Being wrong is never a discouragement to the left! They just double-down.

Law enforcement should automatically believe rape claims, to the point that they are seriously investigated. But what the left want is for rape claims to be automatically believed to the point at which the accused are punished, financially and societally, without regard to investigation or proof. The law must hold that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, but the left want the accused to be guilty until proven innocent . . . and even then be punished. From The Washington Post:

No matter what Jackie said, we should generally believe rape claims
Incredulity hurts victims more than it hurts wrongly-accused perps.
By Zerlina Maxwell1 | December 6, 2014

In last month’s deep and damning Rolling Stone report about sexual assault at the University of Virginia, a reporter told the story of “Jackie,” who said she was gang raped at a fraternity party and then essentially ignored by the administration. It helped dramatize what happens when the claims of victims are not taken seriously.

Now the narrative appears to be falling apart: Her rapist wasn’t in the frat that she says he was a member of; the house held no party on the night of the assault; and other details are wobbly. Many people (not least U-Va. administrators) will be tempted to see this as a reminder that officials, reporters and the general public should hear both sides of the story and collect all the evidence before coming to a conclusion in rape cases. This is what we mean in America when we say someone is “innocent until proven guilty.” After all, look what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.

In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; it’s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.

The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching his shows, consuming his books or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.

More at the link.

Well, what about the Duke Lacrosse case? After more than a year, the three accused players were declared not only not guilty, but completely innocent by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the rogue prosecutor, Mike Nifong was disbarred. But the three accused players had their lives ruined, and were out hundreds of thousands in legal bills,2 had their educations disrupted, and know one can even know what career damage they suffered. The Duke lacrosse team coach was forced to resign, and the Athletic Director resigned two years later. I wrote about the case here, referencing an article by Jill of Feministe. If you read through the hundreds of comments, you’ll find that the majority are convinced, as Jill was, that maybe the three men who were accused didn’t rape Crystal Mangum, but that “something” must have happened there. A fine gentleman named Tony wrote:

She was raped, the DA screwed the case, the white boys had good lawyers and they got off.

End of story.

Yes, Tony is an idiot, but there are a lot of idiots out here, and I’d guess that there are still people out there who think that the Duke lacrosse players did something wrong.

And, from the limited evidence we have, I can’t say that I am impressed by the intelligence of Zerlina Maxwell, either. She is an attorney, yet she has just advocated that real harm — albeit not physical harm — come to those who are accused of rape, regardless of whether they have actually raped anyone. Why? Because “the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist.” Yet, her prescription would assign real costs to people who have done nothing wrong!

Rape is a crime which is treated very differently in this country: almost no media, including the professional media and independent blogs, The First Street Journal among them, will keep the name of a woman who has claimed to have been raped confidential.3 The reason is clear: real reputational harm has come to victims before.

An obvious, if partial, solution is to keep the names of those accused of rape confidential as well, until the legal system has had the opportunity to work through the case. The real problem with “Jackie’s” story, and the Duke lacrosse case, and the Tawana Brawley case,4 is that the left have politicized these cases, using the allegations to push for regulations and laws attempting all sorts of silly changes. Our good friend Amanda Marcotte set up the straw man:

 

Amanda Marcotte’s original post, before she scrubbed it.

No, not at all. What it does mean is that not every rape allegation is true . . . as Miss Marcotte ought to know very well from her jumping in on the Duke lacrosse case. But, rather than admit that this was yet another case of the left trying to take political advantage of a story that isn’t true, she doubled down.

It should be considered an axiom: the more the left sensationalize a case or an event, the less likely it is that the story is true. If Rolling Stone and its silly reporter had tried to be actual journalists, and checked out the story before publishing it, it would never have been published, and there would have been little harm done. Instead, people like Miss Marcotte have actually hurt the people they claim to want to help: women who really have been assaulted. Miss Maxwell claimed that an attitude of incredulity toward rape claims harms rape victims, a point with which I agree, but it is precisely the politicization of unproven claims, claims which turned out to be false, which foster incredulity.

Not that that matters, of course; the important point is to make the political case, and if some no name, male or female, happens to get hurt, well that’s progress — and progressives! — for you. After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs!
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Related Articles:

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  1. Zerlina Maxwell is a political analyst, speaker, lawyer, and writer. She typically writes about national politics and cultural issues including domestic violence, sexual assault, and gender inequality.
  2. Each received a $20 million settlement from Duke University.
  3. However, The First Street Journal will publish the name of someone who makes a false accusation of rape, as Crystal Gail Mangum did in the Duke lacrosse case.
  4. Pushed by the despicable Al Sharpton

Heck, this could have been an ad for Bill Cassidy!

From Jazz Shaw on Hot Air:

Landrieu supporters papering town with threats of losing government benefits
Posted at 2:35 PM on December 6, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

You have to say one thing for Mary Landrieu. She told everyone that she wouldn’t be going down without a fight, and she’s living up to her word. In the closing hours of the election, Landrieu supporters have been busy bees indeed. One report coming in to Hot Air indicates that a very specific threat has been going around to anyone in several low income communities as to what will happen if they don’t get out there and vote for the incumbent Senator. The following flyer was picked up by an activist on the scene and submitted to the Black Conservative Fund.

As you can see, they are targeting a very select audience. The flyers were seen all over on the north side of Lafayette, Louisiana and were being handed out on street corners and in churches. People were pushing them into the windows of drivers and placing them on parked cars.

The language is pretty clear. If you qualify for public housing under Section 8, SNAP, WIC assistance or even Social Security (!) and Mary Landrieu is not reelected, all of these things will be taken away. And who takes credit for it on the document? A concerned citizen.

A little more at the link. But, I’d have to say, for most working people, a flyer like that would be incentive to vote against Senator Landrieu!

But Mrs Landrieu was so far behind anyway that she and her minions were throwing Hail Mary passes at every opportunity. Fortunately, none of them worked!

Rule 5 Blogging: United States Air Force

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Gisele Bundchen in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week: women serving in the United States Air Force. Click any photo to enlarge.

An older uniform

An older uniform

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: United States Air Force’ »

Yes, it was expected. . .

. . . but it’s still great news! From The Wall Street Journal:

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Ousted in Louisiana Election by Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy
Landrieu’s Loss Gives Republicans 54 Senate Seats Next Year
By Reid J. Epstein | Updated Dec. 6, 2014 10:24 p.m. ET

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu , burdened by ties to an unpopular president, lost her bid for a fourth term on Saturday to Republican Bill Cassidy.

With 97% of precincts reporting, the Associated Press projected that Mr. Cassidy, a physician and three-term House member, would win the state’s runoff election. Mr. Cassidy had 57% of the vote to 43% for Ms. Landrieu.

The outcome means that Republicans emerge from this year’s midterm elections with nine additional Senate seats and will hold a 54-46 majority when lawmakers are sworn in next year. Among its victories, the GOP swept five Democratic senators from office.

Ms. Landrieu’s defeat was widely expected after she drew only 42% in balloting in November, with several Republican rivals winning a combined 56%. The runoff was triggered because no candidate carried a majority.

Democratic groups abandoned Ms. Landrieu during the runoff campaign, leaving her without backup as Republican groups blanketed the state’s airwaves in support of Mr. Cassidy.

More at the original.

Republican candidates, as expected, also won two Louisiana runoff races for the 5th and 6th District congressional races, making the final numbers a 54 to 46 Republican advantage in the Senate, and a 247 to 188 Republican advantage in the House of Representatives.

From Around the Blogroll

It was a tough game last night:

Willie Cauley-Stein scores 21 to key No. 1 UK’s win vs. No. 6 Texas

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Willie Cauley-Stein was determined to make an impact no matter which Kentucky platoon he played on against No. 6 Texas.

The Wildcats’ 7-foot junior succeeded by making the Longhorns feel his presence all night.

Cauley-Stein had a career-high 21 points and made several defensive plays to key Kentucky’s 18-2 run to open the second half, helping the top-ranked Wildcats beat Texas 63-51 on Friday night in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Normally playing on the first of Kentucky’s two talented platoons, Cauley-Stein began alongside fellow 7-footer Dakari Johnson and 6-10 Trey Lyles on the second squad, and the big trio sparked the Wildcats’ game-changing 8-minute sequence after a 26-all halftime tie.

They combined for the spurt’s first 10 points before Cauley-Stein’s tip-in provided a 44-28 lead with 11:20 remaining. That gave Kentucky (8-0) the cushion to hold off the stubborn Longhorns (7-1), who regrouped to close to 56-51 with 1:44 left before Cauley-Stein added a free throw and a dunk.

Your Editor was yelling at the television last night; I think it helped! And now, on to the blogroll!

  • Nina Bookout on the Victory Girls: Rolling Stone Retracts UVA Rape Story The feminist left have been using a Rolling Stone article A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA for political gain, trying to get regulations and laws passed which would criminalize normal interactions between men and women on college campuses. Well, it turns out that By Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the article author, didn’t check out her story, and the editors of Rolling Stone didn’t confirm anything:

    TO OUR READERS:

    Last month, Rolling Stone published a story titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, which described a brutal gang rape of a woman named Jackie at a University of Virginia fraternity house; the university’s failure to respond to this alleged assault – and the school’s troubling history of indifference to many other instances of alleged sexual assaults. The story generated worldwide headlines and much soul-searching at UVA. University president Teresa Sullivan promised a full investigation and also to examine the way the school responds to sexual assault allegations.

    Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone’s editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie’s credibility. Her friends and rape activists on campus strongly supported Jackie’s account. She had spoken of the assault in campus forums. We reached out to both the local branch and the national leadership of the fraternity where Jackie said she was attacked. They responded that they couldn’t confirm or deny her story but had concerns about the evidence.

    In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

    Will Dana
    Managing Editor

    As you have doubtlessly guessed, the Usual Suspects, Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, doubled down on the rape story.

  • Darleen Click on Protein Wisdom: Teach women not to lie about rape: Rolling Stone walks back UVA rape story I wonder how much real rape victims have been hurt by this hoax; how many will think that, heck, they’ll never be believed, so why go through the pain of reporting it?
  • Donald Douglas on American Power: On the Way Out, Mary Landrieu’s Fighting Dirty, Peddling Lies and Racial Animosity Today is the Louisiana run-off election, and the polls have Bill Cassidy with a 20-point edge on Senator Landrieu. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee pulled their money out of the election weeks ago, so Senator Landrieu is pretty much on her own, but I wouldn’t count her out until the votes have actually been cast and counted. The GOP cut back on its spending as well, but that was more because they are so confident of victory that they don’t see the need to spend so much.
  • Robert Stacey Stacy McCain on The Other McCain: Democrats Implode in Louisiana
  • John Hitchcock on Truth Before Dishonor: WaPost’s Wesley Lowery gets nuked while defending MSM coverage of Dem rapist The professional media, biased? Say it isn’t so!
  • Karen, the Lonely Connservative, asks: Do We Need a Third Party? and suggests that Republicans Should Not Extend State Of The Union Invitation To Obama. As tempting as that idea is, I think that it would be counter-productive.
  • Hube on The Colossus of Rhodey: “Michael Sam: I’m not in the NFL because I’m gay.” It’s not as though Mr Sam wasn’t drafted, and it’s not as though two different teams didn’t give him a chance. His problem is that he didn’t make the cut, so now he’s going to whine about it.
  • William Teach on the Pirate’s Cove: Has Obama’s Police Body Camera Policy Taken A Hit?
  • The much better looking Dana on Patterico’s Pontifications: That UVA Rape Claim: An Apology And Vindication
  • William Jacobson on Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion: Anti-Israel groups now exploiting Eric Garner death, too

Limping toward death

Via Donald Douglas, I learned of the struggle of The New Republic to survive:

Shakeup at The New Republic: Foer, Wieseltier out; mag moves to N.Y.
By Dylan Byers | 12/4/14 2:59 PM EST

Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, the top two editors at The New Republic, quit on Thursday amid a shakeup that will relocate the Washington-based magazine to New York City, sources there told POLITICO on Thursday.

Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who previously served at The Atlantic Wire, has been tapped to replace Foer as editor. The magazine will also reduce its print schedule to 10 issues a year, down from 20.

The news of Foer’s departure was first confirmed by Foer, the editor, in a memo to staff in which he cited differences of vision with owner Chris Hughes and chief executive Guy Vidra. Vidra later sent a memo to staff confirming Foer and Wieseltier’s departure, as well as the staff reductions and New York relocation.

“As you’ve heard, Frank Foer is leaving the company. We are excited to announce that Gabriel Snyder will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief. In addition, Leon Wieseltier will be moving on,” Vidra wrote in his memo.

“As we restructure The New Republic, we will be making significant investments in creating a more effective and efficient newsroom as well as improved products across all platforms,” Vidra wrote. “This will require a recalibration of our resources in order to deliver the best product possible. In order to do so, we’ve made the decision to reduce the frequency of our print publication from 20 to 10 issues a year and will be making improvements to the magazine itself.”

More at the link. And more of this article below the fold: Continue reading ‘Limping toward death’ »

Why Hillary Clinton must never, ever become President!

From The Weekly Standard:

Hillary: We Must Empathize With America’s Enemies
9:20 AM, Dec 4, 2014 • By Daniel Halper

At a speech yesterday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton made the case for empathizing with America’s enemies.

“This is what we call smart power,” Clinton said to a small audience at Georgetown. “Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change — change the prospects for peace.”

Should we have tried to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, Hideki Tojo? Should we have empathized with the perspective and point of view of Adolf Hitler? When ISIS beheads the next captive, as they have promised to do, should we be trying to understand their wants and needs and motives . . . or should we hunt them down and kill them?

This woman would like to be, thinks she just plain deserves to be, the next Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. She would, if the voters are so foolish to let her, become the Commander-in-Chief of the deadliest and most powerful fighting force on the earth, would have the sole responsibility for control and use of our nuclear arsenal, and would be responsible for defending our country against all enemies, and she thinks that we ought to empathize with them?

If he is still alive — there are reports that he was seriously wounded last month — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi must be smiling at the thought that Americans are so weak and so stupid as to actually consider Hillary Rodham Clinton as qualified to be President.

We told you so! Raising taxes has consequences that Democrats just don’t expect

The left are claiming that the Democrats took such a beating in the 2014 elections because evil white folks just despise our (half) black President. Well maybe, just maybe, there could be other reasons. From Forbes:

2014 Showed How Much Taxes Matter
By Patrick Gleason | November 6, 2014

Remember when the New York Times, Bloomberg, MSNBC, and everyone else said that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was going to lose reelection because he cut taxes too much? That was funny. Not only did that not happen, Republicans will soon occupy the governors’ mansions in deep blue states like Massachusetts, Illinois, and even Maryland thanks to Democrat tax hikes.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who was oddly endorsed by non-Illinois resident and Duke basketball coach Mike Kryzyzsewski, suffered a shocking loss to Republican opponent Bruce Rauner on Tuesday. How did Quinn lose in blue Illinois, home of President Obama? He enacted the largest tax increase in state history after assuming office in 2011, raising the personal income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent, and ratcheting up the corporate rate from 7 percent to 8.25 percent.

In Maryland, who will soon have a Republican governor in a state where Democrats have a 56 to 27 percent voter registration advantage over Republicans, Governor-elect Larry Hogan ran against the tax hiking, big spending ways of incumbent Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). During the eight years that O’Malley was governor, he signed into law 40 tax increases.

Gov. O’Malley wants to paint himself as a moderate, but in reality he’s such a liberal ideologue that he even raised taxes on rain. Yes, rain. O’Malley and his failed would-be successor subscribe to the “soak the rich” policy approach. That didn’t work out too well for Gov. O’Malley. Gov. O’Malley’s income tax increases reduced the job-creating capacity of thousands of Maryland small businesses who file under the individual income tax system. A year after Gov. O’Malley signed into law a “millionaires” tax hike, the roster of Maryland millionaires dropped by a third. O’Malley comically still sees himself as a presidential contender.

There’s a good deal more at the link.

In a comment on a previous thread, I noted this article from the Philadelphia Daily News:

Merchants say cigarette tax is a business-killer
By Solomon Leach & Regina Medina, Daily News Staff | Posted: November 10, 2014

The shelves of Ray Martinez’s West Philadelphia corner store are stocked full of unopened cigarette packs.

Martinez said he’s had trouble selling them since the city’s $2 cigarette tax to help public schools went into effect Oct. 1. Sales are down about 80 percent, he said, essentially killing the business.

“Right now we’re not making no money at the corner stores,” said Martinez, who owns Ray’s Food Market on Girard Avenue near 54th Street. “The stores right here in West Philly, we’re like three to five minutes away from City Line [Avenue] and Delaware County, and people, they’re going just across the street to get the cigarettes for $6 instead of getting them from us for $9.”

A pack of Newports that cost $6.35 six weeks ago in Martinez’s store is now $9.05. A carton is now almost $88, up from about $64.

“It’s really bad right now. We’re in real bad shape,” he said, adding that the decrease in cigarette sales has had a ripple effect on the rest of his business. He has let go of four employees in the past month. “Now it’s just me, my wife and my sister.”

Martinez isn’t alone. Other store owners and distributors in the city said they have seen a dramatic drop in revenue since the tax was added, causing them to wonder what the collateral damage will be on their livelihoods.

Hoagie noted:

To the economically ignorant leftist this is SOP. They don’t understand that when a person goes to the “corner store” for a pack of smokes he may also buy an ice cream, a bottle of ketchup, toilet paper or a bag of chips and a soda. So the tax on cigarettes becomes a reason not to buy the rest of these items and ultimately will ruin the business.

It’s not like we hadn’t known what would happen in advance:

As for the proposed, but as yet not approved, $2.00 per pack cigarette tax, your Editor really doesn’t care whether it is passed or not. The tax would be collected only in Philadelphia, meaning that city residents anywhere close to the county lines1 who buy cigarettes will simply cross into the suburban counties to buy their cancer sticks. At $2.00 a pack, or $20.00 a carton, the trip is economically worthwhile. The Editor does not live in Philadelphia, nor does he smoke, so the tax doesn’t affect his family or him in the slightest. And, quite frankly, it puts the onus for increased spending on Philadelphia schools on Philadelphia residents, where it ought to be. Of course, poorer people tend to smoke in greater percentages than do the well-to-do, so this new tax, if approved, will fall more heavily on poorer people, and Democrats, so it’s kind of humorous to see the Democrats urging it on. And if the tax reduces cigarette consumption in Philadelphia, the anticipated revenues will not be realized, and the school district will come back, begging for more money. With the Democrats, with the educational bureaucracy, that’s simply a given. It won’t actually help anything, but when has that ever stopped the left from wanting to spend more tax dollars?

One of the most basic concepts in economics, as in the first week coursework in Economics 101, is that economic actors are assumed to take decisions in their own best economic interest, that they will take decisions to maximize their own economic return. In actual practice, it isn’t so neat: many other things can go into economic decisions, including time, habit, personal likes and dislikes, and even which side of the street on which a business happens to be.1 But, other factors aside, economic self-interest is a pulling force which influences some economic decisions.

And that is why we have noted that states which seek to increase taxes, like California and Illinois, wind up losing corporations and people and jobs.  There are many other considerations, the most obvious being that a person might not have the economic mobility to move to a lower tax state and have the same income, or that an owner’s business is location specific, but, in the end, costs and benefits are part of the equation, and pull some people and companies to move.

What the 2014 election results indicate is that even in the solidly blue states, the voters want to see economic success, personal economic success, and just because they may be politically liberal doesn’t meant that all of them will continue to vote for policies which harm them economically.
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  1. Your Editor gets his breakfast at the bagel Bunch rather than Dunkin’ Donuts because the Bagel Bunch is on the right side of the road on the way to work, while Dunkin’ is on the left, which would require a left turn to get in, and another left turn, across traffic, to get out.

Different Take On the Staten Island “Choking”

Gentle Giant #2 had a record of 30 arrests. This arrest was for selling single cigarettes. It has not been said if the cigarettes were “Bootlegged” But consider if the cigerettes were bootlegged. Here’s the charts on state and city tax rates. http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/cigarette.pdf If these were bootlegged from Virginia where the state tax rate per pack is 30 cents as compared to New York of $4.85/ pack plus a $1.50 NYC Tax/ pack. So VA cigarettes are $0.015/ cigarette, NYC is $0.318/ cigarette. It is tax evasion and lucrative.

Economics 101: Government cannot really control the economy, but it can waste a lot trying!

From The Wall Street Journal:

Basic Costs Squeeze Families
Health Care, Cellphones Eat Up Income, Leaving Less for Things Like Movies, Clothes
By Ryan Knutson and Theo Francis | Updated Dec. 1, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET

Middle-income Americans’ spending on mobile phone service has soared, rising nearly 50% since 2007, the year the iPhone came out and data plans became more commonplace. (Bloomberg News)

The American middle class has absorbed a steep increase in the cost of health care and other necessities as incomes have stagnated over the past half decade, a squeeze that has forced families to cut back spending on everything from clothing to restaurants.

Health-care spending by middle-income Americans rose 24% between 2007 and 2013, driven by an even larger rise in the cost of buying health insurance, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of detailed consumer-spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That hit has been accompanied by increases in spending on other necessities, including food eaten at home, rent and education, as well as the soaring cost of staying connected digitally via cellphones and home Internet service.

With income growth sluggish, discretionary spending on things like clothing and movies, live shows and amusement parks has given way.

A lot more at the original.

But the basic information is pretty much what we knew intuitively: that family spending on necessities has crowded out some consumer spending on luxuries. Your Editor might quibble with the notion that the newest iPhone is a necessity,1 which changes the tenor of the Journal article: it’s less that people are spending a greater portion of their incomes on necessities than it is that some luxuries have crowded out others. However, health insurance is not a luxury, and its rising costs are part of the increase in the costs of necessities. Such costs were increasing before the wholly misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, but, despite the claims of the proponents, that legislation has not bent he cost curve downward.

This is at least part of what the scholarly economists of the Obama Administration missed with their overly rosy projections of what the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 would do: they failed to predict, with any sort of accuracy, the change in spending patterns of the American public. The experts took assumptions concerning how the American people would behave economically, and when those assumptions turned out wrong, everything they projected based on those assumptions turned out o be wrong as well. And it’s part of the reason that Keynesianism is failing: the notion that the government can control the billions of economic decisions taken by two hundred million economic actors, literally every day, is laughable on its face.

In the People’s Republic of China, with its (partial) command economy, has seen trillions of dollars simply wasted through its own Keynesian investments. The Economist published an article challenging the study’s methodology, but even that article did not claim that the money had not been wasted, but that, perhaps, the calculation that $6.8 trillion had been wasted was overblown, and some returns could be seen, in the future, at lessened investment efficiency. And if the Chinese, with all of the power of a tyrannical government, cannot get their investments right, cannot calculate how best to spend their money, there’s really no way that the American, or European Union, governments can be expecte dto ever get this stuff right, other than by sheer dumb luck. And dumb luck has been in short supply of late.

  1. I have only a ten-year-old style flip phone, in part because the work that I do would quickly destroy a smart phone. However, everyone else in the family (there are four of us) has a smart phone, and they can be useful; we fairly frequently use my wife’s smart phone to check bank balances and move money from interest-bearing savings accounts to checking before larger purchases.