Open Thread: Moochers of “Real” America

Matt Yglesias, it would seem, is a severely optimistic person:

A very neat Aaron Carroll chart shows that, on average, conservative states feature more “dependency” on federal programs than do liberal ones. You can slice this kind of data in a variety of ways, but you always end up with the same aggregate pattern. It happens to be the case that the richest parts of the United States (think the San Francisco Bay area or Connecticut) favor Democrats and also that conservative areas of the country are overrepresented in the Senate. Transfers, on average, flow away from high-income and underrepresented areas and toward low-income and overrepresented areas. I think the overall pattern is best described as a coincidence and not a pattern of large-scale hypocrisy

Happily (for the preservation of his libertarian bubble), Yglesias decides that the redstaters are too dumb to understand their essential parasitism; he doesn’t spare any consideration for us elitist blue-staters, but presumably our fuzzy-minded philanthropicalism prevents us from cutting off the ‘Real American’ moochers to devolve into their natural Hobbesian disorder. He also concludes, “[I]n the United States severe zoning makes net migration to the highest-income cities impossible.” There are many reasons why (to use his examples) the residents of New Orleans haven’t already decamped for Boston, but nothing I have ever heard would lead me to believe that Boston’s nanny-state zoning regulations fall anywhere in the top one hundred.

Which gives me an excuse to use Bill Maher’s disquisition on “Real Americans” (via):

137 replies
  1. 1
    pragmatism says:

    A. Always
    B. Be
    P. Projecting

    coffee is for projectors.

  2. 2
    James Gary says:

    He also concludes, “[I]n the United States severe zoning makes net migration to the highest-income cities impossible.”

    Sometime around 2008, Yglesias concluded that everything wrong with America was the fault of teachers’ unions, over-restrictive zoning, and onerous licensing requirements for professionals (specifically: barbers, of all things.)

    He’s pretty much been on autopilot ever since. (Or I guess I should say I’m fairly sure he’s been, because I quit reading him a long time ago and only notice when someone quotes him riding his hobbyhorse like this.)

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    We should have listened to Jane Hamsher and the firebaggers and killed Obamacare.

    It would have saved us all this turmoil over whether women should receive 700 dollars a year in contraceptive benefits.

  4. 4
    tulip says:

    Moochers and parasites? Really? That’s some pretty ugly and dehumanizing language for recipients of federal programs, and not language that we would tolerate if it was directed at our political allies.

    I think his point is that zoning restrictions make housing in those areas prohibitively expensive for low income people.

  5. 5
    robert waldmann says:

    Matthew Yglesias is not libertarian. Yes he does not support each and every existing regulation, but he supports high taxes, generous social welfare and most existing regulation.

    The evidence that zoning prevents in migration is overwhelming. Migration patterns are enough. The regulations he hates are those made for car owners plus licences for barbers. He especially hates the maw thatno building in DC can be taller than the Capitol building. You could argue that hewants DC to be like his native Manhatten. By the way, do you also think that Atrios is a libertarian? Their views on regulation are roughly indistinguishable.

  6. 6
    Rafer Janders says:

    Transfers, on average, flow away from high-income and underrepresented areas and toward low-income and overrepresented areas.

    But that’s…spreadin’ the wealth!

    Aiyee! Aiyeeee! Soshulism! Soshulism!

  7. 7
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    the redstaters are too dumb to understand their essential parasitism

    It is quite possible that at least some of the redstaters are all too aware of how much they depend on the govt, and that this dependency is a breeding ground for their irrational hatred of govt. People aren’t always grateful when you give them something, especially if they perceive that unequal relationship as being freighted with moral implications. Sometimes they have the opposite reaction.

  8. 8
    Bulworth says:

    “Average Conservative”? Don’t think I’ve seen that term before. Also, too: “Severe Conservative”.

  9. 9
    Rafer Janders says:

    @James Gary:

    Sometime around 2008, Yglesias concluded that everything wrong with America was the fault of teachers’ unions, over-restrictive zoning, and onerous licensing requirements for professionals (specifically: barbers, of all things.)

    If there’s one man I don’t want licensed, it’s the man working with straight razors and chemicals.

  10. 10
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    See the map…http://taxprof.typepad.com/tax....._feed.html

    “The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are “winners” — receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes — 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States. Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):”

  11. 11
    Luthe says:

    He also concludes, “[I]n the United States severe zoning makes net migration to the highest-income cities impossible.” There are many reasons why (to use his examples) the residents of New Orleans haven’t already decamped for Boston, but nothing I have ever heard would lead me to believe that Boston’s nanny-state zoning regulations fall anywhere in the top one hundred.

    Now, to be fair, Portland’s urban growth boundary has caused housing prices to rise, but that’s not necessarily a cause of high housing prices. And that excuse doesn’t apply to Boston.

    On the other hand, you know what *does* apply to both Boston and Portland (and New York and San Francisco and Seattle, etc)? PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE. In comparison, housing prices are low in places like Boise, Omaha, and Cleveland. Why? People, especially young ones, are fleeing in droves.

    Or as our esteemed conservative economist friends would put it “SUPPLY AND DEMAND, BITCHES.”

  12. 12
    dedc79 says:

    I would like to see these types of numbers broken down more than just by state. Even in some of the reddest states in the country there are areas of blue, and a more sophisticated analysis could tell us how much of the money is going to conservative districts and how much is going to more progressive districts.

  13. 13
    James Gary says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    To be fair, the barber thing is probably the least obnoxious of the man’s three obsessions. The windy pontification about improving “public school efficiency” by union-busting, slashing teacher pay, and generally corporatizing school systems was/is especially loathsome, coming as it does from someone educated at Dalton and Harvard who’s quite possibly never even set foot in an actual public school.

  14. 14
    ericblair says:

    Yes, what’s with the zoning thing? We need a propiska to live in Boston or something now? You can’t bring your goats? What?

    It is quite possible that at least some of the redstaters are all too aware of how much they depend on the govt, and that this dependency is a breeding ground for their irrational hatred of govt.

    It’s OK for Our Tribe. It’s not OK for The Other. See, ag subsidies aren’t handouts, and all sorts of rural initiatives aren’t either, and if you need state aid of some sort it’s because you’re good people down on your luck and not a bunch of shiftless good-for-nothings. Arguing against hypocrisy with people who have hypocrisy built into their mindset from birth is a headbanging exercise in futility.

  15. 15
    Guster says:

    What would Republicans do if the money flowed in the opposite direction?

    Make all ‘moocher’ states add the word ‘moocher’ to the state name? Califormoocher, New Yomoocher? Demand that senators from the moocher states only vote ‘present’ on any budget bills? Make students at every school in the mooch states write an essay every year about how the fact that they take more than they give makes them feel?

  16. 16
    Marc says:

    @James Gary:

    He’s also very fond of online education….for the proles. Not for his people. But he does support feeding them at chain restaurants.

  17. 17
    Joel says:

    One way to flip this around is that wealthy residents of conservative states tend to encounter a larger number of people depending on federal assistance. Depending on their opinion of said people, this would tend to influence their view on the value of said programs.

    Being cynical, I think that these wealthy conservatives tend to have a very low opinion of their less fortunate peers. Thus, they might see these programs as superfluous.

  18. 18
    Hill Dweller says:

    Looks like I spoke too soon in the Issa thread below. The Republicans are debating subpoenaing five WH staffers, because they’ve spent a year trying to find the smoking gun in the Solyndra deal, with no luck. Losers.

  19. 19
    guy says:

    I think people are misreading his point about zoning. Restricting development by implementing a million small-scale impediments means that there is less housing available. Less available housing for a given demand = more expensive housing. Expensive housing dissuades in migration.

    This isn’t to suggest every city needs to become Houston (or any city, I really dislike Houston), just that encouraging more development a la Chicago (hardly a libertarian paradise) can do wonders.

  20. 20
    Nutella says:

    @James Gary:

    severe zoning makes net migration to the highest-income cities impossible

    I guess I’ve just imagined the huge numbers of gentrifiers in the huge numbers of new apartments in Chicago. Clearly, zoning laws have prevented any of those from existing.

    Yes, it’s true that the population of the city has been going down while all those downtown apartments were built and populated. The net loss is due to cheap real estate in the suburbs. Their real estate is cheap because sprawl is subsidized by all levels of government, that is, city dwellers are paying for suburbanites’ expenses just as city dwellers are subsidizing rural red states.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    @Hill Dweller:
    Remember Monicagate – reality is not going to stop the fishing. Even though they can’t find anything they can A) make something up or B) claim “This is the most corrupt administration ever, look at tall the investigation we had to hold. Our Media and the morans will eat it up & parrot it back.

  22. 22
    ericblair says:

    @Luthe:

    On the other hand, you know what does apply to both Boston and Portland (and New York and San Francisco and Seattle, etc)? PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE. In comparison, housing prices are low in places like Boise, Omaha, and Cleveland. Why? People, especially young ones, are fleeing in droves.

    Yup. You know how you can lower housing prices in places like Portland? Build a huge waste treatment plant smack dab in the center of town. And a nuclear waste storage facility. That’ll do it. Otherwise, it’s that supply-demand economics-type thing.

  23. 23
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Cut ’em off and let them deal by themselves with the rioting and cannibalism.

  24. 24

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    “The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are “winners”—receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes—76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. :”

    Maybe Obama should make the case that every State gets back exactly what it pays to the federal governmnent, that no State should be a “welfare” state. Just watch every redstater come put screaming about their fair share bullshit.

  25. 25
    Schlemizel says:

    Being in Minnesota I am familiar with the equation here. 3 of the 4 surrounding states get more back from the Fed than they pay in. The two worst offenders, N and S Dakota used to only exist because of my federal taxes (NoDak recently got very lucky on the oil thing but still live off the tax dollar). But what pisses me off the most is they run around our state telling people how superior they are & a better place to do business because their state taxes are lower.

  26. 26
    guy says:

    @Nutella: As I mentioned in my earlier comment, Chicago actually doesn’t suffer from “severe zoning” problems. It is generally considered a pretty easy place to build, at least in comparison to other in-demand cities (DC, NYC, Boston, etc.).

  27. 27
    jl says:

    There is good point lurking under all of Yglesias glibness and bottom line conclusion that the problems is local zoning laws and regs (at end of a nice long chain of unsupported assumptions).

    The current iterations of the red state blue state, donor state moocher state issue involves personal transfer payments. The range of ratios for the total state GDP sent to and received from the feds seems just as large as the ratios for transfers to individuals only.

    It would be nice to see the whole picture and get some idea of what the composition of total net flows of payments are, and proportion due to transfers, etc.

    Otherwise, the Yglesias type of hypothesizing is a waste of time, to do, to read, to argue about.

  28. 28
    PTirebiter says:

    Yglesias decides that the redstaters are too dumb to understand their essential parasitism;

    TNC has an interesting take on this seeming paradox. Far smarter and nuanced as is his way, with a parallel to the attitudes he encountered growing up in and around the projects.

  29. 29
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Actually, if Matt would think about it some, he would actually realize that people aren’t moving out of red states because they are so freakin’ poor that they can’t afford to move. The government doesn’t give moving money.

  30. 30
    dr. bloor says:

    Matt Yglesias, it would seem, is a severely optimistic person:

    If by “severely optimistic” you mean “facile nitwit,” then yes, I would agree with that statement.

  31. 31
    Tonal Crow says:

    Hot from the press: payroll tax deal would allow states to drug-test people applying for unemployment insurance. You know what to do.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    Keep in mind that a lot of this money is going to military bases, military contractors, and other defense related projects. Alabama and South Carolina are both “moochers” by virtue of the fact that they do so much business with the Pentagon.

    Another healthy chunk is going to the elderly via Medicare/caid and Social Security. It seems silly to go after a state like Florida for being a “moocher”, since a large chunk of Floridians are from native New York.

    And then there’s economics of scale – California has 50 million people living in a thin sliver running down the west coast. It only takes a few big highways to service them all. Texas is, likewise, an “earner” state simply because it has three of the biggest cities in the US in its borders. Any infrastructure investments you make in this state will be far outweighed by its population income. Run I-35 from San Antonio to Iowa and it goes from dirt-cheap per person in Texas to holy-crap expensive per person in Oklahoma and Nebraska. But its the same damn road.

    So this is a nice Zing! on conservatives. But it really doesn’t have anything to do with moocher-ism, save by virtue of state population math. :-p

  33. 33
    daveNYC says:

    I gave up on Yglesias once his comment system got all funky. Plus he was the stupidest mofo in the universe so many times. Typos, saying 2+2=5, then not noticing that everyone in the comments was calling him on it, then finally fixing the problem after talking with one of his friends. Really not that bright a guy.

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment, Chicago actually doesn’t suffer from “severe zoning” problems. It is generally considered a pretty easy place to build, at least in comparison to other in-demand cities (DC, NYC, Boston, etc.).

    The other thing he isn’t mentioning is just how many more people really should be squished into the NYC area? should we crump the areas with five story brownstones and replace them with 20+ story towers? It’s not like the current infrastructure isn’t already stressed and the stores aren’t already crowded.

  34. 34
    Veritas says:

    Check out the Romney Super PAC’s new website with all the dirt on Rick Santorum. It just went up last night. Along with a slew of negative ads, the hammer is beginning to drop today, just like I said it would last night.

    It’s gonna be a rough ride for Lil’ Ricky…

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    Zoning schmoning–folks 1. go where the jobs are and 2. based on how much they can earn, buy commensurately priced housing.

    Depending on the area, that can be a large or vanishingly small slice of the core city’s housing market but guess what, if the city core is too expensive they move farther out until they find something they can afford. Could mean a 90-minute commute but since the recession, those seem a lot less common.

    Or if they’re twenty, they band together with others and share a rental.

    As long as folks want single-family detached housing (most of the US) you can’t rezone your way out of this.

  36. 36
    daveNYC says:

    @Zifnab:

    So this is a nice Zing! on conservatives. But it really doesn’t have anything to do with moocher-ism, save by virtue of state population math. :-p

    Or ag subsidies.

  37. 37
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    @PTirebiter: Thanks for that. I think TNC has some very valuable insight on the subject.

  38. 38
    pragmatism says:

    @robert waldmann:

    Matthew Yglesias is not libertarian.

    does it count if he dines on flawless bechamel from mcMEgan’s thermomix from a kitchen financed by kochwhoring? not close enough? fine then.

    matty and mcMEgs and her boy toy chalk up matty being beat up after their food and skull session on how to run cover for conservatives on the too slow gentrification of DC. i chalk it up to karma.

  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    @Veritas:

    Predicterating is great bidnez, but you’ve been predicting Romney’s securing the nomination for weeks and yet, he doesn’t have it nailed even now. Funny, how the money can only do so much….

  40. 40
    Veritas says:

    @trollhattan:

    Only a few states have voted. After the slash-and-burn, Dresden style campaign Romney will wage against Santorum, there will be no one left to challenge Romeny’s nomination.

  41. 41
    Turbulence says:

    @ericblair: Yes, what’s with the zoning thing? We need a propiska to live in Boston or something now? You can’t bring your goats? What?

    I live in the Boston metro area and I can explain.

    My church is doing a redevelopment deal with a condo developer in downtown Cambridge MA and it has been hell. There is an absolute 4-story height limit. Beyond that, the fourth story requires substantial additional set backs. You have to provide tons of parking, even though we’re right next to subway, light rail and bus stops and are situated in one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the country.

    And the neighbors, oh the neighbors. They fought tooth and nail and are sueing us because they cannot tolerate any change at all. In the US, our stupid municipal governance policies allow random groups of incompetent losers to stop development projects for no good reason. It is really absurd.

    The bottom line: it is illegal to build densely almost everywhere, and poorly designed regulations allow crazy people to dictate policy. I was skeptical about Yglesias’s harping on this issue, but now that I’ve seen it from both sides, I can say, he’s right.

  42. 42
    General Stuck says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    If it was Bill Clinton in the WH, he would likely say far out and send his staff to have their brains picked for red meat nonsense, when he didn’t have to as it has long been that the presidents hired staff is exempt from testifying unless the potus says they can. The separation of powers thingy, for the same reason members of congress don’t accept search warrants from the DOJ to search their congressional offices.

    I was a bit fearful, when Obama took office, that he would too easily give up this prerogative as an eager beaver gesture to the wingnuts. But so far he has not, that I know of, in any big way.

    I think Clinton in some perverse way, enjoyed the cat and mouse game he played with Starr and the wingers, or, a catch me if you can, attitude. Obama seems to just give them the middle finger, when congress oversteps its powers, hoping to sweat the potus inner circle for news.

  43. 43
    Arm The Homeless says:

    I take the point about zoning to mean that cities should be in overdrive to facilitate urban in-fill–specifically dense, vertical housing that is both conducive to public transportation and “affordable”.

    The problem I have never heard squared to my satisfaction is how you keep housing affordable in these ‘new-urbanist’ or ‘transit-oriented developments’ with speculators in the market.

  44. 44

    Sometimes these transfers get confusing for both liberals and conservatives, the example that best covers it is called Timber Payments which was money sent to counties for the value of timber taken from public lands. Thanks to the decline of the domestic harvest those fell. (lots of reasons for that fall) Both ideologies got pretty fond of the rhetoric that those communities depended on a failed model, ie timber, and shouldn’t get money for something not harvested.e

    The missing piece in this is that timber payments were only the method of paying Payment In Lieu of Taxes or PILT. PILT was the agreement the Fed made when it removed large swathes of land from private holding to public holding and removed them from the tax roles. I happen to think that Nat Forests, BLM Lands, and Nat Parks are a damn good thing, but I also think that needs to be paid for.

    This isn’t about an inconsequential removal when you consider a county of 3500 sq mi with over half of it in Federal hands. PILT payments have never even approached the value of the lands as productive and they are not “free” for the county to have in their boundries.

    What PILT gets called is Western Welfare not what it is. Residents of urbanized areas might want to consider what it would mean to their county to have half of it turned into a non-paying park or Church.

  45. 45
    freelancer says:

    @Veritas:

    His PACs can spend eleventy-billion dollars and his unfavorables still aren’t going to go down.

  46. 46
    PTirebiter says:

    also puts the lie to a favorite wing nut theme, “dependency” on the state secures lifelong Democratic voters.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @James Gary:

    Just this.

    Which is why I ignore Big Media Matt.

  48. 48

    @Chuck Butcher:
    I should mention that OR is essentially neutral in the transer economics.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @freelancer: But at least Mitt can fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming King of the Dipshits.

  50. 50
    pragmatism says:

    @Veritas: that’s a pretty bold prediction. you should be proud.

  51. 51

    @pragmatism:

    that’s a pretty bold prediction

    Without the bolded VICTORY

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Not to mention /Darth Sidious voice CASH! UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!

  53. 53
    Veritas says:

    Do you morons honestly think Rick Santorum will ultimately defeat Romney?

  54. 54
    Someguy says:

    @tulip:

    That’s some pretty ugly and dehumanizing language for recipients of federal programs, and not language that we would tolerate if it was directed at our political allies.

    Can I get a “what-ever” from the chorus? Nice concern troll there.

  55. 55
    EJ says:

    @Luthe:

    On the other hand, you know what does apply to both Boston and Portland (and New York and San Francisco and Seattle, etc)? PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE THERE. In comparison, housing prices are low in places like Boise, Omaha, and Cleveland. Why? People, especially young ones, are fleeing in droves.

    Which actually goes a long way toward explaining the data, since the majority of the value of the transfer payments in the statistics are social security and medicare. ($1.2 trillion out of $2.2 trillion in 2010) So states where the population skews older tend to come out with a higher share of payments. Also, retired people tend to pay less income tax.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Veritas:

    No, but Santorum is hitting him repeatedly below the waterline, making the coup de grâce of the pathetic Romneytron that much more effortless for Obama.

  57. 57
    EJ says:

    @Zifnab: Actually this is from a chart Krugman put together that doesn’t include things like infrastructure and defense spending. It’s strictly personal transfer payments.

    There’s another study that you’re thinking of that does include things like that that’s often used to make a similar point.

  58. 58
    freelancer says:

    @Veritas:

    Do you morons honestly think Rick Santorum will ultimately defeat Romney?

    Well according to you, Nostradamus, the inverse was supposed to occur and be wrapped up by New Hampshire. That it hasn’t happened yet is, on its face, empirical proof that Romney isn’t the electoral juggernaut that you say he is.

  59. 59
    Veritas says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I wonder if Obabmi can survive a summer of $6 gas? Not to mention Europe could go up in flames at any moment dragging us back down into a double dip.

    The recent job numbers, I think, are nothing more than a dead cat bounce that will quickly come tumbling down around Obambi’s big ears.

  60. 60
    wrb says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    What PILT gets called is Western Welfare not what it is.

    Don’t forget the O&C revenues. They are an even more unambiguous obligation.

    Land was given to the O&C Railroad Company induce the building of a RR, as was done throughout the west. The O&C built no RR, leaving the region high and dry. The victim counties were promised at least the timber revenue from the O&C lands. The Feds, bending to urban pressure, then halted the cutting of the timber. Compensation is deemed a transfer payment in this sort of calculation.

    http://www.oandccounties.com/

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Veritas:

    Given your penchant for so many accurate predictions, I’m simply shaking in my boots.

  62. 62
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Do you morons honestly think Rick Santorum will ultimately defeat Romney?

    @Veritas: Who gives a shit? They both poll above herpes but below rotting seaweed. Either one of them is going to be losing big to Obama and that’s all that matters.

  63. 63
    marcopolo says:

    As someone mentioned above, one reason folks don’t move en masse to large “relatively” wealthy cities is lack of mobility due to the cost of moving and lack of funds in the down economy. But what no one has mentioned in regards to the cost of living in a Boston or New York or Seattle or San Francisco, etc is those are all coastal cities. There is only so much real estate to build on and it becomes more valuable over time. You don’t see that around places like St. Louis or Atlanta or Columbus.

  64. 64
  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    I know Amir already pointed this out a couple threads ago, but now that we have an open thread, and for the people who haven’t seen it yet:

    Rick Santorum got the Megadeth Guitarist Endorsement:

    The endorsement of Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine hath been given. Apparently, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is the best possible choice for Americans kicked out of Metallica who join new metal bands.

    Congratulations, Rick. Nothing like getting the endorsement of someone who’s such an asshole even Metallica couldn’t put up with him.

    .

  66. 66
    General Stuck says:

    @Veritas:

    Do you morons honestly think Rick Santorum will ultimately defeat Romney?

    You be the blogs resident wingnut, it doesn’t matter what we think. Most here have mostly expressed the sentiment that one unelectable GOP idjit is pretty much like another. Mitt or Newt or Rick or Ron. Rides The 4 Ponies of the Apocalypse. Yawn

  67. 67
    geg6 says:

    @James Gary:

    THIS exactly.

    Gawd, Yglesius makes we want to puke. Libertarian trust fund asshole who can’t write or spell. Someone please tell me why he gets valuable real estate on the interwebs.

  68. 68
    KG says:

    @Veritas: no, Mitt Romney will defeat Mitt Romney, it’s just a matter of who will when whichever election Mitt is in when he does beat himself, Santorum or Obama.

  69. 69
    pragmatism says:

    @Chuck Butcher: total VICTORY for reading comprehension. passing along news that Rmoney is going to put out ads attacking Man on Dog isn’t exactly a prediction. i understand though. gotta get a VICTORY one way or the other to pad the stats.

  70. 70
    Egg Berry says:

    @freelancer:

    Well according to you, Nostradamus Nostradumbass

    There. All better.

  71. 71
    freelancer says:

    @Veritas:

    I wonder if Obabmi can survive a summer of $6 gas? Not to mention Europe could go up in flames at any moment dragging us back down into a double dip.
    __
    The recent job numbers, I think, are nothing more than a dead cat bounce that will quickly come tumbling down around Obambi’s big ears
    Country First!

    You’re salivating. Get a napkin, dude.

  72. 72
    KG says:

    @Veritas: in 2001/2002 gas in California was about a buck a gallon. By 2004, it was up around three bucks a gallon, the incumbent didn’t lose.

    Though, you raise a good point, someone should do something about gas prices, maybe hit the oil companies with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Repeatedly.

  73. 73

    @Veritas:

    Do you morons honestly think

    Your Party, your results and you expect us to put together some kind of reasonable analysis of crazy people? Not to mention the difficulty of figuring out who Mittens will alienate next or what his stance of the week will be to cater to whomever this week’s target is.

    Your candidate is a lying, greedy, rich, disconnected person whose picture would appear with the rude definition of politician in a rude dictionary and your own Party just can’t get enthused aout and you want… what?

  74. 74
    Veritas says:

    @freelancer:

    All I said was that if Romney won both Iowa and New Hampshire, it would be a one-two knockout punch that would catapult him into SC and wrap up Florida. He’d have a 4-0 streak that would make him the presumed nominee.

    Obviously, he didn’t win Iowa. So that didn’t happen.

    But it doesn’t matter. Just takes a little longer.

    Nothing more Super PAC cash can’t fix…boy that must piss all of you off, the fact that Romney can get MILLIONS OF DOLLARS anonymously almost overnight to use against his opponents, including ultimately Obambi.

  75. 75
    BGinCHI says:

    Can Obama survive $6 a gallon gas?

    I don’t know, do any GOP candidates have any rail or other infrastructure projects on the table?

    Are the apologists to Big Oil going to promise lower costs to consumers?

    Stupid troll is stupid.

  76. 76
    Mark S. says:

    @JGabriel:

    Synchronicity.

  77. 77
    Veritas says:

    @BGinCHI:

    If Obambi is so big on shovel-ready infrastructure why did he cancel Keystone XL?

    Now Canada is going to build it to their western ports anyway, and sell it to China. The Chinese must think Obambi is incredibly stupid. Jobs and infrastructure jobs, there for the taking (and REAL energy jobs, not Slyndra vaporware), and he said “no”. Not to mention it damaged or relations with Canada. Stephen Harper is now cozying up to China instead.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    @JGabriel:

    Congratulations, Rick. Nothing like getting the endorsement of someone who was such an asshole even Metallica couldn’t put up with him.

    Ain’t that the truth. Dave Mustaine? Really?

  79. 79
    Veritas says:

    Solution to gas prices?

    It’s simple: drill here, drill now, and pay less. We need to not only open up ANWR but all coastlines for offshore exploration. We need to open up more and more federal lands for exploration and drilling. We need more liquification of coal into oil.

    And one again drill, drill, drill, DRILL!

  80. 80
    JGabriel says:

    @Veritas:

    Along with a slew of negative ads, the hammer is beginning to drop today, just like I said it would last night.

    But, Veritas, you swore to us that Mitt would win Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, South Carolina, Minnesota, and he didn’t win any of them!

    How will we ever trust you again?

    (By the way, you do know Veritas is a girl’s name, right?)

    .

  81. 81
    Egg Berry says:

    @Veritas:

    If Obambi is so big on shovel-ready infrastructure why did he cancel Keystone XL?

    Not to feed the obvious troll, but if I understand correctly, the project wasn’t canceled forever, but there were paperwork issues that had to be ironed out.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Veritas:

    Actually, he was declared the “winner” in Iowa by a handful of votes. The correction in the vote tallies that gave it to Santorum came weeks later. So he went into New Hampshire, won, and he had his one-two knockout punch that should have, according to your peerless seer abilities, catapulted him in to a devastating victory in South Carolina.

    History has shown that this scenario was, erm, optimistic, if not totally fucking delusional.

  83. 83
    geg6 says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Your Party, your results and you expect us to put together some kind of reasonable analysis of crazy people? Not to mention the difficulty of figuring out who Mittens will alienate next or what his stance of the week will be to cater to whomever this week’s target is.

    As for who he will alienate next, I think Elie Wiesel has your answer.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....035432.php

  84. 84
    KG says:

    mustnotfeedthetrollsmustnotfeedthetrollsmustnotfeedthetrolls

    ah, hell…

    @Veritas: do you honestly think Obama won’t be able to raise millions of dollars for his Super PAC? The man raised more money than any one else ever had under the old system. You don’t think there are very wealthy Democrats out there that won’t drop a few million into an Obama Super PAC? And do you not think that money won’t be spent on reminding people that Romney is dishonest and cynical and likes to “fire people”? That he was responsible for Bain Capital buying companies, turning a huge profit on those companies by financial chicanery, firing people, and then leaving the company in a position where it’d have to file for bankruptcy? Because I am willing to take your bet on all of that not happening.

  85. 85
    BGinCHI says:

    @Veritas: You could read some facts here so that you’re better informed:

    http://www.tarsandsaction.org/.....ystone-xl/

    The reason Obama doesn’t support shitty projects is that in the long run they only benefit a few rich people rather than the greater good. I’ve lost you, haven’t I?

  86. 86

    @Veritas:

    and sell it to China

    You complete and utterly ignorant dumbass, why do you think the pipeline went to the Gulf refineries? Uh, duh.

    Do you know anything at all about oil refining or oil markets?

  87. 87
    Martin says:

    @Zifnab:

    It only takes a few big highways to service them all.

    Uh, wut?

    These aren’t big highways. They’re fucking massive highways, and they are as a result disproportionately expensive to build. A section of the 5 near my house is 26 lanes wide, spans land that runs WELL north of a $1M per acre, and carries a third of a million cars per day. The 105 extension to LAX cost billions. The Big Dig in Boston cost even more.

    Highways in rural areas might service fewer people, but they’re massively less expensive to build per mile, and likely aren’t much more expensive per capita. Oklahoma is 230 miles from north to south and a highway there will cost roughly $1M per mile to build. So that stretch of interstate would cost about $230M or about $62 per person, but it serves most of the state. Just the intersection near my house cost $166M, and it’s only 4 miles long. The county I live in has 3 million people, so it cost $55 per person and only serves a portion of the county. Half of the state doesn’t even know it exists. Get up to the 105 or to the Big Dig and you’re looking at projects in the $1B per mile range. The Big Dig was $14B, but let’s accept that it was overpriced and knock that down to $5B. Massachusetts has about 6 million people, so they’re coming in at $800 per person.

    There are cost benefits to high density areas, but roads aren’t one of them. If CA benefits from anything in the transportation cost arena its the fact that it doesn’t snow in much of the state. Doesn’t snow much in Alabama either, though. But CA also has state highways that are vastly more expensive than anything even the feds build in most red states. We don’t leave our transportation problems until our senators bring home the cash – we fix them with local dollars. Our county alone has generated $15B in transportation funds off of local taxes, mainly because we contribute about 30% more in gasoline taxes toward the highway fund than we should receive back per capita, so we need to supplement with local funds more than other states need to.

    The real cost savings in CA over Alabama is Medicaid and Medicare, housing assistance, etc. Those are per-capita significantly lower than states with looser regulation and because CA (and most other blue states) puts more state tax dollars into the effort whereas Alabama puts in no more than they have to. MA might cost a shitload more because of road construction around Boston, but they more than make up for that by having a non-fucked healthcare system that doesn’t dump all of the costs on the feds. An unspoken part of ‘states rights’ is the states right to dump all of their local expenses solely on federal systems.

  88. 88
    Egg Berry says:

    DRILL! DRILL! VICTORY! VICTORY! UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH! OBAMBI! OBAMBI! DRESDEN-STYLE CAMPAIGN! TAKE IT TO THE BANK!

    About sum it up? Good, now we can move on?

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Veritas:

    You can’t drill what isn’t there. There is no limitless supply of premium for Hummers under the feet of all those caribou.

    The problem is, the petroleum that’s easy to get to, at least in the US, has been pumped out. Even the Alberta tar sands reserves are more expensive to extract.

    Supply and demand is a bitch, ain’t it?

  90. 90
    freelancer says:

    Nothing more Super PAC cash can’t fix…boy that must piss all of you off, the fact that Romney can get MILLIONS OF DOLLARS anonymously almost overnight to use against his opponents, including ultimately Obambi

    Here’s the weak link in the chain of what you call your “thinking”. That the GOP candidates are using the SuperPACs doesn’t mean OFA is going to abstain from fundraising as well. Romney is getting donations from the super-wealthy to keep the money in this country flowing upwards to themselves. Obama is getting corporate donations too, but from companies that have skin in the game and require a strong middle class to purchase their products and services in order to stay in business. And then there are some in between who are covering their bases by backing both candidates.

  91. 91
    KG says:

    @Veritas: I live near the coast in California. I do not want more drilling off the coasts here. We have enough oil platforms out there as it is. And, just out of curiosity, what would stop the oil companies from selling all this new oil to foreign countries?

  92. 92

    @geg6:
    I suppose the same question could be asked in regard to his FIL… Of course he doesn’t have the consituency of say, Jewish.

  93. 93
    wrb says:

    @Martin:

    spans land that runs WELL north of a $1M per acre

    Which funds get pocketed by the urban land owners.

  94. 94
    Zifnab says:

    @trollhattan: In all fairness, Romney has a respectable lead in most high population states. The joke, of course, is that those high population states are New York, California, and the like – ie, states that reliably vote Democrat.

    The GOP base is going to have to break rank more than they have been before Romney’s victory is in serious doubt. The real question is going to be how much sour grapes are the red state Republicans going to have over their blue state brothers picking a candidate for them?

  95. 95
    BGinCHI says:

    @KG: First we nationalize the oil companies….

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Do you know anything at all about oil refining or oil markets?

    Professor Butcher, pick me! Pick me!

    The answer is Veritas doesn’t have a fucking clue!

    Do I get points for Gryffindor?

  97. 97
    Raven says:

    Please, if you have to argue with that fucking rodent don’t quote his drivel.

  98. 98
    Veritas says:

    “Peak oil” is as much of a joke as the Church of Global Warmism.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @geg6:
    What I really want to know is, who is W. Axel Rose endorsing?

  100. 100
    freelancer says:

    We need more liquification of coal into oil.

    Net energy fail.

  101. 101
    flickeringlamp says:

    @marcopolo: This is true, but kind of misses the point. Regulations like height limits and mandatory parking make housing more expensive than it needs to be, while accomplishing no legitimate policy objective. Yes, water gives some cities hard borders, but you should be able to build up and get rid of some parking lots.

  102. 102
    KG says:

    @Martin: ok, where is this section of the 5 that is 26 lanes wide?

  103. 103
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Raven:

    WTF is the fascination?

  104. 104

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    NO, but you do get a magic mace with +20HP against dumbassery.

  105. 105
    JGabriel says:

    @Veritas:

    “Peak oil” is as much of a joke as the Church of Global Warmism.

    What is this strange “Pea Coil” of which you speak, and why do you raise a topic no one has mentioned? At least a word search of the comment thread has shown no other instances of Pea Coil or Peak Oil.

    Are you, for some reason obscure to us lesser minds, trying to change the topic?

    .

  106. 106
    KG says:

    @Zifnab: recent poll had Santorum within the margin of error in California. Of course, we don’t vote until June. But I’m guessing if Newt dropped out, Santorum might take the lead.

  107. 107

    Crude oil has a range of grades and primarily those grades have to do with light volatiles versus heavy wax/tar content and what is refinable as what as an end product. All oil from everywere is not equal, nor is the COST of getting it out of the ground and to a refinery. Peak oil has less to do with the absolute exhaustion of the resource than it does with having it to use and at what cost.

    In the end run, it will, obviously, run out.

  108. 108
    freelancer says:

    @JGabriel:

    You didn’t know that the crust of the Earth has infinite petroleum?

  109. 109

    @freelancer:
    God will sort it out…

    Errr, Santa will provide.

  110. 110
    Martin says:

    @KG: El Toro Y is 26 lanes.

  111. 111
    KG says:

    @Martin: wow, I drive that all the time, never realized it was that wide. Then again, it drops down to what, 6 or 8 within a mile or two?

  112. 112
    Mark S. says:

    @freelancer:

    I’m not worried. I bet there’s a bunch of oil on the moon.

  113. 113
    trollhattan says:

    @Veritas:

    Solution to gas prices?
    __
    It’s simple: drill here, drill now, and pay less. We need to not only open up ANWR but all coastlines for offshore exploration. We need to open up more and more federal lands for exploration and drilling. We need more liquification of coal into oil.
    __
    And one again drill, drill, drill, DRILL!

    Sarah(tm) it’s really YOU!

    Who’s blowing Tawd while you’re hittin’ the ol’ blogs, also, too?

  114. 114
    Zifnab says:

    @KG: Lies. Californians aren’t that stupid. I don’t believe you.

  115. 115
    Raven says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: People get to prove how smart they are arguing with it I guess.

  116. 116
    trollhattan says:

    @Zifnab:

    Yup, it’s not that the outcome is in doubt so much as how badly savaged Brand Mitt(tm) will be by the convention.

    I had a front seat to the vastly expen$ive Meg Whitman primary fight against fellow zillionaire Poizner. She first had to venture far to the right to get her wingnut cred and win the primary, then spent practically a dollar-to-the-penny against Brown to get clobbered by him in the general–in the very election that gave us all the teabaggers in congress and various state houses.

    The parallels to Mittens are hauntingly similar, only there’s no teabagger surge this time.

    Popcorn uber alles.

  117. 117
    JGabriel says:

    @trollhattan:

    Popcorn uber alles.

    Damn you. Now I want popcorn.

    .

  118. 118
    ruemara says:

    I’m looking at the for sale sign on my lawn and wondering if anyone else is going to see what I saw in my home. $50k under water, too. There are a whole horde of people I could beat up with that sign and I can’t help thinking, even where I live, some guy could drop the cost of my house without batting an eyelash. I love this old place.

  119. 119
    Origuy says:

    @Zifnab: The only recent poll I could find for California is from Survey USA, 2/8-2/9.

    Romney 33%, Santorum 31%, Gingrich 17%

    Yes, Californians are that stupid. Have you ever been in the Central Valley?

  120. 120
    KG says:

    @Origuy: to be fair… we’re talking about California Republicans, and they don’t have an open primary. Believe me, California Republicans can be that stupid. The California GOP has been whittled down to the most distilled crazy/stupid in the state. What’s happened nationally in the last few years has been a slow boil here for a decade and a half.

  121. 121

    Anyone read that New York Times front pager on Sunday? About all of the people who are increasingly dependent on federal programs like Medicare and school lunches, and how they happen to be Tea Party types completely out of touch with their dependency?

    This is what’s wrong with America. We’re a country of stupid, out of touch, disconnected people.

  122. 122
    Moonbatman says:

    Why is the ACLU defending this butthurt from a gun nut?
    Philadelphia Sued for Retaliating Against Gun Rights Advocate

    Peace Out. The Power is Yours,

  123. 123
    KG says:

    @Moonbatman: because defending the actions of lawful citizens against unlawful/illegal/unconstitutional actions by police is what the ACLU does?

  124. 124
    EJ says:

    @Moonbatman: Because the ACLU doesn’t think it’s ok for the government to harass and threaten people who are engaged in a lawful activity, regardless of whether other people happen to like that activity? It’s kinda their thing? I mean, they defend neo-Nazis for chrissake.

  125. 125
    Jimbo316 says:

    The point probably has been made already but the reason the Red States and their policies are “over-represented” goes back to the Constitution, which compared to the evolution of Constitutional thought, internationally is pretty conservative. The decision on the Senate, in particular, was a terrible compromise. Basically, the 2 Senators per state regardless of population was a deal made with the Southern states, which had slaves, small populations and were predominantly rural. All of the US was small town-dominant, in the late 18th century but the North was distinctly more urbanized and industrial even back then.

    the first factor explaining greater dependency of the South on federal expenditures has to do with post-Civil War reconstruction in which a large number of Federal forts and later other Federal installations were located in the South. The forts were put there by the Republicans and the other Federal facilities by the Southern Democratic (pre-Civil Rights) solid bloc, though the pattern has continued in bipartisan fashion since. Quite a lot of Big Federal Projects are located in the South and the rural West.

    The third factor is the attitudes of the Southern white elite. During Jim Crow, they ruled in distinctly feudal fashion over both African Americans and poor whites. Post Civil Rights they have had to give some ground but remarkably not a whole lot. Southern states pretty uniformly provide a minimal safety net and few or no public programs that benefit the poor or working classes. The result is that the Federal Government’s share of total expenditures for safety net, health, education and other expenditures is disproportionately larger than it would be in Blue states where State and local government expenditures have a greater role.

    Put all these factors together and you have a big part of the explanation for this disparity. And 40 years ago, the disparity would have been gigantic, by the way.

  126. 126
    mclaren says:

    Yglesias’ weird statement about “zoning” obscures his actual meaning: the goddamn cost of living is too high in the most liberal cities. And he’s right.

    Whether it’s San Francisco or Manhattan, rents are sky-high and the jobs that pay enough money to pay those astronomical rents are only open to people with freakishly rare skills. So, as a practical matter, if you’re a high school graduate in the center of the country and you want to move to San Francisco or Manhattan to continue your education or get a job and try to make a go of it in the big city, your’re shit out of luck.

    Yglesias has pointed out for years now that this is badly hurting the U.S. economy. Rents and land prices and housing costs affect all the other costs in a region, and the insanely high rents/housing costs/land prices in super-productive places like the Bay Area and Manhattan prevent most of the American population from moving there, even though many Americans would benefit if they could move there. There are a ton more educational and employment opportunities in places like Manhattan and the Bay Area…but living costs are so expensive that nowadays, only the most rarefied highest-skilled workers can afford to move there.

    Yglesias’ comment about “zoning,” incidentally, derives from the fact that places like the Bay Area and Seattle and Portland OR have driven up land costs and rents and living costs with zoning regulations that prevent urban sprawl. That’s nice for the people who already live there, but very bad for people who want to move there.

    As Yglesias points out, back in the 1920s and 1940s, when boom towns like Detroit starting growing economically, tons of workers from all over the country moved there, and everyone benefited. Detroit got the advantage of a bigger tax base so it could provide more public services, and workers from elsewhere in the country got higher wages.

    Today, the boom towns like Silicon Valley are experiencing net-out-migration because it’s so goddamn expensive to live there almost no one can afford it but the super-wealthy. Even the mayor of Silicon Valley can’t afford to live in Silicon Valley. This is a real problem, and it’s badly hurting the U.S. economy.

  127. 127
    Bago says:

    HOORAH DAMNIT! Define your cluster predicates properly! Sure you made x, y, r, but goddamit define your relational data set. HOOOOOOOORJ!
    //an annoyed programmer.

  128. 128
    James Gary says:

    @mclaren:

    I understand what you’re getting at–that right now the USA is doing a sh*tty job of making opportunities available to people with talent, skills, and ambition–but I think you’re giving Yglesias a bit too much credit. He basically blames everything on zoning codes, when there are a host of other factors–income and property taxes, to pull two off the top of my head–contributing to the high costs of living in American metro areas.

  129. 129
    Jimbo316 says:

    @mclaren: This is an outrageously exaggerated argument. I can’t to San Francisco but NYC, which includes Manhattan but also 4 other boroughs that have no trouble commuting to work and include plenty of poor, working class people; in fact they make the city run! Silicon Valley is yet another absurd model. Silicon Valley is unlike anyplace else in the country. In point of fact, the skill set required to work there would exclude almost all working class people except janitorial staff and the like. For these folks, yes, there should be high-density public housing. Something tells me the rich Republicans would not be in favor of that. I grew up in Pittsburgh, which is generally considered “east coast” and blue and there was/is plenty of affordable housing for the poor but it’s high density housing. You can go that way or you can go “Houston” and have a gigantic city area-wise where everybody has to drive everywhere. The poor and the young often do not have cars by the way.

  130. 130
    priscianusjr says:

    @tulip:

    I think his point is that zoning restrictions make housing in those areas prohibitively expensive for low income people.

    This is true. And it doesn’t seem to be perceived as a problem, but it is. I grew up in a working-/middle-class family in one of those areas. I and my family can’t afford to live there now.

  131. 131
    PIGL says:

    @trollhattan: what Y really means is Favela!. Drop the zoning, and hey presto, you’ll have instant high density slums. No need for tax draining services like water, sewers or police, either.

    God, I hate libertarians.

  132. 132
    mclaren says:

    @Jimbo316:

    I don’t really think it’s an outrageously exaggerated argument. The plain fact of the matter is that Yglesias is absolutely correct when he points out that big cities with strong economic growth have extraordinarily, wildly disproportionately high costs of living right now.

    Now, I’m not signing on with Yglesias’ argument that it’s all about zoning. Not at all. What I am pointing out is that Yglesias has identified a serious problem that’s hurting the U.S. economy. Exactly why rents and all the other follow-on living costs are so bizarrely and unreasonably high in the big cities with high-wage high-value jobs and strongly growing economies isn’t clear, and I don’t think Yglesias’ argument that it’s mostly due to zoning is correct. But that’s beside the point.

    Look, there are two counterarguments to the problem that Yglesias has identified, and I’m hearing both of ’em here:

    1) “It’s always been that way.” The answer to this counterargument is: no it hasn’t. It’s just not true that it always been insanely expensive to move to a high-growth big city on the East or West coast with high-wage jobs.

    Let’s take some concrete specific examples: Greenwich Village in New York was well known for many decades as a place where “starving artists” and other people who didn’t have much money could move to an live while they tried to make it in the big city. Rents were low, living was inexpensive. Well, that ended sometime around the 1960s. There is now no place in New York city where talented people without a lot of money can move while they hustle and try to set up a business or establish themselves as artists, entrepeneurs, whatever. That hurts New York city and it hurts the U.S. economy.

    “Okay, but that’s just New York.” Wrong. It’s true of every major city in America. Check the surveys: not one single major city in America has a cost of living that lets people making a minimum wage live there. This isn’t just usnsutainable and bad for the economy, it’s brand new. This has never been true before in American history.

    If you want to know the proximate cause, it’s due to the fantastic runup in housing costs from circa 1960 to 2007. That runup in housing prices is unprecedented in American history. It’s off the charts. There’s nothing like it anywhere in previous American history, and, as 2007-2008 showed, those crazy home prices were unsustainable. Now they’ve come down somewhat, but it’ll be decades (perhaps generations) before house prices come down to the point where an average person with a median two-earner income can afford to live in a place like San Diego or San Francisco or Boston or New York or any other major city.

    As Yglesias points out, these insane hosuing costs affect everything else: land prices skyrocket, rent zooms out of sight, and all the associated costs shoot up into the stratosphere. That’s very very bad for the economy because vast amounts of money get sucked up into a rentier economy (if you bought a house in San Francisco in the 1970s you’re doing great — but if not, you can never move to San Francisco unless you win a MacArthur Genius award or become a tenured faculty member at a major university, and even then you’d have serious trouble affording a house. And that’s just plain bad for the whole economy.

    2) The second argument I’m hearing is “that’s just the market at work,” and that’s stupid. There’s no other word for it. People, saying “it’s just the market” is one of the dumbest rejoinders you can make, because…think about it.

    Why don’t we force everyone to pay for educating their kids in a private school? Sure, most people would wind up uneducated because the market forces would make public education unaffordable — but, hey! “That’s just the market at work.”

    Why do we need to reform health care? If you can’t afford to pay $100,000 for an appendectomy, fuck you, you’ll die — but, hey! “That’s just the market at work.”

    Why do we ban slavery? Sure, people would be degraded and sold like cattle — but, hey! “That’s just the market at work.”

    This kind of pathetic infantile rejoinder is just completely intellectually and morally bankrupt. Throwing up your hands and saying “That’s just the market at work” completely ignores the fact that markets are artificial creations set up by human beings, and we can and constantly do CHANGE how those markets work when they produce social and economic results we find undesirable.

    So let’s cut the crap and stop this mindless bullshit of “that’s just the market at work.” Otherwise, how about this? We legalize selling drugs to kids, and when your kid dies of an overdose, hey…”That’s just the market at work.”

  133. 133
    satby says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Anyone read that New York Times front pager on Sunday? About all of the people who are increasingly dependent on federal programs like Medicare and school lunches, and how they happen to be Tea Party types completely out of touch with their dependency?

    I did. And I see it all the time here in Michiganissippi. The same types of people here, who trash federal largesse while taking it, always are very specific about why THEY are entitled to it instead of some undeserving [dusky-hued] person. The reasons are all gibberish but translated, it always comes out to “well I should get it because I’m [white or a real American (which also means white)].

  134. 134
    Billy Beane says:

    I like Mahers writers. They come up with some real zingers sometimes. As far as Maher himself. He’s a pretentious fuckhead!

  135. 135

    @Moonbatman:

    Why is the ACLU defending this butthurt from a gun nut?

    Let’s just start out with one fact, the ACLU despite its name does not take 2nd Amendment cases. Period. It is not taking a 2nd Amendment case here. YOU may not like that a gun is involved, but the gun is completely outside the issue which is that a completely legal behavior has resulted in police harrassment, false charges, and other blatant misuse of power.

    You linked the article and fail to understand? That may say quite a bit about you and what your opinion of firearms is worth whatever. Put shorter and more to the point – you are an idiot. (that last noun should probabaly be preceded by several really rude adjectives and adverbs)

  136. 136
    Jonathan says:

    @mclaren:

    I was going to say many of the same things to this crowd. I don’t agree 100% with Yglesias that the transfers to red states are just a coincidence, but I do think he has a stronger point about zoning laws than you’re allowing.

    The reality is, that sky high housing costs in major metropolitan areas are a consequence of supply and demand. However, the problem here is that zoning laws artificially reduce supply. If building heights are restricted, only so many people per square mile. If there are mandatory parking requirements, that restricts supply. If there are conservation requirements, that restricts supply. Incumbent home owners have incentive to keep supply of housing low to prop up their home values. It’s a very real effect on cost of housing and cost of living.

    I think there’s a lot more to the story though. Red states tend to get more ag subsidies, have higher percentages of the population that are seniors on Medicare, Medicaid, SS, etc. Many republican states don’t provide state benefits to the poor, so the federal government picks up the slack, etc. All of these things point towards hypocritical mooching, but the fact that many people can’t realistically move to areas where there are more productive jobs is part of the story.

  137. 137
    just me says:

    Actually, one of the biggest differences between the so-called red and blue states in terms of federal monies is federal land. Those big red states often have huge amounts of federal lands that must be supported by federal dollars. They also tend to have a much higher ratio of federal highway miles to taxpayer. A close analysis of personal federal payments to individuals on a state basis shows that individuals in red states get roughly the same amount of aid as individuals in blue states.

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