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Liberal madness

‘Economist’ Krugman, a few short weeks after calling sound money types ‘zombies’ (you know, the ones who aren’t human, who you kill in video games again and again), after calling Ron Paul ‘crazy’, after driving the U.S. economy to the brink of utter chaos and disaster:

When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008campaign. I remembered the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — an upsurge that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And you could see, just by watching the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies, that it was ready to happen again. The Department of Homeland Security reached the same conclusion: in April 2009 an internal report warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise, with a growing potential for violence.

Conservatives denounced that report. But there has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats and vandalism aimed at elected officials, including both Judge John Roll, who was killed Saturday, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords. One of these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And now someone has.

It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

Last spring Politico.com reported on a surge in threats against members of Congress, which were already up by 300 percent. A number of the people making those threats had a history of mental illness — but something about the current state of America has been causing far more disturbed people than before to act out their illness by threatening, or actually engaging in, political violence.

And there’s not much question what has changed. As Clarence Dupnik, the sheriff responsible for dealing with the Arizona shootings, put it, it’s “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.

It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility,” the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.

The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.

And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.

But even if hate is what many want to hear, that doesn’t excuse those who pander to that desire. They should be shunned by all decent people.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening: the purveyors of hate have been treated with respect, even deference, by the G.O.P. establishment. As David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter, has put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox.”

So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?

If Arizona promotes some real soul-searching, it could prove a turning point. If it doesn’t, Saturday’s atrocity will be just the beginning.

I thought ‘economists’ should stick to economics?  Perhaps not?  Perhaps we should try to steer him back to his area of ‘expertise’?  My ‘editorial’ in response:

When you heard the terrible news about the US economy and about food stamps, unemployment and skyrocketing commodity inflation, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the insane boom years, when liberals were praising Clinton for abolishing Glass Steagall and the credit fuelled boom was blasting across the world.

I remembered the upsurge in credit after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — an upsurge that culminated in the insane, crazy years of 2002 – 2007. And you could see, just by watching the crowds at auctions across the country, that it was ready to happen again.

The Austrians had reached the same conclusion: in April 2007 money supply growth was on the rise, with a growing potential for violent financial catastrophe. Liberals denounced that report.

But there has, in fact, been a rising tide of threats to the economy through financial vandalism aimed at the common people, including both workers, who were killed with the collapse of unionism, and the systematic culling of true Constitutional conservatives from the 60s onwards. One of these days, someone was bound to take it to the next level. And now someone has.  Obama.

It’s true that the shooters of the economy appear to have been mentally troubled. Max Keiser calls them financial terrorists.  But that doesn’t mean that JP Morgan’s act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

Last spring libertarians reported on a surge in threats against the economy, which were already up by 300 percent. A number of the people making those threats had a history of mental illness — but something about the current state of America has been causing far more disturbed people than before to act out their illness by threatening, or actually engaging in, economic violence, bailing out the corrupt banks and allowing the madness of fiat currency to continue to wreak its terrible toll.

And there’s not much question what has changed. As Ron Paul put it, it’s “the nature of governments to oppress the people.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric from the Left stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.  They literally stop at nothing to kill private enterprise and industry, suffocating entrepeneurship with regulation after reguation.

It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility,” the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.

The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for unconstitutional traitors who counterfeit to their own ends, for suggestions that those on the other side of a monetary debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.

And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of economic chaos.  The sane economists have been purged, eliminated from the debate.  Only the madmen remain.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from Krugman and the madmen of the left, as well as the neo-con zealots. It’s hard to imagine a libertarian urging the killing of Julian Assange without being ostracized; but many from the left and right in Congress did just that.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Ron Paul, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at the Fed. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting truth tellers like Assange. Listen to Establishment politicians, and you will.

Of course, the likes of Krugman and Mishkin are responding to the demands of insane bankers on Wall Street. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mild mannered politicians like Ron Paul are met with cries of madness and talk of legalizing the Constitution as ‘crazy’. Still, that’s what happens whenever a libertarian speaks out, and there’s a market on Wall Street for anyone willing to stoke that anger.  They are paid richly in corrupt fiat dollars.

But even if hate is what many on Wall Street want to hear, that doesn’t excuse those who pander to that desire. Krugman, Mishkin et al. should be shunned by all decent people.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been happening: the purveyors of hate have been treated with respect, even deference, by the financial establishment. As a noted economist, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of losing tenure, has put it, “Economists originally thought that they were independent and now we’re discovering we work for the Fed and corrupt bankers on Wall Street.”

So will the massacre of our economy make our economic discourse less toxic? It’s really up to Wall Street. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre of the economy as the mere randomness of a skewed bell curve distribution, and go on as before?

If this Second Great Depression promotes some real soul-searching, it could prove a turning point. If it doesn’t, this year’s atrocity will be just the beginning.

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