16 thoughts on “Chez Basura

  1. If garbage can is your definition of a Chez Paris Café, you are too hungry to riot. Intended consequences, as usual.

  2. Nothing to do with Bernie. Bernie espouses economics that work – unlike right wing plans.

    Venezuela has a lot of problems unrelated to Bernie Sanders in any way.

    Not that you know much about economics in any form.

    Perhaps, this being national food insecurity month, you should focus on how badly right wing policies have addressed hunger here in the US, one of the many issues Bernie has been addressing and no Republican presidential or Senate candidates appear to be doing successfully.


    I’m going to do my part for nutrition and the state and local economy by checking in on the latest offerings at farmers markets. Some of the fruit and veg this time of year is not only fabulous and flavorful, but very cost effective. Some even have locally grown meat products that look promising.

    It’s a beautiful day; enjoy your weekend.

  3. DG,

    Nothing to do with Bernie. Bernie espouses economics that work

    Really? Where?

    Venezuela has a lot of problems unrelated to Bernie Sanders in any way.

    Um, yeah. Remember in that other post, when I pointed out your, er, inexpertise at satire?


    Not that you know much about economics in any form.

    Um, yeah. Again – show us where Sanders’ policies “work”. In this thread. As your next attempt to comment on this blog.

    We’ll see what you “know” about economics.

    Perhaps, this being national food insecurity month, you should focus…

    No, DG, I’ll focus on anything I damn well please. You have own blog, of sorts. Do your own focusing.

    on how badly right wing policies have addressed hunger here in the US,

    In a nation where 100 people are obese for every one that’s “hungry”, and fifty years of the “war on poverty” have literally spent enough to lift every impoverished American out of poverty (had we just given them the cash), which is a failure of left-wing policy, I’d say the burden of “focus” is on you.

    I always do enjoy my weekend. I’ll be visiting the farmers market and bringing in more tomatoes from the garden; it’s gonna be a saurkraut, pickles and tomato sauce canning weekend.

  4. It is not as easy to find nations built on socialist principles — most of them have suffered fatal economic collapse or were reformed by democratic political movements. There are still a few, however. Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela . . . I would suggest that any fans of socialism renounce their American citizenship and emigrate to one of these socialist paradises immediately.

  5. DG, Reality here is that Venezuela has been sitting on historically high oil prices for years, and is riding that all the way to the poorhouse. They have some of the world’s great pulpwood forests and are running short of TOILET PAPER. You can only do that when you’ve persuaded everyone else in the planet that their investments in your country are not safe.

    And having just looked at Bernie’s platform, and the invective it pours out, the main difference between Ortega-ism (Maduro-ism now I guess) and Sanders-ism is a matter of degree. It’s the slow train to Hell instead of the Highway, but the destination remains the same.

  6. Dog Gone with the unintentional self-referencing humor:

    “Not that you know much about economics in any form”

    Prove it to us one more time, Dog Gone!

  7. Mitch,

    Please tell me that you make your sauerkraut the old world way; just cabbage, salt and if you prefer, caraway seeds.

    Being a German kinda guy, I use my grandma Gertrude’s family recipe for ‘kraut and dill pickles. Adding vinegar is just a shortcut.

  8. A common mistake made by people on the Right and people on the Left is to believe that economics is a moral system. It is not, any more than composing music or stamp collecting is a moral system. On the Right there is much more diversity of thought on the pluses and minuses of economic efficiency, and the state’s role in promoting or discouraging economic efficiency, than there is on the Left. On the Left, you must believe that whatever is morally good produces favorable economic outcomes. Raising the minimum wage will cause an increase in employment, worker productivity and business profits, while reducing inequality and (I suppose) spousal abuse and greenhouse gas emissions.
    Two of Hillary Clinton’s economic advisers, Alan Krueger and Joseph Stiglitz, are in the ‘socialist policy makes for high economic growth’ camps. Krueger is usually called simply an economist, but he is a labor economist, a field many economists believe has the same relationship to economics that astrology has to astronomy. Labor economists want to judge the value that people put on things, while real economists merely want to measure it. Krueger was a Labor Department economist in the Clinton administration. Stiglitz is more of a social scientist than an economist. He wants to measure the success or failure of economic policy by how well it makes changes in society that he would like to see. So, if free market policies produce higher GDP growth than command economies, he wants to measure GDP in a way that shows the command economies are ‘better’ than free market economies.
    Both Krueger and Stiglitz believe that economies should be directed by elites to produce results the elites find desirable, rather than be directed by consumers trying to maximize value received in free exchanges of goods and services.

  9. You know, if you look up Krueger and Stiglitz on the interwebs, you will find that they are considered great economists. Both are highly credentialed, tenured professors, members of prestigious groups and committees, winners of elite prizes for their scholarship . . . but they are terrible at actual scholarship — making predictions, seeing the predictions come true, and explaining how they made these successful predictions. They are not scientists, they are more like literary critics.
    Krueger, for example, was one of the economists who designed Obama’s stimulus, and he failed at accurately predicting the results of Obama’s stimulus. Krueger was far too optimistic. The usual excuse from the Obama people is that the financial crisis was worse than they thought it was. This is a terrible, because it not only says that if the information available to the experts is less than perfect, they will not be able to predict the consequences of their policies, but that they cannot know if their knowledge is less than perfect when they design and execute their policies. Might as well pick policies at random.
    Krueger is famous for using unusual methodologies in his economic research. Supposedly he does this to capture the ‘real world’ result of policy changes (like minimum wage increases). The skeptic notices that the most notable feature of Krueger’s ‘unusual methodologies’ is that they cannot be reproduced, e.g. they are not science.
    Both Krueger and Stiglitz seem to have reached the top of their professions by telling political and cultural elites what they wanted to hear.

  10. You can see Stiglitz talk about econmics here:
    “Why capitalism is failing.”
    Stiglitz is not a dynamic speaker. He makes simple topics sound complicated. He can’t hold to a theme. He also does a bit of sleight of hand. He talks about the decline of the American middle class being due to capitalism, when he could just as easily talk about the rise of living standards world wide being due to capitalism.
    He also engages in what I would call obfuscation (rather than sleight of hand). He says that interest rates, in the long term, should be equal to overall economic growth. This may be true in the theoretical sense, but in reality it is rarely seen. You would think that in three millennia of recorded history, we would have seen a long term trend actually come true 🙂
    It is a little like the economic principle that profits will decline to zero (a “normal profit”) in the long term. In reality, no one wants to make 0% profit, so the dynamism in the economy is in areas where there are barriers to entry, so that a monopoly profit can be had (cost + ‘rent’).
    Stiglitz mentions the increase of land prices, but he seems to blame this on the wealthy buying up land in expensive locations. This is ridiculous, the long term rise in the cost of land is mostly due to ag land, not residential land in NY or the Riviera. The reason ag land is rising is because of the rise of the global middle class. They want to eat more than a bowl of rice or beans per day. Stiglitz can’t quite seem to say that the increase in the price of something is due to increased demand, without making value judgments about the quality of demand.

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