Whee! Down the rabbit hole.
So Stephen Maseda missed the point (letters, July 27). It’s OK. Sometimes brevity causes confusion. Really crafty debaters (attorneys, for example) routinely feign confusion or innocence as a mask, put on to gain amity/camaraderie with the innocent or naive, to further a rhetorical objective.
As I concluded in my July 9 opinion, rhetoric needs no qualifying expertise. It is a great source of entertainment, though.
If the cause of inflation is the question unanswered, consider: No economist would credit a single individual or policy to affect a gross economic measure like inflation. That’s because inflation is a gross attribute that reflects the sum of all transaction behaviors of those participating in the economy. The USA is a consumer economy. Inflation is in consumer hands, not in the hands of any single man, party or policy.
It is sad that even a rudimentary understanding of the attributes of our capitalist economy escapes and/or is patently ignored by Maseda and (Brian) Richards in favor of their partisan rhetoric.
Mr. Maseda shifted from the inflation topic to (weakly) defend the merit of Richards’ biased perspective related to the legislative and executive signature process of financing government spending through debt. To that end, the process “issue” did not go unanswered, Mr. Maseda. My perspective on the debt limit and government finance was published May 11, two weeks prior to Mr. Richards’ biased blamescapery. I even provided a salient local example. So my own perspective has been disclosed, free from partisan blaming, on the process “issue” Mr. Richards hopscotched around.
Here’s the thing: Mr. Richards (and apparently Mr. Maseda as well) WANTS to believe one party or another is to blame for anguish and pain we all experience from the avarice and gluttony over the spoils of legislated spending/borrowing. But in the end both parties snort and feed like sows and boars from the same sloppy trough. The Joe Biden proposed budget circulated, got minced and hacked and bolstered, but in the end the established process approved a spending level that required more leverage than the established limit allowed. And even though the Republicans felt there should be less spent, one interesting factoid is that “roughly two-thirds of the major projects are in districts whose Republican lawmakers opposed the Inflation Reduction Act” (Politico).
So grow up, y’all. Stop the pretense. There is no moral high ground available. All the sows and boars are feasting shoulder to shoulder in the mud.
We are asked by Maseda why “we have not heard one word of actual disagreement with the point raised by Mr. Richards.” Well, that’s because there is no substance to “the point” of Mr. Richards’ singular, distortion-field worldview. For some reason Brian needs to pin blame for a common economic behavior (inflation) on a single party/policy/person. THAT is the real issue. When Brian says, “It’s because Joe Biden wants it to be suspended. I can’t say those words enough!” who is he convincing by committing himself to repeating that mantra?
So, congratulations, Mr. Maseda! You joined Team Sophistry when you asked, “What was the purpose of the question, or indeed its relevance?” Like a good attorney, you asked a leading question, one you already (should) know the answer to. You did us all a favor by pointing out the core challenge in reasoned consideration: jurors/judges must critically evaluate witness testimony and credibility. Mr. Maseda guides those of us in the jury box to ponder the purpose and essence of Mr. (Gary) Morrison’s question; that is, to establish the credibility of Mr. Richards as a witness, to divine his testimony as either indifferent and objective truth (valuable) or as biased perspective lacking objectivity (junk).
But, honestly, it’s not that complicated. Mr. Morrison’s single question cannot be an argument from authority. It lacks any claim or argument: it is a single, simple inquiry. He likely intended the question as a simple ad hominem eye gouge to rouse emotion.
Mr. Morrison’s question remains unanswered, hanging there like a slaughtered hog. Richards’ enduring silence begets suspicion. A creeping fog of doubt shrouds his specious May 24 perspective.
Can you hear Morrisson’s question, formalized, in a mock trial? “Mr. Richards, are you a credentialed economist, or could you describe to us your extent of knowledge and experience with macroeconomics and government finance?” A concentrated inquiry would expose Richards’ May 24 opinion as mere conspiratorial ranting.
At best, Mr. Morrison’s question was not-so-subtle rhetoric meant to convince others of Mr. Richards’ lack of standing, lack of expertise, and NOT an argument from authority. It was simple inquiry into the credibility of a witness. It was/is a direct, concise question, something a defendant would be required to answer once the relevance of such answer is determined to be necessary to achieve objective truth and justice. At worst, Mr. Morrison’s question was trolling, a way to get under someone’s skin.