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Which candidate is best for the economy?

By September 17, 2008Uncategorized

The other day I was at dinner with two neighbors, commemorating our survival of Hurricane Gustav. The conversation turned to politics, which was unfortunate because I’ve done a good job in the past few weeks of completely ignoring the presidential race. I’m fed up with the campaign and all of the pandering to prejudice and ignorance that is the staple diet of any political contest.

People are ignorant, and politics does little more than remind me of how supremely ignorant we as a nation are. Anyway, back to the dinner conversation. One of my friends said she wouldn’t vote for Obama because he wasn’t good for the economy. I asked her why and she said because he would raise taxes too much. She asked me who I was voting for, and I replied truthfully that I had decided that I would no longer vote in political contests.

Why not? Especially in this important presidential race?

Well, I replied, apart from my baseline disgust for political elections, I don’t feel like I’m competent to pick the right person to lead the country. I agree that whoever can help the economy would probably be the best bet, but I don’t know enough about the economy to make that determination. Even if I did, I would have to know how to decipher the candidates’ proposals (filtering for the pablum that is spewed out to confuse voters). The conversation the drifted off into an exhortation of my ‘obligation to vote.’ Blah, blah, blah…

Anyway, yesterday I saw that Scott Adams had paid for a survey of economists to tell him (and anyone who was interested in the results of the survey) who would be the best candidate. As he puts it:

“This summer I found myself wishing someone would give voters useful and unbiased information about which candidate has the best plans for the economy. Then I realized that I am someone, which is both inconvenient and expensive. So for once I asked not what my country could do for me.”

The survey results are here if you are interested, and many of you will be. But I suspect most of you will be interested only to see if it confirms your firmly established notion of who is the best economic candidate. Which is why I remain committed to my position as well. I’m not voting because I refuse to participate in a process in which a majority of the people are committed to ignorance. Our political leaders do not seek to make us smarter; they are happy to capitalize on our commitment.

Only nature can intervene, and it will. The only question is: how long will it take for nature to do its job? My guess is a lot sooner than we think.

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  • Ray Ward says:

    I spotted this quotation by David Foster Wallace on Writing Tools (

    “If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.”

  • John says:

    Our economy is a very important topic for everyone to consider for the next election. Obama I think has good intentions, but in the long run, he will hurt our financial industry even more. When is comes to keeping health insurance affordable Obama’s plan with healthcare will only weaken our financial industry and the reality is, the financial industy is what keeps America going.

  • pHIL says:

    “One candidate said on Monday that the economy was fundamentally sound and then on Tuesday said that it was broken. One candidate did not.”

    Haha. I think the remark was actually “The fundamentals of the economy” are strong, in context referring to the american worker.

    Your comment is a perfect example of why ernie seems to hate politics. Too much hatred and lies.

  • Bryan Sims says:

    With respect to Ray Ward’s comment, I would echo what John Scalzi said yesterday, which is that socialists nationalize successful businesses.

  • Ray Ward says:

    With the federal takeovers of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, I’d say we’re moving in the direction of socialism. Who’d have thought that GWB would take us there? Further evidence that voting is a crap shoot. (I use “crap shoot” ambiguously.)

  • milo says:

    So let me get this straight:

    One candidate said on Monday that the economy was fundamentally sound and then on Tuesday said that it was broken. One candidate did not.

    One candidate has supported deregulation almost without fail and has as his chief economic adviser the former Senator most closely associated with banking deregulation. One candidate hasn’t and doesn’t.

    One candidate is from the same party as the current President who came into office with record surpluses and has proceeded to turn the federal budget 180 degrees around to create the largest deficit spending in history and today sees the Dow Jones at the same level as it was when he took office. The other candidate is from the party who’s prior President passed enabling legislation in 1993 and 1994 without a single vote from the opposition party in support which provided for elimination of the federal budget deficit, saw the creation of 23 million jobs, and saw the Dow Jones average triple.

    Ernie the Attorney can’t see a difference.

    Take your head out of your ass so that you can see.

  • Scott says:

    I have totally given up on politicians. I can’t think of a single one that is actually in politics for the betterment of the common people. It seems that each and every one of them are in it for personal gain. They promise the world to the public and never deliver. The sad thing is, the public still buys their B.S. The simple fact is that a person running for the presidential office has no clue about the life of the average American citizen anymore.

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