Mark Dempsey: The Koch brothers will fund a primary opponent for any congressman who steps out of line. That means they get extraordinary compliance with their right-wing agenda while, in the spirit of Boss Tweed, they move the Overton Window—the range of respectable public policy options—ever rightward.
Mark Dempsey: Other jurisdictions have demonstrated housing the homeless is actually cheaper than the costs of police and emergency room time. But the Cult of Vengeance deplores anything “free”.
Mark Dempsey: Someone who cannot feel pain is in danger of burning or injuring themselves, so maybe the incivility in public discourse could have a useful outcome.
Mark Dempsey: The way you get what you want is by being like Bernie, asking for the whole loaf, not hedging your bets by asking for half a loaf, and settling for a quarter loaf.
Mark Dempsey: Diets do not defy the laws of physics. You must eat fewer calories to lose weight no matter what magical mechanism the diet may claim makes it unique.
Mark Dempsey: Neoclassical economics gets at least a propaganda victory by the kind of willful ignorance forced on the public, particularly ignorance of the potential to make the economy more productive by paying attention to the effect of land as a productive input.
Mark Dempsey: These myths have been repeated by scholars from Aristotle to Adam Smith and beyond, but myths are not true just because they are repeated.
Mark Dempsey: Whenever the U.S. has succumbed to the deflationary siren song of “Fiscal Responsibility™” borrowers suffer.
Mark Dempsey: More compact development is roughly half as expensive to maintain as sprawl, so sprawl costs local governments dollars they might need for other services, and just from a financial standpoint, sprawl degrades the public realm.
Mark Dempsey: Even today, people can do amazing things in their service to … oh, the Oakland Raiders. Sure, that’s not the church-recognized God, but it has that quality of devotion the Great Observations require.
Mark Dempsey: Another signature distinction between Right and Left is the refusal by the Right to acknowledge how effective collective action can be. For the political right, all productive actions, all responsibilities, originate with the individual.
Mark Dempsey: America’s recent austerity is strictly optional. The U.S. has made money without limit to bail out banks and prosecute wars. Why not improve the infrastructure?
Mark Dempsey: Economic rent is money paid for no productive purpose, owed simply because of the rentier’s political influence or social status. Classical economics also decried rent as what kept an economy from being truly productive.