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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Brilliant Op-Ed Crushing McCain On The Economy

Comments (6)

My Sunday morning online scan of the New York Times turned up an awesome Op-Ed by Frank Rich titled It’s the Economic Stupidity, Stupid.  It’s a scathing (er – "fucking brutal") criticism of McCain and his total lack of understanding of "the economy", how it actually works, and what he would do about it were he to be president.

While Rich takes a few cheap shots (hey – it wouldn’t be a political Op-Ed without some gratuitous things) I think it’s right on the money.

At the end, Rich makes a good argument for Michael Bloomberg as the VP Candidate.  He also dismantles Carly Fiorina as a potential VP and suggests Romney would be a slightly less bad idea.  I can’t imagine either Fiorina or Romney as VP’s – my mind just boggles.  Bloomberg – now that’s someone I could get excited about – for EITHER party.  I hope the dude is at least answering his phone when it rings.

But the real message of the Op-Ed is how out to lunch McCain is on the economy.  Taken at face value, it’s terrifying.  Of course, it’s an Op-Ed so you can’t take it at face value, but it’s politics so that’s what you get.

Time to go for a run and think about birds, the ocean, and happy thoughts.  I’ll drink some Pixie Maté first to fuel me while giving thanks to my latest 50 by 50 Marathon sponsor.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    The op-ed might hold water if McCain's opponent had a better understanding of the US economy than McCain does. However, since Obama is nothing short of a Socialist and might even lean toward Communism, then the op-ed is a useless piece of political fodder and presents nothing more than a straw man.

  • http://friendfeed.com/davidworrell David Worrell

    Yep. Just yesterday, in fact, I saw a hammer and sickle tattoo on Obama's neck. He's a Communist alright, just like I'm Napoleon.

  • http://friendfeed.com/krishnan Krish

    @Gregory Do you realize that there is way too much commonality between free market fundamentalists and communists than saner people like Obama.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    David, one of Obama's greatest influences in politics, by his own admission, is a Communist. He writes about it at length in his book. And when you study his resource redistribution plans, they match very well what one would expect from that end of the political spectrum. I have no idealogical or moral dilemma calling Obama a Communist. Because he is.

  • http://friendfeed.com/shareme Fred Grott

    Gregory Roosevelt was a Socialist was his economic policy so dire?

  • http://friendfeed.com/davidworrell David Worrell

    Gregory, when you start redefining words to mean whatever you want them to mean, eventually they lose all meaning. You might as well call him a ham sandwich.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    David, I'm not redefining words. I'm using Obama's own. But, he does redefine words at will, so you may have a point.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    Fred, Oh my goodness, yes! Roosevelt's New Deal is the very reason we have such a government-dependent society today. He ushered in an era of teaching us to lean on government rather taking responsibility for our own actions. The result decades later is a country strapped with debt, not because we buy oil from other countries (as Obama likes to argue), but because we make too many people dependent on an ever-growing government welfare system. Roosevelt is responsible in many for this country's downfall.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Good Christ — talk radio talking points on Friendfeed.

  • http://friendfeed.com/tad Tad Donaghe

    Are you reading all of that off cue cards Gregory? Way to stick to the far right party line!

  • http://friendfeed.com/shareme Fred Grott

    Gregory do you think for yourself at any point in a debate or conversation? Cost of Oil imports plus war cost is significantly higher than Social Security cost

  • http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer Robert Scoble

    Tad: arguing with guys like Gregory never helps anything. But I guess he would be happy to spend hundreds of billions to kill Iraquis but wouldn't like to spend that money helping the poor at home. And people wonder why our country is so screwed up…

  • http://friendfeed.com/alexandercarlill Alexander Carlill

    Gregory, how the fuck is Obama a Socialist? Cut the absurd hyperbole.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Gregory: have you thought very much about the negative social and economic impacts of corrupt oligarchies, plutocracies and monopolies, crony and vulture capitalism, welfare state institutions for the military-industrial complex, no-bid contracts, predatory nepotocracies and the like? There's a great deal of fine scholarly research out there on these subjects. I approach these issues as a progressive libertarian and fan of creative capitalism, by the way, not as a “leftist” or, God forbid, a “Marxist.”

  • http://friendfeed.com/mickeleh Michael Markman

    Pittman… that's not an argument. And it's without foundation.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    Robert, I think the war in Iraq has been mishandled in as many ways as you do, most likely. I'm terribly sorry I ever voted for GWB in 2000; so much so that I didn't vote for him in 04. Alexander, Obama's wealth redistribution (taking from the rich and buying the votes of the poor) is straight out of the Socialist manual. And, again, Obama himself has said one of his most significant political influences was a Communist. I'm not making that up; the great Obama said it.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Gregory: during the last two terms, under the most fiscally irresponsible and anti-conservative administration in my memory, we have witnessed a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to a small oligarchy which in many cases hasn't earned the pelf by creative and productive labor. Trends like this invariably lead to social breakdowns and disasters, sometimes even revolutions. One doesn't have to be a “socialist” to notice.

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    Sean, I absolutely agree with you. Bush has been completely fiscally irresponsible and anti-conservative. And therein lies the problem. But, you must be pretty young because Carter was the worst President on both counts in US history (really trying to avoid hyperbole there, but I think it's true); thankfully the country was relieved of his damage after just one term. Obama could easily strip Carter of that title, however. In fact, I'm almost certain he will.

  • http://friendfeed.com/rehafer Robert Hafer

    You have to wonder about economic ability of anyone who thinks you increase govt. Revenue by raising taxes. A study of history shows the opposite to be true.

  • http://friendfeed.com/hdiwan Prolific Programmer

    Gregory: I'd be more comfortable voting for Obama if he were a Socialist, but he's not. I grew up under Thatcher, was born at the end of Callaghan's tenure and was witness to the end of British manufacturing under the iron lady. NOTHING was accomplished and whole communities in northern England were stripped of their livelihood. If you are in favour of this and think this is a great idea, you need to tell the coal miners that; see what their lives have become.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Gregory: perhaps we can find a bit of common ground. I don't know what Obama is really about, and I am certainly not an Obama true believer. What I do know for certain, however, is that the neoconservative policies of military aggression in the Mideast which McCain clearly intends to pursue will bankrupt and destroy the United States as an economic superpower. He's drunk the neocon Kool-Aid to the dregs. We're running out of trillions of dollars to fund these wars against “Islamofascism.”

  • http://friendfeed.com/gregorylent gregory lent

    this thread shows the difficulty of even talking about economy, let alone having a plan … let's see, which one of these guys here above should i pick for my advisor? ….

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    Sean, again, very little argument from my end. Provided we can secure our own borders properly so that we stop potential attacks on our soil, I'm all for putting an end to a proactive use of our military. I wonder if we truly can secure our borders, but that's another issue. I am, however, all for a military response in the case of attack. And I doubt you'll ever find me arguing on behalf of a McCain presidency.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Gregory: I share your views about a strong military. So does the American military establishment — that is why it strongly opposes expanding the Iraq War to Iran, a policy which would severely damage the United States in every possibly dimension. A policy which McCain's advisers are pushing hard, and which, I see, you reject. I think, however, you need to refine your rhetorical attacks on Obama. You're over the top, imo.

  • http://friendfeed.com/jjoseph Jonathan

    Good gracious, Gregory. Someone “connected” enough to use FriendFeed should know that “closing our borders” isn't at the top of the list of priorities to fix. Cyber-terrorism is certainly number 1 and port security and the joke that is the TSA are much bigger priorities. And what's more socialist than using my tax dollars to bail out Fannie and Freddie?

  • http://friendfeed.com/rehafer Robert Hafer

    I would like to point out that “neo-con” has long been a left-wing code word, first meaning conservative Jew sand evoling into a general derogative for non-liberals

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Robert — “neoconservative” is a term that neoconservatives coined themselves to describe themselves. It originates in the Commentary culture developed by Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz since the 1970s. Not only is it a perfectly legitimate term, but it is the most appropriate term to describe the political bloc which has dominated the Bush 43 administration. Do an Amazon search on the term and you will be inundated by respectable, high-quality books on the subject. You might start by reading Jacob Heilbrunn's They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons http://tinyurl.com/5newez

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Robert: further note: most Jews are anti-neoconservative and many neoconservatives are not Jewish. “Neoconservative” is a shifty, dishonest term: neoconservatives are anti-conservative (and anti-liberal). Arguably they are also anti-American: witness their assault on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Most of them are closely associated with Israel's Likud Party. They have a distinctly messianic and totalitarian bent, and are driven by raw ethnic and religious xenophobia.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Another fine book on the neocons: Fred Kaplan: Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power http://tinyurl.com/6rzz9s There are dozens of fine books to choose from to get a handle on the neocons.

  • http://friendfeed.com/rehafer Robert Hafer

    It is interesting, at least to me, how change and evolve. Sean, thanks for references

  • http://friendfeed.com/bbjwerner Brandon Werner

    wow I thought the last 8 years made people like Gregory extinct. You know, Freedom Fries Jack Bower freaks. That you can see your desire realized, see it fail, and still show up to the party with the same talking points sounds itself like something out of Communist history. Your time is over; these ideas have failed.

  • Alex

    Unfortunately, neither candidate seems to have much comprehension about what it takes to run an economy. It's pretty frightening that one of these guys will be president. Time to move more money offshort…

    Oh, and Sean, you're an idiot. Why not actually look at some of the writing of Neocons, you might be surprised instead of reading other people's politically driven extrapolations. The idea that most of them are associated with Likud and are religiously xenophobic is one of the biggest pieces of BS I have heard in a while. I'd say start with World War IV – it gives a good run down of basic neocon theory and the war on terror and the entrenched interests that have attacked neoconservatism over the last 8 years. By the way, I happen to consider my foreign policy views VERY neoconish – run for the hills everyone! Bwahahhahahahahaha!!!!! I have been known to drink blood at the rise of the first moon…

  • http://friendfeed.com/gpittman Gregory Pittman

    Brandon, I agree that Bush's ideas have failed. They haven't failed as miserably as you would like to think they have. But they have been failed. But true conservative principles always work. Bush isn't a conservative. Neither is McCain. And “people like Gregory” aren't nearly extinct. Not by a long shot.

  • rick

    The economy isn't the strong point for either of these candidates… and we're in a bit of a bind, here.

    But we were at the end of Bush 1 and Clinton's 8 years as well, and we swapped back and forth between parties each time. That would mean it's the Dems chance to try to screw things up.

  • http://www.kidmercuryblog.com kid mercury

    both mccain and obama are big government nightmares. there are two ways they can tax you: (1) direct tax; (2) expansion of money supply, which creates greater debt and inflation. the dumbocrats use method #1, the rethuglicans use method #2. eliminating the fraudulent federal reserve is where the real solution starts. if the american people want real change, they have to start by telling the 2 party system to f off, and start voting for parties that believe in REAL capitalism — like the constitution party and hte libertarian party. that's our only hope of overthrowing the banking, military, congressional, executive, pharmaceutical, and media nightmare that has in reality imprisoned us.

    • tim

      speaking of taxes has anyone heard this.

      “Lawmakers are quietly talking about raising fuel taxes by ten cents,” by a dime, “from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel.” The new tax would be 28.4 cents on a gallon of gas, and 34.3 cents on a gallon of diesel.

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Gregory: Bush doesn't traffic in “ideas”; he wouldn't know what an “idea” was if it bit him. Bush's script, which he could barely read, was written by neoconservatives at think tanks like the AEI (American Enterprise Institute). This same political bloc goes by the name “neoliberals” in the Democratic Party, on the left, and is making every effort to take control of Barack Obama as we speak. America is no longer controlled by either conservatives or liberals — that's an antique and false dichotomy.

  • http://friendfeed.com/krishnan Krish

    @gregory You can be a socialist or communist than being a dumb free market fundamentalist. In my opinion, free market fundamentalists are dumber compared to even religious fundamentalist. So Obama is much better than folks on the side of free market fundamentalists. Unlike the free market fundamentalist group, Obama has real brain not a stupid belief system.

    • tim

      krish, i haven't seen obama lay out a plan for anything. he keeps talking about 'change' and 'hope' but what is he going to do specifically?

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Free market fundamentalism is invariably exploited by criminal oligopolies, monopolies, oligarchies, plutocracies and the like to build fascist dictatorships that are as oppressive as communist dictatorships. That is why I am a *progressive* libertarian. Too much wealth and power in too few public OR private hands is unhealthy.

  • http://friendfeed.com/krishnan Krish

    Anyone who thinks markets as the only solution (free market fundamentalists) or government as the only solution (communists) are no different than religious fundamentalists (who believe that god is the only solution). Essentially, they have difficulty in putting their brain to work. A saner person will use market solution for problems that need market solutions and govt. solution for problems that need govt. solutions. Obama falls in this category and definitely saner, in spite of what you want to 'believe'

  • http://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride Sean McBride

    Fundamentalists inhabit every field of human activity, religious and secular, on the right and left. Their common trait: they hate to THINK. They are attracted to simple-minded ideologies that supposedly solve everything. They are allergic to nuance and uncertainty. They drive on automatic pilot — that's how they roll.

  • http://friendfeed.com/krishnan Krish

    Words of Wisdom from a typical free market fundamentalist – “Bush failed us, Republican Senate failed us, Republican Congress failed us, Economy failed us, Markets failed us, Enron failed us, Freedie Mac and Fannie Mae failed us. So what? We have the American DREAM.

  • Bob

    I find it interesting that those who decry “big government” always like to use Social Security and Medicare as their targets. In reality, those are the only two programs that are supported by specific tax revenue and have been running a surplus for decades. Where the government has been extremely irresponsible is that this surplus has been spent on other things, such as defense, wars, various pork and tax cuts for the wealthy. Far from taking from the rich and giving to the poor, we have actually been doing the opposite (remember that social security taxes are only on the first $102k of income). The surplus wasn't saved or invested, it was spent. If a corporation did the same thing with its pension fund money, the CEO and CFO would be in federal prison. The panic in Washington now is that the surplus is going to run out and we may have to, God forbid, not steal from the social security tax stream any more.

    Doesn't it strike you as absurd that our defense budget is 40% of the whole world's military spending? That doesn't even include the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (an 8-year war funded out of “emergency” appropriations and debt), or the war on terror. Why should a country with so many guns per capita live in so much fear of attack all the time? I'm a liberal who actually likes the Second Amendment. We should have a civilian defense force like the Swiss. Every adult should be trained to use an automatic weapon and we can slash our defense spending by 80%. That's the kind of self reliance I'd like to see.

  • Bob

    I find it interesting that those who decry "big government" always like to use Social Security and Medicare as their targets. In reality, those are the only two programs that are supported by specific tax revenue and have been running a surplus for decades. Where the government has been extremely irresponsible is that this surplus has been spent on other things, such as defense, wars, various pork and tax cuts for the wealthy. Far from taking from the rich and giving to the poor, we have actually been doing the opposite (remember that social security taxes are only on the first $102k of income). The surplus wasn't saved or invested, it was spent. If a corporation did the same thing with its pension fund money, the CEO and CFO would be in federal prison. The panic in Washington now is that the surplus is going to run out and we may have to, God forbid, not steal from the social security tax stream any more.

    Doesn't it strike you as absurd that our defense budget is 40% of the whole world's military spending? That doesn't even include the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (an 8-year war funded out of "emergency" appropriations and debt), or the war on terror. Why should a country with so many guns per capita live in so much fear of attack all the time? I'm a liberal who actually likes the Second Amendment. We should have a civilian defense force like the Swiss. Every adult should be trained to use an automatic weapon and we can slash our defense spending by 80%. That's the kind of self reliance I'd like to see.

  • Alex

    Unfortunately, neither candidate seems to have much comprehension about what it takes to run an economy. It's pretty frightening that one of these guys will be president. Time to move more money offshort…

    Oh, and Sean, you're an idiot. Why not actually look at some of the writing of Neocons, you might be surprised instead of reading other people's politically driven extrapolations. The idea that most of them are associated with Likud and are religiously xenophobic is one of the biggest pieces of BS I have heard in a while. I'd say start with World War IV – it gives a good run down of basic neocon theory and the war on terror and the entrenched interests that have attacked neoconservatism over the last 8 years. By the way, I happen to consider my foreign policy views VERY neoconish – run for the hills everyone! Bwahahhahahahahaha!!!!! I have been known to drink blood at the rise of the first moon…

  • tim

    speaking of taxes has anyone heard this.

    "Lawmakers are quietly talking about raising fuel taxes by ten cents," by a dime, "from the current 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.3 cents on diesel." The new tax would be 28.4 cents on a gallon of gas, and 34.3 cents on a gallon of diesel.

  • rick

    The economy isn't the strong point for either of these candidates… and we're in a bit of a bind, here.

    But we were at the end of Bush 1 and Clinton's 8 years as well, and we swapped back and forth between parties each time. That would mean it's the Dems chance to try to screw things up.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kidmercury kidmercury

    both mccain and obama are big government nightmares. there are two ways they can tax you: (1) direct tax; (2) expansion of money supply, which creates greater debt and inflation. the dumbocrats use method #1, the rethuglicans use method #2. eliminating the fraudulent federal reserve is where the real solution starts. if the american people want real change, they have to start by telling the 2 party system to f off, and start voting for parties that believe in REAL capitalism — like the constitution party and hte libertarian party. that's our only hope of overthrowing the banking, military, congressional, executive, pharmaceutical, and media nightmare that has in reality imprisoned us.

  • tim

    krish, i haven't seen obama lay out a plan for anything. he keeps talking about 'change' and 'hope' but what is he going to do specifically?

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