According to a survey of apartment buildings by Cassidy Turley, the rental vacancy rate has dropped to 3.2 percent in San Francisco as average rents have climbed 9 percent over the past year, one point below the double-digit growth rate we noted to expect in May.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Michael

    The next 12-18 months are going to be even tighter, not much new construction coming online until late 2012.

  2. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    It will be interesting to see how high rents can climb with real, inflation adjusted, wage growth declining.

  3. Posted by lol

    bdb,
    Yes wages do matter. But it’s the mix that counts nowadays. Little by little the city is more dynamic and wealthy.
    1 – SF is losing blue collars, clerks/secretaries, low paying retirees. They’re replaced by college graduates and successful professionals. A $800/month subsidized granny is bought out, a $3500/month yuppie couple moves in.
    2 – Do not underestimate the capacity newcomers have to adjust to the offer. The standard for the US is on average to occupy 500sf per person. For SF, 600SF is a junior 1BR and you can easily find 3 people (one couple + one single) sharing it for 700 each. I remember a friend living in a tiny alcove on Russian Hill in the dot-com days. 1100/month. The place was a 2 bedroom house with 5 co-tenants.

  4. Posted by eddy

    The term is called “Manhattanization” and it’s been used here before. Not sure these rents are sustainable once the bubble pops, but it should be clear that the capacity constraints that exist in SF also make it very susceptible to these conditions and also make the likely hood of long term / permanent “Manhattanization” even more probable.

  5. Posted by A.T.

    The trend over the last three decades in SF has definitely been a sort of “Manhattanization.” But that trend has slowed a ton. One measure is that the number of “Ellised” units was down to 72 last year from almost 500/yr 5 years ago. And we’re seeing more liveable places going the other direction – into disrepair – which was almost unheard of the last 10-20 years. The latter trend is continuing fallout from the bubble and foreclosures.
    So, yeah, SF is still being “Manhattanized” but not much so anymore. May pick up again in the near future or may reverse course. Anecdotes of three or five people cramming into a small place is not exactly a sign of prosperity. That’s what people who don’t make enough money to live better have always had to do.

  6. Posted by tc_sf

    “Yes wages do matter. But it’s the mix that counts nowadays.”
    ” A $800/month subsidized granny is bought out, a $3500/month yuppie couple moves in.”
    It’s unclear to me why you think this would not be reflected in the statistics. With houses the mix issue is that the set of homes being sold during some period of time may not reflect the entire population of homes. (i.e. more low or high priced homes, or in certain areas are selling, so the mix of sales may not be the same as the mix of homes)
    I don’t think the same mix issue applies to income stats since tax or payroll data can measure basically the entire population across different time periods.

  7. Posted by Mark F.

    I’m planning on applying for a “below market rate” studio at Bayside Village later in the year for $1423 a month. Wish me luck. I may have to move to the East Bay if I don’t get it.
    I lived in this complex from 1988-1997 and liked it quite a lot.

  8. Posted by sf

    I have lived in my 1 bedroom on Lake st. for a year and a half now and I only pay $1275. A 9 percent increase over this would only be $1389 and the average asking rate for a 1 bedroom I am seeing on craigslist is at least $2500. Perhaps I just got lucky?

  9. Posted by sf landlord

    ^^@sf at Nov 7: You may have gotten lucky — many small landlords, who own just one building, or just a few units, don’t always keep up on the market. And/or, small landlords often have a different agenda — they sometimes rent based on the person, not necessarily the top, top dollar they could get renting a one bedroom to 3 people.
    I own a several one-bedrooms in the Inner Richmond — so pretty close to Lake street — and the market value varies from about $1350 on the low end, for the smallest unit, to about $2,000 for the largest one. I don’t see my one-bedroom units renting for $2,500 right now — maybe $2,200 tops for the nicest one, but there are a lot of variables – parking, laundry, views, size of units, what floor is it on, what is the block like, etc etc etc

  10. Posted by sf

    My one bedroom is only about 450 sq. ft., so pretty small, but it has hardwood floors, high ceilngs, is located at the back of the building on the ground floor overlooking the garden, and is on the north side of lake st @ 5th ave, a very desirable location. There is laundry on site. I still think I am getting a great deal!

  11. Posted by curmudgeon

    sf…you are extremely lucky.
    An acquaintance of mine just found an SRO-like place for $675 per month. One room with a sink. Shared bath with several other people. His personal circumstances made the hunt extremely difficult (bad credit, recently homeless)…but that is about the minimum to get in these days.

  12. Posted by sf landlord

    sf…you may have been lucky to be the one who got the place, but honestly you are not that far off the current market. Your place might bring $1500 – $1600 for the right person. I just rented three one-bedrooms on August 1 and I can always tell if I hit the market or not by how many people come to the open house. If there is a line, I priced it too low — if there are a handful of people I’m about right, and if no one answers the CL ad, I missed by a lot!!
    My places are only a couple blocks from you, and for $1400 at my place today you would get ground floor, back of the building, one bedroom, one bath room, small kitchen with room for a table, a small living room, and a pretty good walk-in closet. (Biggest difference is that my laundry is within a block at one of several laundromats.)

  13. Posted by meep

    so if you make the median family income in san francisco and can’t afford to buy a house and if you can it’s a a condo or a single famiy house in a neighborhood with housing projects and substandard schools and no disposible income for private schools . are you middle class or working class?
    what happens when you can’t even rent in a nice neighborhood? are you still middle class?

  14. Posted by Trixie

    I think it’s hard to look at average rents city-wide, since they vary so much according to the desirability of the neighborhood. $1400 in the Richmond, vs. probably $2500 for the same size place in the Mission for example…I think a lot of people end up “commuting” from the Sunset or Outer Richmond so that they can afford something, anything.
    There’s an article about this in the most recent San Francisco Magazine. We’re definitely going to be hearing more and more about this kind of thing, methinks.

  15. Posted by Troy

    To think that SF was the home of Henry George, and yet we’ve forgotten it all.

  16. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    meep, at least the classical definition(s) of working class vs. middle class didn’t have anything to do with how (what middle and upper class white people call) ‘nice’ the housing accommodations are that you live in or the neighborhood said housing is in.
    Up until the turn of the last century, working class people were defined as those that don’t have any assets except for their children. Today I’d add a 401(k) plan to that since defined benefit retirement programs have been eviscerated by the maw of Wall Street, which needs an ever-refreshing stream of suckers to participate in the stock market.
    So if all the assets you have other than your children are in your 401(k), you’re officially ‘working class’. Middle class people can afford to live comfortably, at least for a while, on the strength of their assets. The part-time landlords you see commenting on socketsite about how they own multiple properties and rent them out are middle, if not upper, class.
    So yeah, since people typically buy a house before they start investing in non tax-advantaged, non-retirement account, I’d say odds are that if “you make the median family income in San Francisco and can’t afford to buy a house”, you’re working class.
    All that said, you got me curious as to what Wikipedia says:

    Those in the working class are commonly employed in clerical, retail sales and low-skill manual labor occupations. Low-level white-collar employees are included in this class.

    Saying “you can’t even rent in a nice neighborhood” is just another way of saying that your household income isn’t high enough to live around middle class people. So yes, you’re working class, not middle class.

  17. Posted by rabbits

    The bubble froth was always going to be blow off with a combination of price declines and rent increases, but I am surprised at the amount that rent increases have changed the equation.
    We are getting $3400/mo for a 1,400 sqft flat that we rent out in 94114, and at that price point buying a similar flat becomes appealing. Maybe you partner with someone on a 2-unit building. Maybe buy a SFH in the avenues. This will put a floor under prices in SF.

  18. Posted by rabbits

    rabbits -the problem is many peiople can’t qualify for a sfh
    not enough income
    marginal credit
    down payment (hard to save for a down payment if you rent is high)

  19. Posted by Big V

    Question — does anyone have neighborhood based rent rate changes? I would love to know how much rent has increased here in the Mission — the sense on the ground is that it is through the roof…. And thus I would expect it to be a fair bit higher than the city average….

  20. Posted by hangemhi

    this site use to have it
    http://mullinslab2.ucsf.edu/SFrentstats/
    it looks like he moved to Boston and the site doesn’t actively pull data anymore even though it is still up. a shame because it did track trends in rents – at least per Craigslist asking prices

  21. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A lot of this is being driven by hiring in tech, which we all know can be cyclical. Does the world really need 50 redundant social networking platforms, most of which will never make a dollar of profit? How many of today’s solar start-ups will still be around in 3-5 years?
    A lot of the apartments in my neighborhood (Soma) are being rented by companies, not people, and generally sit empty most of the time. They’re not anyone’s home, and can get dumped back on the market very quickly when it becomes evident there’s no IPO or Google acquisition on the horizon.
    In other words, don’t expect 9% annual rent increases to continue forever.

  22. Posted by Perma renter

    I think Trixie has it right, the price differential among negihborhoods is pretty large. I had the bad fortune of apartment hunting this August after 15 years of rent control when my landlord did an OMI for his firefighter son to move into our flat.
    There seemed to be little link between quality and pricing, I saw 1 BRs for $2,000 – $2,500 that ranged from impeccable & roomy with a private garage to glorified motel rooms to missing the actual living room. No rhyme or reason for pricing except higher pricing for dingier places in Mommy & Daddy co-signing neighborhoods (aka Marina, Russian Hill, etc.)
    I ended up with a big 2 BR + dining room (approx 1,100 sq ft) with hardwood floors and high ceilings for $2,600 in Cole Valley – it had been listed earlier in the week for $2,400. Despite the drawbacks of incessant street noise in the bedroom, I still feel lucky that I beat out 40 other people including the parade of recently hired, relocating LinkedIn, Facebook dolts. One British Facebook idiot appeared at a few open houses, and got the 1 BR in my building that was also available at the same time by overbidding on the $2,100 is was listed for. Guys like that aren’t helping anyone in the market by panicking and overpaying, but outsiders don’t know where or how to look or what rent is reasonable or out of whack.

  23. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    Legacy Dude wrote:

    A lot of this is being driven by hiring in tech, which we all know can be cyclical. Does the world really need 50 redundant social networking platforms, most of which will never make a dollar of profit?

    Answer: No. But that won’t stop people who can’t seem to get ahold of Facebook shares from shoveling their money at them. That’s why they are called “dumb money”.
    Case in point: Ning, down on the Peninsula, valued at $750 million in 2009, being bought out for $150 million mostly in the acquiring company’s stock.

  24. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Could have sworn I read about 5000 times how the city was shrinking in population, and that everybody would just move to the suburbs? Must have been another site. Some of the names look oddly familiar, tho.

  25. Posted by Happy in SF

    ^^^
    I think you mean the site where everyone’s been saying how stupid it is to buy instead of rent. I couldn’t find that site today either. (Red Meat alert)

  26. Posted by hangemhi

    over bidding on rentals, feeling lucky to get a place where the bedroom has street noise…. sounds like the purchase market in 2004.
    so what? we have a rental bubble?
    I was willing to blame the slow sales market for higher rents, but we’ve been in the new normal for 3 years, so that doesn’t seem to explain this past year’s run up. So doesn’t it have to be jobs and an improving local economy? and if so that should improve the purchase market.

  27. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    @[anon.ed],
    San Francisco grow modestly by 3.7% in the last 10 years, according to census:
    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06075.html

  28. Posted by A.T.

    Well, SF’s pop. grew by 3.6% from 2000-2010, 28,500 people (30,400 more housing units in the city during that decade, so no growing overcrowding problem). The bay area pop. as a whole grew by a little over 5%. So it may be the case that people are moving to the ‘burbs. Both the burbs and SF continue to grow, but the burbs appear to be growing faster.
    If we see 9% rent increases for about 4-5 more years, then I think we will have reached the point for some places where it will make financial sense to buy. I’ll take the under on that bet.

  29. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Renting generally WAS a better choice than owning since the bubble peaks of ’06/’07. Do you disagree, Happy in SF?
    Today it’s probably a wash assuming one negotiates well and doesn’t overpay. 1-2 years from now, who knows? As I wrote above, dumb tech money is pushing rents higher and partially bailing out some bubble buyers turned landlords. But that effect can fizzle as quickly as it foams up, per Brahma’s example.
    I, for one, am no longer bearish on SF real estate in general, nor am I optimistic. I think there may be some further pain at the margins, but not another 20% wholesale drop across the board like some people predict (the return to ’96 or whatever). Of course, I also don’t see anything that will drive home prices up quickly, either, aside from outright government-imposed price fixing.
    But given where prices, rents, and mortgage rates are today, I would buy in this market if I felt certain that my job would still exist over the next 5-10 years.

  30. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    Small (~1000 sq ft) two bedrooms flats with no parking are going for $3000-3500 in my neighborhood these days. Rents really seem to have been strong the last year or so.
    It won’t take much for the rent/buy numbers to start favoring buying again, especially with these low mortgage rates. How big a mortgage can you carry with $6000/month at 4.75%? My calculator says $1.15M. You can definitely find a fixer-upper two unit for that price or a livable one for not much more.

  31. Posted by Rillion

    Well we may be starting to get pretty close on the lower end of the market. Two 1Br/1Ba condos just sold within a block of my place for 280,000 & 330,000. Between mortgage, tax, and HOA they should be under $2,000 and that is before calculating any tax savings.
    On $300,000, it breaks down to $1,100 for a mortgage ($240,000 mortgage), $300 property taxes ($292.5 rounded up, $300k x .0117%), take the $1,400 and say 30% break on taxes (25% fed, 8% state but you likely lose some unused standard deduction), so say $1,250 (rounding up since all the payment isn’t interest), then add in say $350 for HOA and you get to $1,600 a month.

  32. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    What happened to all the Austrian economy deflationistas who used to post on this blog? I haven’t heard much from any of them lately.
    Maybe they were right, just early (not being facetious here).
    The main economic advantage to owning a home is a protection against inflationary rent increases, which is obviously worth less in a rent-control city like San Francisco. It is still worth a lot though, especially if you want a SFH, where rent control generally does not apply.
    The rent vs. buy calculator tilts very heavily towards buying in an inflationary environment and towards renting in a deflationary one. And as ex-SFer is found of saying, those are political decisions right now, so it is pretty hard to predict what is going to happen.

  33. Posted by Rillion

    Good contrast:
    1br/1ba for rent, $1,800 ask, laundry in building, no parking.
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/2685178016.html
    One block away, 1br/1ba, in unit hook up for laundry, deeded 1 car parking. sold for $330,000 less then a month ago.
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1348-Scott-St-APT-B-San-Francisco-CA-94115/15077382_zpid
    also a block away for $270,000 is another 1br/1ba that sold in august (not sure on parking/laundry on this place)
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1951-Ofarrell-St-San-Francisco-CA-94115/15077349_zpid
    Of course both of those are much cheaper then the $2,400 someone is asking for a 1br in the fillmore heritage center, but then that’s “luxury” …
    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/2673641721.html

  34. Posted by Willow

    I ended up with a big 2 BR + dining room (approx 1,100 sq ft) with hardwood floors and high ceilings for $2,600 in Cole Valley
    Perma renter: That seems ridiculously low for Cole Valley. Unless the place is a dump you really hit the jackpot.

  35. Posted by tc_sf

    “The main economic advantage to owning a home is a protection against inflationary rent increases, ”
    Nationally yes, as migration between booming and busting areas tends to cancel out in national prices. But locally the transformation of the Bay area from orchards to semiconductor fabs and beyond produced a great deal of real price and wage increases.
    While I agree that long term inflation/deflation is a bit of a question mark due to government involvement (Although market expectations of inflation are currently under 2%) and is significant particularly with fixed rate loan, for the bay area I think the question of real growth also weighs in heavily. There have been booms and busts in the past on the way up and I see no reason to expect that the road forward won’t be similarly bumpy. As Brahma points out above, paper valuations can drive a wealth effect even though on average only a small fraction of the paper money will be realized.

  36. Posted by lyqwyd

    @NVJ
    There are two ways out of our current credit bubble:
    Massive deflation via debt destruction, or hyper inflating the debt away. I don’t think the Austrian’s say deflation is the only way, but I could be wrong about that.
    Since the only person in the political world talking seriously about fiscal responsibility is Ron Paul, and he has zero chance of winning, combined with deflation hurting the financial houses far more than hyperinflation will, my money is on hyperinflation, after a brief deflationary event which will be used to justify the steps that will lead to hyperinflation.

  37. Posted by A.T.

    We may see big inflation in the form of higher prices on commodities (gas, food, clothing). But with 20% real unemployment, I just don’t see that being matched by significant wage inflation in the foreseeable future. Unemployment rates among recent college grads are even higher, and half of that group with a job is working in a field that does not require a degree, so there is a huge pool of qualified labor out there even for skilled jobs. And we still have a large surplus of housing from the bubble years. The result of this would simply be that we become poorer, and that would not make housing a hedge against inflation at all. This is not the 1970s.
    There are lots of good reasons to buy a home, particularly if (as is the general rule, although not recently) it is cheaper to buy then to rent. And there are lots of intangible costs/benefits to both owning and renting that should be factored in. I would not place any value as an inflation hedge when doing the calculus. Although NVJ is right that one could properly factor in potential future rent increases — but one also could factor in potential rent decreases as one can do no better than guess where rents will stand several years from now.

  38. Posted by lol

    Ron Paul is an entertaining figure. Put him in a debate and he’ll put a healthy wedge into the status quo. Put him in power and you’ll see the country falling into an incredibly bankrupted mess. This country wasn’t built by Ron Paul types, that is for sure.

  39. Posted by tc_sf

    “Unemployment rates among recent college grads are even higher, and half of that group with a job is working in a field that does not require a degree, so there is a huge pool of qualified labor out there even for skilled jobs.”
    As pointed out by a previous poster, a decent chunk of the “underemployment” may be that students are getting less useful degrees rather then there actually being a huge pool of qualified labor.
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/11/college-has-been-oversold.html
    An amusing anecdote on the above which also points out how the media can miss the point:
    “What astounds me is not that someone could amass $35,000 in student loans pursuing a dream of puppetry, everyone has their dreams and I do not fault Joe for his. What astounds me is that Richard Kim, the executive editor of The Nation and the author of this article, thinks that the failure of a puppeteer to find a job he loves is a good way to illustrate the “national nightmare” of the job market. ”
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/11/not-from-the-onion-3.html
    A positive conjecture from the above is that an oversupply of puppeteers will probably not drive down wages for engineers. On the down side, as with people hoping that the housing market will “recover” back to bubble times, it seems that people hoping for a fix to the “national nightmare” whereby puppeteers and dancers get high paying jobs are probably tilting at windmills.

  40. Posted by tipster

    A lot of properties were bought by specuvestors with easy loans given to anyone with a pulse. The specuvestors rented them out while they awaited their easy profits only to find the market tanked on them. This produced an excess f rentals. Rents haven’t gone anywhere for ten years as a result.
    Almost every time one of the specuvestors either sells at a loss or gets foreclosed, the buyer is purchasing for his or her own use. So the artificially high number of rentals is dropping. Of course some of the buyers are former SF renters but others are people from the burbs, either former renters or owners. Couple that with the number of rent controlled properties that were converted to condos or TICs and you have a lower number of rentals.
    So now the situation is reversing, and when the tide goes out, sometimes the old imbalances get flipped around.
    Couple that with the people being hired in this mini-boom: mostly single young males, who are not really interested in buying, just renting, or unable to buy, and here we are.
    Higher rents always helps, but this is being largely driven by processes that aren’t going to be as friendly to sellers as higher rents in years past. Too many homes were built, and the glut remains, which is why any bubble pops. And the people driving rents up are much less likely to buy any time soon. Rents started trending up much higher about 6 months ago. Case Shiller says home prices fell in that period. This probably helped them fall less far. Higher rents helps, but aren’t going to help as much as higher rents in the past.

  41. Posted by Legacy Dude

    At the risk of channeling the flujnon[n.ed] of years gone by, let’s not apply national statistics to local markets.
    Regarding Trip’s first paragraph above, the bay area economy is currently healthy, and most parts of the core bay did not overbuild during the bubble (obviously I don’t view Antioch or Tracy as part of the bay area). This isn’t Phoenix, where there are more houses than households. The current tech boom may fizzle in a year, as we’ve all repeatedly said, but our local reality does not match the national picture today.
    And I doubt the country would go broke with Ron Paul in office, although I think a palpable deflation would likely set in if some of his ideas were implemented. Government capture via the FIRE lobbying machine assures we’ll never find out, so not even worth discussing IMO.

  42. Posted by lol

    LD,
    Let me disagree with you on the consequence of a(n almost impossible) Ron Paul presidency.
    He claims fiscal responsibility, shrinking government, etc, all coming from a supposed taxpayer revolt.
    In short he’s asking for the nation to go into forced retirement. Like Howard Jarvis did 30+ years ago.
    These “fiscal conservatives” want us to eat our own. No investment into the future, stop defending ourselves on the international scene. This will not last very long as outside pressures are real and we are still producing kids that will need a future.
    Ron Paul doesn’t believe in the future, or even in trying to keep what was built before. Just like retirees who are scared of everything because the world moves too fast for them.
    Ron Paul. Old president for aging minds.

  43. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    A hypothetical Ron Paul administration doesn’t scare me at all, because the policies he advocates can’t possibly pass Congress, especially in the post Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and 60-vote-minimum-for-anything-to-pass-the-Senate world we currently live in. Had he managed to get elected shortly after Richard Nixon left office, he might have had an impact on U.S. history.
    Tipster’s claim that “almost every time one of the specuvestors either sells at a loss or gets foreclosed, the buyer is purchasing for his or her own use” is an interesting little hypothesis which doesn’t agree with my own experience, but what do I know, I don’t have any data. As hangemhi said above, if SFRentalStats was still online we could easily see if that explanation checks out by seeing if recently sold foreclosures showed up on the rental market shortly after closing.
    Lastly, the bay area economy may be currently healthy compared to the country as a whole, but not everybody, or even the majority of people are working for a social networking start-up that is flush with VC cash. There are lots of sectors of even the bay area economy that aren’t growing or are going to start contracting shortly. But like I said, I don’t have data on that. If someone wants to cite a reputable source that shows the marginal impact of “the current tech boom” on the S.F. or even bay area in general’s economy (what percentage is it?), I’d love to read it.

  44. Posted by lyqwyd

    I don’t really have an opinion about Ron Paul, but I definitely have an opinion about the other options and it’s not good. We are currently on the path to collapse, and our leadership is helping to bring it, rather than attempting to find real solutions.
    At least Paul is promoting something other than the failing status quo. But he’s not going to win, so no need to worry about what will happen if he does. On the other hand we should all be very worried about what’s going to happen when he doesn’t win.
    Romney vs. Obama? I don’t really care, since neither of them is going to do anything other than keep the existing system going until the last fumes run out.

  45. Posted by EBGuy

    What happened to all the Austrian economy deflationistas who used to post on this blog?
    The Treasury has put out feelers to explore the possibility of negative rates on some short term bonds. Just sayin’…

  46. Posted by hangemhi

    local rent inflation hardly means we’re in an inflationary period. the prospects of a hyperinflation are about slim and none with most of the country broke and in debt.
    we have avoided a deflation…. teetering on the edge here and there…. due to government spending…. automatic stabilizers, the past stimulus, bush tax cuts, and ever increasing military spending meanwhile.
    Meanwhile, we don’t need Ron Paul to run the country into the ground – the deficit commission may do the same thing.

  47. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Personally I think the economy is going great!
    Business is exploding — there’s a good possibility that I will close north of $4M in sales this year (lots of projects rushing to get off the ground and very few suppliers left standing) and am talking acquisition with a big company in Europe… and just think, I bootstrapped this whole deal 100% with government cheese.
    Could be moving to Pac Heights sooner than I thought!

  48. Posted by 47yo hipster

    All i’ze can say iz…it’s good to be a landlord in frisco!
    (strategizing on my rent increase letters to be sent out in January- non RC units. Cha-Ching!)

  49. Posted by hangemhi

    i didn’t realize hipsters could be capitalists…. or maybe you’re just not that hip any more :)

  50. Posted by sfrenegade

    “At least Paul is promoting something other than the failing status quo.”
    Yeah, he is trying to change the status quo for social issues to be even further right than mainstream Republicans. That’s not really intelligent change.
    lol has this one right on the economic stuff. Beyond anti-Fed (which is ideological and not very interesting) and limit our foreign policy more (which is believed by many people), he doesn’t really have much to say that’s compelling.
    Changing the status quo is stupid if you change it in a stupid way.

  51. Posted by lyqwyd

    @hengemhi
    “Meanwhile, we don’t need Ron Paul to run the country into the ground – the deficit commission may do the same thing.”
    The debt commission is political theater. What happens when they fail? Some cuts will be implemented 2 years from now, and of course all the cuts will be eliminated before they begin. Best case scenario all our wars will be over by then, but even that will not be enough.
    @sfrenegade
    Like I said, Paul is not going to win, so I’m not too interested in debating whether his ideas are good or not, but I would like to respond to this comment:
    “Changing the status quo is stupid if you change it in a stupid way.”
    When you are walking towards a cliff, the only truly stupid thing is to keep going the way you are.
    The country is running towards a cliff, and something needs to change. That was the essence of Obama’s campaign that got him elected, but he has failed to deliver. We need a new direction, and I haven’t seen too many people even discussing that, much less proposing a viable plan.

  52. Posted by lol

    FDR implemented the solution (with a fiscal conservative snafu in 37). It got picked up by both Reps and Dems well into the 40s and 50s with no credible challenge. and the US did great during this year. OK, a couple of billionaires got overtaxed booh-freaking-ooh. I guess nobody was losing sleep over that.
    During that time no-one called this socialism nor communism. It was simply the American Way. Take care of your neighbor, prepare your kids for the future, be a grand country with big ideas for the world to admire and respect.
    What happened to us? Have the Faux News lies definitely broken our will to do better things?

  53. Posted by J

    Ron Paul’s policies are basically all Dickensian. They certainly don’t represent a new direction. To further the cliff analogy, his liquidationist policies would be the final push over the edge of the cliff.

  54. Posted by lyqwyd

    I would happily support a new FDR, if you know of one let me know.
    Stop letting yourself get distracted. The issue is not whether Paul’s ideas are the best out there, or even good (I disagree with many of his points). The issue is that nobody in a position even close to as powerful as his is proposing any ideas. If I’m missing somebody let me know.

  55. Posted by sfrenegade

    “When you are walking towards a cliff, the only truly stupid thing is to keep going the way you are.”
    You realize that Ron Paul’s policies would continue to increase income equality and not really fix anything, right? That’s if Congress buys into any of that stuff. That’s the problem with being a reactionary — by definition, you go backwards.
    People have actually proposed ideas if you’d actually look carefully. Last I checked, President Obama was shooting for a grand bargain with the debt extension talks, but it got shot down. Obama seems to have big ideas like that, but never really puts the muscle behind it to effect the change.

  56. Posted by lyqwyd

    I would happily support a new FDR, if you know of one let me know.
    Stop letting yourself get distracted. The issue is not whether Paul’s ideas are the best out there, or even good (I disagree with many of his points). The issue is that nobody in a position even close to as powerful as his is proposing any ideas. If I’m missing somebody let me know.

    But for those who want to continue to fixate on him, please explain what’s so bad about him.
    Do you even know what his policies are?
    He’s basically for smaller government, less war, less taxes, return to the core of the constitution, states rights, and the rights of individuals over the government.
    I can wholeheartedly support all of those. On the social side I agree with some of his positions, but disagree with many, but at least he feels that many of these issues should be dealt with at the state level, which I’m comfortable with.
    He seems to be a generally rational person, even though he is probably overly fixated on certain issues. But being rational, he usually seems to be able to explain where he’s coming from in a way that even if I don’t agree, I can understand and respect his opinion. That doesn’t mean I will change my position on a particular topic, but I don’t see to much rational thought coming from other politicians, whether they are Dems or Repubs.

  57. Posted by lyqwyd

    Sorry, partial double post above…
    “Obama was shooting for a grand bargain with the debt extension talks, but it got shot down.”
    Operative words being “it got shot down”
    Obama has no ideas, especially not any new ones. He’s just replaying the Clinton playbook, but not even as well. He had three years, and an overwhelming majority in both houses for 2 of them and he’s gotten nothing of real importance done, and has even done things that will make the situation worse, such lowering taxes on the rich.
    What has he done to fix our current situation? Extend and pretend, that’s it. He’s great at making grand speeches, but terrible at getting anything done. I got caught up in the speeches when he ran for president and had high hopes for him. I thought he had the potential to be one of the great presidents, but that’s clearly not gonna happen. He’s certainly way better than GWB, but that doesn’t make him a good president. Unfortunately even if Romney were to win, I don’t think he’ll be any better.
    “You realize that Ron Paul’s policies would continue to increase income equality and not really fix anything, right?”
    I assume you mean “increase INequality”. Please explain how, he’s certainly not in the pocket of the major players, and he’s very interested in the plight of the average person, so you need to explain how his policies the growth of income inequality more than it is growing now.

  58. Posted by sfrenegade

    He’s basically for smaller government, less war, less taxes, return to the core of the constitution, states rights, and the rights of individuals over the government.
    Some of that is meaningless window-dressing, and all people are able to say about his beliefs. If you take out “less war,” that’s basically the platform of the Republican party, so maybe you should go back and read Ron Paul’s beliefs if you really think he’s fundamentally different. If the only difference between Ron Paul and the Republican party platform is “less war,” he’s not that different.
    When you delve into actual positions, you basically get a extremist religious right conservative as to social issues, while espousing some economically liberal policies that still aren’t as libertarian when taken as a whole as Nader or Kucinich.
    It’s really hard to take anyone seriously when they refer to returning to the core of the constitution because that just means they are trying to institute a particular ideology of what they think the constitution means. Most people talking about constitutional law are generally wasting their time.
    The point is that there have been plenty of candidates in the past saying some of the same things as Ron Paul (Nader is a great example) — that both major parties are the same. It’s not completely true, but I get what they’re saying — that both are subject to capture by lobbyists in similar ways. Some of those people haven’t had some of the extremist beliefs that Ron Paul has on social issues.
    I assume you mean “increase INequality”. Please explain how
    Sorry, that was a bad typo. :) It’s not hard to explain how a libertarian economic philosophy leads to more inequality. Think of feudalism, basically. In fact, elements of a libertarian economic philosophy have caused a large portion of the current trend towards economic inequality — reducing regulations that ensure competitive markets and not enforcing antitrust law. The problem is that competitive markets require an amount of regulation to keep them competitive. Without regulation, you get concentrations of power that are able to subvert markets.
    Obama has no ideas, especially not any new ones. He’s just replaying the Clinton playbook, but not even as well. He had three years, and an overwhelming majority in both houses for 2 of them and he’s gotten nothing of real importance done, and has even done things that will make the situation worse, such lowering taxes on the rich.
    This is where I disagree with lots of people. Obama has plenty of ideas. I think he’s just not particularly politically savvy, doesn’t know how to operate in Washington, and doesn’t listen to staff who do know how to operate in Washington. He’d rather work to try to build consensus and let Congress hash things out, rather than lead the charge.
    Instead of full measures, you get half-measures that incorporate elements of what Republicans have already proposed. Obamacare is a great example. It’s basically the Republican Party plan from the 1990s as a foil to HillaryCare. Yet, very few people called out the naysayers in Congress as hypocrites.
    Many elements of Obama’s plans are cribbed from Republicans. This means they start out negotiating where they should end up negotiating. Because of this failed tactic, the Republicans just keep saying no, because the bill is already halfway to what they want, and anything else is a net gain.
    A lot of this stuff is political failure, not a failure of ideas.

  59. Posted by tc_sf

    “These “fiscal conservatives” want us to eat our own. No investment into the future, ”
    Spending only invests in the future if it’s actually useful. Not all government spending is useless, but useless spending by the government hurts the future rather then helps since it takes productive capacity away from more useful endeavors.
    Consider how much good government spending has done for the housing market. Also look again above at the posts regarding the flatlining of useful majors in college vs performing arts and communication. Government “investing” in education makes a good talking point, but if the reality is that this money goes to non-economically productive majors (and sketchy for-profit colleges) the cutting this spending will not damage our future and in fact will probably help it.

  60. Posted by tc_sf

    “It’s not hard to explain how a libertarian economic philosophy leads to more inequality.”
    Liberal government policies can fail and unintentionally cause more inequality as well:
    “Another thing liberals are worked up about is that the study attributes rising inequality to fewer “federal transfers” to the poor. But that’s not because poor people are getting less money from Uncle Sam in absolute dollars. In fact, they get more every year. It is just that they are getting a smaller portion of total transfers. This is not something that “income inequality deniers” have made up. It is what the study itself says.
    It found that in 1979, households in the bottom quintile received more than 50 percent of all transfer payments. In 2007, similar households received about 35 percent of transfers. “The shift reflects the growth in spending for programs focused on the elderly population (such as Social Security and Medicare), in which benefits are not limited to low-income households,” the study explains. “As a result, government transfers reduced the dispersion of household income by less in 2007 than in 1979.”
    In other words, poor people are getting relatively fewer handouts thanks to the Great Society programs that liberals themselves put in place for the elderly. This demonstrates the core problem with unfettered redistributionism: Eventually, you run out of other people’s money. And when you do, you have to make hard choices about whose needs to prioritize—not demonize opponents.

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/11/08/liberal-programs-deserve-blame-for-incom

  61. Posted by lyqwyd

    “Some of that is meaningless window-dressing”
    Sounds like you haven’t actually done any investigation into him. He has quite clear and fleshed out ideas on many of these concepts.
    “If you take out “less war,” that’s basically the platform of the Republican party”
    Return to the core of the constitution, states rights, and the rights of individuals are definitely not part of the Republican platform. The may talk (a little) about personal rights, but they definitely do not believe that talk. None of the other points do they care about at all. Citizen’s United ring a bell, at least the Dems said they opposed it, even though they’ve done nothing to actually try and address it. The only thing Paul particularly agrees with the Repubs is lower taxes, and he doesn’t really want to do it the same way (only lowering for the wealthy)
    “When you delve into actual positions, you basically get a extremist religious right conservative as to social issues”
    such as? I know he’s pro-life, but he’s said he believes it’s a states rights issue, I’m pro-life, but he doesn’t at all sound extremist. Please provide evidence for you claim.
    Here’s some evidence to contradict your claim:
    He does not support our current environmental protection practices, but also believes that polluters should be held accountable, that goes against mainstream Repub thought.
    He supports stem cell research, voted against the patriot act, supported the right of gay couples to marry (although I wouldn’t call it strong support).
    He may be religious, but that does not make him an extremist.
    Feudalism is not anywhere close to libertarianism.
    Note I also said “you need to explain how his policies the growth of income inequality more than it is growing now.” I never said Paul’s ideas will end inequality, but I do believe equality will be better than it is under our current system (which I personally believe is now an oligarchy).
    Note, I’m not interested in debating the merits of theoretically pure libertarianism, as I don’t believe in that, and I agree it has it’s flaws. I may have libertarian leanings in some areas, but I also disagree with other elements, example: I believe in universal free health care.
    Re: Obama. Your description sounds pretty much like what I said, just with a slightly different spin. I hear, he takes other people’s ideas, does a bad job of selling, and then caves under pressure.
    Healthcare was a perfect example. It’s wasn’t his idea, he did a piss-poor job of selling it didn’t really push for it, and pretty much caved on all the important elements of it.
    It’s strange how all his ideas seem to end up being profitable for multinationals, and not really provide much benefit to the average person. I call that a bad president.
    I’d like to point out that the question should not be Obama vs. Ron Paul (or anybody else). The question is, who is the best person to get us out of the current situation our country is in. If you believe it’s somebody other then Paul, I’d be interested in learning who that is. If you believe Obama is our best chance, then we can respectfully disagree, as I do not believe that what’s happening now is the best that can be done.

  62. Posted by lyqwyd

    Correction to the above:
    “I’m pro-life, but he doesn’t at all sound extremist”
    I meant to say I’m pro-choice, not pro-life.

  63. Posted by sfrenegade

    “I’d like to point out that the question should not be Obama vs. Ron Paul (or anybody else). The question is, who is the best person to get us out of the current situation our country is in. If you believe it’s somebody other then Paul, I’d be interested in learning who that is. If you believe Obama is our best chance, then we can respectfully disagree, as I do not believe that what’s happening now is the best that can be done.”
    Honestly, it’s naive to think a president can fix the macroeconomy on his own. Full stop.
    Out of the candidates that are running, Obama easily seems like the best chance. Most everyone else seems interested in sending stuff further backwards.
    “I’m pro-life, but he doesn’t at all sound extremist. Please provide evidence for you claim.”
    It’s really not hard to show how Ron Paul is a rampant social conservative. This is just one example — it probably only exaggerates a little bit:
    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/11/04/10-reasons-not-to-vote-for-paul/
    Your claim that he supports gay marriage is very tenuous, read #7.
    Someone on another forum suggested this 2-D political spectrum chart:
    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008
    This shows that Ron Paul isn’t even all that libertarian and also is pretty far right socially. You can see this in some policies not mentioned in the link I said — e.g. illegal immigration. Even though multiple studies have shown comprehensive immigration reform would raise GDP and raise wages for skilled workers, Ron Paul is against it on social jingoistic grounds.
    On several other issues, he has obscured his actual positions by focusing on his constitutional beliefs and states rights. He would come down on the side of social conservatives generally, but uses the other stuff as an excuse.
    “In other words, poor people are getting relatively fewer handouts thanks to the Great Society programs that liberals themselves put in place for the elderly. This demonstrates the core problem with unfettered redistributionism: Eventually, you run out of other people’s money. And when you do, you have to make hard choices about whose needs to prioritize—not demonize opponents.”
    This really is a very weak incoherent argument. Saying that redistribution has exacerbated inequality because the power are getting fewer transfers is sort of silly. If there were no redistribution at all, the inequality would have been far greater than simply cutting benefits.
    In addition, it’s not like conservatives have been able to “equalize” things as reason has been suggesting (i.e. push some of the elderly’s money back to the poor), so this is really a silly argument, as many Reason arguments are. If anything, it’s been conservatives who have been more than happy to cut welfare, but have mostly treated Social Security and Medicare as third rails. Even the brief interlude (that got little support) into private accounts was half-assed and mostly about being a handout to Wall Street.
    “Consider how much good government spending has done for the housing market. Also look again above at the posts regarding the flatlining of useful majors in college vs performing arts and communication. Government “investing” in education makes a good talking point, but if the reality is that this money goes to non-economically productive majors (and sketchy for-profit colleges) the cutting this spending will not damage our future and in fact will probably help it.”
    Government spending has actually done a lot for the housing market, some good, some bad. It’s really no different from other things. I’d still note that it’s private lending that went rampant during the most recent boom, not government lending.
    What percentage of money goes to “non-economically productive majors” and what percentage goes to for-profit schools? My impression for the latter is that it’s mostly GI bill funding right now, and that could easily be changed, since the eligibility requirements for for-profit schools are poorly devised. My impression for the former is that the lion’s share of federal funding for universities goes to science research, not humanities research, although this is more indirect than specifically education funding, since it’s about funding research.

  64. Posted by lyqwyd

    “Honestly, it’s naive to think a president can fix the macroeconomy on his own. Full stop.”
    I agree with that statement… but you making it hear is a straw man attack as I’ve never suggested that to be the case.
    Being socially conservative is different than being an extremist. I never suggested that Paul is socially liberal, but you have failed to show that he is an extremist. There are plenty of extremists on the right, Paul isn’t one of them. You don’t have to like him, but at least be honest about him. I read the first link, and I think it’s exaggerated more than a bit. Here’s a quote from your second link:
    “For example, Ron Paul on the social scale is actually closer to Dennis Kucinich than to many figures within his own party.”
    I’d also support Kucinich in many of his policies, even though I disagree with some, just like I do with Paul.
    “Obama easily seems like the best chance.”
    How does 3 years of failure seem like the best chance? The majority of the financial laws & rulings that have happened under his watch have only exacerbated the situation. Citizens United, Foreclosure Fraud, Banking Fraud, legislative capture. What has he done to correct these issues? Nothing as far as I can tell. Meanwhile he’s facilitated the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars to the finance industry, while at the same time the small banks have been decimated. TBTF has only gotten bigger. In my mind Obama is a proven failure. I had great hopes for him, and he completely failed to deliver on his promises.
    I’ll give him some credit for significantly reducing troop numbers in Iraq, but numbers in Afghanistan are up from when he took office, and likely to further increase.
    If Obama is the answer to our problems, then sadly the answer is complete collapse.
    If you don’t like Paul, that’s fine, provide another name. In my mind it’s not Obama. I have no idea who I’ll be voting for, probably some 3rd party candidate, but I do know Obama will not get my vote this time around.

  65. Posted by A.T.

    lyqwyd’s assessment of Obama is pretty much spot on (although there is nothing he could do about Citizen’s United, and criticizing the Supreme Court about it at the state of the union was extremely childish and foolish).
    I don’t believe I’ve ever voted for a Republican in my life – may be some exception I don’t remember like Insurance Commissioner or something. But if it ends up being Romney vs. Obama, I’ll vote for Romney as the more liberal candidate. I’d give careful consideration to Huntsman. No way would I vote for any of the other Republican candidates as they are all idiots.

  66. Posted by hangemhi

    if you can believe the drivel that comes out of the mouths of GOP candidates during their debates and speeches, than Obama is the best choice. I hate to sound like an Obama apologists because i’m pissed off at many of the things that happened (and didn’t happen) under his administration…. but given the TBTF and bank bailouts started before he took office and continued on very early in his presidency, I think he frankly had no expertise to push back on Paulson, Bernanke and the rest of the sheisters.
    I have no idea if he knows now that there were better alternatives, but I’m certain he was in over his head then….. as ANYONE else would have been in his situation.
    Meanwhile, if he could just pass his job’s bill it would have a positive effect on the economy…. we need more spending, but spending that will boost demand. Tax cuts for corporations, and for the wealthy, are 100% misguided. More corporate and bank deregulation, and stripping EPA regulations, and more drilling, less green-tech support. All of that is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
    Ron Paul would be wrong because he wants to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending and that would push us into a depression. Oh sure it sounds wonderful to suffer a little pain and come out the other side with a fresh start…. except for all of the people that would die from crime, starvation, and less health care access. Let the housing market collapse – woo hoo – mass food lines, tent cities. Tipster would be so happy.
    Our options suck…. but we need more spending from the governement that ends up in the hands of the bottom 80%, and only the Dem’s are even talking about that. Now they just need a backbone to get it done

  67. Posted by lyqwyd

    @A.T.
    I’ve also never voted for a Republican either (although there are a few that I might have voted for, had they made it through the primaries).
    I may vote for Romney, but I need to learn more about him. He just seems to be another politician so far, so I doubt he’ll be any better than Obama.
    I know Obama couldn’t do anything directly about Citizens United, but he didn’t even try. He could have championed a constitutional amendment, or legislation that would have weakened the ruling, but nothing happened at all. I don’t believe Dems want it overturned any more than Repubs as they all want the money for their campaigns.
    @sfrenegade
    After further review of the 2-D chart you provided, it places Ron Paul as more liberal than Obama (and most Democrats) on social issues. He’s definitely far right on economic issues, but appears liberal on social issues when compared to both Democrats and Republicans.

  68. Posted by Rillion

    Those measures of liberal/conservative aren’t a good measure for Ron Paul. He “appears” more liberal because it is generally regarding issues with the Federal government. For example, Ron Paul would not want the Federal government outlawing abortion, he would prefer that be done at the state level. He switched positions on DADT, first being for it but eventually changing his mind and voting to repeal it. He says he would have voted for DOMA in 96 if he had been in Congress then. At other times he has said that governments (at any level) shouldn’t be issuing any marriage liscenses. So he appears to have a few liberal positions when voting on social issues at the Federal level but he is not really liberal on social issues, just generally anti-Federal government involvement in social issues.

  69. Posted by sfrenegade

    “if you can believe the drivel that comes out of the mouths of GOP candidates during their debates and speeches, than Obama is the best choice. I hate to sound like an Obama apologists because i’m pissed off at many of the things that happened (and didn’t happen) under his administration…. but given the TBTF and bank bailouts started before he took office and continued on very early in his presidency, I think he frankly had no expertise to push back on Paulson, Bernanke and the rest of the sheisters.”
    Yeah, this is the operative point. I think hangemhi said it better than me. I am far from an Obama apologist and have plenty of criticisms, some of which I’ve detailed above. I just think he’s a better alternative than the yahoos out there who are trying to replace him. A.T., I don’t even know that too many people are taking Huntsman too seriously, but he probably has some of the smarter things to say, I’d agree.
    “Ron Paul would be wrong because he wants to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending and that would push us into a depression. Oh sure it sounds wonderful to suffer a little pain and come out the other side with a fresh start…. except for all of the people that would die from crime, starvation, and less health care access. Let the housing market collapse – woo hoo – mass food lines, tent cities. Tipster would be so happy.”
    This is true too. If you cut the federal budget, you also cut a significant portion of GDP, like it or not.
    “After further review of the 2-D chart you provided, it places Ron Paul as more liberal than Obama (and most Democrats) on social issues. He’s definitely far right on economic issues, but appears liberal on social issues when compared to both Democrats and Republicans.”
    Sorry, I didn’t read the chart carefully myself, but am going off what I read. Upon further analysis of that site, I’d say that you can’t actually fully say that some of the things that push him to the libertarian side make him something other than a social conservative. It’s more complex than that. There is a slight difference between disagreeing with a policy on libertarian grounds and disagreeing with a policy on social conservative grounds. Ron Paul frequently has a stated position on other grounds which makes people falsely consider him to be socially liberal in some cases (e.g. the gay marriage thing you said) — the net result might be socially liberal on a national level, but Ron Paul would disagree with the policy if he were running a state government as a social conservative.
    “How does 3 years of failure seem like the best chance? The majority of the financial laws & rulings that have happened under his watch have only exacerbated the situation. Citizens United, Foreclosure Fraud, Banking Fraud, legislative capture. What has he done to correct these issues? Nothing as far as I can tell. Meanwhile he’s facilitated the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars to the finance industry, while at the same time the small banks have been decimated. TBTF has only gotten bigger.”
    You’re making the classical error that many people do. You have plenty of criticisms, but no real answers. What would you do with Congress? Citing Citizens United as something Obama could do something about seems odd. What would you do to break the gridlock and pass things — let’s seem some details here.

  70. Posted by lyqwyd

    @hangemhi
    Every new president is in over his head, that’s why I gave him the benefit of the doubt for his full first year. I wasn’t super excited with his progress, but still had faith that he would pull things together, during the second year, I wasn’t as disapproving, but neither was I a strong supporter. Once he completely caved to tea party presssure and gave the $700 billion tax cut to the rich he lost even my neutral opinion of him, and he hasn’t come close to redeeming himself.
    TBTF banks certainly existed before he took office, but given that he’s been president for 3 years and the TBTF companies have only grown, he doesn’t get a bye at this point. TBTF is a major problem and will result in further transfers of wealth from the public to a small number of private interests when the next round of bank failures happens.

  71. Posted by lyqwyd

    @sfrenegade
    “You have plenty of criticisms, but no real answers.”
    Obama has no answers. My answer is replace the failed president with somebody who has at least not proven themselves to be a failure.
    All presidents have to deal with congress, and I’m sure it’s often difficult. But Obama couldn’t get anything done even with large majorities in both houses.
    “if you can believe the drivel that comes out of the mouths of GOP candidates during their debates and speeches,”
    This statement applies as well to Obama. He says a lot, but gets little of it done, and often does the opposite of what he previously said he will do.
    “Citing Citizens United as something Obama could do something about seems odd. What would you do to break the gridlock and pass things — let’s seem some details here.”
    Obama could certainly have tried to do something about Citizens United, but he didn’t. You want some examples of what he could have done? Taken it to the people directly, it was vastly unpopular. Talk to the state governors to try and get a constitutional amendment. Talk with the senate to try and get some laws passed to weaken it. Even if it was some small laws, anything would be better than nothing.
    If you don’t like that how about TBTF, he could certainly do something about that, but hasn’t, and has allowed it to grow into a bigger problem. What has he even tried to do to fix this?
    Don’t like that one? How about caving to the Tea Party and giving $700 Billion tax cut to the wealthy immediately after saying that our debt is too high?
    “Sorry, I didn’t read the chart carefully myself, but am going off what I read. Upon further analysis of that site, I’d say that you can’t actually fully say that some of the things that push him to the libertarian side make him something other than a social conservative. It’s more complex than that.”
    Your own link provides support for my arguments regarding Paul. That seems to indicate you haven’t really done your research. Now you are saying it’s more complicated. I agree, do some actual research before you start pigeonholing him.
    Here’s my question to you, do you think Obama is a good president, and if so why? If not, why would you vote for him again?
    I don’t subscribe to the “best of a bad lot” theory. Vote 3rd party if you think all the Dems & Repub candidates are bad, or at the very least explain why Obama is a good president deserving of a second term.

  72. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Your own link provides support for my arguments regarding Paul. That seems to indicate you haven’t really done your research. Now you are saying it’s more complicated. I agree, do some actual research before you start pigeonholing him.”
    Except that my research fits my ultimate conclusion, even if the link I gave was faulty. Again, it’s fairly easy to explain the link, and I did. Maybe you should quit grandstanding and respond to the substantive point.
    “I don’t subscribe to the “best of a bad lot” theory. Vote 3rd party if you think all the Dems & Repub candidates are bad, or at the very least explain why Obama is a good president deserving of a second term.”
    Thus far, Obama is less likely to break stuff than the other guys. The other guys have no plans to fix anything other than “lower taxes,” which hasn’t worked and won’t work. I think lots of people would consider voting 3rd party in the coming election if there’s a good option.
    I’m still not really seeing answers or much of anything, other than the typical “vote Ron Paul, he’ll change things.” Except that not all change is good, which was the whole point to begin with. Naively saying “this guy has ideas” when they’re bad ideas doesn’t really help anything. There’s some amount of irony in people criticizing Obama and then having so much hope that Ron Paul will change things.
    Lots of people on the internets say “vote Ron Paul” without being able to explain why. It’s a cliche. If you want us out of the current economic mess, Ron Paul won’t do it. Even if Congress fully complied with some of his ideas, they would generally be bad for the vast majority of people, as has already been said here. Even when he has some ideas that are good, his method of going about it would likely hurt the economy too.
    Anyway, the length of this discussion is probably far out of proportion to my interest in it. As in most political discussions, we can agree to disagree.

  73. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    lyqwyd wrote, referring to Ron Paul:

    He seems to be a generally rational person, even though he is probably overly fixated on certain issues. But being rational, he usually seems to be able to explain where he’s coming from in a way that even if I don’t agree, I can understand and respect his opinion.

    I don’t agree.
    Anyone whose ever seen CSPAN coverage of The House subcommittee on Monetary Policy (and no, I am not that much of a nerd or paid political/policy wonk, but they have CSPAN on one of the televisions at the gym I work out at in the cardio room and at that time of the day, you’re going to either watch CSPAN or soap operas) OR The House Financial Services Committee when Ron Paul has more than five minutes to engage in his habit of airing at length his nutty views about monetary policy instead of asking questions when the Chairman of The Fed is testifying, will probably not come to the conclusion that Ron Paul “a generally rational person”. You must be judging him based on campaign appearances and his well-honed commercials.
    I am not alone in this assessment. From Dave Weigel’s politics column in December of last year, subheaded Why Ron Paul’s newfound power both pleases and worries libertarians:

    And yet there are libertarians who consider the Paul takeover in open-mouthed horror…”Republicans stashed him in this job because they don’t want him making more important decisions,” said Megan McArdle, a prominent libertarian blogger and economics editor of the Atlantic. “He cares passionately about monetary policy, which most Republicans don’t care about. But when you look at his speeches, he doesn’t understand anything about monetary policy. He might actually understand it less than the average member of Congress. My personal opinion is that he wastes all of his time on the House Financial Services Committee ranting crazily.”

    Emphasis added. I think that even someone who understands Austrian economics would be ill at ease with the idea of a Ron Paul administration. Just because he represents ideas that aren’t commonly found in either Republican or Democratic circles doesn’t make those ideas any good.

  74. Posted by hangemhi

    lkqwyd – who is that candidate? Because I’d happily vote for an independent or a Dem who challenged Obama. In fact I’d happily write-in any list created by OWS. I could care less if they’re high school drop outs…. i’d vote blindly.
    But since there are no other viable candidates and it is btwn Obama and a candidate from a party who is purposely trying to drive the economy into the ground, and who openly support citizens united and every other inane thing to come along…. Obama it is. And my bet is that at least 50% of the country is going to feel the same way next November.
    any maybe, just maybe, the OWS movement will force Obama to act in ways that will actually benefit the country

  75. Posted by lyqwyd

    @sfrenegade
    “Except that my research fits my ultimate conclusion, even if the link I gave was faulty. Again, it’s fairly easy to explain the link, and I did. Maybe you should quit grandstanding and respond to the substantive point.”
    The link was not faulty, but ignoring your on evidence because it is shown to contradiction your opinion is.
    “Thus far, Obama is less likely to break stuff than the other guys.”
    Things are already broken, and Obama is breaking them more. He needs to fix things, not just not break stuff. It seems like the sum total of your support for Obama is that things could be worse.
    “other than the typical ‘vote Ron Paul, he’ll change things.'”
    First, I never said you should vote for Ron Paul, I said I would vote for him if given the choice between him and Obama. I said vote 3rd party or explain why you think Obama should have a second term. Still haven’t heard why you think Obama is deserving of a second term, other than that he’s not a Republican. Second, he would very likely try really hard to change things if he did become president. Maybe he would fail, or those changes would be bad, but I have every confidence he would do his best for some real change.
    I’ve already explained why I would vote for him, while you on the other hand have made false accusations proven wrong by your own evidence.
    Again, here’s my question to you, do you think Obama is a good president, and if so why? If not, why would you vote for him again? Or maybe you think America is doing just fine and everything is going in the right direction?

  76. Posted by lyqwyd

    @hangemhi
    right now I don’t know who I’d vote for in a 3rd party, although I’d love to see a viable candidate come out of the OWS movement. It’s way to early for me to know the 3rd party presidential candidates.
    All I know is I’d vote for RP over Obama any day, but RP is certainly not a 3rd party candidate, I’m also certain that RP isn’t going to become the Republican nominee, so I’ll start looking into the 3rd parties sometime early in 2012. If no significant independent candidate appears I’ll likely choose a Green or Libertarian, but I can’t say for sure at this point.

  77. Posted by lyqwyd

    @Brahma
    I can’t watch the video in your first link, it’s saying the account has been removed. But I can certainly say I disagree with some of his ideas. For example, his theory that the super committee is unconstitutional seems ridiculous to me.
    I know RP thinks we should go back to the gold standard. I think that’s a mistake as the gold standard has some serious flaws, but the current monetary policy is far more flawed in my opinion, so I would still take the gold standard over the current system, and the flaws are fixable if you are willing to make changes from the classic gold standard.
    I disagree that he understands monetary policy less than most congresspeople. I think he knows more than most, but that’s not saying much, and it doesn’t mean he’s always right even if he does understand it more.
    I don’t really get the purpose of your second link, it basically just says some Libertarians don’t like him and that he doesn’t always communicate his ideas effectively.
    It also says that what he says sometimes seems crazy at the time, but is later proven true:
    “Paul’s commentary on, and cross-examination of, the Federal Reserve has only seemed less crazy with the passage of time,” said Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason. “It sounded crazy when he kept pestering Bernanke or whoever about whether the Fed was involved in various overseas bailouts. But then the Fed was involved in various overseas bailouts!

  78. Posted by SFrentier

    ^ eh?

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