Thought for the Day

Thought for the day:

“There is a lot of ruin in a country,”
—John Maynard Keynes1


1 Brad's right—Adam Smith said it first.

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8 Responses to Thought for the Day

  1. Brad DeLong says:

    Adam Smith, not John Maynard Keynes…

  2. Actually, the professor’s quote is correct. Keynes said the same thing, but with “nation” instead of “country.” But its all just semantics. We’re screwed. And I’m not buying the idea of oh, well, one disaster’s no big deal, because disasters come with the territory…

    Anyone know any good real estate markets in Guam?

  3. Chris says:

    Not Guam. Global warming will probably flood it.

    How about secession? I heard repeated on the news networks that the Democrats are now a “regional” party. That could also be taken to mean that neo-con values have no place in these regions (such as where Brad or I live, at least), or that there truly is a great cultural divide in our country that can no longer be bridged. Perhaps it’s time for a divorce–for irreconcilable differences. It’s not like Bush needs us. And since northeastern or west coast “values” are so morally repellent for him and others in the US, people may even view it all as “good riddance.” And the feeling would be mutual.

    I for one am tired of having people from the most ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted parts of the country–mainly the Southeast US–legislate and lecture me on how to live, what to say, and how I should think.

  4. Geoffrey Williams says:

    That quote has been my mantra for over a month now. I only hope it’s true – I didn’t realize how much ruin was coming our way.

  5. Observer says:

    I for one am tired of having people from the most ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted parts of the country–mainly the Southeast US–legislate and lecture me on how to live, what to say, and how I should think.

    Seems absurd that people who believe evolution is a fraud/conspriacy determine who runs the country, doesn’t it?

    The south has been a problem since July 4, 1776. They took out some of the best lines of the Declaration of Independence. They forced the absurd allocation of senators and electors, not to mention the 3/5ths slave rule, into the Constitution. Not content to have slavery limited to their own states, they forced the 2nd worst SCOTUS decision, Dred Scot. Not content to merely secede, they initiated military action and caused the civil war.

    They’ve been the dominant force in politics for most of the past 80 years. A key part of the democratic New Deal coalition, their tendency to re-elect any incumbent regardless of ability meant that they owned virtually all House and Senate committees during most of the Democrats reigh, until the seniority rule was finally modified. Their unwillingness to compromise on the practice of lynching (!!!!) led to the great civil rights struggle. And for the past 25 years they’ve been the key part of the neocon revolution.

    It’s worth noting that the “south” of the 1860s now includes the great plains, Indiana, southern Ohio, the border states (excluding Maryland), the plains states, Utah and the upper rocky mountain states. Proof that you don’t need to have descendents of slaves living amidst you to think like a southerner.

  6. Funny, as a Southerner, I always thought the biggest problem any disenfranchised group faced was being lumped together as a definitively ignorant mass regardless of the necessity of individual opinion and achievement therein…but I guess that’s Observer’s idea of analysis.

    But to me, the most fascinating development in our American history is the ability of uneducated Yankees with a cocktail napkin idea of history managing to attribute the entirety of racism and intolerance in the U.S. to the southern states. For someone to be ignorant enough to determine that everyone south of the Mason-Dixon is suddently a creationist looking for the nearest handy lynch mob is barely even worth responding to.

    Just as an FYI, there, slugger, the North wasn’t quite the egalitarian fantasy land you might hope, and it isn’t now. The North had discriminated very severely before the civil war against free blacks who lived there. At that time only five Northern states — all of them in New England, with very small black populations — gave African Americans the right to vote. Ohio didn’t. New York only gave a tiny number the right to vote. Pennsylvania didn’t. Illinois didn’t. Here’s what the Chicago Tribune had to say in the 1870’s: “Is it not time for the colored race to stop playing baby? The whites of America have done nobly in outgrowing the old prejudices against them. They cannot hurry this process by law. Let them obtain social equality as every other man, woman, and child in this world obtain it — by showing themselves in their lives the social equals of those with whom they wish to consort. If they do this, year-by-year the prejudices will die away.” The New York World, clearly invaded by Southern spies, suggested that it was an issue for the states “whether negroes, or Chinamen, or Indians shall be allowed to buy and occupy boxes at the opera, or to dine at hotels, or to send their children to the public schools, or to get themselves buried or cremated, as the case may be, in common with their white fellow citizens.”

    And by 1875, the “enlightened” opinion among your blessed yankees is that reconstruction was a complete mistake. Oh, and by the way? Lynching was certainly held on to too long as a practice in the South. But do a little research on the number of lynchings up north. Or everywhere. In fact, from 1882-1968? The only states that didn’t lynch somebody were Alaska, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Perhaps by “south” you meant everything below Canada’s southern border?

    I can’t even be so longwinded as to clog up Prof. Froomkin’s blog further by explaining to you the actual history of the New Deal, the abandonment of the racism in the South not just by the all enlightened yankees, but by most southern democrats as well, the major shift to the republican party across the south that resulted, the idiocy of suggesting anyone ever “forced” Taney to do anything, or that they’d have to in order to obtain a pro-slavery ruling, or the utterly ridiculous concept that the South was capable of conceding without military conflict accompanying…its just all too nonsensical to bother with.

    But the idea that you can “think like a Southerner” is just, quite simply, offensive as all hell. My Southern relatives were practicing the law and fighting for the rights of all men and women three centuries ago. And just as the sons of Peter Blow, the master of Dred Scott, were the self same Southerners who paid his legal fees and brought the issue before the Court in the first place, many sons and daughters of the South have stood as advocates for equal justice under the law, and as warriors in the battle for civil rights for all. Are you actually so egotistical as to consider the civil rights revolution in the South the sole result of carpetbaggers coming down to teach us hillbillies a lesson?

    I’m not sure who taught you history, observer, but perhaps you should try doing a little more observing, and a little less rewriting of history or repeating the revisions of others. The simple fact is, there are idiots in every state, nation, municipality, commune, and neighborhood. But the only truly idiotic person is the one whose mind is too closed to learn.

  7. Chris says:

    My apologies, CC, for disparaging Southerners. You’re right–there are plenty of yankees that would push their own mothers into a busy street if it was to their advantage.

    My local newspaper published the county-by-county breakdown of voting, with the rural counties in the state of New York (including my own Ontario county) going for Bush. It’s obvious that we can’t call Bush-worship merely a Southern and Great Plains thing. There were significant pockets of Kerry support within these regions, including even in Texas, which was very interesting to see. And a hopeful sign.

    Anyway, my post above was driven by the dismaying realization that 48% of the country was essentially going to have their voices utterly silenced by a modest 3% Bush victory, a feat significantly aided via Southern electoral votes. But Bush’s message certainly resonated in numerous counties within the northern “blue” states, even if they didn’t translate into electoral votes for Bush. Likewise, Kerry’s message (or alarm re Bush) clearly took in certain areas of the South, even though it wasn’t enough to help Kerry. Nevertheless, there is still a great divide among Americans, and a group–aided by predominantly rural support–has essentially made a hostile takeover.

  8. I think you should give the Bush campaign more credit for appealing to the fear present in all Americans. The few who were smart enough to do their own research, find the lies so ever present, and realize the fear and war mongering were baseless and offensive weren’t limited to urban areas, or any easily cubbyholed section of this country. And call the takeover hostile if you want. How much did we fight back, those of us with an informed view of national and world politics? Did we put a candidate forward? Or rely on hatred of the incumbent to get anyone elected. Did we have a platform? Or a dedicated policy of sticking to the middle of every issue until we had no stand on anything.

    Forget all this emotional baggage. The time is here and now for the party to find a real stand on the issues that America can get behind, find a real candidate who believes in them, not just in himself, and campaign on the merits of our own belief, rather than just the idiocy of the opposition. The fact is, if we can take 48% of the nation without any uniform platform of ideals to stand behind, and a candidate who delicately and constantly refused to create one, just imagine what we could do with a real stand on the issues.

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