Elizabeth Warren & the Metrics of Money

The (NYTimes– owned) Boston Sunday Globe had a front page childhood bio (with video!) on “A girl who soared, but longed to belong“:

… “I was in a high school where everybody was a click better off,’’ [Elizabeth] Warren recalled.
__
“It’s not just that they had so much,’’ she said. “They were just confident. They had the assurance that it would always be there.’’
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Money, and the anxiety it can create for families like the one she grew up in, has consumed Warren ever since. It is the focus of her books about struggling middle-class families, her work at Harvard on bankruptcy law, her Washington service as President Obama’s consumer protection adviser, and, now, her campaign for the US Senate.
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The seeds of that worry, that fear of not having enough, were planted on the Oklahoma plains. Financial comfort has since come to her, along with professional success – her Harvard salary alone exceeds $350,000. But money has, in her mind, always been about much more than dollar bills. It has been shorthand for security, acceptance, and family stability…

Which reminded me that I hadn’t gotten around to posting a link to David Bernstein’s Boston Phoenix column on Warren’s “Dr. Phil Years“:

… Between 2003 and 2005, Warren was the go-to dispenser of financial straight talk for TV’s daytime-talk-show host. Appearing on episodes with titles like “Going for Broke,” “Money Makeovers,” and “A Family in Crisis,” Warren comes across much as she does as a Senate candidate today. Dressed in bright-colored pants-and-jacket suits, she flashes her bright, toothy smile, then leans forward and gestures forcefully to deliver the blunt, terrible economic truth as she sees it.
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It was part of a deliberate decision Warren made 10 years ago, when she was already over 50, with a prestigious quarter-century academic career, to seek out a broader audience — not only on Dr. Phil, but by writing and promoting books for a mass audience, and by building relationships with political figures…
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At the time, she says, not all of her colleagues in the hallowed halls of academia were quite so impressed with her new direction. Many looked down their noses at her TV exploits. Some economists (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, for one) publicly disputed her key arguments. Her name even vanished from the New York Times for five years, last appearing a month before her first Dr. Phil appearance, and not showing up again until Congress appointed her to a bank-bailout oversight commission in December 2008, according to an archive search.
__
And you don’t have to be a Harvard fellow to find something mockable in her work from the time, which combines motivational-style cheerleading, tough-love lectures, and checklist-oriented advice…

Americans have always been prone to confuse the idea of money as a resource — the barterable counters that ensure “security, [social] acceptance, and family stability” — with money as a reward, the dick-measuring tool of which some people are deserving and others unworthy. Resource money, while vital, has limits; there’s only so much personal security, health, friendship, family ties that can be achieved by the raw application of dollars (as Steve Jobs, for instance, found out). Reward money, Monopoly-game dolla-dollas, are unlimited and therefore forever inadequate; if the only point is to have more than the guy in the next cube, the business across the street, the financier at the top of this year’s Forbes 100 list, there’s never enough chips to ensure one’s standing in the game. And if money is a “reward”, then not having money indicates a lack of social worth — social programs are not a safety net, but an encouragement to laziness and immorality.

Warren’s Senate campaign — and, it would seem, her career, “mockable” daytime-tv stints as well as academic research — is about resource money. To the legislators, lobbyists, and media enablers who’ve turned Congress into one more arena for reward-money gaming, this is a deeply alien, therefore highly suspicious, concept. But if we’re going to survive as a nation, we need (once again!) to start disentangling the resources we have in common from the rewards of “economic virtue” or “fiscal vice”.

72 replies
  1. 1
    Redshift says:

    Well put. And this:

    Some economists (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, for one) publicly disputed her key arguments.

    actually did make me laugh out loud. Yet another badge of honor for Elizabeth Warren!

  2. 2
    dollared says:

    Nicely put, Anne. For me, the difference between the 2% and everybody else is this: for the 90+%, money is like oxygen – we can’t live more than one year without a job. Hell, half of us – seriously – can’t live 60 days without a job. So we are stuck where we are, wage slaves -if we are lucky.

    For the 10% up to the 1%, the supply of oxygen is not unlimited but it will always be adequate. So they can be anybody they want to be- and they are 90% of the entrepreneurs. Becuase if they fail, they can always chill out at the family’s lake place for a month before they go out and get a real job – with a frat brother.

    The rest of us – we slave every month so our kids can go to college, and be just as lucky as we are.

  3. 3
    Citizen_X says:

    Goddamit, Globe, clique, not “click.” Arrgh!

    Anyway, nice distinction between “resource” money and “reward” money, Anne.

  4. 4
    piratedan says:

    well if we’re looking for validation, if McArdle disapproves, that pretty sums up that she’s a positive force for good.

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    if the only point is to have more than the guy in the next cube, the business across the street, the financier at the top of this year’s Forbes 100 list, there’s never enough chips to ensure one’s standing in the game

    At Christmas I was standing in line to checkout at Fry’s, looking at the geek toys at chatting with the guy in line next to me. He said the old “he who dies with the most toys wins” line. I then reminded him that we were only a few miles away from Bill Gates, and with him in the game, you will never have a shot at winning unless you find a better set of rules than that.

  6. 6
    MikeJ says:

    @Citizen_X: No, it’s click in that context, a click better off. Just like a notch better off. A clique better off doesn’t make sense.

  7. 7
    not motorik says:

    A COUPLE OF GUYS WHO WERE UP TO NO GOOD
    STARTED MAKING TROUBLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD

  8. 8
    sven says:

    Some economists (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, for one) publicly disputed her key arguments.

    The media seem willing to call anyone an economist. For the last time, Megan McArdle is not an economist. Ben Stein is not an economist. Larry Kudlow is not an economist. I don’t know why this bothers me so much but it really does.

  9. 9
    Mark S. says:

    McMegan’s degree in economics is a hypothetical.

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    @sven:

    I don’t know why this bothers me so much but it really does.

    As someone who opines on a great many subjects I don’t have a degree in, I’m not much of a stickler about it. But Megan’s so full of shit when she talks about economics it annoys me a great deal as well when she’s called an economist.

  11. 11
    magurakurin says:

    Of course it’s looking like topics like this will be only academic in the Mass Senate race. Place your bets on Warren at Intrade because Playgirl Scott, genius that he is, has signed on to Blunt’s Contraceptive Ban Bill. Yeah, that’s gonna get you lots a votes in Boston, Scott. Lots a votes.

    As long as Warren doesn’t bad mouth the Red Sox and refuse to shake hands in front of Fenway Park, she’s in.

    And thank god for that, too. The Senate can use someone like Warren.

  12. 12
    Citizen_X says:

    @MikeJ: In high school? A “notch better off” tends to put one in a higher-status clique.

  13. 13
    hhex65 says:

    @Citizen_X: I think Warren is saying that the other kids “went to eleven” or one click louder than ten.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @sven:

    This is why I’ve got my nym.

    These assholes (idiots like Bernstein, who calls McArglebargle an “economist”) all need to fry. They do. They are totally detached from any semblance of reality at all. Furthermore, they are totally detached from any semblance of morality at all. They buy into this obscene “money is a reward” meme that Adam Smith, of all people, would loudly denounce. He understood very plainly it was a resource, and was not the sole purpose of life, it was only a means.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark S.:

    “…assume a can opener…”

  16. 16
    lacp says:

    If McMegan is an economist, I’m a kangaroo.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    @hhex65: That was my take as well.

    Why is contraception the hill they want to die on? Because you have to pretzel-twist to make 99% of the country believe there is something morally wrong with it.

    On the contrary, unprotected sex, sex that puts you at risk of STD’s or pregnancy, is still considered the stupid way of doing so. At least in the progressive hellhole of the Northeast, where the stupidity of abstinence programs are met with astonished disbelief.

  18. 18
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    LMAO, I haven’t heard that joke in years.

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    Mornin Joe is having a great time laughing it up because Valentine’s Day is having a resurgence in Iraq. “That’s what we were fighting for, bring out the banner”. Hardy fucking har, bet the people who lost a loved one think it’s pretty funny too.

  20. 20
    harlana says:

    thanks for sharing this – on a completely shallow note, i want to know how you can look that adorable at 60.

  21. 21

    Money as a means to acquire something versus money as a desirable object in its own right, what Marx would call a fetish.

    Yeah, we’re still struggling with that.

  22. 22
    harlana says:

    @WereBear:

    Why is contraception the hill they want to die on?

    i don’t know, just so long as they die, figuratively of course, just die off and stop stealing what remaining shit we have left, just leave us the hell alone

  23. 23

    @Raven:

    Mornin Joe is having a great time laughing it up because . .

    Somewhere somebody is different from that pack of jackals and therefore worthy of derision.

    Romantic love would probably be good for Iraq. Maybe a day of respect for Eros wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

    [And yes, it isn’t worth dying for, not worth losing people over.]

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    Mornin Joe is having a great time laughing it up because . .

    He’s a soulless psychopath?

  25. 25
    harlana says:

    the bf says he has a totally platonic crush on her, he’s in love with her mind, so he says ;)

  26. 26
    harlana says:

    @Raven: glad i missed it, altho i don’t know why i watch at times, must have some deep-seated masochistic tendencies – but lately, just been tuning into CSPAN

  27. 27
    harlana says:

    speaking of Morning Ho, it’s funny how much they love them some Buddy Roemer on that show – if he had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nom, Joe and his little pack of snickering schoolboy fluffers would be portraying him as some kind of raving lunatic.

  28. 28
    Lee says:

    Americans have always been prone to confuse the idea of money as a resource—the barterable counters that ensure “security, [social] acceptance, and family stability”—with money as a reward, the dick-measuring tool of which some people are deserving and others unworthy. Resource money, while vital, has limits; there’s only so much personal security, health, friendship, family ties that can be achieved by the raw application of dollars (as Steve Jobs, for instance, found out). Reward money, Monopoly-game dolla-dollas, are unlimited and therefore forever inadequate; if the only point is to have more than the guy in the next cube, the business across the street, the financier at the top of this year’s Forbes 100 list, there’s never enough chips to ensure one’s standing in the game. And if money is a “reward”, then not having money indicates a lack of social worth—social programs are not a safety net, but an encouragement to laziness and immorality.

    I think that might be the most insightful thing I have ever read on BJ. It might be the most insightful thing I have read in a decade. With some editing (replacing ‘dick’ with ‘status’) it is going on my FB (I’m friends with a LOT of wingnuts)

  29. 29

    From the excerpt …

    Some economists (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, for one) publicly disputed her key arguments.

    Well of course she did. That’s pretty much an endorsement of Warren, as far as I’m concerned. Warren never had gastritis break her calculator.

  30. 30
    kay says:

    I really enjoyed this, Anne Laurie. I’m not following Elizabeth Warren other than here, so I appreciate your updates.

    Brown is too conservative for that state. I’m hoping Santorum doubles down on what the media are politely calling his “gender comments” because that theme combined with the birth control screaming is probably good for liberal women candidates.

    They’re picking something up about Santorum and his views/attitudes on women, or they wouldn’t keep honing in on it.

    It’s a good year to be a female and a populist! I hope. I think she can beat him.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    Does Sen. Brown really have a chance when his office releases statements like this

    UPDATE II: Here’s the response from John Donnelly, a spokesman for Senator Scott Brown:………………….
    “Senator Brown appreciates President Obama’s willingness to revisit this issue, but believes it needs to be clarified through legislation. The senator signed onto bipartisan legislation that writes a conscience exemption into law, which is an important step toward ensuring that religious liberties are always protected.”…………………….
    UPDATE III: Brown spokesman Donnelly confirms that the Senator supports GOP Rep. Blunt’s legislation

    Sargent had that gem yesterday at the Plum Line.

    Why would Brown want to prevent females from affordable family planning? Is he the choice of the diocese?

  32. 32
    kay says:

    @JPL:

    “Senator Brown appreciates President Obama’s willingness to revisit this issue, but believes it needs to be clarified through legislation

    They just lie constantly. That legislation doesn’t “clarify” Obama’s position. It vastly expands on Obama’s position.

    He’s going to misrepresent it. That’s how he’s planning on weaseling out of it with independents, while pandering to Catholics.

  33. 33
    Joey Maloney says:

    Mornin Joe is having a great time laughing it up because . . .

    …he knows that in a just universe he would be starting the second decade of his life sentence for murdering Lori Klausutis?

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    And you don’t have to be a Harvard fellow to find something mockable in her work from the time, which combines motivational-style cheerleading, tough-love lectures, and checklist-oriented advice…

    Oh, yeah. Far better she write impenetrable tomes that seven people read.

    It’s a sad fact that if you are going to do mass communication, you have to do it lowest-common-denominator style. Especially something that wasn’t ever taught to us in the first place. I’m smart, and can read academic tomes, but in something I know nothing about, I appreciate simple, clear, efforts.

    I made a big leap upward when I looked back on my Midwestern Indiana childhood (even after we left, the mindset remained) and realized that everything I had been taught about money was wrong.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: He’s betting there are more old-school Boston Catholic votes than there are Northampton feminist votes.

  36. 36
    brad says:

    When you call Megan an economist, you’re showing your hand.
    And ignorance.

  37. 37
    Jeffery Bahr says:

    McArdle has a B.A. in English and an MBA from Chicago. If she has any formal economics training, it’s the one or two courses you take (or don’t) in the MBA program. She is an economist the way that Dr. Phil is a psychologist.

  38. 38
    Bob2 says:

    Where’s Part II of McArgleBargle’s Warren takedown?

    It’s been over a year now!

  39. 39
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Charles Murray has this line he keeps using in which he insists on the identity of money-as-resource and money-as-reward:

    A man who is holding down a menial job and thereby supporting a wife and children is doing something authentically important with his life. He should take deep satisfaction from that, and be praised by his community for doing so. If that same man lives under a system that says the children of the woman he sleeps with will be taken care of whether or not he contributes, then that status goes away.

    He thinks it’s vitally important that children be at risk of destitution and suffering so that the efforts of their fathers to support them will be meaningful. It astonishes me every time I read it.

    (Quote from “Coming Apart”, lifted from David Frum’s remarkable evisceration of the book, itself probably the least ridiculous thing David Frum has ever written. But I think I’ve seen Murray express the sentiment elsewhere as well.)

  40. 40
    Napoleon says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    (Quote from “Coming Apart”, lifted from David Frum’s remarkable evisceration of the book, itself probably the least ridiculous thing David Frum has ever written.

    It is a thing of beauty.

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    @Matt McIrvin: It continually astonishes me that the Right Wing always runs to those who know the least about morality when it comes to questions about it.

    No wonder they are all screwed up.

  42. 42
    superdestroyer says:

    Of course the NY Times did not want to discuss Elizabeth Warren and her discussions of bankruptcy. Warren has been very open in her belief that many people are doing broke because they are trying to avoid being around poor people and minorities (Elizabeth Warren uses the term “good schools” as a progressively acceptable euphenism).

    How can a newspaper with a history of supporting open borders, unlimited immigration, force busing, and social engineering ever acknowledge that their is a down side to their social engineering goals.

  43. 43
    Emma says:

    @superdestroyer: Ah. The Times as a communist platform. The good ones always come back in fashion.

  44. 44
    Karounie says:

    Am I the only paranoid reader who thinks the subtext of this article is: “See, her ideas flow from personal experience, therefore they have no objective meaning or force (unlike those of any male Harvard economist) so we don’t have to listen to her, even as we admire her drive.”

    Perhaps this is even timed to achieve some kind of cosmic journalistic profession balance with the Maggie Gallagher article.

  45. 45
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    Like! Like! Like!

  46. 46
    Bloix says:

    Warren is not and doesn’t claim to be an economist. She’a a law professor with expertise in bankruptcy. Her books for the general public – two of the co-written with Amelia Warren Tyagi, a business-woman with an MBA – are about personal finances, money management, and risk management for individuals and families. These are issues that economists generally don’t know very much about.

  47. 47
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @sven:

    The media seem willing to call anyone an economist. For the last time, Megan McArdle is not an economist. Ben Stein is not an economist. Larry Kudlow is not an economist. I don’t know why this bothers me so much but it really does.

    It probably bothers you for the same reason it bothers me: It confers an unearned air of expertise. Meanwhile, actual professional economists like Dr. Krugman are treated like eccentric, out-of-touch lunatics.

  48. 48
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @JPL:

    Why would Brown want to prevent females from affordable family planning? Is he the choice of the diocese?

    We don’t have a lot of white Evangelicals in the Boston area: That ecological niche is filled by blue-collar white Catholic males of a certain age (yes, mostly Irish and Italian, with French Canadians a distant third).

    And just like everywhere else, what’s left of the Church went over to the GOP right about the time Saint Ronaldus was elected. The local talk-radio machine (complete with a dedicated Catholic AM radio station) doesn’t help matters.

  49. 49
    clone12 says:

    As a card-carrying Ph.D economist, I resent having McArdle shoved into my circle. At least the cranks in our discipline actually went through the trouble of writing a dissertation.

  50. 50
    debg says:

    Fantastic post, Anne.

  51. 51
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @WereBear: The interesting thing is, about 15 years ago, Frum himself was writing stuff that came remarkably close to this exact sentiment. The welfare state had caused all sorts of social pathologies by removing the fear of ruin from the lower orders. But there’s evidently a point beyond which he won’t buy it any more.

  52. 52
    Bill Murray says:

    @MikeJ: I am partial to the response He who dies with the most toys is still dead

  53. 53
    hitchhiker says:

    Thanks for this Anne Laurie.

    “It’s not just that they had so much,’’ she said. “They were just confident. They had the assurance that it would always be there.’’

    I was a dirt poor kid once, and then for a long time an aimless young adult, and then somehow married into solid money. Not extravagant, luxury-laden money, but money that equals confidence. The way I visualize it is like a backdrop against which you play out your life.

    The never-going-to-be-poor-no-matter-what backdrop has good lighting and the stage it sits on has plenty of room. An entire arena of tension is just gone; there’s other tension, of course, and the usual terrors about love and age and meaning . . . but it feels different with that backdrop — that confidence Warren is talking about — behind you at all times, giving shape and structure to your struggles.

    My husband, as it happened, broke his neck about 11 years ago and became a quadriplegic. A brutal thing, jesus christ yes. But since then I’ve gotten to know a lot of people who suffered similarly, and the fact is that while no amount of money can ever make it okay, the difference between dealing with it poor and dealing with it with the confidence of enough money is very stark.

  54. 54
    El Cid says:

    @superdestroyer: I realize I’m taking a wild leap here, but I’m pretty sure that in discussions of people trying to ensure their kids can attend “good schools”, the relevant variable is the “good schools” bit, i.e., how good the school is, rather than merely serving as a proxy variable to denote moving away from poor people.

    More than likely, Elizabeth Warren would support the notion of there being good schools even when there were poor people around.

    It sounds crazy, I know, but a lot of people think that there are indeed causal variables determining whether or not schools are “good” or not, and being in the proximity of poor people isn’t actually the only one.

  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    there’s evidently a point beyond which he won’t buy it any more.

    That, and the class of wild-eyed pig people losers he’s facing being around now who are the ones continuing to buy and sell that make Frum want to do something to sit himself a nice yard-length away.

  56. 56
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    “the relevant variable is the “good schools” bit, i.e., how good the school is, rather than merely serving as a proxy variable to denote moving away from poor people.”

    I live in a school district where you can choose any public school (it’s a lottery system), but where the white kids are <20% of the population.

    You would be frakkin' amazed at the numbers of white granola ostensible libruls who take "lotsa white kids" as a proxy for "good school" and turn up their noses at perfectly decent schools with too many poor kids or too much melanin.

    Me, I'd go with the schools that have 50-70% kids with free/reduced lunch but still kicks the ass test score wiseof most Palo Alto schools (and there are schools like that in the district). If my kids are the only honkies, gringos or gwaihlos in the class, they can Suck. It. Up.

  57. 57

    McArdle came thisclose to getting away with lying about and perhaps fatally smearing Elizabeth Warren. Thanks in part to Tom Levenson, she unleashed a torrent of support for Warren instead.

    Mike Konczal had a thorough takedown.

    James Joyner tried to support McArdle. She tries to defend herself in the comments with predictable results. She pushed back quite hard, for her, but after all her dishonesties were outlined she didn’t come back.

    And now, over a year later, we still have not seen the post she promised us, which would destroy the evil Warren for all time!

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    You would be frakkin’ amazed at the numbers of white granola ostensible libruls who take “lotsa white kids” as a proxy for “good school” and turn up their noses at perfectly decent schools with too many poor kids or too much melanin.

    I don’t think I’d be surprised. I’m also not surprised that most of the time, that’s not a bad indicator variable on the significant causal variables. I wish we didn’t have this insane locality-based school funding system where the different value of real estate from one neighborhood to another told you whether or not the school was likely to be good or not.

  59. 59
    Karounie says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    I am thinking of moving to that area. What school are you speaking of? (the one that kicks Palo Alto ass scorewise)

  60. 60
    MarkJ says:

    @Mark S.: It’s fine to opine on subjects you’re not an expert in. You can have an opinion on cardio vascular health, even an informed one, without being a cardiologist, or an MD. But you can’t call yourself a cardiologist if you’re not a cardiologist, and journalists shouldn’t be calling you a cardiologist if your education and training is in psychology, whether or not your opinions on cardiology are well informed.

  61. 61
    Rafer Janders says:

    Some economists (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic, for one) publicly disputed her key arguments.

    I just noticed this line in the Globe article, and thought, what the hell? McMegan isn’t an economist. She has an undergrad degree in English and an MBA. She has absolutely no graduate-level training or degree in finance or economics. She has no published research in the field.

    Just because she’s the “Business and Economics editor” of The Atlantic doesn’t make her an economist, anymore than the fact that I comment on this blog makes me a political scientist.

    Lazy, lazy journalism. It conflates the views of Elizabeth Warren, a world-renowned expert in the field of bankruptcy law, with that of McMegan, a world-renowned expert on the subject of labor-saving devices in her own kitchen.

  62. 62
    Rafer Janders says:

    Ah, I see that many commenters picked up on this McMegan is not an economist point before me. Would have paid to read the thread first….

  63. 63
    El Cid says:

    @Rafer Janders: There comes a point at which a term like “economist” must become functionally defined: if increasing numbers of people hired for positions are identified as “economists” whether or not they’re “economists” in any sanely defined sense, well, I guess the definition of “economist” has to change to fit reality.

    Just like if hospitals started hiring non-doctors for doctorin’ positions, and identified them on TV as doctors or near-doctors, at some point, doctors wouldn’t be doctors any more.

  64. 64
    jake the snake says:

    @Redshift:

    I LOLed too.

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    @clone12:

    As a card-carrying Ph.D economist, I resent having McArdle shoved into my circle. At least the cranks in our discipline actually went through the trouble of writing a dissertation.

    It would be helpful, in establishing your bona fides, to share with the rest of us how much you paid for your blender. (Pro tip: anything over $1500 will be labeled “suspect.”)

  66. 66
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Daniel Davies had this to say about ‘economist’ (his blog’s now private, but DeLong quoted it wholesale, as he does):

    remember that the “ist” at the end of the word “economist” should be taken not as analogous to “scientist”, but rather to “Trotskyist”. […] The term “economist” has lost all meaning in terms of technical ability these days and simply refers to a party affiliation. Words drift and this one doesn’t mean the same thing it used to. Tim [Worstall], Megan McArdle and Richard Posner are all economists. I’m not one. Paul Krugman isn’t any more. Brad DeLong is only just one.

  67. 67
    HyperIon says:

    @sven:

    I don’t know why this bothers me so much but it really does.

    Well, at least you’re not bugged (for no good reason it turns out) by the difference between click and clique.

  68. 68
    Jim Pharo says:

    Seems to me she is once again leading into the future, where the debate will center not on money but on security. There’s a reason it’s called Social “Security.” It’s supposed to be something we can rely on.

    If one of us loses a job, we have no security. We have an unemployment check which will stave off utter impoverishment for a while. But we do not have a sense that every one of us is absolutely entitled to adequate food, housing, health care, education and personal security (police, military etc.). Until we start to tackle these items head on — for everyone, not just “Americans,” — we’re just wasting time.

  69. 69
    superdestroyer says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    Why do you believe that you are entitled to the labors of others? Why do you believe that whether you get up and the morning and go to work or not, that you should have the same standard of living.

    How quickly do you think the economy would implode if everyone was entitled to all of the government benefits that they wanted?

  70. 70
    superdestroyer says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    Elizabeth warren is clear in that SAT scores lead to higher home values. Want to bet that in the suburbs of Boston, NYC, DC, Philly, etc that the public high schools with the best SAT scores are some of the whitest schools in the suburbs.

    Can you really provide an example of a majority black or Hispanic schools where the mean SAT is above 1200.

    You should look up the disputes of Thomas Jefferson High school in Fairfax Virgnia. It is an admission test required magnet high school is has virtually no black of Hispanic students.

  71. 71
    Some Loser says:

    @superdestroyer: @superdestroyer:
    How nice, a new troll. Just what the doctor ordered.

    Will you be staying? I love reading how niggers are inferior to whites!

  72. 72
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    59.Karounie – February 14, 2012 | 12:08 pm · Link

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    I am thinking of moving to that area. What school are you speaking of? (the one that kicks Palo Alto ass scorewise)

    Karounie, post an email address I can reach you at and I’ll drop you a line.

    If you are moving to the Bay Area, consider San Francisco itself. It doesn’t have the high test scores of some of the ‘burbs, and there’s a lottery system that msome don’t like, but it has turned it’s ethnic diversity into from a weakness (lots of non-english speakers needing Bilingual instruction) into a strength by having language immersion (mix english-speaking and non-english speaking kids and teach in both languages) 16 of its elementaries. [However, if your kids are older than second grade, they can’t enter an immersion program unless they’ve proficient in the specific non-English language being taught.]

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