National Review: Capitalistic Economic Growth Is the New Communism

Knaves or Fools? Why Choose?

Matthew Yglesias, I think, gets one wrong. He says that Steve Spuriell is not a knave but merely a fool:

Matthew Yglesias: Stephen Spuriell on Student Loans: One major analytic error I think liberals tend to make is vastly overstating the level of dishonesty among conservative pundits, analysts, advocates, etc.... [T]he overwhelming majority of smart people with conservative political opinions are working as businessmen.... So you’re left with a kind of denuded population in terms of brainpower. But... smart conservative businessmen have financed a staggering array of conservative institutions creating a tremendous number of jobs for conservative pundits and so forth despite the shallow talent pool. The result is a lot of people saying dumb things that they genuinely believe. Which is all by way of introducing an excellent Barron Young Smith post in which he recaps a dispute between Jon Chait and Stephen Spuriell over the latter’s bizarre critique of Barack Obama’s student loan program.... [I]t quickly becomes clear that Spruiell has no idea why he opposes student loan reform. Or, rather, he knows he opposes it because Obama proposed it and conservative politicians mobilized against it. So he started grabbing random ideas and throwing them together, citing Jason DeLisle without attempting to understand what he was saying, and generally making a fool out of himself.

The second part of the program undermines the first: to know that you don't know why you are supposed to oppose something is time for you to take a deep breath and sit down and let somebody else carry the ball--unless, of course, you are a knave as well as a fool.