August 1, 2011
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So, now we have a debt deal. Alas.

He was not the man we thought he was.

The worst aspect of this disaster is its confirmation that faith in magic is more important than knowledge, experience, and common sense. Unemployment is nearing 10% – the real rate, including the millions who have simply given up, is probably 16%. The government can borrow money for five years at negative interest, and for ten years at 0.4%. We should be borrowing more money and using it to build stuff that we’ll pay for in ten years and use for fifty. We should be borrowing more money and using it to employ people who would otherwise be idle, and who may now spend years – decades – drifting from one lousy part-time job to another.

Instead, we’re going to cut everything (except the military) in order to avoid small tax increases for millionaires. We’re going to put more people out of work. The deal appears to be total capitulation to unreason without any glimmer of hope.

On the one side, we’ve got experience and we’ve got economics. On the other side, we’ve got superstition and magic. We’re being governed by crazy shamans. I have not yet seen any rational defense.