UnAmerican

Filed in International, National by on October 2, 2009

During the Bush Administration, supporters of President Bush (the very same critics of President Obama today) called any criticism of the President’s policies to be treason and unAmerican. Obviously they were wrong. Vocal dissent over policy and politics is at the very nature of our Democracy, and right wing critics of President Obama today have every right to criticize his policies today, just as we had every right to criticize Bush for his policies then.

However, what is political about a President of the United States attempting to bring the premiere world event held on this planet to the land that we all love? What is political about a President of the United States singing the praises of our country abroad, in order to convince the world to come to America?

Nothing.

It is not political.

It is not partisan.

It is patriotic.

And if you celebrated, cheered or in any small way felt glad that we (as in we Americans) lost the opportunity to host the Olympic games in 2016, then you are unAmerican. If you rooted against Chicago getting the Olympics because President Obama was for it, or because you wanted a political setback for him, then you are not patriotic.

Steve Benen:

It was barely noticed at the time, but in January 2008, then-President George W. Bush met with the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee and U.S. Olympic Committee members about bringing the 2016 summer games to the city. “They say that the Olympics will come to Chicago if we’re fortunate enough to be selected, but really it’s coming to America, and I can’t think of a better city to represent the United States than Chicago,” Bush said. He added, “This country supports your bid, strongly.”

Far be it from me to quote President Bush in support of my position, but my God, look at how evil Obama Derangement Syndrome had made our counterparts on the right. It is one thing to criticize the President for taking his time to lobby the IOC in person today. It is a legitimate argument to say that he has more pressing issues to tend to at home (although I would argue American prestige and bringing thousands of jobs to Chicago via the Olympics are important issues for a President to attend to). Indeed, Republicans have criticized the President for exactly those reasons (and watch, they will now ironically and hypocritically criticize him for failing to win the games, for they will criticize the President for anything and everything no matter how inconsistent it makes them look). But I will not call them unpatriotic or unAmerican for that.

But their hatred of the man himself made them all root against America today.

What I find fascinating is the extent to which the far-right was rooting against the country. Eric Erickson published an item declaring: “World Rejects Barack Obama.”

Hahahahaha. I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama’s pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him. So much for improving America’s standing in the world, Barry O.

Malkin’s mocking the U.S. defeat; so is the Weekly Standard. Fox News, which launched an aggressive effort against Chicago’s bid, will no doubt follow. (Update: the offices of the Weekly Standard, in its own words, “erupted” in “cheers” after the announcement.)

Benen goes on to point out that when New York lost the bid to host the 2012 games to London in 2005, you did not see liberals and Democrats, despite their hatred of the President at the time, celebrating in the streets. The same is true during the first President Bush’s term with respect to Atlanta, as you saw no liberal or Democrat rooting against that city winning the 1996 Olympics in September 1990. But you did see that today from the conservatives. Even their local counterparts at Delaware Politics are celebrating. I really want to know what the conservative mindset right now is. Does love of country mean anything to them when one of their own is not President?

I guess not.

I am never more prouder when my national anthem is sung during an Olympics, or when our athletes are introduced during the closing and opening ceremonies. I did not root against my country during the 2008 games just because a Republican I despised was not only President, but also present at the games. I did not root against my country in 2002 when President Bush presided over the games and sat with the athletes during the Opening Ceremonies of the Salt Lake games. But given their reaction today, it is evident beyond any doubt that conservatives would boo American athletes in 2016 had the games been awarded to Chicago. Indeed, the last time a Democratic President presided over an Olympics held in an American city, what happened? A right wing terrorist bombed the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the games. I guess we are saved from whatever right wing terrorists were planning for the Chicago games by the events of today.

I am left with the conclusion from today’s events that conservatives do not love this country.

They love themselves and their opinions.

They hate everything and everyone else, including their country if they are not in charge of it.

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Comments (38)

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  1. Progressive Mom says:

    Well said, DD.

  2. farsider says:

    The emperor has no close.

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Well said, DD. And I’ll note again that there is nothing that these wingnuts won’t politicize.

  4. Von Cracker says:

    no, the assholes love their country, just the white christian part of it.

  5. Delaware Dem says:

    That’s not the country. It may be “their country,” but it is not America. Proves my point that they just love themselves, and hate everyone not like themselves.

  6. They love the country that exists in their minds. Do you ever notice how often conservatives talk about who the “real” Americans are? I guess that’s how they justify their America-hating. In their minds, they really love the country and those people they don’t like just don’t belong to this country.

    The right is just reflexively anti-Obama. They have no new ideas and the ones they are still pushing have almost bankrupted this country.

  7. Von Cracker says:

    it’s a slowly dying part of America, DD. the last incoherent flailings of a drowning man.

  8. anon says:

    Upon being informed of the news, a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity – one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests – erupted in applause. They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting. Wow. Outright cheering for America to fail. Simply pathetic.

  9. Delaware Dem says:

    Republicans have gone from “America, Fuck Yeah!” to “Fuck America, Yeah!”

  10. Dana Garrett says:

    I think a case can be made that the GOPers who opposed the Olympics coming to the USA played a factor in Chicago losing out in the first round, especially those who went way out of their way to verbally trash the city. Why would the Olympic Committee want to come to a nation where a large belligerent minority doesn’t want the Olympics to come there? That hardly is welcoming.

    Perhaps more hypocritical is the fact that President Bush would take off one month for vacation every year and many GOPers defended him. But President Obama takes a couple days to go support the USA in Europe and the GOPers acted as though he was neglecting his duties. What rank hypocrisy.

  11. Tom S says:

    haha…com’on… You can say it. The reason we didn’t get the Olympics was Bush, right? Isn’t that what you’re leading to? Com’on, say it!

    I wish Chicago won the Olympics…maybe it would help clean up that city.

  12. And if you celebrated, cheered or in any small way felt glad that we (as in we Americans) lost the opportunity to host the Olympic games in 2016, then you are unAmerican. If you rooted against Chicago getting the Olympics because President Obama was for it, or because you wanted a political setback for him, then you are not patriotic.

    On the other hand, if you celebrated, cheered, or in any way felt glad that American contractors were killed in Iraq, that there were setbacks to US policy in Iraq, and that terrorists caught on the field of battle didn’t get a mint on their pillow at night, you were among the most patriotic Americans.

    Got it — you folks have really screwed up priorities.

  13. Oh, and speaking as a guy who spent close to half his life living in Illinois (much of it in the Chicago area), I also suspect that the fact that the Chicago Tribune reported that about half of all Chicagoans didn’t want the Olympics in their town might have been a factor, too.

    Add to that the city’s history of corruption (and the corruption problems with the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games) and i woner how Chicago ever advanced as far as it did in the competition.

  14. By the way, I was pulling for Rio to get the Olympics. It is about time that South America gets the Olympics.

    Besides, I’ve been pissed at the USOC since they rejected Houston’s bid earlier in the process.

  15. Delaware Dem says:

    I’ve been pissed at the USOC since they rejected Houston’s bid earlier in the process.

    Thank you, RWR, for proving my point. You care only about yourself. You wanted Houston to be American candidate today, and if your candidate couldn’t be the American candidate, then fuck America.

    I wanted America to get the Olympics in 2016. Rio is a perfectly fine city and I am happy in the end that they get their chance to shine for the world. But as an American, I wanted our country to shine for the world.

  16. Got it — dissent isn’t patriotic any more. At least not when it comes to America being defeated for something as trivial as hosting the Olympics.

    On the other hand, dissenting is highly trivial when it involves rooting for America being defeated by terrorists.

    Man, your priorities are really fucked up.

  17. rhubard says:

    Please explain how American could possibly be “defeated by terrorists.” Terrorized by terrorists, yes — you conned-servatives shit your pants at the very thought that terrorists are breathing the same air as us. But how could they possibly “defeat” us with the one nuclear bomb you’re afraid Iran will give to terrorists? I realize that your life is so empty you will actually answer the question, but it should be good for shits ‘n’ giggles.

  18. So the only possible reason anyone from this country could be against the Olympics is because they are anti-American and/or they hate Obama? Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

    It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the Olympics have consistently been an economic loser for the cities that host them.

    It couldn’t possibly have been that there were a thousand better ways the money spent transporting the president (and his retinue) to and from Copenhagen, and protecting them whilst there, could have been spent.

    It couldn’t possibly have been the case that some people think the Olympics are a pointless event that only serves to enrich politically well-connected contractors, major corporations that get to advertise at the Games, and the select few athletes that win lucrative endorsement deals from the Games, all at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers, many of whom could care less about the Olympics and won’t watch them, regardless of where they are held.

    It couldn’t possibly have been the case that the opposition would have still existed, regardless of which American city it was or who the president was.

    Thanks for opening my eyes, I had thought those were all reasons that I opposed the selection of Chicago and Obama’s lobbying for it. But now I know just how wrong I was.

  19. RightCoast says:

    Loves like Kev just gave DD the smack down.

  20. Liberal Elite says:

    @KW “So the only possible reason anyone from this country could be against the Olympics is because they are anti-American and/or they hate Obama? Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”

    In this case it really does. This shows the haters for what they REALLY are.

    “It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the Olympics have consistently been an economic loser for the cities that host them.”

    No, because it is a net revenue generator. It’s a lot of money being pumped into a local economy. If this wasn’t so desirable, why do you think all these cities are trying so hard to host the Olympics??

    “It couldn’t possibly have been that there were a thousand better ways the money spent transporting the president (and his retinue) to and from Copenhagen, and protecting them whilst there, could have been spent.”

    Diplomacy is best done in person. Even as he “lost”, he did get a lot of press and he did meet a lot of people. That’s a good thing. Do you really prefer a president who doesn’t travel much except to goof off in Crawford, TX???? Right…

    “It couldn’t possibly have been the case that some people think the Olympics are a pointless event that only serves to enrich politically well-connected contractors, major corporations that get to advertise at the Games, and the select few athletes that win lucrative endorsement deals from the Games, all at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers, many of whom could care less about the Olympics and won’t watch them, regardless of where they are held.”

    Then why were these VERY SAME people pulling for America when Bush was (ineptly) trying to land the Olympics for New York??? Where was FOX News on this one? Oh yea. They were rooting, big time.

    “It couldn’t possibly have been the case that the opposition would have still existed, regardless of which American city it was or who the president was.”

    Not in this case… NIMBY opposition is local. These aren’t the NIMBY folks.

    “Thanks for opening my eyes,…”

    Noblesse Oblige.

  21. Liberal Elite says:

    @RC “Loves like Kev just gave DD the smack down.”

    Loves? A smack down? Really?
    Lose.

  22. h. says:

    The IOC must be racist.

  23. I find it very odd that conservatives criticize Obama for traveling yet didn’t have a problem with Bush taking more vacation than any other president ever. I also find it strange the criticism that Obama is doing too much. Since Bush did nothing but let everything fall apart I guess they’re not used to someone who works hard.

  24. @LE

    “No, because it is a net revenue generator. It’s a lot of money being pumped into a local economy. If this wasn’t so desirable, why do you think all these cities are trying so hard to host the Olympics??”

    Actually no, the Olympics consistently end up being a net drain. With frequent overruns, few cities end up recouping any profits after the athletes have gone home. Even cities that cite surpluses, such as 1984 host Los Angeles and 1998 host Calgary, often don’t include total expenditures in security and indirect costs in the final tally. And other cities find themselves far in the red. Montreal, host of the 1976 Summer Games, only finished paying off its Olympic debt in 2006. Officials in Nagano, Japan, spent so much on the 1998 Winter Games that they destroyed their financial records.

    “Diplomacy is best done in person. Even as he “lost”, he did get a lot of press and he did meet a lot of people. That’s a good thing. Do you really prefer a president who doesn’t travel much except to goof off in Crawford, TX???? Right…”

    Do you really think this is a binary system? Just because I don’t like how Obama did something, it doesn’t mean I like how Bush did it either. Overall I’d like a president who recognized the president’s role is meant to be minimal and left diplomacy to real diplomats (and I’m skeptical that Olympic horse-trading really amounts to diplomacy). The Cult of the Presidency is massive enough already, I’d appreciate a president that did something to disabuse people of it.

    “Then why were these VERY SAME people pulling for America when Bush was (ineptly) trying to land the Olympics for New York??? Where was FOX News on this one? Oh yea. They were rooting, big time.”

    And those same people wanted the Olympics in Chicago, because they personally stood to benefit, even though it would be bad for the city as a whole. As for Fox News, I’m fully aware that their positions often flip depending on the politician in question. It’s part of why I don’t watch TV news and get my news from a number of online sources. At least they’re honest about their biases.

    “Not in this case… NIMBY opposition is local. These aren’t the NIMBY folks.”

    That wasn’t meant as a reference to local opposition, it was a reference to people like myself, libertarians and others that opposed it as a matter of principle and would continue to do so regardless of location.

  25. Von Cracker says:

    it’s funny how an obvious assessment gets mocked by conservatives – anti-intellectualism is their elixir…

    where were the cheers when NYC got knocked-out for the 2012 games?

    can’t answer than, can you?

    shut up

  26. cassandra_m says:

    it was a reference to people like myself, libertarians and others that opposed it as a matter of principle and would continue to do so regardless of location.

    Well there’s the problem right there. Glibertarians with their perpetual Eyore-ian view of the world. But I love the irony of said glibertarian actually using a news report from PBS to bolster his argument.

    However, if you read through that article, you find this:

    Still, there are some indirect benefits that are associated with being host to the Games. In a study Spiegel recently co-authored called “The Olympic Effect,” evidence from past Games indicates that host countries receive a substantial and permanent boost in their international trade. On average, international trade for host countries increased 30 percent after the Games.

    Interestingly, even countries that simply bid for the Games receive a similar boost. “It’s not the velodromes and the construction expenditures [that benefit countries],” says Spiegel. “It’s the signaling effect — that when countries try to host the Olympics, they say ‘we are a country ready for the prime time.’

    “Each city is different,” making it difficult to compare costs and benefits, says Holger Preuss, a professor at the Institute of Sport Science at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. But “if you are looking to use the Olympics to promote your city as a destination for tourism or international investment, [hosting] is good.”

    The publicity boost from the Games is also often cited by organizers who claim that tourism receipts will increase for hosts not just during the Games, but after — Barcelona being an oft-cited post-Olympics success story. Chicago 2016, the official organization for the city’s bid, commissioned a study that predicts the Olympics will produce a $19.2 billion economic impact on Cook County, where Chicago is located, largely in tourism and job creation.

    Everyone who pushes one of these projects — whether you are talking about Riverfront development or the construction of a new highway or development to support hosting the Olympics have to do cost/benefit analyses. These are notoriously imperfect — especially for projects whose realization horizons are very far in the future. The PBS article cited gets why cities bid for the Olympics — they are looking for a long term boost in tourism of all kinds. Success in this is not across the board, but it certainly does happen. Besides, American Olympics are largely paid for by private sponsors, and while tourism is highly desired, lots of bidding cities see the Olympics as a venue for revitalization of portions of cities or a way to build infrastructre for communities that might need it.

    That said, I didn’t have a dog in his race. But there are reasons why cities bid for this and the immediate revenue is probably the smallest part of it.

  27. PBS was hardly my first choice, I selected it due to the fact it would likely have more validity to the crowd here.

    While the study is interesting, it doesn’t seem terribly relevant to Chicago as a site – there isn’t anyone alive today that thinks the U.S. isn’t “ready for the prime time” with regards to trade, and considering the U.S. has hosted multiple Olympics in the past, the signaling value from hosting is even more likely to be one of steadily diminishing returns.

    Your final point drives home what seems to be a much more realistic reason for why cities try to get the Olympics, at least in America. It’s a lot easier to shove through some project that would never otherwise get the support needed to enact it. Considering, as you noted, the cost-benefit analysis on the Games is sketchy at best and there is strong evidence that the Olympics, at least recently, have been net losers for their hosts, it hardly seems a good way to force through renewal projects (particularly in a post-Kelo world, where the Olympic fervor may well lead to people becoming eminent domain victims as the city tries to “renew” itself into higher revenue properties).

    Finally, I find some amusing irony in your joining “glibertarians” with a “perpetual Eyore-ian view of the world.” As I understood it, the phrase “glibertarian” was a reference to overly optimistic beliefs in the efficacy of the free market, a read of the libertarian mindset pretty far-removed from Eeyore’s dour pessimism. He strikes me as more of a Hobbes-ian authoritarian conservative.

    (and to clarify a bit more, I’m a libertarian, but much closer to the public choice theory libertarianism of Megan McArdle than the strident free market absolutism of Ayn Rand)

  28. cassandra_m says:

    Glibertarian is largely defined (in the blogosphere, anyway) as libertarian when convenient. Megan McArdle is often thought of as one. And is credited with the Most Glibertarian Thing Ever Said.

    Trade is not just definied as an exchange of literal goods — it also includes intellectual “trade” and you can look at the Atlanta Olympics for how that works. Atlanta was well into growth and development as a regional center of trade and the Olympics (with the accompanying revival of the downtown AND the addition of facilities to local universities really cemented that growth.

    But I think that the only way to look at these bids is in the long-term benefits and Atlanta planned for being able to leverage the investments that were made and Nagano didn’t. Barcelona is still a big winner in the tourism category and has certainly grown as a regional trade center too. It isn’t about a “project that would not otherwise get support” — it is about a whole raft of projects that if done well put a community or region on a footing to reap long term benefits in a number of venues. The fact that some do this well and others do not seems banal. Especially here, where Fed funds play an incredibly small role. The vast majority of this investment is made via private funds – willingly invested for its own interests.

  29. Liberal Elite says:

    @KW “Actually no, the Olympics consistently end up being a net drain”

    Not true. It’s just a drain for the city itself, but not the the overall economy. It’s a net revenue generator. It’s just that the people who pay for the games are not the ones who make most of the profit. Think of it as a form of corporate welfare that’s good for the economy.

    “Do you really think this is a binary system?”

    No. But I think you’ve might quick to dismiss other possible collateral benefits that such presidential travel could provide… and I think that you’re quick in a wholly dishonest manner. Did you object to Nixon going to China? How about Reagan to Berlin?

    “At least they’re honest about their biases.”

    FOX News honest about their biases??? You’re kidding, right? Fair and balanced?

    “it was a reference to people like myself, libertarians and others that opposed it as a matter of principle and would continue to do so regardless of location.”

    Your test will likely come in 8 years when a conservative president makes a similar pitch. I’ll bet you will fail that test. Your views will have “evolved” in a convenient manner.

  30. Come on, folks, just acknowledge that your position is best summed up as follows.

    Ein volk.
    Ein reich.
    Ein Obama.

  31. Liberal Elite says:

    @RWR “Come on, folks,…”

    Come on yourself. Your entire right wing is based on a foundation of fear and selfishness. There’s no ethical or moral underpinning to anything you say or do.

  32. Given the way you folks have been out to suppress dissent by crying “racist” and “violent extremist” since Obama became president, I think you folks have no place to speak about appeals to fear.

    And as for selfishness, let me ash you a question — who is more selfish? The person who earned something and wants to keep it, or the person who has less who demands a share of what they didn’t earn?

    Ein volk.
    Ein reich.
    Ein Obama.

  33. @cassandra

    Thanks for the clarification. In my defense, I don’t always agree with Megan. I’d dispute the aptness of glibertarian to describe me (I see myself more in the Hayek mode, staunchly libertarian, but accepting the existence of a safety net designed to ensure basic life necessities are met in the event of market failure).

    With regards to the long-term investment view, as far as I know, Olympic sites aren’t really a great tourist draw beyond the Olympics (more along the lines of a bonus when visiting, but not a primary reason to go). If that’s the case, then tourism revenues are fairly immaterial to the total gains. And if the tourist revenues aren’t that important, it suggests that the projects could stand on their own, with or without the Olympics.

    And while you may think it banal, it seems to me that the relative rates of net economic gain and loss are significant in calculating the probability of being able to replicate the gains. (i.e. 8 out of 10 cities hosting the Olympics and coming out on top suggests much higher odds for success than 2 out of 10, and if the latter is the track record, cities ought to be a lot more wary of undertaking their own Olympic endeavor).

    @LE

    I’m not asking this to be sarcastic, but do you have any data to support the assertion they are a net positive? Most of the data I’ve seen suggests otherwise. Also, what exactly is meant by “the overall economy?” The regional economy? The national economy? The international economy? Once again, just out of curiosity.

    As for the presidential issue, care to delineate some of the collateral benefits you envision that couldn’t be accomplished by scaling back the expansive executive role we currently have and leaving things like diplomacy to people trained to do them?

    If you’re asking whether or not I was opposed to them at the time, no I was not. I wasn’t alive to be against Nixon’s visit and I was 8 days old when Reagan went to Berlin. If you’re asking whether or not I think they were the wrong action, yes I am inclined to think they were. The only thing which slightly mediates the wrongness in those cases is the lack of good information and communication technology. The more that expands, the less need I see for in person posturing of this kind. (to some degree I think relative degree of importance matters; the Olympics are exceedingly trivial, the Berlin Wall was a massive affront to human liberty)

    Moving on to the biases point, I wasn’t referring to Fox News, I was referring to online news sources, a la Reason, HuffPo, etc.

    And 8 years later we’ll see. I’d wager otherwise though.

  34. Liberal Elite says:

    @KW “…do you have any data to support the assertion they are a net positive? ”

    Yes. Past tense. I could hunt, but so could you. So much of the money involved with the olympics is in the service industry, and that can’t be outsourced.

    “As for the presidential issue, care to delineate some of the collateral benefits you envision that couldn’t be accomplished by scaling back the expansive executive role we currently have and leaving things like diplomacy to people trained to do them?”

    What you fail to realize is that in many parts of the world, the failure to see the leader in the flesh is considered a snub of the worst sort. You don’t start negotiations with a snub.

    “..and I was 8 days old when Reagan went to Berlin.”

    I guessed as much when you used the word “pigovian”…

  35. -I have hunted, and I have consistently supplied data to back the assertion that the Olympics are economic drains. And outsourcing is an economic red herring; time and again history has shown that protectionism is bad for everyone’s economies.

    -The Olympics were hardly “negotiations.” The only people that might have been snubbed were the IOC, and there’s some suspicion that they were miffed by the brevity of the president’s snub; perhaps it might have been better to not go at all then? As for your two examples, the whole point of Reagan’s visit to Berlin was to spit in the Soviet Union’s face, while Nixon’s was preceded by a covert trip to China by Kissinger that laid the ground work (which is exactly what should be happening, if heads of state get involved in diplomacy, it’s at the end, for publicity purposes, nothing more).

    -And how exactly does my using the term Pigouvian indicate my age? I doubt a terribly large portion of me age cohort are familiar with the term. If it reveals anything, I can only see it highlighting the fact I am unapologetically an intellectual elitist and prefer to use the terms in which I think rather than speaking to the lowest common denominator.

  36. cassandra_m says:

    as far as I know, Olympic sites aren’t really a great tourist draw beyond the Olympics (more along the lines of a bonus when visiting, but not a primary reason to go).

    Well – yeah. Few people go to just see Olympic sites, but when the world is parked in front of their TV sets looking at your city for three weeks there is alot of opportunity to entice people to your door. See Barcelona for how this is done.

    And while you may think it banal, it seems to me that the relative rates of net economic gain and loss are significant in calculating the probability of being able to replicate the gains.

    One pf the problems with replicating is that each city pretty much starts fresh. While there are all kinds of lessons learned activities after each event, no one hands over a model and lets the new city run with it. Each city starts with the IOC requirements and then builds from there. The successful ones seem to be those that had a 10 – 20 year plan to leverage all of the infrastructure and publicity.

  37. A. price says:

    There he goes again with the Nazi comparison.
    yes RWR, you explained why you aren’t trying to make yourself seem a victim like my grandparents were… at least what you were able to convince yourself. I find myself hoping you get to experience that kind suffering, just so you are legitimate in your childish claims and speech…. not for a long period of time, and not to the death, but you clearly have no idea of the meaning of the line you are trying to draw. I recommend seeking out some Holocaust education before you decide to use your freedom of making yourself look like another Right Wing ignorant jackass from Texas…. again

  38. Liberal Elite says:

    @KW

    You’re going off topic. My use of the term “outsourcing” has nothing to do with economic protectionism. It was simply stating that much of the money spent on the olympics is money spent locally. Most related jobs cannot be done elsewhere. For example, money paid to construction workers doesn’t leave the local economy immediately.

    Of course the olympics politics was “negotiation”. That’s about all it was… little of real substance. I also think you’re wrong about top level meetings being only about publicity. Subordinates really do work harder when they know the big boss is fully behind them. It raises the stakes. It’s human nature.

    As for “pigovian”, It’s a college boy term. You probably grew up in Montgomery County (or other affluent county) and went to a decent college. You studied both statistics and economics, and you were probably a business major. You should go to graduate school. That’s it.. pure guesses on my part.

    And if you really want to be an intellectual elitist, you need to get out and and see much more of the world. Do a real walkabout while you’re young enough to benefit from it without the ties that responsibility brings. Enjoy your odyssey years (are you a reader of columnist David Brooks?). As for me, I’m flying to Seoul tomorrow and will spend three weeks in the Far East.

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