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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mother Nature is a Keynesian (and other lefty fairy tales)

Jonathan Swift himself could not have written better satire than Nathan Gardels in his most recent HuffPo post:

No one -- least of all someone like myself who has experienced the existential terror of California's regular tremors and knows the big one is coming here next -- would minimize the grief, suffering and disruption caused by Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami.
The need to rebuild a large swath of Japan will create huge opportunities for domestic economic growth, particularly in energy-efficient technologies, while also stimulating global demand and hastening the integration of East Asia. ... Japan has been wallowing in stagnation for years despite massive government stimulus programs and zero-interest rates because, simply put, in such an advanced, mature economy there was too little demand to generate sufficient returns to attract private investment. Thus the famous "bridges to nowhere" and other projects that amounted to pushing a string.
By taking Japan's mature economy down a notch, Mother Nature has accomplished what fiscal policy and the central bank could not.

Larry Summers only alluded to this, but this fellow goes on to explore the implications of what Summers could have meant. I mean, thousands may have had their lives ruined, but their status quo was just getting the way of their "[position] for a green recovery." I waxed on about how the Broken Window Fallacy is still alive and kicking, but this post leads me to pick another bone with leftists commentators....

I'm always repulsed by the way environmentalists see (their typically failed predictions and) ideas come before people. A more extreme example would be John Holdren, our Science advisor to the President. In a 1969 article, Holdren argued that, "if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come."

In 1973 Holdren encouraged a decline in fertility, and in 1977, he co-authored the textbook Ecoscience; discussing the possible role of a wide variety of solutions to overpopulation, from voluntary family planning to enforced population controls, including forced sterilization for women after they gave birth to a designated number of children, and recommended "the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences" such as access to birth control and abortion.

Of course, just like campus Marxists, these people prefer grandiose change that may jeopardize the lives of others because they think they'll be at the helms of revolution.
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  1. All utopian visions are splattered with blood.

    If only we could have some more disasters to stimulate the economy. Sickos!

  2. Reminds me of Ted Turner's speech a few years ago stating that the planet could only handle a 500 million global population (that mean's the 95% surplus population needs to go). He later "corrected" himself saying that it didn't have to happen right away and the planet could probably handle 2 billion for now (that is still 66% over-population).

    People who say these things seem to have a sense of entitlement to being among the 5% (or 33%) who survive the "right-sizing" of the global population. Says plenty about the elitist mind-set of these people. I wonder what their "final solution" would look like?

  3. But give them credit for "sincerity", though, and that's the only thing that counts.

  4. I say the Malthusian population control visionaries could start by reducing their own carbon footprints to zero via collective suicide. Of course their utopian visions require the elimination of other people so instead they will try to reduce the carbon footprints of others by intentionally reducing our standard of living while the elites like Gore continue to fly around in their private jets. I hate to admit this because I do think recycling is a good thing because of the great amount of energy required to produce aluminum, but I do occasionally get a kick out of throwing a can in the garbage as I say f@#$ Al Gore. I have lived a modest standard of living most of my life mostly because of being almost poor, so I am not going to reduce my standard of living and I am quite thankful it has been raised.

  5. When all you've got is a hammer.....

  6. It sounds like he'd be against global warming unless it promised to wipe out most of the human race, in which case he'd be for it, because, as most lefties will try to tell you, they are "fiscally conservative," and this would prove to be the ultimate in stimulus.

    He'd also tell you this would be an "investment" in the future and that it would "pay for itself," etc., etc., etc.

    You'd think these people would be pro-war. It must be agonizing to wait for an economically stimulating, once-in-1,000 years earthquake and tsunami.

    Anybody who tells you these people aren't sick in the head needs his head examined.

  7. William, there is a hypocritically psychological facet to the Leftist dream as well.

    Having rejected all versions of a higher power, even a Socratic version, why then do they always insist on the version of the future that involves self-flagellation and sack cloth and ashes?

    Perhaps their attempts at personal and economic control signal attempted usurpation, what some call a God-complex. I just call it emotionally retarded narcissism.

    I no longer read the Huffington Post. It is a waste of my precious time:)