Monday, September 30, 2013

What are the facts?

Government Shutdown: Good News or Bad News for the Economy?
But there are reasons to think this would be good.
I already knew that.  In fact, I can think of all kinds of good possible outcomes if the government shuts down.  I'm still waiting to hear what would be so bad about a government shutdown.

Be that as it may, the article explains how a government shut down could help ease the passage of a debt limit increase.  Basically, a government shut down is supposed to lead to market turbulence (which it apparently has, unless you subscribe to the notion that I do: that stocks are in general overvalued and due for a correction), Republicans will be blamed, and "outside players" will pressure the GOP to cut a deal.  Please.  This isn't a good.  It's more of the same.  Many of the problems we in the U.S. face today are the result of a whole lot of deal cutting and compromising.  Instead of compromising between two ideologies, why not just give up the ideology and do what's best?  Anybody that thinks that the actions of politicians demonstrates their willingness to stand up for what they believe is right is just plain wrong.  It is a demonstration of their unwillingness to think rationally about each situation.  This doesn't apply to just Republicans; it applies to all politicians.  They need to learn to separate their thinking from their emotions.  But, that might lead them in a direction they don't really want to go: they may realize how wrong they've been.

But the author of this article has issues of his own:
This is a fact.
I think somebody needs to reeducate the author about the difference between fact and opinion.  There's barely anything factual in the article, and certainly not the "fact" that this statement refers to:
[E]veryone knows that if the government shuts down, and the polls ask which side is responsible, the majority will say the Republicans.
Speculation about what's going to happen in the future is just speculation, not fact.  But here is a fact:: I blame the Democrats for any shutdown because they passed Obamacare in the first place.  It wasn't popular then, and from what I've heard from people around here, it isn't now.  The Democrats want to claim as fact that Obamacare is popular now, apparently thinking that Obama's reelection means people like Obamacare.  Obamacare isn't popular with me, and it isn't with a lot of people.

Anyway, it's time for politicians to stand up and say "When the facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?" (a quote sometimes attributed to Keynes, but called in to question here).  What I mean by that is that politicians need to consider the facts as they are currently.  Instead of pushing some ideological agenda and then allowing the other party to gut that agenda with their own ideology, let's take a look at what is really the best for our country, and for individuals.  Too often, with compromise, we end up with legislation that doesn't accomplish what it's supposed to accomplish, all because the politicians are worried that their constituents may not think that the best thing is, in fact, the best thing and not something to be compromised.  Take a look at the "Three-Fifths Compromise" for an example.  The compromise was meant to gain support for the new Constitution, and while it achieved that, it can also be argued that it ensured that voters in slave states had greater say in the government than they would have had; it ensured a higher rate of importation of slaves to gain additional voting power; and in the end, it led to slavery lasting much longer than it probably would have without it.  Is that good?

I usually save this sort of rant for my personal blog, but happened on the article while looking for business news.

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