Purity Test

One of the common errors made by the Australian left is that they equate the American right and the Australian right. Andrew Norton often talks about this sort of thing – see the posts in his conservatism category. Maybe the Australian left watch more FoxNews than does the Australian right.

Anyway, John Quiggin links to 10 historical facts only a right-winger could believe. It is an interesting list – but I’m not sure if subscribing to all of them is necessary or just some of them to qualify
10. The Robber Barons weren’t robbers — they were capitalist heroes.
They were entrepreneurs who revolutionised business practices and introduced massive innovations to economic organisation and practice. One of my favourite papers in this area is Brad De Long’s Did JP Morgan’s men add value?

9. Sputnik bankrupted the Soviet Union.
No. Communism is inherently flawed due to the socialist calculation problems that Mises and Hayek described.

8. Galileo was a conservative.
No. Not in any modern sense of the word.

7. The Founding Fathers really tried to end slavery.
No.

6. Teddy Roosevelt was a socialist.
Wouldn’t have thought so. His economic policy can be understood in public choice terms.

5. Conservatives swept MLK and the Civil Rights movement to victory.
No.

4. Margaret Sanger was all about the eugenics.
Who?

3. Women were better off before they got the vote.
No.

2. Darwin is a menace to Western Civilization.
WTF?

1. FDR: History’s greatest monster.
No. But this claim is also fundamentally dishonest. Arguing about the impact of the New Deal on the great depression isn’t some crank approach to economics, rather it is an important part of macroeconomic theory and aids in understanding the impact (if any) of fiscal policy is managing economic downturns.

Quiggin makes the following claim

Of course, this applies in spades to the Australian importers and distributors of this stuff – Bolt, Devine, Windschuttle and the entire Murdoch press.

But he provides no links to demonstrate that the Australian right holds these views.

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118 Responses to Purity Test

  1. Infidel Tiger

    3. Women were better off before they got the vote.

    Has this statement even been uttered in the last 100 years???

  2. .

    10. Yes. Look at what Rockefeller did for real petroleum prices. He made the automobile viable.

    9. ???

    8. ???

    7. Some of them did.

    6. Sort of. He was also an Imperialist. He was admirably macho but probably a little off his bonce. Like Lord Baden Powell on steroids.

    5. I thought it was ecumenical so to speak. There was a respectable opposition that cared about States rights – but the 14th amendment was never properly enforced until then and they were by default incorrect.

    4. Bah?

    3. Men were. We could enjoy a bloody drink!

    2. I think these guys are really truly just elucidating their biases about conservatives. The flat earthers/Jesus rode on Dinosaurs are minority even for the GOP.

    1. No, but he prolonged the great depression by seven years and totally betrayed his election platform. His flaw that he was not tactically prepared for Pearl Harbour and relied on the Soviet Union for victory, but then again, what choice did he have in either matter?

  3. Michael Sutcliffe

    Bolt, Devine, Windschuttle

    All better known and more significant now than Quiggin will ever be at any stage in his career.

    [Not fair comparision - media celebrities will always be better known than academics. Sinc]

  4. Michael Sutcliffe

    Not to mention, they would also command more respect on average across the Australian population now than Quiggin will at any stage in his life.

    [Economists get no respect, ever. Sinc]

  5. Peter Patton

    As my grandfather would say, “one of them educated idiots. Wouldn’t know if his ass was on fire”.

  6. .

    Maybe Qwiggen is correct. We don’t agree here of course because libertarians are not left or right but pro liberty.

    The left smear us as right and the right smear us as left to maintain their bilateral monopoly.

  7. dover_beach

    Pretty much the same response as you here, Sinc; I mustn’t be a conservative. Oh, no!

  8. 3. Women were better off before they got the vote.

    The world as a whole is better off now because of technological progress than it was in the days before universal suffrage, but the history of politics since Universal Suffrage is the history of the growth of the welfare state.

    Apart from that qualification, the remainder of this list are just strawmen, apart from #10 which is obviously true.

  9. What about Abe Lincoln, didn’t he sell poisoned milk to school children. Hang on that was the simpsons. *facepalm* LOL

  10. Infidel Tiger

    Most American conservatives I’ve read think Woodrow Wilson was history’s greatest monster.

  11. Peter Patton

    dot

    Nah, he’s just lost his marbles, coz he thought by 2011, he and the loony left would have crushed liberalism and conservatism decades ago. But things didn’t quite turn out they way, and in fact he and his ilk have become crotchety sources of eye rolls. FFS, now even poofs and lezzies want to get married; girls love wearing pink and lipstick more than ever; privatizations are go; and undergrads only hear about Keynes as part as amusing ditties about the naive charms of life before WWII.

    He also suffers from that unfortunate Australian leftist cultural cringe that they ain’t living in the US.

    Poor luv.

  12. sdfc

    Ten’s bollocks as any serious student of economic history would know.

  13. daddy dave

    This is the kind of hyper-partisan crap that passes for debate in America. They’ve looked under rocks for unorthodox statements by anyone who could be labelled ‘conservative.’

    For the franchise one, they took a Coulter rant (which I get the impression was a bit of sarcastic venting rather than a literal stance) and wheeled out ole Derbyshire who famously said he “wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep” if suffrage were reversed.
    From this they conclude that

    among conservatives a consensus is forming that women were better off when they didn’t have the vote

    excuse me, but what bullshit.
    The tag-line at the top of the article declares

    Facts, including historical ones, are ‘biased’ against the right’s worldview.

    This is a silly game they’re playing. You could just as easily do the same exercise in reverse, with a list that includes 9/11 trutherism, Leftists’ naive claims about Cuba and the USSR, the myth that “Hitler was Right Wing”, blah blah blah…

    It’s just an exercise in point scoring.

  14. Which part is Bollocks sdfc? Are you saying that all industrialists were thieves, or that they were non-heroic figures?

  15. Johno

    LOL Thanks for this Sinclair. I have not laughed so hard in ages. I did not think JQ could write such a brilliant parody.

  16. C.L.

    10 facts only a left-winger could believe.

    1. Gaia will soon appear as a physical entity.
    2. America is comprised of 57 states.
    3. Sarah Palin wore a rubber pregnancy suit to fake a confinement for political reasons.
    4. The Iraq War killed approximately 1 billion Iraqis.
    5. Sarah Palin was behind the Giffords shooting.
    6. Appearing on television, President Roosevelt calmed a nation at the outset of the Depression in 1929.
    7. An Australian ETS will reduce the planet’s temperature.
    8. Robert Menzies orchestrated the Petrov Affair to win an election.
    9. Generations of Aboriginal children were ‘stolen.’
    10. Cuban ‘medicine’ is fantastic.

  17. Michael Sutcliffe

    That’s a good list C.L. That is the lefty reality.

  18. Peter Patton

    But wouldn’t you pay to see Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin, one g-string, and a mound of jelly?

  19. Peter Patton

    CL

    Don’t forget the Soviet Union lost Reagan his presidency.

  20. C.L.

    Interesting that John defends Margaret Sanger.

    It is said that a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.

    Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.

    [There goes the ALP's backbench].

    Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

    All the world over, in Penang and Skagway, in El Paso and Helsingfors, I have found women’s psychology in the matter of childbearing essentially the same, no matter what the class, religion, or economic status. Always to me any aroused group was a good group, and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.

    - Margaret Sanger

    Margaret Sanger – misunderstood heroine of the left.

  21. I find it hard to believe that anyone could consider someone like Andrew Carnegie anything but a hero. He helped the Union win the civil war, he single-handedly built a towering industry that dominated the world, and then he gave all his money to charity.

    Yet lefties call him a “robber baron”, as if he stole something, when really all he did was create things.

  22. AJ

    For the franchise one, they took a Coulter rant

    I think it was probably inspired by Bryan Caplan’s crazy blog post that made the rounds last year: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2010/04/how_free_were_1.html

    And the one where he makes a real ass of himself: http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2010/04/women_liberty_a.html

  23. sdfc

    No Yobbo I’m saying there is no evidence that Roosevelt prolonged the depression. On the contrary the economy grew strongly from mid-1933 to 1937.

  24. THR

    Actually, Sinclair, I wrote a brief critique on a list of top ten books that right-wingers were meant to avoid:

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=7591&offer=&hidebodyad=true

    The list, and the rationale for each book, are actually pretty hilarious. When you consider that the Human Events trash is pretty much representative of political discourse of the (US) right, it stands to reason the Prof K and others would mock them with the utmost derision and contempt, as should we all.

  25. JC.

    Or the railway barons that built the railways across America ehlp9ing to settle the west.

    People the Carnegie are thieves.. Bullshit.

    Carnegie and his partner figured out how to produce steel cheaply. These people are fucking heroes. But to lefties the only people that are heroes work for the government

  26. sdfc

    I should learn to read Yobbo. I have taken #1 as #10.

  27. JC.

    yes SDFC, FDR shortened the depression. Everyone agrees with with you. As soon as he took over the nation was back on its feet at full employment.

  28. TerjeP

    7. The Founding Fathers really tried to end slavery.
    No. The founding fathers of the USA didn’t. However the founding fathers of the Republican Party did.

  29. ben

    makes perfect sense to me. everyone who does not subscribe to the left wing orthodoxy is part of the monolithic right wing and (some) people who are part of the monolithic right wing agree with those statements.

  30. JC.

    However the founding fathers of the Republican Party did.

    The GOP was always a free labor market and against slavery for the most part, Terje, you big mouthed nincompoop.

    You really never know what he fuck you’re talking about.

    Trying times spawn new forces. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the country at the 36° 30′ parallel between the pro-slavery, agrarian South and anti-slavery, industrial North, creating an uneasy peace which lasted for three decades. This peace was shattered in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Settlers would decide if their state would be free or slave. Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner could not sit back and watch the flood of pro-slavery settlers cross the parallel. A new party was needed.

    Salmon Chase
    Where was the party born? Following the publication of the “Appeal of Independent Democrats” in major newspapers, spontaneous demonstrations occurred. In early 1854, the first proto-Republican Party meeting took place in Ripon, Wisconsin. On June 6, 1854 on the outskirts of Jackson, Michigan upwards of 10,000 people turned out for a mass meeting “Under the Oaks.” This led to the first organizing convention in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856.

    The gavel fell to open the Party’s first nominating convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1856, announcing the birth of the Republican Party as a unified political force.

    Horace Greeley
    The Republican Party name was christened in an editorial written by New York newspaper magnate Horace Greeley. Greeley printed in June 1854: “We should not care much whether those thus united (against slavery) were designated ‘Whig,’ ‘Free Democrat’ or something else; though we think some simple name like ‘Republican’ would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery.”

    Slavery party was always the Democrats and in some ways still is now.

    You really are an idiot.

  31. C.L.

    Conservatives swept MLK and the Civil Rights movement to victory.

    Pretty much, yes.

    King himself was no friend of the Democrat Party. Why would he be, given that its terrorist wing (whose last representative, Robert Byrd, was an icon of the party until his recent death) killed thousands of his fellow blacks?

    - Civil Rights Act of 1866 – vetoed by President Johnson (D).

    - Civil Rights Act of 1871 – signed into law by President Grant (R).

    - Civil Rights Act of 1875 – signed into law by President Grant (R).

    - Civil Rights Act of 1957 – signed into law by President Eisenhower (R).

    [Diluted to meaninglessness by Lyndon Johnson - (D)].

    - Civil Rights Act of 1960 – signed into law by President Eisenhower (R).

    … a group of 18 Southern Democrats divided into three teams of six in order to be able to create a continuous filibuster wherein each member would only have to speak for four hours every three days. This system resulted in the longest filibuster in history, lasting over 43 hours from February 29 to March 2.

    - Civil Rights Act of 1964 – signed into law by President Johnson (D).

    Support for the bill by party…

    The original House version:

    Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
    Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)

    Cloture in the Senate:

    Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%–34%)
    Republican Party: 27-6 (82%–18%)

    The Senate version:

    Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%–31%)
    Republican Party: 27-6 (82%–18%)

    The Senate version, voted on by the House:

    Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%–37%)
    Republican Party: 136-35 (80%–20%)

    - Civil Rights Act of 1968 – signed into law by President Johnson (D).

    …passed the Senate 71-20 with 71.2% of Democrats and 90.6% of Republicans voting in favor. The House passed it 250-172 with 63% of Democrats and 54.3% of Republicans voting for it.

    - Civil Rights Act of 1991 – signed into law by President George H.W. Bush (R).

  32. hc

    The 10 claims are made by the American conservative movement. For example Sarah Palin supports the Sputnik story.

    I think John’s error was to assume that the bogan element of the Australian political right leads to the same stupidity. That’s not true. They believe different fallacies.

  33. Damian

    Some bizarre generalizations in that list, what a mindless fruitcake.

  34. JC.

    harry;

    It seems that every time you discuss anything about the US these days you’re always talking about Sarah Palin. Why exactly?

    Let me ask you another question. Who do do consider a more powerful intellect. Christine Milne or Sarah Palin?

  35. Infidel Tiger

    Think you might have gone off a bit half cocked there JC. Terje was agreeing with what you’ve posted.

  36. Tal

    Jesus Sinc come up with a better headline

  37. JC.

    Yep, you’re right IT.

    Sorry teje. I take it all back. I thought obviously you were blaming the GOP for slavery when in fact it’s origins are immersed deeply in the anti-slavery movement.

    apologies.

  38. .

    sfdc said:

    Ten’s bollocks as any serious student of economic history would know.

    No Yobbo I’m saying there is no evidence that Roosevelt prolonged the depression. On the contrary the economy grew strongly from mid-1933 to 1937.

    No evidence huh?

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

    FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate

    By Meg Sullivan August 10, 2004

    Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

    “Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

    In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

    “President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,” said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. “So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.”

    Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt’s policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.

    In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt’s policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

    Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

    “High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns,” Ohanian said. “As we’ve seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market’s self-correcting forces.”

    The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.

    Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.

    Roosevelt’s role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century’s second-most influential figure.

    “This is exciting and valuable research,” said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. “The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can’t understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won’t happen again?”

    NIRA’s role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.

    “Historians have assumed that the policies didn’t have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding,” Ohanian said. “We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices.”

    Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.

    The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.

    NIRA’s labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor’s bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.

    Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.

    “The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole said. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”

  39. .

    I think John’s error was to assume that the bogan element of the Australian political right leads to the same stupidity. That’s not true. They believe different fallacies.

    What fallacies and who exactly are these bogans?

    Why are you perpetuating such a judgmental quasi class system Professor?

  40. .

    The 10 claims are made by the American conservative movement. For example Sarah Palin supports the Sputnik story.

    Do you have a link Professor?

  41. .

    “But wouldn’t you pay to see Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin, one g-string, and a mound of jelly?”

    Coulter?

    No way. Try Bachman or Hasselback.

  42. Jarrah

    “Do you have a link Professor?”

    Here you go.

    Number 9 is clearly just a dig at Palin. Since there are any number of crazy things believed by any number of people of all stripes, this list is simply crap.

  43. Jarrah

    Quiggin makes the following claim

    Of course, this applies in spades to the Australian importers and distributors of this stuff – Bolt, Devine, Windschuttle and the entire Murdoch press.

    But he provides no links to demonstrate that the Australian right holds these views.

    The list has nothing to do with Bolt, Devine and Windschuttle. Quiggin cites them in relation to DeLong’s quote, which is about theoretical physics.

  44. JC.

    Keyze

    She was referring to Obama’s stupid comment about the US needing to be more statist like it was after the Russians launched Sputnik.

    This is coming from a president overseeing total spending creating a deficit of 10% of GDP. And he wants more statism.

    She may not be 100% accurate in suggesting that it sent the Russians broke, however she is on the right track.

    1. The Russians materially retreated from the space race because their economy couldn’t afford it.

    2. What sent the Russians broke was the fact that they were spending 25% of GDP on the military.

  45. JC.

    The list has nothing to do with Bolt, Devine and Windschuttle. Quiggin cites them in relation to DeLong’s quote, which is about theoretical physics.

    Bullshit. This is what he said.

    Of course, this applies in spades to the Australian importers and distributors of this stuff – Bolt, Devine, Windschuttle and the entire Murdoch press.

    This is mainly to do with john’s belief they don’t accept science generally about all sorts of things, not theoretical Physics which in doubt any one of them has ever mentioned.

  46. C.L.

    What I thought was funny about Sputnik was a President harkening back to the rocket romance of old who last year shelved a much anticipated new moon shot. Kennedy’s ‘we choose to go to the moon not because it’s easy but because it’s hard’ became ‘we choose not to do these things at all.’

    Then he called for faster trains or something.

  47. This is mainly to do with john’s belief they don’t accept science generally about all sorts of things, not theoretical Physics which in doubt any one of them has ever mentioned.</I.

    JQ is just cherry picking. There are plenty of ideas of suit any demographic. I hope he meant it as tongue in cheek because that is the only rational way to deal with the mad ideas that human beings entertain. Come on, think about it, hasn't there been a time in your life when you've entertained something only to feel embarrassed about it years later?

  48. Boris

    I don’t think libertarians and even right-libertarians quite qualify as Australian right

  49. I think they do Boris, since there’s not much right-wing about the rank and file of the tax-and-spend, anti-business 2011 liberal party.

    They are the centrist populists, and we are the right.

  50. ken n

    Interesting. I’ve never quite seen JQ as a troll.
    I think it’s great that people retain the capacity to surprise us.

  51. TerjeP

    JC,

    Are devoid of comprehension skills or just basic logic? And given your obvious limits in these areas why complicate things by also being needlessly rude.

    I stated that the founding fathers of the Republican Party wanted to end slavery. You quote a huge passage proving my point. So who is the idiot?

  52. Sinclair Davidson

    hc/Jarrah – I have no doubt that those claims are being made in the US, but Quiggin claims they have been imported into Australia. He even names the importers yet you two are unable to show any evidence in support of that claim.

  53. Quentin George

    Is there even a single significant political figure in Australia who is a creationist? At all?

    I mean, I assume Fred Nile is one. (maybe, he’s never spoken on the topic), and I know Steve Fielding got a bit of grief for it recently, but are they really representative of the “right”?

    Bolt doesn’t even claim to be a Christian.

  54. Quentin George

    “The world as a whole is better off now because of technological progress than it was in the days before universal suffrage, but the history of politics since Universal Suffrage is the history of the growth of the welfare state.”

    Not to mention it was the birth of the temperance movement. Prohibition in the US was directly designed to appeal to the newly enfranchised women voters. If you’ve ever wondered who taxing fast food is meant to appeal to, there’s your answer.

  55. ken n

    I’m not even sure that those views are widespread among Republicans in the US. It’s a bit like picking some particularly dopey saying of Jim Cairns and Rex Connnor and attributing them to Social Democrats in Australia.
    Good fun, but pretty meaningless.

  56. rog

    Seems that comprehension isn’t being switched on either, the implementation of bulls**t detectors is what Bolt, Devine et al lack.

    But do carry on.

  57. jtfsoon

    Many on the left make a hue and cry about evolution but then turn into complete postmodernists when anyone talks about differences between groups of people (e.g. men and women) that can be explained by evolution or applying it in anyway at all to homo sapiens.

    On the other hand I can easily think of right wingers who unapologetically accept evolutionary ideas consistently down the line.

    Many of them write for this website
    http://secularright.org/

  58. JC.

    Quodger:

    Stop trying to insert yourself in a conversation you know little about, understand or work within the flow.

    Go away.

    ——

    QG asks if there is a significant figure on the Australian right that is a creationist?

    Nope. Not that I know of. Bolt for instance is an atheist.

    Anyways what’s with the need to make a public announcement about one’s religious beliefs or not these days?

    Is that expected by the left?

  59. Paul Williams

    Kwiggan’s post is just a bit of metaphorical poo-flinging.

    His supporters probably need cheering up, what with the global warming scare fizzling out, Labor on the nose and Iraq seemingly not joining in the popular uprisings to remove their overlords!

  60. TerjeP

    JC – do you have any plans to apologise for your stuff up?

  61. TerjeP

    I don’t know how somebody can be conscious of spontaneous order in nature (evolution) and so blind to it in economics. Yet much of the left (and some of the right) seem to suffer this cognitive disconnect. Being a believer in both evolution and free markets is a very comfortable combo.

  62. Geoff Honnor

    JC – do you have any plans to apologise for your stuff up?

    He has Terje – further up the thread.

  63. TerjeP

    Ah. In which case I accept the apology and apologise for not seeing the apology.

  64. Rococo Liberal

    Jason

    I am right wing and I consider that the theory of evolution, though it has quite a few holes, is a reasonable explanation of how species have reached their cuurent state. But I am also a creationist. The real question is what was created by God. Men who knew little of the cosmos and biology assumed that the creation was of every molecule and every species. But perhaps it was simpler than that. Perhaps it was only the spark that made the inanimate animate.

    As to Quiggin, the man’s a total mountebank. When are people going to learn that left wing = stupid?

  65. .

    Jc, Terje,

    Get some glasses or lasik you old farts.

  66. ken n

    RL – that’s the trouble with intelligent people. They make things too complicated.

  67. Peter Patton

    Slavery party was always the Democrats and in some ways still is now

    Same as the ALP and Ching Chong Phobia

  68. dover_beach

    I don’t know how somebody can be conscious of spontaneous order in nature (evolution) and so blind to it in economics.

    I have no problem with either but the order involved in the one is not the same as that in the other. Craig Smith has written a very good book on spontaneous order called Adam Smith’s Political Philosophy.

  69. Peter Patton

    No way. Try Bachman or Hasselback.

    I think Coulter would be much dirtier. Or perhaps Rosie O’Donnell. You know, a P.Kwig’n type.

  70. Peter Patton

    Interesting. I’ve never quite seen JQ as a troll

    Oh my dear child. You really need nto get out more.

  71. .

    De gustibus non est disputandum

  72. spot

    Australian Leftists enjoy hating on a cartoonish caricature of “The American Right” which does not, in fact, exist. As a dual citizen, originally from the American South, I used to try to argue against some of their manufactured and frankly bigoted portrayals of us. It’s a hopeless cause. “They Want To Believe.”

    And yes, I do think that Australian Leftists watch altogether too much Fox News – far more than any right-leaning Aussies I know do. Many of them also get their American “news” from The Comedy Channel‘s Jon Stewart. They’re a weird mob, pretty much.

  73. paul walter

    “Darwin is a threat to
    western civilisation”.
    Little wonder, given the heavy drinking that goes on up there.
    Queenslanders are aworry, also.

  74. You can just hear him smugging for the camera:

    “The left has its faults and follies, to be sure. But it must be excruciatingly embarrassing to be, for example, a (genuine) scientist or historian of conservative inclinations, aware that your political allies are at best utterly indifferent, and at worst actively hostile, to scientific and historical truth.”

    I think he’s unintentionally demonstrated a prime weakness of the left – inability to tolerate difference of opinion, and a feeling of unjustified superiority to the uneducated lower classes.

  75. Peter Patton

    Paul walter, Again, I think you have hit a bullseye with the QLD thing. Same problem with LP.

  76. Peter Patton

    Tim T

    There’s also the autistic way many academic economists, either by training or inclination, see the world.

  77. JC.

    I couldn’t put it better myself, Spot.

    Most of them if they’ve visited the US refuse to travel south of the Mason Dixon line. In fact I wouldn’t be shocked if they asked to see the painted line on the ground.

  78. Thomas Esmond Knox

    1. The Robber Barons were noblemen whose castles controlled parts of the Rhine River. They exacted a toll on passing river traffic.

    2. “Sputnik bankrupted the Soviet Union.” Was the Soviet Union bankrupt? Yes. The Russian space program may not have been the only cause; however, the US has cut back considerably its space program.

    It’s like saying “The NBN will bankrupt Australia.” It may not; but it is an example of a very poor cost/benefit ratio and a lot of money to be wasted.

  79. I am right wing and I consider that the theory of evolution, though it has quite a few holes, is a reasonable explanation of how species have reached their cuurent state. But I am also a creationist. The real question is what was created by God. …

    You’re certainly not a lone wolf RL. I have often been attacked for challenging some of the more exuberant claims of evolution. I particularly dislike Dawkins presentation and always have. I often say to people: you think a sky god is crazy, consider the Many Worlds Interpretation. As Coveney and Highfield state in The Arrow of Time: It is like hiring an aircraft to cross the road. Only one problem there, we may well need that aircraft. Physicists are abandoning the Copenhagen Interpretation and embracing the Many Worlds. Mind you , what will they think in another 50 years …

    Recent research, prefigured in some fancy mathematics, is starting to illuminate that life is much more than chemistry. See the below, I was directed to it only last night by a friend who knows I am very fascinated by this stuff.

    http://mmbr.asm.org/cgi/content/full/69/4/544?view=long&pmid=16339735


    Architecture is what ultimately distinguishes a living cell from a soup of the chemicals of which it is composed. How cells generate, maintain, and reproduce their spatial organization is central to any understanding of the living state.

  80. John Bayley

    JC says:

    Bolt for instance is an atheist.

    That’s not correct. He has stated many times that he’s an agnostic.

    Mind you, he has in many of his articles shown a lot more tolerance for religions, particularly the Christian ones, than for atheists. His diatribes against Richard Dawkins were especially tiresome.

  81. Quentin George

    He might think he’s agnostic, but he’s textbook definition of weak atheist, as opposed to a strong atheist like Dawkins or Hitchens (actually, Hitchens claims to be an “anti-theist”, which I guess would be even further down the line).

    Probably 75% of people claiming to be agnostics are weak atheists. Agnostic sounds nicer though, so they use it.

  82. He might think he’s agnostic,

    He is probably agnostic in the same sense I am: Logically agnostic, practically atheist. A view articulated by Bertrand Russell very long ago. Logically it is correct but the point is moot.

    Nonetheless I still entertain notions that intelligence is in some sense “embedded” in the universe. I am not a lone wolf in this. As Kaku notes in Physics of the Impossible, amongst physicists there is a minority pantheist view. In QM there is a theme of information theory, with Wheeler asserting that all physical theories will become information theories. I’m ignorant about that idea but find it intuitively appealing.

    I don’t buy into the probability arguments that Paul Davies throws up or others claim the Many Worlds problem solves. I’m certainly no mathematician but I suspect invoking probability arguments in relation to the improbability of “Just Six Numbers”(Sir Martin Rees) is not logical. Others here might be able to help me on this point(Jason S., Mark H., Steve E)

  83. Peter Patton

    I particularly dislike Dawkins presentation and always have

    Dawkins is the most unctuous prig and sanctimonious ponce imaginable. Christopher Hitchens often makes mistakes in whom he beds, and later regrets, far from gracefully I might add.

  84. JC.

    That’s not correct. He has stated many times that he’s an agnostic.

    Wow. My bad. Huge error.

    The point is that the reference to rightwingers here being religiously influenced is sheer nonsense for the most part.

    In fact the only person I’ve seen walking out of a church has been the little turd, in this case he’s carrying a leg (obviously not for the a camera shot).

  85. JC.

    His diatribes against Richard Dawkins were especially tiresome.

    and dude, can you blame him? Dawkins is an uppity little limey with an inflated ego. Athiests or not, who could possibly not be critical of Dawkins. He’s a smug, uppity, pretentious little prick.

  86. JC.

    Snap.. Patton beat me to it.

    Yea and Hitchens is good value.

  87. Jarrah

    “He even names the importers”

    But not the importers of that list, importers of ‘agnotology’ (a term he appropriated from Fran Barlow), which is the topic he moved on to after mentioning the list.

  88. JC.

    Jarrah

    What’s the latest in metrosexual land in terms of a belief system. Just curious that’s all, as you’re up with the latest fad in that “market” segment of the population.

  89. Sinclair Davidson

    Jarrah – bullshit.

  90. Jarrah

    Think whatever you like, Sinclair, but Quiggin’s post clearly shows I am correct.

  91. JC.

    Goof point, Keyze. No one has ever proved you wrong about nothing.

    You’re just perfect.

  92. Gabrielle

    Think whatever you like, Sinclair, but Quiggin’s post clearly shows I am correct.

    Love your chutzpah Jarrah. Keep at it I say.

  93. Sinclair Davidson

    Jarrah – bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

  94. Jarrah

    Gab, do you have something to add? Sinclair doesn’t.

  95. TerjeP

    Jarrah – my reading is that JQ is accusing Bolt etc of importing the view that the theory of relativity is wrong. I doubt this is what JQ specifically meant but all up he is being very sloppy with his accusations. He should clean up his act.

  96. sdfc

    Dot

    Spare me references to Cole and Ohanian’s analysis of the depression. As I’ve told you neoclassical general equilibrium analysis has nothing to tell us of such events.

    For starters there was a robust recovery underway from 1933 to 1937. During a period of massive deleveraging and ongoing financial fragility no less.

    We know the 1937-38 recession was the result of tighter fiscal and monetary policy yet those charlatans ignore that uncomfortable little fact.

    Roosevelt’s industrial relations policies are not something you will catch me defending but the positive contributions of his administration to the recovery (financial stabilisation, devaluation and deficit spending) far outweighed the negatives.

    Ohanian just doesn’t get it. Last I heard he was downplaying the role of the banking crisis in the recent recession as well.

  97. JC.

    For starters there was a robust recovery underway from 1933 to 1937. During a period of massive deleveraging and ongoing financial fragility no less.

    With unemployment no less than 15%. Some robustness that is.

  98. sdfc

    Real GDP grew 10.9% in 1934, 8.9% in 1935, 13.1% in 1936 and 5.1% in 1937, despite the onset of a second severe recession in that year.

    That looks pretty robust to me considering the ongoing financial problems. Do you really believe the huge stock of unemployed was just going to magically disappear?

  99. Infidel Tiger

    Women definitely shouldn’t be allowed to vote on things that don’t concern them, such as guns, finances and drinking.

  100. JC.

    Do you really believe the huge stock of unemployed was just going to magically disappear?

    it did in the early 20′s depression, Adolphus. the fall in industrial production was very large and in 18 months it was back again.

    Mind giving me a link to those stats please as he industrial production figures- a much more important figure at the time doesn’t tally with GDP in my mind.

    As I said unemployment never went below 15% under FDR, so I don’t quite see the success you keep raging about.

  101. Gabrielle

    Jarrah

    since you ask…JQ attempted a clumsy swipe at Bolt, Devine and Windschuttle, which is slightly amusing. Why anyone would take his assertions seriously is beyond my ken. I read his meaning to that Bolt et al buy into and disseminate a ‘flat earth’ science, including but not limited to global warming, as well as absurd historical ‘lies’. That he highlights relativity is just another point scoring exercise, a means to an end, derived from

    http://conservapedia.com/Counterexamples_to_Relativity

    Jarrah – I was applauding your bravado given you were at the receiving end of strenuous opposition.

    That is all.

  102. If JQ does have a point it is reflected in something I saw on Scientific Blogging some months ago. Scientists with political conservative leanings don’t wish to identify with the GOP because of the increasing penetration of influence by people who espouse ideas that are directly antithetical to science.

    If they don’t like relativity I trust they stop using cell phones, TV, GPS …. . I suspect their dislike of relativity might be its repudiation of a clockwork universe. They might want to think again, the relativity view might also offer support for the christian concept of eternity.

  103. Peter Patton

    John H

    I imagine if I were a scientist, who was really passionate – and good – about what he was doing, I would run a mile whenever the word “politics” was mentioned. Imagine sitting at work doodling about black holes, parallel universes, the mathematics of HIV, and such, and someone pipes up “whatta ya reckon of old elephant ears Gillard’s polls numbers”? I’d commit hari kiri, toot sweet.

  104. Peter Patton

    John H

    OR, no-one is a relativist at 28,000 feet. ;)

  105. OR, no-one is a relativist at 28,000 feet.

    A PoMo advocate, arguing with me over some point, eventually retorted – well its all relative you know. I replied: Yeah, find me a place on the planet where F=ma is violated.

  106. Peter Patton

    No offence John, but I think you’d have more chance with the pomoist using the 28,000 feet counterexample, than coming out swinging with F=ma, as your first shot! :)

  107. .

    We know the 1937-38 recession was the result of tighter fiscal and monetary policy yet those charlatans ignore that uncomfortable little fact.

    You have to believe the fiscal multiplier was about -20 here.

    I mean DUDE. Seriously…

  108. JC.

    You have to believe the fiscal multiplier was about -20 here.

    He goes around in circles Dot. Like some sort of spambot. If fiscal retrenchment is supposed to lead to depression /high unemployment SDFC has never answered how the largest fiscal retrenchment in US history saw employment rise and the economy expand after a tiny short cough…. The couple of years following WW2.

    These Krugmanians are mentally outta control.

  109. JC.

    SDFC thinks our car subsidies have a multiplier of 67. That is every dollar of subsidy handed out produces 67 bucks in income.

  110. .

    “As I’ve told you neoclassical general equilibrium analysis has nothing to tell us of such events.”

    No you’re confused.

    You cite agency models as bad economics. These aggregate things unlike the micro side and are deemed naughty.

    You then call these models, “neoclassical”.

    Neoclassical models are not ABMs.

    You then go onto call neoclassical stuff general equilibrium modelling.

    Which it isn’t either.

  111. Jarrah

    OK, Gabrielle. You can understand that I took your comment as part of the ‘opposition’, rather than being genuine.

    “That he highlights relativity is just another point scoring exercise”

    I agree. I just prefer that when people criticise, they criticise what people have actually said or done.

    And don’t take Sinclair’s Tourette’s as indicative of his normal discourse. It’s just that he and Quiggin have a long-standing rivalry. Personally, I defend each at the other’s blog, and get no love from either ;-)

  112. JC.

    Personally, I defend each at the other’s blog, and get no love from either ;-)

    That’s like trolling. Seriously. What purpose does it serve to simply take and oppositional stand for the sake of it?

  113. Annabelle

    Is is my imagination or is Quiggin becoming more shrill and unreasonable with time?

  114. Peter Patton

    I believe the technical term is ‘loopy’ and/or ‘delusional’.

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