Late-night political thought… If prices are guaranteed to keep spiraling upward due to everything the government spends being indexed (see Can our government generate its own inflation spiral?), might Republicans be better off losing all of the Senate and House races on Tuesday? Even if the Republicans earned majorities in both sides of Congress, Joe Biden would likely veto any legislation that cut spending or removed inflation indexing from spending. So the Republicans have no realistic chance of reducing inflation, any more than the Inflation Reduction Act. If they’re totally out of government, only the Democrats will be blamed for the next two years of inflation and maybe that would help Republicans win the White House as well as Congress in 2024.
A Nobel laureate who is always right agrees with me: “Republicans Have No Inflation Plan” (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10/27).
If we ignore the government inflation spiral-from-indexing effect, how much pent-up inflation is there? I remarked on the price increase for frozen peas (Peaflation at Publix). On a more recent trip, the supermarket shelves were entirely bare for all brands of frozen peas. The market-clearing price for peas is obviously higher than even the new high-ish prices. Similarly, canned pumpkin was sold out. Our 42-inch-wide built-in fridge is dying. Is a Sub-Zero a ripoff at $14,000? Actually, it is underpriced and should go up further according to Econ 101 because it will take a year (a year!) for them to build and deliver one. The company is giving away fridges right now for way less than the market-clearing price.
Isn’t there a good chance that Americans will become disenchanted with whoever wins in 2022? And some might remember Republicans’ absurd campaign promises. Here’s a medical doctor promising to “fix” inflation, which is as plausible as a Scientologist being significantly helpful at a car accident scene (Tom Cruise video; go about 1 minute in).
Even if Dr. Oz was in possession of an economic policy that would Whip Inflation Now, Joe Biden would surely veto it. Sprinkling a few Republicans into Congress isn’t going to turn around the policies that got the U.S. into this inflationary mess. Will Republicans truly gain by promising to stop inflation and then not stopping it?
Here are the House Republicans implying that voting for them will somehow stop “the highest inflation in 40 years”:
Here’s a promise from the Republican House leader to “lead the way” on inflation:
On the Senate side, here’s Mitch:
But Congress has never been able to cut spending (which spirals upward with inflation automatically). And the Republicans won’t support tax increases. So the deficit spending will continue even if Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans can win a majority.
32 thoughts on “Would Republicans be better off losing this election?”
I think you have a future (like right now!) as a political adviser!!
Also: “as plausible as a Scientologist being significantly helpful at a car accident scene”
OK, maybe not any old Scientologist, but maybe if it’s Tom Cruise… 😉
PaulG: Thanks! Most of my advice is bad, so maybe the Republicans actually would benefit from winning some seats even if I can’t see how.
Thanks for that story about the pilot-actor! I give him credit for paying this lady’s hospital bill, especially if it was billed at the 5-10X rates that hospitals are for some reason allowed to charge to the uninsured.
It is not price inflation (i.e. loss of purchasing power of money) is bad per se, it is the fact that the inflation is unevenly distributed. Wages get inflayed after the assets, assets get inflated after the coomercial loans obtained by the 0.01% to buy assets.
This allows people with very high net worth and connections to get advance information to act quickly to buy assets at uninflated prices with inflated money. This is known as Cantillon effect. The whole inflation charade is between the government “workers” and ultrarich conspiring to do massive theft from middle class (and to keep lower class destitute and thus controllable).
If Americans understood how economy works they’d hang every bureaucrat, academician, and banker arguing for inflation for being willing accomplices of thieves.
‘On July 14, 1978, economist and future Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan testified to the Senate Finance Committee: “Let us remember that the basic purpose of any tax cut program in today’s environment is to reduce the momentum of expenditure growth by restraining the amount of revenue available and trust that there is a political limit to deficit spending.”‘
Keep The Faith!
‘…The earliest known use of the actual term “starve the beast” was in a 1979 newspaper article quoting Santa Rosa, California city councilman Jerry Wilhelm speaking at a tax forum sponsored by the Libertarian Party.’
1. Republicans can fight inflation by helping Powell push the economy into a recession, which will then be blamed on Joe Biden.
2. If Republicans take over the House, they will run the January 6th committee and have subpoena power over Ray Epps and the FBI’s DNC bomber.
3. If Republicans take over the Senate, Rand Paul is set to chair the Health Committee, again with subpoena power over the Branch Covidians.
Republicans don’t have a platform or indeed any interest in legislating or governing, they just want a role in the cast of right-wing performers. They will continue to bleat about inflation (gas prices are a little passe right now), Joe Biden and his son, and Nancy Pelosi. When Trump comes back, they’ll line up to kiss his ass. That these are winning themes says a lot about the country.
Some blogger said the same thing about the 2012 election. Might have been Greenspun. Well democrats won the popular vote in every election since then so that didn’t age well. A country living on entitlements that rise with inflation just doesn’t care about it.
On the other hand, if the “Red Wave” actually materializes and the Rs win as much as forecast by some, will the End of Democracy mean that Democrats just abandon the system completely and ditch all of their 2024 preparations? If Democracy ends, why bother?
It looks like inflation will be the least of your worries in the US.
My prediction is that civil war will start in the US if the Republicans loss this election, so for the stability of the US, it will be better if the Republicans win the election. Of course all this will do is keep inflation rising and postpone the civil war till 2024 and in 2026 China will take over both Taiwan and the US.
It is amazing at the stupidity of the government to print money beyond the productivity output of the US. This is not only in the US but the same in Canada and the EU. You can only increase the money supply if you have economic growth, and one of the main drivers of economic growth is the availability of cheap energy. With no investment in industrial infrastructure, I am afraid there will be no economic growth and inflation will keep rising as more money is printed.
Here are some interesting stats on the US auto industry
Pavel, I was in a MA WalMart yesterday and there is no appetite or capacity for civil war in this country. I watched hundreds of obese and elderly people push carts around in a store that was absolutely PACKED with overpriced Chinese junk. America is going to die a much different death than anyone is forecasting: it is just going to suffocate in a pile of its own trash and die of diabetes.
The Guardian article suggests that the civil war begins if the Republicans win: “Democrats will be jailed on bogus charges”.
So the civil war can be forestalled if 100% of registered Democrats turn out to vote and Democrats win every race.
The article is kind of funny, considering that the Guardian always argues for more low-skill immigration into the US: “The first [condition leading to civil war] is ethnic factionalism. This happens when citizens in a country organise themselves into political parties based on ethnic, religious, or racial identity rather than ideology.”
Aren’t our open borders, therefore, potentially bad because they’re putting us at higher risk of civil war?
In Europe we are currently barraged with articles that predict the end of the world if Republicans win.
Times Radio, supposedly conservative, has “end of democracy” contributions.
In reality, these are all academics with useless degrees who are afraid that the gravy train ends. They’d rather have inflation, war (to feel like Churchill …) and run the economy into the ground before changing anything.
Alex, from the January 6 Insurrection videos, it looks like there are still enough people in the US that are physically capable of a Civil War. The thousands of obese and elderly people will be used as cannon fodder. In the US, you can get machine gun mounts for your motorized wheel chair.
philg, If you consider the insurrection a part of the civil war, from 217 people arrested or charged with the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, 209 were native‐born Americans and 8 were immigrants.
The Guardian article has a link to a CIA (i know, i know a left wing organization) report from 2012,
Guide to the Analysis of Insurgency
It is very interesting that people tend to attack to source of the article rather than the contents of the article, this seems to be common from both the left and the right. Reference Fox News in a left forum and exactly the same response will happen.
Are there the signs of an Insurgency (aka civil war)? The Guardian lays out why the answer is yes, with facts and backing evidence, the question is the argument true or false and why?
Anonymous, what should the EU do to stop running the economy into the ground?
The world will not end if the republicans win, a civil war in the US will not cause the world to end, unless somebody decides to launch the nukes. Although a civil war could cause the US to become weak enough to be taken over by China.
In the grand scheme of things, it really does not matter if the republicans, democrats or the martians win, those from population that adapt to the changes, will win and those that fail to adapt will loose.
Pavel: I don’t reject all Guardian articles, but this one is an uninformed rant:
These conditions remain in place. As many white people (Republicans) confront the fear that by 2044 they’ll no longer be in the ethnic majority, they feel the need to take drastic measures to maintain white supremacy. It’s all they’ve ever known. It happened in the 1860s; what’s to prevent it from happening now?
Actually, in 1860 the Republicans wanted to abolish slavery, while the Democrats wanted to keep it. This resulted in white people fighting white people (how does CRT explain this fact while claiming that all white people are inherently racist?).
> What should the EU do to stop running the economy into the ground?
There was a Biden admin leak (probably deliberate before the elections) that advocates Ukraine/Russia talks:
This should have been done much earlier. The situation seems an escalated continuation of the 2014 war, and it is likely that people will be shelling each other in 10 years from now if there are no talks at all.
And I’m of the opinion that the sanctions, while noble in intent, do not have much effect on Russia but a huge effect on the West. Of course military hardware etc. should continue to be sanctioned.
(The EU bureaucrats that run the hardliner policies could of course also take a voluntary 50% salary/pension cut instead of inflation-indexed salaries and pensions to show their support.)
Anonymous: That’s a great point about the Civil War.
Required Dogma Element 1: The civil war was about slavery and nothing else. It is hate speech to suggest otherwise.
Required Dogma Element 2: Nearly all white people, especially in the years prior to the martyrdom of George Floyd (after which a few more allies appeared), want to oppress non-whites and maintain white supremacy.
Yet if we accept both of these elements of dogma it doesn’t make sense that there were any whites fighting for the North in what the haters call the War of Northern Aggression.
Anonymous, points with references from the Guardian article, are these also rants and false?
More than 40% of Americans think civil war likely within a decade.
345 election deniers on the ballot as candidates in November
The percentage of the American public having almost no confidence in the supreme court reached 43% in July, up from 27% in April.
Is the decline of confidence in the supreme court an indicator of the decline in the confidence of American institutions?
The main effect of the sanctions on the EU was due to the reliance of Europe on Russian gas. Back in 2018, Trump did warn Germany of becoming totally dependent on Russian gas. It looks like by next summer Europe will no longer require any energy from Russia. This move is currently very painful but will result in much better energy security for Europe going forward. Russian gas was the only export that the EU depended on, Russian Ladas, Tupolevs and any other products are piles of junk.
Russian sanctions will not have any short term effect on the food supply and energy, but long term they will have big effects on Russia. The USSR was not great but they were self sufficient in large parts of their economy, i.e. industrial machinery, aerospace and etc. Today Russia has nowhere near the self sufficiency of the USSR. Russian airlines depend on Airbus and Boeing, no more Tupolevs, in addition Tupolev cannot make their aircraft without using western avionics and engines. Semiconductor manufacturing is basically non-existent in Russia. The Russian energy industry is heavily dependent on machinery from the west. All Russian missiles, military airplanes and other military gear depend on western electronics, for example their cruise missiles use Altera FPGAs and Analog Devices ICs.
Once Russia withdraws from all parts of Ukraine, including all of Crimea, then negotiations with Russia can begin about the payment for the reconstruction of Ukraine. If Russia gets any land in Ukraine and Putin stays in power, then the rest of Europe is in serious danger, especially Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. If Putin is appeased, then he will demand that the old Warsaw Pact be restored as a security buffer and those countries removed from NATO. Poland knows this, this is why they will be more heavily armed than Germany in the next couple of years. The Czech Republic was happy with its small Air Force of 14 Saab Gripens, now thanks to the rise of Soviet Hydra, it is looking at buying 24 F-35s.
The Baltics, Poland, Slovakia, and Czech Republic all remember what it was like under the rule of Soviet Hydra, this is why they are big supporters of Ukraine.
Pavel: Yes, the links in the article may be true, but I don’t infer anything from them (Hillary Clinton is missing in the Brookings article as a repeat election denier!). I’m watching this from Europe and I get the impression that most elections are denied since the Great Recount in the Bush/Gore case.
Pavel: To have a civil war, wouldn’t you need some courageous people on both sides of an issue? Military-age Americans just spent two years cowering at home because of a virus that was killing some neighbors at a median age of 80-82. Do we believe that millions of people are going to go straight from their COVID bunker into an activity that requires physical courage?
So the mobilization for the insurrection after the election would look something like this, except replace the speaker with Trump or Biden depending on who you identify with?
(turn on cc for English translation)
The best part of the Guardian is the weekend food section where they show you how to reuse what most people would consider rubbish to make delicious food and save the planet. Last week I think it was they provided a delicious recipe for a cocktail, the base of which was left over bean juice, the left over liquid when you cook a pot of beans from scratch. Doing that will save the plant the article assured us by reusing water that contains important nutrients — rather than pouring the stuff down the drain.
If only Bernie was our president, imagine how much better America and the world would be. So, everyone, repeat after me: we want Bernie, we want Bernie, we want Bernie.
Not sure about Republicans as political party but we could be in much more hot water with unhinged far left, anti-American and anti-God, anti-moral and at the same time anti-reason and anti – freedom and anti-democracy Democrats in both the Oval office and legislative branches
I would say for Republicans should be all in to win now. If voters perceived they are not all in to win, there would be no reason to vote Republican in the future, except for politicians’ immediate circle of friends and family. Definitely not for traditional Republican values – aligned independent voters.
Correction: “If voters perceived they (Republicans) WERE not all in to win” I think that wast majority of Republicans are in it to win. I doubt that we should now call Bush wing no Republicans. GWB did ran on Republican platform but eventually moved to mostly take care of family affairs and Gorge Bush was always compromise ethnic addition to Reagan campaign to garner historic elite support.
I am not saying that they were worse of then Biden and Obama, they were better. And in my humble opinion they were better then Bill Clinton.
@Pavel: > Alex, from the January 6 Insurrection videos, it looks like there are still enough people in the US that are physically capable of a Civil War.
Well, I certainly hope nobody takes all the bait that’s been offered by various media outlets that keep up their doom prognostications and, I think, make the idea more pregnant in the minds of the easily manipulated. I know that practically every police car in this country (at least the ones I’ve seen) contain loaded AR-15s and shotguns at the ready, and I think people who would lead the charge would get mowed down pretty quickly. And that’s just the beginning of the military-spec. equipment available to law enforcement officers.
I think we need to work a lot harder on the big question that is being manipulated by political consultants on both sides: the alleged “vulnerability” of our elections to vote rigging, fake counting, miscounting, etc., etc. At every turn, the Democrats seem to want to expand the “legitimate” options that people have to vote, moving us farther and farther away from the practices we’ve relied upon for decades. If I had to venture a guess about which form of voting is the least reliable and prone to error, I would say that mail-in voting is the most likely suspect. I believe in going to the polls in person unless you absolutely cannot. I have all my life. I know there are absentee situations, military people, the handicapped, etc., etc., but this push to get everyone voting by mail – with in-person voting as the last option – is absurd and frankly makes people doubt the integrity of what is taking place.
I was in NJ recently, in a large city, and the State of NJ had a big electrified billboard exhorting people to vote. They had three options: 1) Vote by mail 2) Early voting and last at the bottom of the list 3) In person. So the Secretary of State of NJ is effectively demoting the in-person option and pushing it to the bottom of the list. Then the opportunists and manipulators jump in and start shoving their crowbars and pickaxes into people’s consciousness. People distrust the system, they worry their votes don’t count, and we have general unease. Then the media amplifies that by a thousandfold. NPR has been talking about the Events of January Sixth in connection with almost every single subject they’ve covered in the past two years.
And yeah, I think online misinformation is a serious problem. But people also have the right to be incorrect without being cast into the salt mines as a Misinformer. We don’t seem to have a good handle on that. One of the reasons I don’t use Twitter – and never have, except to look at the occasional tweet that someone else highlights – is because of my first impression of the damned thing: I said to myself, “Why on this Earth are we creating a new super-short-attention-span platform for glorified Internet Relay Chat with video and upvotes and a bot interface and so forth?” Just crap. If I saw Jack Dorsey walking toward me on some street somewhere, I’d spit on the ground and move to other side. We asked for this garbage and we got it.
Alex: Why is “online misinformation” a more serious problem than non-online misinformation? The printed New York Times told everyone that Russia organized the election of Donald Trump, that cloth masks would stop an aerosol virus, and that closing schools would benefit children. Traditional television networks, except maybe for the haters at Fox, spread similar information that is today considered to be false (even by the righteous, though maybe Trump as a Russian asset can be defrosted?). Many more people are reached by traditional media than are reached by the folks who’ve been unpersoned by Twitter, Facebook, et al.
Regarding election-rigging, I think the main elements are in plain sight. We started with a system in which 90+% of people had to work for 8 years before becoming eligible to vote (men aged 21 at a time when men started work by age 13) and they also had to put a bit of effort into voting, e.g., by showing up to the town hall. We now have a system in which people whose working years are far ahead of them (maybe “never”) are eligible to vote and voting requires zero effort (just mail in the ballot that arrived unsolicited). The inevitable result of changing who votes and how they vote will be policies that favor those newly eligible (the non-working and/or lazy). This swamps any irregularities that might be introduced via people grabbing up all of their neighbors’ ballots in the mailroom and voting (correctly) for Bernie!
@philg: I have almost zero qualms with what you wrote there. I think the average person is being fed so much misinformation and biased propaganda from official sources that a lot of people have completely given up on the media, and the polling numbers reflect that pretty well.
When I talk about mail-in voting being more unreliable and error-prone, it’s because I have a little more background knowledge of the inner workings of the US Postal Service and I know for a fact that there are lots of things that can go “wrong” – and undetected – with just a little bit of subterfuge and it doesn’t even reach the level of a conspiracy theory. It can be just one individual who “knows what they’re doing.” In the end, actual human beings have their hands on almost everything, and sometimes their hands don’t do things correctly.
I encourage everyone to vote in person if they possibly can.
Look at the latest official information from the U.S. government. COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection and transmission, which is why the ban on Djokovic-style unvaccinated foreign visitors was recently extended into January 2023.
(these rules don’t apply to clean low-skill migrants who walk across the southern border, but mostly to filthy Europeans who can afford $2,000 to $15,000 round trip)
Then we have the CDC director giving folks the same story about the miracles that the latest vaccines can work, especially for children of 5. Also suggesting that everyone who has an inkling of a COVID infection should guzzle down the experimental drug Paxlovid.
Is Kyrie Irving’s willingness to entertain the idea that American Jews are rich and greedy far more dangerous than the above? (Note that the Jews of the Anti-Defamation League proved that Jews are NOT greedy by demanding $1 million from Irving and the Nets; see https://nypost.com/2022/11/03/anti-defamation-league-refuses-kyrie-irvings-500000-donation/ for how the money must come along with some groveling).
@philg: All I can do is nod my head in beleaguered and mortified agreement. You should start a podcast and maybe a substack and a radio show. We could have a naming contest – that would be fun. My suggestion: “The Focal Plane with Philip Greenspun.”
@alex I’d vote for “Lessons in strawman arguments, goal post moving and bad faith reasoning” With PhilG
Thanks, Angry Australian! I would call it “Adventures in Science-Denial”!
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