Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Is Obama A Keynesian? Rally For Sanity, 10/30/10

There's an old internet saying that "any spelling flame will contain at least one spelling error." It's not a new thought, really - Shakespeare spoke of "being hoist on one's own petard" and Jesus warned men not to "look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye." But it can sometimes be amusing to see people hold themselves up as exemplars and then fail to justify the esteem in which they hold themselves.

So, for a little background, there are a couple of things that people ought to know about.

  • One is a fringe group called "birthers" who believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya1, making him Kenyan rather than American.
  • Another is that John Maynard Keynes, the prominent 20th century British economist, was one of the prime movers of the theory that government ought to stimulate demand with deficit spending during down economic cycles, famously saying that "government should pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up." The Obama stimulus plan was classic Keynesian economics.
  • Oh yes, one more fact relevant to the video is that proposition 19 is an initiative petition on the California ballot to legalize marijuana.

That brings us to the Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert "Rally for Sanity" this past weekend on the national mall. Termed by some as a "smugapalooza," it was a day for the self-proclaimed "intellectual elite" and "reality-based community" to stand out and tell the rest of us how much smarter they are.

But someone else was there with "Obama=Keynesian?" sign and a video camera. Hilarity ensued...



I admit it, I laughed out loud...


1 - The existence of "birthers" is frequently blamed on Republicans or the Tea Parties, but the original birthers that started the story were Hillary Clinton supporters during the Democratic primary campaign.

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