9/15/16

I have a real problem with all conservatives in general.

You see, progressive/liberals/Democrats are totally non-ideological when it comes to gaining power and totally ideological when they get to be in power.

Conservatives/Republicans are exactly the opposite. They are holier-than-thou when trying to get elected, but when they do get elected, they tend to compromise and fall well short of their conservative dogma.

In addition, and I discussed this before, really without exception liberals are much better talkers than conservatives. They are eloquent and erudite. They also talk with great passion and lie through their teeth without thinking twice for what they believe is the greater good: getting into power and, once they are there, for what they believe are their superior ideas and confidence that they know what is best for everyone.

Conservatives, on the other hand, when they talk are always nuanced, try to be balanced, do not articulate their positions well at all and are never as passionate and do not lie. They actually believe that telling the truth is a good thing. Imagine that…

But I came to accept all of that, although it does frustrate me a lot.

What I really cannot accept are those conservatives that, on top of all of the above, pander to what they believe is an effort to get consensus, an effort to be liked by progressives and get the approval of liberals. In the process, in order to achieve this acceptance (which they never will, as progressives are simply not for compromising), they malign other conservatives and spin the truth so as not to be too controversial, God forbid. The exact opposite of what progressive do.

A case in question is the article “Return to JFK’s ‘Rising Tide’ Model” published in the WSJ on September 12th by Larry Kudlow promoting the book he just published. The article starts with the assertion that GDP growth since 2000 was 1.8% per annum:
“…an astoundingly low number almost half of the long term average of over 3%.”

First off, last I checked 1.8% is 60% of 3% and, thus, is more than half—not your normal interpretation of the phrase “almost half.” But that is the small issue.

The big point is that, while the number is correct, it is made of two very distinct periods; 2000-2008 when growth was far from stellar but much closer to the 3% average at 2.25% per annum and 2008-2016 when the GDP growth was about 1.5% (the famous “half” referred to in the article). The difference is material. The growth in the first period was 50% more every year for a total of 6% more, or about $900,000,000 more, in the size of the US economy. That is about $3,000 per EACH person for each year.

And the demarcation line between the two periods? The first one is the G.W. Bush presidency and the second one is . . . you guessed it: the Obama presidency. The slavish instinct of conservatives to try and appease critics (mostly, of course, progressives) by lumping the terrible Obama economic record with the less than stellar but significantly better G.W. Bush record is contemptible.