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Buffett Warns The Democrats

It appears that one of President Obama's marquee private sector supporters is sending an inflation warning to Washington. Warren Buffett made some interesting comments in a New York Times editorial yesterday that, if not for a full news slate of ObamaCare drama, would have been front page news.

Buffett repeated what he said in his widely read shareholder letter released in February:

Last fall, our financial system stood on the brink of a collapse that threatened a depression. The crisis required our government to display wisdom, courage and decisiveness. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve and key economic officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations responded more than ably to the need.

They made mistakes, of course. How could it have been otherwise when supposedly indestructible pillars of our economic structure were tumbling all around them? A meltdown, though, was avoided, with a gusher of federal money playing an essential role in the rescue.

The United States economy is now out of the emergency room and appears to be on a slow path to recovery. But enormous dosages of monetary medicine continue to be administered and, before long, we will need to deal with their side effects. For now, most of those effects are invisible and could indeed remain latent for a long time. Still, their threat may be as ominous as that posed by the financial crisis itself.

Longtime observers of Warren Buffett know that he abhors confrontation, which makes his Op Ed in yesterday's Times even more remarkable. The unmistakable message in yesterday's editorial is that the most successful business investor in the last one hundred years is very concerned that massive inflation is a clear and present danger to the economy that is every bit as serious (or more so) than the crisis that threatened the financial system a year ago.

There is a raging debate going on in the financial blogosphere about the threat of deflation and inflation. Violent swings in either direction can devastate a national economy. In customary fashion, Buffett pinpoints the problem succinctly:

To understand this threat, we need to look at where we stand historically. If we leave aside the war-impacted years of 1942 to 1946, the largest annual deficit the United States has incurred since 1920 was 6 percent of gross domestic product. This fiscal year, though, the deficit will rise to about 13 percent of G.D.P., more than twice the non-wartime record. In dollars, that equates to a staggering $1.8 trillion. Fiscally, we are in uncharted territory During this fiscal year, it will increase more than one percentage point per month, climbing to about 56 percent of G.D.P. from 41 percent. Admittedly, other countries, like Japan and Italy, have far higher ratios and no one can know the precise level of net debt to G.D.P. at which the United States will lose its reputation for financial integrity. But a few more years like this one and we will find out.

An increase in federal debt can be financed in three ways: borrowing from foreigners, borrowing from our own citizens or, through a roundabout process, printing money.

The conclusion that should be drawn from Buffett's examples is that current spending is unsustainable. Also, tax increases become problematic at some level for the re election of politicians. So what is the politically easy way out? Inflation.

Legislators will correctly perceive that either raising taxes or cutting expenditures will threaten their re-election. To avoid this fate, they can opt for high rates of inflation, which never require a recorded vote and cannot be attributed to a specific action that any elected official takes. In fact, John Maynard Keynes long ago laid out a road map for political survival amid an economic disaster of just this sort: "By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.... The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

For those Wizbang readers that lived through the late 1970's and early 1980's, you know where we are headed.


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Comments (66)

I just loved the Nixon - Ca... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I just loved the Nixon - Carter years! Can't wait to once again experience 'price controls' and 'odd-even gas lines'. People think the economy sucks now!

So what is the political... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

So what is the politically easy way out? Inflation.

This isn't exactly a revolutionary concept. Destruction of the dollar is not only an easy solution, it's inevitable. I can't blame Obama for this completely--the GOP had every opportunity to reverse this situation between 2000 and 2006, and they blew it.

Think Obama's spending is a problem? Wait until the $ 70 trillion unfunded social security and Medicare liabilty comes due. We'll be taking dollars to the grocery store in shopping carts and bringing our food home in baggies. Welcome to Weimar America.

Cheers.

Hey! Once Obama monetizes ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hey! Once Obama monetizes the debt everything will be fine. (give or take a few 1000% inflation)

Another misleading title by... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Another misleading title by HughS.

Buffett is not "warning the Democrats." If you read the article, he never mentions party, and clearly says that the government should stop pumping money into the economy "WHEN RECOVERY IS ACHIEVED."

Seems to be a pattern with Hugh. Most of his articles are exercises in mind-reading: "Buffett (or Obama or Frank or whoever) said THIS today, but what he reeeeeallly meant was THAT."

Buffett's actual words were... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Buffett's actual words were, "once recovery is gained."

Not to put too fine a point... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but since the Democrats occupy the White House and have majorities in both the House and Senate, they effectively control the government.

If Buffett is warning the government, he is by default warning the Democrats. I doubt you would have any problem interpreting it otherwise were the Republicans in the same position.

Bruce, who do you think he ... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Bruce, who do you think he is speaking to? The Democrats and their veto proof majority in Congress or Republicans?

The voices in Hugh's head s... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

The voices in Hugh's head said:

The unmistakable message in yesterday's editorial is that the most successful business investor in the last one hundred years is very concerned that massive inflation is a clear and present danger to the economy that is every bit as serious (or more so) than the crisis that threatened the financial system a year ago.

What Buffett actually said in the editorial:

But enormous dosages of monetary medicine continue to be administered and, before long, we will need to deal with their side effects. For now, most of those effects are invisible and could indeed remain latent for a long time. Still, their threat may be as ominous as that posed by the financial crisis itself.

Then the voices in Hugh's head said:

The conclusion that should be drawn from Buffett's examples is that current spending is unsustainable.

But if you read what Buffett actually wrote you won't fnd the word "unsustainable" (or any word with the same meaning) anywhere. In fact, Buffett said this:

Admittedly, other countries, like Japan and Italy, have far higher ratios and no one can know the precise level of net debt to G.D.P. at which the United States will lose its reputation for financial integrity.

Not only did Buffett not say the current US debt to GDP ratio is "unsustainable" -- he cited that other developed nations have high ratios than the US - higher than the ratio that is alarming the voices in Hugh's head and making him write things that aren't true.

The current threat of inflation is almost non-existent because unemployment is so high that higher wages and wage inflation - which drives price inflation - is going to keep a lid on inflation overall.

Inflation is the next threat to our economy, it always is a threat to an expanding economy - but try telling that to the frightened, shivering voices in Hugh's head...

Vic

Sorry - here it is with the... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Sorry - here it is with the blockquotes fixed.

The voices in Hugh's head said:

The unmistakable message in yesterday's editorial is that the most successful business investor in the last one hundred years is very concerned that massive inflation is a clear and present danger to the economy that is every bit as serious (or more so) than the crisis that threatened the financial system a year ago.

What Buffett actually said in the editorial:

But enormous dosages of monetary medicine continue to be administered and, before long, we will need to deal with their side effects. For now, most of those effects are invisible and could indeed remain latent for a long time. Still, their threat may be as ominous as that posed by the financial crisis itself.

Then the voices in Hugh's head said:

The conclusion that should be drawn from Buffett's examples is that current spending is unsustainable.

But if you read what Buffett actually wrote you won't fnd the word "unsustainable" (or any word with the same meaning) anywhere. In fact, Buffett said this:

Admittedly, other countries, like Japan and Italy, have far higher ratios and no one can know the precise level of net debt to G.D.P. at which the United States will lose its reputation for financial integrity.

Not only did Buffett not say the current US debt to GDP ratio is "unsustainable" -- he cited that other developed nations have high ratios than the US - higher than the ratio that is alarming the voices in Hugh's head and making him write things that aren't true.

The current threat of inflation is almost non-existent because unemployment is so high that higher wages and wage inflation - which drives price inflation - is going to keep a lid on inflation overall.

Inflation is the next threat to our economy, it always is a threat to an expanding economy - but try telling that to the frightened, shivering voices in Hugh's head...

Vic

Well, since he seems to be ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, since he seems to be taking the long view, and says that the government should slow down "once recovery is gained," I assume he is talking to us all as voters and investors.

After all, in a little over a year, if recovery is NOT gained, then Republicans will likely be back in control, or at least the Dem majority won't be veto-proof.

Must mean buffet is not mak... (Below threshold)
J:

Must mean buffet is not making the money he thought he would make when he sold out my country. But soros is certainly cleaning up.

VIC -Obviously, you ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

VIC -
Obviously, you are too young to remember Jimmy Carter who brought us Stagflation, a crappy economy with high unemployment, high interest rates and high inflation.

Unemployment does not stave off inflation, otherwise South America would have been a low inflation paradise for the last 30 years.

While wages can contribute to inflation, monetary policy has far more influence as do interest rates. By comparison the unemployment rate is insignificant and you just sound silly.

I just loved Carters pills.... (Below threshold)
the Doorjam guy!:

I just loved Carters pills..

sorry Oprah im drunk again.

Those were for treating mal... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Those were for treating malaise right?

Kinda sorta..more ... (Below threshold)
the Doorjam guy!:

Kinda sorta..

more like...hurry up and die

"Not only did Buffett no... (Below threshold)
HughS:

"Not only did Buffett not say the current US debt to GDP ratio is "unsustainable" -- he cited that other developed nations have high ratios than the US - higher than the ratio that is alarming the voices in Hugh's head and making him write things that aren't true."

This is Exhibit A in a Straw Man Argument case study. Buffett didn't say it and I didn't say it. But the shivering voices in Vic's head must have said something because he did say it.

Is it me or did I miss all ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Is it me or did I miss all the inflation during the Clinton and Bush presidencies?

How did they get unemployment down around 3.6% (a level thought to be impossible to reach by some economists previously - structural full employment) and keep inflation hovering down around 2%?

Yet when Carter had unemployment at between 6% and 8% inflation was 13.6%.

Maybe wage pressure isn't as big a factor as we've been told.

Poor Hugh is in denial. Can... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Poor Hugh is in denial. Can't say I blame him. The voices in his head made hm write:

The conclusion that should be drawn from Buffett's examples is that current spending is unsustainable.

And yet you won't find anything in Buffett's word that say "unsustainable" - we just have Hugh making crap up again, to which Hugh commented:

This is Exhibit A in a Straw Man Argument case study. Buffett didn't say it and I didn't say it.

Call the Ghostbusters! A phantom is inserting claims of un-sustainability in Hugh's article and it isn't Hugh!!!

Maybe you'll get an exorcism for your next birthday, Hugh.

Hugh's desperate attempts to spin reality into Wing-nutty Wacky Goodness must be wearing him out. Exhaustion has set in. He's forgetting what he spun.

Vic

Vic

(just can't get these block... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

(just can't get these blockquotes right today)

Poor Hugh is in denial. Can't say I blame him. The voices in his head made hm write:

The conclusion that should be drawn from Buffett's examples is that current spending is unsustainable.

And yet you won't find anything in Buffett's word that say "unsustainable" - we just have Hugh making crap up again, to which Hugh commented:

This is Exhibit A in a Straw Man Argument case study. Buffett didn't say it and I didn't say it.

Call the Ghostbusters! A phantom is inserting claims of un-sustainability in Hugh's article and it isn't Hugh!!!

Maybe you'll get an exorcism for your next birthday, Hugh.

Hugh's desperate attempts to spin reality into Wing-nutty Wacky Goodness must be wearing him out. Exhaustion has set in. He's forgetting what he spun.

Vic

Vic

On another note, NBC News h... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

On another note, NBC News has decided to continue in the footsteps of that Saint of Reporting, Dan Rather. "Don't bother reporting the news, MANUFACTURE it!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYKQJ4-N7LI&feature=player_embedded

Yep, all those 'white guys with guns', except....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7syx26QtQIM&feature=player_embedded

"Inflation is the next t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Inflation is the next threat to our economy, it always is a threat to an expanding economy"-VIC

"In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 6.4 percent" - Bureau of Economic Analysis press release July 31, 2009.

While the threat is real it isn't due to a growing economy.

The real threat is in the rapidly expanding money supply particularly in M1, which is approaching 20% growth over last year.

GarandFan - If the... (Below threshold)
jim m:

GarandFan -

If they were protesting Bush the story would be how unpopular he was. Now that it's Obama the story is how dangerous the opposition is.

"I just loved the Nixon ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I just loved the Nixon - Carter years! Can't wait to once again experience 'price controls' and 'odd-even gas lines'. People think the economy sucks now!"

Don't tell me - let me guess. You're actually HOPING things get bad enough so Disco makes a comeback. Maybe even (shudder) ROLLER Disco.

We are so screwed if things get THAT bad...

:P

Seriously - the Carter years weren't good ones at all. He wasn't a genius at foriegn policy, the only good economic measure he really accomplished was to NOT stop the Alaska pipeline and cancel drilling on the North slope - but the current crop of butt-cheese in Washington wouldn't allow drilling even when oil topped $100 a barrel, so I don't figure they'll relent if the economy tanks further.

On a positive note, anyone notice how Obama is giving OUR money to BRAZIL so they can drill for oil? And they're helping the UAE's nuclear development, while Pelosi and Reid do everything they can to block US nuclear development and oil drilling?

Wait - did I say that was a 'positive' note? I think it's more one hell of a note - and pretty damn negative!

You forgot mortgage rates a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You forgot mortgage rates at 20% for a 30 year fixed. A return to that would be great for the housing market.

For better or for worse, ji... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

For better or for worse, jim m, liberals do not bring assault rifles to a public forum where an elected official is speaking.

Does Soros wear an eye patc... (Below threshold)
RScott:

Does Soros wear an eye patch and keep a parrot?

"In the first quarter, r... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 6.4 percent" - Bureau of Economic Analysis press release July 31, 2009."

The first quarter ended 5 months ago. The economy is no longer contracting.

Vic

Hyper-I understand... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper-

I understand the point that the open carry people are trying to make, but their choice of venue leaves something to be desired.

Liberals don't need guns when they have SEIU thugs to protect them.

The first quarter ended ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The first quarter ended 5 months ago. The economy is no longer contracting.

Vic


The U.S Commerce Department reported Friday (7/31/09) that the economy contracted by 1% in the second quarter.

Yes it was better than the 1.7% estimate, but it is still contracting.


Look up your facts first. Google works. Perhaps someone could give you a tutorial.

jim m, Vic is an Obamabot, ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

jim m, Vic is an Obamabot, he just repeats what Axelrod tells him. Saves time on doing any actual thinking or research on your own. Ever notice all he says is a regurgitation of DNC talking points?

I know but it's fun to corr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I know but it's fun to correct him.

#26: hahahajim, I ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

#26: hahaha

jim, I have a problem with bullies trying to intimidate people into not expressing themselves. However, carrying an assault rifle to a public town hall event--or anywhere for that matter--makes you look like a fucking lunatic, whereas SEIU goons just look like bullies.

On the Daily Show last night, Wyatt Senac (sp?) made an excellent point. He was standing in an empty voting booth, yelling about how he would never let John Stewart and the other Constitution haters deny him his 15th Amendment rights. Stewart pointed out that nobody seemed to be voting at that polling station, which just made Senac all the more apoplectic.

It's an obvious reductio ad absurdum of people citing the 2nd Amendment in order to carry guns with them to places where it is obviously inappropriate to do so.

Hyper - I'm not disagreeing... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper - I'm not disagreeing with you on this one. I think it is horribly counter productive to both their 2nd amendment position as well as there position regarding health care or whatever other policy they are protesting.

Even if legal it is perceived as inappropriate.

Hyper:PLEASE, "assau... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hyper:
PLEASE, "assault rifle", at least call it what it is; a semi-automatic rifle. FYI: an "assault rifle" is capable of both 'automatic' and 'semi-automatic' fire.

Everything that is colored black and has a magazine is considered an "assault rifle" by the ignorant masses of the effete intellectual MSM.

Oh, and like jim m; legal o... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Oh, and like jim m; legal or not, carrying any weapon in an area where the president is to appear is just plain stupid. One passing car backfires and you'll be dead before the local cops or Secret Service can say "Ooops!"

I didn't think you were dis... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I didn't think you were disagreeing, jim--I was only supporting our mutual position by stealing a clever analogy from TDS.

GarandFan-Agreed. I... (Below threshold)
jim m:

GarandFan-
Agreed. If the point of carrying a weapon is to make yourself safer, then open carry into a situation where you could make yourself the target of the Secret Service is contrary to the whole purpose.

RE # 30:Do you thi... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

RE # 30:

Do you think Axelrod reads Wizbang and then tells Vic how to critique Hugh's articles? Talk about voices in one's head!

Again, Vic's point, and mine, was that Hugh's article misrepresented what Buffett had to say. Typical for Hugh. "Here's what the guy said. But this is what he meeeaans!"

Bruce -Vic's comme... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Bruce -

Vic's commentary has been getting much less um... 'reality oriented' and considerably lamer lately, almost as if he's trying to wing it without a teleprompter. I expect he'll disappear within a couple more weeks at most.

Of course, any more it seems like the DNC and Obama's trying to wing it without a script or teleprompter either. And the conflicting messages - "I'm dedicated to a public option - I won't push for a public option - I'll call it something else and hope like hell you don't notice it's really a public option - I'll dump what I'll say ISN'T a public option, never mind the shape and size and cost of it would be the same as a public option, and as for health care rationing - it's not rationing, it's simply allocation of resources for maximum effect..." - seems to me like Obama's trying ANYTHING he can to get some sort of traction - but he's been so slick for so long that there's no real way he can get a grip on the issues any more.

He's like a set of bald tires in the rain - unless he's VERY slow and VERY careful, there's going to be one god-awful wreck - and some would argue we're already sliding into one hell of a fender-bender.

Watch out, Mr Lawson. You m... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Watch out, Mr Lawson. You might strain your metaphor muscle.

It's better than being Pres... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

It's better than being President, Bruce. The poor sap's been told for so long he's wonderful and talented and amazing, and has surrounded himself with syncophants fixated on pushing him to the Presidentcy, that he's got no clue or experience on how to actually BE President. He can't continually campaign for the next few years - sooner or later he's going to have to both lead and listen to the public.

Right now, he doesn't know how to effectively lead, and his listening ability is through very selective filters in his organization. The town halls have (I think) come as a hell of a shock - we weren't supposed to disagree with what our elected aristocracy have planned for us!

Wow, it appears that infere... (Below threshold)
epador:

Wow, it appears that inference is not acceptable to liberals. How strange. I thought they liked pretending to use intelligence.

Go Hugh.

Poor Jim just can't get his... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Poor Jim just can't get his head out of ...the past:

Vic: "Inflation is the next threat to our economy, it always is a threat to an expanding economy..."

Jim: "In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 6.4 percent" - Bureau of Economic Analysis press release July 31, 2009."

That's very nice Jim, we're impressed with your ability to Google historical facts - but that doesn't speak of the present economy and the future threats to our economy, so...

Vic: "The first quarter ended 5 months ago. The economy is no longer contracting."

Jim: "The U.S Commerce Department reported Friday (7/31/09) that the economy contracted by 1% in the second quarter."

Nice googling there, jim. You really are impressive. Remind me to check with you the next time I need to google a recipe for cookies, but my comment was that we're in an expanding an economy, and you keep raising the fact that the economy wasn't expanding earlier this year.

I speak of the present and Jim keeps bringing up the past.

The second quarter ended two months ago. The economy is now expanding.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month said the economy will grow at an average 2.1 percent pace in the second half of this year after contracting over the previous 12 months.

Maybe you could cite the GDP growth in the Carter/Reagan years, Jim. I'm sure you can Google that.

It wouldn't be relevant, but the rabid moron trolls who spend all day on this blog can't tell the difference anyway.

But apparently you can't wrap your mind around the fact the economy is no longer contracting.

Vic

PS: I haven't read all of the comments since last night -- did HughS declare any more of his positions were "Strawman Arguments"?

I am confused a bit. Jim qu... (Below threshold)
Rich:

I am confused a bit. Jim quotes the USCD facts and Vic quotes a guesstimate by some surveyed economists on the future. They both claim the other is a moron. Maybe I need more coffee.

"I am confused a bit. Ji... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"I am confused a bit. Jim quotes the USCD facts and Vic quotes a guesstimate by some surveyed economists on the future.

On the subject of future threats to the economy jim quotes historical statisics and Vic quotes present day economic reality.

If that's beyond your comprehension coffee won't help.... but if you need to know how to make coffee I'm sure Jim can google that for you.

Vic

On a related note -<b... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

On a related note -

NY dealers pull out of clunkers program

Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.

The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They're also worried about getting repaid.
Doesn't it really, really make you want to let them take over health care?

Think about it - Cash for Clunkers is about the SIMPLEST thing the government could do. Dealer takes in a car on the list, dealer is paid to destroy the engine so it can't be resold, and then pay a rebate to the buyer. Then the dealer provides proof - and the government pays the dealer.

And they can't even get THAT right. What rational chance to they have with health care?

correction - "What rational... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

correction - "What rational chance DO they have with health care?"

Hyperliar:"For bette... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Hyperliar:
"For better or for worse, jim m, liberals do not bring assault rifles to a public forum where an elected official is speaking."

From Newsbusters:
" But the media reaction was markedly different nine years ago when a group of Black Panthers marched on the Texas Republican Party's state convention on June 2000 brandishing AK-47s. Indeed, that incident itself was chalked up as then-Gov. Bush's fault by none other than then-MSNBC "Equal Time" co-host Paul Begala. "

Pwned.
(I know. Maybe he was not lying and was just mistaken; I just wanted to act like the trolls here. har-de-har.)

Garand, I could give a shit... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Garand, I could give a shit whether it's automatic or not. Point is, it's a big-ass gun, it's designed to kill people, and only an incredibly stupid person would walk around in public wearing one--especially at a forum like that.

Actually, the White House c... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Actually, the White House claims they don't have a problem with guns at these events:

" Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said people are entitled to carry weapons outside such events if local laws allow it. "There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally," he said. "Those laws don't change when the president comes to your state or locality." "

I would not choose to open carry at these events; but if you have a problem with guns at these events, take it up with Obama's White House.

Everyone here does realize ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Everyone here does realize that semi-automatic (as that AR-15 is) is the same as most pistols in that it automatically loads ONE bullet into the chamber after firing ONE bullet right?

The military/law enforcement varient M16 or M4 is milled differently and has setting for burst (3 at a time) or full automatic (squeeze and spray).

An AR-15 is no more an Assault Rifle than you grandaddy's old hunting rifle. It is more like a long barreled pistol which improves accuracy at the cost of concealability as well as being light weight in comparison to other traditional rifles.

I handed mine to a screaming liberal friend of mine and told him to shoot it at a target. It surprised the hell out of him that it only fired one bullet.

Big and Black does not make it evil.

That said, i wholeheartedly agree with others on here. Taking a gun, any gun, to where a politician; especially the President, is going to be speaking is just plain stupid.

Taking something that looks like an M-16 to said place is suicidal and actually hurts your 2nd amendment argument more than it helps.

That said, he had every right to do it.

Congrats Vic - you managed ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Congrats Vic - you managed to avoid the whole point of my posts (no surprise there).

You claimed that

"The current threat of inflation is almost non-existent because unemployment is so high that higher wages and wage inflation - which drives price inflation - is going to keep a lid on inflation overall.

Inflation is the next threat to our economy, it always is a threat to an expanding economy"

Which I addressed specifically, with data, showing that inflation is not tied to unemployment rates.

I next addressed the issue as to whether the economy was expanding. I cited the first quarter stats. You said that they were too old. I cited the second quarter stats. You now say the economists are predicting...

Indeed inflation is a concern in a rapidly expanding economy. 2.1% would not be considered rapidly expanding since it is considerably below the long term average of 3.4%.

And I didn't even have to google that one since I actually know something of what I talk about Vic. I suggested that you use it since you clearly do not.

Hyper, you keep belaboring ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Hyper, you keep belaboring the point that some idiot went to a speech/protest with a gun. Sorry ... make that a "big-ass gun".

Why?

We know. It was a bad idea. Legal, but a bad idea. You made it a point to say that liberals don't do such things, so is this your way of broad brushing the right in a roundabout fashion? If we heartily support the second amendment does this make us guilty by association? Or are we somehow responsible? Do assault night sticks count?

What's your point?

Les: so the Black Panthers ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Les: so the Black Panthers are 'liberals' now?

Not everyone who passionately despises the GOP is a liberal.

Russ, what's the point of an AR-15? Why would anyone buy a gun that is obviously made to resemble a military assault rifle? If you want to kill an animal with a rifle--or shoot a target, or just hang it on your wall and stare at it as though it's interesting--why buy something that looks like a life-sized GI Joe accessory? Why even make a gun that looks like that?

Why make one that looks lik... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Why make one that looks like that?

Freedom of choice, man - plus, they're relatively inexpensive. Have you checked the prices for custom 'art' rifles? Egads!

Plus, a lot of people buy them kind of as mementos - they trained on them in the military, they're familiar with them - and they don't wear out easily, so they can pass them on to the kids.

I've got a couple of .303 Enfield bolt-action rifles myself, haven't shot them in 10 years or more... but when I was in the Reserves I was seriously eyeing an AR-15, since our air maintenance wing was in rotation for deployment and I wanted to be able to practice with something like what I'd be deployed with.

(Never did buy it, btw.)</p... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

(Never did buy it, btw.)

Hyper -

At the end of the day, rifles are simply tools. They have no intelligence, they have no motives, they have no malign intent, no matter how they're tricked out or whether they're painted black, pink with purple polka dots, or day-glo orange.

Go into any builder's supply store like Home Depot or Lowes, or the Canadian equivalent. Take a look at their selection of hammers. Take a look at their selection of saws, of wrenches. Each has a particular purpose - and it's up to the user to decide what fits their purpose best.

It's also the responsibility of the user to use the thing safely. And you won't find many responsible gun owners that DON'T emphasize safe handling.

Yeah Hugh, I remember it al... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Yeah Hugh, I remember it all too well. Remember "Stagflation"?

This will be Jimmah Cartah' on steroids.

The good news (at for last Carter) is he can shake off the mantle of being labeled: "Worst President"

JL, I'm not anti-gun ful... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

JL, I'm not anti-gun full-stop. I do believe that 2nd Amendment ought to be abridged in numerous ways that align with a common sense worldview, and I do find the rate of gun violence in the United States to be appalling for a free first-world country. That said, I have no problem with people shooting non-endangered/protected animals or targets, or owning firearms for self-defence, and I'm sure that if I had been in the military, I too would really enjoy brushing up on my firearms skills at a range. My dad has a stash of hunting weapons that he will likely never use again, but has no intention of selling them, and there's nothing wrong with having them so long as they're properly maintained (and trigger locked--Canadian law).

This specific gun, though--AR-15--does not need to be made to look like an M-16. That's my only point. The gun could be designed to look a lot different while maintaining all of its functionality. That Colt is allowed to manufacture a civilian weapon that so obviously resembles a military one is not really a great reason to do so.

We do have Home Depot, Lowes, and Rona, but we also have Canadian Tire--one-stop shopping for renovations supplies, tools, automotive accessories and repairs, as well as firearms. You get 1% or 2% of your purchase given back to you in Canadian Tire "money", redeemable only at Canadian Tire stores. Funny stuff.

"I do believe that 2nd A... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I do believe that 2nd Amendment ought to be abridged in numerous ways that align with a common sense worldview, and I do find the rate of gun violence in the United States to be appalling for a free first-world country."

Well, the problem there is defining 'common sense'. Somehow, I think you and I would disagree on 'common sense' provisions. I'm all for letting folks own whatever firearms they want - but if they use them inappropriately, then the full weight of the law should come down on them like a ton of bricks. Own a .50 cal rifle? No problem! (They are rather pricy to keep fed, though.)

USE it to kill someone while committing a crime or damage property that isn't yours? BIG problem. At that point, you ain't got no sympathy or respect from me.

And I agree that our rate of gun violence is a bit high - but have you noticed that the worst places are where there is pretty much NO legal right for people to own firearms? Or that our massacres occur in 'gun free zones' like schools? The more laws AGAINST guns, the worse the problem.

I submit that laws regarding firearms are only paid attention to by those inclined to be law-abiding in the first place. Where it is legal to carry concealed, oddly enough the gun crime rates go down.

Responsibility is key. Teach that - and you won't have a problem. The trouble comes when you drench a culture with the idea that the individual has no responsibility for their own actions or behaviors.

"This specific gun, though--AR-15--does not need to be made to look like an M-16."

Um. Okay... I realize we've got differing opinions on things here, but when it comes to firearms, LOOKS aren't important - FUNCTION is. Nobody was ever killed by the way a rifle looked. You could take an M-16, paint it pink, put "Hello Kitty" stickers on it - and it wouldn't change one bit how it works.

(Oh, man, I shouldn't have googled that.)

I guess I just don't see what the problem is - there's no such thing as an 'evil-looking' gun. And there's a significant operational difference between an M-16 and an AR-15 - but looks just don't figure into it. Sorry...

"This specific gun, though-... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"This specific gun, though--AR-15--does not need to be made to look like an M-16. That's my only point."

Hyper - The AR15 IS an M16. It is the predicate weapon for the M16. M16 is simply the military's designation for the rifle.

So, in a sense, it does not need to be made to look like an M16 because it already IS one.

I did like the hello kitty model. Do they make one in Pokemon for my son?

I should add that the milit... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I should add that the military has improved and modified upon the original design of the AR15 since they adopted the M16 in 1964, but it still looks pretty much the same.

I dunno.. holding a weapon ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I dunno.. holding a weapon designed for killing human beings might change someone's mindset, vs. holding a weapon that looks like it's designed for killing deer. But you're right, paint them however you want and they are still just tools to be used.

I would submit, however, that a gun-free zone as large and densely populated as Japan, with all of its organized crime, has precious little gun crime (and homicide in general). I know that gun advocates are generally law-abiding people, and that most gun crimes are committed by people who would carry even if illegal... so what, then? We concede that certain cultural differences necessarily imply a higher homicide rate for the world's largest developed democracy? That's a pretty shitty conclusion to have to draw, isn't it?

Hyper -Cultural di... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyper -

Cultural differences are rather important, I think you'd agree. The norms of Japanese culture certainly aren't the same as in the US, for one thing I believe there's nowhere near as much 'diversity' as here in the US.

And guns aren't a significant factor as far as culture goes, or else the Swiss would be the most violent people on Earth. Instead, the emphasis is on the gun owner to be responsible with his weapons.

We have worked hard to create a culture here in the US where responsibility is pretty much optional. There's always an excuse, or someone to excuse you. We've got the best lawyers in the world, who'll make sure that your responsibility for any crime will be minimized. Is it so surprising that there's folks who will take advantage of that?

I want to see criminals held responsible for their crimes. If a firearm is used, we've already got laws increasing the sentence. What we don't have, in areas, is a culture where it's considered pretty damn stupid to do the crime in the first place. (It's not terribly surprising that most of our gun crime is gang-on-gang violence, as they try to protect their turf. Or stupid kids trying to emulate the 'thug life' they've listened about and watched music videos about for years.)

I don't know what the answer is, really. But I think we can take a lesson from Prohibition, and the cities where they've banned guns only to watch their crime rates rise, while other cities who've allowed concealed carry have seen theirs drop.

Jim M -There's a n... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jim M -

There's a number of gunsmiths that do custom paint jobs. And "Duracoat" has finishes up to and including Harley Davidson Orange, Barney Purple, John Deere Yellow and Green...

Good lord. Barney Friggin' Purple.

The things you find on the internet...

" We concede that certain c... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" We concede that certain cultural differences necessarily imply a higher homicide rate for the world's largest developed democracy? "

Sad, but probably true.

Japan-few guns, few gun crimes
Switzerland-lotsa guns, few gun crimes

I think places with higher cultural homogeny have less cultural problems, including violent crime.

hyperbolist (#58) said: </p... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

hyperbolist (#58) said:

I do believe that 2nd Amendment ought to be abridged in numerous ways that align with a common sense worldview

There's a way to do that, you know. It's spelled out in the Constitution. Have at it and good luck. I may even be on your side in that argument.

But, until you "fix" the 2nd Amendment, it says what it says. There's no "common sense worldview" exception in the Constitution. We're either a society of law or we're not, and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.




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