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Scott Adams's Political Survey of Economists 939

Posted by kdawson
from the who's-the-fairest-of-them-all dept.
Buffaloaf writes "Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, wanted to have unbiased information about which presidential candidate would be better for the economy, so he financed his own survey of 500 economists. He gives a bit more detail about the results in a CNN editorial, along with disclosure of his own biases and guesses as to the biases of the economists who responded."
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Scott Adams's Political Survey of Economists

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  • Wait .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:43PM (#25027715) Homepage

    Now we actually turn to Scott Adams for actual unbiased information about economics? Or, at least an attempt to explain the biases up-front? That just hurts my head!! :-P

    Where's the punch line?

    But, seriously, good on Scott Adams for actually doing this on his own. I think had anyone else tried to do this, we'd all be screaming loudly that they were inherently biased and had an agenda.

    No matter how it goes, Adams will get more material for the strips. ;-)

    Cheers

    • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rayeth (1335201) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:47PM (#25027791)
      its actually surprising how forthcoming he was about his own biases too. A nice change from the majority of statistics that show up on the internets.
      • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PlatyPaul (690601) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:51PM (#25027859) Homepage Journal
        Not just forthcoming, but he justifies them nicely [dilbert.com].

        Remember, kids: "The Dilbert Principle" can be both fun and scarily accurate.
    • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PlatyPaul (690601) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:50PM (#25027827) Homepage Journal
      If you're looking for a bit more "punch line", I suggest checking in next week.

      From TFA (the 2nd one, Scott's blog):

      Some of you will wonder how reliable a bunch of academics are when it comes to answering real life questions about the economy. You might prefer to know what CEOs think. But remember that CEOs are paid to be advocates for their stockholders, not advocates for voters. Asking CEOs what should be done about the economy is like asking criminals for legal advice. More on that this week.

    • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:51PM (#25027853) Homepage Journal

      Where's the punch line?

      I think the punchline is that the media and the researchers are so compromised that coming to a relatively uncorrupted conclusion now requires significant time and deep pockets.

    • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ucblockhead (63650) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:52PM (#25027883) Homepage Journal

      Well, we turn to cartoonists for actual unbiased information when the press falls down on its job to do the same. This is the same reason that the most trusted face in news these days belongs to a comedian.

      What makes me more confident in this than anything I might see on CNN is that a) he plainly states his personal bias and b) he shows his work. Neither happens in the mainstream media.

      You get much better information from someone you know is biased than when their bias is hidden, even if your own biases don't match.

      • Re:Wait .... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@NOSPam.beau.org> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:10PM (#25028127)

        > You get much better information from someone you know is biased than when their bias is hidden, even if your own biases don't match.

        Exactly. Which is why the MSM will continue to bleed until one of two things occur:

        1. They admit their biases like newspapers of old did. I want to see "Wolf Blitzer (D)" on the screen. Then he would be freed from the transparent lie that he is objective and could get on with it. We as viewers could then accept what he does and where he is coming from when he is 'reporting.'

        2. Really become objective. Primetime news with real journalism where you get the who what when why and how without mixing in commentary and bloviating. No talking points, no spin, no talking heads shouting, almost no horserace coverage. Real backgrounders on issues and where candidates have voted in the past, where they stand now and their explanation for any change.

        Number two has less odds of occuring than monkeys flying from my butt so if the MSM plans on surviving it is option 1 or bust.

  • Interesting Read (Score:4, Interesting)

    by COMON$ (806135) * on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:44PM (#25027735) Journal
    I am always looking for good numbers like this. Personally I have been leaning towards Obama. However it is good to know that people are taking such an interest in this election. With recent events in the market, it is becoming ever more important for us to drop our party biases and really look at taking care of our economy as a whole.

    Are there any other stat sites like this out there? When my wife was in High School her poly-sci teacher handed out papers describing the different platforms and the candidates. Then took the students down to get registered. Does anyone do this anymore?

    • Re:Interesting Read (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:57PM (#25027969) Homepage Journal

      How about this (according to Michael Kinsley, Larry Bartels, etc.): Democratic presidents have consistently higher economic growth and consistently lower unemployment than Republican presidents. If you add in a time lag, you get the same result. If you eliminate the best and worst presidents, you get the same result. If you take a look at other economic indicators, you get the same result. There's just no way around it: Democratic administrations are better for the economy than Republican administrations.

      Unless you are already independently wealthy, you will do better under a Democratic administration than a Republican one. Plain and simple. And if you are independently wealthy, well then you probably don't really care about a GDP percentage here or there. Bottom line, if you are voting "with your feet" on the economy, a Democratic vote is the clear choice, according to historic performance.

    • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:58PM (#25027979) Journal
      One major misconception here is that "economists" necessarily have a useful opinion on "the economy". (Let alone on candidates' positions thereupon.) It's like asking a panel of computer scientists about what relational database to use.
      • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:21PM (#25028307)

        It's like asking a panel of computer scientists about what relational database to use.

        No, it's like asking a panel of computer scientists about what relational database to use versus asking a room full of business majors what relational database to use. Yeah, there will be disagreements, conflicting advice, and no clear consensus. But I'd still rather get an opinion from people who make thier living studying the subject than from random talking heads that the news corps shovel at us everyday.

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryophallion (1129715) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:46PM (#25027763)

    That has to be one of the most thoroughly explained and analyzed surveys I've seen in a long time. The fact that he analyzed the leanings of the respondents and took that into account was really well done.

    Now, can we also ask them who is really responsible for the current bank crisis (whether profit hungry execs, slimy people luring people into bad mortgages, people flipping houses and then wanting a bailout when burned, government policy...)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PlatyPaul (690601)

      Now, can we also ask them who is really responsible for the current bank crisis [...] ?

      All of the above.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      who is really responsible for the current bank crisis (whether profit hungry execs, slimy people luring people into bad mortgages, people flipping houses and then wanting a bailout when burned, government policy...)?

      Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. And probably a dozen other reasons as well.

      Of course, a lot of the people flipping housing couldn't have done it without an easy to get loan. The people giving out bad loans wouldn't have done so without the support of profit hungry execs. The profit hungry execs never would have been able to allow the bad loans without the deregulation of the industry (something both right and left politicians have had a hand in at one time or another over the past 15 years). In theory, this cou

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jnaujok (804613)
      Take some time and learn about Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and who ran the "corporation" since 2000. Add to that, researching the 2005 bill that forced FM/FM to give out loans based on racial profiles instead of financial stability, and you'll have a good idea who to blame.

      Who was in charge of Fannie Mae when they "misreported" $10.8 billion in 2006? Washington Times [washtimes.com]

      For those too lazy to find out, consider that Obama, despite being in the Senate for only 2 years, is the #1 recipient of donations from FM/FM
      • by thule (9041)

        It appears that the Bush administration did see a train wreck coming:

        New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae [nytimes.com]

        So see why the free market couldn't correct earlier check this commentary out:

        Financial Markets Are in a Mess [foxnews.com]

      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

        by weston (16146) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:03PM (#25029023) Homepage

        Add to that, researching the 2005 bill that forced FM/FM to give out loans based on racial profiles instead of financial stability, and you'll have a good idea who to blame.

        I'm gonna call bullshit unless you can back this up with a link or two including one pointing to the actual legislation.

          Loans favoring people of a certain income class and demographic with interest rates that might not otherwise be available to them under conventional market proceedures, aren't particularly controversial, but *requiring* them to loan to a candidate who wouldn't qualify under normal market conditions would be.

        However, anyone familiar knows that "normal market conditions" in 2005 included No Income, No Job, No Asset loans, which should make one *highly* skeptical about the assertion that congress twisted lender's arms.

        Who was in charge of Fannie Mae when they "misreported" $10.8 billion in 2006?

        The connection of Fannie Mae to Walter Mondale's campaign manager is supposed to be evidence of Democratic malfeasance here? It's been 20 years since Mondale ran. Focusing on Enron and its spectacular collapse that took down a colluding Big 5 accounting firm instead of FM's *understating* their earnings? I guess that's evidence of a massive media conspiracy... especially since the media DID report on problems with FM.

        For those too lazy to find out, consider that Obama, despite being in the Senate for only 2 years is the #1 recipient of donations from FM/FM at $112,000.

        A bit of further research reveals that this is out a total of a recent $390 million in lobbying dollars. So, Obama's the largest recipient... at .02% of FM donation dollars. I guess that means he's tight with FM, although he's also raised more money than anybody else from just about everybody.

        "Fannie Mae Chairman Franklin Raines last week

        That "last week" has got to be pre-2004, then, since that's when he was pushed out over the accounting issues.

        called for continued efforts by Fannie Mae and mortgage lenders to reach out to those 'at the margins' of home ownership. Blacks, Hispanics and immigrants trying to buy homes would be a major focus of outreach, Raines said." Raines made no mention of assistance for the millions of white families who have difficulty purchasing home

        Raines also made no mention of his support for the troops, ending Islamic Terrorism, and the state of Israel, which means he is against these things.

        And yet

        • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

          by jnaujok (804613) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:52PM (#25029809) Homepage Journal
          I'm gonna call bullshit...

          The Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005 (H.R. 1461/S. 190). Google is your friend. Use your friend. This gave the power to HUD to include "fair affirmative action", HUD then ordered Fannie Mae to increase it's percentage of high-risk mortgages. The Globe and Mail [theglobeandmail.com]

          ...should make one *highly* skeptical about the assertion that congress twisted lender's arms...

          Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not just any lender. They are government backed "corporations" that operate under restrictions passed by law. They are holding The People's money, taken by force at the end of a gun barrel (see definition of taxation.) As such, they must be much more risk averse than a private mortgage firm with investors who willingly take risks. The change to the law opened the floodgates for making bad loans on a "corporation" that just got investigated for making years of bad decisions and poor financial choices. Which brings us to...

          The connection of Fannie Mae to Walter Mondale's campaign manager...

          James Johnson was Walter Mondale's campaign manager. He is also Barack Obama's Campaign Advisor. Relevance is up to you...

          That "last week" has got to be pre-2004, then...

          Wow, if only I'd set off that part as being a quote from a news article, perhaps by putting it all in italics. Shame on me. Maybe this style will help.

          ARTICLE QUOTATION FOLLOWS
          Fanie's lobbying efforts paid off as liberal politicians such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.T.) and Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.) worked to kill any real reform of Freddie and Fannie. The Washington Post reports: "In an internal memo in 2004, Fannie Mae executive Daniel H. Mudd affirmed what the company's critics had long contended: In the political arena, 'we always won' and 'we took no prisoners.'"
          END OF ARTICLE QUOTATION

          Oh, and Daniel Mudd was just the (is currently the transitional) CEO of Fannie Mae for the last six months. He'll be receiving a $5.64 million "retirement package" thanks to his friends in Washington. And Daniel Mudd has admitted that after 2005, they "stopped internally scrutinizing" their purchases of Alt-A loans and packages. That's a heck of an admission for a CEO of a "corporation" that's supposed to be about scrutinizing and packaging mortgage loans.

          Raines also made no mention of...

          Again, I must apologize for not setting off the article in italics or something. That was the reporter's comment. Please note that I just might have included this as a means of demonstrating the racial component of the push at Fannie Mae towards high risk loans. Raines being a major player in the Democratic party top brass might have had something to do with it as well. You might even want to use Google or another search engine to actually research the issue as I urged you to do in my initial message. Everything you complained about fell under the "if you're too lazy" block, which says more about you than about me.
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:48PM (#25027797) Journal

    My initial reaction was: There's far more Democratic economists than Republican ones. Perhaps their Democratic bias is because of their evaluation of who's better for the economy, and not the other way around?

    I think probably the easiest way to prove this would be to show not just independents, but those who have switched from Republican to Democrat, or vice versa. Someone who's been Democratic for 50 years isn't likely to change their mind, and that could influence the economic evaluation.

    However, someone who tends to think independently, even if they actually register with one party or another -- that is, someone who was recently the other party -- might provide a better indicator.

    Then again, it's still impossible to tell. Maybe, long-term, Democrats have been better for the economy, and thus, economists tend to be long-time Democrats?

    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:26PM (#25028391)

      Maybe, long-term, Democrats have been better for the economy

      There's certainly evidence [wikipedia.org] for that. [wikipedia.org]

      To summarize:

      Since 1933, Republican administrations have averaged 1.25% annual job growth, while Democrat administrations have averaged 3.25%. Even after removing FDR's terms the Democrats still average 2.9% annual growth.

      Since 1978, Republican administrations have increased government spending by an average of 3% annually, while Democrat administrations have averaged 2.5%.

      Since 1978, Republican administrations have increased the national debt by an average of 9.1% annually, while Democrat administrations have averaged 1%.

      Since 1978, Republican administrations have increased the GDP by an average of 2.7% annually, while Democrat administrations have averaged 3.1%.

      It's quite a testament to the GOP's marketing skill that the average American associates them with smaller government, stronger economic growth, and more jobs.

  • by jamie (78724) Works for Slashdot <jamie@slashdot.org> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:56PM (#25027955) Journal

    The plain fact is that the economists surveyed think Obama would be better for the economy, by almost two-to-one. It's kind of sad how Adams had to dress the fact up by noting how many were Democrats vs. Republicans, essentially declaring it a tie:

    ...not surprisingly, 88% of Democratic economists think Obama would be best, while 80% of Republican economists pick McCain. ...

    The economists in our survey favor Obama on 11 of the top 13 issues. But keep in mind that 48 percent are Democrats and only 17 percent are Republicans.

    Despite his own strong evidence that the economists were being objective -- their own income levels did not correlate to whether they thought the rich should be taxed -- he doesn't even tell us the plain fact until after he dresses it up.

    His CNN writeup was an excuse to repeat three times that he would have his taxes raised by Obama. Well yeah, he makes zillions of dollars. No mention of Obama's plan to cut taxes, for almost everyone, by more than McCain's plan.

    I look forward to his next survey of economists, in which he asks which is better economically, capitalism or communism, and then weights the results before revealing them. ("Not surprisingly, 88% of market-favoring economists think capitalism would be best, while 80% of socialist economists pick communism. Our economists favor capitalism on 11 of the top 13 issues, but keep in mind that" etc.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)

      His CNN writeup was an excuse to repeat three times that he would have his taxes raised by Obama.

      Of course, neither Obama nor McCain can raise taxes. That's a congressional power, not an executive power. Frankly, I'm hoping that someone will confront both candidates about why they believe that as president, they will have powers that the constitution clearly places with the congress. Obama's a law professor, who should sure as hell know this.

      -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I enjoy the democrats' definitions of "tax cutting," when it means giving money to people who don't pay any taxes at all. It's also a bit astonishing how Obama is saying he's going to cut taxes and push for some sort of socialized health care. Yeah, let's put the burden on the most productive members of society.

      Neither candidate has uttered the words that would probably woo over a good portion of people - "cut the budget."
  • Neither (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:57PM (#25027965)
    Both wish for more government manipulation of the economy. Obama would like absolute government control of services arbitrarily deemed as necessary (in order to buy votes). McCain, under the guise of "free market", offers false choices under a government-controlled system. McCain wants you to believe that you can have the benefits of a free market through government regulation - that, somehow, socialism with (forced) choices will not fail. All they're saying is, "pick your poison - and there's no option not to be poisoned."

    All you have left is to determine which system will lead to a faster or slower death, and decide which death is more preferable.
  • Scott Adams' Blog (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:59PM (#25027985)
    From time to time, Scott will do something interesting and write it up on his blog. I subscribed to his blog for a while, but I ended up unsubscribing because of the over-the-top sarcasm and overall negative tone. It just didn't feel healthy to *read* it.

    The fact that Adams has attached himself to a medium through which he distributes mockery as social commentary is really not surprising to me at all. I know smart people who are trying to make the world a better place by making positive things happen, so it frustrates me that Adams won't just drop all the grudges and stop acting so defensively. We need more smart people on the offense, starting awesome new projects and using their creativity to lift people up.
  • Tax bracket (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @01:59PM (#25027993) Homepage

    From the CNN article:

    Moneywise, I can't support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket, ...

    Then maybe you are in the wrong tax bracket. Try being in mine for a while. I think most people would prefer to be in a tax bracket that gets taxed like that and keep the rest, rather than where they are now.

    • Re:Tax bracket (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:49PM (#25028789) Homepage

      What the "tax the rich" crowd doesn't realize is that the tax bracket applies to -earnings-. You have to be -working-. Most ``rich'' (what I'd consider rich) folks don't really ``earn'' anything at all. For example, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and just about every other `rich' person who ``works'', makes exactly $100,000 per year. They'd actually benefit under most tax plans.

      Warren Buffet jokes that he pays -less- taxes than his secretary!

      Now, if you're "earning" >$200k a year (highest tax braket), you're not ``rich''---you're just well off (probably thanks to luck, brains and good education; in that order). You likely have a boss and work Monday through Friday just like the rest of us.

      What the tax brackets do is create a "bump" in taxes around $200k mark. Taxes increase upto that point---and beyond it (once you learn to invest and not put cash into savings account as income), they drop.

      • Re:Tax bracket (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jdgeorge (18767) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:29PM (#25029419)

        What the "tax the rich" crowd doesn't realize is that the tax bracket applies to -earnings-. You have to be -working-. Most ``rich'' (what I'd consider rich) folks don't really ``earn'' anything at all. For example, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and just about every other `rich' person who ``works'', makes exactly $100,000 per year. They'd actually benefit under most tax plans.

        Warren Buffet jokes that he pays -less- taxes than his secretary!

        Okay, let's put Warren Buffet's quote in context [timesonline.co.uk].

        Buffett was saying that secretaries are being taxed at an unfairly high rate compared to the effective tax rates on very rich people (such as himself).

        Regarding the comment about more than $200k per year not making you "rich", that varies widely by where you live. Someone in San Francisco making $200k per year may be just scraping by in a middle class existence, whereas the same income in west Texas might make you a land baron. This makes discussion of what "rich" means very confusing.

  • Subjective results (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steveha (103154) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:03PM (#25028051) Homepage

    I think it's really cool that Scott Adams paid for this survey. And I was impressed by his analysis of the results. But I am not sure how much value there is in the result.

    Democrat economists favored Obama (88%!). Republican economists favored McCain (80%!). Independents (who, as Scott Adams pointed out, are mostly in academia) favored Obama (just barely: 46% Obama to 39% McCain). Not really earthshaking results nor unexpected. Maybe he should ask for his money back.

    Really, the biggest surprise to me is how solidly the recommendations aligned with the political party of the recommending economist. It makes me wonder whether economics is really that subjective, or whether ideology is trumping objectivity here.

    I was amused that Scott Adams described himself as "Libertarian, minus the crazy stuff". I could say the same. My own recommendation: vote for gridlock. Since Congress is in the hands of the Democrats, vote for the Republican candidate, just to put some quicksand under the wheels of big government.

    My favorite quote:

    Moneywise, I can't support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket, give the windfall to a bunch of clowns with a 14 percent approval rating (Congress), and hope they spend it wisely.

    Unfortunately, the alternative to the guy who promises to pillage my wallet is a lukewarm cadaver. I'm in trouble either way.

    Heh. Scott Adams is a comedic genius. Actually, I think we can shorten that to: Scott Adams is a genius.

    steveha

  • No surprises (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cajun Hell (725246) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:15PM (#25028225) Homepage Journal

    Wow, the economists have joined the parties that they think are best for the economy. Shocking.

    Not even this is surprising:

    Moving along, we asked the economists which candidate they thought would do the best job on the most important issues. For me, the surprise is how many economists say there would be no difference.

    In January 2009, the total national debt will be the same, regardless of whoever is going to become president. This is a massive drag on the economy.

    Furthermore, this is just a president, not a central committee chairman. The president obviously has some power, but he's definitely in second place. The part of government that has the most influence over the economy (congress), isn't getting nearly as much media coverage for their elections, as the president is. The next truly economy-related election is in two years, not in two months.

  • Adams on CEO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jodka (520060) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:20PM (#25028301)

    The Scott Adams commentary contained this provocative remark:

    Some of you will wonder how reliable a bunch of academics are when it comes to answering real life questions about the economy. You might prefer to know what CEOs think. But remember that CEOs are paid to be advocates for their stockholders, not advocates for voters. Asking CEOs what should be done about the economy is like asking criminals for legal advice.

    Presumably criminals stand to benefit by giving others bad legal advice, and as criminals they could not be trusted to forgo personal gain for the principle of honesty. Likewise, CEOs stand to benefit by harming the economy and could not be trusted to forgo personal gain for the sake of improving the economic welfare of the nation.

    Do CEOs benefit from a bad economy? "Yay! business is looking up because the economy is failing!". It is a more daft than deft analogy.

  • Unselfish, or not? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by T.E.D. (34228) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:22PM (#25028319)

    From TFA:

    Moneywise, I can't support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket,

    Man, that's sad. He's making more than 200K (must be, or the O-man's plan has him in line for a tax cut), and *that's* his whole basis for voting? No cocern for society as a whole huh? Just your own personal pocketbook. I guess in that case the %98 of the rest of us should blindly vote Democratic, as we'll get a tax cut.

    Let's not even mention the fact that he's not actually going to *raise* taxes on the rich, so much as rescind the huge "temporary" emergency tax cut Bush pushed through in his first term as an "economic stimulus package". That economic experiment sure worked well, didn't it?

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by RetiredMidn (441788) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:35PM (#25028553) Homepage
    "If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion." - George Bernard Shaw
  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:04PM (#25029045) Homepage Journal
    check out what scott adams says :

    Moneywise, I can't support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket, give the windfall to a bunch of clowns with a 14 percent approval rating (Congress), and hope they spend it wisely. Unfortunately, the alternative to the guy who promises to pillage my wallet is a lukewarm cadaver. I'm in trouble either way.

    if you check out those sentences, you may think that the republican administrations up to date, especially this administration, havent taken cash out of his pocket. and democrats, supposedly, take cash from your pocket, and give it to senate to waste. how simple. but also, how stupid.

    yea republican administration didnt increase your taxes, up until now. but what did they do instead ? they used EXISTING public funds and wasted them on foreign wars and crap, totaling to $400bn/year for iraq, ALONE.

    spent money, has to come from somewhere, right ? sure. and since these republicans are the puppet of big business, and they cant tax them, and since they wont tax you also, what can they do ? they used existing public funds from ELSEWHERE. juggled all kinds of government funds, issued bonds, sold bonds to chinese and so on.

    i dont think there is anybody among you who would be stupid as to not understand that these spendings, these debts are going to be paid from somewhere.

    from where ?

    not the little green men, for sure. YOU are going to pay it. EVEN IF it doesnt come directly from your pocket in the form of taxes.

    and here you have, a financial disaster, in which you not only sank yourselves, but dragged ENTIRE world down with you. what a shame, what ignorance, what foolishness. EVERYone of us on the globe, suffering because of this.

    'deregulation' 'hands off business' ...

    economy is another SOCIAL aspect of human life. as with every social aspect of life, because there are more than one person involved, there are going to be opportunists, schemers, bastards, criminals, fraudsters, every kind of people.

    if you do "hands off", that basically means that all these ill willed elements of the society will be free to roam as they like in that field of life.

    and so it did happen. some smartyboys came up with a scheme to make quick bucks over another segment of society, painted some high risk loans so nicely that low income people were lured to take them, and then also sold bonds tied to these high risk loans not only nationally but internationally. and, because 'hands off business', they werent regulated, overseen, controlled and checked if they were attempting anything fishy.

    way to go.

    now we are all headed towards the bottom of the trash can, globally.

    and yet, a person like scott adams, STILL talks about 'take money from my pocket with taxes'.

    HELLOOOOOOOO !!!?!?!?! with this goddamn global crisis, more cash is going to get out of your pocket than democrats can EVER tax out of you !!!

    holy cow.

    people, it happened. it should NOT have happened, but it happened.

    so please, this time, be smart, think long term, and elect someone who is not as idiot as to still say "deregulation" every other sentence.

    • by toadlife (301863) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:36PM (#25029547) Journal

      To sum the parent's post up, we have to start paying our bills, preferably before our creditors overseas start to call them in.

      If there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is politicians running up public debt. A close second would be the idiot economists who claim that public debt is not a bad thing because we are paying it back to ourselves. The last time I checked, 20% of our federal income taxes go straight to paying interest on our national debt. It's probably more now. I don't care who the interest is going to, it's still amounts to pushing paper around, which accomplishes nothing.

      We need to pay our bills.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:44PM (#25029681) Homepage Journal

    Scott Adams is an idiot. He had a funny take on the other idiots who surrounded him in his PacTel cubicle in the 1990s, but that's just the idiot leading the idiots. Read his "Dogbert management books" for business insights that aren't even funny, in ways that show he actually knows as little about business management as the idiots he mocks.

    Here's Adams' latest demonstration of his idiocy, in this stupid (and not funny) editorial:

    donated to John McCain's campaign because he had promised a friend he would do so if the surge of troops to Iraq worked. "I figured my money was safe," Adams says.

    The surge escalation has failed. Of course throwing tens of thousands of new US troops at a civil war will succeed in beating back the enemies, making them less likely to try attacks than when the US military was spread too thin to intimidate. No one questions whether our military is good at killing and intimidating enemies, when Washington (run by Bush and McCain's Republican Party) isn't keeping them too weak to do the job.

    But the surge's job wasn't just to drop the killing. That was a means to an end, to create a political opportunity that was totally squandered. The Iraqi government is a farce that hasn't governed anything, even when we give it a break in the action during which it can concentrate on governing. It has failed. And since the purpose of the surge escalation has failed, the surge has failed. Anyone saying any different just thinks that the purpose of war is to kill. It's not, and those people have lost the Iraq War since they started it.

    But hey, if the surge worked, then we won. Let's get the hell out of there already. Not stay the "100 years, maybe forever" that McCain thinks equals victory. If we've got to keep troops there, we're losing. Only getting out of there is any real measure of victory.

    Dilbert creator Scott Adams hired a polling firm to survey economists on which candidate is best for the economy.

    Yeah, and then he totally ignored that most economists are Democrats. Because people who understand the economy vote for Democrats. Even among Republican economists, more Republicans support Obama than Democrat economists for McCain. That speaks much more than what Adams' single datapoint survey says.

    I should pause here and confess my personal biases, since the messenger is part of the story. On social issues, I lean Libertarian, minus the crazy stuff.

    Of course, that is what every single American (who isn't crazy) says about their political bias.

    Moneywise, I can't support a candidate who promises to tax the bejeezus out of my bracket, give the windfall to a bunch of clowns with a 14 percent approval rating (Congress), and hope they spend it wisely.

    Unfortunately, the alternative to the guy who promises to pillage my wallet is a lukewarm cadaver. I'm in trouble either way.

    And there we have the basic evidence of Scott Adams idiocy. Or rather, his lying. Obama might be raising Adams' taxes, if he makes over $250,000 a year. He's almost certainly not going to raise yours. You can see for yourself with the Obama Tax Cut Web Calculator [alchemytoday.com], which takes 15 seconds and 3 status facts about you to show you the dollar amount of your Obama tax cut.

    Adams is a rich guy who makes his money satirizing incompetents running big orgs. His pocketbook is threatened by Obama because he's made so much more money than most people, benefited so much more than most people, from the exact kinds of idiots he needs in power for him to sell more books and cartoons. He's as scared of McCain as he is of Obama, because though he believes McCain won't tax him (but the country would fall apart, an expensive proposition even for a cartoonist who has to live in it), because McCain is boring. Which means he won't be a good c

  • Another study (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:37PM (#25030559) Journal

    In Scott Adams's survey of members of the American Economic Association [wikipedia.org], he found 48% Democrats, 17% Republicans, 27% Independents, 3% Libertarian, and 5% Other or not registered. However, in this working paper [harvard.edu] by Gross and Simmons (at Harvard and GMU, respectively), surveying economists working in academia, they find 34.3% Democrats, 37.1% Independents, and 28.6% Republicans.

    Anyone have ideas on what's up with the disparities in the statistics? The only explanation I can think of is that the AEA includes economists in the public sector, where (as one might expect) folks tend to favor government intervention in the economy.

    (By the way, for anyone curious, the stats for academia as a whole are 45.2% Democrats, 38.9% Independents, and 15.9% Republicans. In English it's 51.0/47.1/2.0, in computer science it's 32.3/58.1/9.7, and in electrical engineering it's 13.2/55.3/31.6)

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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