August 21, 2008

Manufacturing Spin

Justin Katz

What folks on the local Left don't seem to understand is that we at Anchor Rising aren't so much politicos as, well, nerds (although we prefer the term "intellectuals," of course). So, for instance, when one of them cites a factoid or offers some analysis that we find interesting, our first thought is, "Huh. I wonder if that's accurate." Figuring out the policies that contribute to a result comes next, and politics come last, inasmuch as it makes no sense to assess the political implications of illusions.

That's why I was puzzled by Matt Jerzyk's insistence that right-wingers are attempting "to shift the debate from RI's recession and our foreclosure crisis" to immigration — or to anything, for that matter. If Anchor Rising is at all representative, we've done nothing so much as trumpet RI's status as one of few official recessions in the United States as evidence that the Democrat-and-union-dominated state is poorly run. Whether school attendance and foreclosures are related, in other words, our habitual argument remains intact: This state needs reform and an end to its collectivist policies.

His post, it seems to me, may be just a clever ploy to push Republicans and conservatives onto the defensive when it comes to RI's abysmal economy. That sounds like something that a well-financed union/progressive back-room organization would come up with, and his "I DARE YOU" comment to Andrew's recent post... in all caps, no less... is a pretty transparent attempt to make any response seem as if it's an acknowledgment that his false premise — that Republicans are responsible for the recession — is correct.

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FINALLY! THANK YOU, JUSTIN, for finally bringing up this issue!!

Here's my argument:

1) RI's banking and financial leaders have pinpointed the foreclosure crisis as the single-greatest cause of RI's recession.

2) The right-wing triangle of Gov. Carcieri and talk radio and AR has IGNORED the foreclosure crisis - just as they ignored the hard work that is necessary to bring good, new, innovative jobs to RI.

3) Instead, this triumvirate focused on immigrants.

By the way, there is nothing "clever" or "manipulative" about this argument. I have stated, time and time again. Go to the Carcieri website. Type in "foreclosure" and you will find "nada." This is a problem.

Any half-baked student of economics knows that if you slow/solve the foreclosure crisis, then the economy and the state budget will see increased revenues and production.

You see the state budget as the problem.

I see the recession (as caused by the foreclosure crisis) as the main problem (which collaterally has made the state budget crisis even worse).

Am I making sense in a non-clever way?

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at August 22, 2008 12:11 AM

Justin -

This seems like the right time to ask whether AR folks would be interested in utilizing the "blog talk radio" software to do a weekly podcast where RIF and AR debate for 30 mins each week on hot local issues.

Since so many radio hosts are focused on ratings and not on substance, there might be a good gap for some healthy debate.

Let me know!

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at August 22, 2008 12:16 AM

Jerzyk is pushing this theory hard, and he appears very excited about finding the cause of the RI crisis! LOL.

In reality, I think Jerzyk is excited about finding a pseudo cause of the crisis, a false cause, a propaganda tool to divert the blame.

It's funny how in Jerzyk's world the cause of the current crisis has nothing to do with high taxes, government corruption, government bloat/ waste, entitlements, expensive welfare and expensive unions --which all add up to many billions of dollars and which drive away businesses and jobs. On Planet Matt, the RI Democratic party is entirely blameless.

Rather than laying the blame on the crooks in the State House, he comes up with this cockamamy theory.

In reality, foreclosures are a *symptom* of a deeper economic problem, they are not the cause.

But, foreclosures make a great red herring for the Progressives to use to shift the blame. It's Progressive propaganda at its finest.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at August 22, 2008 2:21 AM

There's a conspicuous non sequitur to your argument, Matt: Your complaint against the "right wing" is that we have "IGNORED the foreclosure crisis" since it began, but you're behaving as if that is proof that our preferred policies caused it. I can't speak for others, but if I hadn't had a lot to say about foreclosures, specifically, it's because, like Citizen Critic, I see it as a symptom of a national downturn that has hit Rhode Island particularly hard because union/Democrat policies have left our economy especially vulnerable. The way to fix it, in other words, is to improve our economy, especially in comparison with other states', and one needn't look very hard around here to find suggestions about how to do that.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 22, 2008 6:16 AM

Any half-baked student of economics knows that if you slow/solve the foreclosure crisis, then the economy and the state budget will see increased revenues and production.

Government bail-outs at tax-payer expense that would perpetuate bloated house prices and continued reliance on Chinese and other foreign capital is not my idea of "solving" a problem. Especially when the root cause is an individual decision.

Is it a "crisis" or a "correction"? As prices drop houses become more affordable for people that have been prudent with their money.

Posted by: JP at August 22, 2008 8:41 AM

Hypocrite Jerzyk-
when does the organizing effort at KFC, Taco bell and Pizza Hut begin?
Yum, Yum.

Posted by: Mike at August 22, 2008 9:03 AM

One of the major difference between AR and RI Future is that AR is an all-volunteer effort (at least appears to be?). Everyone knows where Pat Crowley gets his paycheck and subsequently you know that his writings will parrot the party line and promote a very specific agenda.

I don't think there is an organized effort to promote a specific agenda on AR or a coordinated effort to "shift" popular opinion. OK, I will grant that the Laffey campaign self-admittedly attempted to hijack the blog in the Senate primary.

But beyond that instance, I've found that most participants are more interested in discussing issues than in pushing any particular agenda.

Posted by: Anthony at August 22, 2008 3:15 PM

Does MJ think that prior to the foreclosure "crisis" that RI's economy was healthy and strong. Does he really believe that a recession was not a logical conclusion to the failed policies of the GA. Matt, NO ENTITY can spend so foolishly as our GA has done and is still doing (regardless of what the budget is today, wait till after the elections, when they all get re-elected because they found religion and then they will punish the taxpayers for being so stupid as to believe them)among one of those things is catering to the ILLEGALS in this state. They never saw a nickle of someone else's money that they didn't want give away. Unfortunately the foreclosure "crisis" was the final death blow that brought about an early round knock out.

Posted by: bobc at August 23, 2008 5:37 PM
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