Monday, December 5, 2011

Elizabeth Warren, Bride of FrankenDodd

In recent days Elizabeth Warren has been jazzed about the 60 Minutes piece on Countrywide and CitiGroup. The astounding thing about the 60M "investigation" was that there was not one mention of the Hons. Messrs. Dodd and Frank in the Countrywide segment.

As we know, Mr. Dodd received preferential treatment from Countrywide via the "Friends of Angelo" program. Mr. Dodd claimed he had never heard of the program, and intimated that he had no idea who Angleo Mozilo was - he said he was aware of Countrywide's "VIP," program, however. But he claims that the only thing he knew for sure was that he benefited from "enhanced customer service" (how's that for a euphemism?)

Mr. Frank, meanwhile, ran interference for Mr. Franklin Raines (CEO of FannieMae until he was forced out by charges of - er, "enhanced bookkeeping techniques"). Mr. Raines was also a Friend of Angelo... I mean a VIP... I mean received enhanced consideration as a valued customer of Countrywide.

Yet Dodd and Frank sponsored the "Wall Street Reform" act which bears their names, and which was ostensibly designed to "fix" the very activity that they themselves were knee-deep in. Enter Elizabeth Warren: This legislation, as we know, is also infused with Ms. Warren's genius (her brainchild, the CFPB).

Yet here is why she wants to run for Senate: "The people on Wall Street broke this country, and they did it one lousy mortgage at a time."

The stink from New England is becoming more unmistakable by the day. One consolation (or maybe two consolations): Dodd and Frank have both retired. What's next for Liz?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Being An Inquiry Into "Class Warfare, Elizabeth Warren-Style"

[Editor's Note:  Better men than we have already picked apart the specifics of Ms. Warren's fallacy-laden (and now e-legendary) chat of September 18, 2011  For a fine exposition of the same, see Rich Lowry's "Elizabeth Warren's Piffle"National Review Online, September 23, 2011.]

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody...You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did... Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.  -Elizabeth Warren, September 2011.

The Republicans say, "This is class warfare."  The Democrats say, "No it isn't." 

Indeed, this is not "class warfare" on the part of the Democrats.  Rather, it is Leftist economic ignorance borne of an infantile worldview, an irrationality which borders on the doctrinaire.

Furthermore, it has been fashionable for some time to speak of the "widening gap between rich and poor" as being synonymous with increasing poverty rates, even being the cause of poverty itself. It is neither of those things.

We have all been taught (or should have been taught) that correlation neither proves nor implies causation.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nocera, No

The always wise-seeming Joe Nocera, writing in last Monday's New York Times, knows exactly what companies "should" do:

"With all their cash, companies shouldn’t be waiting for Congress to give them tax incentives to hire people. They should be trying to jump-start the economy — and fend off another recession — by making investments, and hiring workers, that will lead to renewed prosperity." 

Mr. Nocera's entire exercise is futile, because he adopts a number of false premises.

He assumes that "jump-starting the economy" is a phrase that makes sense. It does not. He further assumes that this "jump start" will "fend off another recession." The jump-start is nonsensical in the first place. There is no "fending off" a recession.

If companies could jump-start the economy, they would.

In the climate President Obama has created, "making investments" will not "lead to prosperity."  If it would, the companies would be doing it already. I suppose companies never thought of it.  Maybe they will now that Nocera has mentioned it. (Heard in board rooms all across the USA: "Why, I'll be damned - Nocera's got it! How did we ever miss that???")

Sorry, no. Nocera counters that companies are wrongheaded in being interested in the short-term. But it is the President himself who has created a short-term environment (that is, an environment of uncertainty).

[FUN FACT: The reasons companies are not making investments and spending their cash are largely the same reasons you and I are not doing likewise.]

How will P-PACA turn out? Will the Bush tax cuts be rescinded or extended? Will taxes be raised? Will there be another stimulus? unemployment extension? more tax credits? less tax credits? The answer: We just don't know.

Now the President has announced that come September, he will unveil another "bold initiative to create jobs." God help us all.

As the old adage goes (which may only be thirty seconds old as of this writing): "You don't project five years out on a two-year note."

Furthermore, hiring workers does not lead to prosperity. There is a reason that the employment rate is known as a lagging indicator. Perhaps the best the President could hope for is a shot of inflation, which will (artificially) suppress the unemployment numbers. No matter, just so it happens before November. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NPR Double Standard

NPR: Perry Jumps Into Presidential Race Touting Texas Job Growth 

But NPR "takes a closer look"

We wish the white Liberals at NPR would use the same standard when assessing Obama's performance. They are giddy when the jobs report is flat or shows a .1% improvement - and they don't bother with questions of "what kinds of jobs," or trouble themselves with any of the details.

But when it comes to a Republican candidate, all of a sudden they get out the magnifying glass (and not just to find Lopate's manhood).

And of course, we all remember when Obama entered the 2008 race: "Obama Jumps Into Presidential Race Touting Illinois Job Growth."

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Continued Feminization of Men

Wow, what an exchange I just had with a poor wretch of a man. I fear for the males of our nation (and world). Has the government been putting estrogen in the water?

Fortunately, I have an artesian well. 
No belaboring the details of this here.  Dust off these two wonderful books: