2008-12-27

Conservatism shot itself in the foot

Example.

Larry Kudlow in 2005:
Homebuilders led the stock parade this week with a fantastic 11 percent gain. This is a group that hedge funds and bubbleheads love to hate. All the bond bears have been dead wrong in predicting sky-high mortgage rates. So have all the bubbleheads who expect housing-price crashes in Las Vegas or Naples, Florida, to bring down the consumer, the rest of the economy, and the entire stock market.
And where was this mea-culpa inducing article written? The National Review, conservatism's intellectual flagship.

It was supply-side conservatives who created and promoted the conditions for a subprime mortgage collapse, not to mention the fiscal stupidity practised by Congress during the same period.

Conservatives like Kudlow are tainted for life. They will find that less and less people will listen to those who promised a market utopia. Just like Russian Communism, Supply-side conservatives have found themselves red faced and egg faced as the economy collapses, spouting canards and ideological dot points that contradict reality, as though repeating falsehoods somehow makes them correct.

13 comments:

BLBeamer said...

All true. However, the remarkable thing about this current debacle is that there is plenty of blame to go around for liberals, too.

Including: liberal Congressmen who took "sweetheart" loans from mortgage lenders to ensure they'd turn a blind eye toward regulating subprime and alt A loans; liberal Congressmen who took "contributions" from Fannie Mae executives to make sure Congress would not do its duty regarding regulation of Fannie; liberal economists who insist that the same policies that got us into this mess will get us out as long as the Presidency and Congress are controlled by Democrats. Etc.

There have been responsible individuals on both sides of the aisle, but I'm afraid when the pulpit is controlled by those with a vested interest in covering their asses, or in exposing only the malfeasance of those on the opposite side of the aisle, those responsible individuals will remain unheard and largely unknown.

I'm not a great fan of President Bush, but at least he made a (typically) feeble attempt to rein in Fannie Mae a few years ago. He was rebuffed by Fannie Mae's "special friends" in Congress.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).




John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

One Salient Oversight said...

Of course, being critical of conservatives doesn't mean that I'm necessarily supporting American liberals.

Having said that, however, I can't see what American Liberals have done that is of the same magnitude of destruction as conservatives.

One Salient Oversight said...

Dabney supported slavery. It's hard to take his thoughts seriously.

BLBeamer said...

I can't see what American Liberals have done that is of the same magnitude of destruction as conservatives.

Perhaps you're too far away.

One Salient Oversight said...

Perhaps you're too far away.

Not too far away for the majority of my hundreds of regular readers to be American...

BLBeamer said...

Regardless of whatever it is you were trying to say with your last response, it is impossible to pin the blame on this current debacle on only conservatives or only liberals. So-called liberals and so called conservatives share the blame, equally.

Re: Dabney. I'm not familiar with him, but your response implies that since he was wrong on one issue, he can't possibly be right on other issues. May I please use that line of rebuttal against your "American Liberals"?

One Salient Oversight said...

Beamer,

You basically said that I'm an ignorant foreigner.

BLBeamer said...

OSO - Not at all, since you and I agree on so much. [grin] I just think you have a bit of a double standard when it comes to liberalism.

In addition, since you don't live in the US, you don't get to experience the full buffet of delights brought to us by liberals in the state houses and cities. I think your criticisms of conservatives are often on the mark, but it seems to me you are too willing to believe the spin of liberals that blame conservatives for the bad results of policies liberals voted for and/or sponsored. (I'm not saying you never do criticize liberals, though.)

My perception is we in the US have very few principled liberals or conservatives. Hence we get "liberals" like Barney Frank, refusing to regulate Fannie Mae in exchange for money (making him a laissez faire conservative?) and we get "conservatives" like George Bush effectively nationalizing certain firms (making him a leftist?)

I wish it were the black and white world you try to portray.

One Salient Oversight said...

Part of the problem is that so many so called "liberal" policies advocated by Democrats and their ilk in the US are centrist policies elsewhere in the Western world.

Moreover, the policies of US conservatives are very different to those of conservatives elsewhere in the West. Supply side economics has had no foothold whatsoever in places like Western Europe, Britain or here in Australia - the result being that conservatives are at least respected.

Politics is politics everywhere. We have our own stupidity here in Australia, as does Britain and Western Europe.

But its the ideas that are important - conservative ideology and progressive ideology is the thing being fought over in the political sphere. And oftentimes these ideologies are promoted by true believers and sometimes they are promoted by cynical pragmatists.

This is the worst economic crisis since the great depression. The common thread between now and the 1930s is that markets were under-regulated and allowed to create an investment bubble that has subsequently popped. In the current crisis, this investment bubble was presided over and created by conservative politicians following supply-side policies and ideology. Whatever the sins of US progressives (and there are many to be sure), they were not to blame for the current mess.

BLBeamer said...

This is the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

I agree, and in fact it may be worse.

The common thread between now and the 1930s is that markets were under-regulated and allowed to create an investment bubble that has subsequently popped.

This is a commonly held belief, but I don't believe it has much historical basis. I don't deny the 1920's experienced an investment bubble, but the US had undergone at least a half-dozen booms and panics prior to 1929, yet none of them developed into a decade long depression. Were those earlier panics' relatively short lives due to the fact the US economy was more regulated than in the 1930's? Clearly not. The biggest difference between those earlier panics and the Great Depression was the unprecedented intervention of the federal government monetarily, regulatory and fiscally.

In the current crisis, this investment bubble was presided over and created by conservative politicians following supply-side policies and ideology. Whatever the sins of US progressives (and there are many to be sure), they were not to blame for the current mess.

There are differences between the 1930's and the current situation as well as similarities. The original 1920's bubble and the subsequent depth of the 1930's depression was driven by almost criminal monetary policy. Which exclusively supply-side policies do you attribute to be the cause of this current situation?

Coffee Bean said...

oooh! Very interesting debate you've got going here!

I do have a question for you OSO. Please know in advance that I am not being critical. I am just curious. You identify yourself as an evangelical and I'm wondering how you reconcile your personal beliefs with your political beliefs? Of course, I am unfamiliar with how things are run in Australia so it may not be as hard as it is here in the states. As hard as it is for me at any rate. I ask because you seem to have a liberal bent.

One Salient Oversight said...

CB,

I thought I answered such a request from yourself a while ago?

Regardless of that, it might be a good exercise to look at one aspect of my liberal politics and question how that fits in with me being a Bible believing, born-again Christian.

Find something specific.