Monday assorted links

Comments

4 makes a lot of sense. I was always amazed at how close the election of 2008 was despite the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression already being in full swing by that point. Voters do not seem to be as motivated by economic issues as the conventional wisdom thinks.

The "change" candidate was the least experienced person to ever run for the presidency. He had a record of accomplishments close to nil. The fact he won at all is remarkable, not that he barely won.

It helped that his competitor in the primary was also monumentally inexperienced.

As 2016 proved, "experience" means dick

Experience does matter. In 2016 many voters had already too much experience with one of the candidates.

msgkings is right about the Primary ; experience proved irrelevant.

Experience is only a benefit if the outcome is good. Im not too keen to hire a CEO who has bankrupted every company he has ever lead, despite the fact that he is demonstrably an experienced CEO.

Considering that half of all businesses fail in the first few years and 75% in a few years after that, reality has a less harsh judgment of business failures than your raging need to cast aspersions on a politician you don't like. Hate the man for everything for which he is worthy of hate, but denying his successes makes you look puerile.

If a drug researcher brought 1 drug out of 20 to market, he would be a resounding success.

The winner in 2008 hadn't even attempted risky ventures much less succeeded at them.

Well you destroyed the shit out of my analogy, but my underlying point remains unchanged, experience means little by itself, experience accomplishing what is the relevant metric.

I agree that the winner in 08 attempted little, but what hillary attempted, for example, are things that by and large people did not really want.

Well, I'm reminded that our Constitution has only four technical requirements for the presidency, none of which relate directly to qualifications for office save the correlation of age and experience and maturity.

On our founding, it was pretty much assumed that all comers would be land owning and well educated people like themselves. And the Electoral College served as a sieve of qualifications and character.

Now the presidency is largely a popularity contest between two equally bad alternatives although we are entering the era of complete polotical novices running for the position. Good people are I'll suited for or avoid this meat grinder.

I weep for the future my girls will have to live in.

I weep for the future too. The problem in general is not the president it is congress but even more the deep state. We are losing our country. some of it is surreptitious but some is there for all to see but sold to the public as "something good". Trade is a great example. A few people are getting fabulously rich while the blue collar Americans had their jobs sold out from under them. Trump has slowed some of this, reversed some of it but I am sure after his presidency is over the deep state will work overtime selling off our nation and over taxing our citizens. America is in decline but it is a conspiracy that is to blame.

Such is life in Trmp's America.

I see now that you are most likely assuming that the CEO part was in reference to Trump which i did not intend. Replace with "Captain who has run every ship he has commanded aground"

He has not. Another flawed analogy. See above statistics on business failures. Many business failures are the result of exogenous market conditions. A CEO often makes unpopular decisions in bad times for the good of shareholders. Most businesses fail and long standing businesses can disappear overnight. You are not tallying your scorecard the way a businessman would.

Well then pick a fucking analogy you prefer. Im obviously trying to illustrate the distinction between experience combined with competence and experience combined with incompetence, but you keep getting hung up with the details of the analogy and not the underlying point.

Try the ships captain one again, there are times when running your ship aground is the right move, but by and large if you are a ships captain and hit land, you are not a competent captain, no matter how much experience you have.

And please note this is in no way a veiled reference to Trump. Im speaking more of Hillary's experience than anyone else.

Shit man the truth don't lie and shitstorms come and go but the blood on the tracks aint nothing for no one to Harley Davidson a split curve too. You ask me, that is.

That's one way of putting it.

Most governments would go bankrupt if they couldn't steal more money from taxpayers, which is why experienced, career politicians can usually avoid that fiscal problem.

Exactly correct, and ill founded policy often creates failure long after the political founder is out of office. For example, Social Security will likely founder a century after its ill conception. Even if the system is saved through increased taxation, as you say, the promise of SS has been broken.

"He had a record of accomplishments close to nil. "

Better than the record of negative accomplishments of another recent winner.

Look up "Mood Affiliation." Consider it something to avoid rather than to adopt.

There are many theories of Trump, but when you think about it, no positive theory of Trump survives the Omarosa story.

He put her there because that was his judgment, and upstream from that, you put him there to make that judgment.

Assuming that Omarosa was a bad personnel decision that was foreseeable, does this completely offset good decisions he has made such as Mattis?

Omarosa is showing a side of herself that may have been heretofore unobserved. He is seeing the reaction of someone actually fired instead of notionally fired. She certainly had some desirable skills and might have risen to the top of a corporate organization somewhere if never associated with Trump.

Hindsight is 20/20. Mr. Trump has also demonstrated a personnel system looking more like an assembly line than a farm team. He made his celebrity image on firing people on a regular basis, and that is exactly what he does here. Certainly not my style as I have had the same assistant for fifteen years and no plans to fire her. In fact, I've never fired anyone.

What you dont understand is that I'm not defending Trump. He is what he is. I'm revealing your urgent need to see the negative in everything he is and does, even among his greatest strengths and accomplishments.

I can credit Obama with excellent public speaking and fundraising skills. His ambition took everyone by surprise. I merely commented that he completely lacked experience for the job. If the Presidency involved an application process on Monster dot com, his resume would have been rejected in the first round.

What frightens me most is that after Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton, and Trump, the populace has reached the point where it believes experience matters not at all. We are now in the era of President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

"Assuming that Omarosa was a bad personnel decision that was foreseeable.."

Ha ha ha baaa haha ha baaaaa!

Haha indeed. Oh my goodness, this week is wall to wall coverage of Omarosa. Last week was Stormy. Or was it someone claiming to have proof of Russian collusion, the weeks/outrages start to blend together. My advice for your TDS is to turn off the MSM ... unless you enjoy your hysterical paranoia of course.
P.s. And gosh, weren’t those two dozen Nazi marchers horrible? More footage of them please. Thanks goodness anti-hate Antifa were there to speak truth to power, such a nice bunch of kids.

TDS? How does that even work in a world where, as you say, the alternative is the stuff one's ears and pretend it is all not happening?

At that point, Shirley the denial is the derangement.

"What frightens me most is that after Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton, and Trump, the populace has reached the point where it believes experience matters not at all."

Im not sure i follow you. Bush and Clinton were both experienced ish as politicians, neither of their presidencies were obviously horrible or great, Obama and Trump were both inexperienced as politicians, and neither of their presidencies are, or were, obviously horrible or great either despite the usual anti-trump frothing.

Reagan, Bush Jr and Clinton were BARELY experienced for the job as two-term governors. None of them served in the House or Senate. Reagan was a union president. Bush a CEO of a small company. Clinton an attorney general.

With the exception of GHWB, those three were monstrously qualified compared to those who came after.

McCain was very experienced. Romney had considerable business experience, and they couldn't win against a cult messiah.

From outward experience Hillary "won" the election as a one term senator and titular secretary of state for one term, losing only by virtue of the EC.

Sad really. I'm disheartened by American politics. My feelings are buoyed only by looking at the leader of my former home in Canada.

"Reagan, Bush Jr and Clinton were BARELY experienced for the job as two-term governors. None of them served in the House or Senate."

Then i guess your definition of experienced in this context differs from mine. And i would argue that if you are going to bemoan Romney losing despite his considerable business experience then Trump is a return to normalcy due to his considerable business experience.

I would say that decades of experience as a politician, CEO or general can demonstrate substantial ability to succeed as President. We haven't had too many CEO presidents, and history might ultimately look poorly upon them.

But I have no confidence that a "community organizer" who held no real job in his adult life would be up to the task. If he appeared to do well, he was a simulacrum with able functionaries surrounding him. But then our president is now merely a figurehead. A leader of a cult of personality no different than Kim Jong Un. That worries me.

If Obama was truly commanding and successful, that worries me even more. We would have a rogue presidency where truly anyone from Paris Hilton to Kobe Bryant could excel.

Id say that Obama's presidency speaks for itself, which is to say lackluster and underwhelming, YMMV.

I will say this, if you have a sufficiently high bar for lackluster and underwhelming government, this is true. Recovery from the greatest recession since the Great Depression being no big thang. That it would take an actual idiot to mess that up.

"Recovery from the greatest recession since the Great Depression being no big thang. That it would take an actual idiot to mess that up."

Uhh, i agree? it would take an actual idiot to mess that up. Obama merely continued the steps taken by his predecessor, and its not clear to me that either he nor Bush had anything to do with the recovery. As i said, YMMV.

" That it would take an actual idiot to mess that up." True, but he tried. TARP did the heavy lifting and was put into place before O took office. Regulatory drag kept the recovery from being as good as could have been, until last summer that is.

You do know that the data shows the economy performing essentially the same in 2017-2018 as it did from 2012 to 2016.

I bet you can not show me any data demonstrating that the economy has accelerated to a new,higher growth trend since Trump took office.

" That it would take an actual idiot to mess that up." True, but he tried. TARP did the heavy lifting and was put into place before O took office. Regulatory drag kept the recovery from being as good as could have been, until last summer that is.

Wrong on all counts.

Obama was right when he said that he arrived too early, but not for the reasons he believed: he had no executive experience at either the state or federal level (like governor, AG, or even treasurer), and hadn't even completed a single term as a Senator in the federal government. He would probably have been a more successful President had he run for the first time back in 2016, or maybe even in 2012 had the Republicans managed to win over Hillary Clinton. More time in DC forming connections and relationships and learning how things are done, and more time away from corrupt Chicago/IL politics (not that DC is corruption-free though) and the presence of community activists and their angry pressures. Also, it may have been beneficial for him had he managed to win the 2000 U.S. House race he ran in against Bobby Rush.

Too many younger Americans, early 30s and under and especially college students, in 2007 and 2008 were taken in by his substantial oratorical abilities and the belief that this man who seemed like a young outsider compared to Hillary or John McCain could address all the problems in American society that had cropped up during the Clinton-Bush years. Obama wasn't a fraud, but his rhetorical gifts and the hopes they inspired outstripped his managerial/governing experience and his actual ability to deliver on the expectations he had instilled in the people who helped elect him. I think he would be much more able to deliver on some of those expectations if he were currently two years into his first term, having won back in 2016.

Trump is a return to normalcy due to his considerable business experience.

You mean his bankruptcies, stiffing of vendors, endless lawsuits, etc.?

What is there in his experience that suggests he would be a good President? It's certainly not clear that, given his starting point, and the overall growth of the NYC real estate market, he really had a particularly successful career.

Among other things, if you are going to run on what a brilliant financial operator you are, you might want to release your tax returns as evidence.

Those who make the argument for Trump on all this are taking him at his word - which is a really stupid thing to do.

bankruptcies, stiffing of vendors, endless lawsuits

I've never seen evidence of "stiffing vendors". Lawsuits and bankruptcies are how the world of high real estate operates. Trump was playing with Big Boys, not widows and orphans.

Being a successful CEO and producer over several decades is light-years ahead of the experience of the 2008 DNC candidates. Of course that is "experience" without considering other qualities. But in the case of the 2008 election, those other qualities weren't particularly exemplary either.

"With Obama as president, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, returned 235%, or 16.4% annualized."

"Bill Clinton’s stock market, however, beat the Obama stock market, returning 264%, or 17.5% annualized."

"of the main stock index’s 469 stocks that were trading when Obama took office and remain listed today, only 12 of them ended the Obama terms in negative total return territory. "

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2017/01/17/inside-the-obama-stock-markets-235-rise/#618b303a16d1

So, what is the minimum S&P 500 index value when Trump leaves off for his performance to be considered better than Clinton and Obama?

He uses stock market performance to claim he's making America great!

Dead cat bounce for Obama, and Clinton left in a recession that killed the stock market a couple months after he left. The market is a bad inex of the president though, and that includes not giving Trump credit for the good run now.

8 year long dead cat bounces are the best

Except the fall you need to make it happen.

He was also an open, intelligent, honest and hard-working individual. We now see the danger of selecting for the converse.

Mmmm, id say he was some of those things. The "danger of selecting for the converse", much like Obama's record, is largely in the eye of the beholder.

lol, if only there were some metrics, like staff turnover, or federal indictments, we could use.

(Omarosa with a spy pen is at once horrible, funny, and wonderful confirmation of my priors.)

"The heights that great men reached and kept
Were not attained through sudden flight.
But they while their companions slept."
Twittered upward through the night.

"lol, if only there were some metrics, like staff turnover, or federal indictments, we could use."

Sure, because those are the metrics that really affect my life.

You could try "changed things which needing changing and were within his power to change, and didnt change things that were fine." but there is no easy metric to judge that.

Civic and Moral Responsibility Score: 0

See also item 1 above.

"Civic and Moral Responsibility Score: 0"

Oh sure, and those things arent unimportant, but the tendancy is for partisans to inflate the importance of the good or bad qualities of leaders, depending on what side they are looking at.

Obama was a very presidential president, he looked good, spoke articulately and wasnt caught banging some intern, but he accomplished almost nothing as president. He barely even tried. If the presidency were just about appearances he would be one of the best, but obviously that is but one factor out of many.

"He was also an open, intelligent, honest and hard-working individual."

Was he even one of those things? No evidence of any of that even after 8 years in the limelight. I'll give him mediocre intelligent I guess, you can't get there without that.

Guffaw. Everyone who ever worked for Obama knew him to be one of the laziest people they ever met. His colleagues on the Harvard Law Review didn't know him to work at all.

His "intelligence" is largely faux intellectualism. His published "research" are puff pieces. He was a Lecturer, not a Professor. Like Hollywood actors, his speech writers made him sound more knowledgeable than he really is.

He lied constantly albeit in the same subtle and shallow ways that politicians and lawyers do every day.

Not an Obama fan, but he had character.

Character is underrated, to put it in TC terms. I disagreed with most of his policy decisions and his expansive view of executive authority. At the same time, you could disagree with Obama while acknowledging that he was an earnest man trying to do the right thing, however he defined it. Compared to the current situation it’s ....yeah.

His failure is Wilsonian foreign policy and his disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan, a cynicism that should, although will not, taint his legacy in the textbooks and narrative.

Id say that character is both underrated and overrated, it sucks when our pres doesnt have it, but its not a substitute for much of anything else.

Obama was an Ernest man, but i dont think he tried very hard to do anything, save blame his lack of accomplishments on Republicans.

He got what he wanted often enough, it was just that he wanted stupid things. We funded that largest terrorist regime for the next decade and that was is one foreign policy 'win'.

#1 was good. Binary options for FW are wrong, DMR is real.

And whole questions of law, charity, crime and punishment should rest on the real DMR that exists or not in the situation at hand.

To the contrary, I stopped reading #1 nearly at the start of the interview when GS said he was defining free will as an absolute, an "ultimate" - which is simply silly sophomoric sophistry, imho. Worse, he claimed most of us held this silly position (thus justifying his stance). - I do tend to agree binary options" are "wrong" (although I'm not sure what you mean by it). Had to check what DMR (deep moral responsibility aka "ultimate free will") meant. I guess I'm confused that you claim no binary position, but absolute free will "exists or not ..." [ seems to me that if its existence is context dependent, then it is blindingly obvious that it does NOT exits "in" the situation, but rather in the minds of those viewing the situation (context & narrative). Anyway, with about 3 minutes of thoughtful discussion on the subject, I'd guess most people would agree with the proposition that "free will" is a social construct. (as opposed to a necessary result of the laws of physics)

If I understand correctly, you are saying you did not read the piece, but wish to argue about my encapsulation of it.

I would really rather hear from someone who read it thoroughly, or wrote it.

TIL Peter Strzok - not Robert Mueller - is in charge of the "Witch Hunt". How dumb does one have to be to believe these lies?

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1029036065158557701

Will they fire any agent who ever texted a bad thing about Hillary? Hahahahaaaaahaha thats some funny shiz right there.

If you think this was merely about texting "a bad thing," you aren't paying attention.

This was about visceral hatred for the subject of an investigation and a desire to not see him succeed for political reasons.

If Hillary were being investigated by a team of 85% Republicans who confidentially wanted to stop that "witch" from becoming president, you'd be howling in anger.

This is about an investigation that has been rigged against Trump from the very beginning.

Uh, New York office of the FBI on line one.

Yes, the New York office did seem to leak when Strzok and McCabe were ignoring the newly and then not-so-newly found Weiner laptop. In fact, their politically motivated slow-walk of examining new evidence caused Comey's letter to Congress to occur at a much more damaging time for Clinton then what it otherwise would have. Then there is Comey's admission that he wouldn't have written the letter to Congress at all except that he thought Clinton was going to win and wanted to legitimize her Presidency. Buffoonery all around.

2. Wow. I click a link expecting to read a treatise on the thin line between societal revolution and disorder. Instead I read the rants of someone with an antisocial personality disorder on the autism spectrum, possibly even sociopathy.

Disrupting social order can certainly be liberating. Who doesn't feel a sense of freedom when a road heretofore reserved for cars is open for pedestrians? Who doesnt feel exhilaration from doing something dangerous? Who doesnt enjoy shedding responsibilities momentarily?

In the author's first example, she quite literally put other people's lives in jeopardy for her urgent need to be free from convention.

In a later example, she engaged in an academic effort in a fashion bereft of intellectual merit.

Then she destroys the mood of a social event where people are seeking common emotional and intellectual bonds. She could have explained her "hatred" for non-human animals in a way that didnt cast a pall over the evening.

I'm raising two daughters, and if my girls acted like this there would be lectures, spankings, punishment or therapy. Yet my daughters are fully capable of rebellion, questioning authority, challenging conventional wisdom, and making unpopular statements. The ability to do so separates a functional adult from a petulant child.

Rebellion against injustice or illegitimate authority can take the form of fleeing, protesting, civil disobedience or even armed revolution. All of these can be done in rational, moral, ethical, and mature ways. Why would we even consider encouraging mental illness?

A better comment on our moment in time and people who resist the machine:
https://youtu.be/bQlv2dHZnfk

'Who doesn't feel a sense of freedom when a road heretofore reserved for cars is open for pedestrians? '

As one could expect, Germans have a word for that - Spielstrasse, which certainly sounds better than the official term, 'verkehrsberuhigter Bereich.'

Of course, Spielstrassen are officially designated places, and only a sign of revolution in the sense that a place previously reserved exclusively for cars is now a place where pedestrians have, at a minimum, equal rights to use the pavement, and where a car is not legally allowed to drive faster than a walking pace (call it 5mph).

Good example. I strained to come up with others off the top of my head and related a recent experience with a local road closure. Indeed, that closure was still within the bounds of authority but it felt good without endangering anyone.

This calls to mind that most of the coordinating rules we have are for safety sake. Whether it is "green means go" or politeness to others capable of kicking our asses, rules often exist for meaningful reasons that the rebel often misperceives as arbitrary or unnecessary. The rebel or criminal actually wishes to do harm, and I believe that is this author's intent too albeit well hidden within her psyche.

"unruliness" is not "rebellion against injustice" or some boring shit like that. it is a normal human emotion that is worth naming, recognizing, and paying attention to. it is a source of legitimate creative spark. chafing at rules and the desire to step outside them is not something the human race should give up so lightly, and it's not an impulse that can be contained within some supraordinate set of rules. the piece was very good.

obviously the "benefits" of unruliness should be weighed against certain limits - while i understand the impulse to lay in the middle of the road, i would not endorse it - but i'd much rather be on her side of the boundary than the side that describes a bored dinner party remark as "destroy[ing] the mood of a social event where people are seeking common emotional and intellectual bonds." i sure hope the people at that event managed to recover!

+1 Personally, I thought that was a brilliant little essay. Thanks to TC/MR for linking to it.

It was a level of irresponsible unruliness.

Challenging the Copernican model of the universe had the responsible goal of seeking truth and expanding knowledge. Violating a law designed to keep people from getting killed in crashes just to enjoy a unique (and uninteresting) perspective of the stars is reckless. It isnt even slightly admirable. It has no merits whatsoever for herself or anyone else. The stars look the same on the sidewalk.

What good did she bring sending hair to a relative? My wife collects pet hair for birds to use in their nests. THAT is doing something unconventional for a reason.

What did she accomplish by flattening a dinner conversation. Did the other people go home and contemplate the rationality of their love of animals?

This article talks about unruliness for its own sake. There was nothing even slightly creative about it. Running across three lanes of traffic to take a photo of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge from the centerline would be unruliness for the sake of art. Her behavior doesnt even arise to that level.

I found the pet conversation telling. On one hand, yes, when people are discussing their feelings about pets and you're asked for your opinion, a buzzkilling response that you hate animals is not a wise course of action.

However, it's also up to the other members of the conversation how to react. There are still ways to forge ahead with the conversation that do not require censure of the animal hater. No, the decision to exclude the hater from the circle simply hearkens back to a need for tribalism and hierarchy; find the member of the group that can be labeled worse than you.

Where unruliness truly shines is in the rejection of the societal need for scapegoating.

Now, if she had said something around the lines of "taking care of pets is stupid," attempting to paint the other members of the conversation as below her, then yeah, kick her sorry ass out.

4. Surprising, but interesting. The portion of the population sampled might affect the results if, for example, it consisted of largely employed urban workers. An American friend of my parents largely thrived during the Depression working as a waitress and sharing an apartment with three sisters.

#4 is misleading, on the Great Depression and voters in 1933. That's because the 'real Great Depression' started with the bank panics of 1933/1934, which is how FDR got elected and how his "Make Work" policies, which some say were Keynesian (not really, but anyway) got going. So essentially the survey in 1933 was premature. After 12 months of bank failures, it was indeed the economy, stupid, and the government's perceived botching of it. And, if you believe George Selgin (hard money economist, now at Cato), or my understanding of him, the US 'unit banks' using fiat money, which were sanctioned by state law, were indeed one cause of bad failing banks (the sound banks could not cross state banks and compete with the unsound unit banks, by law). So maybe 'the government' was indeed partly responsible for the GD after all (if you believe in money non-neutrality).

Bonus trivia: #3, the origins of money, and the giant South Pacific stone wheel money, essentially is a statement that money is neutral. Think about it. Blockchain Bitcoin is another example.

I think you have your dates off. The survey was conducted in 1932, presumably pretty early if it was to be used in anticipation of the November 8, 1932 Presidential election. The unemployment rate peaked in 1933, so during this period the "real economy" is worsening and showing no signs of rebounding and judgments about the Hoover's handling of the economy are being revised. Presumably.

Typo, I meant to type 1932. My point is that the worse of the GD was not yet upon the people, especially the bank runs of 1933-34, but, as you say, the economy was worsening so it's somewhat surprising it was not mentioned as much by poll respondents.

#3: money emerged at various times and places for various reasons... super duper insightful.

Yep.

“Much academic work assumes that [monetary systems] arose in nation-states within the last 200 to 400 years,” says sociocultural anthropologist Daniel Souleles of Copenhagen Business School in Frederiksberg.

Who assumes that? Money, interest, and debt are mentioned in Exodus, among other things.

And I seem to recall that Jesus threw some people out of the temple. What were they doing that was so terrible?

It wasnt what they were doing but where they were doing it.

The Jewish concept of sin isn't necessarily based on harm. Rather, sin is that which draws our attention away from God.

The money lenders were defiling the temple of God by distracting from its holiness.

People brought various animal sacrifices to the Temple for offering. These offerings needed to be unblemished. Since some people lived far from the Temple and could easily blemish their offering on a long trip, they were allowed to sell the offering locally, take the money and buy an unblemished offering in Jerusalem. Since there were many currencies at that time, they had to first exchange their coins with local coins to buy the offering with. This was an attempt to help people have an appropriate animal to be sacrificed. I don’t know why Jesus didn’t like the money-changers, sine they were associated with aiding people in sacrificing.Perhaps he thought charging an exchange fee was inappropriate. Perhaps others know why.

1.

"There would no resentment, no consuming anger, no hatred, no need to see the perpetrator punished"

Demonstrably untrue. In a world of lawyers, SOMEONE is to blame for that mouse getting into the wiring, and even if that person is ultimately found not liable, there will be extravagant emotional displays about injury, injustice, cover ups, incompetence, and preventable death. Case in point: Monsanto liable for 300 million in damages.

Well said, but the mouse scenario goes to the distinction between crimes and torts--i.e. criminal versus civil liability. My question to Strawson (a question that was NOT asked in the interview) is: Would there still be criminal liability in a world without free will?

I am pretty sure that is what the whole piece was about, and his argument is that strong views about criminality require strong views of free will.

Personally I think Americans over-punish criminal behavior because they overestimate free will, and recidivism.

Still, as the article implies a reasonable belief in DMR *allows* policing and punishment.

+1, the legal system exists to hold people responsible for things they are presumed to have done. Without free will, there would be little basis for civil or criminal liability (aside from maybe strict civil liability).

On another note, how did the interviewer go through this interviewer without mentioning either Jeremy Bentham or Auguste Comte? Strawson's views line up well with theirs, and are subject to the same criticisms that their views were back then and in the nearly 200 years after.

While some of your points are valid, I'm amazed that you consider being Governor of CA or TX ( which compare to many nations) less experience than being a Senator or Congressman, for becoming President.

Governor is an executive position involving not only approving legislative bills but also administering state agencies and the National Guard. It is orders of magnitude more responsible and relevant to the presidency than an equivalent number of years in Congress.

I agree,
I misunderstood your sentence: ..."were BARELY experienced for the job as two-term governors. "

What I meant is that governors typically have a substantial repertoire of jobs and accomplishments prior to becoming governor.

I once saw a spreadsheet by president showing the years of service in the House, Senate, governorships, state legislatures, cabinet positions, military, business. Many early presidents had quite impressive resumes. John Quincy Adams was by far the most experienced president in both depth and breadth of experience. Andrew Jackson and Eisenhower had lengthy military careers. McCain and Biden are old men of the Senate like LBJ.

Unlike them, the resumes of modern presidents are getting thinner and thinner, arguably beginning with the charismatic young Jack Kennedy.

Obama's seven years as a state senator and three years as a US senator with no prior experience and no noteworthy accomplishments makes him among the least (if not the least) experienced person to ever hold the job. And prior to becoming secretary of state, Hillary Clinton's resume was even more scant.

GWB, Bill Clinton and Reagan had marginal experience prior to becoming governors.

GHWB had a lifetime of service.

We are in danger of the presidency becoming a cult of personality.

How can you type that about Obama considering who the current president is? You can't possibly think Obama was less qualified than Trump. And we are not in danger of the presidency being a personality cult. We're already there.

You can't possibly think Obama was less qualified than Trump.

Obama's executive experience began and ended with running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground. He marked time in Congress for 4 years, and in the Illinois legislature for 8 years. He was a known maven in no area of policy. Pro-rating part-time and seasonal work, he was employed in law offices for all of four years, and never granted a partnership. In 12 years of drawing a salary from the University of Chicago, he published not a single scholarly paper and taught only boutique electives ("___ & the Law"). There's never been such a shallow, ticket-punching tyro nominated for the presidency. The only minimally competitive candidates in the last 30-odd years who might have been considered less qualified were running demonstration candidacies working to rally a constituency or press an issue. It's doubtful Messrs. Jackson, Buchanan, Forbes, or Keyes ever thought they might actually win the office.

Art, that's a lot of words to continue to hypocritically ignore the current president.

You haven't uttered an honest word in any contribution you've ever offered here.

Trump has run a large and diversified business for over 40 years. Very few presidential candidates of note in the last generation have had that type of preparation. Mitt Romney was one of the few. I'm quite aware that the Democratic Party is shot-through with people who fancy spinning your wheels in a legislative body for 12 years is 'preparation' and having 22,000 people working under you and having to meet operational measures of competence is not. I'm not obligated to take them the least bit seriously and I do not.

Of course you aren't obligated to be correct, it just looks better than your usual thesaurus-fueled drivel.

#6...De Long’s book looks very interesting. I pre-ordered it.

I can't find the book on the Basic Book website...

#1 Another determinist Strawman, surely?

3. What's the mystery? After man's made everything,
everything he can, you know that man makes money, to buy from other man

3: I wonder if it's not a mere coincidence that economists tend to favor a history where money arises from the value created by exchange, whereas the archeologists favor a history where money arises from the operations of a government or a leader to whom people owe a debt.

We can certainly see how money could arise as a debt-servicing device; even today our greenbacks say that they are legal tender for all debts public and private, but they don't say that I have to accept your messy stack of ones when you try use them to pay for your $50 dinner.

But I still think the economists' version has plenty of relevance. Their story of how the Chumash used snail shells sounds like a stretched interpretation of the facts, forcing them to fit into their story about governments/leaders and debt.

In the Pacific NW, we schoolkids learned how American Indians throughout the region used another seashell, dentalium shells, as money. But there was no central government, taxation, or payment of debt to government that I can see. I think dentalium shells are an example of the economists' story being the right one.

And as another commenter said, this quote is just bizarre:

"“Much academic work assumes that [monetary systems] arose in nation-states within the last 200 to 400 years,” says sociocultural anthropologist Daniel Souleles of Copenhagen Business School."

I'm going to assume he was quoted out of context; even schoolkids know that money is an ancient invention.

I dunno. You eat a dinner the check is pretty much a debt instrument. Although failure to pay such a debt would be a criminal offense, so maybe you're right. But that is a modern distinction. I believe that in earlier times failure to pay a debt was considered a crime.

If you pay after you eat your meal, they have to accept your messy stack of ones. If you pay before you receive your meal, they can insist on clean crisp twenties, or even demand credit/debit only, as some food trucks do these days.

Re: #3, I believe Macdonald's "A Free Nation Deep In Debt" covered a lot of this ground already.

"Two shekels of silver have been borrowed by Mas-Schamach, the son of A., from the sun-priestess Amat-Schamach, daughter of W. He will pay the Sun-God's interest. At the time of the harvest he will pay back the sum and the interest upon it."

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