1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13946/christine-odonnells-economic-views/

Christine O’Donnell’s Economic Views

September 20, 2010 by

From the press coverage after the election, I would never have known the Christine O’Donnell seems to generally sensible on economic issues. In this interview from July, she explains the need to reduce regulations and lower taxes. She also understands why: business needs to accumulate private capital in order to hire and expand. From the interview, you would think that she is libertarian on economic issues, which is to say that she is sensible. There is nothing about foreign policy and social issues here, which is not to say of course that she is wholly wrong on these issues or other economic subjects not discussed. The point is that if this was the core of her campaign, one can see the appeal. h/t Samizdata


Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

Still a nut. However, as long as she doesn’t push any blue laws, I really don’t care.

justino September 20, 2010 at 8:31 am


htran September 20, 2010 at 8:46 am

Her victory in the primary is all about sending a message. It’s mostly irrelevant now if she wins or not: The discussions for the most part has moved a bit more to the right, and fiscal issues are still dominating the agenda. Good enough.

William P September 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

A nut? She’s not a “nut.” This is the MSM poisoning your thoughts, such that a normal person who is running for office, who is against masturbation (Jeff, as a committed Catholic yourself, is this so nutty?), who once – in high school – “dabbled” in witchcraft, is wholly bizarre and wears a tin foil hat.

Joe Biden, whose Senate seat this was, was a serial plagiarizer and a pathological liar. He was also a consummate big government liberal. Look at him now, at the right hand of Obama.

Christine O’Donnell will vote to repeal/defund Obamacare, slash spending a bureaucracy, and reduce the size of government. In the situation we find ourselves in, can we really afford to split hairs????

Finally, I note that sequestered “Mises” libertarians calling a relatively mainstream politician “nutty” rather ironic. Don’t get me wrong, I like your Institute and economics. But you must realize you’re waaaaaaaay out on the fringe compared to Christine O’Donnell. I would encourage you all to engage and try to avert a full 10 years of economic stagnation.

J. Murray September 20, 2010 at 9:01 am

Wow, you just put the words of a random blog commenter into Jeffrey’s mouth. Jeffrey didn’t call anyone a nut. Did you actually read the main post or do you think Tristan Band is the secret identity of Jeffrey Tucker?

William P September 20, 2010 at 9:17 am

Uh, I did? Jeffrey wrote, “There is nothing about foreign policy and social issues here, which is not to say of course that she is wholly wrong on these issues or other economic subjects not discussed.

“Wholly wrong on social issues… which would include, I would assume her stance on masturbation (it’s gotten so much coverage it was naturally the first thing to come to mind).

No, Jeffrey Tucker did not call her a nut. I’m sorry if I implied that. Anybody can see he did not. I was rebuking Tristan re: “nut,” not Mr. Tucker.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

Why can’t I call her nut? A spade is a spade.

J. Murray September 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

Ah, I see. The grammar use and creation of a new post made it look like it was directed at Mr. Tucker.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 9:23 am

If voting ever changed anything, it would be illegal. I’m not Jeffrey Tucker either, though I have emailed him. He knows where I stand on things.

I’m not a “Mises” libertarian. I’m not on anybody’s team. I’m just being realistic about a little place called the real world. I don’t know what the future holds, and neither do you. A kabuki play called an “election” won’t change a damn thing. Libertarianism, whatever it’s form, is a fringe movement; by definition it cannot influence the conversation in anyway deeper than the rhetorical.

I treat libertarianism as a long term project; something that takes many years to accomplish. You do that by slowly influencing public opinion. Politics, being a lagging indicator, is therefore not worth getting excited about.

William P September 20, 2010 at 9:31 am

Well that’s fine… but I would consider it incredibly unwise, and a convenient excuse for not engaging. Politics might lag, but it’s not like it doesn’t go anywhere. If you were born in 1900, imagine the change you’d have seen by your mid 40′s.

I’ll say this again, because I like how it sounds…
Thinking and theorizing are great, but change requires getting outside the cloister and spreading the word, infiltrating the institutions, and eventually taking them over. The book was called Human ACTION, after all.

mpolzkill September 20, 2010 at 9:36 am

Right, there is social action and political action, or producing and stealing. The great change you would have seen was because of so many people becoming more politicized.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

And I hate how the world has become so politicized. I want it to stop.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

Ah, yes, the Cult of Action. And I see you want to become the ruling class. Taking over the State. Classic Leninist bullshit.

Jon Leckie September 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

Join us, Tristan – join us! I promise we’ll bring down the state just as soon as we finish remaking the world according to my… ahem! sorry uh- OUR! plan :-)

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

Exactly my point. Sorry, but no thanks. ;)

Jon Leckie September 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

Damn it! Back to just me and the cat then (not even my cat, but I slapped an “End the Fed” sticker on it and the neighbours don’t seem to mind).

Rob Mandel September 20, 2010 at 10:12 am

How one chooses to live ones own life, believe what they choose to believe, associate with whom they choose, and speak their mind on various topics, is none of my damn business. Even if I wholly disagree with someone’s personal life, beliefs, etc., it is how they act in office that matters. Are they statists or not.

For example, I would say that I hold rather “conservative” views on many moral issues. However, none of those are any of the state’s concern. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, but…there ought be no state/civil marriage at all. The state ought not be licensing, administering, approving, or even knowing, my marital status. Period. I am opposed to drugs, even natural ones, yet despise the war on drugs and hope for its end, the sooner the better. As a libertarian, I think that is entirely consistent (as I understand I alone am responsible for my actions). I hold personal views and they guide my life, but I will not, in fact, cannot, impose them onto anyone else.

Perhaps Ms. O’Donnell holds more traditionalist views. It’s simply a matter of will she expand the state or will she curtail it. I’m far more outraged by Congressman Frank’s (for instance) efforts on behalf of TARP, Freddie/Fannie, and Obamacare than anything his aides were running out of his basement a number of years ago. In fact, I applaud them, as even they appreciated capitalism!!

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

Like I said, as long as she doesn’t propose blue laws or whatever I don’t care.

Expect me to raise a stink if she is involved in socially conservative legislation.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

It seems as if the libertarian movement is engaging in both opportunism and adventurism.

When it all blows up in your faces, I’ll be there to say I told you so.

Rick September 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Is there really a libertarian movement? At least in how I think you may be using the expression. I’ve never thought libertarianism of any particular form as just political, as in trying to figure out how to take control of the ruling class. I find libertarian thought far more appealing than any so-called “political movement”, because most movements seem to lack clear thought. I do think the C4L is an exception to that, but not the Tea Party, though there are things about it I do like… it’s rejection of some establishment candidates being one of them. Activism isn’t always a bad thing.

One of the things I like about the Mises Institute is that it’s part of the world of ideas. It’s not a popularity contest for me, which always ebbs and flows. That said, there will always be opportunism and adventurism in that world. It’s part of what makes it so interesting. It’s also in the spirit of liberty that people be adventurous and opportunistic. Yes, there is plenty of criticism of politicians, bureaucrats, et al… a lot of criticism of the elected ruling party, republican or democrat, whoever happens to be the majority at the moment… so it may seem as if it’s just an opportunistic “political movement”, and in some circles I think that’s a fair criticism, but I think there are plenty of people here who are focused on or at least aware of the bigger picture.

William P September 20, 2010 at 10:08 am

Lol, well this is the first time I’ve ever been called a Leninist. You inhabit the real world, and the real world includes some pretty nasty people and governments. I’d rather fight against them through action rather than think of a better world but never take any positive steps to realize it.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 10:21 am

You under estimate the importance of thinking.

Tristan Band September 20, 2010 at 10:24 am

And how will you do it? If you don’t know (in detail) what you want and how to get it, you won’t succeed.

William P September 20, 2010 at 10:31 am

It starts with finding the right candidates, and then canvassing for them. Right now I’m organizing a dedicated campaign team in NYC for fiscal conservatives who will be out almost everyday handing out literature, recruiting volunteers, and signing up new voters. This is my part this election season. I hope it’s enough.

mpolzkill September 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

They all think they are just as right as you think you are, William, and they all think they are just as “positively stepping”. Their “stepping” will increase at the exact level that you increase yours. Eternal warfare, William.

- – - – - – -

Hi Jon, thanks for the giggle. Take care.

Jon Leckie September 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

Laugh or cry, Matt, laugh or cry. So in your view, is anyone who gets involved in the political process necessarily co-opted and compromised by that participation? Can you be an anarchist in one part of your head, but leave room to recognise we live in a compromised world with lots of grey and not many ideals? Genuine question, not a loaded one.

For mine, I’m leaning towards William P, it’s cool what he’s doing as briefly described in his post above. Three little steps rather than one big leap, I say. A group has started up in the place where I live calling on the state to cut spending rather than to lift taxes. Their motto is “Save First, Tax Last”. They’re really stepping up the pressure and I think they’re going to achieve some good. Anyway I can’t hang around too long, michael will show up soon and I’ll quickly become too ill to continue.

mpolzkill September 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

“Are you still a lady if you devour 16 beers in one sitting?” – random blog post I ran into

I don’t know, Jon, when I began working for Ron Paul some people thought that meant I wasn’t an “anarchist” (of course, I don’t really care about any of that). They also told me that I should consider how I live in the real world and so I should consider a more realistic, more willing-to-compromise candidate. Maybe thingss are different in Britain, but here in the center of the Empire if and once your guy gets to D.C., similar pressures and worse are enormous. Looks like Paul’s light-in-the-ass-son has no problem caving, as a “realistic” person is supposed to do.

I think Dave and Tyrone say it all below. Hope springs eternal I guess, mass-amnesia every other fall. Half the people around here can’t seem to remember the media vetting process which is aimed only at those outside the establishment. Then the corruption or near complete ineffectiveness of any who somehow get past it. How about ’94? Remember that? How about the Repubs growing the living hell out of the government when they finally got control? I don’t know, this is all really obvious stuff, I don’t get it.

- – - –

William: “pessimist”

An optimist believes this is the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears that is true.

William, please read your Nock more closely. The American Revolutionaries invented the largest, crummiest government in the history of the world. The country and the government are two different things, everything that is good about this country stems from social traditions that predate this monstrous government.

My favorite Nock prophesy, his description (in paraphrase) of Ron Paul: “a preacher trying to take over a whorehouse.”

Dave Albin September 20, 2010 at 10:43 am

The interesting thing about O’Donnell’s win is how the ruling Republicans destroyed her. If it’s not one of their chosen baboons, then forget about it. This is why what the Tea Party is doing makes me smile.

Anonymous September 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

Does suing ISI for “discrimination” because they fired her for running her private business on their time count as sensible economic views? O’Donnell only dropped that lawsuit because she didn’t have the money and has never expressed any regret or remorse for trying to use the government to loot her former employer.

Jeffrey Tucker September 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

Yes, that’s terrible. But I doubt that anyone voted for or against her on this basis.

William P September 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

The American revolutionaries were not only thinkers, but activists. Pamphleteers, generals, orators, organizers, etc. There’s nothing wrong with political activism. It doesn’t necessarily corrupt.

As much as I like reading Nock, he was an incurable pessimist. This keeps me sane when looking at the masses, but does me no good come election time.

Elsie September 20, 2010 at 11:24 am

Great video, thanks. As a Delawarean and local political news junkie, I’m surprised I had not seen that yet. To this point, Christine has been tight-lipped about policy specifics and focused most of her pre-primary campaign on attacking Mike Castle’s voting record.

That said, the few comments that I have heard her make regarding foreign policy have been hawkish, so I am somewhat skeptical she will take a libertarian approach in that arena.

Idiot September 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

O’Donnell is like a Gingrich Republican in 1994. So what. It is meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. If at anything, she will succeed in institutionalizing hatred of gays. That should give muslims a reprieve. Not.

Walt D. September 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Better be careful what costume you wear on Halloween. Christine O’Donnell is now being attacked for having dabbled in witchcraft. Having been lectured on religious tolerance over the Ground Zero Mosque, it appears that other medieval religions, such as Wicca, are not afforded the same religious tolerance, and people can ridicule it adherents without being accused of bigotry. I’m still waiting to hear from Michael Bloomberg and President Obama on this one. It appears that hypocrisy and bigotry have no bounds.

Dave Albin September 20, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Read my post above – the established politicians, media, etc. don’t like her because she is an outsider and not a chosen moron that the DC rulers say is OK for us to vote for. They know that showing that video clip of her talking about witchcraft will scare some people – I say witches, or Wiccans, may have a better grip on reality than a lot of the non-Wiccans I’ve seen! Too bad she is not one any more!

Dave Albin September 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

There are not enough Wiccan voters for Bloomberg or Obama to care about them.

Franklin September 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Beat me to it, Dave. And I know Walt agrees.
It ain’t ever about tolerance.
It’s always about votes.

Fred September 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I don’t know what Christine O’Donnell stands for. But clearly, the media has decided that her dabling with Witch fantasy is a very serious issue, more serious than William Jefferson Clinton dodging his national service by hanging out with other spoiled youths in Oxford. More serious than the commercial career of Bush Junior – how many companies did he bankrupt. More serious than the tendency to be a pretender like Sh-O Bama.

It is a new departure for people to be debating the economic policy of a candidate. I expect FNN/NBC/CNN/NYT/ to put an end to such a dangerous practice.

Tyrone Dell September 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Why anybody thinks she’ll actually commit to and succeed in any of the campaign promises she’s making now is delusional.

US politics does not concern itself with economic matters unless its in the most exceptionally shallow of ways. Sorry to bust your bubble, guys. Remember Ron Paul? Voters are more worried about social issues — social issues that they feel are at the heart of economic issues in the first place (e.g., if people weren’t allowed to be so greedy then maybe this whole financial collapse wouldn’t have happened…).

And when you look at Christine O’Donnell from this perspective, she, like mostly every politician, is a freaking nutcase.

Lemmywinks September 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm

….I’m pretty sure every Republican tries to play up their free-market credentials. Actual free-markets are highly unpopular in the political establishment, but almost everyone on the right uses the word to get votes.

George W. Bush mentioned that he went against his free-market principles in the bank bailouts….implying that he was following free market principles before.

Here’s Obama….talking about the importance of the free-market.

Here’s the official 2008 GOP platform….talking about the free-market.

Even Ron Paul, the token free-market congressman, is constantly trying to get his shrimping industry subsidized. Something that no one outside of the Texas gulf seems to realize.

Franklin September 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

“Actual free-markets are highly unpopular in the political establishment…”

Agreed. Why is this?
Because free markets are highly unpopular among the populace.
Always peruse the local environment, take a walk down Main Street, or your own neighborhood. Check on local regulations: zoning laws, the property permit requirements; building approval process, the commercial inspection protocols…
That epitome of smoke-filled backroom handshakes and backslaps, big government dealmaking, and ruthless anti-competition, Speaker Tip O’Neill said it best. And he was right.
“All politics is local.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: