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Rumble on the Right

Now that the GOP has gone all serious on us about the economy, it is interesting to see a substantive criticism of Paul Ryan's economic policies (and record) by a significant figure on the Right. David Stockman was Reagan's Budget Director and one of the fathers of "supply side" economics. And he is angry.This article is important, because we need to remember that there aren't just two alternatives. Each economic alternative (Obama's and Romney's) represents various possibilities from within the Right and the Left, and these should be addressed too.

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Jimmy Carter's four years in the White House gave us an economy that grew, on average, 3%/year. However, from a presidential-re-election perspective, the trend was bad:1977: 5% growth1978: 6% growth1979: 3% growth1980: 0% growthRonald Reagan's vaunted first term resulted in ... 3% average growth, the same as President Carter's. But the trend was different:1981: 3% growth1982: -2% growth1983: 5% growth1984: 7% growthPolitically, that is the case for so-called "Reaganomics" - those two years of higher-than-normal growth leading into the 1984 election. (FWIW - my recollection is that Stockman's influence in the Reagan administration had waned by then - he was on the way out). After that election, the economy didn't sustain growth at those levels, but did grow at 3-4% per year. Clinton's economies grew at about the same clip: 3-4% per year. George HW Bush's term averaged only 2% growth, and he was a one-term president. His son's two terms also averaged 2% growth. That he was re-elected no doubt is attributable to non-economic reasons (primarily 9/11).FWIW - President Obama's first three years in office have averaged between 0% and 1% growth. The trend is:2009: -3.1% growth2010: 2.4% growth2011: 1.8% growthI'm suggesting 2011 was the key year. Had the economy been able to get up into the 3-4% range (or higher), his administration could credibly tell the same story that Reagan's did after his first term: basically, would have the confidence to ask the question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" There are all sorts of caveats to this type of analysis: The economic challenges that Reagan inherited (high inflation, high consumer interest rates, high unemployment) were not the same as those Obama inherited, so what worked during Reagan's first term may not work now. Fed actions influence economic performance as much as or more than fiscal policy, and the Fed is not under the President's or Congress' control. The economy is more global now. And so on.

Oh, I don't blame you for anything, J. Except trying to deceive readers about your name.

"Except trying to deceive readers about your name."LOL. SO devious of me.

Jim--Very intersting. Thanks for adding some much needed perspective.

I have to assume those so intent on checking people's "IDs" in here are even more obsessed with passing and enforcing voter ID laws.

Devious, maybe. Deceptive, certainly. As I said, I'm not a fan of pseudonyms, but I'm less of a fan of people who try to trick others into believing the name they're using is their real name, which is exactly what you did.

This matter of internet names seems to be turning into an ethical question. Who thinks it's a matter of morality? Is not using your given name always a lie? I think not. If it were, then nicknames would also be immoral, wouldn't they? Do we have a right not to be known? Is outing a pseudo-nym an invasion of privacy?

Well, after googling the "real" Jeff Landry, the politician, I know I would never wish to be mistaken for him. So I believe the pseudonymous one was not trying to pass himself off as the real one.It has me thinking, though, what a drag it would be if some horrible public figure named "Irene Baldwin" appeared on the horizon. I would have to change my name and phone number, I guess.

"Is outing a pseudo-nym an invasion of privacy?"Ann--I think it generally is inappropriate to out people, even to snoop on them. This may be an opportune time for me to offer that my ID is not necessarily my real name, but that any comments I've made in here are consistently under that ID (though I can't be certain that others have not also used my ID to make comments).What I find more troubling than people using online pseudonyms are editors/reporters/academics/what have you, who do not adequately disclose if and when they work for political campaigns. Nicholas Cafardi, call your office.

What creeps me is when men post using the pseudonym of a woman and then comment on issues where gender matters- family planning, women in the Church,etc. I've also seen comments by an anonymous poster that waxed eloquent about Catholics religious freedoms where he was trying to create the impression he was himself Catholic, but you could just tell by some of the odd things he said that he very probably wasn't. That's where all the anonymous stuff gets dishonest.

Irene Baldwin... I scoped Alex Baldwin's recent wedding pics in the NY Catholic church but did not see you there. (-:

"I think it generally is inappropriate to out people, even to snoop on them."Generally, yes, but I got unsolicited shame-on-you e-mail from someone on here once. He signed his note 'Anonymous," but his real name was in the address field of the email. I found this very creepy and slightly menacing.When I said I thought people should respond on the blog instead of sending me e-mails, including Mr. X (I used his real name), he had a big freak-out and told me how over it because apparently his employer would see it and he would get in trouble.I asked the thread originator to delete the "outing," largely because I figured anybody who was too dumb to realize that the e-mail would show his real name probably really needed a job, even if he was sending and posting snotty stuff when he was supposed to be working. One or two people on here have the same prissy and superior tone as Mr. X, and I have blocked them from my e-mail account, as well as a handful of others who rub me the wrong way.I see no reason to "out" people if they're using a consistent pseudonym and not masquerading as a real, living person. I myself once considered using the pseudonym "Jesus Christ." Then people who didn't like my ideas would have to write, "I completely disagree with Jesus Christ."

Correction, yeesh: When I said ON THE BLOG THAT I thought people should respond on the blog instead of sending me e-mails, including Mr. X (I used his real name), he had a big freak-out and told me TO GET IT OFF THERE BECAUSE his employer would see it and he would get in trouble.

Ergo, Jimmy Mac had an ID change to Jim McCrea.The latter is the real. The former was really real!

Hey, Jimmy Mac, do you mind if I still call you Jimmy Mac? Otherwise, you're Jim McC, and there is already a Jim McK who also comments around here, and I can barely keep all the Davids straight in my mind as it is.

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