Spengler (David Goldman) gets to the core problems with Obama’s economic analyses

There were so many things wrong with Obama’s speech last night, whether because of dumb ideas, lies, vicious attacks against Constitutional guardians, etc., that criticism actually becomes difficult.  It’s kind of like punching Jello, because you just get sucked in.  Nevertheless, it is important to criticize, not just Obama’s untruths, but the fundamental flaws in his reasoning.  David Goldman (aka Spengler) does precisely that when he goes after Obama’s facile prescription for America’s economic malaise.  Aside from learning more about Obama’s profound wrongness when it comes to economics, you’ll get to read this gem of a paragraph:

In his attempt to emulate Clinton’s success, President Obama resembles nothing so much a the New Guinea aboriginals who built model airfields complete with straw control towers and airplanes after the Second World War and the departure of the American army. The Americans had summoned cargo from the sky through such magical devices, so thought the aboriginals, and by building what looked like airfields, so might they. But Obama can no more conjure up an economic recovery by doing things that look like what Clinton did, than the natives of New Guinea could draw cargo from the sky with straw totems. Marx’s crack about history repeating itself—the first time as tragedy and the second as farce—comes to mind.

Incidentally, Obama is the lightening rod for this critique, because he is the President who uttered the words showing his profound inability to understand economic forces. Democrats, however, are supporters and enablers, so please don’t give any Dems in Congress a pass on this. Statistics show that America’s Congressional Democrats are as loony-toons liberal as they come. Even the Blue Dogs are simply “blue,” without any mitigating “dog” attached.

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  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    I have a related post: The Real State of the Union


  • gpc31

    Spengler’s cargo cult comparison reminds me of Richard Epstein’s observation of Obama:  “not at all an intellectual, but an expert mimic of one.”  (Epstein is a razor-sharp law professor at U of Chicago).
    It seems to me that our structural problems won’t be solved unless or until there is a radical simplification and redirection of the tax code, something else that Spengler touched on (as has Epstein in the past).  The tax code is a hugely corrupt deadweight on the economy.  It encourages consumption at a time when we need savings.  Congress buys and sells favors through the tax system, and is bought and sold in return.   No taxation without representation!
    The scary thing is not just the disconnect between Obama’s rhetoric and reality — it’s that he’s internally inconsistent to the point of incoherence, as BW has pointed out.  Now I get it:  he believes in magical thinking.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Words are his reality. Unfortunately, a dead body kinda stays that way regardless of what people may say. Kinda sucks for those that have to live in the real reality rather than Obama’s fantasy of a virtual constructed genjutsu.

  • gpc31

    David #1 — Thanks for your link .  I’ve started reading your posts at chicagoboyz and now I can’t stop.  My kids will have to fend for themselves for dinner!

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    gpc31…thanks! (Kids should learn to cook anyhow…)

    (Obama is)…”not at all an intellectual, but an expert mimic of one”…absolutely correct. The sad thing is that so many American academics are so hungry for status that they will vote for anyone who looks/talks as if he might be one of them, even if he is in reality totally different.

    Obama is a man who has devoted his life to the pursuit of personal power and adulation, and doesn’t seem to care about much else. The idea that he would have been happy devoting himself to teaching and research is ludicrous.

  • Mike Devx

    Politicians are tough enough to handle when they’re out and out lying or just playing politics.
    I don’t think Obama is holding contradictory ideas in his head.  Instead, you have to parse his words carefully.  He is a master at deliberately using words in a way which makes you think he’s said one thing, when really, he has said another.  I believe it is completely deliberate.
    For example, there’s been commentary on many blogs lambasting Obama for saying “I do not intend to litigate the past”, while before and after that statement heaping blame after blame upon Bush.  But this is in fact not contradictory.    Obama does not intend to *litigate* – he will not sue over the past.  Everyone thinks he used that word almost as poetry, to spice up his speech.  NO.  He meant it; simultaneously he KNEW you would interpret it almost poetically.    So, he will not sue; but he will blame, and blame, and blame.  It is an extraordinarily deceptive use of words that, in some ways, is worse than lies.  But Obama gets to inwardly grin as he thinks he’s deceived you while patting himself on the back for being completely honest.  He *thinks* he’s been very, very clever.  But using words in this manner of grandiose distortion is not clever; it’s pitiful.
    He might even say something like this: “Let me be perfectly clear: Now is not the time for us to consider passing health care.”
    There are so many possible distortions in that one sentence, that, for one who parses Obama, you can immediately throw it completely away.  It is a statement that means NOTHING AT ALL.   “Now is not the time.”  Well, how about one hour from now?  Or tomorrow, or next week?  “for us to consider passing health care”.  If we are *devoted* to passing health care, we’re not merely considering it.  You thought I meant I was abandoning it.  Ha! Ha! Got you!
    It can make one long for Slick Willie, who was at least honest enough to outwardly state, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.”
    Obama’s oh-so-clever use of word trickery is at the level of a very precocious fifth grader who thinks he’s just oh-so-very-clever.  No, it is merely sad, and pathetic, to be so foolish as to fool people in this manner.

  • RosalindJ

    Amazing synchronicity about the use of that term to describe Obama & the Democratic progressives.  I was considering just this recently: it fit so well.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I have a question to people here.
    There once was a girl born in a world governed by divine prophecies. On the day she was born, the God Mauser prophesied that she would be a poison that will end the world. One royal knight was given the duty of throwing her away, to be scrapped.

    This Scrapped Princess, who is she. And as knights bound by loyalty, duty, and loyalty, can they still pursue justice and chivalry if it means choosing between the world and a child.

    What say you all?
    I think I know Obama’s answer already.

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar #7:
    Ursula K LeGuin also wrote a short story addressing the same theme: Those Who Walk Away From Omelas.
    In my past liberal days, I thought the story brilliant.  These days, I find the entire concept of her story, and the Mauser story, to be a completely artificial effort at contemplating the nature of evil.
    The “setup” is artificial, completely fake; the closest thing in reality to it is the deliberate invention of “the scapegoat” to take the blame for some set of perceived ills.   Or  a similar bit of fiction of the evil mastermind who breaks into a house, ties up the parents, and then forces them to choose:  “Choose which of your two children I will murder with this knife in one minute, or else I will burn BOTH of them alive.  Now: Choose!”   Artificial choices posited in fiction, but devoid of anything that actually occurs in reality.  It’s as if they are rubbing your nose in their own degraded sense of the sick and depraved thing that is human existence on this earth, and telling you you should LIKE it…instead of honoring the glory and grandeur of life.  It’s kind of like what Quentin Tarantino does on a regular basis.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    So you would say that it is a false dichotomy, where the two choices aren’t the only options, Mike?