A Hack at Reason? No Way!

Johnathan Chait takes a hatchet to Peter Suderman’s non-stop doomsaying about the ACA.

Like a Deadhead Sticker on a Cadillac


Reader R sends in this gem: Atlas Shrugged plates on a SUV doing deliveries for Domino’s. I don’t think this is quite “going Galt”, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

John Galt’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave

[Content Note: Link to National Review.]

I was thinking of posing this question the other day “Were the 1980s the Golden Age of glibertarianism?” Then I though, nah, can’t be, not while there’s currently a major Republican figure named after Ayn Rand. Then I read this (h/t reader D):

Rand Paul Mitch McConnell: I think that if you were to ask any Republican in Washington which group of Americans stands to benefit most from the ideas and ideals of our party, they’d respond without hesitation that it’s the American middle class, and that any suggestion to the contrary is based on a cheap and dishonest caricature. And yet, I think it must also be admitted that in our rush to defend the American entrepreneur from the daily depredations of an administration that seems to view any profit-making enterprise with deep suspicion – that we have often lost sight of the fact that our average voter is not John Galt. It’s a good impulse, to be sure. But for most Americans, whose daily concerns revolve around aging parents, long commutes, shrinking budgets, and obscenely high tuition bills, these hymns to entrepreneurialism are, as a practical matter, largely irrelevant. And the audience for them is probably a lot smaller than we think.

He’s right of course that hymns to entrepreneurialism are largely irrelevant. They’re too high-brow, an early Rush album when the base wants the Nuge. During the golden age of glibertarianism, people said funny things like….the only thing that’s coming into my head is “pave the planet” which isn’t funny, but I remember there was some idea that P. J. O’Rourke was a good humorist (somebody help me out). Where be their gibes now? Their gambols? Their songs? Their flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?

When part of your plan is to make everyone read a book that’s longer than the Jonathan Franzen and George Packer books my totebagger friends try to force on me, you need to change your plan.

Update. I’m wrong — it was Mitch not Rand. Not surprised…hate it or love it, he’s a smart guy. (h/t dsmilev)

My Review of Megan McCardle’s Upcoming Opus (Further to the Megan McCardle Is Always Wrong chronicles)

My many enablers in DPM’s thread have noted that news of McArdle’s upcoming volume might be “worth” reviewing.  One even suggested a basic format.
First:  you all are horrible people, wishing upon me or anyone the evils of (a) reading McArdle at book-length and (b) spending the time it would take to disembowel the work honorably.

Second: I’ve already completed my review, along the precise lines recommended within that last comment thread:

Please suggest other one line/haiku McArdle reviews, and/or jabber among yourselves

Open Thread: All the Privileges, None of the Responsibilities

six californias tim draper via nymag

Chewtoy for the bored BJ masses. Things have been so busy over the last couple weeks that I missed posting this earlier, but Kevin Roose at NYMag had fun with a late entry in the 2013 Libertarian “More Money Than Sense” sweeps…

Tim Draper, the third-generation venture capitalist and Silicon Valley money man behind companies like Skype, Hotmail, and Tesla Motors, is no stranger to throwing tons of money behind crazy-sounding ideas. A decade ago, he spent $15 million of his own money trying to pass a school-voucher program in California. When that failed, he launched the Draper University of Heroes, a wacky school for start-up aspirants that I wrote about earlier this year. Now, after leaving DFJ, the venture firm he co-founded, Draper has landed on his newest off-the-wall passion project: a legislative proposal to split California into six pieces, and make Silicon Valley its own state…

Draper’s five-page plan is a little light on details. But among the things it calls for:

  • Splitting California into Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California (which would include L.A.), South California, and Silicon Valley.
  • A plan to divide up California’s existing debts according to the number of people living in a given region, and assign the state’s assets to each new state based on the companies inside them.
  • Draper himself would get a new title, “agent of the state of California,” which would make him eligible to usurp California’s existing attorney general with a lawyer of his own choosing, for the purposes of defending the Six States plan…
  • .
    …[I]t’s a passive-aggressive swipe at the less economically productive regions of California, cloaked in a measure that purports to be good for all citizens of the state. Tim Draper wants the protection afforded by the United States government, without having to submit to the taxes and regulatory slow-footedness coming out of Sacramento. He wants Silicon Valley to be independent enough to play around with drones and genetic engineering, but not so independent that it needs its own military….

    Apart from thinking of all the better things you could do with Tim Draper’s money, what’s on the agenda for the evening?