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Relating to this blog post:

In a better world, Meltzer would say the three unsayable words — “I was wrong” — and maybe even admit that the other side of the argument had something to it.


And I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to think of a single prominent conservative economist who has responded to the complete failure of his predictions by changing his views. This has long since stopped being merely an analytical issue; it has become a moral issue, a test of character. And almost everyone on that side of the debate has failed.

Although he is specifically speaking of conservative economists, I believe this quote hits at the heart of the issue with all prominent conservatives in general.

They are wrong about the 47%, Obamacare, immigration reform, climate change, the deficit, women's rights, LGBT rights, Benghazi, and the IRS.

And it's one thing to be wrong. We all get things wrong at times. Even things we shouldn't get wrong. And even to the point of stretching the limits of reality to entertain the possibility of not being wrong.

But the extent to which prominent conservatives can't ever admit when they get things wrong, bone-headedly wrong, earth-shatteringly wrong, speaks of a downright moral failure. They should be ashamed of themselves, if we had any reason left to believe that their capacity to feel shame was any less deteriorated than their capacity to simply admit when they are wrong.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They're Wrong About All This Because It's Essentia (16+ / 0-)

    to their taking over. There is no way their agenda, literally described, has more than a 20-30% support. They have to lie. They have to lie about everything.

    None of them actually believes any of it except some of the truly antieducated evangelicals.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:57:14 PM PDT

  •  Adding substance to Ronald Regan's political (4+ / 0-)

    demagoguery will guaranty that you will be wrong on everything, because RR was totally full of shit. At least he was smart enough to avoid any substance at all, and in fact, gave the social conservatives nothing while he raised taxes when necessary.

  •  Maybe there data... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Lujane, Eric Twocents

    Was 'factually' wrong - but the public still perceives that inflation is just around the corner.  So they weren't really wrong.  Or something.

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:17:59 PM PDT

  •  An admission of error depends on the ability (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Eric Twocents

    to perceive a sequence of events and to relate the present to the past. It is necessary to be able to compare, if only the imagined with the real.
    Some people are, apparently, incapable of performing that function. At best, if they happen to have studied economics, they accumulate data and assume that trend lines will continue indefinitely. I don't think they ever go back to compare the ectual with the predicted, because comparison is simply not their thing.
    Yes, you might think that comparison is central to analysis, but much "higher" education has been focused on memorization and regurgitation. Degrees were granted on the basis of people having "mastered" the accumulated wisdom of the ages. That wasn't just true of history and the cannon of American literature. Why were female studies disdained? Because they hadn't been given the imprimature of the ages.
    Research, for the most part, consists of proving or disproving the accepted wisdom. If the old is disproved and there is a new hypothesis, the hurdles it must overcome are very high.

    Friedman himself is not willing to accept that currency is merely a measure of relative value and, like any other measure (inch, yard, mile) worthless in and of itself.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:41:03 PM PDT

  •  They were wrong? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Twocents

    Hardly. Every time they look at their bank accounts they are reminded that they are doing what's for the best (for themselves).

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 03:34:42 PM PDT

  •  Bruce Bartlett, co-inventor of trickle-down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I disagree with him on any number of issues, but he did publicly admit he was wrong. About a number of things, including Keynesian economics, which he now concedes he had discounted for his entire adult life without a sufficient understanding of what he was attempting to discredit.

    However, although he is not any sane person's model of a liberal, his reformed views were still heretical enough to get him read out if the big C conservative congregation. They consider him one of us now, even though he's not, except for those who accuse him of selling out, finding a market niche as a self-hating conservative.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
    --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

    by leftist vegetarian patriot on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 05:41:38 PM PDT

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