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Two years ago I bought a house, thinking the housing market had bottomed out (1 year later I sold it)

8 months ago, I bought Goldman Saks thinking the the bank stocks had gown down as far as they would.

I actually believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (I still opposed the war, I'm not that dumb)

In late December I wrote my first diary on DailyKos titled "Holder nomination battle a diversion for Bush pardons" (I deleted it later to hide my shame).

I get everything wrong, I have for a long time.  Whenever I make a prediction, I make it boldly, speak it with certainty in my voice, and look like a fool several weeks later.  A few years back, I figured I would start predicting the opposite of whatever I thought would happen, hoping my bad luck would finally lead to validation.  For the first and only time in my life, all of my instincts were right (Both Obama and McCain got their respective party nominations).  Of course, publicly I predicted it would be Guiliani vs Clinton--wrong again.

With rare examples, the person I vote for never wins my state or district.  The only times my candidate has won my state or district, they have lost at the national level.  I am beginning to believe that I must always live in red states, if only to allow for democrats to be elected president.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty smart guy on a few things.  I have a Ph.D., I am a professor at a great university, and I know more minutia about ancient Asia than any human really should.  I am even fairly handy around the house, insulating my attic, building furniture, and fixing my own car.  I am an egghead, but not a complete egghead.  Remember the old TIAA-CREF ads, "managing money for people with other things to think about."  That's me.

So why do I bring up my own dumb self.  Simple.  I haven't a fucking clue what is going to happen to the economy, or what the best plan is to fix it.  Not A Clue.

Its not for lack of trying.  I read the blogs of numerous economists (Bonddad included).  I tend to like Krugman, but I really don't actually understand the reasons he believes what he believes.  I read people who critique Krugman, and pretty much miss the whole argument.  

I bring this up because I suspect that I am not alone in being dumb.  In the last week I have read several diaries that seem so certain in their conviction that one economic plan is best and another a catastrophe.  I have even commented in a few.  I am not sure why I commented on them, cause I really have no idea what the hell I was talking about because I am dumb.

Am I alone here?  Are others as dumb as me on all of this?  

Originally posted to Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:02 PM PDT.



What is the best plan for the economy?

15%10 votes
13%9 votes
23%15 votes
29%19 votes
15%10 votes
3%2 votes

| 65 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  You're being too hard on yourself Empty Vessel. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, 4Freedom, Empty Vessel

      We all play our own roles in this wonderful intertubes thingy, where one comments stimulates anther, and so on.

      And then some ideas resonate and percolate to the top, or morph into creative new viewpoints.

      Sort of like the five blindmen meeting an elephant for the first time.

      Makin our thoughts exclicit is like adding kinectic energy, or browning motions -- it raises the intellectual tempeture of our collective synergistic intellegence.

      See, you've already been assimilated into the "higher intelliegence" and you didn't even give yourself credit for it.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:09:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "kinetic" energy, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, 4Freedom

        "brownian" motion

        Spelling counts in assimilation.


        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:30:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spelling was never my strong point Lefty Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          for bringing me up to speed.  

          Maybe that's why I like supporting folks like the author.  

          I know what it feels like to be rejected by the community for being stupid.

          Oh, isn't that one of the best line's in Plan 9 From Outer Space

          "Stupid,...stupid, stupid!!!!"

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:48:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  sounds like you're a lot smarter than you think (0+ / 0-)

      A lot more rational than most on this issue. Props.

    •  No you're not alone (0+ / 0-)

      The reason I believe is because NO ONE knows what the right thing to do is, so everybody has different ideas based on different assumptions and models and end up with different results.

  •  Hey, I picked Giuliani too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, Empty Vessel

    and for really, really good reasons.  It's not our fault.  It's his.

    Anyone who is as wrong as often as you should have a syndicated newspaper column.  

    Congress! Pass a 100% tax on Bush's pension, because tax dollars shouldn't reward incompetence that blew up the country.

    by Inland on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:06:51 PM PDT

  •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

    I voted for "Plan 9 From Outer Space".


    •  Me too... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trix, 4Freedom, Empty Vessel

      ...after all, what better guidance on the future of our economy than a film that shows us "future events such as these will affect you in the future."

      It's so clear it could be a GOP talking point!

      •  If that was Plan 9 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... I'm dying to see what Plans 1 through 8 were.

        Then again, I've seen movies (sought them out, actually) that made Ed Wood look like a genius in comparison.

        •  I've seen Presidents... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Citizen

          ...that make Ed look like a genius.  

          Of course, I do have a soft spot for Ed's eternal optimism in the face of his personal suckitude.  I find, however, that what is endearing in Ed W. is flat-out horrifying when displayed by George W.

          Pop Quiz - can you tell which are quotes from Plan 9 and which are from the Bush Administration?

          Iraq War Press Conference OR B-Movie invasion from outer space?

          [Statement] "You do not need guns."
          [Answer] "Maybe we think we do."

          Statement on the existence of WMD OR B-Movie invasion from outer space?

          [Statement] "This is the most fantastic story I've ever heard."
          [Answer] "And every word of it's true, too."
          [Statement] "That's the fantastic part of it."

          Dubya OR B-Movie Alien Commander?

          [Statement] "I'm the commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain why I say things."

          Rummy OR B-Movie Hero?

          [Statement] "I'm muzzled by army brass!"

          Dubya OR B-Movie Military Hero?

          [Statement] "How can I fight evil?"

          Alberto Gonzalez OR B-Movie Narrator?

          [Statement] "My friend, you have seen this incident, based on sworn testimony. Can you prove that it didn't happen?"

          See?  Harder than it looks.

  •  Didn't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    ...George Costanza do the same thing?

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:07:42 PM PDT

  •  Geithner, until a better comprehensive plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, Empty Vessel

    is proposed.

    I wish these doubters had voiced this much dissension when Bush wanted to invade Iraq or any of the other bad ideas he came up with.

    I am already known as VirtualTruth, times have changed and so has my cause. The Far left can not become the new radical far right

    by Liberal Reality Check on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:11:57 PM PDT

  •  The really smart people (7+ / 0-)

    admit what they don't know.  

    But they are confident as hell about what they do know.

    I know.

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:13:59 PM PDT

  •  May I recommend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, Empty Vessel

    this site? It is informative yet never hysterical.

    The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

    by beltane on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:16:20 PM PDT

  •  how about this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, 4Freedom, Empty Vessel

    The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, and the US will fight a new war every 7 years on average. I don't know why we all run around like chickens with our heads cut off when everything moves along as it always has.

    I would rather talk about ancient Asia. I read somewhere that Legalism had an entire offshoot called Names and Punishments, or something like that, which taught would be bureaucrats exactly which punishment would deter which crime. Do you know anything about that, it's too obscure for me to find. As a police state buff, I want to know what punishments were thought to prevent what.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:23:05 PM PDT

    •  Hate to admit it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, 4Freedom, soms

      But you hit an area I know nothing about, I'm more South Asia than China.  Another bit of dumb.

      An open mind gets filled with crap.

      by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:28:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nobody knows about this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, 4Freedom

        It would make such a kick ass remark in some discussion about what punishment some enemy of the people of the hour deserves. Oh well, I'm sure there are some texts on Legalism that won't bore me to death.

        Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

        by Marcion on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:32:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What I know about Asia: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soms, Empty Vessel

        It is very big.

        It has mountains, desserts, and monsoons (probably not all in the same place).

        They grow a lot of rice.

        Gandhi and sitar music come from India.

        The Korean and Vietnam wars were fought there.

        China is there; I know 3 families that adopted baby girls from China.

        They make pretty things in ceramic and in silk.

        Chrysanthemums come from there.

        Lots of invasive plants come from there.

        Origami comes from there, as does Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and probably several other -isms.

        That's it!

        So who is the dummy now?  (me!)

        To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

        by Dar Nirron on Tue Mar 24, 2009 at 07:33:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Although 4 Directly References the Empty Vessel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble, Empty Vessel

    I like 11 best.

    Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
    It is the center hole that makes it useful.
    Shape clay into a vessel;
    It is the space within that makes it useful.
    Cut doors and windows for a room;
    It is the holes which make it useful.
    Therefore profit comes from what is there;
    Usefulness from what is not there.

    The plans are over-compensations that will cause counter-reactions in hopes of reaching center and balance.

    That's why the people react so. The strategy disappears over the horizon.

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