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Why I’m voting for Balderas

Mike Weber Goodenow

Mike Weber Goodenow

My fellow New Mexico Democrats, in this vital election, let us choose integrity over compromise.

The next U.S. senator from New Mexico will shape America’s destiny and can help transform our lives. Consider what’s possible: Primarily by investing in early childhood, K-12, and higher education as well as job training, we can share in new opportunities, in new prosperity, and in millions of new high-paying jobs. And we can balance the federal budget within six years.

But the closer we look the clearer it becomes: Here in New Mexico, only one Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate can meet the challenge of this moment in history. This candidate’s name? Hector Balderas.

Martin Heinrich ignores education. Hector Balderas understands that education is the number one factor in the economy, jobs, and wages. He will make education his top priority in the U.S. Senate and he offers us bold progress on education. This makes Balderas the better choice both on education and on job creation – the two foundational issues of our time.

The federal deficit that grew so much while Heather Wilson was voting in Congress has been vastly exceeded during Martin Heinrich’s tenure. Both his votes and his indifference must lead us to question his commitment to avoiding a Greek-style national bankruptcy. The Wilson-Heinrich deficit will not be reduced in the future by Ms. Wilson or Mr. Heinrich.

Hector Balderas offers us real progress on the federal deficit. Mr. Balderas is the best of our nation’s 50 state auditors. We can all admire his courage in saving New Mexico taxpayers millions of wasted dollars, rooting out fraud and embezzlement in our state and local governments, and ending corruption in our regional housing authorities. Clearly, a Senator Hector Balderas would be a national leader on federal fiscal discipline, accountability and deficit reduction.

Over the next six years, Congress will vote again and again on whether or not to pass the Republicans’ proposed massive benefit cuts – cuts that will really hurt people. Democrats cannot respond by proposing a $1-trillion-per-year tax increase. And yet Martin Heinrich offers neither leadership nor alternatives.

Democrats in Congress must actively work to cut the federal budget without benefit cuts that hurt people. It can be done, and no one in our country today is better prepared to meet this historic challenge than Hector Balderas. If we elect him to the U.S. Senate, Hector Balderas will help lead our nation on the right fiscal course.

Heinrich drowning in special-interest money

Equally important, we must in good conscience focus on the fact that one candidate in this campaign has taken no corporate political action committee money while the other has already accepted $400,000 in PAC money in this Senate race alone. We must consider the very real consequences of the difference between the two candidates on this basic moral level.


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Congressman Heinrich has not yet been pushed to answer what he has given away for the more than $1 million in special interest money he’s taken since 2007. In particular, Congressman Heinrich should tell us what he has promised Robert Raben, the K Street lobbyist who has given so much money to Mr. Heinrich that Raben is now openly called Heinrich’s financial “godfather.”

Mr. Raben lobbies for MasterCard. Are we to believe that Mr. Heinrich is independent of MasterCard after taking so much cash from Mr. Raben? What would Mr. Heinrich owe to the credit card companies and to Wall Street if elected? We have a right to know.

Even more fundamentally, why did Mr. Heinrich make the decision to raise and spend hundreds of thousands of special interest dollars against Mr. Balderas? What is the moral and ethical reasoning Mr. Heinrich applied as he decided to conduct this kind of campaign?

In my view, the independence and integrity many of us admired in Martin Heinrich four years ago have both been washed away. By his own choice Mr. Heinrich is now drowning in special interest money.

Mr. Heinrich’s Senate campaign is bankrolled by big law firms, by big casinos, and by Wall Street. He is now indebted and beholden to those special interests and to other special interests as well. Surely Mr. Heinrich will be part of the problem, not the solution, if he is elected to the U.S. Senate.

The choice

In sharp contrast, Hector Balderas offers himself to us with his independence and integrity 100 percent intact. His campaign is supported by individuals who care about the future of this country. He will be beholden only to the people of New Mexico. He can enter office free only to work for the people of this state, without any hidden agenda, and owing neither debts nor favors to special interests. We deserve no less in our next U.S. senator.

And so we face a simple choice in nominating a Democrat for U.S. Senate this year.

We can nominate an ineffective sophomore congressman or we can nominate our highly effective state auditor.

We can nominate a congressman with no clear vision for America’s educational and economic future or we can nominate a proven state executive who will advance education in a way that creates millions of high-paying new jobs.

We can nominate a congressman beholden to Wall Street and special interests or we can nominate a state cabinet officer who will be beholden only to us, the people of New Mexico.

We can nominate the adopted son of K Street or we can nominate a native son of the Pecos.

My fellow New Mexico Democrats, in this vital election, let us choose integrity over compromise. For the sake of America’s future, for the sake of our children’s opportunities, let us choose Hector Balderas, the courageous leader we can trust to stand up for us.

I truly believe that for the rest of the 2010s and throughout the 2020s and maybe beyond, Hector Balderas will become the U.S. Senate’s leading champion of education and job growth. Let us stand with Hector now and honor this fine leader by nominating him for the United States Senate.

Mike Weber Goodenow is former legislative and policy director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators and co-founder of the John F. Kennedy Policy Center. As of this date, Mike Weber Goodenow is not and never has been either an employee of or a volunteer in the Balderas campaign. Editor’s note: A prior version of this column incorrectly stated that Balderas “does not accept political action committee money,” when in fact Balderas has taken a few hundreds dollars from PACs – but, as the column now states, not from corporate PACs. Balderas has not made a pledge to reject any PAC contributions. The column has been corrected.

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41 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. ” … IF the government recognizes their spending is a temporary fix while the longer term health and vibrance of the economy rests solely with private enterprise and encourages same att the same time.”
     
    The economy sure was vibrant in the 1920 – 1931 period. Practically giddy with vibrancy. it’s a darn shame that things like government regulation of stock fraud (through the SEC) and insurance of banks (through the FDIC) slowed down those vibrant bank runs and stock scams.
     
    Similarly, the financial panic of 1873 sure was vibrant. (1)  That’s the sort of vibrancy you only get when we eliminate burdensome government regulation.
     
    Such things as the interstate highway system,  making the Mississippi navigable for barges, eliminating death from cholera, arranging for rural electrification, and the internet also show how government can’t promote the longer term health and vibrancy, that this rests SOLELY with private enterprise.
     
    “…we would have a BBB+ credit rating as a country today.”
     
    It’s worth noting that the US’s credit rating downgrade hasn’t actually affected anything. It’s as if nobody who buys US bonds gives a hoot about what Standard & Poor’s says. So I’m not sure why we should, either.  Of course, the economists whom you admire have been saying we’ll be seeing skyrocketing interest rates Real Soon Now, like maybe tomorrow. Of course, they’ve been saying that for three years and they haven’t been right yet. But I’m sure that in some decade in the future, we’ll see higher interest rates. On the fourth hand, Republican shenanigans such as the threat to shut down the government and default on debt that we saw last summer surely don’t help invester confidence, and may help trigger higher interest rates.
     
    “… then why hasn’t someone come up with a plan to do it?”
     
    well, there’s a bit of a problem. Here’s an instance:
     
    Obama $1 Trillion Tax Proposal Slams Into Republican Wall of Opposition
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-13/obama-embraces-individual-u-s-tax-code-rewrite-to-raise-revenue.html
     
    Despite that, Obama has introduced a plan whch would reduce the deficits to much more sustainable levels in perhaps 4 years (although there’s certainly a whole lot wrong with his plan and his past prformance):
     
    There is only one year in which deficits fall below $500 billion – 2017 – but after 2015, deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product fall to below 3 percent, a level that many economists consider sustainable. The fiscal 2011 deficit of $1.3 trillion amounted to 8.7 percent of GDP.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/16/us-usa-budget-cbo-idUSBRE82F0UL20120316

     
     
     
     
     
    (1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1873

  2. I agree, Mr. Goodenow, that government spending can help improve the economy in short term recessions, IF the government focused the spending on the proper sectors and projects and IF the government recognizes their spending is a temporary fix while the longer term health and vibrance of the economy rests solely with private enterprise and encourages same att the same time.  These “ifs” were not operative in the ObamaStimulus and if even more money were spent the same way with the same attitudes, we would have a BBB+ credit rating as a country today.  If what you say is true (balanced budget in 6 years), then why hasn’t someone come up with a plan to do it?  As you know, there are numerous ways to balance a budget, and since the White House and Congress hasn’t even passed a budget in over 1050 days, it will be impossible to do anything for the short term, especially since those numerous ways to balance have elements that are not acceptable to all parties and thus will not happen.  If you really think Balderas can make all this happen, I salute you for your optimism and faith, I really can’t buy it, especially since Balderas will not say the things you are saying about his differences with Heinrich in public.  If he doesn’t he will not be elected, his name, background, birthplace, and charm is just not enough running against a sitting, two term Congressman.  Balderas has to say something sometime about his positions and contrast them to Heinrich forcefully and in a robust fashion, or he is lost.

  3. I’m for a balanced budget, Dr. J, within 6 years at the longest and hopefully sooner.   I am for Balderas in part cuz I think he can help us get to a balanced budget in his first term while Maritn Heinrich will not do anything to help bring down the deficit.

    But I also believe that stimulus spending works in recessions.  I think if we had spent another $400 billion on infrastructure we’d have experienced a rapid recovery from the ’07-’09 Great Recession instead of a slow one.

    I think we should run $250 billion surpluses throughout the 2020s and through the 2070s and pay down the entire national debt by 2080.   And I think that infrastructure, other large public development projects, and a high-quality education system are vital to our economic progress.   

    We can do both.  Invest in the future AND balance the budget.         

      

  4. I wasn’t sure what it had to with Balderas and Heinrich.  But what the heck . . .
     
    I’m afraid I raised it because way long ago last fall, when Mr Balderas appeared at a DFNM meeting, I asked him what he’d do about jobs and I didn’t like his answer. I’ve been criticizing him for it ever since, including my first post in response to your column here. So I raised the whole acroeconomics thing, as part of my criticism of Mr Balderas’s postion; I was trying to explain WHY I don’t like his posiiton.
     
    I keep raisng it because I think that, second only to global warming, jobs and the economy is the most important issue facing us. So I keep raising it, and keep arguing for the position I want to see.  Thank you.

  5. Thank you for weighing in Mr. Goodenow, the aside conversation about economics and Keynesian vs. non-Keynesian economic theory has nothing to do with Balderas and Heinrich. I have decided Balderas is a lost cause (a pity given the money I have invested in his campaign, which is nonexistent, but I digress).  However, your gross generalization of the America economy is hardly enlightening wrt the pro-con Keynesian debate.  Laissez-faire is not worth debating since it never has really been operative in America over the last 150 years, given the propensity for both political parties to practice government intervention into the economy in all front, including the unrecognized stealth impacts of onerous regulations on America business.  I remember a Samuelson lecture about a meeting he had with JFK as an economics advisor (he had turned down the Chairman job for JFK), and relating that JFK should lower tax rates to stimulate the economy.  JFK was aghast, and said he was a Keynesian devotee and had to balance the budget, but Samuelson told him the neo-Keynesian logic now holds that most any intervention into the economy by government action is Keynesian, so tax decreases count too.  JFK did not live long enough to lower taxes, but LBJ did based on the advice, and the economy improved, much to the chagrin of the classical Keynesians.  But, your simple generalization of the very complex and multifaceted economy, which gets more and more complex daily, fades when you look at this graph:

    http://visualizingeconomics.com/2011/03/08/long-term-real-growth-in-us-gdp-per-capita-1871-2009/

    It is just not so simple, and even as you stated, growth has been due to numerous things over the decades, not only massive infusions of our taxes and borrowed money toward government spending while private industry is ignored or handcuffed,  That is where we are today, after $1 trillion spent on stimulus, the biggest deficits in history and largest national debt ever, and nothing much of anything to show for it.  I know all the arguments for proving a negative (just look how bad it would have been without it, we were on the doorsteps of hell and a new Great Depression, it should have been bigger yada yada yada), the fact is that we are in dire financial straits and some want to continue spending like there is no tomorrow.  I think that is wrong, but that is just my opinion, we all have one.

  6. Okay, gentlemen, I hadn’t weighed into your little economics debate cuz I wasn’t sure what it had to with Balderas and Heinrich.  But what the heck . . . 

    The reality is that outside of war and the Great Depression only four times in our national history have we had real per-capita economic growth of 2.5% or 4 years or more in a row.

    The first Great Boom was when Alexander Hamilton was Treasury Secretary, with his aggressive policies to stimulate economic growth and progress.

    The second Great Boom was in the 1870s and 1880s, following major federal investments in land for the railroads and giving 40 acres away to 2 million families who moved west plus Northern and Midwestern city governments investing heavily in roads, sewers, parks, playgrounds and the building of 150 colleges and thousands of high schools.  

    The third Great Boom was in the 1960s, driven by going to the moon and the 400,000 high-paying jobs that produced directly and the 20,000 spin-offs and $188 billion a year it added to GDP in the 1970s and beyond.  (Satellites, computing advances, etc. etc.)  It also got millions of Americans planning their lives 10 years out.

    The fourth Great Boom was in the 1990s, when the budget was being balanced and the Internet hit en masse and the dot.com revolution in business.  May not have been policy-driven that time.

    The fastest growth ever was under FDR, beginning right away, and so the massive construction efforts bLkrought down unemployment.  And there was a Boom in the 1980s probably driven by a combination of the doubling of Defense manufacturing, the PC and software boom, and federal tax cuts.
     
    There you are.  The second and third real Great Booms show us that spending on development projects makes a big difference, and the first and fourth real Great Booms show us that federal activity is relevant, as do the 1930s Recovery and the 1980s Boom.

    Laissez-faire, on the other hand, has never produced an economic boom.  The years 1801 to 1860 were a laissez-faire time and the only brief booms were during the Mexican-American War and during the California Gold Rush.   Laissez-faire doesn’t work.

       

        

      

  7. I’m sure you didn’t read my link
     
    I did read your link. I got to the point where it said 
     
    Keynes was not known for his research or empirical efforts. Keynesianism is definitely not an evidence-based model of how the economy works. So far as I know, Keynes did no empirical studies. Friedman was a far more diligent researcher and data collector than was Keynes.
     
    When I realized it was garbage.
     
    It is talking about how John Keynes wasn’t a diligent researcher. That’s a complete red herring and beside the point. Keynes was writing 75 years ago. A lot has happened in those 75 years.
     
    The point is whether there are NOW empirical studies omparing Keynesianism (as it’s currently defined, not as it may have been 75 years ago) with your freshwater approach.
     
    That’s why I focused on predictions made in 2009. That’s a comparison of empirical studies from the very recent past – and guess what, Keynesianism is right, and you are wrong. Once we have a current empirical study to look at, arguing about whether some dude was a good emirical researcher 75 years ago is just a way to change the subject and confuse everyone. There’s really no need to comment on the article you linked, because it’s not talking about the important point: it’s talking about 75 years ago, not talking about predictions made today.

  8. Well, like I said, you must be a good, devout Christian.  And now you can see my point of nothing changing when politics are discussed by opposites.  However, since you like quotes from famous people, those who stubbornly cling to Keynesian theory after all the years that have shown all it’s flaws (I’m sure you didn’t read my link) reminds me of one:

    “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts. ”
    Albert Einstein

  9. One can be for short-term stimulus while still being for balancing the budget within six years.
     
    You are absolutely right. I’d prefer not to use an arbitrary six year cutoff. I’d prefer to say that as soon as unemployment is dropping, and has dropped below 6%, we should move the federal budget into surplus and raise interest rates. But I agree: deficits in the current short term conditions, balance over the long term.
     
    Sorry, I meant to include this point in the previous comment, but spaced out.

  10. Dr J, you have repeatedly missed the point; your theory has been falsified, it’s time to abandon it.
     
    The crucial idea behind science is to develop a theory or a model, use it to make a prediction, and see if the prediction is correct.
     
    Your theory’s prediction was wrong; the Keynesian prediction was right. That’s the crucial point here.
     
    Your theory (the Chicago school theory, anti-Keynesianism, fresh water economics, whatever you want to call it) in mid 2009 predicted that the expansion of the money supply and the increase in the federal debt would cause high interest rates and high inflation by mid 2010.
     
    Keynesianism predicted in mid 2009 that the expansion of the money supply and the increase in the federal debt would NOT cause high interest rates and high inflation by mid 2010.
     
    It is now 2012. We have not seen high inflation and high interest rates. That’s the key point here. Your theory was tested, and it failed the test. [1]
     
    The point of the municipal bond story was that Keynesianism predicted that since early 2009 bonds would do okay, while your theory predicted that bonds would plummet in value. Bonds did okay. Again, your theory failed to correctly predict effects. That was the point, and you missed it.
     
    Instead you fell into the nihilism trap, claiming that ” there are no facts, just opinions and world views”. Perhaps when the facts are telling you that your pet theory is wrong, it’s more comfortable to believe that there are no facts, rather than admitting that your theory is wrong.
     
    That was the point of another Krugman column [2], the column to which you yourself linked. His point was that it was the freshwater economists, the people like you, who were being unscientific and refusing to modify their theory merely because their theory was contradicted by the facts. It is the Keynesians who are scientific, and who test their theory against reality. You missed that point, too.
     
    You seem to be in the position so well described by Marx[3]: who are you going to believe, your theory or your lying eyes? Apparently you are choosing to believe your theory, and denying the facts.
     
     
    [1] That was Krugman’s point in the /2011/12/14/interest-rates-inflation-and-the-way-the-world-works-slightly-wonkish/ column, to which I linked before, a point you missed
     
    [2] http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/economics-as-a-science-a-bad-example/
     
    [3] Marx, Groucho Marx. Not Harpo or Chico or Zeppo or Karl. Duck Soup, not Das Kapital  

  11. Mr. Schneider,

    One can be for short-term stimulus while still being for balancing the budget within six years.  I think the 2009 stimulus should have been $1.2 trillion, not $800 billion, and as an alsternative the $400 billion stimulus that President Obama offered last year made sense to me.  I beliebe in stimulus during recessions and I think public developvment projects — whether the railraod or going to the moon — are the best way to help generate many high-paying jobs and real per-capita income growth, and American economic history proves that.  But as quickly as possible we also need to balance our federal budget and begin running surpluses.  The two goals are not incompatible.

    I don’t know where either candidate stands on either question, really.  Hector Balderas is pro-infrasture and yet is big on fiscal accountability, so while that’s a bit general it appeals to me more than Heinrich’s approach. 

    Mike     

  12. Dr. J wrote:

      “Mr. Balderas’ campaign (as I had stated before), I find it odd that he is not campaigning against Mr. Heinrich at all. He seems to be going after Republican Prez candidates and Republican Senate bills on website, but I have seen nothing about why he is so much better than Mr. Heinrich. He is not running against the Republicans yet, he seems to be clueless that he has to beat Mr. Heinrich and so he will have to address why he is a better candidate in some way soon or he is just running a sham campaign and wasting supporters money. Mr. Heinrich only has to run on his record in Congress, Mr. Balderas has no record in Congress or at any high level office, so he is going to have to address why he is better than Mr. Heinrich someday, or lose badly.”

    Mike Weber Goodenow: 

    Valid points, Dr. J.   So far Martin and Hector have run the dumbest U.S. Senate campaign I’ve ever seen.  Martin Chavez is running a real Senate-caliber campaign on the issues while Martin Heinrich and Hector Balderas are not.  U.S. Senate races are supposed to be about the big strategic choices we have to make as a nation.  They are supposed to be historic events.  And neither Hector Balderas nor Martin Heinrich has given us compelling reasons to vote for him on his website issue pages.

    After looking at it for weeks I concluded three things.  Hector has a record on fiscal accountability and is hinting it’s time to do big things on education.  Martin has access to the finest minds in the country (Hector does not) and yet Martin is still running a dumbed-down campaign about nothing.   And Martin has taken $652,000 from corporate PACs since 2007 while Hector has taken $0; Hector can go to Washington with his integrity and independence intact while Martin cannot.  That’s the basis for my decision as to which one to vote for, along with the fact that I began to see Hector as an inspirational leader (like Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, NJ) — and Hector proved that at the State Convention, in spades.

    But both Martin and Hector are both from my generation, both have so much potential, but both seem too lost in fundraising to offer a real vision for America’s future.  I am disappointed, frustrated, and a bit embarrassed for both of them.  It had better change and change quick, more for Hector than for Martin, who is about to be outspent 3-to-1.  Martin’s lame campaign could win just by outspending Hector’s campaign.

        
       

       

  13. Mr. Schneider, it is obvious you are not a scientist.  Numbers are facts, measurements are facts, how they got as they are is theory, not fact.  Science has a way of considering facts, like numbers, measurements, and observations, and using them to define and test causation hypotheses, theories, and then perhaps laws, if they are strong and proven beyond doubt.  Economics, like all the soft pseudo-sciences (aka social sciences), does not have that rigor, since the data and the processes involved do not lend themselves to same.

    And if you worship Krugman, maybe you will believe him on the question of economics being a science, as well as some old discredited Keynesian dogma:  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/economics-as-a-science-a-bad-example/

    I have to laugh about how people use interest rates of late as evidence of the validity of Keynesian theory, I guess they have all forgotten that the Fed controls and sets them, not the free market anymore, so of course they are and have been low in spite of economic forces that would usually drive them much higher.  But go ask the Euro-Zone if interest rates are low for most of their country’s central banks, you might find a different answer as they don’t use the American Fed model of monetary policy and control, as well as massive cash infusion (thanks to our tax money used for huge deficit spending) to drive a weak dollar.

    And you can’t be serious that muni-bonds have been a great investment vehicle over the last 5-6 years.  Perhaps you meant you bought munis many years ago when rates were in excess of 5% on AAA insured?  Rates have been so low over the last 5-6 years, you can find hundreds of much better investments out there that are almost as safe and have after-tax yields of 5-10X.  If you have made money on munis over the last five years, that is easy, but not much, and your opportunity costs were much higher as you have forgone much better yielding investments as interest rates (artificially held down by the Fed) have sunk to nothing on munis, not to mention the weak dollar policy of the Fed driving real inflation in most other things.

    If you really want to read an opposing view on Keynesian theory, try this.  I know this is like asking a Christian to read Muslim theology and believe in it over your existing ideas, but here it is anyway:

    http://spectator.org/archives/2011/07/22/fatal-flaws-of-keynesian-econo

  14. I am just giving you my opinion of what I think … there are no facts, just opinions and world views …
     
    You’re saying that listening to you is about as informative as listening to an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? *
     
    I believe in facts. There aer a lot of facts available to economic theory. If you go to FRED ( http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/ ) you’ll find many of them. You’ll find all kinds of numbers about who is earning how much, and who is working, and how much things cost, and similar numbers. You can also go find the facts on how much the government is collecting in taxes, and how much it is spending, and all kinds of of other facts. You can find similar information about other countries. You can compare actions and policies among nations, and compare economic performance. There are lots of facts.
     
    When I present a little five step story like the one I put in this thread:
     
    1. When nobody is buying anything, nobody is selling anything. (Lack of demand)
    2. When nobody is selling anything, their revenues fall, and they try to cut expenses.
    3. They cut expenses by firing people, or reducing their hours, or (if they can) cutting wages.
    4. When people are fired, or have their hours reduced, or their pay cut, they buy less.
    5. When they buy less …  we’re back at #1 above.
     
     
    It’s what people in the science biz call a simplified model. You can draw inferences, and make predictions, and compare those predictions to what happens in the real world. Here’s Krugman again, comparing the anti-Keynesian’s predictions of interests rates to actual interest rates: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/interest-rates-inflation-and-the-way-the-world-works-slightly-wonkish/   If you want another example, I’ll go find my brokerage statement. When Krugman was saying interest rates were going to stay low, and a lot of anti-Keynesians were predicting soaring interest rates, I bought a bunch of municipal bonds. If Krugman and his Keynesian analysis had been wrong, I’d have lost a lot of money. I didn’t. I’m well ahead on that investment (so far).
     
    Economics isn’t a perfect science, and it does get things wrong, but it’s not simply a tale told by an idiot, either.
     
    *no, I’m not calling you an idiot. That’s an allusion to Shakespeare. I like allusions.

  15. Mr. Schneider, I am not arguing anything from authority, I am just giving you my opinion of what I think about classical Keynesian economic theory.  If you choose to interpret my educational background as making me an expert and using that as authority, that is your assumption, not my assertion nor did I ever say that.  Yes, my opinion of the theory is influenced by my education, but you are not presenting facts, just your views and opinions along with DNC type talking points.  What education or experience are you using to come to the opinions you have of Keynesian economic theory?  Maybe you are trying to argue from authority if I knew who you actually are. There have been numerous books and articles (thousands if you care to google Keynesian economics works or doesn’t work) that present both views of Keynesian theory, but they are not based on real facts as we have in science, as economics is much more like political “science” or public policy and similar soft stuff, not physical science.  This is why I will not present the opposite views you espouse about Keynesian theory, it is all like religion (and you must like religion to mention Paul, something I might not relate to at all) and politics, there are no facts, just opinions and world views, and debates lead to nothing since minds are never changed in these fields of human culture, thus a total waste of time.  And I am very aware of Krugman’s opinions, he was a classmate at MIT and one of the few who actually loved Keynesian theory.  He was also always a left wing liberal, which of course explains the connection and attraction to Keynesian theory, it all about politics, not facts.

  16. Dr J: You are still arguing from authority. You are saying “I am right because I say so, and I am an authority”.  That is an inherently weak argument. Krugman explains why: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/pulling-rank/
     
    I’m trying to argue that I’m right because of the facts and reasoning and theory I set forth (although I’m trying to be reasonably concise rather than developing the arguments fully). If you want to argue with my reasons or my facts, that’s fine. If you still claim that your conclusions should be accepted as correct because you’re more of an expert than I am, I’ll continue to mock you.
     
     It’s not better to have few people in private industry being hired and lots of money being mis-spent and still continue to live with 8 or 9% unemployment. /fixed
     
    It’s true that the stimulus we enacted has not brought unemployment back down to 5%. There are two possible reasons:
    a. stimulus is ineffective; or
    b. stimulus is effective, but we only enacted enough stimulus to bring unemployment down from perhaps 11 or 12% to 8 or 9%, and we need more.
    I believe b, based on what I’ve read. I don’t have time right now to find all the facts and reasons (for which I apologize), but for the moment may I point you towards this work:  http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/03/lunch-march-14-2012-the-not-so-simple-arithmetic-of-fiscal-policy-in-a-depressed-economy.html
     
    I’m not at all sure I fully understand the math and the theory, but it looks like a fairly strong argument for the effectiveness of more stimulus in the current circumstances.  Disclosure: I’ve spent a lot of time listening to podcasts of the lectures he’s given in the courses he’s taught over the last two years (I’ve done two courses, lectures only) and generally I’ve found his reasoning persuasive, where I’ve understood it. So I may be biased.

  17. “ It’s better to have lots of people being hired and some money being mis-spent than it is to continue to live with 8 or 9% unemployment.”

     It’s not better to have few people in private industry being hired and lots of money being mis-spent and still continue to live with 8 or 9% unemployment. /fixed

  18. Mr. Schneider, if that really is your name, if you like links rather than the pertinent quotes, duly marked as quotations, then try this now that you have learned something here:

    http://web.mit.edu/admissions/graduate/requirements/degree_req.html

    The MIT S.M., is equivalent to a Master of Science, not a Master of Arts, and it requires a thesis to be written and defended, as I did.  I really do not see the relevance of where a quotation of fact comes from, you can find it anywhere very easily from numerous sources that always say the same thing about university degree nomenclature, but perhaps you know nothing of such things. Now if you actually are using your real name (and I certainly never heard of you before), more power to you, perhaps you are more famous than I know. I have been stalked and contacted by blog trolls before and I will not have that happen again, so I prefer anonymous comments, since you cannot trust anyone on these blogs.

  19. I never said shut off the essential services to poor, hungry etc.  Where did you come up with that?
     
    So we are agreed that if te government can do something to bring down unemployment, it should? The only question what method is best? If we agree on those things,  I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.
     
    The government is not a good investor or spender. 
     
    Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. Railroads, medical research, locks on the navigable rivers, highways, GPS, canals, ports, DARPA and the internets, and schools have (in general, to some extent) worked out pretty well. Other things, not so well. Obviously if the government spends money on productive investments that turn out well, that’s better than making mistakes and investing in things that don’t work out well.
     
    But we’ll never manage to have the government be perfect in choosing investments. No one can choose only good investments.
     
    And it’s better to invest, and spend the money, and get production moving and get people into jobs, than it is to sit idle because we can’t be sure that every investment will work out great. It’s better to have lots of people being hired and some money being mis-spent than it is to continue to live with 8 or 9% unemployment.

  20. “Yes it does. When the government buys things the companies hire people to produce things. Those hired people now have incomes, which they use to buy things, which increases the sales of other businesses – so the other businesses hire people”

    When you and I buy things, companies hire people to produce the.  Difference is, people tend to buy what is usable by them and a good value to them.  The difference is the lack of a large bureaucratic middleman.  The government is not a good investor or spender. 

    I never said shut off the essential services to poor, hungry etc.  Where did you come up with that?
     

  21.  Harvard University and MIT, for example, use A.M. and S.M. for their master’s degrees.”
     
    I stand corrected. Apparently some universities do use the SM abbreviation for some fields instead of the MA abbreviation. For example, at Harvard it can be given as a terminal MA: 
     
    The S.M. degree is awarded for the successful completion of eight semester length courses at Harvard. The S.M. degree is non-research based degree and no dissertation, foreign language, or general examination is required. The S.M. is considered, in most cases, a terminal degree.    http://www.seas.harvard.edu/teaching-learning/graduate/degree-requirements
     
    I didn’t know that. So obviously we must believe the unsupported conclusions of an anonymous person who once worked towards (but may not have earned) the very same degree that Harvard sometimes awards. I’m persuaded.
        But I don’t know why he apparently quoted without link this web site as authority: http://intelligent-wikipedia.org/master-degree.html  Maybe there’s some third source for both that I didn’t find.
     
    If the government wants to borrow money to stimulate the economy, start with letting taxpayers keep what they earn.    
     
    Cutting taxes does not do as much as buying things. A person whose taxes are cut may (a) save the money, as most high income people will do; or (b) pay down debts, as many middle income person will do; or (c) nothing, as long term unemployed or very low income people will do because they’re not paying taxes in the first place. In those examples cutting taxes will not cause any increase in buying.
     
    Sending money to Washington to be doled out as political favors (Solyndra) doesn’t help the economy.   
     
    Yes it does. When the government buys things the companies hire people to produce things. Those hired people now have incomes, which they use to buy things, which increases the sales of other businesses – so the other businesses hire people
     
    Borrow money to pay for essential government expenses, not to create new ones.   
     
    I think that trying to make sure that everyone is as well off as reasonably possible, and that as few people as possible are cold and hungry and looking for work, is an essential government function.  If you think that government should step aside when Americans are poor and hungry and dying because of things the government could fix, well, we just have to disagree.

  22. Dr. J:
     
    You’re not so great at letting things go, are you?  Cut-and-paste jobs from Wikipedia are hardly indicative of specific knowledge.  Furthermore, simply because you don’t believe in a particular theory does not actually mean that has been debunked; the entire discipline of economics has become dependent on the idea that specific ideas must always be true despite the fact that the predictive capacity of the field ranks just behind meteorology for accuracy (I suggest reading up on the chaos theory if you wish to understand where I’m coming from here).  The entire discipline is, by its very nature, entirely theoretical, which is something Friedman himself frequently acknowledged (unlike many more recent and more dogmatic economists), and why his own theories gradually liberalized somewhat later in his life.  If you’re merely going to dismiss Mr. Shneider’s argument as “flat earth theory”, you do nothing more than expose either your own weaknesses in the discipline or a rather unfortunate lack of research skills – to say nothing of a need for more practice in the art of rhetoric – and if you’re going to dismiss his obvious sarcasm as “ignorance”, then you are quite clearly stretching for any excuse to replace a substantive discussion of policy with distracting commentary on personal virtues.

  23. If the government wants to borrow money to stimulate the economy, start with letting taxpayers keep what they earn.  Sending money to Washington to be doled out as political favors (Solyndra) doesn’t help the economy.  Borrow money to pay for essential government expenses, not to create new ones.  

     

  24. I will respond to ignorance of university degree nomenclature:  ”Some universities use the Latin degree names; because of the flexibility of word order in Latin, the Master of Arts and Master of Science may be known as magister artium orartium magister and magister scientiæ or scientiarum magister, respectively. Harvard University and MIT, for example, use A.M. and S.M. for their master’s degrees.”

  25. Me:  “What you call  “government dole for jobs and his pork” is the best way to get out of the vicious circle and make everyone better off.”
    Stever: “If that were true, where has the $5 trillion or so of national debt brought us?”
     
    Which $5 trillion? The national debt is larger than that.  Let me unpack that a bit.
     
    Right now we have insufficient aggregate demand, interest rates are at the zero lower bound, and we have high unemployment. In THIS situation, increasing the debt will make us all better off.
     
    When interest rates are well above zero and unemployment is in the 5% ballpark, increasing the debt will make us all worse off and it is a really bad idea.  That’s why the reduction in the debt during the 1990s was a good thing, and the increase in the debt in the 2000s was a bad idea. The unfunded Medicare part D and the unfunded tax cuts during the 2000s, at a time when (in general) the economy was humming along fine, increased the debt and was a bad idea.
     
    So the effect of increasing debt depends on the situation. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. If you are asking about the increase in the debt during the last three or four years, what it has brought us is lower unemployment and greater economic prosperity – although it wasn’t a large enough increase in the debt to solve the whole problem.
     
    On a completely different subject:  
     
    “I don’t feel compelled to respond to typical knee-jerk left wing talking points about classical Keynesian economic theories that were disproved and discredited many decades ago (while I was still in grad school at MIT working on my finance and economics SM) by Milt Friedman and numerous others.  It’s akin to debunking the flat earth hypothesis, hardly worth the effort.”
     
    Am I the only one who reads this and has a sudden epiphany, a road to Damascus moment, when I realize that I’ve been wrong about everything? And also wonder whether ‘working on my finance and economics SM’ refers to something other than sado-masochism? I mean, it’s a pure appeal to authority by an anonymous self-proclaimed authority. I don’t find it persuasive. It is, however, completely unanswerable: since there’s no reasoning or argument, there’s nothing to refute.

  26. And IP, as an aside, I don’t feel compelled to respond to typical knee-jerk left wing talking points about classical Keynesian economic theories that were disproved and discredited many decades ago (while I was still in grad school at MIT working on my finance and economics SM) by Milt Friedman and numerous others.  It’s akin to debunking the flat earth hypothesis, hardly worth the effort.

  27. Getting back to the issue at hand, Mr. Balderas’ campaign (as I had stated before), I find it odd that he is not campaigning against Mr. Heinrich at all.  He seems to be going after Republican Prez candidates and Republican Senate bills on website, but I have seen nothing about why he is so much better than Mr. Heinrich. He is not running against the Republicans yet, he seems to be clueless that he has to beat Mr. Heinrich and so he will have to address why he is a better candidate in some way soon or he is just running a sham campaign and wasting supporters money.  Mr. Heinrich only has to run on his record in Congress, Mr. Balderas has no record in Congress or at any high level office, so he is going to have to address why he is better than Mr. Heinrich someday, or lose badly.  If he thinks that his name, background, and policy ideas (which as stated by one commenter may be to the left of Mr. Heinrich) are enough, he is sadly mistaken in my opinion.

  28. “What you call  “government dole for jobs and his pork” is the best way to get out of the vicious circle and make everyone better off.”

    If that were true, where has the $5 trillion or so of national debt brought us? 

  29. IP and Dr. J, let’s get back to the issue at hand…

  30. Actually, Dr. J, you (as usual) chose to read something that wasn’t there while simultaneously ignored statements I had already made; if you’re incapable of reading what people say, then you frankly look foolish claiming that they haven’t addressed questions which they addressed on the same page on which you are making that claim: “…of the two men… the Auditor is probably the more liberal of the two, so I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for him to start espousing the DINO views that you hold so dear.”  You were so busy demonstrating your ignorance of basic civics and your complete lack of respect for the people’s chosen institutions that you completely missed that I responded to your position in the very same sentence you were objecting to and before you asked me to do so.  That truly does require an impressive dedication to the art of tilting at windmills.  As for your “many abilities and diverse education” (and, speaking as a man with a notoriously healthy ego, I have to say that even I find that statement remarkably narcissistic), considering how many of the fields you have claimed to “have a background in” but lack even an elementary understanding of – coupled with your remarkable propensity to parrot sound-bites even in fields that are supposedly ones in which you possess some level of as-yet-undemonstrated expertise and thus would be expected to be able to discuss with something somewhat more complex than a mere talk-radio level of discourse – I highly doubt I am the only one who has come to doubt your ever-more-lofty claims to academic achievement.  As an example, I point you to Mr. Schnieder’s excellent demonstration of your lack of knowledge of even the most basic economics (one of at least three very dissimilar fields that you have claimed to have “a background” in).  You can reach it with a minimal amount of effort by simply scrolling down the page.
     
    Also, I would like to add to my list of words and phrases you frequently misuse: Just because you write something down does not automatically bestow upon it the categorization of “fact”.  Such things require at least a modicum of evidence, and preferably not evidence that actually proves you incorrect (thus demonstrating a truly dreadful case of confirmation bias).  One would think that a person who has claimed degrees in various scientific research fields would know that…

  31. IP, if you are offended at my description of minions here, well if the shoe fits, wear it.  And I can assure you I am well educated, and my credentials have not changed at all, you are just ignorant (or refuse to accept) of my many abilities and diverse education.  As for all the other tripe you spout without any evidence or data about me personally, without answering any of my factual arguments with any facts of your own, well that is about what I have come to expect from you.  And you still haven’t answered (for the second time) my comment about Hector not seeming to be a serious candidate against Marty since he will say nothing about him directly in public and seems to be running a sham campaign for some unknown reason while wasting money from supporters like myself and my family members.

  32. Amen, Michael H Schneider.

  33. Minions?  Seriously, Dr. J, did you just refer to the American people as minions for bestowing offices of trust on people and then treating the offices that we’ve created with respect?  That is, officially, just about the most patently offensive thing you have ever managed to write; I’m truly impressed at your ability to simultaneously insult every citizen of this country – past, present, and future.  Adding to this the facts that you frequently present evidence in your favor things that actually prove you incorrect, that you seem to think things are true just because you already choose to believe them and despite all evidence to the contrary, that your professional credentials have actually changed multiple times in the time you’ve participating in these forums (depending on the topic in contention at the time), that you are constantly telling other people what they themselves believe regardless of whether their own words and actions support your frankly bizarre claims, and that you frequently use words and phrases of wwhich you clearly have not even the most basic understanding (“liberal” and “ad hominem” being among your favorite words to misuse), then it has become clear that you lack the respect due to others, basic understanding of our society, and basic knowledge about topics in which you claim authority to even begin to have a mature, informed, and factually-dependent discussion about any topic whatsoever.

  34. Oh, and IP, here are Marty’s majority donors so far in his Senate race:

    Lawyers/Law Firms$205,705
    Retired$185,205
    Lobbyists$110,780
    Environment$81,323
    Health Professionals$69,779
    Casinos/Gambling$46,550
    Computers/Internet$36,500
    Education Unions $35,550
    Liberal Leadership PACs$35,500
    Industrial Unions$35,000
    Business Services Unions $33,150
    Real Estate$32,400
    Non-Profit Liberal Institutions$28,150
    Building Trade Unions$25,000
    Hospitals/Nursing Homes Unions $24,500
    Misc Finance$22,900
    Democratic/Liberal$21,800
    Defense Aerospace$21,000
    Misc Unions$20,847
    Printing & Publishing$18,800

  35. IP, titles are for the minions who are impressed by such things, perhaps you remember the sage wisdom of the Wizard of Oz to the assorted minions who were impressed, I am not.  Respect and titles are earned, not elected or bought, these people are no better than I am, in fact they are much less educated, experienced, accomplished in their chosen fields, and less able to contribute directly by themselves to society, than I am (remember they use my tax money to thrown around to curry favor for all their special interests).  Thus if they would not call me “Dr.” whatever, and they have in fact called me by my first name when we have talked, and so as a matter of equality of humans I will do the same for them.  I also would not walk across the street to met them without a definite purpose, as I see many do (the last time was in the Santa Fe airport when Tom arrived almost late for his Dallas flight, and the fawning fans acted like he was some kind of hero or celebrity, embarrassing rubbish), since I have no interest in celebrity worship, as they are my employees and I am their boss, they should do that to me, which they don’t.  And I rather like “Marty”, it could well be what his Mom called him when summoning him for dinner, quite quaint and friendly I think, but you don’t have to agree.  And you still didn’t comment on my assertion that unless Hector starts taking off those kid gloves he is treating Representative Henirich (like it?) with, he is toast and is just wasting my and my family’s money to support him all this time.  Thus it sounds a bit fraudulent if you take people’s money promising to unseat someone and then not do your best to beat them anyway you can, after all this is politics, not chess.  Do you disagree?

  36. But Marty has … ignored private enterprise, free markets, and business in general, thus jobs, though he loves the government dole for jobs and his pork.
     
    Okay, another person who doesn’t understand basic macro-economics. Here’s the simplified version:
     
    1. When nobody is buying anything, nobody is selling anything. (Lack of demand)
    2. When nobody is selling anything, their revenues fall, and they try to cut expenses.
    3. They cut expenses by firing people, or reducing their hours, or (if they can) cutting wages.
    4. When people are fired, or have their hours reduced, or their pay cut, they buy less.
    5. When they buy less …  we’re back at #1 above.
     
    The obvious way out of this circle is for some entity to start buying things.
     
    The only entity that has the ability and the motive to start buying is the government, which can borrow at roughly 0%APR. Busineses whose revenues are down because their sales are down are not about to start increasing production.
    Therefore:
    What you call  “government dole for jobs and his pork” is the best way to get out of the vicious circle and make everyone better off. [I really hope I have the necessary line breaks and carriage returns this time, and that some internet demon doesn't runitalltogetherintomush]

  37. Dr. J:
     
    First of all, have you any proof, at all, for the various sound-bite-friendly but rhetorically-weak clauses in the following sentence: “But Marty has not only ignored education, he has ignored private enterprise, free markets, and business in general, thus jobs, though he loves the government dole for jobs and his pork.”  Second, of the two men, Congressman Heinrich and Auditor Balderas (yes, they have titles, and lacking the respect to use them hardly does credit to one’s ability to participate in mature debate, to say nothing of giving a diminutive nickname to a chosen representative of the people), the Auditor is probably the more liberal of the two, so I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for him to start espousing the DINO views that you hold so dear.  This is to say nothing of the fact that, historically, the two men have received money and endorsements from exactly the same environmental, labor, and professional organizations when running for differing offices, so making a blanket charge of one of them being in the pocket of what you consider “special interests” but not the other either rings remarkably hollow or smacks of willful ignorance.  This time around, yes, they have chosen more often than not to back Congressman Heinrich’s campaign, but rather than complaining that someone is in the pocket of organizations who provided a minority of their campaign funds, maybe you should be asking yourself why anyone – organization or individual – is allowed to even make the attempt to buy elected officials.  Incidentally, among the “special interests” you complain about are of course the perennial League of Conservation Voters and labor unions you despise so much (such a pesky thing, people demanding fair wages and working conditions…) but also multiple organizations of medical professionals and large creators of jobs for New Mexicans like Intel and Lockheed Martin.  These are hardly what one would consider the traditional donors to someone whom you constantly decry as a “liberal” without once demonstrating an understanding of what the word actually means.
     
    It should be noted that while (at last report), Congressman Heinrich had far more PAC money than Auditor Balderas, he also had far more money overall, and PAC money still comes to less than 20% of his total contributions received; over 81% of contributions to his campaign were from individual donors.  Former-Congresswoman Wilson’s money was almost the same as Congressman Heinrich’s (with their non-individual numbers running a statistical dead-heat), whereas Mr. Sowards got over 90% of his money from… himself.  Say what you will about the other candidates, in and out of the race, but at least none of them appear to be trying to buy themselves a seat in the United States Senate.

  38. Well said, many of my thoughts exactly.  But Marty has not only ignored education, he has ignored private enterprise, free markets, and business in general, thus jobs, though he loves the government dole for jobs and his pork.  He also is firmly in the pockets of the special interests like unions and enviro-lobbbyists and activists, thus excluding the majority of us.  But the issue is, when will Balderas take the kid gloves off and talk and act like he is campaigning against Marty?  We may be waiting a long time, he does and says nothing.

  39. Speaking of the John F Kennedy Foundation, did anyone on the comment board attend the Heinrich gathering at which Patrick Kennedy appeared to support Martin?

  40. It’s unfortunate that neither Mr Goodenow nor Mr Balderas understands simple macroeconomics.
     
    I remember a DPNM meeting last fall when I asked Mr Balderas what he’d do to reduce unemployment. The only thing he could come up with was cutting taxes for small businesses. If cutting taxes were the answer, we’d all be fat and happy after the Bush & Reagan tax cuts. Tax cutting is not the answer to today’s probems; today’s probems arise from insufficient aggregate demand, and when people are broke and have no money to spend, cutting their taxes won’t help it’s just pointlessly increase the deficit.
    The federal deficit that grew so much while Heather Wilson was voting in Congress has been vastly exceeded during Martin Heinrich’s tenure. Both his votes and his indifference must lead us to question his commitment to avoiding a Greek-style national bankruptcy.
    He mentions Greece as though it were some sort of valid analogy. It’s not. Greece’s problem is not insufficient austerity, it’s that they have a balance of trade problem and they can’t devalue their currency. For a better explanation of why Greece is a bad analogy, see: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/european-crisis-realities/  Look at europe, and notice that all the austerity isn’t actually helping anything.
    Right now what we need is more spending and less worry about the deficit. We work for one another, generally, so one person’s expenditure is another’s income. When I go to a restaurant and leave a tip, it may be $5 out of my pocket but it’s $5 in income to the server (I eat at cheap restaurants). That means if we all spend less – eat out less often, leave smaller tips, etc – in the aggregate we all earn less. That’s the paradox of thrift. With everyone spending less, as is happening now, with everyone buying less, sales people and production workers and restaurant servers are losing their jobs. That means that they, in turn, spend less so we’ve got a vicious circle.
    The remedy is for the one entity that can borrow to do so, and to borrow and buy stuff, so places hire more people and we get the feedback loop running in the right direction.
    The government can borrow for nearly zero interest right now. It could use that money for the moderen equivalents of the Erie canal, the trans-continental railroad, the interstate highway system, the lock and dam system on the big navigable rivers, rural electrification, DARPA,  etc. These were all investments that made everyone richer. We can do the same thing today, and we should: it’ll make everyone better off.
    Any politician who won’t admit that deficit spending is what we need right now, and instead buys into the Republican mistake about austerity, deserves no one’s support.
    I’m also disappointed that although I had this same discussion with Mr Goodenow on another blog two months ago, he has neither improved his argument nor avoided the same economic mistakes. See http://www.democracyfornewmexico.com/democracy_for_new_mexico/2012/01/mr-balderas-and-mr-heinrich-we-expect-more-of-you.html  For two real economists doing a better job than I can at making my argument, see: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/03/stiglitz-the-us-labor-market-is-still-a-shambles.html Sorry I used so many words and so many cites to others, but this stuff is actually fairly complicated.
     
     

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