" his question would have sounded odd and pointless, because of course Dunn is currently signed, he wouldn't be playing baseball if he didn't have a contract. Saying "Adam Dunn is signed going forward?" implies shock not at the fact that he has a contract but at the fact that the contract extends meaningfully beyond the present, which is the exact distinction his entire post is centered around.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3891967)
Slashing federal spending by less than 3% over 10 years during a recession, the opposite of what should be done under intelligent economic practice, didn't do it? Who'd a thunk it?


Fixed!
   24. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3891989)
#18 is great.
   25. formerly dp Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3891992)
(BTW, have I mentioned lately how much I hate the horribly vacuous phrase "going forward"?)

Your campaign is working, at least on me-- every time I'm tempted to use the phrase, I question if it's really appropriate. Most of the time, it's not.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3892014)
It's sad that the highlight of the Orioles' season so far is the fact that they failed to sign Adam Dunn.
   27. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3892064)
Was having a bad day until reading your post, Vlad. Thanks.
   28. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#3892088)
#18 I hate to ruin a good line (and it is a good one), but .205/.324/.385 (Dunn's good side) is perhaps a tad less than the White Sox were expecting.
   29. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#3892137)
Slashing federal spending by less than 3% over 10 years during a recession, the opposite of what should be done under intelligent economic practice, didn't do it? Who'd a thunk it?


So after record peace-time government spending for two years, the answer to near record unemployment is yet MORE government spending?

Who'd a thunk it?
   30. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3892149)
What year are you talking about? That doesn't describe 2011.
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:14 PM (#3892156)
So after record peace-time government spending for two years, the answer to near record unemployment is yet MORE government spending?


Yes, absolutely. What this economy needs is to throw several hundred thousand government employees out of work, so we can get unemployment back to 10 percent. That will certainly get the economy moving again.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3892157)
I know the instinct here is to say, "Seriously NESN, this is the best shot you can take these days at the Yanks? By going after the Times?"....but it is pretty odd that it's on the front page.

The Times probably has sports features on its front page about once every two or three weeks. The Dunn story is hardly the first one that would have seemed oddly placed not that long ago.
   33. Swedish Chef Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#3892187)
The events in Europe has shown that there is something to be said for cutting borrowing before people stop lending you money. Though I guess the lesson learnt is more like "Germany will bail you out".
   34. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 03, 2011 at 11:16 PM (#3892201)
Yes, absolutely. What this economy needs is to throw several hundred thousand government employees out of work, so we can get unemployment back to 10 percent. That will certainly get the economy moving again.


We employ several hundred thousand government employees at Wall Street banks the stimulus bailed out and at all the other various private enterprises that sponged off the stimulus?

News to me.

Also news to me that government employees aren't employed as a weighty tax on the back of actual productive free enterprise. Since most government employees are a tax on the output of the GDP, they don't add to it. Unless they are like those magic Krugman fairies he claims can stimulate the economy simply by digging holes in the desert then filling them back.

Wouldn't ending those misguided politically driven government "jobs" free up capital to be lent to and invested in real businesses to create jobs that actually increase GDP output?

Apparently I'm wrong, and the greatest increase in peace-time economic spending on government programs actually created so many jobs we are approaching our all time high in unemployment. Thank god we have all those new taxpayers to help pay down the $130,000 per family in federal debt we've accumulated, plus the $90,000 per family in additional debt Obama wants to add through a second term.

As sad as the failure for congress to actually take a stand here, I'll be happy to see Obama get stuck with responsibility for the outcome. Blaming every problem on your mentally challenged predecessor is going to lose it's effectiveness pretty rapidly now.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 03, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3892216)
Wouldn't ending those misguided politically driven government "jobs" free up capital to be lent to and invested in real businesses to create jobs that actually increase GDP output?


Hey, I'm agreeing with you! Once we lay off a bunch of schoolteachers and other unnecessary government parasites, what used to be their salaries will become "freed-up capital"! Because the biggest problem with the economy right now is that companies don't have enough cash on hand to invest in their businesses! So by putting more people out of work - or "work," as we conservatives like to say - we'll create jobs!
   36. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:04 AM (#3892229)
So by putting more people out of work - or "work," as we conservatives like to say - we'll create jobs!


I guess we'll see whether this actually happens, after the big win.
   37. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:48 AM (#3892257)
So after record peace-time government spending for two years

Wait, how many wars do we need to be fighting to have this not count as "peace-time"?
   38. TerpNats Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:07 AM (#3892273)
The Times probably has sports features on its front page about once every two or three weeks. The Dunn story is hardly the first one that would have seemed oddly placed not that long ago.
I remember they ran one when the Tigers were ending their abysmal season in 2003, but that involved a possible tying of the '62 Mets record. Dunn has no ties to New York teams, and while he's fondly remembered in Washington (where the Times has many readers), his woes aren't that big a deal in D.C., since Jayson Werth -- a far better all-around player -- is having struggles of his own.
   39. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#3892287)
Wait, how many wars do we need to be fighting to have this not count as "peace-time"?


More than two, apparently.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3892295)
Alex Rios is having an even more embarrassing season than Dunn. Nice defense too.
   41. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:31 AM (#3892298)

So after record peace-time government spending for two years,


It's peace-time?
   42. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#3892306)
Wait, how many wars do we need to be fighting to have this not count as "peace-time"?
1 World or Civil, 2.5 "police actions", 3.5 Supporting NATO Actions, 5 UN Peacekeeping Missions.
   43. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#3892310)
Because the biggest problem with the economy right now is that companies don't have enough cash on hand to invest in their businesses!
I know! Imagine if the companies comprising the S&P 500 had, I don't know, $1 trillion or so just sitting in cash on their balance sheets? Imagine the job-creatin' they'd be doing then!
   44. bigglou115 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#3892317)
Hey, I'm agreeing with you! Once we lay off a bunch of schoolteachers and other unnecessary government parasites, what used to be their salaries will become "freed-up capital"! Because the biggest problem with the economy right now is that companies don't have enough cash on hand to invest in their businesses! So by putting more people out of work - or "work," as we conservatives like to say - we'll create jobs!


I see what your saying, and usually would agree with your sentiment. But the problem is that the government hasn't been responsibly spending. JMK would say that government spending only benefits the economy if it encourages investment. In other words the idea would be to get people out of "save" mode and into "invest" mode, either through spending or directly. Current government spending practices have done nothing to accomplish that goal, so reducing inefficient spending probably isn't a bad idea.
   45. Srul Itza Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:19 AM (#3892334)
1 World or Civil, 2.5 "police actions", 3.5 Supporting NATO Actions, 5 UN Peacekeeping Missions.


Iraq and Afghanistan are two.

Then we have our quasi-Drone Wars in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and wherever else we are sending Predators out. And I don't care what the Equivocator-In-Chief says, if you are bombing somebody's territory, you are at war with them.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3892336)
Stupid politics threads! I thought this was a baseball site.
   47. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3892339)
In other words the idea would be to get people out of "save" mode and into "invest" mode, either through spending or directly.


So if all these government-funded parasites had been sinking their money into penny stocks rather than wasting it on irresponsible crap like food, we'd be a lot better off.

Stupid government workers!
   48. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#3892346)
Slashing federal spending by less than 3% over 10 years during a recession, the opposite of what should be done under intelligent economic practice, didn't do it? Who'd a thunk it?
Setting aside the faith-based Keynesian stimulus arguments, spending is not being cut at all, let alone "slashed." Spending continues to go up and up and up under the plan. It just doesn't go up quite as fast as previously projected.


Yes, absolutely. What this economy needs is to throw several hundred thousand government employees out of work, so we can get unemployment back to 10 percent. That will certainly get the economy moving again.
It will if they're the right employees, the ones who hinder economic growth by enforcing regulations.
   49. bigglou115 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:48 AM (#3892351)
So if all these government-funded parasites had been sinking their money into penny stocks rather than wasting it on irresponsible crap like food, we'd be a lot better off.


What are you even talking about? If decreased spending leads to changes in the interest rates or even a decrease in certain taxes (not necessarily the "rich people tax cuts" but the ones that hit middle class) then it's worth it in the long run. And for the record, if your going to spout Keynes then you should read him, spending money is investment, stocks aren't what I was referencing at all.
   50. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 04, 2011 at 02:50 AM (#3892353)
Two more years of A.J. Burnett after this one. God help us, and I'm not even a Yankee fan.
   51. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:42 AM (#3892371)
At some point the solution is going to be "less people".
   52. Jay Z Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3892378)
What are you even talking about? If decreased spending leads to changes in the interest rates or even a decrease in certain taxes (not necessarily the "rich people tax cuts" but the ones that hit middle class) then it's worth it in the long run. And for the record, if your going to spout Keynes then you should read him, spending money is investment, stocks aren't what I was referencing at all.


I'm not sure how decreased spending would lead to changes in the interest rates, since they are about as low as you can go. It probably wouldn't be a bad thing if interest rates rose somehow, but decreased spending isn't going to accomplish that.

If the deficit is a concern, why throw away all the savings on yet another tax cut? Why not keep it and reduce the deficit? Tax cuts are poor stimulus, because they go to people who already are working and earning money and don't need to spend.

What do we have? We have the deficit, which is partially reduced revenues due to tax cutting policy and the recession, partly spending which is mostly military at this point. We have ample capital to invest, which is sitting around doing nothing. We have unemployed people who are sitting around doing nothing. Every day someone who could be productive is out of a job is lost foerver.

We've got a lot of public and private debt. We've decided that taxes can no longer ever be raised for any reason at any time, even though we are doing things like fighting wars that should probably be paid for so we're being honest with ourselves. I would like to see us go with a combination of tariffs, industrial policy, and tax policy that would force the idle capital off the sidelines. Maybe see if there are any policies that make it easier for families to get by on one income, though a lot of that is societal; it would certainly be possible for people to live in the houses of 40-50 years ago with one car, though the added girth of the average American might make that a tighter squeeze, literally.

None of this matters, as we remain offically hypnotized by free trade and laissez-faire for the forseeable future.
   53. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:02 AM (#3892382)
At some point the solution is going to be "less people".

Then emigration kicks in. For 4-5 years at the bottom of the Great Depression the US had more emigrants than immigrants.
   54. bigglou115 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:08 AM (#3892408)
I'm not sure how decreased spending would lead to changes in the interest rates, since they are about as low as you can go. It probably wouldn't be a bad thing if interest rates rose somehow, but decreased spending isn't going to accomplish that.

If the deficit is a concern, why throw away all the savings on yet another tax cut? Why not keep it and reduce the deficit? Tax cuts are poor stimulus, because they go to people who already are working and earning money and don't need to spend


The interest rates are being artificially kept down to spur the economy. If we can secure the national debt then we can actually finance the interest rate at its current percentage, or as you noted at a slight increase since the QE2 program is ending and the rate will probably rise without the government acting as a buyer in the treasury securities market.

As for the tax cuts, I'm not really in favor of offering more. My argument is more based around hte idea that the government has proven itself inept at spending money, so while encouraging more spending by the middle class might not be as beneficial as stimulis directed at the lower class but the I have no doubt anymore that the government's attempt to do so would be even less efficient.
   55. Ron J Posted: August 04, 2011 at 11:45 PM (#3893048)
You guys define "war" differently than I do. Afghanistan (and the stuff in Pakistan) is basically counter-insurgency (granted, on behalf of another nation. It's an odd situation). And Libya? Dunno. Gunboat diplomacy is the best I can come up with.

Point being that while the ongoing conflicts aren't cheap by any means in absolute terms they are relatively cheap compared to (say) "Iraqi Freedom" or the like. It's a level of intensity (particularly after Afghanistan winds down) that is easily sustainable and not punishingly expensive.

The point being that military expenditures can be cut if required. It's likely to be inconvenient but so are other spending cuts that are on the table.
   56. Squash Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#3893111)
We've decided that taxes can no longer ever be raised for any reason at any time, even though we are doing things like fighting wars that should probably be paid for so we're being honest with ourselves.

Tax policy has gone nuts in this country. If the economy is good, taxes must be lowered because they're an unnecessary burden. If the economy is bad, taxes must be lowered because they're an unnecessary drag. Meanwhile we have just about the lowest, if the not the lowest, tax rate of any westernized nation and runaway government debt. And people shouting about a balanced budget amendment who at the same time are willing to go to the wall over no new taxes. The federal government borrowed one out of every three dollars it spent last year. Which third of the federal government do we want to cut? Or if we end all our military activity, which fourth?

As for the tax cuts, I'm not really in favor of offering more. My argument is more based around hte idea that the government has proven itself inept at spending money, so while encouraging more spending by the middle class might not be as beneficial as stimulis directed at the lower class but the I have no doubt anymore that the government's attempt to do so would be even less efficient.

The government's got to get out of the stimulus business as soon as it can. But the problem with getting on the government about spending money is everyone wants it to spend money - Democrats in New York and California do, Republicans do in Texas and Alabama do. They just want the government to spend it on them, and not on anybody else. But at some point we have to start paying for all this stuff, even if we don't like that all these other dang Americans are making us spend it. Make no mistake: spending must go down. And make no mistake: taxes must go up. At least if we actually want to solve this problem. Anyone who thinks we're go to make it doing one without the other just isn't doing math. Or is arguing ideology, which is worse.
   57. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:01 PM (#3893259)
Which third of the federal government do we want to cut? Or if we end all our military activity, which fourth?
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, about half the DoD, the DoE (both of them), the DoT, the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, HUD, any part of HHS not previously mentioned, and much of DHS.

Obviously we can't simply zero all these out, much as I'd like to; we'd have to freeze them and gradually phase them out.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:19 PM (#3893263)
Which third of the federal government do we want to cut? Or if we end all our military activity, which fourth?


Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, about half the DoD, the DoE (both of them), the DoT, the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, HUD, any part of HHS not previously mentioned, and much of DHS.

Obviously we can't simply zero all these out, much as I'd like to; we'd have to freeze them and gradually phase them out.


And if you don't swallow this garbage, then you're either a "socialist" or you have no "principles".** Beneath all the flowerly BS about "liberty" and "freedom", this is the true face of modern day "libertarianism".

**If David's posts over the years are any indication, the only "principles" that our current crop of libertarians allow for are (1) their own; (2) "socialist"; or (3) "none".
   59. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:36 PM (#3893265)
**If David's posts over the years are any indication, the only "principles" that our current crop of libertarians allow for are (1) their own; (2) "socialist"; or (3) "none".
Sort of weird for you to get all faux outraged about that. If RobinRed said, "Hey, I have principles; they're just different than yours" that would be one thing. (Note: I have never accused him of not having them.) But you expressly decry the very notion of principles. (Look at the way you can't even say the word without putting scare quotes around it.) So why pretend to be offended at the accusation that you don't have principles, when you're proud of that fact?
   60. Hack Wilson Posted: August 05, 2011 at 12:39 PM (#3893267)
inscrutable nickname Big Donkey,


There have been many Mules in baseball history, incuding one in the Hall. Why is Adam the only Donkey?

(Mule Haas and Moose Haas are apparently unrelated.)
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3893286)
**If David's posts over the years are any indication, the only "principles" that our current crop of libertarians allow for are (1) their own; (2) "socialist"; or (3) "none".

Sort of weird for you to get all faux outraged about that. If RobinRed said, "Hey, I have principles; they're just different than yours" that would be one thing. (Note: I have never accused him of not having them.) But you expressly decry the very notion of principles. (Look at the way you can't even say the word without putting scare quotes around it.) So why pretend to be offended at the accusation that you don't have principles, when you're proud of that fact?


All that BS is just another way of saying that the only "principles" you acknowledge are either your own or that of a strawman, which you can then deconstruct or ridicule. What you call a lack of "principles" is usually nothing more than a willingness to consider more than one factor before coming to an opinion in a particular case, rather than trying to ram square pegs into round holes.

And of course what you also refuse to acknowledge is that most public issues involve competing principles, each of which present its own demands. Most people, including yourself, prioritize their principles in those cases, and acknowledge the conflict while eventually choosing between them. But while you're perfectly willing to give yourself a rhetorical pass when you make such choices, you're not willing to grant anyone else the same right.

Add to this the fact that your particular set of "principles" is so narrowly focused on one micropoint---stripping the government of any function beyond protecting private property and repelling foreign enemies---and it's not hard to see where your Ayn Rand Primer rhetoric comes from. It's little more than a variant of the sort of right wing "principles", minus the racial and religious baggage, that have been around since the Gilded Age, where everyone who doesn't buy into your ideology is either a "socialist" or a "statist".
   62. villageidiom Posted: August 05, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#3893299)
I invite Andy and David to take their argument private. It's easy, boys: click on the username to go to the account page, click on the email button, and send directly to each other. I ask for others to encourage the same, if they feel the same way.

I'm sure we could have at least attempted* a meaningful discussion of #57, but after #58 that isn't happening. There's nothing the other folks in this site can add to your discussion other than an audience, and based on #59 and #61 I'd say you neither need nor deserve an audience for it. You're arguing about each other. Get a room.

* I doubt that David would have budged from his stance, nor that he would have convinced anyone else that he's right. But that's neither here nor there.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3893320)
I'm sure we could have at least attempted* a meaningful discussion of #57


There are too many states today. Please eliminate three.

P.S. - I am not a crackpot.
   64. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3893338)
I'm sure we could have at least attempted* a meaningful discussion of #57

Really? How meaningful a discussion could we have about something that simply is never going to happen? Medicare, medicaid, and especially social security and the DoD, are not going anywhere. Ever. No matter how many so-called fiscal conservatives get elected to anything. The only debate is about who to tax to pay for them (and whether to do so at the point of a gun, of course).
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 05, 2011 at 02:56 PM (#3893344)
There are too many states today. Please eliminate three.

P.S. - I am not a crackpot.


Far from it. You sound like a man of principles. (smile)

I'm sure we could have at least attempted* a meaningful discussion of #57, but after #58 that isn't happening.

Be my guest. You and David can have the whole suite to have a meaningful discussion about whether you want the United States to become Chile or Monaco.
   66. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:21 PM (#3893366)
Be my guest. You and David can have the whole suite to have a meaningful discussion about whether you want the United States to become Chile or Monaco.


I thought they were shooting for Somalia.
   67. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#3893368)
I vote for Monaco.
   68. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3893372)
The balance between capital and labor has gone out of kilter, the balance between finance and non-finance has gone out of kilter, and the balance between rich and middle-class has gone out of kilter. And yes, the balance between what government promises to do and what it can do has gone out of kilter.

This is what happens when you ship manufacturing overseas, pay CEOs so much more than labor, and structure your economy around money changing, credit for all, entertainment, and government.

The economy, and both its ability and propensity to create jobs, has fundamentally changed for the indefinite future.(**) My sense is that that state of affairs is quickly becoming normalized, as there seems to be no political will to either do anything for the unemployed or for the political class to give the unemployed a voice. With the recession of unions, there's no structural mechanism to help the unemployed organize around the issue most important to them. We've become Europe, with fewer barricades and strikers in the streets, and with more bread and circus.

(**) And the stock market is finally seeing it, which is why the last two weeks have happened.
   69. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#3893386)
Still have to pay for the bread and circus eventually.
   70. villageidiom Posted: August 06, 2011 at 03:26 AM (#3894076)
Be my guest. You and David can have the whole suite to have a meaningful discussion about whether you want the United States to become Chile or Monaco.
You have me mistaken for someone who would've taken David's side of the argument.

I do lean libertarian, but few self-identified libertarians would consider me one. I recognize the need for government to do stuff for the common good, often with benefits that do not necessarily flow in correlation (at least not positively) with the funding of those benefits. I see some of these things as essential. I see a useful purpose for each of the departments David mentions, though I'd be willing to consider that they could be reduced (or expanded), and could see meaningful discussions on that taking place here. The reason I say I lean libertarian is that in every election I've ever been involved with I tend to think we as a nation need less government intervention than either of the major candidates promise.

Ultimately, however, I wonder how Adam Dunn's contract could be singled out by the NYT as so bad, when A.J. Burnett is right there, and John Lackey will do his best on Saturday to tell us that he will not be ignored.
Really? How meaningful a discussion could we have about something that simply is never going to happen?
There have been plenty of meaningful discussions on this site about divisional realignment plans that would separate the Cubs and Cardinals. I don't see why that's much different.
   71. tshipman Posted: August 06, 2011 at 06:09 AM (#3894105)
Which third of the federal government do we want to cut? Or if we end all our military activity, which fourth?
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, about half the DoD, the DoE (both of them), the DoT, the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, HUD, any part of HHS not previously mentioned, and much of DHS.

Obviously we can't simply zero all these out, much as I'd like to; we'd have to freeze them and gradually phase them out.


See, I have no problem with this, because it's an honest answer. I fundamentally disagree with David on the role of government in society, and the way that governments interact, but it's a realistic answer.

I am mildly curious, in an intellectual sort of way, whether David would vote for Obama if it were Obama or Bachmann.

This from ValueArbitrager:
Also news to me that government employees aren't employed as a weighty tax on the back of actual productive free enterprise. Since most government employees are a tax on the output of the GDP, they don't add to it.

And this from David:
It will if they're the right employees, the ones who hinder economic growth by enforcing regulations.

Is crazy talk. Because the problem the economy had in 2008 was over-regulation and too many government employees. That's what the problem was.
   72. rr Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:55 AM (#3894126)
The economy, and both its ability and propensity to create jobs, has fundamentally changed for the indefinite future.(**)


I agree with this. I am not sure what to do about it.
   73. BDC Posted: August 06, 2011 at 12:44 PM (#3894152)
I have no problem with this, because it's an honest answer. I fundamentally disagree with David on the role of government in society, and the way that governments interact, but it's a realistic answer

I have no problem either; I think it's an honest principle and not disingenuous in any way.

I do think that cutting all that infrastructure (well, libertarians might call it bloated big government, but I think a bunch of it is infrastructure :) would lead to a lower standard of living for almost everybody, a death-blow to entrepreneurs who'd find they couldn't get goods and services to markets that would cease to exist, a really big retrenchment and reversal of a way of life that, however half-assedly arrived at via compromises of principles both right and left, lets me get up on a Saturday morning, drink cheap coffee from halfway round the world, and sit down at a highly-functional laptop to read the boxscores and chat about politics online. while waiting for the temperatures to hit 100 degrees and the air-conditioning to protect me from dehydration and madness. But I think that a lot of libertarians have the courage of their convictions; they really wouldn't mind leading the Oregon-Trail lifestyle. May the most resistant to cholera reap the spoils!
   74. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 06, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3894169)
But I think that a lot of libertarians have the courage of their convictions; they really wouldn't mind leading the Oregon-Trail lifestyle.


So what's stopping them?
   75. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 06, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3894173)
while waiting for the temperatures to hit 100 degrees and the air-conditioning to protect me from dehydration and madness

Not to mention human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 06, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3894175)
But I think that a lot of libertarians have the courage of their convictions; they really wouldn't mind leading the Oregon-Trail lifestyle.


So what's stopping them?

Obviously it's their lack of principles.
   77. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 06, 2011 at 02:09 PM (#3894189)
May the most resistant to cholera reap the spoils!

Don't forget dysentery. If old educational computer games are any guide, that was the worst killer on the Oregon Trail.
   78. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 06, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3894384)
I am mildly curious, in an intellectual sort of way, whether David would vote for Obama if it were Obama or Bachmann.
None of the above. The only two of the major party candidates I could vote for are Ron Paul (*) and Gary Johnson. Assuming neither of them wins the nomination -- something which would seem about as likely as the Orioles winning the World Series this year -- I'll be voting Libertarian, as usual. If we lived in some bizzaro world where the two you named were the only choices, I'd stay home.


(*) I actually have significant differences from Paul, but it's like we're in Australia and we're debating whether to go to New York or Boston: we're so far away from either of our destinations that the dispute doesn't matter. Let's wait until we get to the East Coast and then worry about how much further we're going.

It will if they're the right employees, the ones who hinder economic growth by enforcing regulations.

Is crazy talk. Because the problem the economy had in 2008 was over-regulation and too many government employees. That's what the problem was.
Obviously, I strongly disagree with the implication that the 2008 crisis was caused by "underregulation," or that additional regulation is a prevention, treatment, or cure. But I wasn't referring specifically to the 2008 situation; I was talking about the economy in general.
   79. tshipman Posted: August 06, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3894391)
Obviously, I strongly disagree with the implication that the 2008 crisis was caused by "underregulation," or that additional regulation is a prevention, treatment, or cure. But I wasn't referring specifically to the 2008 situation; I was talking about the economy in general.


If you want to talk about the economy in general, a large part of this recession has been caused by the cutting of government workers.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/06/289535/without-public-sector-layoffs-unemployment/

If we had kept public employment where it was in 2008, we'd have 8.4% unemployment. That would be a huge help. In addition, it's very difficult to make the case that the economy in general is struggling due to over-regulation. Businesses are not holding on to large cash reserves because of uncertainty with respect to regulation. This recession is very different from past ones, in that it was not correlated with a contraction of the money supply by the Fed.

Imo, we seem to be in a liquidity trap. There aren't great opportunities for investment due to the housing surplus. If you think that over-regulation is causing the liquidity trap, I would ask you which regulations?

Edit: Gary Johnson isn't all bad. I could live with Gary Johnson--he seems like a reasonable choice for president. Not what I want from a social standpoint, but he's not a nutjob. Pretty much everyone else that the Republican party seems to be running out there (Paul included) is a nutjob or trying to look like one (Romney).
   80. bobm Posted: August 06, 2011 at 10:58 PM (#3894465)
[79] If we had kept public employment where it was in 2008, we'd have 8.4% unemployment. That would be a huge help

Yeah, To Obama's chances for re-election. For the economy, not so much. (This reminds me of the 2010 Census hiring and subsequent collection of unemployment insurance by census workers, which served in part to mask unemployment.)

This recession is very different from past ones, in that it was not correlated with a contraction of the money supply by the Fed.

Imo, we seem to be in a liquidity trap. There aren't great opportunities for investment due to the housing surplus. If you think that over-regulation is causing the liquidity trap, I would ask you which regulations?


Do the Fed's QE count? Is cheap money helping end the recession, or is it merely keeping the US government's cost of borrowing low while the national debt rises?
   81. Gotham Dave Posted: August 06, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3894470)
Yeah, To Obama's chances for re-election. For the economy, not so much. (This reminds me of the 2010 Census hiring and subsequent collection of unemployment insurance by census workers, which served in part to mask unemployment.)
Well, I think it's safe to say it would also be beneficial to those ~1 million workers. You know, having a job and all. And, hey, maybe they would've spent their income on something, increasing demand and making more jobs. But I guess we'll never know.

As for the census, I don't buy that it masks unemployment. Maybe it did in the few months that the census was employing hundreds of thousands. But if they're collecting unemployment, that's what makes them count as unemployed. As it happened, I worked for the Census in 2009, and I've been unemployed since. I counted as unemployed longer than if I had just collected from the job I had before that. Right now? I'm not unemployed. Just an able-bodied 27 year old non-worker with a bachelor's degree. I'm super pumped about those spending cuts.
   82. tshipman Posted: August 06, 2011 at 11:18 PM (#3894476)
Yeah, To Obama's chances for re-election. For the economy, not so much. (This reminds me of the 2010 Census hiring and subsequent collection of unemployment insurance by census workers, which served in part to mask unemployment.)


So more than a half million jobs wouldn't help the economy? How the hell does that make any sense?


Do the Fed's QE count? Is cheap money helping end the recession, or is it merely keeping the US government's cost of borrowing low while the national debt rises?


Most of the other recessions have been correlated to the Fed raising rates to prevent inflation. This recession had nothing to do with that--most of the traditional monetary policy tools have been unavailable to the Fed. You can't lower interest rates below 0.

QE has nothing to do with government debt, and has to do with increasing the money supply. If you make money cheaper, IOW, you remove barriers to spending it. Companies are not spending that money.

What is your argument for QE causing the liquidity trap? If you write a good enough paper, I'm pretty sure you'll win the Nobel Prize in Economics, since it would be a radical change from current economic thought.
   83. bobm Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3894489)
[82] So more than a half million jobs wouldn't help the economy? How the hell does that make any sense?

You said "huge help." I think the difference between 8% and 9% unemployment would affect the President's chances for re-election disproportionately to its impact on GDP.

QE has nothing to do with government debt, and has to do with increasing the money supply. If you make money cheaper, IOW, you remove barriers to spending it. Companies are not spending that money.

But the government is spending that money, and it is easier to run up the national debt when money is cheaper.

Large companies are hoarding cash because their outlook remains negative, no matter how cheap money is. Perhaps that's because we keep kicking the deficit reduction can down the road as part of our non-functional government. Greenspan created a housing bubble to paper over the wreckage of the dot com bubble. QE is not going to restore confidence in the economy just by injecting cheap cash and maybe it is helping to push off the day of reckoning.

Individuals and small companies that could take greater risks have a hard time borrowing. Perhaps that's because banks think they can earn greater returns speculating using cheap money rather than lending it out.
   84. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3894490)
it is easiercheaper to run up the national debt when money is cheapereasier.
   85. tshipman Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:38 AM (#3894492)
But the government is spending that money, and it is easier to run up the national debt when money is cheaper.


The Fed is completely disconnected from Fiscal policy. This statement literally does not make any sense.


Large companies are hoarding cash because their outlook remains negative, no matter how cheap money is. Perhaps that's because we keep kicking the deficit reduction can down the road as part of our non-functional government. Greenspan created a housing bubble to paper over the wreckage of the dot com bubble. QE is not going to restore confidence in the economy just by injecting cheap cash and maybe it is helping to push off the day of reckoning.


Point 1: Greenspan didn't create a housing bubble. Alan Greenspan isn't an evil genius. He's an economist who was right a whole bunch and wrong about a few very important things.
Point 2: Why would private companies be worried about US debt? They never have before. I can see being worried about over-leveraging, but not about the US government debt.
Point 3: Imo, companies are hoarding cash because there isn't anything good to invest it in. Companies are not hiring because of huge productivity gains making further hiring unnecessary.
   86. bobm Posted: August 07, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#3894499)
[85]
But the government is spending that money, and it is easier to run up the national debt when money is cheaper.

The Fed is completely disconnected from Fiscal policy. This statement literally does not make any sense.


Nobody is saying that the Fed and fiscal policy are jointly controlled. They are connected in the sense that they are linked. Among its other assets, the Fed holds U.S Treasury securities. Among its other purchases, the Fed purchased significant amounts of U.S Treasury securities as part of its QE. If the Fed acts to prop up the market for U.S. debt, whether that is its goal or not, it has the effect of keeping government interest expense low, especially when the government replaces expiring debt with new debt.

Point 1: Greenspan didn't create a housing bubble. Alan Greenspan isn't an evil genius. He's an economist who was right a whole bunch and wrong about a few very important things.


Does this mean you believe the Fed and monetary policy are also disconnected? :)

The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, unlike other economists, has the power to affect markets. Greenspan is significantly to blame for the housing bubble, the financial crisis, through the Fed's actions to drastically reduce interest rates in 2001-2004 via the fed funds rate (to all time lows in the fed funds rate). Even the Fed admits that increases in liquidity it fosters are transmitted through the housing market. Greenspan did not have to make public speeches praising ARMs and subprime mortgages, but he did.

Point 2: Why would private companies be worried about US debt? They never have before. I can see being worried about over-leveraging, but not about the US government debt.


C.E.O.s who run companies that sell goods and services worry about:
*GDP growth;
*interest rates and costs of borrowing;
*inflation (a favorite tool of governments to reduce their debt burdens);
*the imposition of higher marginal tax rates on consumers to pay rising interest costs; and,
*decreasing effectiveness of fiscal policy (and resources available) to smooth economic cycles.

In other words, they worry about the sorts of things affected by high levels of debt. This latest debt-ceiling fiasco is only highlighting the trajectory this country is on and the structural inability (entrenched interests, gerrymandered congressional districts, etc.) of both parties to work to solve the problem.

Point 3: Imo, companies are hoarding cash because there isn't anything good to invest it in. Companies are not hiring because of huge productivity gains making further hiring unnecessary.


There may not be anything good to invest in in the U.S., but U.S. and foreign companies are investing huge amounts in overseas projects and companies, thanks to the Fed and QE. The Fed makes liquidity, but doesn't control how it is put to use. With respect to hiring, the disturbing trend now is that many companies that are hiring advertise that they want only "currently employed or recently employed" candidates. The long-term unemployed are apparently not a class protected from discrimination.
   87. tshipman Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:02 AM (#3894521)
There may not be anything good to invest in in the U.S., but U.S. and foreign companies are investing huge amounts in overseas projects and companies, thanks to the Fed and QE. The Fed makes liquidity, but doesn't control how it is put to use. With respect to hiring, the disturbing trend now is that many companies that are hiring advertise that they want only "currently employed or recently employed" candidates. The long-term unemployed are apparently not a class protected from discrimination.


Making the dollar cheaper makes it harder to invest in foreign countries, not easier. It encourages foreign investors to invest in the US.
   88. bobm Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:24 AM (#3894527)
[87] Making the dollar cheaper makes it harder to invest in foreign countries, not easier. It encourages foreign investors to invest in the US.

I missed the part of the story where QE has reduced the U.S. trade deficit.

Corporations that can borrow cheaply in the U.S. put that money to work where the yields are highest, and that has meant less in the U.S. and more in commodities and overseas economies and in emerging economies, esp. including those whose currencies are pegged to the dollar.

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