Chain of fools

A friend of mine forwarded a chain mail an older relative sent her about Obama’s dastardly transaction tax.

Reader M wrote in to tell me:

My buddy is a GM of a successful Honda dealership in Hartford, CT. He says to me last week, totally straight-faced and Serious, “You know, there’s rumors in the industry that Obama deliberately ‘tanked’ Toyota (i.e., recent recalls, etc.) to make GM/Detroit look better.” Again, not a dummy, this friend of mine. And yet.

This piece of craziness probably went around in a chain email too.

Steve Benen catches Rick Perry repeating chain email fictions on the stump. I’m sure there’s no penalty for this, not in the Republican primary at least. I expect a lot of the upcoming debates to be a contest of who can out-chain-email-crazy the others.






111 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    People believe what they’re pre-disposed to believe.

    If there’s a more reliably Republican demographic than car dealers, it’s hard to think of what it might be. Hedge-fund managers? The officer corps? That’s got to be the top three.

  2. 2
    lacp says:

    Sounds a bit like they’re trying to conflate the bank transaction tax (which is going nowhere) with the Tobin Tax (which is sorely needed and long overdue, but probably will also go nowhere).

  3. 3
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Again, not a dummy, this friend of mine. And yet.

    Probably is a dummy. When you believe stuff like this, you’re the definition of dummy.

  4. 4
    catclub says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Insurance agents, real estate agents, bankers. All in the running.

    approximately 5% of scientists.

  5. 5
    shortstop says:

    Steve Benen catches Rick Perry repeating chain email fictions on the stump. I’m sure there’s no penalty for this, not in the Republican primary at least.

    I wholeheartedly believe that this is a 100 percent uncynical view.

  6. 6
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’m sure there’s no penalty for this, not in the Republican primary at least.

    Stop putting these in your posts, unless you want to ingrain in people’s minds that there will be not penalty. Instead, rant about how they shouldn’t get away with it.

  7. 7
    Myles says:

    @lacp:

    Sounds a bit like they’re trying to conflate the bank transaction tax (which is going nowhere) with the Tobin Tax (which is sorely needed and long overdue, but probably will also go nowhere).

    The Tobin tax is just a really bad and impractical idea. If you were to structure a not even that complicated instrument (say if you want to borrow in yen for a mortgage with relevant currency and interest-rate swaps) this could start hitting you in a material way, because while you won’t be doing more than 100 individual transactions, every transaction you have to do might trigger a whole bunch of other transactions downstream (say by the party that did the swaps with you, or the Western conduit thru which the Japanese bank lent you the money) in order to make your financing possible.

    The effect of a Tobin tax can be more serious than people think.

  8. 8
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Not a dummy?

    I find that hard to believe.

  9. 9
    evinfuilt says:

    approximately 5% of scientists

    @catclub:
    I actually believe it’s just Gliberterian Engineers pretending to be scientists.

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    “You know, there’s rumors in the industry that Obama deliberately ‘tanked’ Toyota (i.e., recent recalls, etc.) to make GM/Detroit look better.”

    Like executing an innocent man to be politically popular?

  11. 11
    jrg says:

    Subject: 1% tax on all bank transactions Wonder what the ones who voted for this idiot think now?

    Personally, I’m thinking that I’m happy I’m not a geriatric, Republican fucktard that has no idea how to use the internet to fact-check obvious bullshit.

  12. 12
    scav says:

    With the amount of idiocy in ‘merca with easy access to e-mail, one really has to wonder why Nigeria isn’t the wealthiest nation on the planet. Ask for banking details at the bottom of that and . . .

  13. 13
    sb says:

    @Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937: I’m sure you’ve never believed a rumor in your life. Friends have never told you something they heard, might be true, other people are talking, etc. and you didn’t buy it for a second ’cause you’re no dummy.

    An asshole, maybe, but no dummy.

    People hear rumors all the time and talk to other people all the time. You don’t if this guy is “dummy” but you love to throw stones at strangers. Asshole might be too kind a word for you.

  14. 14
    Bruce S says:

    My brother-in-law used to send me this stuff – I responded and debunked one anti-Obama screed, essentially warning about the Republic coming to an end – with full evidence – as a total fabrication that was written under the name of a university professor who happens to be a liberal and who disavowed the thing as both fake and crazy. About six months later I got exactly the same thing – identical email – from him. When I asked him why this was still being recycled he took me off of his “blast” list and complained that I didn’t have a sense of humor. This is a phenomenon totally with a life of it’s own, coming from recesses of resentment that are completely disconnected from any reality beyond the pathology itself.

  15. 15
    sb says:

    @scav: If the Nigerian e-mailists and people who run the tea parties ever collaborated, the poverty rate would go up substantially.

  16. 16
    shortstop says:

    @evinfuilt: I think you’re right. Speaking of glibertarian engineers, another well-known liebrul blog is currently being mercilessly spammed by a thoroughly self-reliant, Big Brother government-hating engineer who spent his entire career employed by the federal government. He retired with a full pension, and the good health that Medicare allows him to enjoy gives him plenty of time to be batshit crazy on the tubes all day and every night. “That’s different,” though, because he earned everything he’s got, unlike Negroes.

  17. 17
    PanAmerican says:

    I thought everybody knew they used HAARP to create that tsunami.

  18. 18
    Gus says:

    I’m sure there’s no penalty for this, not in the Republican primary at least.

    No, it’s definitely a positive. My dad started sending me the chain emails towards the end of his life, when he started watching Fox News 6 hours a day. Fortunately he wasn’t so far around the bend that I couldn’t convince him with the help of Snopes that everything he was sending me was grade A 100% horseshit. Eventually he started forwarding me the emails asking if they were true, and I would point him to debunking sources. He never did get the hang of Google.

  19. 19
    jibeaux says:

    @jrg:

    Awesome.

  20. 20
    jwest says:

    This type of thing happens during every election cycle.

    I can remember people pushing the story that Bush and Cheney lied in order to go to war with Iraq. Who knows what type of idiot makes these things up, but all you can do is stick with the facts and ignore the crazy partisans.

  21. 21
    shortstop says:

    More on “scientists”: Earlier this summer I was walking da dog and stopped to chat up a neighbor whose pug is pals with my boberman. We started talking about the violent storm the night before and before I knew it, this ordinarily kindly man was shrieking in my face about the “big lie of global warming.” I was taken aback — a lakefront-living gay man in Chicago is a Fox devotee? I hate when people don’t live up to my preconceived notions — and gently (yes, I can do it sometimes) tried to shift the conversation onto the vast preponderance of scientific evidence and soon, an explanation of what peer review means. When he started screaming that Lord Monckton is a “respected scientist,” I gave up and walked away.

  22. 22
    jibeaux says:

    recesses of resentment that are completely disconnected from any reality

    I nominate this to be printed below the RNC logo. If they have one.

  23. 23
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I receive those chain emails from an old Navy buddy turned winger. No matter how far fetched, historically incorrect, or just plain crazy they are they’re forwarded with copious anacloutha.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @sb: It is going up.
    Who says they aren’t.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Culture of Truth: What’s the big deal, he didn’t even have to use a water board.

  26. 26
    different church-lady says:

    “You know, there’s rumors in the industry that Obama deliberately ‘tanked’ Toyota (i.e., recent recalls, etc.) to make GM/Detroit look better.”

    Well, fuck all, if Obama actually could do something like that then he’d be having one hell of an effective presidency, wouldn’t he?

  27. 27
    handy says:

    @jwest:

    I can remember people pushing the story that Bush and Cheney lied in order to go to war with Iraq.

    They didn’t?

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @PanAmerican: Well _I_ would have used the ELF transmitter to generate tsunamis.

  29. 29
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @jwest:

    I hear they make an invisibility potion just for people like you. It’s called Preparation H.

    Apply liberally. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.

  30. 30
    jwest says:

    @handy:

    Only in the addled minds of people divorced from reality.

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    @different church-lady: It was on one of the alternate days. Other days he is flummoxed by a lack of a teleprompter.

  32. 32
    handy says:

    @jwest:

    Hmm. So Saddam had WMD after all, did he?

    (This should be fun.)

  33. 33
    fhtagn says:

    @sb:

    On the other hand, there’d be a lot of former Nigerian Confederate finance ministers..

  34. 34
    Big Baby DougJ says:

    @jwest:

    I can remember people pushing the story that Bush and Cheney lied in order to go to war with Iraq.

    People like that have no shame.

  35. 35
    Chandler W. says:

    Last week, sitting, or in my case, chained to the dentist’s chair having yet another 1200 dollar cap placed in my mouth, my dentist notices my 2012 Obama button.

    Mind you my mouth is filled with that disgusting, tubular cotton.

    The dentist says, ” I want to vote for the guy, but he is a socialist, isn’t he?

    Needless to say I spewed tubular, saliva soaked cotton across the office.

    It becomes too frightening to imagine an election where ordinarily sane, educated, thinking people will vote for bat shit crazy.

  36. 36
    jwest says:

    @handy:

    Well, actually he did. But not in the stockpiles believed at the time by Bill & Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Carl Levin, Al Gore, the majority of Democrats in the House and Senate, a dozen intelligence agencies around the world and, judging by the votes in the U.N., almost every country on the face of the earth.

    Yes, that was fun wasn’t it?

  37. 37
    fhtagn says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    I’ve even heard some people claim Cheney shot an innocent man in the face.

  38. 38
    Steve M. says:

    It was in more than a chain email — Limbaugh, Cavuto, and RedState among others, were selling the conspiracy theory.

  39. 39
    fhtagn says:

    @jwest:

    So when did you serve with the 101st Chairborne?

  40. 40
    Big Baby DougJ says:

    @jwest:

    I remember John Kerry talking about yellowcake from Nigeria all the time.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    @jwest:

    I can remember people pushing the story that Bush and Cheney lied in order to go to war with Iraq.

    People like that have no shame.

    Heh. I’m gonna be laughing my ass off at that one all day long. Thanks & kudos, DougJ.

    .

  42. 42
    jibeaux says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    You’re jwest, aren’t you. It’s a really good spoof, but the real thing can’t keep up the spelling forever.

  43. 43
    Big Baby DougJ says:

    @jwest:

    Remember when Carl Levin set up his own unit to cherry-pick CIA data to make Saddam look more dangerous than the CIA believed he really was?

    Good times.

  44. 44
    handy says:

    @jwest:

    Well, actually he did.

    OK, where did he store them?

    Yes, that was fun wasn’t it?

    Oh, the fun is just starting!

  45. 45
    Big Baby DougJ says:

    @jwest:

    That freak out Colin Powell had when Al Gore convinced Powell to give that bogus speech before the UN? Who could forget?

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    Wingnuts don’t bother reading any reply you send debunking their fantasies. They just remove you from their CC list.

    And whoever mentioned talk radio above is right. Wingnuts get the email, then they hear a version of it on one program and by the end of the day another program says it.
    That’s three different sources! Veritas!

  47. 47
    aisce says:

    i very much doubt the administration was involved in any way, but the corporate media in this country were absolutely in the tank against toyota back when. remember that “sticky pedal” nonsense? and how it wasn’t actually the manufacturer’s fault?

    and yet it was a story for like two straight weeks. toyota became the new ford pinto. and it was definitely because they were a foreign automaker who didn’t have to be rescued by the government and thus needed to be brought down a peg for national pride and profit.

  48. 48
    Gravenstone says:

    @fhtagn:

    So when did you serve with the 101st Chairborne?

    Sorry, the 101st Chairborne is a lifetime position. Rather like Sons/Daughters of the Confederacy. They never retire once they’ve enlisted.

  49. 49
    OGliberal says:

    The original transaction tax idea was floated by Chaka Fattah in 2004. Do you folks really expect the wingnuts to be able to tell the difference between two black guys with funny names? Come on…give them a break! I mean, they all look the same anyway, right?

  50. 50
    different church-lady says:

    OK, where did he store them?

    In the past. You see, that’s what made Saddam so evil: he had temporal storage abilities. We couldn’t find his WMDs because he had shipped them to ten years ago.

  51. 51
    fhtagn says:

    @handy:

    OK, where did he store them?

    Albuquerque.

    He knew no GOP investigator would ever be able to spell the place, much less find it.

  52. 52
    Ben Cisco says:

    Again, not a dummy, this friend of mine.

    Empirical evidence would seem to suggest the exact opposite.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    @evinfuilt:

    I actually believe it’s just Gliberterian Engineers pretending to be scientists.

    A thousand times: this. Some engineers are scientists too and very capable in sciency things; honest engineers who aren’t scientists work with scientists to do the sciency stuff; and dishonest/delusional engineers pretend to be super smaht in everything at all times. Especially do not listen to the last group when they dish out health and nutrition advise.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    Heh, indoozle. BTW, interesting interview with Powell on NPR this a.m. Don’t know if it’s posted to the ‘trons yet.

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:

    @Big Baby DougJ:

    That freak out Colin Powell had when Al Gore convinced Powell to give that bogus speech before the UN? Who could forget?

    Jesus, let’s not forget when Bill Clinton and Obama successfully conspired to crash the economy in 2008, while George Bush was still president after only 7.5 years. W was a genius, and, obviously, his economic policies will prove to have been correct the next time the economy improves.

    .

  56. 56
    Jeffro says:

    Check this out – the mask comes off:

    http://www.americanthinker.com.....rican.html

    Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

  57. 57
    PeakVT says:

    “You know, there’s rumors in the industry that Obama deliberately ‘tanked’ Toyota (i.e., recent recalls, etc.) to make GM/Detroit look better.”

    If it’s true, well, so what? Almost every country on the planet favors its domestic producers to some degree. Should we have let Detroit fail in order to preserve the principle of “free” trade?

    Of course, conservatives were happy to let Detroit fail, but only because they hate American workers more than they love American companies. Fortunately, Obama thought differently.

  58. 58
    cleek says:

    @aisce:

    and it was definitely because they were a foreign automaker who didn’t have to be rescued by the government and thus needed to be brought down a peg for national pride and profit.

    really?

    i thought it was because there’s nothing the media likes than creating panic.

  59. 59
    JGabriel says:

    Matthew Vadum:

    Registering (the lesser classes) to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.

    So true. We need to keep those burglary tools concentrated among the Republican rich.

    .

  60. 60
    fhtagn says:

    Where is dougjwest anyway?

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:

    Dog vuvuzela.

  62. 62
    Nemesis says:

    Also, too a twattertoobz rumor that the Afghan copter crash that killed dozens was staged by the gummit because the Navy Seals onboard knew the “truth” about the OBL takedown.

    Tin foil hats are all the rage this fall.

    This election cycle will be the most bizarro theatre ever thrust upon an unsuspecting murikan public.

  63. 63
    scav says:

    Times have changed. The greatest generation is all now about protecting Japanese industry against supposed efforts to protect ‘Mercan made automotive goodness.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @sb:

    People hear rumors all the time and talk to other people all the time. You don’t if this guy is “dummy” but you love to throw stones at strangers. Asshole might be too kind a word for you.

    If there’s a rumor that says a team’s best player wants to be traded, or Brad is boning the nanny, then I’ll give it a listen. Why not?
    But when a “rumor” is floated that the president wasn’t born here, or he “tanked” a huge MNC behind the scenes my inclination is to turn my ears off and start listening to the organ music playing in my head.

  65. 65
    PeakVT says:

    I can remember people pushing the story that Bush and Cheney lied in order to go to war with Iraq.

    Now that’s some funny shit.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nemesis: You didn’t know that?

  67. 67
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @aisce:

    foreign automaker who didn’t have to be rescued by the government

    Except they received subsidies from the Japanese government.

  68. 68
    Loneoak says:

    So Obama’s loyalty should lie with the Japanese owned auto makers? Class solidarity wins out over patriotism every time for these bozos, but that’s remarkably bald-faced.

  69. 69
    4tehlulz says:

    JEWS DID TOYOTA COROLLA

  70. 70
    scav says:

    Given the mastication skills of our then chewer-in-chief, a bag of pretzels was a clear and present danger and I’m sure there were some non-plastic (and thus banned on airlines) tableware still lying about the country.

  71. 71
    mcd410x says:

    President Obama backs off tough clean air regulation. on.cnn.com/phyVGI.

    “Here a cave, there a cave, everywhere a cave cave” … Sing it with me!

  72. 72
    JGabriel says:

    @Nemesis:

    This election cycle will be the most bizarro theatre ever thrust upon an unsuspecting murikan public.

    Exactly. If someone from 1960 were shown footage from this election cycle, they’d say, “See, this is what happens when you let women work.”

    Wait, that’s not where I expected that to go. Hmm, ya think maybe there have always been wingnutty ‘Murikans?

    .

  73. 73
    barath says:

    Maybe we should collaboratively write even crazier / ridiculous rumor emails and get them circulating on the right…

  74. 74
    PeakVT says:

    Ouch. Krugman just slapped Bobo, probably harder than NYT rules allow.

  75. 75
    batgirl says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Stop putting these in your posts, unless you want to ingrain in people’s minds that there will be not penalty. Instead, rant about how they shouldn’t get away with it.

    Exactly!
    When people tell me social security won’t be there for them, I tell them that is exactly what they want you to believe because that is the only way they can kill it. The GOP, media, and other “serious” person keep telling you this not because it is true, but because if they can make you believe it is true, then they have a better shot at killing a program they never supported and have vowed to kill from its first passage.

  76. 76
    handy says:

    @fhtagn:

    Isn’t it obvious? He went to go look for WMD!

  77. 77

    @jwest: So, if you can get enough people to believe in an overhyped threat, that gets you off the hook for overhyping the threat. Neat trick.

  78. 78
    Yevgraf says:

    Had a convo yesterday with a sheriff’s deputy/bailiff whose prior career was as a corrections officer. He’s full of wingertude – taxes for the top should remain low, the working poor deserve no consideration, collective bargaining sucks, Paris Hilton should be able to buy more purses even if it brings the economy down, etc., etc. He was a walking Limbaugh/Fox News talking point, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the agenda that would impoverish him and make life more dangerous.

    I described myself as thinking that Obama is way too right wing for me, which brought an appreciative chuckle from an older and wiser deputy who is a retired homicide detective from a major urban squad.

  79. 79
    Ira-NY says:

    No President has ever been smeared like Obama. Here is a nasty smear from liberal Jane Hamsher:

    These clowns would have to be about 500% more principled to warrant the epithet “nixonian.”

    comment #33 here:
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c.....-facciola/

    It never stops.

  80. 80
    wrb says:

    @PeakVT:
    I was just about to post that. Pretty funny

    “Trends since 1986 don’t matter for those who always have a hot tub time machine in their minds.”

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chandler W.:

    Obama is a soshulist pretty much in the same sense that Adam Smith was.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @scav:

    Don’t know why nobody’s talking about Obama’s earthquake machine. Clearly, he has it out for both their auto industry and nuke energy industry. Kristol and Bolton are furious he’s not used it against Iran.

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    @PeakVT:

    Yeouch! Bobo’s glasses must have landed in Jersey.

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    @jwest: Do you really think we would have invaded if we’d thought he really did have weapons of mass destruction (nuclear/bio weapons)?

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): and tennessee and Mississippi and kentucky.

    all just happen to be states with GOP senators who opposed the detroit bailout. Highly principled opposition.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @barath: The Onion wrote in 2000 “America’s long nightmare of peace and prosperity ends” when Bush was elected. Can you do better than that?

  87. 87
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The dentist says, ”I want to vote for the guy, but he is a socia1ist, isn’t he?

    There are about three people in a hundred who say ‘socia1ist’ and actually know what ‘socia1ist’ means. The rest just can’t remember whether ‘nig*er’ has one ‘g’ or two.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @trollhattan: give him time: it was busy being unleashed against the east coast and its nuclear industry and then it made a quick trip to that sin and depravity hotspot aka the Aleutians to lead people off the scent.

  89. 89
    kd bart says:

    It use to be said “You can’t fight City Hall”. Now it’s “You can’t fight the ignorance of the American Public” Keep them dumb and scared and they’ll do your bidding for you is the real motto of the Republican Party.

  90. 90
    techno says:

    When the statistically most reliable cars in the USA market are suddenly accused of “defects” that even NASA scientists can’t find, folks have a right to be suspicious. Whether those absurd charges against Toyota were simple trade war tactics or not however, the idea that Obama was responsible for them is pretty far-fetched.

    On the other hand, virtually the whole automotive world believed there was something fishy about the assault on Toyota’s reputation for quality and dragging out that corny old chestnut–unintended acceleration–made folks who remembered the ridiculous assault on Audi especially suspicious. And no! not all of the folks with suspicions were “dummies.”

  91. 91
    barath says:

    @catclub:

    Yeah, probably not…

  92. 92
    snowball says:

    @lacp:

    Sounds a bit like they’re trying to conflate the bank transaction tax (which is going nowhere) with the Tobin Tax (which is sorely needed and long overdue, but probably will also go nowhere)

    The Tobin Tax is a bad idea. The banks/Wall Street will simply pass along their costs from a Tobin Tax to the average Joe. Furthermore, liquidity will dry up in the market, which ultimately will mean that the fees for everybody’s 401k, IRA’s will go up. Why penalize the middle class, when there are more equitable ways to raise revenue?

    By the way, the only way a Tobin Tax would work is if the entire world agreed to have one (which will never happen). Otherwise, capital will simply move to the markets that don’t have one.

    The country of Sweden introduced their own transaction tax in the 1980’s. Just a few years later they abandoned it as they had lost enormous amounts of capital to London. When you lose capital to other countries, you also lose the ability to raise revenue from taxing those capital gains. When you include revenue from capital gains taxes to the revenue from the transaction tax, Sweden actually raised LESS in revenue than before they had instituted the tax. It was a disaster. They eliminated the tax within 10 years.

    By the way, there was a so called Tobin Tax during the 1929 crash. Needless to say, it is not the solution to mankind as some people claim it is.

  93. 93
    The Pale Scot says:

    ““You know, there’s rumors in the industry that Obama deliberately ‘tanked’ Toyota”

    And I have absolutely no problem with that. And I worked for Toyota, and as long as I’m counting my pennies, I’ll buy and drive used Camry’s. All the other mercantilist countries do it us, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Being assembled in Kt doesn’t mean it made in the USA.

  94. 94
    sublime33 says:

    If all the major economies install a SMALL (such as 0.25%)transaction tax on stock sales, this would be a positive. If one major country (say the US) holds out, companies in transaction tax countries would directly list their stocks on US Exchanges and avoid the tax. So smaller nations such as Sweden and Singapore cannot go it alone without consequences.

    You could also make this revenue neutral by reducing capital gains taxes by an equal amount or better, reducing the dividend tax. This would encourage long term investing and discourage “flipping”, which creates as much wealth as Las Vegas bookmakers. But Wall Street would be the big losers as they would have fewer of their own transaction taxes to collect commission on. Plus they own both political parties. So don’t hold your breath waiting for this to get installed.

    And of course the e-mail chain believers took it three steps further than the truth in getting suckered into believing that Obama and Pelosi will split this 1% tax on everything 50-50 and stash it in their personal offshore Carribean bank accounts.

  95. 95
    phil says:

    @techno:

    The Audi 5000 had a huge center hump in the firewall forcing the designers to place the pedals to the left of where they should be in relation to the driver (I worked for a dealer at the time and drove many). Getting in the car and putting your foot on the gas instead of the brake was an easy mistake to make. Of course they didn’t have brake/ignition lockouts at that time so they had many accidents instead.

    Most of Toyota’s problems were due to bad design: pedals that could be blocked by misplaced floor mats; starter buttons that few knew how to use in an emergency to stop the engine; etc.

  96. 96
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @sublime33: Not strictly true. Pelosi will stash her cut in the Caymans, but Obama will blow his on Krystal, and steaks for his posse.

    Snowball left out ‘…and grass will grow in the Main Streets of every small town in America.’

    (I can’t help it. I’m a classicist — I’m a stickler for tradition.)

  97. 97
    MattR says:

    @phil: Stop it. Your facts are ruining a good conspiracy.

  98. 98
    snowball says:

    @sublime33:

    You could also make this revenue neutral by reducing capital gains taxes by an equal amount or better, reducing the dividend tax. This would encourage long term investing and discourage “flipping”, which creates as much wealth as Las Vegas bookmakers. But Wall Street would be the big losers as they would have fewer of their own transaction taxes to collect commission on. Plus they own both political parties. So don’t hold your breath waiting for this to get installed.

    This may have the effect of taking us back to the 1970’s when there were no discount brokerages. Schwab, Etrade etc would go out of business due to lack of volume.

    Commissions would no longer cost $7, rather perhaps $150 as they used to be when we previously had a transaction tax. I doubt Wall Street (except for the discount brokerages) would care much if there is a transaction tax or not. The bid ask spreads due to lower volume would instead adjust along with passing the costs to the 401k holders etc. The only ones who wouldn’t be hurt by this tax is likely to be Wall Street.

  99. 99
    techno says:

    @phil: Most of Toyota’s problems were due to liars!

    We have two Lexus at this house and both are built to standards you can only dream of–and will never be able to sample if you believe the BS about Toyota.

  100. 100
    licensed to kill time says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    they’re forwarded with copious anacloutha

    I googled anacolutha with some trepidation because it sounds pretty dirty, frankly, especially with copious attached to it.

    Thanks for the new (to me) word!

    I think ‘forwarded with copious anacolutha’ should be a tag.

    Also, too – I love that one of the examples of anacoluthon is by Sarah! Palin.

  101. 101
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    @sb: People get wild assed shit emailed to them all the time. If you believe stuff that doesn’t pass the common sense rule or spend a couple seconds researching it, you’re an idiot. So Fuck You.

  102. 102
    phil says:

    @techno:

    I drive a Mazda that was built 21 years ago, in a union factory in the USA (had the most USA made content of any model that year). You want to talk about reliability?

    I’ve driven Toyotas, boring cars for the masses. Lexus is just the same but at much higher prices.

  103. 103
    PeakVT says:

    Just a few years later they abandoned it as they had lost enormous amounts of capital to London.

    ….which has its own transaction tax.

    Try again.

  104. 104
    mk3872 says:

    Americans are, for the most part, dumb

  105. 105
    snowball says:

    @PeakVT:

    …which has its own transaction tax. Try again.

    Apples and oranges. The transaction tax in Sweden had no exemptions. The one in the UK exempts all the big players.

    From wikipedia:
    Because the UK tax code provides exemptions from the Stamp Duty Reserve Tax for all financial intermediaries, including market makers, investment banks and other members of the LSE,[78] and due to the strong growth of the contracts for difference (CFD) industry, which provides UK investors with untaxed substitutes for LSE stocks, according to the Oxera (2007) report,[74] more than 70% percent of the total UK stock market volume, including the entire institutional volume remained (in 2005) exempt from the Stamp Duty, in contrast to the common perception of this tax as a “tax on bank transactions” or a “tax on speculation”.

    Why do you think the Swedish volume left right after the transaction tax was introduced? Just one big coincidence? OK…

  106. 106
    PeakVT says:

    @snowball: Obviously the issue in Sweden wasn’t the tax itself, but the rate. 1% round-trip is higher than anything I’ve seen proposed for the US.

    On top of that, it actually would be a good thing if trading volumes went down. I haven’t seen a good argument as to how the massive amounts of capital and human intellect poured into high-frequency trading is socially useful. The US stock markets were already very liquid before HFT started, and there certainly hasn’t been a improvement in economic performance since it began. On the other hand, the only people getting rich off of HFT are bankers, and we certainly need less of that.

    Let’s see what else you’ve got.

    The banks/Wall Street will simply pass along their costs from a Tobin Tax to the average Joe.

    This “average Joe” defense is bullshit. The “average Joe” doesn’t have much in the way of stocks and isn’t an active trader. And if he is an active trader, he shouldn’t be, because he’s going to get fleeced by professionals regardless of the existence of a transaction tax.

    Commissions would no longer cost $7, rather perhaps $150 as they used to be when we previously had a transaction tax.

    Sounds like more bullshit. What’s going to push commissions (which is not the same as to the total cost of the transaction including the tax) back to $150? If volumes fall, brokers will be even more desperate to cut costs in order to capture the remaining transactions. And even commissions do go up (let’s say quadruple) they would still be much lower than in the 1970s as well as trivial to anyone who has an investment horizon of more than a year.

    Whoever is paying you to plant FUD here needs to hire someone better.

  107. 107
    snowball says:

    @PeakVT:

    FUD???

    This “average Joe” defense is bullshit. The “average Joe” doesn’t have much in the way of stocks and isn’t an active trader. And if he is an active trader, he shouldn’t be, because he’s going to get fleeced by professionals regardless of the existence of a transaction tax.

    It has nothing to do with being an active trader. I’m referring to everyone with a 401k or just an IRA. Wouldn’t you agree that most of the middle class would fall into this category?

    With a transaction tax, volumes will dry up dramatically. When volumes dry up, the bid ask spreads on any stock will increase. When they increase, anybody who buys or sell a stock will pay more. Whoever handles your 401k will see their costs go up as a result. Do you really think they will simply eat this cost? If so, then you think more highly of Wall Street than I do. I think it is more likely that they will pass it on to the 401k holder.

    If volumes fall, most if not all of the discount brokerage industry is likely to be eliminated. With less competition, and frankly an environment like the 1960’s when we also had a transaction tax, there is only direction for the commissions to go, ie way up. The discount brokerage would be no different than today’s newspaper industry, ie a dying industry.

    If the goal is to get rid of the HFT, then let’s do that without harming the average Joe, the average 401k holder out there. I don’t get why some Democrats, Fazio comes to mind, who are so bent on hurting people who are just trying to save for their retirement. If you want to hurt Wall Street without hurting Main Street, there certainly are better ways of doing that.

    Have a good one…

  108. 108
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @catclub:

    Agreed. Especially real estate agents. I sold real estate for 20 years, and the average office I worked in had about 120 licensed agents. Of that number about 10% were Dems, the rest were Republicans. Several of them played Rush in their cubicles until I went in to the manager and complained that it was unbusinesslike. And remember, these guys work on commission and the average agent makes about 40 grand. You would wonder why the big affinity for the Republican party. I quit wondering a long time ago.

  109. 109
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Thank you for that post. I like to laugh out loud at least once a day, and it was getting kinda late.

  110. 110
    Robert Waldmann says:

    yeah well *my* buddy is a Honda of a successful GM dealership in Hartford, CT. and he knowwwws that Obama personally replaced all of the Toyota floor carpets in order to pump up Goldman Sachs’s profits.

  111. 111
    bob h says:

    I think we have to acknowledge that many of those fools are Democratic base fools. Like those Democratic constituents of NY-09 quoted in the NYT recently as being angry about the size of the deficit.

Comments are closed.