Daily Archives: 06/10/2011

Peter Diamond, making us regret Republicans. Again.

Peter Diamond, for those of you who are not economists, is an brilliant economist by any measure. His nomination to the Fed was an excellent choice. But to my surprise, he was controversial.

Why? I don’t understand. At some point, somebody said to some Republican senators that Diamond has studied poverty and income constraints. Or somebody remarked that Diamond isn’t a jackbooted free market Chicago School guy, and so he must be unqualified. Yeah, because MIT gives out full professor positions to just any crank.

Whatever it was, Diamond says his goodbye in the New York Times and explains very well how the idiots running this country (elected by other people who see no value in education and, thus, have no idea what the Fed does or what qualifications would be helpful at the Fed) feel free to mouth the words “monetary policy” without actually understanding what “monetary policy” is.

Did Peter get a minor or a certificate in monetary policy? No? Well that must mean he KNOWS NOTHING.

I wonder if the Dems would strike at a Gary Becker nomination. I doubt it.

It brings to mind Jonathon Chait’s essay this week over at the New Republic, about how a loud, bullying, unreasonable subsection of the American right has taken over largely because their attitude is “screw negotiation, screw facts, screw reasonableness; what I want is the way God intended it and I will stop at nothing get my way”:

Remember when Democrats swept the 2006 elections, then stormed into Washington demanding national health care reform and the repeal of President Bush’s upper-bracket tax cuts as a condition for keeping the government open? Right, me neither. Yet somehow the Republicans, controlling just one house of Congress—unlike the two held by Democrats in 2007—have completely seized control of the political agenda.

As somebody who falls much farther to the free market side than most in my profession, the dogmatic right certainly doesn’t reflect my values in any real way. These are people who are willing to shoot down the nomination of an imminently qualified, brilliant man because he fails to fit their ideology, and I’m tired of it.

I honestly was thinking yesterday during my walk that it might actually better to get rid of the Fed entirely rather than let it become even more politicized. I don’t actually recommend that, but it was a worthy thought experiment for several blocks.

Consider, as well, the embarrassing state of our Supreme Court. Oh, we wouldn’t want those activist judges, now, would we? Giving out civil rights and what all.

I saw a tweet that made me laugh yesterday, from Rick Flora: “The Kardashians’ have now been on the air twice as long as ‘Arrested Development.’ THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, AMERICA.”

Bingo.

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