Monday, September 15, 2008

Why would someone want you to think the market is doing fine? The same reason "Doc" wants to play cards with you

The blogosphere is up in arms over the latest Donald Luskin moonshine, a Washington Post Op-Ed saying things aren't really so bad. A transparent tissue of boneheadedness, no need to repeat it . I have a piece on it, which begins::
The Man Who Cried “Sheep!”

Shorter Donald Luskin: “People think the economy is crashing, but it’s all Obama’s fault because he wants to make the Republicans look bad.”


Luskin trying to tell us that housing, mortgages, and the debt and financial markets are not a concern? Anyone would think so, reading this paragraph, but of course he can legitimately say it is still not as bad as the Great Depression.


[Luskin seems] to be saying at the moment that American’s fears are overblown, and I agree. Hah! You young ‘uns has it easy. America does not yet have large numbers of hobos riding the rails (a terrifying method of traveling by train which does not include being inside a box car). American seniors at the moment have both an income and health care -- unlike people who have not yet reached age 65. Rickets and scurvy and tuberculosis and worms aren’t as common as they were in the Great Depression, and almost everyone has indoor plumbing. Things aren’t THAT bad, not as bad as the Depression. And if things aren’t bad, that means they’re good, right?

Oh, and of course Luskin tells us “Full disclosure: I'm an adviser to John McCain's campaign…”
Luskin, according to some, is "The Stupidest Man Alive". My take on it?
No, not stupid. Writing stuff like this cannot be done by the dumb. Especially not over months or years.

He's a decent enough writer, but his stuff [correction: "this piece". I haven't read all his stuff. --NM] isn't factual, much less opinion -- it's advertising, or propaganda, "... the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."

In this case, the intent appears to be to keep the sheep quiet and productive while they climb the ramp. It's not stupid -- it's despicable.


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