Red meat for Ayn Rand

Economist George Newman tears into both candidates, although he offers some advice to McCain:

...Nothing reveals Mr. Obama's visceral hostility to business more than the constant urging of our best and brightest to desert the productive private sector ("greed") and go into public service like politics or community organizing (i.e., organizing people to press government for more handouts). Who in his ideal world would bake our bread, make our shoes and computers, and pilot our airplanes is not clear.

And if you think all this comes from an ardent John McCain fan, you couldn't be more wrong. The Arizona Senator has made some terrible mistakes, one of them trying to out-demagogue Mr. Obama to the economic illiterates. This kind of pandering never works. Such populists and other economic illiterates will always go for the genuine article.

Mr. McCain should have asked some simple questions -- pertinent, educational and easily understood by ordinary voters. Such as:

- If the rise in the price of oil from $70 to $140 was due to "greed" (the all-purpose explanation of the other side for every economic problem), was the fall from $140 to $70 due to a sudden outbreak of altruism?

- If a bank is guilty both for rejecting a mortgage ("redlining") and for approving it ("greed" -- see above), how might a bank president keep his business out of trouble with the law?

- If the financial turmoil of the last year or so was caused by inadequate regulation, which party has controlled both Houses of Congress and all of its financial committees and subcommittees (where such regulation would originate) in the last two years?

- If we bemoan the sending of $750 billion a year to our enemies for imported oil, which party has prevented domestic drilling for decades that would have made us more self-sufficient?

- You were unhappy with Congress, and in 2006 you cast your lot with those who, like Mr. Obama now, promised "change." Are you happy with the changes that have taken place in the last two years?

None of these questions have been asked loudly or often enough, while the other message -- everything is bad, it's all Bush's fault, and McCain=Bush -- has sunk in. So given his own penchant for business bashing, a McCain win would merely count as damage control.

All good points, and I especially liked the discussion of lower oil prices being due to a "sudden outbreak of altruism."

I'm sure it's just coincidental that the "altruism" outbreak occured not long after McCain threatened to drill.

posted by Eric on 10.30.08 at 09:24 AM


While those are great questions, questions a real conservative could and hopefully would ask, before even getting to them, Newman explains why McCain didn't and can't--yes, Obama's tax policies are socialist, but so are McCain's. Can he really get up and say "don't vote for him because he's a socialist, vote for me instead because I'm socialist-lite"?

tim maguire   ·  October 30, 2008 10:18 AM


"I'm sure it's just coincidental that the 'altruism' outbreak occured not long after McCain threatened to drill."

Are you suggesting that McCain's "threats" to drill (or even Palin's ridiculous cheerleading) somehow reduced the price of oil on the world market?

Dr. Nobel Dynamite   ·  October 30, 2008 11:58 AM

Dr. Nobel, if that isn't what he was suggesting, then it should be because it's the truth. So far, every oil crisis the world has seen has been artificial, politically manufactured.

By declaring that he favors increased production (or rather, a willingness to recognize the desire of the American people for increased production), and being someone important enough that he may be able to do it, means that it is likely that more oil will be avilable in the future, leading to a decline in prices.

That's how the futures market works--expectations of more supply in the future can and here did, cause a decline in prices today.

tim maguire   ·  October 30, 2008 3:30 PM


For a blog that purports favor logic and reason, you folks have some funny ideas about how the global oil market works. Perhaps its best to keep in mind that correlation does not equal causation.

To suggest that a possible increase in production of a few million barrels (and that's being generous) ten years in the future (also being fairly generous) would reduce the price of oil by 40% now is not exactly reasonable.

Say what you will about oil traders, but they are not as dimwitted as the folks the good Mrs. Palin is cheerleading into the belief that the U.S. has oil reserves within its control that could significantly affect the world oil market.

The fact remains, catchy chants notwithstanding, that if we could wave a magic wand and tap into all the oil reserves within our control today, it would be a relatively small blip compared with global production and demand. If you look 10-15 years out, that blip is going to be even more insignificant when compared to global demand.

So if you want to drill the hell out of Alaska & the continental shelf, bully for you, but don't pretend that it will have any significant effect on the price of oil, and certainly don't pretend that merely *suggesting* drilling could lower prices drastically.

Dr. Nobel Dynamite   ·  October 30, 2008 4:32 PM

Rand would oppose McCain if for no other reason than his pro-life stand. She was a strong advocate of a woman's right to choose an abortion.
Also, she would be horrified by Palin's folksy anti-intellectualism.
As to Obama, he's either read Rand, or had a coincidental moment himself today; in response to the redistribution/socialist charge he countered: (paraphrasing) "so McCain wants to make a virtue of selfishness?"
Obama's a 1st rate altruist & statist. McCain & Palin are just 2nd rate political opportunists.

Frank   ·  October 31, 2008 12:53 AM

What he does with his own money is altruism. What he does with our money would be something else.

rakdee   ·  October 31, 2008 1:30 AM

Obama knows a fact which conservatives refuse to face, but Ayn Rand openly lauded: that freedom necessarily includes the freedom from any altruistic "duty". The difference is that Rand upheld it as a moral ideal, while Obama (and the entire Left) see it as the key obstacle to their goals.

Remember that audio clip where Obama calls the Constitution "flawed"? That's what he means -- he identifies this basic principle of individual rights, the principle that animates that document, and makes it and this country both great and unique -- as a flaw.

Seerak   ·  November 1, 2008 7:42 PM

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