49 Responses to Republican victory is no change at all

  • Deb says:

    I agree Art. I feel like I’m dumber for having watched ( wasting precious minutes of my life) those videos . And I’m sell not really sure what I was so supposed to get out of them?! All this bickering back and forth and where is really getting anyone? Right to left blame is layed, so what are WE ( the people ) supposed to do or going to do, if changing from left to right isn’t the solution? At the end of the day, that’s the real question. I didn’t hear any intelligent answers in this post so I’m moving on. Peace!

  • David Jones says:

    Art Deco – You ask a good question. Here’s my response.

    1. The Catholic Church does not endorse any particular political system nor party.
    2. To be Catholic does not equate in being a Republican (or a Democrat).
    3. As Americans we should be very concerned about our debt and the value of the Dollar. This has very real world concerns which effect all our lives and those of our families, friends, neighborhoods, local communities, etc.
    4. Politically and economically if the Republicans are serious about balancing the budget and dealing with the debt they must deal with the 800 lb guerrilla in the room, the Department of the Defense. This is what Senator-elect Rand Paul, Glenn Beck and Gerald Celente all have right. Will the Republicans cage this guerrilla? (The pink elephant in the room are entitlements, i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) I have serious doubts that either party has the will or fortitude to do wants has to be done to get our fiscal and monetary house in order.

  • David Jones says:

    One aspect that the above videos and articles don’t address is this one. Politically this is a big deal which will effect elections for the next decade…

    Republicans gain edge in redistricting
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2010-11-09-redistricting09_ST_N.htm

    Personally I am intrigued by this tenuous union of conservatives and libertarians.

    Daniel McCarthy on the Future of the American Conservative Magazine and Taking Back the Right
    http://www.thedailybell.com/1453/Daniel-McCarthy-on-the-Future-of-the-American-Conservative-Magazine-and-Taking-Back-the-Right.html

    Nelson Hultberg on Libertarian-Conservatism and His New Conservative American Political Party
    http://www.thedailybell.com/1311/Nelson-Hultberg-on-Libertarian-Conservatism-and-His-New-Conservative-American-Political-Party.html

    The possibility of a serious and vibrant third party forming and gaining traction is something of interest as well. Shaking up both political party’s establishments is a good thing.

    http://www.spoilerusa.org/

  • David Jones says:

    “Rush had former President George W. Bush on during the second hour of his show today… I know you probably watched Matt Lauer’s interview with Bush last night, and you might be thinking that you’ve heard it all, but I assure you this interview is quite different. Rush mixes in current issues with issues during his Bush’s presidency. They talk Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, Obama’s blaming the financial crisis on him, ‘This war is lost’ by Harry Reid, Sarah Palin (a little), and so much more.”

    Full Interview: George W. Bush with Matt Lauer
    http://www.therightscoop.com/full-interview-george-w-bush-with-matt-lauer

    Rush interviews George W. Bush
    http://www.therightscoop.com/awesome-rush-interviews-george-w-bush

  • David Jones says:

    Art Deco – I gave my sincere answer above to your question. I am not sure what your point is. You haven’t stated it.

    The only thing I could add is that I am gaining some appreciation of Libertarian thought. There is some good, much good in it. I am still in the process of judging it though. My friends here at The American Catholic are assisting me in this process. I think Blackadder has went through a similar experience to my understanding and has a more mature judgment. He will have to speak for himself though if he desires to do so.

  • David Jones says:

    DarwinCatholic & for anyone else who has an interest regarding Precious Metals – We are no where near a Gold bubble. It will have to reach well over $2500 an ounce even to reach its normal historic price adjusted to inflation. It is still undervalued. Silver is even a better investment option. For example check out the consistent growth of the USAA Precious Metals and Minerals fund. Check out its Morningstar rating and its performance in the last 5 years. On Google Finance you can even look at a ten year period. All you have to do is expand the chart.

    http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=MUTF:USAGX

    At Coininfo.com you can check out the 24hr, 1 week, 1 month and and 1 year price of the four major Precious Metals.

    http://www.coininfo.com/charts/

  • Blackadder says:

    It will have to reach well over $2500 an ounce even to reach its normal historic price adjusted to inflation.

    $2500 would be the all time high for gold. Not the normal historic price.

  • David Jones says:

    Blackadder (& DarwinCatholic) – I understand what you’re saying but you are not adjusting the price to inflation… The price needs to exceed well over $2000 an ounce. It would have to reach $4000-5000 an ounce to be anywhere near a bubble.

    http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Gold/Gold_inflation_chart.htm

    And the historic ratio of Gold to Silver is still extremely high (currently 50:1, but historically 15:1) therefore the price of Silver has enormous potential to increase.

    More importantly what do you think of my comments above regarding Art Deco’s question? I think you probably understand what I am going through more than others.

  • Blackadder says:

    I understand what you’re saying but you are not adjusting the price to inflation

    I did adjust for inflation. The all time high price for gold in today’s dollars $2251. That’s not the normal price.

    And the historic ratio of Gold to Silver is still extremely high (currently 50:1, but historically 15:1) therefore the price of Silver has enormous potential to increase.

    I believe that the historical 16:1 ratio between gold and silver was more a matter of law than supply and demand. The relationship has not held for the last 100+ years (this chart shows the ration since 1971). In any event, even if you assume a reversion to a 15:1 ratio, it doesn’t follow that silver is going to go up. It might just as well mean that gold is going to go down.

  • David Jones says:

    Allow me to gently guide us back on topic of the main post above.

    What is positive about Libertarian thought?

    What is negative about Libertarian thought?

    Are Republicans beyond critique?

    Is the current two-party system working in the best interest of the American people?

    Could a credible third-party gain enough strength to become one of the big two parties? For example think of the Whig Party.

    What’s our history of political parties in the U.S.?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Party_System

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Party_System

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Party_System

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Party_System

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Party_System

    Is it time for a Sixth Party System?

  • Paul Zummo says:

    Could a credible third-party gain enough strength to become one of the big two parties? For example think of the Whig Party.

    There has never been a credible third-party in this country, Wikipedia citations notwithstanding. The Whig Party was never a third party, nor was the Republican party.

  • David Jones says:

    Parties die and new ones take their place. Considering our own American history of political parties it’s important not to be anachronistic. There is no reason why either party, Democrat or Republican, must remain. Both are replaceable. History shows us this.

    Third party movements, some better than others, can effect one party or both parties. The two-party system works best when they absorb the important ideas into their platforms and governing philosophy. When they fail to do so though and that outside force is big and powerful enough it’s possible that the older party is replaced by another who better meets the needs of that time or era.

  • David Jones says:

    The Republican and Democratic parties have remained b/c they developed or evolved over the decades. To be sure they are not the same parties of their beginnings or even that of earlier generations.

    There is an opportunity now to begin again…

  • Blackadder says:

    Paul is right that never in American history has a Third Party supplanted one of the two major parties. Mostly they have been single issue/personality driven, with a very short shelf life.

    This isn’t a coincidence, but is an unavoidable consequence of our electoral system.

    It’s much much easier to change one of the major parties from within than it is to replace one of them with something new.

  • David Jones says:

    It’s possible that a so-called Third Party could replace one of the main-stream parties. Refer to what just happened… The near-call that the Colorado Republican Party just had with Tom Tancredo and the Constitution Party. Had the Republicans not got 10% of the vote they wouldn’t have been on the ballot for the next two election cycles to my understanding. That nearly happened.

    The Presidential race and the dominance of the two parties is really a racket though… The way they mandate that a person has 15% support before the Pres. debates. Unless you’re a millionaire how to do you get the publicly before the debates? It’s nearly impossible.

  • David Jones says:

    If the Dollar loses the standard of being the World’s Reserve Currency, we are going to have major problems. When we go into an era of inflation (or hyperinflation) b/c we can’t pay our debt and folks can’t hardly put bread on the table, both parties will be blamed and rightly so. A major shake-up will occur, but probably not until then. Unless we get our fiscal and monetary houses in order now, that’s exactly the direction we are heading. That’s is not good news for anyone.

  • David Jones says:

    You can’t credibly claim that Ross Perot and the Reform Party didn’t effect the election in ’92. You can’t credibly claim that Ralph Nader didn’t effect the election of ’00. Third Parties and their candidates do matter…

  • Blackadder says:

    David,

    The Republican party would have continued to be on the ballot even if it didn’t get 10% in the governor’s race, it just would have gotten one of the top two slots on the ballot.

    Obviously there are cases where a Third Party candidate can affect the outcome of an election. Perot may be an example of that. And there are even examples of Third Party or Independent candidates winning lower office. This, however, is not the same as the Third Party replacing one of the two main parties. Jesse Ventura was elected governor in Minnesota back in the 1990s, for example, but today you still have Republicans and Democrats fighting it out there as if it never happened.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    You can’t credibly claim that Ross Perot and the Reform Party didn’t effect the election in ’92. You can’t credibly claim that Ralph Nader didn’t effect the election of ’00. Third Parties and their candidates do matter…

    And how are those parties doing now?

  • When we go into an era of inflation (or hyperinflation) b/c we can’t pay our debt and folks can’t hardly put bread on the table, both parties will be blamed and rightly so. A major shake-up will occur, but probably not until then.

    I would agree that a breakdown of the two party system is probably about a likely as inflation in the US keeping people from putting food on the table — it’s just that I put a much different likelihood on the inflation scenario.

  • David Jones says:

    Blackadder – I think we are pretty saying the same thing with a little bit of different nuance.

    Joe – Ideas have consequences.

    Paul – Perot hurt H.W. and Nader killed Gore in Florida. One could argue the Tea Party is just a new birth of the Reform Party in many regards. The Republican Party is on a short fuse with Tea Party support. If Ron Paul runs third-party in 2012 all bets are off.

    DarwinCatholic – The rising prices of commodities over the six months is a fact. For example, cotton rising by 54%, corn rising by 29%, soybeans rising by 22%, orange juice rising by 17%, and sugar rising by 51% during the months of September and October alone. Maybe you think that’s ok, but I don’t. For sure I am not the only one who feels like this. These significant rises should concern us all. How do you (or anybody) respond the below article?

    http://inflation.us/sarahpalin.html

    Team American Catholic – I think (& hope) we can all agree that we need to seriously deal with the debt and we need to get our budget in balance.

  • Paul Zummo says:

    Perot hurt H.W. and Nader killed Gore in Florida. One could argue the Tea Party is just a new birth of the Reform Party in many regards.

    One could say that. One could also say that MSNBC is a very good television network watched by many viewers, or that Mike Shanahan made the right call in benching Donovan McNabb at the end of the game against the Lions.

    If Ron Paul runs third-party in 2012 all bets are off.

    Okay. And the most that will accomplish is that Ron Paul might eat into the anti-Obama vote, thus helping Barack to victory. In fact all of your examples of third-party “success” are pretty much of people who played spoiler in this or that election, but who ultimately had no long-term significance American politics. Third party candidates have intermittent success, but the unassailable fact is that this was, is, and always will be a primarily two-party country. That the two parties might change their direction over time doesn’t mitigate the fact that we always have chosen between just two major parties.

  • David Jones says:

    Below is an excerpt from Gold Surge: Will Prices Continue to Rise? To read the entire interview click below.
    https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_blogs/Blogs?action=blogpost&blogkey=marketcommentary&postkey=fsu_21_gold_price_surge

    U.S. gold futures climbed to all-time highs in October, as weakness in the U.S. dollar spurred investors to flock to precious metals for security. USAA spoke to co-managers of the USAA Precious Metals and Minerals Fund, Dan Denbow and Mark Johnson, to get their insight on the latest surge in gold prices.

    “USAA: Some market players are afraid that the dramatic rise in gold prices is leading to a bubble.

    Mark Johnson: Just because the price has risen dramatically doesn’t mean that it is a bubble. There are very good reasons for gold’s rise: a very loose monetary policy, negative real interest rates, sovereign debt issues and a desire to reflate economies. A bubble implies irrational euphoria, but in this case, there are good reasons for the run up.

    USAA: Do you believe that the drivers causing gold’s price rise are going to continue and that gold could go significantly higher?

    Mark Johnson: Yes, if for no other reason than the mathematical certainty that government debt positions are going to be higher tomorrow than they are today. And they are going to be higher the day after tomorrow than they are tomorrow. That isn’t going to go away any time soon.

    …USAA: Currently there is very little inflation in the U.S. What is the impact on gold?

    Mark Johnson: The long-term concern is that the economy will experience inflation because of the amount of liquidity that is being pumped into the system. The Federal Reserve will likely be tolerant of inflation if it does start to increase. The Fed will want to make sure the economy is well established before it starts to tighten again. Chairman Ben Bernanke is a student of the Depression. He doesn’t want to repeat mistakes that were made in 1937, like tightening prematurely and knocking the economy right back down.”

  • David,

    I do think that the US needs to get it’s debt under control; it’s just that I don’t think that inflation in particular is a major threat to the US right now, if anything, a little inflation would help exports and thus help get the economy growing again, which is one of the main ingredients necessary to getting the deficit back under control.

    Granted that commodity prices have gone up sharply in some cases, it’s important to recall how distant those often are from the ability to “put bread on the table” for most Americans. So sugar has risen 50% — but at the same time, you can still buy a five pound bag of store brand sugar for about two dollars. Now, are Americans going to be hurting badly if the price of that bag of sugar goes to three dollars? Nor horribly, no. The fact is, basic agricultural commodities aren’t that major a part of the cost of the goods we buy these days. Labor, transportation and retail and much bigger components of the cost of a loaf of bread than wheat or sugar prices. Inflation is not going to cause any Americans to go hungry. Nor are those commodity changes signs of major inflation. Indeed, we’re at pretty much zero inflation right now — that’s why the Fed is trying to get some.

  • Art Deco says:

    Indeed, we’re at pretty much zero inflation right now — that’s why the Fed is trying to get some.

    Aye. However, at this point in the discussion, David will post four links. One will be to some character associated with the Reason Foundation who will accuse the Bureau of Labor Statistics of cooking the books in their measure of prices. Another will be to a business consultant who will tell you that the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis suffer an abiding incompetence and the he produces better statistics at his desk. A third will be to some random crank who will say that general prices indices are invalid in these circumstances and that the dynamics of commodity prices are a better indicator of what’s going on in prices generally. A fourth will be to a lapsed visiting assistant professor now suspended in the foetid waters of the von Mises Institute who will say that deflation is good for you.

  • David Jones says:

    DarwinCatholic – I think we are pretty much in agreement as well. I would only add though that significant rises in commodities will result in rising prices for food, gas, etc. This hurts everyone, but especially those that can least afford it.

    Art Deco – Why don’t you address the real need to get our fiscal and monetary house in order. Exactly how are the Republicans going to do this? Tinker around the edges, that’s how. They will attempt to eliminate the NEA or make minor changes to Obamacare, none of which has any possibility of getting through the Senate or being signed by the President. Will the Congress deal with the budget in any substantial way? For example, eliminate entire departments of government like Education, EPA, etc? Will they reform entitlements, i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc? Will they get our Defense Budget under control? The Military Industrial Complex owns the Republican Party. The Republicans are no better than the Democrats when it comes to fiscal responsibility. In fact, they are worse. They love to cut taxes and increase spending for their own pet projects (i.e. defense), which explodes the deficit and increases our debt even more. This way of doing business is not reasonable.

    Not once have I quoted from the Reason Foundation nor the Mises Inst. if my memory is correct. The vast majority of my links have came straight off the WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, etc. I don’t claim to be an expert, but when one sees the same reporting across a spectrum of news and financial sources then it’s worth our time to judge. Don’t trust me or what I say. Do your own research and make your own judgment. I just like showing folks I am not pulling this stuff out of my shorts. When I say something it’s normally been validated or verified by numerous sources.

    Is NIA credible? Glenn Beck said himself that he had them checked out 6 ways to Sunday and that they are credible. To be sure their stock recommendations and precious metal dealer recommendations have been right on mark. Is Sarah Palin just pulling this data about rising food costs out of thin air and doing so only for political reasons? Or is there some credibility to these concerns? Old folks and veterans know something goofy is going on when there is no increase in their benefits, but when they shop for basic items they can see it. Folks living on fixed incomes know the real deal.

    I am reading a large book (742 pages) on libertarianism from the senior editor of the Reason Magazine. The title is Radicals for Capitalism – A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. I am not sure if that magazine is connected to the Reason Foundation or not. I have never checked either of them out. I suspect it might be. It’s a good book about the lives and thought of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard. For me I can see a lot of good in their thought. Their thought should not be discounted or given a hand wave.

    The Mises Inst. is no joke. Dr. Robert P. Murphy, Tom Woods, Walter Block, David Gordon and numerous others all have PhDs in their fields, mostly in economics, history of economics, political theory, etc. All have published numerous books, written hundreds of academic journal articles, etc. They are not stupid men and are very much worth listening to and reading. Several of them are good faithful Catholics as well.

  • Blackadder says:

    David,

    Radicals for Capitalism is a great book.

    My advice would be to broaden your horizons a bit. By all means, keep reading Bob Murphy, but supplement it by reading someone like Scott Sumner or even (horrors!) Paul Krugman.

    Remember Proverbs 18:17. If you are constantly reading sources that support a particular point of view, it is easy to get a distorted picture of the strengths and weaknesses of that point of view, as well as of alternative viewpoints.

  • David Jones says:

    Blackadder – your advice is very good and I totally agree with it.

    Believe it or not that’s exactly what I am doing. I originally came from the Progressive camp, i.e. fan of Robert Reich, etc. I never took Libertarian thought seriously or even checked it out until Tom Woods posted a comment on my personal blog at the beginning of this year. That began a journey that I am still on. I am trying on the Libertarian shoes to see if they fit or not. Are the shoes one size too small? Probably and it pisses me off b/c there is a lot I like about those shoes.

    I owe DarwinCatholic a big thank you for the introducing me to Econlib and Econtalk!

    Personally I still consider myself a Traditional Conservative. I tend to prefer thinkers like Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Karl Polanyi, etc. ISI are my kind folks. I am a big fan of Wendell Berry, Bill Kauffman, Allan C. Carlson, Rod Dreher, etc.

    Here’s what I am fascinated about and I will probably post about it. The Libertarian Party has or is falling apart. You have a group of Libertarians who are good moral folks. They reject hedonism, etc. All those bad things I always thought Libertarians embraced or permitted. Many of those folks who are the leaders of this good Libertarian camp also happen to be good Catholics. A union is now forming between those good Libertarians (LewRockwell.com, Mises Inst., The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking/The Daily Bell) and the Traditional/Paleo-Conservatives (American Conservative & the Rockford Inst./Chronicles Magazine). Maybe this alliance has always been there i.e. Murray Rothbard’s friendship with Pat Buchanan, etc. I am just becoming aware of it. This is a positive trend I think and a fascinating one as well.

  • David Jones says:

    Blackadder – Thank you by the way.

    I think we all need good Catholic friends who will provide fraternity and correction to one another. That’s what I truly appreciate about the miracle which is The American Catholic.

  • Art Deco says:

    Irony is dead.

    I have already offered my suggestions as to how you might approach a preliminary study of economics. I would not bother with Drs. Krugman or deLong. As public advocates, they are political partisans. I think the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Barron’s (as well as more obscure and specialized publications like Euromoney) might be passably instructive, but I would make it a point to study academic literature, starting with textbooks and teaching monographs.

    Certainly your reading should be what Mortimer Adler called ‘syntopical’, which means savoring perspectives. As for who is at von Mises, Dr. Woods is not one of the heavyweights on this subject. S.H. Hanke is.

  • Blackadder says:

    I will say this: I took a look at the National Inflation Association and do not consider them a credible source. They say, for example, that the median household income in 1975 was $154,000 in today’s dollars, which is not even close to plausible.

  • Art Deco says:

    Grant Says Quantitative Easing Is Just Money Printing

    The whole point is to increase the size of the monetary base.

    They say, for example, that the median household income in 1975 was $154,000 in today’s dollars, which is not even close to plausible.

    That is because they take their price indices from the fellow who maintains the site “Shadow Government Statistics”. John Medaille is a fan.

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