Rally to Restore Sanity – November 2

I’m enjoying a fine Saturday day on campus working in my university’s library and in my office.  I feel delightfully out of touch with the political goings-on, including the Rally to Restore Sanity which seems like theatre/political art designed to promote a particular political vision that is by no means non-ideological or even non-partisan.  

Given what has gone on in Congress over the last two years decade, I hope November 2nd is the real rally to restore sanity as friends of fiscal sanity help elect some serious deficit hawks, defeat incumbents like Harry Reid, and provoke great fear among those who survive.  And if the Republicans blow it again this time, I hope that these latter-day Mugwumps (yes, I know, the parallel is not exact) out there will then vote against the GOP with the same fervor with which they now excoriate the Democrats!

UPDATE:  Yup, the folks at the rally certainly sounded post-partisan and moderate: http://reason.com/blog/2010/10/30/what-we-saw-at-the-rally-to-re (of course, the social scientist in me insists that I note the selection bias here, nonetheless….).

8 thoughts on “Rally to Restore Sanity – November 2

  1. When I wrote the post, I meant fear as in “electoral fear” – meaning, that other politicians (especially Republicans and Senators up for reelection in 2 years but safe this year) would be wary of voting against the preferences of those who turned out their colleagues. However, since then, Nina Totenberg (who apparently makes personal political comments less than Juan Williams, just ask NPR) has noted that she is “very afraid”:

    GORDON PETERSON: Nina, columnist Paul Krugman says if the election goes as expected, his advice is be afraid, be very afraid. Should we take his advice?

    NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: I am already afraid, very afraid. I mean, it’s not like governance has been going great. I think we’ll, I don’t know whether I should be afraid, but there will be gridlock.


    1. I was talking specifically about the political goings-on yesterday in DC and around the country during the day when I was in the library and the cave that is my office – but I suppose I wasn’t nearly as out of touch as it felt – so good to call me out!

  2. “… as friends of fiscal sanity help elect some serious deficit hawks …”

    Aha. While enjoying his day in the library Grover Cleveland has enough leisure to hope and pray for the economic suicide ASAP of the Unites States of America. With friends like these who needs enemies?

    1. Love the last line playing off another post of mine! You are obviously a Keynesian. So, given that the UK is starting to cut government spending, will you shrug off adoration of that long dead economist if “economic suicide” doesn’t result?

  3. If you can ultimately provide positive evidence that austerity in Britain causes outcomes that support Keynes’ arguments, then I’d wouldn’t be a good scholar if I didn’t end up giving more credence to his ideas after such a test. A single case wouldn’t be definitive, but it certainly would have an impact on my thinking.

    Similarly, stagflation in the 1970’s following Milton Friedman’s argument about the Phillips Curve caused a lot of honest scholars to reassess their views.

    Paul Krugman recently confirmed what I said:

    “Stagflation had a huge impact on economic thinking. Why? Mainly because it was predicted: the Friedman-Phelps natural rate hypothesis said that the apparent positive tradeoff between inflation and unemployment would prove only temporary, and that once inflation had gone on for a while, disinflation would involve a period of both high inflation and high unemployment.

    So when that condition actually materialized, it gave huge prestige to the whole program of grounding macroeconomic models in microeconomic foundations. When I was in graduate school, which was just when the saltwater-freshwater divide was beginning to widen, I remember some of my classmates arguing that we should believe what the Chicago guys were saying — after all, they’d been right so far.”

    BTW, why do you assume that Keynes isn’t already in my pantheon of great economists?

  4. @Grover Cleveland
    Yes. I’m grateful that the British people volunteered to set-up a textbook case-study laboratory whether austerity works. And I will happily observe the outcome but only from a healthy distance.

    From your comment I must assume that the latest real-world experiment in regard to fiscal sanity didn’t convince you. Our Baltic tigers are paragons of fiscal sanity. I’ve uploaded the latest Eurostat unemployment statistics.

    My question: what part of that fiscal sanity outcome don’t you exactly understand?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s