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Tea Party / October 3, 2010

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Will Wilkinson: Libertard With Sadditude

Ever since Yasha and I first broke the story about the Koch brothers financing the Tea Party Campaign in February of 2009–a scoop that the New Yorker plagiarized from us a mere 18 months later, waytago fellas!–ever since then, I’ve been wondering: Have all those billions that the Brothers Koch invested into their libertarian brain-washing project paid off?

The answer: You betcha.

Let me demonstrate how the Kochs’ investment into libertarianism has paid off by way of a near-stroke experience I just had a couple of days ago. There I was, just wasting time on Reddit, when I came across one of those beyond-idiotic-and-evil headlines that bite you if you’re not careful:  “Is rising inequality in America exaggerated?” The headline linked to an article in The Economist.

H’m, is inequality exaggerated? Gosh, let me get my ol’ chin-scratching machine out for this one…

Naturally, I did the exact wrong thing and clicked the headline, which brought me to an Economist article titled, “The Inequality Myth: Is Rising Inequality in America Exaggerated?” It was an oddly meat-headed headline for The Economist–usually that magazine’s formula is to zap the reader with somewhat more nuanced right-wing shock value, counteracted  with elitist irony and know-it-all charm. Not this time:

SLATE’S Timothy Noah has just wrapped up a ten-part series on the rise of economic inequality in America. Most of Mr Noah’s instalments are devoted to examining the impact of one of the usual suspects—immigration, trade, de-unionisation, education, executive pay, etc—on the level of inequality in the United States. I found Mr Noah’s series disappointing from the start because he failed squarely to confront recent findings that challenge the premise of his exercise.

Many popular narratives about inequality are grounded on the alleged fact that wages and incomes at the middle and bottom of the distribution have been stagnant for decades. It appears that this, too, may be an artefact of insufficiently sophisticated methods for building the price indices used to calculate rates of inflation.

The author of this Economist blog post, identified as “W.W.”, sounded nothing like one of those sly Economist correspondents I’ve known in the past, and everything like a typical ham-fisted right-wing libertarian, the sort that are a dime a dozen in this country. So I wondered: Are the Kochs debasing even their own natural propaganda ally, The Economist, by dumbing it down with one of their own Koch-sponsored libertard meatheads? Who was this “W.W.”?

Well, one giant clue that “W.W.” left us was his strange decision to give just one compliment to Noah’s 10-part investigation: “W.W.” praised Noah for mentioning a Cato Institute shill named Alan Reynolds. Cato Institute? H’m, gee, gosh. The billionaire Koch brothers founded the Cato Institute in 1977 as the first libertarian think-tank, so compliments  like this to a Cato Institute tool are nothing more than kickbacks in this sordid business. That Cato pays Alan Reynolds’s rent is telling: Reynolds is a crusty old libertarian hack from the 70s who claims to be the forgotten “Fifth Beatle” of supply-side economists, the under-appreciated Reaganomics revolutionary who would be residing in the “Where are they now?” file of supply-side history but for the largesse of the Koch brothers. Apparently this means that the Cato Institute doubles as a nursing home for washed-up libertarian whores like Reynolds too feeble to fight on the front lines of FoxNews, but who are important enough to keep around as examples of how libertarians who fight the Kochs’ fight will be taken care of even in feeble old age. Reynolds demonstrates to current and future libertarian shills that they really do have a sellout-to-grave payoff deal with the Kochs, that they won’t be abandoned to the dreaded free market in vulnerable old age. They will always have a place in the multi-billion-dollar-funded libertarian nomenklatura.

So how does this directly relate to “W.W.”? No surprises here, folks: turns out “W.W.” is “Will Wilkinson.” And wouldn’tcha know it, Will Wilkinson has spent the past several years on the payroll of–ta-dum!– the Cato Institute. Where Wilkinson earned himself years of nice fat paychecks churning out horseshit that can only be described as “Inequality Denial” propaganda: the Kochs have been paying Wilkinson to churn out propaganda denying America’s worsening wealth and income gap, and he’s come through for them. (The Kochs, owners of the nation’s largest privately-held oil company, are also are the leading funders of Climate Change Denial propaganda). Inequality Denial is a much tougher sell than Climate Change Denial, because unlike climate change, which is still comparatively abstract, today’s wealth gap is painfully tangible to the 90 percent or so of Americans who’ve been getting fucked over the past three decades. Which is why it’s also a High Priority PR job, when you consider that the Koch brothers have a combined wealth of $35 billion…or that the Walton family, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, are together worth more than the bottom 100 million Americans’ wealth combined. Which pretty much makes us a “republica bananera” already–and as such, this banana republic has its share of oligarch-monkeys, monkeys like Will Wilkinson.

Most Americans still have too much dignity to shill that low for the billionaires–telling newly-impoverished Americans that they’ve never had it better. But not Will Wilkinson; for him, the destruction of the middle-class to enrich the billionaire class was just another event, another opportunity to prove to Master Koch that “W.W.” belonged inside the plantation mansion–in the butler’s quarters–and not out there in the miserable slave cabins with the rest of us parasites.

The Kochs have been passing around their libertarian whore Wilkinson for awhile now, and getting a lot of mileage out of their investment: before the Cato Institute, Wilkinson drew his paycheck from the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Mercatus Center is so flush with Koch cash these days that they’re now able to buy up much of the first-rate talent graduating from American economics programs (if “talent” and “economics” can be put in the same sentence). The rise of Mercatus’ ability to buy out talent has been good for the Kochs, but a little rougher on second-stringers like Wilkinson, a Northern Illinois University grad who couldn’t finish his PhD degree at Maryland. So a few years ago, Wilkinson was eventually transfered out of the Mercatus Center and over to the Cato Institute pasture alongside ol’ “Supply Side” Reynolds and other libertarian misfits whom the Kochs needed to take care of, and protect from having to face the awful free-market that’s fucked over the rest of us. Before his stint at Mercatus, Wilkinson sucked on yet another Koch foundation teat, working as a director at the Institute for Humane Studies, also headquartered also at George Mason University. Wilkinson’s job at the Kochs’ Institute for Humane Studies was recruiting and nurturing future libertarian podlings.

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The biography of Will Wilkinson, like that of just about every member of the libertarian nomenklatura, is so caricatured, so totally devoid of surprises and curve-balls, that you almost have to admire how tightly controlled the Libertarian Assembly Line is–the only equivalent that comes to mind is the Soviet Union’s Communist Party vetting machine: from Young Pioneer to Komsomol to Communist Party member, they constantly vetted, tested and promoted the most useful shills, along with the elite’s children,  to create a power-elite class that lasted 80 years, at the expense of the rest of the suffering country.

As an example of just how robotic and predictable the libertarian nomenklatura is, and how similar they are to their old Commie counterparts, guess what thinker changed Will Wilkinson’s life? Actually, don’t try guessing: Ayn Rand, that’s the answer every time, just as Lenin was the answer every time in the Soviet Union. Here’s Wilkinson’s own account of his Rand epiphany:

I’d been excited by Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic convention and was toying with voting for him. Then I read Atlas Shrugged. I began reading the libertarian canon and I voted for Andre Marrou that Fall. I started paying more attention to my philosophy classes than my art classes. Ayn Rand is why I almost became an academic philosopher, why I became a libertarian, and why I work at Cato.

That’s almost funny, in a National Lampoon’s Libertarian Vacation sort of way. But we all know that the real joke’s on us, and it’s sly little bastards like Wilkinson that are doing the real laughing here–all the way to the government-subsidized billionaire boss, Massa’ Koch.

I see now what the problem’s been all along with us “elitists”: We dismissed Rand too easily because we made the mistake of judging her on her intellectual and writing abilities, which were slapstick funny at best– if you think putting a crazy baglady from Russia babbling about “Objective rational truth” as head of the most powerful cult in America counts as National Lampoon comedy–which it would be, if we weren’t forced to be extras in that comedy.

But that was our mistake, my fellow elitists: Taking a crazy old baglady like Ayn Rand at face value. We weren’t considering what her practical value was in an ideologically corrupt country like ours. We didn’t see the angle. An ambitious, frustrated flyover baby like Wilkinson saw Rand much more clearly: Rand was his ticket out of the flat dead-end life in Northern Illinois or Northern Iowa or whatever bumfuck Hellhole he’d have been stuck in. Practically the only way a provincial nobody like Wilkinson has to escape this dead-end life in wage-squeezed Middle America is the same way Stendhal’s Julien Sorel escaped provincial France: adopt the billionaire’s religion, enter the Randroid clergy (Wilkinson was an “Objectivist” scholar with a Master’s in Philosophy from Northern Illinois University), and work your way up the ladder by cynically proving your usefulness to the aristocracy. The payoff for becoming a Randroid makes it all worth it: hicks like Wilkinson can become card-carrying members of the billionaire-funded libertarian nomenklatura, the only well-paying, graduation-to-grave gig remaining for America’s intellectuals. Decades of successfully “defunding the Left” has left America with only one solvent ideology flush enough to support a nomenklatura. That’s the long-and-short of how Rand equals career opportunity for hick opportunists like Will Wilkinson.

To give credit where credit’s due, Wilkinson calculated correctly. His investment in the Rand clergy paid off: Wilkinson became a privileged member of the libertarian nomenklatura. And once Will Wilkinson was allowed in the libertarian nomenklatura, guess who became his bestest libertarian pal in the world? Yup, our old friend Megan McArdle of The Atlantic Monthly. They’re joined at the Ayn Rand hip, you see: before McArdle blogged for the Atlantic, she ran her own blog, Jane Galt–cuz you know, John Galt’s a guy, but Jane Galt is like the female equivalent, and Megan McArdle is a female…well, it bowls ‘em over in the libertarian circles, you wouldn’t understand because you’re probably a socialist parasite.

Readers of The eXiled might recall McArdle’s failed attempt to discredit our article exposing the billionaire Kochs and FreedomWorks as the real backers of the Tea Party Campaign. Yeah, that’s Will Wilkinson’s best libertard friend. Being in the nomenklatura with Megan means Wilkinson gets fairytale perks like guest-blogging on Megan McArdle’s blog during her hectic wedding week earlier this year, when Megan married a young libertarian named Peter Suderman–who works at the Koch-funded libertarian magazine, Reason. (Before that, Peter worked for FreedomWorks, designing their fake-grassroots campaign protesting federal aid to distressed homeowners. Wonderful people, all of them.).

Speaking of marriage, Will Wilkinson displayed an oddly hostile attitude towards marriages in general while guest-blogging on the decidedly pro-marriage Megan McArdle’s blog. That’s just Wilkinson’s hick Randroid side coming out: you know how hillbillies get carried away with whatever religion they’re tricked into adopting. Even after getting that prized induction into the libertarian nomenklatura, Wilkinson never could quite calibrate when to be a Randroid ass, and when to dispense with it and just enjoy his new life among the privileged libertarian elite. So it was that one week after Wilkinson logged onto Megan’s blog snarling about the foolishness of marriage ceremonies, he took it a step further by attacking a “friend” of his, the libertarian economist Bryan Caplan. Followers of the libertarian nomenklatura might recognize Caplan’s name since he’s on the Koch payroll at the Mercatus Center–where Will Wilkinson once drew his paychecks.

How did the two of them end up liber-brawling? What set off the great Wilkinson-Caplan falling-out wasn’t because Caplan said that American citizens should have their voting rights restricted because they’re too “irrational,” as Caplan has argued in his books and articles; nor was it because Caplan insisted that unemployed Americans are too stupid to understand what a great thing unemployment is for them–and therefore should not expect unemployment insurance– as Caplan has insisted. Nope, that’d be too obvious for Wilkinson to oppose that, which he wouldn’t anyway because they agree on all those points. These guys are mavericks, folks–the sorts of mavericks who live off their billionaire masters, Charles and David Koch.

So instead of arguing over anything substantive, Wilkinson and Caplan disagreed over the value of children.

See, Wilkinson wrote a giant paper for the Cato Institute arguing that one’s personal happiness is inversely proportional to the number of children one has–like a Laffer Curve for supply-side pediatrics, Wilkinson’s study, backed by Cato, concluded that full happiness is achieved on the graph at precisely zero children. For some reason Caplan–who has argued that unemployment is a good thing for the unemployed, and that American voters are too “irrational” to know what’s good for them in fiscal and economic policy, so therefore the Constitution should be amended barring voters from having any say over any fiscal or economic matter at all, period–this same Caplan was actually offended by Willkinson’s anti-child paper. Like I said, they’re a bunch of fucking weirdos.

Weirdos in the biggest and best-funded cult in America. And like a true cultist, Will Wilkinson has been in a “domestic partnership” with another cultist, Kerry Howley, who draws her paycheck from–yup, you guessed it–Massa’ Koch. In Kerry Howley’s case, she’s spent several years writing for the Koch-funded Reason magazine (the same magazine where Megan McArdle’s husband works, omigod!).

Not all libertarians are happy with the power-libertard couple. Some have even complained about “Wilkinson-Howley shoving their abhorrent lifestyle down my throat”–a reference not only to the partners’ mutual hatred of children (because children would get in the way of the libertarian couple’s happiness), but also to Howley’s sordid publicly-shared experience selling 12 of her ovary eggs to a couple in Chicago a few years ago, which she described in clinical detail for Reason, probably so that Massa Koch could enjoy reading about her eggs while he kicks back in his Park Avenue apartment… Howley earned $10,000 for selling those eggs to the Chicago couple, which may sound like a lot of money to the 99 percent of us fucked by free-market ideology, but not to someone who lives in a 9000 square-foot apartment at 740 Park Avenue–the most expensive address in America–like Kerry Howely’s sponsor David Koch. Hell at a mere $10,000 for a dozen eggs, the Kochs could literally buy millions of indebted female eggs with their wealth, and farm their own army of libertarian slaves–although they’re already doing that successfully enough, and it’s probably just cheaper buying people like Wilkinson and Howley rather than harvesting all those eggs Alien-style, and raising the little monsters from birth.

And Howley delivers the free-market goods: She does her best to show that she wasn’t bothered a lick by being treated like a human farm animal when she sold her eggs. But try telling Howley that her generation is struggling from too much student loan debt and too few job opportunities, and the Kerry Howley libertarian knives come out. According to Howley, only whiners talk that way–whiners and elitists, of course, because libertards really do hate their elitists just as much as the next libertard. Here’s Kerry Howley snarling at her whiny generation in a 2006 article headlined “Poor Little Rich Kids”:

Even if we grant for the sake of argument that liberal arts degrees are creating a generation of debt-ridden and underemployed lambkins (a problem the author addresses by offering tepid support for vocational schools), that just makes Kamenetz’s policy suggestions look doubly odd. Significantly hiking Pell grants (the largest federal student grant program), lowering the expected family contribution for aid, and increasing state and federal student aid would amount to subsidizing choices already distorted by social norms, impervious to economic realities, and apparently subject to students who think a women’s studies major is a ticket to untold riches.

Worse than the misdiagnosis of her generation’s ills is Kamenetz’s insistence that her generation is somehow worse off than those previous.

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Will Wilkinson (left, slouching) and Kerry Howley (center, leaning on bar like a butch cowboy): Yup, “abhorrent” is a word that comes to mind.

Every successful couple shares something deep within their souls, an unspoken connection that binds them together: the Wilkinson-Howley domestic partnership shares a sordid eagerness to betray their own in the service of Master Koch, so that he may throw a few more gold coins their way.

Here is Wilkinson in December 2007, denying America has an income inequality problem, and celebrating the spiritual and material riches shared by all in an article headlined “The new (improved) Gilded Age”:

There is little evidence that high levels of income inequality lead down a slippery slope to the destruction of democracy and rule by the rich. The unequal political voice of the poor can be addressed only through policies that actually work to fight poverty and improve education. Income inequality is a dangerous distraction from the real problems: poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and systemic injustice.

In other words, poverty is its own problem, totally separate from concentrated wealth. The two have nothing in common–hell, they’ve never even seen each other before! So stop paying attention to all the obscene wealth coveted by a few hundred Americans like Massa’s Charles Koch ‘n’ David Koch and their combined $35 billion, and just concentrate on poverty, will ya?! And hey let’s look on the bright side:

[T]oday’s Gilded Age income gaps do not imply Gilded Age lifestyle gaps. On the contrary, those intrepid souls who make vast fortunes turning out ever higher-quality goods at ever lower prices widen the income gap while reducing the differences that matter most.

Some worrying inequalities, such as the access to a good education, may indeed
be widening, arresting economic mobility for the least fortunate and exacerbating
income-inequality trends. Yet even if you care about those aspects of income
inequality, the idea can send misleading signals about the underlying trends in
real consumption and the real quality of life. Contrary to Mr Krugman’s
implications, today’s Gilded Age income gaps do not imply Gilded Age lifestyle
gaps. On the contrary, those intrepid souls who make vast fortunes turning out
ever higher-quality goods at ever lower prices widen the income gap while
reducing the differences that matter most.

See? You may be getting “poorer” by the Old Economy metrics–you know, things like income, assets, money, debts, whatever dude…But try thinking outside of the box (the cardboard box you live in, that is): If you measure the gap between you and someone just as fucked as you…well, think about it. What’s income anyway? And what is inequality? It’s just a state of mind, man…

Last year–in the middle of the deepest depression since the 1930s, Wilkinson synthesized years of research denying inequality’s existence and published it through the Cato institute. This guy has literally focused his entire life these past two years towards denying the existence of an income inequality problem. Here is the abstract:

Recent discussions of economic inequality, marked by a lack of clarity and care, have confused the public about the meaning and moral significance of rising income inequality. Income statistics paint a misleading picture of real standards of living and real economic inequality. Several strands of evidence about real standards of living suggest a very different picture of the trends in economic inequality. In any case, the dispersion of incomes at any given time has, at best, a tenuous connection to human welfare or social justice.

Speaking of social justice, this story has a happy ending: The Cato Institute recently liberated Will Wilkinson from the inefficiencies of billionaire servitude, freeing him to venture out into the free-market. In other words, he was fired. I repeat: he was fired. One version has it that Wilkinson was canned because another Cato scholar he was close to displayed ideological deviancy over the Tea Party–Wilkinson’s boss at Cato was canned because he couldn’t swallow the Tea Party line, and Wilkinson was sent packing with his boss.

After all that excitement and power in the nation’s capital, going from one Koch teat to the next, today Wilkinson has gone back full circle, back to his beloved Iowa where he grew up. What makes this particularly sweet is that Wilkinson didn’t return home to recapture his roots–instead, the unemployed billionaire’s-butler followed his young, solvent little Randroid partner, Kerry Howley, who is getting an MFA at the notorious Iowa Writer’s Program. Ah yes, if you want to escape elitists, there’s no better place to go than the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. You can’t get more absurd–or more abhorrent–than this.

Congratulations Will, congratulations Kerry. America will always remember you.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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68 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. vortexgods  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 7:45 am

    This is interesting, but it’s important to understand how Libertarianism gets its claws into young working class people. I mean, not every kid who became a Libertarian necessarily cares about enriching the plutocracy, some just hate those damn six-foot laws they’ve instituted in many strip clubs.

    When you are young, you look out at the political realm and you see:

    Two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, who practice “There is no alternative” in the Thatcherite sense. I mean, the Democrats are doing a full court press on school privatization now, and during Clinton administration it was on ending welfare and bringing in NAFTA (a nice one-two punch on the working class). Here’s Al Gore, the “mainstream Left” incarnate plugging NAFTA on Larry King http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1tHV_fztR4

    So, neoliberalism is the order of the day, there is no alternative voice in mainstream politics.

    So, Libertarianism seems to be a third neoliberal choice, no different than the other two. Maybe more honest and open about it. Obama would have us believe that turning schools into profit streams for Wall Street and crushing the teacher’s union isn’t about turning the school’s over to Wall Street and crushing the teacher’s union. Libertarians will openly say, “Well, there should only be private schools, and unions shouldn’t exist.” It’s a kind of honesty at least (Libertarians lie as much as any other mainstream political party, of course, they are just shockingly honest about some of their goals.)

    It would be true that Libertarians would just be a third, unnecessary neoliberal party except for one thing: The Democrats and the Republicans are run by prigs and prudes. I mean between the leader of the Democrats (Al Gore) and the eminence grise of the Democrats (Joe Lieberman), these are people who want to ban fun. (With Republicans getting their fun banning cues from preachers and freaks like Christine O’Donnell and Sean Hannity.)

    Ban sex, ban drugs, ban rock and roll, ban video games… ban whatever you can think of. The Libertarians say, “No, we don’t want to ban those things, we’ll protect them from the two prude parties.”

    Also, when Harry Browne was alive, the Libertarians were farther away from the Republicans than they are now. (Plausibly anti-war and pro-immigration. Harry Browne came out against war with Afghanistan right after 9/11! That shows character, especially considering the hate mail he got.)

    Of course, nowadays, Libertarianism is collapsing, which is probably a good thing. Since running Bob Barr for president, the mask is slipping and the old saw about Libertarians just being “cool” Republicans is looking like the truth. Except, maybe not even “cool” Republicans, even.

  • 2. RanDomino  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Libertarians get created by the idea that they’re invincible and omnipotent, and the only reason they’re not God-Kings of the Universe is that there are all these OTHER people dragging them down. “Yeah, that’s the ticket- it can’t be MY fault that I’m a loser; I have every right to be a business owner who spends all his time telling other people what to do instead of doing any real work himself. I’m white after all. Those parasites I read about in Atlas Shrugged must somehow be responsible! Bastards!”

  • 3. Diet Coke  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 10:27 am

    One of the most vicious things I’ve read on the Exile – Ames at his best.

    I couldn’t stomach reading all those quotes however. Can’t we just take your word for it next time?

  • 4. Ryan RMS  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    > Since running Bob Barr for president, the mask is slipping and the old saw about Libertarians just being “cool” Republicans is looking like the truth. Except, maybe not even “cool” Republicans, even.

    A libertarian is a republican who takes drugs.

  • 5. Yousif  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Thank you I needed this article

  • 6. Pascual Gorostieta  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Write for the Cato institute? I thought this jerk off was in an indie band.

  • 7. General Foods  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I grew up with Libertarians and every one of them has had a hugely successful career to date in elite positions moving lucratively back and forth between academia and government. They’re smart enough to have figured out by now that the Libertarian ideology is a complete fraud let alone the risible Libertarian Party. But then again, why should they change course since The System Obviously Works? Their personal success proves it. These guys are way more intelligent than the dumb-ass professional gummers Ames Klostermanned so expertly here. They don’t have anything against elitists because they *are* elitists and know it. They’re pleasant enough people who have successfully gamed the system, and who could fault them for enjoying the spoils? Except for nihilist haters.

  • 8. Dirk  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    They should seriously do an “economic fiction” workshop at Iowa.

  • 9. Mike  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    We should also remember that libertarian used to refer to the furthest left of the left before the “Libertarian” party hijacked the term.

    Libertarian socialists were anarchists; people willing to kill the leaders of not just corporations, but the church, state, whoever stood in the way of the working class. “libertarian” aught to bring to mind Barcelona, Spain, 1930s, not Dekalb, Illinois, 1990s.

  • 10. Jack  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Academic hacks will turn more and more towards libertarianism as that is obviously where the funding will come from. Liberal arts programs are going to abandon any sort of lefty slant (except in regard to “rights” of “oppressed groups”) and make a place for parasites like Wilkinson and Howley.

  • 11. Mason C  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Mark, this is a based-loaded double off the center field wall. You fuckin’ rule.

  • 12. Zhu Bajie  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    One good thing about this guy moving to Iowa is that he has a good chance of freezing to death in a snow drift, come winter.

  • 13. Zhu Bajie  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I always thought a libertarian was a Republican with rabies!

  • 14. Tragic Marx  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    14 civilians killed in grenade attack in Monterrey Saturday, been a while since we heard from Poncho…

  • 15. arrowrod  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Great! Everybody is a victim. Apparently, the victim’s revenge is writing a blog, denigrating their tormentors.

    Only one problem. The only people reading the blog are other victims.

    Any of you going to “man up”?

  • 16. Funonymous  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    If only I read Ayn Rand instead of Hunter Thompson, maybe I could have been a propagandist for the power elite too. Seems it pays better than well read malcontent.

  • 17. Funonymous  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    In order to uh, ‘man up’, I will need approximately half a billion dollars in budgetary outlays to hire my army of lobbyists, lawyers, and morally flexible journalists. Once all of that runs its course and the playing field is no longer tilted as heavily in favor of the 1000 or so families that make up the rich, white, militant, and corporate, maybe then we will have a chance. Until then, looking for and trying to record the truth of the hustle seems as good a calling as any.

    And to General Foods; I always thought it would be treason among Libertarians to take a government job. Then I realized they take them to fuck up everything they touch and then point at how government can never work at anything, ever to prove their internal thesis.

  • 18. Soj  |  October 3rd, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Was this article only in the only version of the Economist or in print as well?

    I ask because I thought the Economist had a policy of running all of their articles unattributed, i.e. without a byline indicating who wrote it. Of course I may be wrong.

  • 19. Tam  |  October 4th, 2010 at 12:38 am

    @18 Soj

    I suspect it was an on-line article, I’ve been reading The Economist for years, (it gives you a pretty good insight into the corporate world) and I’ve NEVER seen an article in which the author refers to themselves as ‘I’; they always pompously call themselves ‘This correspondent’ or suchlike…

  • 20. Lavrentij "Anarchy99" Lemko  |  October 4th, 2010 at 6:28 am

    @Jack Right. As in the “human rights” of the “usefully repressed”, i.e., those who by historic accident happen to sit upon reserves of a rare industrial or commercially exploitable resource.

  • 21. LJM  |  October 4th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Waaaaaahhh! I’m a big fucking baby but I’m going to try my best not to show it. Ready? Okay, here goes, I’m going to pretend that I’m not hurt and I’m going to whine and cry at you liberals (I’m guessing Mark Ames is a liberal since I have no fucking clue). Okay here I go, watch me:

    I think it would be great if liberals felt this kind of passionate (if juvenile) hatred for people who are actually doing evil things in the world, like imprisoning individuals indefinitely without charges, blowing up and burning alive entire families with drones, and denying equal rights to homosexuals. But why rail against the Obama administration, when there are academics who have been so vile as to express economic theories you disagree with?

    I’m no libertarian (I believe in universal healthcare and social safety nets), but the fact is that on most of the pressing matters of the day, libertarians are more liberal than Democrats.

    Wait a minute–Okay, I’m a libertarian and actually I’m also a troll, but I’ve been taught in those Koch-funded libertarian workshops to go on comments sections and say, “I’m no libertarian, but…” Works every time!

    Okay, continuing with me whining:

    But you go ahead and keep railing against the academics. The innocent people we’re killing in Afghanistan appreciate your enthusiasm.

    Oo, that’ll show yuh!

  • 22. emerson  |  October 4th, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Ames,

    I’m a libertarian troll. And as a troll, I’m going to make this totally idiotic argument and pretend it makes sense. Ready? Here goes:

    Who gives a shit about inequality? It’s poverty that’s the problem. That’s all Wilkinson’s saying. Inequality is worrying about the poor envying the rich, and if they do, who cares. There’ll always be billionaires out there, and if that makes you so unhappy, you’ve got bigger problems.

    That’ll show yah, Ames!

  • 23. Strelnikov  |  October 4th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Libertarianism always was a load….I’ve never seen a Libtard who wasn’t working for a think tank or a law office. Wilkinson looks like a hipster with an accounting day job and Ayn Rand is the greatest shitbag writer of the XX century.

  • 24. Stephen  |  October 4th, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Frankly, I refuse to call these Conservatives Tea Party Activists or Libertarians. At the end of the day, they’re just Conservatives. Only now, it’s so blatantly obvious that Bush 43 was the worst president since Warren Harding, the Conservatives have to call themselves something different. The Tea Party and Libertarians is just the GOP with a bag over it’s head. I’m not going to engage it as if its a new movement. I refuse to talk to and engage the dummy on the ventriloquists lap as if it actually has a real viewpoint.

    Say what you will about Democrats, but at least I support a party that doensn’t need to walk around in disguise, having started 2 wars and wrecked our economy.

  • 25. Tom Walls  |  October 4th, 2010 at 8:42 am

    So, gossip about think tank writers makes some sort of argument against libertarians? Lame-o.

    Hey, I just want to be free. @General foods: How does believing or desiring that constitute some kind of fraud?

  • 26. Nick  |  October 4th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    First of all, I am a libertard troll fond of giving rim-jobs to billionaires. Heck, I do it for free! Otherwise, I really have nothing important to say. Hopefully some day someone will pith me.

    Anyway, if you want to read what I have to say (adding to my fellow libertard trolls who’ve recently started posting comments on this site), here goes: it’s a blog post for The Economist’s “Democracy in America” blog, not an article. It’s actually pretty easy to figure out, but given the apparent intellectual capacity of the author of this blog, I’m not surprised he missed that little “nuance.”

    In regards to this post: I can tell that the author is well-versed in wild, ad hominem attacks, and delusional conspiracy theories, but it would have been nice if the post actually commented on the substance on Wilkinson’s argument. The Economist post was basically just an analysis of an academic paper out of Northwestern University which seeks to alter the methodology used to measure inequality. Basically the paper proposes that when weighting for inflation, in studies on inequality, that we break the inflation index down into baskets of consumer good, rather than applying the entire index to everyone regardless of income level.

    Yabba-dabba-doo. If you believe this bullshit, boy have I got some condos in Florida to sell you!

    I would suggest a life spent rimming billionaires like I do, it’s pretty awesome and worthy of my dignity.

  • 27. Nick  |  October 4th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Wow, I wish someone could edit my idiotic thoughts and deleted part of my brain before I waste everyone’s time with a blog comment. I’m not a coward, you’re a coward. I don’t write like 13-year old, you write like a 13-year-old. Waahhhhh!!!

    (This message was brought to you by another libertarian troll. Charles Koch approves of this message.)

  • 28. Jack  |  October 4th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Here’s an interesting quote: Allan Bloom wrote that when he asked his students which books mattered to them, “There is always a girl who mentions Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, a book, although hardly literature, which, with its sub-Nietzschean assertiveness, excites somewhat eccentric youngsters to a new way of life.” We’re exholes right? So what should be on our mind? Snapper that’s what. So all we gotta do is read the Fountainhead and some other stuff about objectivism and then get on the internet or go to some teaparty meetings and try to game us some eccentric young Randian snapper. Hell! the exiled oughta make some weekly column out of it. Mofos who get the bitch drunk and take naked pictures of her get some kind of prize.

  • 29. Armen  |  October 4th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Really what libertardarianism is, is a psycho sexual perversion that expresses itself in obsessive contempt of what in libertard ideology is called “weak,” but what in reality is the passive position during coitus.

    Libertards want to suck cock, BE fucked, BE done to, receive, follow, open themselves up to be filled. Deep inside, they want to be ridden. They can’t accept this about themselves, however. So they project their conflict into economics, transfer their latent emotions upon the poor, and hate the poor the way they hate themselves.

    You can tell by the way that Wilkinson dresses and the thin sheen of sweat on his face that he likes to walk around with his sphincter tightly wrapped around a butt-plug, gaining comfort in the manner of an autistic child tightly holding an object in his hand. Seriously. Ask yourself why “whining” is something they ubiquitously bring up. They–hate–those who sound like they need, because they, the libertards, need so badly a horse cock in their mouths. At the root of all the ideological smoke they belch out is a very troubled, very conflicted, and very tragic sexuality.

    Wasn’t Ayn Rand notorious for throwing a fit over being denied cock that she felt entitled to, like a child? See, it’s up to us to talk to them with patience and tolerance and help them face their true selves, so that they can become the happy and creative people they are meant to be, instead of the poisonous sacks of intestinal puss that they are.

  • 30. Shitter Island  |  October 4th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    emerson said:
    Who gives a shit about inequality? It’s poverty that’s the problem. That’s all Wilkinson’s saying. Inequality is worrying about the poor envying the rich, and if they do, who cares.

    Critical thinking does not appear to be a libertard strength.

  • 31. Mike  |  October 4th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    @emerson

    It’s not the fire that’s the problem, it’s the rapid conversion of the house into carbon.

    It’s not the guy with the gun, it’s these mysterious holes that keep appearing in things.

    By the way, how did you find this article, Wilky? Google Alerts?

  • 32. thomzas  |  October 4th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Anyone want to put money on this little shit cracking up and becoming a full blown sociopath within the next year?

    “Where’s the gun? Where’s the tower?!”

  • 33. aleke  |  October 4th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Keep Lenin’s name outta your mouth, liberal bourgeoisie baby!

  • 34. Flatulissimo  |  October 4th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    The article is great, and the “edited” comments from the angry libertards as re-written by Ames are hilarious. I only wish I could see the looks on their faces when they read them.

  • 35. foog  |  October 4th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Ayn Rand was to philosophy what George W. was to statesmanship.

    (on a side note: why is it so fecking hilarious when you childishly edit comments from libtards, yet so very, very annoying when y’all do the same to my comments to another article?)

  • 36. Lavrentij "Anarchy 99" Lemko  |  October 4th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Ames,
    You kicked ‘em in the balls. They are feeling it. One question, if I may ask: “is your hatred pure?” Let’s dig up the dossier on this putrid cunt, MW.
    – Lavrentij

  • 37. Sid the Narcissist Anarchist  |  October 5th, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Nice piece, enjoyed reading it.

    Keep up the good work, Mark.

  • 38. Kat  |  October 5th, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they don’t really need to spend so much. The (more) mainstream media already does a fine job dismissing inequality when they issue “noncontroversial” proclamations such as a college degree is what separates the haves from have-nots. Unfortunately there are far too many college degree holders who cast their lots with the rich based on this ridiculous proposition. No, a college degree may keep you from being destitute (and that is probably a specious claim), but it will do little to smooth your entry into the class of individuals who do not have to make any sort of hard choices when allocating their resources.

  • 39. Brad  |  October 5th, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Will Wilkinson is far more liberal than about 90% of bloggers and talking heads out there. His most recent blog post calls for cuts to the military. He has recently left Cato along with Brink Lindsey, (who he is coauthoring a book entitled “The Free Market Progressive: How We Can Use Capitalist Acts Between Consenting Adults to Create Peace, Prosperity, and Justice”) and most people believe it is because the two were too liberal for that think-tank. Wilkinson, despite your article, has even been an outspoken critic of Ayn Rand and objectivism.

    Will Wilkinson is an outspoken supporter of abortion rights, open immigration, ending the war on drugs, cutting military spending, homosexual rights, the not-quite ground zero mosque, and an outspoken critic of both wars, the Republican party and conservatism in general, and the continually growing invasion of the Bush/Obama White Houses into civil liberties.

    I don’t know why you feel it necessary to launch into a completely over-the-top and fairly misleading attack piece over an opinion on income disparities and the decision as to whether to get married and have children. Especially when you don’t really engage in discussion on either opinion.

    I will be interested in seeing how this gets edited. Then again, word on the street is that if I whine in just the right squeaky tone like I’m doing here, you won’t edit a thing because it speaks (or whines) for itself. Is that true?

  • 40. Brad  |  October 5th, 2010 at 7:27 am

    @post #31 – Mike,

    This post was linked to at Reason.com’s blog:

    “Speaking of crowd-pleasing conspiracy theories, Nation contributor and professional lesser half of Matt Taibbi Mark Ames went postal over the weekend on the work and universe of Reason contributor Will Wilkinson. This will give you the flavor:

    ‘[F]or him, the destruction of the middle-class to enrich the billionaire class was just another event, another opportunity to prove to Master Koch that “W.W.” belonged inside the plantation mansion–in the butler’s quarters–and not out there in the miserable slave cabins with the rest of us parasites.

    The Kochs have been passing around their libertarian whore Wilksinson [sic] for awhile now, and getting a lot of mileage out of their investment[.]‘

    This is the quality of analysis currently drawing applause from the reality-based community.”

  • 41. Allen  |  October 5th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    As far as I know this is a pretty big part of what the exile(d) does … hit jobs on various little creeps — there is, I would add, nothing particularly amplified about its tone compared to the usual.

    The polemic is particularly nasty here only because of how much it rings true …

  • 42. Dammerung  |  October 5th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    The political establishment hates and despises real libertarianism. Note the use of the word “real.” It’s like “real Republican”–we’re always almost getting there. Let’s have a tea party to shake up the corrupt libertarian movement, so that we can have real libertarians take over. yabba dabba do

    what follows is a bunch of fake anti-establishment cant….

  • 43. Strelnikov  |  October 5th, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    @ Brad

    It was easier to kick Wilkinson because he seemed to be the model think-tank Libtard, so it’s not just a slam at this wonk, but a crushing blow to all the Libertarian/Objectivist/Zon Power fuckheads because their way of living is a betrayal of their ideology – they SHOULD be fearless, risktaking venture capitalist/entrepreneur types, but instead they write papers on how cap and trade is a Communist plot.

  • 44. Biff  |  October 5th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    @General Foods

    I’ve met hundreds of “true” libertarians in my day, and I have not met one who functioned at the level you describe.

    I would describe the overwhelming majority of them as petty, Walter Mitty-ish individuals with limited life experiences, and limited social skills. It’s amazing how many of them don’t even know to brush their teeth.

    “True” libertarians are completely harmless. All they want is to be left alone to read science fiction novels, write “manifestos”, and chat amongst themselves on the Internet.

    The whackjobs at the Sarah Palin rallies … well, maybe that’s another story.

  • 45. John Drinkwater  |  October 6th, 2010 at 4:50 am

    “Will Wilkinson is far more liberal than about 90% of bloggers and talking heads out there”

    Even if that’s true, it’s not saying much. I also don’t quite know what you think that means. He may be ‘economically liberal’ in the 19th century European sense, which was devoted to keeping government out of business and the economy, i.e. refusing protection for workers on the grounds that they’re all ‘free agents’ and what’s good for business is good for the economy. It took several reform acts, strikes and trade unions to counteract this ‘liberalism’ and the battle is still being waged.

  • 46. General Foods  |  October 6th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    @whoever-the-fuck

    “Hey, I just want to be free. @General foods: How does believing or desiring that constitute some kind of fraud?”

    Because your freedom is built on lots of other motherfuckers’ slavery as you’d know if you ever read any Nietzsche, or checked out who sews your underpants and puts together your computer, or even read some history.

    So there! May I have a cookie now?

    @whoever-the-fuck #2

    “I’ve met hundreds of “true” libertarians in my day, and I have not met one who functioned at the level you describe.”

    Your putting the word “true” into scare quotes relieves me of the need to read any more of your comment. I provided a data point, period. If somebody who becomes an adult, rolls over on their so-called principles and becomes a good parasite is not a “true” libertarian, that’s not my problem.

  • 47. Dammerung  |  October 6th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Nicely done, [ed]. Keep up the good work of running interference for Obama and the Wall St. goons who selected him. I’m sure he’ll end the expansion of the war into Pakistan any day now. I’m sure the next bailout will be for the American public and not ailing megacorps – he’ll get right on it! Y’all fucking suckers, darkie didn’t get picked because he’s on your side. The Democrat Congress isn’t spineless, it’s passed its entire agenda of selling you to the remaining megacorps the Republicans would have balked at.

  • 48. Point of Fact  |  October 6th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    NAFTA is a convenient whipping-boy, but your ire is misplaced. NAFTA did not eviscerate industrial America like Perot warned, because our Corporate Overlords chose not to build many factories south of the Rio Grande.

    What NAFTA *did* do was impoverish even further millions of Mexican campesinos, because their cost of production was far higher than the cost of importing Iowa corn.

    The real ruin of formerly-Industrial America is due to a combination of the invention of containerized shipping, cheap diesel fuel and Most-Favored Nation status being granted to the PRC.

    Our Corporate Overlords quit building new factories here and they for the most part quit maintaining existing ones. My brother-in-law for ten years was employed by a division of a Fortune 100 company. His job was dismantling US factories and shipping them to the PRC.

    Nice job, if you can get it.

  • 49. thus_speaketh_the_butt_trumpet  |  October 6th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    #44 did you ever hit it on the head!

    Another EXCELLENT Ames hit piece!

    “Gonzo Journalism” had its founder, how about “Slash And Burn Journalism”?

    So one evening a few years ago I was hungry and ducked into a CoCo’s for some food. I noticed a meeting over in a room at the side and having the touching curiosity of a moron, checked it out – it was the meeting of the local Positivist Club. A roomful of Randroids! So of course I had to sit down and meet and shake hands and eat dimmer with ‘em, come for the food(?) stay for the freaks, right? These noble scions of Reardon all seemed to be a bit …. pinched ….. well, poor. They all seemed to have the Senior Special in some form or an appetizer. I got a steak and potato because hell, I was hungry. They all looked at me like I surely had obtained the money to order such a thing through some kind of leechery. Work, bots, it was work.

  • 50. Mike  |  October 7th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    It was hard not to overhear a self-professed libertarian mouthing off in a local restaurant. He was talking about the economic situation.

    “My feeling on it is, uh, the thing is, um…”

    It went on for what seemed like two minutes. My friend said, “Wait for it… wait for it…” But I had to go to the can, and never learned whether he had an actual opinion, or just the label.

    Libertarians (the word has been co-opted; deal with it and get a new word) are like anarchists. Healthy young idiots with no responsibilities, full of piss and vinegar about imagined future greatness.

  • 51. thus_speaketh_the_butt_trumpet  |  October 7th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Dimmer. Geez. The standard Internet 30-point I.Q. penalty got me again.

  • 52. Jack  |  October 8th, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Eating with Randroids is dimmer.

  • 53. SK  |  October 8th, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    You paint with a pretty wide brush, Mark. As for me, I’m the sort of commenter who’s “above the fray,” playing the role of adult commenter here. I’m what we in the trolling business call the “mature, adult-like, calm-voiced troller whose nose is just as covered in billionaire dingleberries as the next troll, but maybe you won’t notice it by the way I write” type of troll. You can tell I’m someone you should take seriously, adult-to-adult, because my comment is free of the usual juvenile grammar/spelling errors. Here is my brilliant insight: People’s political awareness often follows a progression. Yes, seriously, isn’t that brilliant? Most people follow a single linear progression. And get ready for this: Libertarianism is just a stop on its way to Anarchism (or Socialism if you think that I deserve to die if I don’t want to pay for your grandparents to have new consumer electronics and access to whatever placebo-drugs big pharma is having doctors push on them).

    Now, let’s look at what I wrote: Libertarianism is just a stop on its way to Anarchism. Yeah, seriously, have you seen what wild anarchists all those Libertarians who follow Milton Friedman are? Look at Will Wilkinson–that dude is stickin it to the Man! He’s throwing bombs, squatting, fighting the cops! You’ve seen all those Koch-funded libertarians taking it to the streets to fight power, haven’t you?

    Okay, and then I contradict myself by saying there’s a progression either to Anarchism or Socialism, which makes no sense, but whatever, I’m a libertard so low on the totem poll that I spend my days trolling comment sections like yours. Okay, that said, have you noticed how many Libertarians out there become Socialists? Yeah, seriously, tons of them! And yeah, as you know, in socialist countries like Germany, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Canada, you name it–they actually have capital punishment laws if you don’t buy your grandparents new iPods and placebo medicines. I mean yeah, sure, people in socialist countries do live longer than Americans do, and their health care costs are about half of ours, and they’re happier, but that’s not the point–the point is that whatever makes billionaires happy makes me happy, and what makes my Billionaire Master happy is an end to Medicare and Social Security, and my billionaire boss who never talks to me says that if I’m opposed to Medicare and Social Security, then that makes me a daring maverick and independent-minded and Nietzschean, rather than just a gullible retarded dumbfuck.

    I bash 10 year olds for being too hairless to understand; I know that with effort they will get there. Since an accurate understanding of sucking-up to billionaires is an entirely self-taught education, I do not begrudge anyone having not yet reached the same orgasms as I have. They’re still learning, and at least they’ve learned to convince themselves that they’re not “mainstream.”

  • 54. Jeff Bridges  |  October 9th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Some really good material here dude.

  • 55. KeithCu  |  October 12th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I didn’t read the article closely–okay, I did read it closely, of course I did, and it gave me a bad case of stomach cramps. But you see, if I pretend that I didn’t read this article, then you’ll think that it didn’t bother me, and that’s real important to me that you think I’m tough and that you think you didn’t hurt me. Cuz you didn’t hurt me. Seriously, you didn’t. All I can say is that CATO has a number of serious wankers, who agree on everything. Okay and by going on the comments section I hope one day to wank with the other CATO wankers because I hear they’re really good at wanking, they have these libertarian techniques that are really awesome. It isn’t billions from the Koch brothers who make libertarianism happen, almost by definition, it is the soulless tools like me who don’t even know how to wank unless a billionaire tells me how to wank who make libertarianism happen. I’ve donated blood to CATO many times. I would donate cash if I had cash, but as you see I’m commenting on this site so obviously I don’t have cash. CATO is sitting on my face and I enjoy it.

    Anyway, if you want to know what they tell me to write after they’re done sitting on my face, here is what they ask me to write. No one believes this anymore, but hey this is what I’m paid to write, so take it or leave it:

    The world doesn’t suffer from too many libertarian think tanks. They also don’t have any power, their influence is via their writing. If you want to look for things to go after, go after the governments, which are corrupt incompetent, and intrusive. You are being robbed blind by the government, and you waste your ire on a random bystander. Wake up.

    Mark Ames might be interesting and funny, but the penises of the article are premature.

  • 56. Zirb  |  October 13th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    This is like THE handbook on how to argue ad hominem.

    You didn’t even add the obligatory paragraph citing the “other” scientists/economists.

    It’s almost as if this article was a satire on argumentum ad hominem.

    Did you get that? I used Latin. Because I just learned some Latin words and stuff, and I hear that people think you’re really smart if you just put an -um or an -em at the end of a word. Or should I say “wordum.” ha-ha. LOL. Smiley-face. Yabba-dabba-doo.

  • 57. aaaaaa  |  November 4th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    if you think that the evil-because-they’re-rich Kochs are funding libertarian think tanks because they think it will help them get (more) control over government, public policy, public opinion, etc., either you’re stupid or you think the Kochs are extremely stupid. cato and reason have laughably small readership and even smaller washington influence and if people as rich and smart as Koch wanted to spend money to get power, they wouldn’t spend it funding policy papers at influence-less think tanks. you attack people whos entire moral and political philosophy is based on not wanting to tell other people what to do/ how to live, and trying to enshrine prohibitions on coercion into law. you call them slaves and robot/zealot/ideologues because they voluntary exchanged their labor for the Koch’s money and devoted that labor to advancing ideas with which both of them agree. these aren’t the actions of totalitarians, and if you have such a huge problem with the 1st amendment and basic property rights/trade laws – the only things at play here – maybe you should just say so instead of inventing a conspiracy in which the evil robber baron seeks to undermine democracy by…donating to a libertarian think tank and policy magazine(?). laughable

  • 58. Zirb  |  November 6th, 2010 at 7:56 am

    etcetera

  • 59. jbl  |  December 1st, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I’m a libertard myself, so I’m going to pretend that this didn’t bother me a lick. In fact, I’ll pretend that it bored me. Maybe you’ll believe me if I do? Here goes: “Zzzzzzzz..preaching to the choir…..again.”

    Hoo-wee! Did I just flame you or what?! I pwned you, just like Glenn Greenwald of the libertarian Cato Unbound pwned you. Then again, if I pwned you, why am I wasting my time posting a lame comment on your blog? Oh right, because I’m bored, that’s why.

  • 60. spark  |  March 30th, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Christ, I’ve hated this clown every since I first heard of him, and now I find I’m not alone. The EXile keeps giving me that feeling.

  • 61. Harry Johnson  |  May 31st, 2011 at 8:40 am

    The most interesting thing about this is that will has a masters in philosophy. How is this productive? Isn’t he( and megan also) among the leeches and parasites? What exactly have they contributed?

  • 62. rob  |  June 3rd, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    you, sir are, such an irrational subjectivist. don’t you know that will wilkinson is rationally pursuing his rational self-interest in an objective way? a is a. will wilkinson is will wilkinson. yeah, that’s how deep we libertards are. there’s more rational insight where that came from. Also, we libertarians have the art of rimming billionaires down to an ojbective science. because it is objectively rational to grovel and kiss the toes of rightwing billionaires.

  • 63. jck  |  June 23rd, 2011 at 6:30 am

    A linking error: The quote from Wilkerson that starts, “There is little evidence…” is not from the 2007 Economist “Gilded Age” article but from a 2009 Cato screed, “Thinking Clearly about Economic Iequality”:
    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10351

  • 64. Cytotoxic  |  November 4th, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Holy shit wall of text all and not one coherent thought rooted in reality. And a terrible writer to boot.

  • 65. Buddy  |  November 6th, 2011 at 3:22 am

    “Ever since Yasha and I first broke the story about the Koch brothers financing the Tea Party Campaign in February of 2009–”

    Every time I read this, I, Kochtard, jump up and down with steam blowing out of my ears like a libertarian Yosemite Sam. But when I calm down and talk to my boss at The Cato Liberty Institute For Humane Reason Studies, they tell me to pretend like it doesn’t bother me at all, to say something like, “Still beating that dead horse?”

    Nyah! How’dya like them apples, Mister Smartypants!

    I’d write more but my spiked ass-pager just buzzed, Mr. Koch needs me to troll somewhere else.

  • 66. Roke  |  November 22nd, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Another good article, Ames. But what confuses me is, what do we do next? Is organizing the only thing we can do. Using the threat of a big angry mass of people to scare the people in really neatly decorated white and pine cladding and chrome houses? I guess it must be

    CENSOR: “Yes. You are wise.”

  • 67. Roderick T. Long  |  February 24th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    AEC pre-troll commentary: This here bagtard clearly has not yet let the Almighty eXiled Censor into his heart. He still thinks he’s living in 2008 when his ilk were still able to spew their “libertarians are for small business owners and are against capitalism and oligarchy” garbage in comment sections freely. Repent young baggertard and give yourself up to the Almighty eXiled Censor…

    Libertarianism — and I mean free-market libertarianism — is essentially an ANTI-corporate, ANTI-capitalist movement. Libertarians understood this in the 19th century and lost sight of it in the 20th. But we’re back. Your attacks on the version of libertarianism that is thankfully dying don’t address the more authentic version of it that’s being reborn.

  • 68. Roderick T. Long  |  February 26th, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I have no idea what the reference to 2008 is about. If you have an actual argument against free-market anti-capitalism, what is it?


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