Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bottom Line? Mish Shedlock is an Idiot

Addendum below.

So recently, The Hourly G ran a post about the State finances of Texas, which are in far worse shape than one would think. How bad? California bad.

Dungeon Master Mish Shedlock,
with his fetish object.
The key passage was:
Texas is famously pro-business, low-taxes, no-union. It doesn’t have a state income tax, and it lowered its school property taxes by a third in 2005.
Still, it has this 15% deficit, and a total debt which will cross the 100% mark this year—which pretty much gives lie to the notion that you can get all that you want by lowering taxes, squeezing out unions, and letting business get down to business.
People like Mish Shedlock who constantly harp about the union and the taxes fail explain that the only way a low-tax, pro-business, no-union situation can exist is to cut services—drastically. Or not have them at all.
This was an en passant reference to the Windy City Windbag. But lo and behold, he wrote in the comment section some lines that show . . . well, they give the prosecution’s case for declaring him a certifiable idiot:

The Windbag wrote: 
States do not need to cut services at all.
Instead they need to scrap union wages, scrap absurd union benefits, get rid of collective bargaining for unions, and get rid of prevailing wage laws. 
Not a single teacher, firefighter, or police officer need be fired. 
The problem is public union wages and benefits are bankrupting states. I have explained this 100 times. Some people simply cannot read.
Dungeon Master Mish doesn’t seem to realize that Texas does not have any of the conditions he is constantly harping about—yet Texas is still nearing insolvency. That was the whole point of the post, which he didn’t bother to read (or maybe he reads nothing except that which is written by The Great Dungeon Master In The Sky—Gary Gygax).

See, children learn early: TANSTAAFL—There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. You gotta pay for stuff, one way or another. 

The people of Texas want police? Fine. Firefighters, garbage collectors, all the other city services? That’s cool too—but they gotta pay for this stuff. They don’t pay but still demand these services? They go broke—it’s that simple.

Texas has no income tax, lower property tax, no unions for public workers, etc., etc.—all the wet dreams of Mish Shedlock and other 40 year-old virgins like him. (Don’t think he’s a virgin? Please take a good long look at the above picture of the man.)

Your government goes broke when you vote for services but against taxes—it’s that simple. The Other 40-Year Old Virgin does not seem to understand this fairly basic concept. Like a lot of morons on both the Right and the Left, he seems to think that some external bugaboo is to blame for not getting what the whiny brats want for free. 

Dungeon Master Mish cannot conceive that it’s a problem of simple arithmetic: Spending more than you earn drives you to bankruptcy. Like other minions of the tin-foil hat brigade, The Windbag is convinced that UFO’s are responsible for crop circles, and that Texas’ looming bankruptcy is all the fault of the unions, all the fault of the minimum wages, or COLA’s, or something else.

To Mish Shedlock, bankruptcy is never the fault of craven politicians who vote for more services and less taxes, in order to suck up to the electorate, who are foolish enough to believe this balderdash. In a very real sense, Shedlock is as stupid clueless as those economists peddling the mind-bendingly stupid conceit about the perfectly rational markets. 

Considering all the evidence, we here at The Hourly G have decided: Mish Shedlock is so blinded by ideology, so foolish in his idée fixe, so entrenched in his blinkered world view, that he leaves us no choice:

Congratualtions, Dungeon Master Mish! You are officially a Grade-A Idiot!!

Now go back to your wood-panelled basement to finish painting your lead figurines, and let the grown-ups discuss the news.

Addendum: A while back, Mish Shedlock was publicly challenged to debate deflation vs. hyperinflation. He dodged the challenge—then wrote a poison-pen blogpost, severely distorting positions he disagreed with, in order to score points without any opposition, thereby “proving” that he was right, and that the “flat-earthers” (as he referred to inflationists) were wrong.

In contrast to Shedlock’s pettiness, in this post, there hasn’t been any distortion of his position: The comment quoted above was the entire comment he wrote. And anyone even vaguely familiar with his rants about unions being the root of all evil will know that the characterization of him is accurate—to a T. 


  1. Gonzalo

    What's with the vitriol. One has better karma to disagree without spewing venom.

  2. Wow--You just nailed what I've been thinking about Mish for a long time. His anti-union BS is long since tired already. Your 40-Year-Old Virgin is yet another Libertarian a-hole who values the paper shuffling of being an investor over good old fashioned physical labor never seeming to realize that without the latter the former would be utterly worthless and he'd still be living in his mother's basement.

    Come to think of it, he probably is anyway. :)

  3. Perhaps we can split the difference? Mish has a point when it comes to high tax states with powerful public unions and labor laws such as New York, New Jersey, etc. Even the governor of New York seems to agree that cuts have to be made. The money isn't there and taxes are already high on those who work.

    On the other hand, Mish hasn't a clue when it comes to Texas or Louisiana or Alabama, etc. These states with their "right to work" laws and weak public sectors are in dire straights. Their forgotten poor (only briefly remembered during Katrina) are being left to fend for themselves. Many live in Third World conditions, in America. And, if things continue, the middle class in these states will not be far behind.

  4. Anonymous at 9:41 pm is on track.


  5. I agree with the notions that perhaps you're getting a little too insulting and that Anonymous at 9:41 gets it.

  6. Hm, such vocabulary and that amount of foam at the mouth... All for what? For an ad hominem argument? What's the point of the post? To show that you are smarter than Mish? Fail. To show that you are right and he is not? Fail again: only tomorrow will tell who is right. To promote yourself at the expense of a colleague (being non-MSM makes you colleagues)? Major fail. Grown-ups get the right to discuss news after they have learned to control their emotions.

  7. G, I've been a fan of your posts since your hyperinflation articles, and I've been pleased even with some of your non-economic ones (like the Pixar discussion.) I also read Mish for the counter-opinion, though I think your storyline of hyperinflation is somewhat more likely than Mish's prediction of Japanese-style deflation. Granted, Mish made an obviously unwise misstep with that comment in response to that post, but your response is more than I can stand for. Virgin? Tin-foil-hat crowd? Can you please leave blogging like that to the eighth graders and go back to picking fights on issues like an adult? You know, with stats and logic? I miss the old GL. Any chance he'll return?
    I think I'll unsubscribe from your feed now. When Mish accuses you of kicking puppies, I'll be back.

  8. Meh... this wasn't worth your time to write it or your reader's time to read it. Go crazy on Benanke, et al. but this comes off as petty and juvenile? You blogging drunk again?

  9. Was it worth it??

    To attract teachers/fireman/police Texas competes with other states, states which have union obtained benefits and wages. Needless to say unions have an impact on the Texas budget indirectly!!

  10. This kind of ad hominem detracts from your arguments. More generally (this is just my opinion) -- I'm starting to see this as a symptom of your switch from longer, well thought out essays, nearly all of which I thought were excellent, to several-per-day off-the-top-of-your-head brain-farts, many of which seem to me superficial and offensive in tone. I think it's great that you experiment with the form, but my recommendation would be that you chalk this one up to experience and go back to doing the longer, better thought out pieces.

  11. Factually wrong on many counts. I'm disappointed Gonzalo.

    On a personal level, Mish is married, if you have read his blog posts for many years he has made *occassional* reference to his wife.

    Regards craven politicians, Mish lambasts many Republican politicians for the very charge you have made at him - that you can't cut taxes and not spending.

    You may or may not agree with him about his views, but you should check what he has actually written rather than what you think he has written.

  12. Gonzalo, I'm glad you nailed Mish. He is a typical NYC idiot savant. All form no substances. He is so typical of the idiot savants that led us to the tech bubble, R/E bubble, repealing Glass Steagal and let's never forget to invade Iraq to stop Saddam from using his WMD. One million dead civilians and $1.5US trillion later we discover that there were no WMD.

    Things are so dire in the West, that it is important folks like Mish get their head handed to them regularly so that we avoid the mistakes of the past 20 years.

    PS: He may be a virgin with Women but just look at his picture and tell me with an honest face that he is a virgin. He screams ??????

  13. I think that I, along with many of your readers are severly disappointed with your attack on Mish. Whether you agree with him or not, he is a smart person with many valid views. You "rant" was not worthy of reading, as you attack him based upon looks, sexuality and many other disturbing non financially based attacks.

    One of your readers above, Jack, stated "you should go back to longer, more thought out posts" and after reading your attack, I could not agree more.

    1. Mish is smart? lol. He is a complete idiot and clown. And for you to fail to recognize this makes you even worse off.

      have a look at Mish exposed by a top expert..

      The problem is that the media only airs dildos so people never know what it's like to come across a truly brilliant investment expert. Instead they are used to idiots like Mish and Schiff so they pick and choose between this basket of morons thinking they are getting legit people when they are really getting losers.

  14. I never heard of Mish until now. Went over to his site and read some interesting opinions. Bookmarked his site and added him to my daily reading list. Thanks Lira

  15. Wow, just witnessed the temper tantrum of a 4 year old. People resort to childish personal attacks when they can't argue their point otherwise. I used to be a fan of your posts but not if this is the type of garbage that the Hourly G is going to put out. Argue your point with the facts and the facts only.

    1. Are you still crying? No one cares dude. Get over it.

  16. GL,

    Sorry, but there was no need to attack his manhood.

    Rest of the post was useful though. I'm glad you wrote it, and I'm glad I read it.

    -Dave in MO

  17. Let me make one think clear, Texas is not a low tax state. True there is no income tax but I pay property tax at almost 3.5% of the assessed market value which amounts almost to a second mortgage. I also pay 8.25% in sales tax on everything but groceries.

    I used to live in Arizona which has a state income tax, but lower property and sales taxes. I pay more in taxes in Texas than I did in Arizona.

    In my opinion, Texas does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.


  18. I took the "40 year old virgin" as more of a play/association for the movie of same title.
    There are lots of reasons why people turn down other opportunities, including debates.

    Not everyone is a purist. I would not lose anymore sleep over it. I realize telling you to not lose any sleep is not going to help much.

    I use to write a regular column. I had many fans. Yet, when the critism came, even the constructive kind, it was still hard. Writers can be sensitive (like other artists).

    Go get some fresh air like we have in Kansas. It is warming up finally - Only 10 degrees F.

    One last thought G. - you might be surprised by how often geeky looking men get laid!

  19. Youre definitely off on this one. We get it that you disagree with his deflation thesis. There are elements of it that are correct, as others have pointed out above.

    Take a breath and regroup here.

  20. I ve always had mixed feelings about Mish -

    I like his critical opinions on the establishment but I never understood how he could see public workers as the cause of this historical crisis we re going through .

    Too bad ... he could have been useful to the cause of the People -

  21. The real issue with Mish is he has no credentials. He's not an economist with a PhD, he's a CFP that peddles a product. CFP's are a dime a dozen and the barrier to gaining such a credential is pretty low- about as reputable as saying you are a stock broker. Shedlock seems to have a very thin understanding of macroeconomic policy and his opinions of such is the stuff of bar stool debates not serious economic analysis. This is why he belongs on a late night radio show like Coast to Coast AM w/ George Noory, with the likes of UFO/alien abductees, bigfoot hunters and psychics. For the record- he a regular contributor on that show.


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