Tuesday, March 03, 2009

You Were Warned

It looks like Obama fever is starting to wane. At least that is what the anecdotal evidence from Larry Kudlow would indicate.

Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for “change” — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner. There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse. Well then, do conservatives dare say: We told you so?
Yes we can. As you well know I was warning people of the dangers of an Obama administration all through the election season. But Americans had the fever. The elect a black man to the Presidency historical fever. We went through that in Illinois with Carol Mosely Braun. And some of us in Illinois learned our lesson. Now the rest of the nation will get a chance to learn their lesson. The answer I always got to the warning was "how bad could he be?" We are about to get Three more years 10 more months 2 more weeks and 2 more days to find out. It ain't going to be pretty. Let us hope (heh) that this is a lesson that will last a lifetime for those who made the mistake.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Neil said...

I can think of another president who came in on a wave of euphoric hope, claiming that America was on the brink of eradicating poverty, that there was a government solution to every problem, and dedicated to all the wars on non-prescription pharmaceuticals of his day (although privately, he was known to indulge).

In the end, he left office in a tsunami of Depression.

The "Great Engineer" himself.

Herbert Hoover.

M. Simon said...

And fortunately he was followed by Roosevelt who thought government programs could eradicate poverty and that there was a government solution to every problem. He maintained the wars on the non-prescription pharmaceuticals of his day.

Evidently there was a lot of that going around at the time.

BTW it was Wilson who signed the Harrison narcotics act not Hoover.

Neil said...

Actually, I was thinking more of alcohol Prohibition. Hoover ran as a "dry" vs. the "wet" Al Smith. However, Hoover had a rather celebrated wine cellar prior to the Volstead Act, and as Secretary of Commerce, he used to drop in on the Belgian Embassy almost daily after work....

The big political difference between Hoover and Roosevelt was that Hoover favored fascism (in the narrow technical definition of government-directed private ownership), while Roosevelt loosely favored socialism. Those were the choices on offer at the time--nobody really promoted a free-market system, and the "lasseiz-faire" 19th century was really more like crony capitalism. In the end, we wound up with a strange brew containing elements of both systems.

Today, the choice on offer is Socialism vs. the "market state" (which may or may not turn out to really be a free-market system). I don't think we've made the choice of Socialism permanently yet...

M. Simon said...

OK. I get it. And you are right about the true situation in our economy.

The more market and the less state the better off we will be. I have no hope of a total reversal day after tomorrow. I would like to nibble at the edges. A little less regulation here. A small decline in tax rates there. The elimination of this regulation.

BTW we never had a truly free economy. In the early days it was war between the low tariff and the high tariff people. Then came railroads, telegraph, telephones, and electrical power generation which needed rights of way. etc. etc. etc.

Neil said...

It's true that there's never been a truly free economy--but I'm not anxious to try one either. I'm not a religious man, and my political intuitions are more PI-controller than hysteretic controller.

Many people think that if government control of the economy isn't working, then we have to switch to a 100% free market--or vice versa. Thus, a hysteretic controller, which is (given the incredibly slow slew rate of the "actuator" vs. the lags inherent in the nation's political economy) doomed to uncontrolled oscillation.

My ideal is more like an overdamped PI controller--government is clearly no longer capable of delivering the performance people want, so let's try more free market and less government, and gradually sneak up on the solution.

I fear it's too late for my preferred approach, however. The Four Horsemen approach.