Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where We Are Now

Ian Welsh has been consistanly right about things for a long time, so it would make sense to listen to what he has to say. That said I probably won't leave the US, until I get my degree!


Anonymous said...

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that an essay entitled "Reality is Like Me and Rewards the Policies I Like" (I'm paraphrasing slightly) would be a fatuous exercise in self-flattery. Exactly what has Ian Welsh been "consistanly [sic] right about" for a "long time"?

Perhaps the most annoying part was Welsh's appropriation of the lines from the great conservative poet Yeats, who must be spinning in his grave in Drumcliffe.

blakey said...

Ian Welsh was right about the housing bubble, Iraq, Obama, the bailout, the stimulus, etc. Go read his archives if you are actually interested. BTW, would anyone ever say, "Reality does not reward the policies I favor." If they recognized that then...they wouldnt hold those policy views, right? Welsh has just stated bluntly what the basic premise is of most opinion columns.

Anonymous said...

Liberal policies work! I dunno, I prefer "Fire bad!"

Speaking of reality...what planet is this guy from? These are kind of weird, vague blanket statements to make. I'm a conservative, but I don't think I'd say something like "conservative policies work!" There are various kinds of policies referred to as conservative, and some work in some situations. I suppose some might even work in almost every situation. Some conservative policies are in tension with other conservative policies.

I guess first of all, it would be nice to know what he means by liberalism (btw, it might be worth it if some of the bloggers on this site would define liberalism in a thorough way. It might not be as easy as you think.) I'm assuming he's talking about "social democracy"/big government liberalism/welfarism, whatever you want to call it.

Can we really say that such policies "work" in some categorical sense? I'll name some liberal policies of the past few generations, and you can tell me which have been very clear successes:

1) Pay as you go Social Security entitlement
2) Agricultural Adjustment Act
3) National Recovery Act
4) Awesomely expensive, yet quite mediocre, American public school system.
5) Public housing projects
6) Rent control
8) Fighting the "root causes" of crime as a substitute for tough direct crime fighting
9) Abortion on demand
10) Weekend furlough programs

And if liberalism (in the above sense) has been such a resounding success, why have the more pragmatic (or you might say "reality-based") liberals backed away from it to such a great extent? (E.g. Bill Clinton et al.)

Lastly, Welsh doesn't really seem to have a sense of tradeoffs. Sure, these liberal policies would solve some problems, but they'd create or exacerbate other ones.